by Stephen Lendman
NSA is one of 16 known US spy agencies. They're all up to no good. They violate core rule of law principles.
They do whatever they want. They operate out-of-control. They're powers unto themselves. NSA reflects Big Brother writ large.
It operate globally. It's the world's biggest spy agency. It watches everyone. Advanced technology lets it go where no previous counterpart went before.
Privacy no longer exists. Congress ignores its lawlessness. Oversight is absent. NSA takes full advantage.
Two Washington Post articles revealed more. They're based on documents Edward Snowden provided. Expect lots more disclosures ahead.
On October 14, WaPo headlined "NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally." Many belong to Americans.
"The collection program (hasn't) been disclosed before." Intercepts include email address books and so-called buddy lists.
They're from online instant messaging and/or cell phone text displays. They're lists people want to keep track of.
They show who's online or off, on but away from their computer, people with their phones on or off, and who's currently using them.
NSA collects contact lists in large numbers. They amount to a sizable portion of email/instant messaging accounts.
Data analysis lets NSA "search for hidden connections." It permits mapping relationships "within a much smaller universe of foreign intelligence targets," said WaPo
In one day last year, "NSA's Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers."
These figures are typical. They repeat daily. They add up. They "correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year." .
NSA has access to about 500,000 buddy lists as well as huge numbers of web-based email accounts.
A previous article called NSA spying worse than you think. Rules followed are its own.
It can monitor virtually everyone everywhere electronically. Doing so is unconnected to terrorism or other national security concerns.
Big Brother has lots of other Brothers watching. They're making a list. They're checking it twice. They know who's naughty or nice.
They read your emails. They know what web sites you visit. They know your medical and financial history.
They know the company you keep. They watch every move you make. They know what you do, where and when.
They know when you're sleeping. They know when you're awake. They know when you're bad or good. They know secretly. They know intrusively.
They know because they can go where no previous spy agencies went before. They exceed their capabilities.
Perhaps one day they'll be able to anticipate things before they happen. Maybe they'll be able to read minds.
"(S)ecret arrangements with foreign governments or allied intelligence services" controlling online traffic permits collecting buddy lists and emails, said WaPo.
Millions of Americans are affected. NSA won't say how many. Perhaps its tens of millions. NSA can target virtually everyone everywhere.
DNI spokesman Shawn Turner lied saying it's "focused on discovering and developing intelligence about valid foreign intelligence targets like terrorists, human traffickers and drug smugglers."
"We are not interested in personal information about ordinary Americans."
False! It targets you, me, our neighbors, families and friends.
NSA collects virtually all telecommunication records. They gotten under a separate program. Director Keith Alexander defends the practice.
He lied calling it an essential counterterrorism/foreign intelligence tool, saying:
"You need a haystack to find the needle." He finds virtually none. So-called terror plots exposed were fake. Domestic ones virtually don't exist. What's claimed is fabricated.
It's done for political advantage. It generates fear. It justifies lawless NSA operations.
Online call lists provide "far richer sources of data than call records alone," said WaPo.
Address books include email addresses, phone numbers, street locations, as well as business and personal information.
Combined they let NSA "draw detailed maps of a person's life." Doing so creates false impressions.
NSA isn't authorized to collect bulk contact lists. According to senior intelligence officials, doing so from US facilities is illegal.
NSA does what it wants anyway. It accesses information globally. When obtained from overseas, it assumes "you're not a US person," it claims.
Global sweeps target everyone. Americans are as vulnerable as foreigners. So-called "checks and balances built into (its) tools" don't exist or aren't used.
NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215. It oversteps. It's unconstitutional.
It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates First Amendment rights.
It does so by mandating secrecy. It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association.
It does so by authorizing the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.
It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised.
It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons. Doing so turns constitutional rights on their head.
Separately WaPo headlined "Documents reveal NSA's extensive involvement in targeted killing program."
NSA claims it "focuse(s) on discovering and developing intelligence about valid foreign intelligence targets."
It does so, it says, to "protect the nation and its interests from threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
Drone warfare makes more enemies than friends. Most deaths are innocent men, women and children. Few are so-called high-value targets.
In search for them, NSA "draped a surveillance blanket over dozens of square miles of northwest Pakistan," said WaPo.
Anything electronic can be tracked. NSA's secret Counterterrorism Mission Aligned Cell (CT MAC) is involved in doing it.
It focuses on hard-to-find terrorism targets. Considerable time and effort goes into doing it.
NSA's Alexander claims his mission is "noble." He lied again saying:
"Our job is to defend this nation and to protect our civil liberties and privacy."
He's way over-the-top out-of-control. He defends imperial lawlessness. He destroys civil liberties and privacy in the process.
Records indicate NSA "depends heavily on highly targeted network penetrations to gather information that wouldn't otherwise be trapped in surveillance nets that it has set at key Internet gateways," said WaPo.
It assigned senior analysts to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. Others work alongside CIA counterparts. They do so at almost all major US embassy and overseas military bases.
According to a former US intelligence official:
It "you wanted huge coverage of the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), NSA had 10 times the manpower, 20 times the budget, and 100 times the brainpower."
He compared NSA with CIA's Information Operations Center (IOC).
"NSA relies on increasingly sophisticated versions of online attacks that are well-known among security experts."
"Many rely on software implants developed by the agency's Tailored Access Operations division with code-names such as UNITEDRAKE and VALIDATOR."
Other methods are used. NSA obtains vast amounts of information. Its Tailored Access Operations division extends way beyond Pakistan.
It targets Yemen, African and other locations. Murder, Inc. is official Obama administration policy. US citizens are as vulnerable as foreigners.
Death squads operate in 120 or more countries. CIA agents are everywhere. They're licensed to kill. NSA secretly tracks suspects.
Summary judgment means no arrests. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just death by diktat.
Obama appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He decides who lives or dies. CIA chief John Brennan helps him choose.
With or without evidence, anyone called Al Qaeda or accused of terrorist connections gets marked for death.
NSA's job is find them. CIA's job is kill them. Only eliminating America's enemies matter. Whether real or imagined makes no difference.
Everyone is fair game. Right or wrong is someone else's problem. Advancing America's imperium alone matters.
A Final Comment
On October 11, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court released a new legal opinion. It reauthorized NSA's collection of virtually all American made phone calls without warrants.
Doing so violates Fourth Amendment protection against lawless searches and seizures. It applies to all unreasonable intrusions.
Telecommunication call log meta-data must be approved every 90 days. Doing so is virtually rubber-stamp. Police states operate that way. America is by far the worst.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.