Sen Leahy: Because of NSA spying programs gov’t is controlling us instead of us controlling gov’t – Video

Sen Leahy: Because of NSA spying programs gov't is controlling us instead of us controlling gov't
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” the Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee told host Chris Wallace that the nation's lawmakers must a…


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Sen Leahy: Because of NSA spying programs gov’t is controlling us instead of us controlling gov’t – Video

Feinstein Admits ‘America Is the Great Satan’: Sen. Feinstein Defends NSA Spying – Video

Feinstein Admits 'America Is the Great Satan': Sen. Feinstein Defends NSA Spying
On Sunday's “Meet the Press” Senator Dianne Feinstein told host David Gregory, “A lot of the privacy people perhaps don't understand that we still occupy the…

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Feinstein Admits ‘America Is the Great Satan’: Sen. Feinstein Defends NSA Spying – Video

NSA Spying | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop it and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

History of NSA Spying Information since 2005

(See EFFs full timeline of events here)

News reports in December 2005 first revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting Americans phone calls and Internet communications. Those news reports, combined with a USA Today story in May 2006 and the statements of several members of Congress, revealed that the NSA is also receiving wholesale copies of American’s telephone and other communications records. All of these surveillance activities are in violation of the privacy safeguards established by Congress and the US Constitution.

In early 2006, EFF obtained whistleblower evidence (.pdf) from former AT&T technician Mark Klein showing that AT&T is cooperating with the illegal surveillance. The undisputed documents show that AT&T installed a fiberoptic splitter at its facility at 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco that makes copies of all emails web browsing and other Internet traffic to and from AT&T customers and provides those copies to the NSA. This copying includes both domestic and international Internet activities of AT&T customers. As one expert observed, this isnt a wiretap, its a country-tap. Secret government documents, published by the media in 2013, confirm the NSA obtains full copies of everything that is carried along major domestic fiber optic cable networks.

In June 2013, the media, led by the Guardian and Washington Post started publishing a series of articles, along with full government documents, that have confirmed much of what was reported in 2005 and 2006 and then some. The reports showed – and the government later admitted – that the government is mass collecting phone metadata of all US customers under the guise of the Patriot Act. Moreover, the media reports confirm that the government is collecting and analyzing the content of communications of foreigners talking to persons inside the United States, as well as collecting collecting much more, without a probable cause warrant. Finally, the media reports confirm the upstream collection off of the fiberoptic cables that Mr. Klein first revealed in 2006.

(See EFFs How It Works page here for more)

EFF Fights Back in the Courts

EFF is fighting these illegal activities in the courts. Currently, EFF is representing victims of the illegal surveillance program in Jewel v. NSA,a lawsuit filed in September 2008 seeking to stop the warrantless wiretapping and hold the government and government officials behind the program accountable. In July 2013, a federal judge ruled that the government could not rely on the controversial state secrets privilege to block our challenge to the constitutionality of the program. This case is being heard in conjunction with Shubert v. Obama, which raises similar claims.

Also in July, 2013, EFF filed another lawsuit, First Unitarian v. NSA, based on the recently published FISA court order demanding Verizon turn over all customer phone records including who is talking to whom, when and for how long to the NSA. This so-called metadata, especially when collected in bulk and aggregated, allows the government to track the associations of various political and religious organizations. The Director of National Intelligence has since confirmed that the collection of Verizon call records is part of a broader program. In addition to making the same arguments we made in Jewel, we argue in Unitarian First Unitarian v. NSA that this type of collection violates the First Amendment right to association.

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NSA Spying | Electronic Frontier Foundation

‘CHILLING EFFECT’: Watchdog said to push for end to NSA phone spying

Published January 23, 2014

January 17, 2013: President Barack Obama waves to the audience after he spoke about National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP/File)

An independent board tasked with reviewing National Security Agency surveillance called Thursday for the government to end its mass data collection program and “purge” its files, declaring the program illegal in a major challenge to President Obama.

The president did not go nearly as far when he called last week for ending government control of phone data collected from hundreds of millions of Americans. In its report, obtained by Fox News and scheduled for release Thursday afternoon, The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) said the program ran afoul of the law on several fronts.

“The … bulk telephone records program lacks a viable legal foundation,” the board’s report said, adding that it raises “serious threats to privacy and civil liberties” and has “only limited value.”

“As a result, the Board recommends that the government end the program,” the panel wrote.

It remains to be seen whether Obama will accept all or part of the recommendations, but the findings could nevertheless be used as leverage in federal lawsuits against NSA spying.

The report concluded that the NSA collection raises “constitutional concerns” with regard to U.S. citizens’ rights of speech, association and privacy.

“The connections revealed by the extensive database of telephone records gathered under the program will necessarily include relationships established among individuals and groups for political, religious, and other expressive purposes,” it said. “Compelled disclosure to the government of information revealing these associations can have a chilling effect on the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

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‘CHILLING EFFECT’: Watchdog said to push for end to NSA phone spying

Yahoo CEO Challenges Obama on NSA Spying

President Obama needs to be more open about spying activities, says tech executive

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

The Obama administration must be more transparent about the data collected by the National Security Agency, said Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer on Thursday, adding to a litany of complaints from tech companies about U.S. spying activity.

People dont know what data is being collected and how it is being used, said Mayerat the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos. We need to be able to rebuild trust with our users, not only in the U.S. but internationally.

Mayer said that Yahoo could let users know which data the NSA is collecting if the U.S. more openly discussed its spying activities. The Yahoo chief executive was one of several tech executives invited to meet President Obama in December to discuss NSA surveillance.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified data last year revealing major tech companies including Yahoo, and Google fed information to the U.S. government. Tech executives including Google chairman Eric Schmidt have since complained that the NSAs spying mandate has gone too far.


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Yahoo CEO Challenges Obama on NSA Spying

Senate to push for legislation to limit NSA spying, while lawmaker suggests Obama didn’t go far enough- House panel …

Published January 19, 2014

FILE: Feb. 13, 2010: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D, in Burlington, Vt.AP

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday the upper chamber will continue working on legislation to limit NSA spying, suggesting President Obama has not gone far enough in making changes to protect Americans privacy.

Theres a concern that we have gone too much into Americans privacy, the Democratic lawmaker told Fox News Sunday. Theres still going to be legislation on this.

Leahy said several times that congressional Democrats and Republicans both share the concern and suggested the direction of the legislation will be impacted by what Attorney General Eric Holder says when he testifies on Capitol Hill on Jan. 29 — the day after the presidents State of the Union address.

The president announced the changes Friday in a major policy speech at the Justice Department, following a series of revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that started last summer about the extent of agency spying.

Leahy said he wouldnt fight the president on his proposed NSA changes — including additional court approval, a non-government agency holding phone meta-data and limiting the extent of the data collection.

I think we have a way we can do this, he said. I believe in going after the bad guys. But I also believe in some checks and balances, so you dont have a government run amok.

Leahy was joined on the show by retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former Bush administration NSA and CIA director.

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Senate to push for legislation to limit NSA spying, while lawmaker suggests Obama didn’t go far enough- House panel …