Big brother to log your drinking habits and waist size as GPs are forced to hand over confidential records


GPs are to be forced to hand over confidential records on all their patients’ drinking habits, waist sizes and illnesses.

The files will be stored in a giant information bank that privacy campaigners say represents the ‘biggest data grab in NHS history’.

They warned the move would end patient confidentiality and hand personal information to third parties The data includes weight, cholesterol levels, body mass index, pulse rate, family health history, alcohol consumption and smoking status.


Diagnosis of everything from cancer to heart disease to mental illness would be covered. Family doctors will have to pass on dates of birth, postcodes and NHS numbers.

Officials insisted the personal information would be made anonymous and deleted after analysis.

But Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, said: ‘Under these proposals, medical confidentiality is, in effect, dead and there is currently nobody standing in the way.’ Nick Pickles, of the privacy group Big Brother Watch, said NHS managers would now be in charge of our most confidential information.

He added: ‘It is unbelievable how little the public is being told about what is going on, while GPs are being strong-armed into handing over details about their patients and to not make a fuss. ‘Not only have the public not been told what is going on, none of us has been asked to give our permission for this to happen.’

The data grab is part of Everyone Counts, a programme to extend the availability of patient data across the Health Service.

GPs will be required to send monthly updates on their patients to a central database run by the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Health chiefs will be able to demand information on every patient, such as why they have been referred to a consultant. Another arm of the NHS will supply data on patient prescriptions.

In a briefing for GPs, health chiefs admit that ‘patient identifiable components’ will be demanded, including post code and date of birth.

NHS officials insist the information centre will be a ‘safe haven’ for personal data, which will be deleted soon after it is received.

The information will be used to analyse demand for services and improve treatment.

But a document outlining the scheme even raises the prospect of clinical data being passed on or sold to third parties.

It states: ‘The patient identifiable components will not be released outside the safe haven except as permitted by the Data Protection Act.

‘HSCIC ... will store the data and link it only where approved and necessary, ensuring that patient confidentiality is protected.’

Patients will not be able to opt out of the system.

Before the election the Tories condemned the creation of huge databases including the controversial NHS IT project and insisted it would roll back ‘Labour’s database state’.

But last month, in the first sign of a dramatic shift away from this position, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he wanted millions of private medical records to be stored and shared between hospitals, GPs, care homes and even local councils. He sold the programme as part of plans for a ‘paperless NHS’ by 2018 and claimed ‘thousands of lives’ would be saved.

But details of the changes have raised serious concerns among civil liberties and privacy campaigners, as well as health professionals

Last night GPs’ leaders said the latest proposals were too broad.

‘Patients must be given the option to opt out of any scheme that seeks to transfer identifiable information about them from their records to another source,’ said a BMA spokesman.

‘This opt-out should be widely advertised and explained in order that patients are reassured and understand the process being carried out.’

Phil Booth of the campaign group NO2ID said an unprecedented volume of data would be ‘sucked up’.

‘People have to trust in the notion of medical confidentiality. They expect to be able to talk in confidence to their GP,’ he said.

‘They don’t expect their private conversations to be uploaded on to a national database where they will be made available for any number of purposes for the benefit of persons unknown.’

A spokesman for the NHS said last night: ‘The NHS constitution makes clear what information can be used for by the NHS and this proposal complies exactly with that.’

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Congressman: IRS asked pro-life group about 'the content of their prayers'

Yahoo to Users: Let Us Read Your Emails or -- Goodbye!

May 30, 2013

NEW YORK - As of June 1, all Yahoo email users are required to upgrade to the company's newest platform, which allows Yahoo to scan and analyze every email they write or receive. According to Yahoo's help page, all users who make the transition agree to let the company perform "content scanning and analyzing of your communications content" to target ads, offer products, and perform "abuse protection."

This means any message that Yahoo's algorithms find disturbing could flag a user as a bully, a threat, or worse. At the same time, Yahoo can now openly troll through email for personal information that it can share or hold onto indefinitely. See:
Archived at: Yahoo mail upgrade.

