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back to article NSA whistleblower: Warrantless wiretaps targeted journos

Russell Tice has dropped another bombshell. More than two years after he leaked the existence of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program to the New York Times in late 2006, Tice says warrantless wiretaps specifically targeted journalists and news organizations - all day, every day. The original outrage over the warrantless …

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Go

Which liar came first the NYTimes or the Government

At least with the Government there is a small possibility there is someone who can still tell the truth.

I can't say the same for the New York Times. They lie just to keep in practice...don't even need a reason.

Paris, 'cause she knows what to wipe her butt with.

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I don't see the story here

All governments monitor their staff - why should, e.g., CNN's staff be treated differently than the CIA's?

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Pirate

Gentlemen, Start your Search Engines .....and Highly ATTuned Virtual Machinery

D. POLICY:

1. IC elements shall treat information collected and analysis produced as national assets and, as such, shall act as stewards of information who have a predominant “responsibility to provide.” In addition, authorized IC personnel have a “responsibility to discover” information believed to have the potential to contribute to their assigned mission need and a corresponding “responsibility to request” relevant information they have discovered. ...... http://cryptome.org/icd/icd-501.pdf

The Paradigm Shift in NEUKlearer Intelligence 42 Register and Administer Intellectual Property Movement ...... Track and Feed Knowledge in Order to XXXXPose Ignorance and Punish Deceit.

An Enlightened and Enlightening Concept Base for All Future Virtualised into Reality Operations and Attending Derivative Support Liens ..... Mutual Joint AddAIdDVentures.

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Sounds like Phorm

may have more problems.

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Perhaps

Perhaps that evil NSA was targeting upstanding journalist truth seekers...or perhaps the journalists concerned may have made or received calls to ID'ed terrorist numbers. All those "inside the mind of a terrorist" articles have to be sourced somehow. Will the journalists in turn disclose details of these conversations? Approximately as likely as acknowledging that international calls are hardly "domestic" or that the FISA wiretaps concerned have been confirmed as legal by court case methinks

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Anonymous Coward

Blame goes down & Olmert War Crimes

And who would prosecute Ashcroft? the blame goes down, it will go as far down as the person who actually does something tangible, like splice fibre optics or plug in servers. The leader DEFENDS STRONGLY the poor sucker, (while really pointing blame at him and offering up evidence).

Sort of "we strongly believe that what [scapegoat] did was legal and will seek to defend [scapegoats] interpretation of my orders by his actions on the [date of incident most likely to lay blame on scapegoat] at [location most associated with scapegoat]"... remember Abu Graib? Where Ashcroft pretended his orders were 'enhanced interrogation' while expressing horror at the pictures?

We have a good example of this now, the war crimes investigation in Israel.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jZ6hcZquoA-VdCfBfa4z913S4CzQ

The person who is guilty is Olmert, so he hires a lawyer "Daniel Friedman" and orders the IDF to NOT REVEAL THE NAMES OF THE GENERALS.

Effectively, he's setting them up, he's sending 2 messages: a) It's not a question of 'IF' they committed war crimes, it's a question of 'WHO', because he can't defend those generals on the 'iF'. b) Who is among this set of generals, not Olmert, he's selected the set of scape goats to be prosecuted in his stead.

He's set up a shadow investigation in Israel too. If the UN prosecutes Olmert, that investigation will pick one of the scape goats and seek to shift the crime to him. If I was them, I would remember that Friedman represents Olmert, not them and if they were ordered to bomb civilian targets, use white phosphorous bombs and shoot children, then they should get their own lawyers and testify to the UN, because Friedman will seek to push the blame down to protect his main client Olmert.

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Pirate

Why worry?

Going beyond the sense that the media seem to have a rather over-inflated opinion of their own self-importance, what's there to worry about? After all, The One is now in the White House, and Obama is just so gosh-darn nice and full of hope, and change, and hope in change, that all the West's enemies are just going to go weak at the knees, fall down and kiss his feet. Who cares what the NSA or CIA did under the nasty Bushitler regime, now we have highly-experienced and non-political people like ex-lobbyist Leon Panetta working on keeping things above board and politically correct there probably won't be anyone doing any real intelligence work, they'll all be busy doing corrective seminars on feely-good stuff like "the rights of non-uniformed foreign combatants" and "why Gitmo was a naughty, naughty place". That should give the press plenty of time to research and cuddle up to ex-Gitmo luvvies like Said Ali Al-Shihri, who has recently been announced as the Al Quaeda number two in Yemen. Did Mr Burke champion Al-Shihri's release too?

