By Chriss Street: CEO of the American Exceptionalism Institute and host of the Agenda 21 Radio Show on the Salem Broadcasting Network. He lives in Newport Beach, CA.
Unburdened by the Constitutional requirement to get a search warrant, those nice people at the National Security Agency (NSA) have teamed with Apple, Google and Microsoft to take time out of their busy day to capture all your party pictures from college, intimate letters with your lover and financial activities of your business in order to build a “permanent file” for leverage against you at a later date. This is just the latest depressing revelations about the rise of the military-industrial complex from whistleblower/traitor Edward Snowden as he accepted political asylum in Russia today.
Snowden’s latest bombshell is the outing of the NSA’s XKeyscore software that is vacuuming up “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” The top secret program allows civilian contractors in the U.S. to troll vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals around the world. The NSA boasts in training materials that XKeyscore is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.
Snowden was already the “most wanted person on earth”, but after today’s disclosures, he must be on the Obama Administration’s secret double most wanted man in the universe list. With his newly-awarded legal status in Russia, Snowden cannot be legally handed over or kidnapped by the CIA. Snowden remains a very “marked man” and will need to stay in the public eye to avoid accidentally being assassinated in some lonely hideout. Consequently, I believe that he will continue to talk to the international press and has lots more nefarious undermining of American’s personal liberty.
Snowden’s latest revelations will add fuel to the intense political revulsion to Obama’s 18-29 years old voting bloc that was the key to miraculous reelection in the face of the worst economic performance since President Herbert Hoover. This group has already dropped support for Obama by a stunning 17% over the last seven weeks as Snowden informed them that when they look at their cell phone, Big Brother is looking at them.
The timing of the Snowden release came the morning after senior intelligence officials testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and released formally classified documents in response to earlier Snowden interviews by the Guardian Newspaper in London. The testimony essentially admitted that the infamous FISA Surveillance Court that supposedly assures Constitutional Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures without “probable cause” does not apply to cell phones, computers and all on-line activity.
The Obama Administration, Congressional Intelligence Committee members and the NSA yesterday continued to vehemently deny Snowden’s most controversial statement that: ”I, sitting at my desk could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”. But Snowden’s disclosures this morning seem to prove he and thousands of other NSA contractors could wiretap any American.
But the training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a short “on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search”, without obtaining a warrant from a judge. XKeyscore then provides the technological capability if the NSA has the “metadata” of email or IP address to perform Digital Network Intelligence (DNI) covering all forms of electronic communications. In a 30 day period in 2012, XKeyscore collected and stored at least 41 billion total records.
The most sophisticated aspect of XKeyscore turns out to not be its impressive use of technology, but rather its clandestine crony-cooperation from corporate fat cats at Apple, Google, Microsoft and the other American based corporation. These corporatists have struck the “grand bargain” to surreptitiously leak all their clients’ e-mail and IP addresses to the NSA, in return for being allowed to offshore workers and tax liability.
In defense of indefensible spying on Americans, the NSA states: “These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully – to defend the nation and to protect US and allied troops abroad.” Some of this may be true, but the Boston Bombing happened despite direct Russian intelligence agency warnings about the militant activities of Chechen born Tamerlan Tsarnaev went unheeded.
Daniel Guerin warned in his 1936 book Fascism and Big Business warned to be vigilant against ”an informal and changing coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral, and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs.” President Eisenhower updated this message with a similar warning to fear the rise of the “military-industrial complex.” Edward Snowden has updated the message that Americans must fear the rise of the “military-intelligence complex.” By Chriss Street www.chrissstreetandcompany.com