Gay and haven't come out yet? Yahoo knows. Having an affair? Your spouse may not know — but Yahoo does. Any interests, ailments or projects you'd rather not share? You're sharing them with Yahoo, perhaps forever.

The new tracking policy affects more than just Yahoo account holders. Everyone who corresponds with a Yahoo email account holder will also have their own message content scanned, analyzed, and stored by Yahoo, even if they themselves have not agreed to Yahoo's new terms of service.

"Emailing through Yahoo means surrendering your privacy, whether it's your own account or your friend's," says Harvard-trained privacy expert Katherine Albrecht, who is helping to develop StartMail, an upcoming email service that will not scan its users' correspondence. "It's time we start paying attention to these policies, because they're growing more shockingly abusive every day," she added..."

Scientists create device that tears a hole in time, enabling undetectable secret messages to be sent (so long as you do it in 0.00012 of a second)

  • A 'time cloak' which bends light to tear holes in time has been created
  • It could allow secret messages to be sent via fibre optic cables
  • It can hide a continuous stream of events at telecommunications data rates
  • The holes are made by bending light using equipment known as modulators
  • Technique can cloak 46 per cent of the entire time axis and conceal pseudorandom digital data at a rate of 12.7 gigabits per second

The device can hide a continuous stream of events at telecommunications data rates - much quicker than a similar invention unveiled last year.

Researchers used equipment known as modulators to make the holes by bending light, reports Nature.

Although a long way off the fictional 'invisibility cloaks' featured in Star Trek and the Harry Potter films the concept could have practical applications to conceal messages.

A time or 'temporal' cloak that made a single event undetectable by speeding up and slowing down different parts of a light beam was described 17 months ago. 

But this technique only hid single brief events over periods of 0.00012 of a second - too slow for optical communications.

Andrew Weiner and colleagues have now demonstrated an alternative method based on a phenomenon known as the Talbot effect when light passing through a grating travels in different directions.

The computer engineers found this could hide optical data from a receiver at telecommunications data rates.

i have to disagree with the 'long way from Star Trek' remark.

Booz Allen Hamilton, the NSA and 9-11

Booz Allen Hamilton, the contractors for which Edward Snowden worked is not new to questionable dealings. Call them the mercenaries of cyber war. Here's some history on them, their former vice president and some connections to the inside job known as 9-11.

From Wikipedia: Prior controversies of intelligance gathering:


In 2006 at the request of the Article 29 Working Group, an advisory group to the European Commission (EC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Privacy International (PI) investigated the U.S. government's SWIFT surveillance program and Booz Allen's role therein. The ACLU and PI filed a memo at the end of their investigation which called into question the ethics and legality of a government contractor (in this case Booz Allen) acting as auditors of a government program, when that contractor is heavily involved with those same agencies on other contracts. The basic statement was that a conflict of interest may exist. Beyond that, the implication was also made that Booz Allen may be complicit in a program (electronic surveillance of SWIFT) that may be deemed illegal by the EC.[16][17]
Democracy Now!

Another controversy, related to some of the senior staff of Booz Allen (past and present) and related to its performance on some specific U.S. intelligence agency contracts, was brought to light on January 12, 2007 in an interview conducted by Democracy Now! with Tim Shorrock,[18] an independent investigative journalist, and separately in an article he wrote for the Salon online magazine. Through investigation of Booz Allen employees, Shorrock asserts that there is a sort of revolving-door conflict of interest between Booz Allen and the U.S. government, and between multiple other contractors and the U.S. government in general. Regarding Booz Allen, Shorrock referred to such people as John M. McConnell, R. James Woolsey, Jr., and James R. Clapper, all of whom have gone back and forth between government and industry (Booz Allen in particular), and who may present the appearance that certain government contractors receive undue or unlawful business from the government, and that certain government contractors may exert undue or unlawful influence on government. Shorrock further relates that Booz Allen was a sub-contractor with two programs at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), called Trailblazer and Pioneer Groundbreaker.
Homeland Security

A June 28, 2007 Washington Post article related how a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract with Booz Allen increased from $2 million to more than $70 million through two no-bid contracts, one occurring after the DHS's legal office had advised DHS not to continue the contract until after a review. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the contract characterized it as not well-planned and lacking any measure for assuring valuable work to be completed.

