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Published On: Mon, Jun 9th, 2014

Edward Snowden and the NSA one year later

Edward Snowden NSA background donkeyhoteyIt’s important to reflect on the year that NSA monitoring of all Americans became public. Business Insider detailed a list of the facts we’ve learned from Edward Snowden and the subsequent leaked documents which CONFIRMED the details of the NSA surveillance.

I note “Confirmed” because this was NOT a new revelation, but rather more intricate detailing and “NAMES” to the programs and practices that have been in place since the Bush administration.

So, let’s be clear: the NSA collects EVERY electronic, digital piece of information.

They’ve got it – all of it. Now, that doesn’t mean they are listening to every call or reading every e-mail. No, instead, think of this collection as a giant haystack of data and they will later decide WHO IS THE NEEDLE worth investigating.

BI begins it’s list with the facts that Verizon, Google and Facebook data is all collected and the Obama adminstration has directed agents towards suspects. The US is actively monitoring and hacking into foreign information (China, Russia, G20 events etc…) while bugging embassies on US soil and spying on 40 others globally.

(con’t below)


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The NSA is collecting data and monitoring countries to gather information on oil, energy and trade from countries such as: Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Panama, Ecuador and Peru. This contradicts the rhetoric that the surveillance is exclusively focused on national security and terrorism. 

In fact, is was a rather disturbing notion to learn that the NSA information was used in diplomatic meetings to “give them the upper hand.”

So while politicians seemed divided over Snowden, is he a whisteblower, hero or traitor, let’s just leave you with some facts:

1. An internal audit found that the NSA broke privacy laws thousands of times. Accidents happened, but how often until it’s a disturbing pattern:

“…most of the unauthorized incidents were unintended, due to clerical errors that resulted in interception of emails or phone calls. But many incidents involved unlawful monitoring of data about thousands of Americans and foreign intelligence targets, which it opted not to disclose to the public or Congress, the Washington Post said

2. Just as agents were doing during the Bush administration, analysts are listening to “love conversations” or phone sex to be blount. Again, Americans are told it is unintentional, identified and corrected – read more HERE

3. The US is also the “Bad Guy” involved in over 230 cyber attacks during 2011 alone.

“…under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed “covert implants,” sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions.”

While we could go on and deeper, like why did the NSA tap Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone or why are they monitoring the Pope? The facts show that the monitoring is broad and wide, full of errors and abuses, while drifting further and further away from terrorism.

Is Snowden a traitor or a hero?

Maybe you don’t know, but today is a good to catch up and maybe decide for yourself.

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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