NSA kremlinology: spooks outsourced lawbreaking to AT&T

Last weekend's bombshell report on AT&T's enthusiastic cooperation with NSA mass surveillance revealed that the NSA categorized many of its most egregious spying programs as "Partner [AT&T] Controlled." Read the rest

The failed writer who became NSA's in-house "philosopher"

Deep in the Snowden leaks are a series of columns by the "Socrates of SIGINT," an NSA spy who answered an internal help-wanted ad to write about the philosophy of surveillance. Read the rest

NSA conducted commercial espionage against Japanese government and businesses

New leaked documents published by Wikileaks show that the US spy agency conducted surveillance operations against Japan's top government officials, prioritizing finance and trade ministers, as well as the Japanese central bank and two private-sector energy companies. Read the rest

German prosecutors give spies a walk, but investigate journalists for "treason"

The German prosecutors who dropped all action against the US and UK spy-agencies who trampled German law and put the whole nation, up to and including Chancellor Angela Merkel, under surveillance, have decided instead to open an investigation into the bloggers at Netzpolitik, who revealed the wrongdoing. Read the rest

Moxie Marlinspike profiled in WSJ. Obama thinks secure messaging apps like the one he built are “a problem.”

[Wall Street Journal]

[Wall Street Journal]

The Wall Street Journal just discovered what some of us have known for a long time: Moxie Marlinspike is really cool, and the work he does is important. Read the rest

XKEYSCORE: under the hood of the NSA's search engine for your Internet activity

Following up on its in-depth look at which communications the secret XKEYSCORE tool lets the NSA search, The Intercept makes some observations about how the technology actually works. Read the rest

How the NSA searches the world's intercepted private communications

XKEYSCORE is a secret NSA program that indexes data slurped up from covert fiber-taps, hacked systems, and smartphones, including "full take" data and metadata. Read the rest

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's rep to meet with U.S. ambassador over NSA spying charges

U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson (C) is surrounded by body guards as he arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
The spying controversy stemmed from documents released by Wikileaks about NSA surveillance of German officials.

Secret court will let NSA do mass surveillance for another six months

Congress allowed Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset in June, terminating one of the absurd legal justifications for one of the NSA's domestic mass surveillance programs. Read the rest

FOR PUBLIC SAFETY REASONS, THIS POST HAS BEEN INTERCEPTED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT AND WILL BE RETAINED FOR FUTURE ANALYSIS

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Congress passes USA Freedom Act, the NSA 'reform' bill. What does it mean for your privacy?

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose actions led to calls to reform the agency's post-9/11 domestic surveillance activities.
While the bill has many significant flaws, it is historic: it’s the first time since the 1970s Congress has indicated its intention to restrict the vast powers of intel agencies like the NSA, rather than expanding them.

NSA can't legally surveil Americans' every phone call, for now. Thanks, Edward Snowden.

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS
For the time being, we can call our mom, our best friend, or a pizza delivery service without the NSA automatically keeping a record of who we called, when, and how long the conversation lasts.

If the PATRIOT Act ends tonight, what will that mean?

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There's a chance the PATRIOT Act will end tonight at midnight. If that happens, the NSA will no longer enjoy the right to gather phone records of innocent Americans. And there's more. Here's a list of other liberties that government agencies will have to forfeit. Read the rest

Rand Paul plans to crush the PATRIOT Act

Official Portrait

Rand Paul, who sued the NSA two years ago, just announced that he plans to "force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program" tomorrow in order to protect Americans' privacy rights. Here is his exclusive with Politico. Read the rest

NSA wanted to hack the Android store

A newly published Snowden leak reveals that the NSA planned to hack the Android store so that it could covertly install malware on its targets' phones. Read the rest

The business model of NSA apologists

Those talking heads you see on TV defending the NSA and calling for Snowden's ass in a sling? They make bank off NSA surveillance contracts. Read the rest

Snowden vindicated

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When the courts ruled NSA domestic spying illegal last week, it was the plain fact of that surveillance that was most important. But it also means that whistleblower Ed Snowden, cast as a traitor and spy by his critics, is vindicated.

Conor Friedersdorf, at The Atlantic, writes that "the wrongheadedness of the national-security state’s position has been confirmed."

Snowden undeniably violated his promise to keep the NSA’s secrets. But doing so was the only way to fulfill his higher obligation to protect and defend the Constitution, which was being violated by an executive branch exceeding its rightful authority and usurping the lawmaking function that belongs to the legislature. This analysis pertains only to the leaked documents that exposed the phone dragnet, not the whole trove of Snowden leaks, but with respect to that one set of documents there ought to be unanimous support for pardoning his disclosure.

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