According to the article,

    A review of memos, e-mail and other contracting documents obtained by The Washington Post show that in a rush to meet congressional mandates to establish the information analysis and infrastructure protection offices, agency officials routinely waived rules designed to protect taxpayer money. As the project progressed, the department became so dependent on Booz Allen that it lost the flexibility for a time to seek out other contractors or hire federal employees who might do the job for less.

Elaine C. Duke, the department's chief procurement officer, acknowledged the problems with the Booz Allen contract. But Duke said those matters have been resolved. She defended a decision to issue a second no-bid contract in 2005 as necessary to keep an essential intelligence operation running until a competition could be held


Spies for Hire artice:

CorpWatch Analysis

To carry out its tasks at the intelligence agencies, Booz Allen has hired a dazzling array of former national security officials and foot soldiers. In 2002, Information Week reported that Booz Allen had more than 1,000 former intelligence officers on its payroll. In 2007, as I was writing a chapter about Booz Allen for Spies for Hire, my 2008 book on outsourced intelligence, I asked the company if it could confirm that number or provide a more accurate one. Spokesman George Farrar e-mailed: "It is certainly possible, but as a privately held corporation we consider that information to be proprietary and do not disclose."

Unlike many of its competitors in the intelligence industry, Booz Allen is a privately held company whose shares are owned by its 300 vice presidents. The vast majority of them work for the commercial division, about 80 are in "government support,” with the rest focused on Booz Allen’s corporate and international work, Booz Allen’s Farrar told CorpWatch.

Most of these vice presidents have long and deep experience in the intelligence community, and are beginning to act as a training cadre for senior jobs back in government. Booz Allen’s most illustrious alumnus, for example, is Michael McConnell, current director of National Intelligence. Before President George W. Bush appointed him to run the intelligence community in January 2007, McConnell, the former director of the NSA during the Clinton administration, spent more than 10 years as a Booz Allen senior vice president in charge of the company’s extensive contracts in military intelligence and information operations for the Department of Defense.

In that work, his official biography states, McConnell provided intelligence support to "the U.S. Unified Combatant Commanders, the director of National Intelligence Agencies, and the Military Service Intelligence directors." That made him a close colleague of not only Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon chief from 2001 to 2007, but of Vice President Dick Cheney, who served Bush as a kind of intelligence godfather from the earliest days of the administration. During the first Bush administration and the first Gulf War, McConnell had worked for Cheney, then the secretary of defense, as the chief intelligence adviser to Gen. Colin Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Cheney was so impressed with McConnell’s work during the war that he appointed him to head the NSA in 1993. (He later intervened personally to convince McConnell to take the DNI job.) As Booz Allen’s chief intelligence liaison to the Pentagon, McConnell was at the center of action, both before and after 9/11.

During the first six years of the Bush administration, Booz Allen’s contracts with the US government rose dramatically, from $626,000 in 2000 to $1.6 billion in 2006. And as I reported last year in Salon, McConnell and his staff at Booz Allen were deeply involved in some of the Bush administration’s most controversial counterterrorism programs. They included the Pentagon’s infamous Total Information Awareness (TIA) data-mining scheme run, by former Navy Adm. John Poindexter. TIA was an attempt to collect information on potential terrorists in America from phone records, credit card receipts, and other databases. Congress cancelled TIA over civil liberties concerns, but much of the work was transferred to the NSA, where Booz Allen continued to receive the contracts. In 2002, when the CIA launched a financial intelligence project to track terrorist financing with the secret cooperation of SWIFT, the Brussels-based international banking consortium, Booz Allen won a contract to serve as an “outside” auditor of the project.

SHRADER/CEO. The man most responsible for Booz Allen’s growth as an intelligence contractor is Keith Shrader, who has been running the company as chairman and CEO since 1998. Shrader, an electrical engineer by training, came to Booz Allen in 1974 after serving at the senior management level at two prominent telecommunications firms: Western Union, where he was national director of advanced systems planning; and RCA, where he served in the company’s government communications system division. These positions prepared him well for his later work at Booz Allen as a consultant to the telecom industry. According to his official biography, he “led major assignments” for the industry as a Booz Allen consultant, and was deeply involved in the company’s “landmark work for AT&T” when the government broke up that firm.

