by Susanne Posel
An audit of once secret documents concerning the Obama administration’s abuse of surveillance agencies and invasion of American’s right to privacy is revealing that President Obama has lied to the American public.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has broken the law in order to obtain data on “suspects” since 2008.
In 2012, nearly 3,000 requests for information were illegally made and approved which led to more spying. And these victims were individuals with green cards.
Shockingly, the amount of grammatical errors in the documents is telling of the mind-set of those involved in the data-mining.
Obama swore that: “If you look at the reports … all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s emails,” Obama said. “What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court).”
Indeed, blatant abuse of power and lack of checks and balances show that the NSA and other intelligence agencies have free reign.
The NSA has been storing information on Americans in international repositories without filing with the FISC court for warrants or legal methods of intelligence collecting.
To cover up their actions, the NSA has taken to destroying records that could be used as evidence of their collecting practices.
The NSA claims that their “foreign intelligence collection activities” were “continually audited and overseen internally and externally. When NSA makes a mistake in carrying out its foreign intelligence mission, the agency reports the issue internally and to federal overseers – and aggressively gets to the bottom of it.”
John DeLong, director of compliance for the NSA remarked : “NSA, like other regulated organizations, also has a ‘hotline’ for people to report — and no adverse action or reprisal can be taken for the simple act of reporting. We take each report seriously, investigate the matter, address the issue, constantly look for trends, and address them as well — all as a part of NSA’s internal oversight and compliance efforts. What’s more, we keep our overseers informed through both immediate reporting and periodic reporting.”
Senator Diane Feinstein, supporter of the NSA PRISM program, said that while the Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) was not made aware of these programs prior to implementation, there should be more done “to independently verify that NSA’s operations are appropriate,” and that “reports of compliance incidents are accurate.”
Judge Reggie Walton revealed that: “The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court. The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”
Kirk Wiebe, former analyst for the NSA turned whistleblower, said that this cat-and-mouse game is a joke.
Wiebe relayed that congressional and judicial oversight of these surveillance programs are smoke and mirrors to keep the general public silent and unconcerned about the actual amount of data being stored and mined every single day.
More recent revelations have shown that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) uses hacker software to exploit vulnerabilities in cell phones that allow them to listen in on American citizen’s conversations to track criminals and terrorists.
By inserting spyware into suspect’s computers through emails and web links, government spooks are able to monitor their movements online.
Surveillance agencies blame their use of such tactics on suspects going dark by employing encrypted coding and new digital communications technology to evade detection.
By using already known vulnerabilities in software on computers and phones, agents can install their own programs to ensure stability and that their surveillance operations remain undetected.
As part of the scheme, the FBI employs hackers to create this specialized software; as well as private tech corporations that have recently sold such software to law enforcement agencies on the state and local level.
An anonymous source explained: “They hand out a target list and you try to find something; it starts with stuff that lots of people have, like Safari on Mac, and then works down into a bunch of weird and very specific software packages.”
Exploits for Safari Web browser could command as much as $100,000 while hacker software for Microsoft Explorer would be worth more on the market.
Google’s Android OS is vulnerable to such manipulation ; even to the extent of having all customer conversations recorded by the FBI or other surveillance agencies.
With Android being the most popular cell phone, the focus of attention by the FBI for surveillance operations is quite impressive.
This leaves millions and millions of Americans at the mercy of agencies that seek to illegally spy on them.
The FBI is capable of ascertaining every American’s location, sending targets text messages and reconfiguring each individual phone to expose vulnerabilities.