Tag Archives | Spying

FBI Spied On Sartre And Camus In Effort To Unravel Subversive Conspiracy Behind Existentialism

sartre_jpThe New York Times reports that beginning in 1945, the FBI began spying on the French philosophers, fearing that their ideas on being and nothingness were part of a plot against the United States:

[Sartre and Camus]’s lectures at Columbia University were well attended by students and faculty members — and by agents from J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I.

Yet Sartre, on his visit, was actually invited to the Pentagon; Camus, in contrast, “was stopped at immigration…Hoover sent out a ‘stop letter’ to all U.S. customs agents saying this man should be detained,” Mr. Martin said. Eventually, Camus was allowed to proceed to New York, where his novel “L’Étranger” (“The Stranger”) had just been published in English.

“Hoover thought there must be some kind of conspiracy between communists, blacks, poets and French philosophers. He was hoping for some kind of evidence of conspiracy,” he said.

The F.B.I. was baffled by Sartre. “These agents were trying to work out what the hell existentialism was all about,” said Mr.

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The NSA’s Best Friend Just Switched Her Stance

In an odd twist of events Dianne FeDianne-Feinsteininstein was quoted as saying that she is “totally opposed” to gathering intelligence on foreign leaders saying it was a “big problem”. ”

Via Tech Crunch:

The National Security Agency is having a very bad day: two of the most ardent surveillance hawks have officially turned against the spying agency. California Senator Dianne Feinstein broke ranks and came out against the NSA spying on foreign leaders. Even worse, the author of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner, dropped a co-authored bill to end bulk collection of Internet and telephone data.

“We’re really screwed now,” one NSA official told Foreign Policy’s The Cable. “You know things are bad when the few friends you’ve got disappear without a trace in the dead of night and leave no forwarding address.”

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The Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters

John Knefel reviews promotional materials for private spy companies showing that mass surveillance technology is being sold to police departments as a way to monitor dissent, for Rolling Stone:

Graphic from 3iMIND with heading "Profile A Target"

Graphic from 3iMIND with heading “Profile A Target”

The documents leaked to media outlets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden this year have brought national intelligence gathering and surveillance operations under a level of scrutiny not seen in decades. Often left out of this conversation, though, is the massive private surveillance industry that provides services to law enforcement, defense agencies and corporations in the U.S. and abroad – a sprawling constellation of companies and municipalities. “It’s a circle where everyone [in these industries] is benefitting,” says Eric King, lead researcher of watchdog group Privacy International. “Everyone gets more powerful, and richer.”

Promotional materials for numerous private spy companies boast of how law enforcement organizations can use their products to monitor people at protests or other large crowds – including by keeping tabs on individual people’s social media presence.

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Military To Use “Spy Rocks” For Surveillance

spy rocksThere’s no one around to hear us but that rock sitting over there. Wired UK reports:

At the annual AUSA Army meeting in Washington, DC, Lockheed Martin showcased developments in their surveillance technology called SPAN (Self-Powered Ad-hoc Network), a “covert, perpetually self-powered wireless sensor network” that can provide “unobtrusive, continuous surveillance” in units so small they can fit in a rock.

SPAN is a mesh network of self-organizing sensors that, when triggered, can cue a camera or an unmanned aerial vehicle to further study an area, or summon an engineer when a pipeline or bridge structure is in danger or fractured.

Lockheed touts the “field-and-forget” technology as providing maximum coverage at minimal costs, claiming that the sensors can remain in the field for years at a time without maintenance, powered by solar technology. The defense contractor is hoping to sell its spy rocks for surveillance, border protection, pipeline monitoring and bridge security, among other things.

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Canadians Spying on Brazil According to Leaked Snowden Docs

canada-canadian-flag-165-pOh, Canada.

Keep reading.

Canada spied on communications at Brazil’s Mining and Energy Ministry, according to Canadian intelligence documents revealed Sunday by Globo television.

The documents were leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. His disclosures including that the United States spied on the same ministry, on President Dilma Rousseff and her aides, have greatly strained US-Brazilian ties.

In the disclosures broadcast on Globo, documents purportedly from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service leaked by Snowden show a detailed outline of the Brazilian ministry’s communications including phone calls, emails and Internet traffic.

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NSA Tracks Google Ads to Find Tor Users

warningIn a bid to make your stomach grumble and your head hurt even more, this latest tidbit of NSA news leaked by Edward Snowden and obtained by Bruce Schneier rocks the world of privacy enthusiasts world over.

Via TheGuardian

The online anonymity network Tor is a high-priority target for the National Security Agency. The work of attacking Tor is done by the NSA‘s application vulnerabilities branch, which is part of the systems intelligence directorate, or SID. The majority of NSA employees work in SID, which is tasked with collecting data from communications systems around the world.

According to a top-secret NSA presentation provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, one successful technique the NSA has developed involves exploiting the Tor browser bundle, a collection of programs designed to make it easy for people to install and use the software. The trick identified Tor users on the internet and then executes an attack against their Firefox web browser.

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Lavabit Founder Ladar Levinson, The Rosa Parks of Internet Freedom

In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews Lavabit founder Ladar Levinson, about the private email client that Edward Snowden used, the U.S government’s attack on Lavabit and the ethical decision Ladar had to make ending his company. Ladar goes into details about how the U.S government tried to intimidate him and forced him to shut down when they requested to spy on Edward Snowden’s emails.

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Media Roots Radio – Manufactured Agitprop on the World’s Stage

Abby and Robbie Martin discuss the news of the day including a District Court judge forcing torture victims to pay their torturers’ legal fees; Latin American leaders standing up to US imperialism in light of the NSA leaks; the establishment’s use of agitation propaganda to manufacture outrage at other nations while promoting an undercurrent of American exceptionalism.

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Big Data Mining With NSA Director Keith Alexander

keith alexanderA snippet from a Foreign Policy piece on NSA chief Keith Alexander reveals the logic at play in our surveillance state:

“He said at one point that a lot of things aren’t clearly legal, but that doesn’t make them illegal,” says a former military intelligence officer who served under Alexander at INSCOM.

When he ran INSCOM, Alexander was fond of building charts that showed how a suspected terrorist was connected to a much broader network of people via his communications or the contacts in his phone or email account.

“He had all these diagrams showing how this guy was connected to that guy and to that guy,” says a former NSA official who heard Alexander give briefings on the floor of the Information Dominance Center. “Some of my colleagues and I were skeptical. Later, we had a chance to review the information. It turns out that all [that] those guys were connected to were pizza shops.”

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