In those assignments, Shrader may have been exposed to the telecom industry’s close ties to U.S. intelligence. During the years he worked for Western Union and RCA, those firms, along with ITT World Communications, were part of a secret surveillance program known as Minaret. Under that scheme, telecom companies, with the concurrence of a handful of high-ranking executives, handed over to the NSA information on all incoming and outgoing U.S. telephone calls and telegrams. Minaret was an early version of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program launched by the Bush administration after 9/11. Minaret, and the involvement of the private companies in NSA spying, was exposed by the congressional committees investigating intelligence abuse in the mid-1970s, and was the inspiration behind the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which set the rules—including the important requirement for warrants—for the domestic surveillance of telephone traffic.

None of this history is alluded to in Booz Allen’s official propaganda, but Shrader, on his appointment as CEO in 1998, mentioned in a rare press interview with the Financial Times that the most relevant background for his new position of chief executive was his experience working for telecommunications clients and doing classified defense work for the U.S. government – “something of a Booz specialty,” the FT pointed out.

Booz Allen adds on its website that Shrader, as CEO, has also “led important programs for the U.S. National Communications System and the Defense Information Systems Agency,” two of the most important classified intelligence networks in use by the federal government. Under Shrader, Booz Allen also became the NSA’s most important outside consultant, culminating in its advisory role in Project Groundbreaker. That project, which awarded its first contracts in the summer of 2001, put Booz Allen in a prime position to capture NSA and other intelligence work in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when intelligence budgets, and NSA spying, increased substantially.

After 9/11, by Booz Allen’s account, the firm helped the Bush administration and the Intelligence Community reshape their spying capabilities to match the new era of counterinsurgencies and terrorist threats. “The nature of intelligence changed dramatically in the wake of 9/11,” Christopher Ling, a Booz Allen vice president, explained in the company’s most recent annual report. “An entire analytic production system geared to detect large-scale cold war adversarial capabilities was suddenly required to transform.” At Booz Allen, he added, “We are finding innovative ways to integrate intelligence and operations, enabled by advanced visualization and data management capabilities, which has allowed us to pioneer tactics, techniques, and procedures.”

In addition to serving as a prime contractor on Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness project, Booz Allen was active on both the military and economic fronts on the “war on terror.” For the Pentagon, it helped develop the “blue force”” tracking system that allows soldiers and commanders in Iraq and other battlegrounds the ability to electronically identify friendly troops. And in the weeks leading up to the invasion of Iraq, Booz Allen sponsored and organized several conferences aimed at helping US corporations secure contracts in occupied Baghdad. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, one of the most ardent backers of the war, was a keynote speaker at one of these conferences.

KING OF THE REVOLVING DOOR. Booz Allen prides itself on its dedication to the agencies it works for and on the personal relationships it has forged between its personnel and their defense and intelligence clients. “We stay for a lifetime,” Mark J. Gerencser, senior vice president in charge of Booz Allen’s government contracting division, remarked in 2006. The best guide to its intelligence work, therefore, is its executive leadership – the vice presidents who are each poised to profit personally from a corporate takeover by the Carlyle Group. A quick study of their biographies posted on Booz Allen’s website provides an excellent guide to the company’s extensive relationships with the intelligence community.

As the director of Booz Allen’s U.S. government business, for example, Gerencser serves in “several broad-based roles,” including “representing industry” to the Office of the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which manage the Pentagon’s vast intelligence operations. He is also a member of Booz Allen’s leadership team that sets the strategic direction of the company, and has run many of the war games Booz Allen staged for its government clients.

Just below Gerenscser in the company’s intelligence hierarchy is Ken Wiegand, another senior vice president. Weigand came to Booz Allen in 1983 after working for a decade in Air Force intelligence, and he now leads the firm’s work for national intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the Department of Homeland Security. His specialty, the website says, includes imagery intelligence operations, which are managed by the NGA, one of Booz Allen’s most important clients.