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Black Helicopters

The next steps

I'm no expert on US constitutional history, but I believe there's a long-standing convention that succeeding administrations don't pursue the outgoing ones for any but the most egregious offences. This is a special case, though. There's clearly a case for a Truth & Reconciliation Committee -type process to systematically investigate the legal and constitutional basis of any and all such secret programmes. I guess an amnesty in exchange for full details would offer a reasonable yet honourable way out for the various NSA, NRO, CIA and other such TLAs to cough up on the things they were directed to do which, on reflection, they now realise might be a little bit suspect. Then we can take the crooks creeps and neocon freaks from the administration, lock 'em up and throw away the key.

On the other hand, it may be that the spooks were asking to be allowed to do this sort of thing. Intelligence agencies are not generally known for their humane, liberal belief systems. If it turns out that agencies or sub-sects within them have gone rogue then Obama has a much bigger problem.

Only one icon to pick for this one, really....

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Anonymous Coward

Obama Won't Change Anything

He won't want to appear weak on terrorism, so the surveillance won't stop. The NSA will just bigger & more expensive computers.

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paranoia?

"NSA surveillance of Americans is far more ambitious in scope than previously imagined by any but the most paranoid."

..so in these cases, those who were labeled as paranoid previously for saying this, in fact were not paranoid? admit it.

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Stop

Goodness me

Is it just me or is there a worrying number of people commenting here who think government have the right to spy on anyone they wish without judicial review?

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Anonymous Coward

Surprise?

Is this really a suprise?

The british security services back in the 70's and 80's admitted it had files on Labour politicians and members of CND. What are the chances that it's been extended to cover other groups of people?

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TRC would work IFF they had misgivings

@AC/"next steps": I think a Truth and Reconciliation Committee is not a bad place to start undoing some of the damage, but be aware that some/ many of the folks who headed those TLAs were "true believers" in the neocon/ conservatard message. However, many of the grunts who actually did the work (i.e., career civil servants whose bosses change roughly every four years) might be willing to cop to what orders they were given.

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Of course ...

>> Of course, algorithms are nothing more than mathematical models

>> and are utterly incapable of forming intent.

What, even AI algorithms?

We won't be convicting those ai killer robots of premeditated murder or conspiracy, then.

I, for one, welcome etc etc.

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So, journalists...

Where's the GPG keys for whistleblowers that want to contact The Register?

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Black Helicopters

How do they know there's no warrant?

So, how do they know there's no warrant?

If the journalists were communicating with someone within the government who is haemmoraging classified information, there's a very real and legitimate counterespionage issue afoot (and probably even a FISA warrant or two.)

I'd argue that government employees leaking information to the press is even worse than leaking it to a foreign power. At least the Chinese and Russians probably keep leaked secrets to themselves. Obviously, there's no such luxury with journalists.

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Seriously?

"All governments monitor their staff - why should, e.g., CNN's staff be treated differently than the CIA's?"

Are you being serious?

Assuming you are, it's pretty obvious that the employment contracts of staff in the security services will say that the government is allowed to make enquiries and monitor the communications of the staff to make sure they don't pose a security threat. And CNN is probably quite entitled to monitor the communication of their staff while at work to make sure they do their work properly.

That's quite different from governments monitoring the private communication of the press and media though - one of whose jobs in a democracy is to hold the government to account. Do you really want your politicians to be able to use the security machinery of the state to track down the sources and intimidate every reporter who happens to be on the trail of some political corruption scandal, all in the name of "anti-terrorism"?

(Of course, we all know that the main role of the media is that of businesses, with a duty to their shareholders to maximise revenues by keeping the public amused and titillated, but that's another matter.)

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Thumb Up

Funny coincidence

Last night my internet connection went on the fritz and somehow the only program I can get to connect now is Tor (OK ping too), I was planing to get on my ISP's case about it, but on second thought, maybe I'm better off this way.

