Tag Archives | Government Secrets

Dear Mr. President, It’s Time to Obey the Law: Release the JFK Secret Service Records and End Other Needless Secrecy

US Secret Service - Motorcade Support Unit by Cliff via Flickr (CC By 2.0).

US Secret Service – Motorcade Support Unit by Cliff via Flickr (CC By 2.0).

via Alternet:

Dear Mr. President,

We know you have many pressing issues on your plate, but last week’s problems with the Secret Service and White House security also warrant your attention. What if the man who sprinted across the White House lawn–and into your home–hadn’t been a troubled ex-serviceman, but instead had been an terrorist from ISIS or Al Qaeda or a violent American white supremacist?

As you know, last week’s incidents were only the latest in a long line of Secret Service problems involving lax protection of you and your family, heavy drinking and irresponsible behavior by some agents, and racial discrimination. What you probably don’t know is that those problems have been issues for the Service since the early 1960s. One reason you–and most of the American public–aren’t aware of those issues is the culture of secrecy that sometimes pervades the agency when it comes to its own shortcomings.

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The NSA’s ‘Widest-Reaching’ Program XKeyscore Revealed

xkeyscoreVia the Guardian, the curtain keeps pulling back to reveal ever-greater levels of total surveillance:

The National Security Agency boasts in training materials that a program called XKeyscore is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The top secret program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview with the Guardian on June 10: “I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

Training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search.

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How Area 51 Hid Secret Craft And Low-Tech Decoys

800px-Moonbeam_UFOVia  National Geographic News:

The CIA created Area 51 in 1955 to test and develop top secret U.S. military projects in the remote Nevada desert. More than 50 years later, the base still doesn’t officially exist and appears on no public U.S. government maps.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Area 51 was the epicenter of the OXCART project, intended to create the successor for the U-2 spy plane.

The OXCART plane was expected to be undetectable in the air as it flew surveillance and information-gathering missions over the Soviet Union. But Area 51 personnel soon found it necessary to conceal the craft from the Soviets eyes even when it was still being tested on the ground.

It was discovered that Soviet spy satellites, dubbed ash cans by Area 51 staff, were making regular rounds over Nevada.

[Continues at National Geographic]

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