Senior Vice President Joseph W. Mahaffee, a veteran of naval intelligence, is the leader of Booz Allen’s Maryland procurement office business, which puts him in charge of the company’s contracts with the National Security Agency in Fort Meade. He focuses on “meeting the SIGINT and Information Assurance mission objectives” of the NSA with various technology services, including systems engineering, software development, and “advanced telecommunications analysis.”

Another key Booz Allen figure at the NSA is Marty Hill, who came to the company after a 35-year career in signals intelligence and electronic warfare, and previously served as an expert on “information operations capabilities and policy” for Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. He leads of team of 1,200 professionals engaged in all aspects of SIGINT, including technical analysis, systems development and operations.

Vice President Pamela Lentz is a former cryptology officer with the Navy and once worked as a program manager for TRW, one of the nation’s oldest intelligence contractors. (It is now owned by Northrop Grumman) She is Booz Allen’s “client service officer” for the firm’s Defense Intelligence Agency and military intelligence markets, which includes intelligence units within the Navy, Air Force, Army, the unified combatant commands and the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Among other tasks, Lentz manages a 120-person Booz Allen team that supports the National Reconnaissance Office, the Pentagon agency that manages the nation’s military spy satellites. She also runs a task force that supports human intelligence collection efforts at the DIA.

Vice President Laurene Gallo, a former intelligence analyst at the NSA, leads a Booz Allen “intelligence research and analysis” team that support several agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the DNI and the National Counterterrrorism Center. Vice President Richard Wilhelm, whose job at Booz Allen is to work with the CIA and the ODNI, came to the company after a long career in US intelligence that included stints directing the Joint Intelligence Center for Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and as the NSA’s first director of information warfare.

Vice President William Wansley, a former Army intelligence officer, leads a team of experts in “strategic and business planning” that supports the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, the part of the CIA that conducts covert operations and recruits foreign spies, as well as the Office of the DNI. Another vice president, Robert W. Noonan, a retired Army lieutenant general who once served as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence and the commanding general of the US Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, is in charge of expanding Booz Allen’s military intelligence business within all the armed services, the combatant commands, the DIA, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

From Wikipedia - Former vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, Dov S. Zakheim

Dov S. Zakheim is a former official of the United States government.

Born December 18, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York, Zakheim earned his bachelor's degree in government from Columbia University in 1970, and his doctorate in economics and politics at St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He has been an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, where he was presidential scholar.

He served in various Department of Defense posts during the Reagan administration, including Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987. There was some controversy in both the US and Israel over Zakheim's involvement in ending the Israeli fighter program, the IAI Lavi. He argued that Israeli and U.S. interests would be best served by having Israel purchase F-16 fighters, rather than investing in an entirely new aircraft.

During the 2000 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Zakheim served as a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush as part of a group led by Condoleezza Rice that called itself The Vulcans. He was part of the Project for the New American Century.

From 1987-2001, Zakheim was CEO of SPC International, a subsidiary of System Planning Corporation, a high-technology analytical firm. During that period he served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and sat on a number of major DoD panels, including its Task Force on Defense Reform (1997) and the DoD's first Board of Visitors of Overseas Regional Centers (1998–2001). In September 2000 Zakheim is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the United States Naval Institute, and a member of the editorial board of the journal The National Interest. He is a three-time recipient of the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, as well as other awards for government and community service.

He was an Adjunct Scholar of the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and published over 200 articles and monographs on defense issues.

He was then appointed as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) from 2001 in George W. Bush administration, and served in this capacity until April 2004. During his term as Comptroller, he was tasked to help track down the Pentagon's 2.3 trillion dollars worth of unaccounted transactions.[1]

In 2008 he was appointed by President Bush as a member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He retired as a Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton in 2010. He currently is a Senior Fellow at the CNA Corporation, a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also Co-Vice Chair of Global Panel America (Global Panel Foundation) with Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former UK Foreign Secretary and Minister of Defense.

