Friday, July 11, 2014

But wait — there’s more! The NSA scandal goes even deeper says Edward Snowden

Source: Rare.us

We now know that the government has failed effectively to refute the Snowden claims that it has collected and maintained for future access massive amounts of personal materials about nearly all people in America since 2009. This includes the metadata and content of nearly every telephone call, email and text message made, sent or received in the U.S., as well as nearly every credit-card bill, utility bill and monthly bank statement of nearly every person in the U.S.

This was accomplished through the issuance of general warrants by FISA court judges. General warrants do not particularly describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized as the Constitution requires. General warrants authorize the bearer to use the power of government to search wherever he wishes. The use by British troops of general warrants was a principal motivation for the American Revolution, and the very purpose and literal wording of the Fourth Amendment was to outlaw and prohibit them.
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How could that happen? It happened because the FISA court meets in secret, where the NSA has no opposition and the court has no transparency. This volatile mix has resulted in that court’s granting well over 99 percent of NSA applications, including the “hop” rule implicated in the scrutiny of innocent Americans. In NSA-speak, a hop is a jump from one telephone conversation to another using a common phone.
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UK rushes law to retain telephone and Internet records

Source: AL Jazeera

Cameron said that without the emergency law, it would be harder to defend against pedophiles, gangsters and terrorists.
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The European Court of Justice ruled in April that a European Union directive requiring companies to store communications data for up to two years was too broad and a threat to privacy rights.
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Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that without the emergency law governments would be less able to protect the country from pedophiles, gangsters and terrorists.
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"Sometimes, in the dangerous world in which we live, we need our security services to listen to someone's phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot," Cameron told reporters. "As prime minister, I know of examples where doing this has stopped a terrorist attack."
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The European court was concerned about the lack of restrictions on how, why and when the metadata could be used. It asked for a directive with more specificity on what type of crimes could be covered and how long the material would be retained.
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Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights organization Liberty, expressed doubt that there was really critical need for Cameron's measures now.

"We are told this is a pedophile and jihadi 'emergency', but the court judgment they seek to ignore was handed down over three months ago and this isn't snooping on suspects but on everyone," she said. "We are promised greater scrutiny and debate but not until 2016, as it seems that all three party leaders have done a deal in private. No privacy for us and no scrutiny for them."
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US drone flights hit technical & military turbulence

Source: Russia Today

Presently, air traffic controllers, who guide hundreds of aircraft across US airspace each day, are not equipped to work with unmanned aircraft. At the same, no standards have been put in place to train ‘pilots’ of the vehicles. 
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The FAA forecasts there will be around 7,500 active Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) hovering above US skies in five years, with over $89 billion invested in drone technologies worldwide over the next decade. Drones range from radio-controlled model airplanes to those with the wingspan of a commercial airliner. 

Marine Corps tests massive new amphibious assault vehicle

Source: Russia Today

​The Marine Corps is testing a new amphibious landing vehicle which dwarfs its current hydrofoil lander and will be able to land multiple battle tanks at once.

The UHAC looks to be significantly different ... huge runners made up of low pressure captive air cells contained within foam casings. ... should also be able to move across difficult terrains, including marshes, mud flats, and even sea walls up to 10 feet high. ... speed to 20 knots –