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Black Helicopters

@AC

No Dummy, governemts are only allowed to spy on possible terrorists.

Remember, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!

See, easy

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Black Helicopters

Shocking

I used to work in the intelligence community - not NSA, but a similar agency across the pond. I left before 9/11, but back then it was an article of faith that one did not act without a warrant, and fishing expeditions of this sort were right out. It is shocking indeed how much the War on Abstract Nouns has perverted things if this stuff is now regarded as fair game. GWB might as well have held up a big sign saying "You won, Obama".

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Black Helicopters

Seriously, sort of.

I think the larger point was the CIA and CNN are both tools of the government/corporate/entertainment complex and therefore subject to the same snooping.

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Flame

@MattBryant

Ah good to see you are still naively believing what the neo cons tell you about people.

I mean its not as if they had a history of huge lies is it?

Surely you are not as stupid as you make out?

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Anonymous Coward

so

this is being monitored.

I say : 'hi'

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CNN === wooosh === CIA

It may not have been funny, and one could always argue its degree of correctness, but the fact that anyone (everyone?) missed it ... shows how well they get away with it. And for that I am truly sorry.

CNN, like Judith Miller's NYT, was for the last 8 years one of the US Government's more effective propaganda vehicles -- so effective that one could argue that or wonder if they were in fact actually a part of the US Government. Were they part of the US Government, even merely as paid disinformants, they would, like employees of the CIA, be unquestionably under its purview. QED no story.

Or, paraphrasing the equally skilled shills at The Economist, treat as though as if.

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Anonymous Coward

@How do they know there's no warrant?

"So, how do they know there's no warrant?"

Because it hasn't been served. The telco cannot comply without a warrant *served* on them.

"I'd argue that government employees leaking information to the press is even worse than leaking it to a foreign power. At least the Chinese and Russians probably keep leaked secrets to themselves. Obviously, there's no such luxury with journalists."

You know what I want to know? What happened to the missing $8 billion from the Iraq war. There's no way it was just handed out in cash, it's such a huge number it would be far too big a cash pile.

I reckon a big chunk has been syphoned off for black ops and corruption and to buy political influence.

You tell me that Journalists are all bad and Government is all good, but the evidence I see with my own eyes tells me the reverse is true. I don't recall journalists ever releasing info such as future troop movements, invasion plans, etc. but I do recall them releasing stuff such as Home Officer cleaners being illegal immigrants whilst the Home Secretary is whining on about how companies should be made to pay for employing illegal immigrants...

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Black Helicopters

re Surprise?

"Surprise?

By Anonymous Coward Posted Sunday 25th January 2009 18:46 GMT

Is this really a suprise?

The british security services back in the 70's and 80's admitted it had files on Labour politicians and members of CND. What are the chances that it's been extended to cover other groups of people?"

They had good reason to have files on Labour politicians and members of the CND... an awful lot of Labour MPs etc. were members (may still be) of the International Marxist Group and were really taking orders from Russian handlers.

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Paris Hilton

re: Perhaps

'All those "inside the mind of a terrorist" articles have to be sourced somehow.'

Uh, that's most of what CoIntelPro is. "How do our enemy think" scenarios and attempts to find out how to spot the activity or bend it to your own purposes.

So should we assume that the terrorists have taken control of elements if the CIA and NSA?

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Alien

re: How do they know there's no warrant?

Because with a warrant, there is a court order and this is available.

If one were available, don't you think that the NSA would have put it forward in their defence by now?

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Flame

@re Surprise

"They had good reason to have files on Labour politicians and members of the CND... an awful lot of Labour MPs etc. were members (may still be) of the International Marxist Group and were really taking orders from Russian handlers."

And who told you this? Ah, of course, the people who wanted you to believe that their illegal surveillance was justified.

It's amazing that there are still loonies who believe this "reds under the bed" crap on the loose. You should have been consigned to a straitjacket years ago.

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Unhappy

Nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!

"Nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!" The mantra of state control for over 50 years.

I used to live in a society where there was "presumption of innocence", where I had the right to face my accuser, and where judgement was made based on evidence presented to a jury of my peers.