9-11 connections

In a document called "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" published by The American Enterprise's "Project for a New American Century"(1), System Planning Corporation (SPC) International executive, Dov Zakheim, called for "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor" being necessary to foster the frame of mind needed for the American public to support a war in the Middle East that would politically and culturally reshape the region. A respected and established voice in the intelligence community, his views were eagerly accepted, and Dov went from his position at Systems Planning Corporation to become the Comptroller of the Pentagon in May 2001. (2) Perhaps not so coincidentally, it was an SPC subsidiary, TRIDATA CORPORATION, that oversaw the investigation after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.

SPC, according to their official website, specializes in many areas of defense technology production and manufacture, including a system developed by their Radar Physics Group called the Flight Termination System, or FTS.(3) This is a system used to destroy target drones (craft that would be fired on by test aircraft or weaponry) in the event of malfunction or "misses". This highly sophisticated war-game technology allows the control of several 'drones' from a remote location, on varying frequencies, and has a range of several hundred miles. This technology can be used on many different types of aircraft, including large passenger jets.

According to the SPC website (4), a recent customer at that time was Eglin AFB, located in Florida. Eglin is very near another Air Force base in Florida-MacDill AFB, where Dov Zakheim contracted to send at least 32 Boeing 767 aircraft, as part of the Boeing /Pentagon tanker lease agreement.(5)

As the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, little was mentioned about these strange connections, and the possible motives and proximity of Dov Zakheim and his group. Since there was little physical evidence remaining after the events, investigators were left only with photographic and anecdotal evidence.

WASHINGTON—"The National Security Agency's monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency's activities.

The disclosure this week of an order by a secret U.S. court for Verizon Communications Inc.'s phone records set off the latest public discussion of the program. But people familiar with the NSA's operations said the initiative also encompasses phone-call data from AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp.,  records from Internet-service providers and purchase information from credit-card providers.

The agency is using its secret access to the communications of millions of Americans to target possible terrorists, said people familiar with the effort.

The NSA's efforts have become institutionalized—yet not so well known to the public—under laws passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Most members of Congress defended them Thursday as a way to root out terrorism, but civil-liberties groups decried the program.

"Everyone should just calm down and understand this isn't anything that is brand new,'' said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who added that the phone-data program has "worked to prevent'' terrorist attacks..."

Full Article:

Harry Reid had one thing isn't new at all.

21 Facts About NSA Snooping That Every American Should Know

#1 According to CNET, the NSA told Congress during a recent classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls…

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

    If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

#2 According to U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, members of Congress learned “significantly more than what is out in the media today” about NSA snooping during that classified briefing.

#3 The content of all of our phone calls is being recorded and stored.  The following is a from a transcript of an exchange between Erin Burnett of CNN and former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente which took place just last month…

    BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

    CLEMENTE: No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

    BURNETT: So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

    CLEMENTE: No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.

#4 The chief technology officer at the CIA, Gus Hunt, made the following statementback in March…

“We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”

#5 During a Senate Judiciary Oversight Committee hearing in March 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the intelligence community has the ability to access emails “as they come in”…

“We put in place technological improvements relating to the capabilities of a database to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search.”

#6 Back in 2007, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told Congress that the president has the “constitutional authority” to authorize domestic spying without warrants no matter when the law says.

#7 The Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper recently told Congress that the NSA was not collecting any information about American citizens.  When the media confronted him about his lie, he explained that he “responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner“.

#8 The Washington Post is reporting that the NSA has four primary data collection systems…

Two of the four collection programs, one each for telephony and the Internet, process trillions of “metadata” records for storage and analysis in systems called MAINWAY and MARINA, respectively. Metadata includes highly revealing information about the times, places, devices and participants in electronic communication, but not its contents. The bulk collection of telephone call records from Verizon Business Services, disclosed this month by the British newspaper the Guardian, is one source of raw intelligence for MAINWAY.

The other two types of collection, which operate on a much smaller scale, are aimed at content. One of them intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a system called ­NUCLEON.

For Internet content, the most important source collection is thePRISM project reported on June 6 by The Washington Post and the Guardian. It draws from data held by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley giants, collectively the richest depositories of personal information in history.

#9 The NSA knows pretty much everything that you are doing on the Internet.  The following is a short excerpt from a recent Yahoo article…

Americans who disapprove of the government reading their emails have more to worry about from a different and larger NSAeffort that snatches data as it passes through the fiber optic cables that make up the Internet’s backbone. That program, which has been known for years, copies Internet traffic as it enters and leaves the United States, then routes it to the NSA for analysis.

#10 The NSA is supposed to be prohibited from spying on the Internet activity of American citizens, but it is doing it anyway…

    Despite that prohibition, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the United States, knowing it would give the government unprecedented, warrantless access to Americans’ private conversations.

    Tapping into those cables allows the NSA access to monitor emails, telephone calls, video chats, websites, bank transactions and more. It takes powerful computers to decrypt, store and analyze all this information, but the information is all there, zipping by at the speed of light.

    “You have to assume everything is being collected,” said Bruce Schneier, who has been studying and writing about cryptography and computer security for two decades.

For the whole list go to:

Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale

"Perhaps your real life is so rich you don't have time for another.

Even so, the US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda.

The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual "nodes" to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.

Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information", according to a concept paper for the project.

"SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological Operations (PSYOP)," the paper reads, so that military leaders can "develop and test multiple courses of action to anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners".

SWS also replicates financial institutions, utilities, media outlets, and street corner shops. By applying theories of economics and human psychology, its developers believe they can predict how individuals and mobs will respond to various stressors.

SEAS can display regional results for public opinion polls, distribution of retail outlets in urban areas, and the level of unorganization of local economies, which may point to potential areas of civil unrest

Yank a country's water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.

"The idea is to generate alternative futures with outcomes based on interactions between multiple sides," said Purdue University professor Alok Chaturvedi, co-author of the SWS concept paper.

Chaturvedi directs Purdue's laboratories for Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulations, or SEAS - the platform underlying SWS. Chaturvedi also makes a commercial version of SEAS available through his company, Simulex, Inc.

SEAS users can visualise the nodes and scenarios in text boxes and graphs, or as icons set against geographical maps.

Corporations can use SEAS to test the market for new products, said Chaturvedi. Simulex lists the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and defense contractor Lockheed Martin among its private sector clients.

The US government appears to be Simulex's number one customer, however. And Chaturvedi has received millions of dollars in grants from the military and the National Science Foundation to develop SEAS.

Chaturvedi is now pitching SWS to DARPA and discussing it with officials at the US Department of Homeland Security, where he said the idea has been well received, despite the thorny privacy issues for US citizens..."


Guardian/Observer Publishes, Then Pulls New NSA Bombshell Story Featuring Birther Wayne Madsen

Wow, a massive fail by the Guardian/Observer tonight, as their latest BREAKING BOMBSHELL story on NSA spying features Birther (and all-around tin foil hat conspiracy theorist) Wayne Madsen: Revealed: Secret European Deals to Hand Over Private Data to America | World News | the Observer.

The article’s been pulled down now, but here’s a screenshot and the first few paragraphs:

At least six European Union countries in addition to Britain have been colluding with the US over the mass harvesting of personal communications data, according to a former contractor to America’s National Security Agency, who said the public should not be “kept in the dark”.

Wayne Madsen, a former US navy lieutenant who first worked for the NSA in 1985 and over the next 12 years held several sensitive positions within the agency, names Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as having secret deals with the US.

Madsen said the countries had “formal second and third party status” under signal intelligence (sigint) agreements that compels them to hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the NSA if requested.

Under international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have third party relationships..."


In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

WASHINGTON — "In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

 The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said.

Last month, a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden, leaked a classified order from the FISA court, which authorized the collection of all phone-tracing data from Verizon business customers. But the court’s still-secret decisions go far beyond any single surveillance order, the officials said.

“We’ve seen a growing body of law from the court,” a former intelligence official said. “What you have is a common law that develops where the court is issuing orders involving particular types of surveillance, particular types of targets.”

In one of the court’s most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the “special needs” doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures, the officials said.