In that society, I could think, say and do what I liked, with very, very few exceptions, so long as I did not interfere with anybody elses rights to do the same.

In such a society, the state had no need to spy on me. Why waste the resources? If I stepped out of line, by interfering with somebody elses rights, the judical mechanisms were in place to deal with it, and if I didn't interfere with anybody elses rights, then nobody gave a damn what I got up to.

My society wasn't perfect. Bad things still happened, and sometimes bad people were not punished, but I still believed that these were the things that made my society "better" then the others.

But no longer. Now the state must spend time and effort trying to finding out if I "might" do something wrong. They must pay people who could have been making our society better to monitor my phone calls and emails. To track my movements and to monitor and record who I met and what I said. If the technology existed, then they would have a "duty" to monitor my thoughts, just to be safe.

So hands up everybody that voted for the Taliban, for they are the ones in power.

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Separation of powers

So this "separation of power" thing in the constitution is dated and the executive is happy to use all shortcuts available (nobody needs to know, right?). Sounds like a nice recipe for a non-democratic society.

Yeah, we won the cold war!

Now let's see what we can learn from the loosing side.

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Anonymous Coward

NSA in the Headlines: Which is More Important?

What strikes me as rather odd is that this story doesn't seem to have appeared much in the mainstream press. They seem to be more interested in the fact the NSA have 'spy-proofed' Obama's Blackberry than that they have potentially conducted mass surveillance on the entire USA's population. Surely some communications of the American people is private & non-criminal?

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Stop

Knowledge is power

In reply to this AC: "The british security services back in the 70's and 80's admitted it had files on Labour politicians and members of CND. What are the chances that it's been extended to cover other groups of people"

Well, here's 5 million more people in the UK that are prime candidates to be watched, as they have even put their own names on membership lists of groups which the people in power do not like. (As these groups can stand in the way of the plans of the people in power).

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/heathrow-puts-up-legal-barricades-to-keep-away-protesters-459177.html

And by in power, I mean the people running corporations and the government. (Plus as this link shows, by their own actions, they have shown what they are going to be like, over the new airport expansion plans). They want a Big Brother world, as it gives them what they want. Yet more power over people, to manipulate, bypass, and silence opposition.

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Why do they need a warrant?

After all, there is No Such Agency...

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Tom
Silver badge

A story based on the ramblings of Keither Dumberman?

Please, next time at least wait for an organ as reliable as "The National Inquirer" to break the story before leading with it.

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Unhappy

About Matt Bryant

http://www.connectpa.co.uk/people/peopleprofile.php?id=48

Seems that Matt Bryany may be someone who tries to influence opinion for easily identified reasons.

Can anyone say astroturf?

At least he's not AC though. Or Sock puppeteering.

So, will they admit that it's them? Or is it just a coincidence?

AC, because although I have nothing to hide, I may have something to fear.

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Gold badge

Argh!

Obviously, I'm not surprised at all -- when Bushes pals already decided they would break the law, why stop at just breaking it a little?

This is the best reason to cancel out this illegal warrantless wiretapping problem -- they've already been caught red-handed greatly exceeding the (already too wide) scope they claimed they would limit themselves to. With warrants of some type, there will be a paper trail to keep these guys accountable.

Obama? He won't help -- I voted Constitution party, Obama lost my vote when he voted to grant the telecoms immunity for illegally complying with warrantless wiretaps. He talks big but his actual actions show he is not interested in true freedom.

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Happy

RE: Paul Amos

Whilst a coincidence, it is also more a measure of your paranoia. Here are a few other Matt Bryants for you to get worried about:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Bryant

http://www.mattbryantpersonaltraining.co.uk/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1889278/

http://www.mattbryantphoto.com/

http://mattbryantlaketahoe.com/

http://www.tigerroar.co.uk/mattbryant.php

http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Matt-Bryant/514911591

Just to get you really worried, look at the number of us hiding on Facebook!!!

http://en-gb.facebook.com/srch.php?nm=Matt%20Bryant

I'd be very worried about the one with the fish, that looks like he's threatening to hit you with it! Quick, run, hide!

..... has the dweeb gone?

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