The special needs doctrine was originally established in 1989 by the Supreme Court in a ruling allowing the drug testing of railway workers, finding that a minimal intrusion on privacy was justified by the government’s need to combat an overriding public danger. Applying that concept more broadly, the FISA judges have ruled that the N.S.A.’s collection and examination of Americans’ communications data to track possible terrorists does not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment, the officials said.

That legal interpretation is significant, several outside legal experts said, because it uses a relatively narrow area of the law — used to justify airport screenings, for instance, or drunken-driving checkpoints — and applies it much more broadly, in secret, to the wholesale collection of communications in pursuit of terrorism suspects. “It seems like a legal stretch,” William C. Banks, a national security law expert at Syracuse University, said in response to a description of the decision. “It’s another way of tilting the scales toward the government in its access to all this data.” ..."

Full Article:;

Even Bugs Will Be Bugged

Exploring the next frontiers in surveillance

"1 | Cameras Will Be Invisible

Many of the cameras that can be pointed at us today are easy to spot. But researchers are developing recording devices that can hide in plain sight, some by mimicking animals. A company called AeroVironment has produced a drone that looks and flies like a hummingbird. Engineers at Carnegie Mellon, nasa, and elsewhere have designed “snakebots” that can maneuver in tight spaces and could be adapted for surveillance. Robotic bugs are in development, too, and engineers at UC Berkeley and in Singapore are developing cyborg beetles—real insects that can be remote-controlled via implanted electrodes and that might someday pack cameras.

If even an insect is too obvious, Kristofer Pister, an engineer at Berkeley, and David Blaauw, an engineer at the University of Michigan, are developing “smart dust” and “micro motes,” respectively: tiny computers mere millimeters wide that can be equipped with cameras and other sensors. One can (or can’t, as it were) see where this is going.
2 | Your Past Will Be Omnipresent

Imagine this: You walk into a car showroom and before you say anything, the dealer knows your name, employment status, car-buying history, and credit rating. Such a future isn’t far off, says Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist at the ACLU.

Already, data brokers such as Acxiom and LexisNexis compile reams of information on all of us. Clients can purchase a dossier on your criminal, consumer, and marital past. Soghoian thinks it’s only a matter of time before data brokers begin drawing from online-dating profiles and social-media posts as well.

Right now, clients have to log in and search for people by name or buy lists of people with certain traits. But as facial-recognition technology becomes more widespread, Soghoian says, any device with a camera and the right software could automatically pull up your information. Eventually, someone might be able to point a phone at you (or look at you through smart contact lenses) and see a bubble over your head marking you as unemployed or recently divorced. We’ll no longer be able to separate our personae—our work selves from our weekend selves. Instead our histories will come bundled as a pop-up on strangers’ screens.
3 | We’ll Let Spies In

This January, a spate of news articles reported that a search engine called Shodan allows online voyeurs to browse password-unprotected baby monitors and watch strangers’ children sleeping in their cribs. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise: Unsecured webcams of all sorts are findable through various search engines, including Google. Still, the news was a reminder of how easy it is to spy on people through the gadgets in their homes—a problem that’s likely to grow as more devices are connected to the internet.

With the advent of the Internet of Things, appliances and gadgets will monitor many aspects of our lives, from what we eat to what we flush. Devices we talk to will record and upload our conversations, as Amazon’s Echo already does. Even toys will make us vulnerable. Kids say the darndest things, and the talking Hello Barbie doll sends those things wirelessly to a third-party server, where they are analyzed by speech-recognition software and shared with vendors.

Even our thoughts could become hackable. The technology company Retinad can use the sensors on virtual-reality headsets to track users’ engagement. Future devices might integrate EEG electrodes to measure brain waves. In August, Berkeley engineers announced that they had produced “neural dust,” implantable electrodes just a millimeter wide that can record brain activity for scientific or medical purposes.

Then again, you don’t need brain implants to have your mind read. “Google knows more about me than my wife does,” says Bruce Schneier, a computer-security expert at IBM. “No one ever lies to a search engine. It’s not a neural implant, but it’s freakishly close.”
4 | Machines Will Decide Our Fates..."


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