Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
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- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
Recently studied Snowden documents reveal that the NSA and GCHQ were conducting malicious surveillance by actively targeting and seeking to prosecute WikiLeaks, its founder, and similar activist groups. These two agencies were conducting deep and targeted surveillance on the organization and its supporters since 2010. And they were pressuring other governments to prosecute the organization and its individual supporters.
Malicious Surveillance of Julian Assange and other WikiLeaks Supporters
WikiLeaks was actively spied on by the GCHQ in their ANTICRISIS GIRL campaign, according to the classified documents. The malicious surveillance included site visitors in addition to the activities of founder Julian Assange and other knows supporters of the organization. The GCHQ tapped into fiber-optic cables to intercept user IP addresses and record search terms used to find the website. President Obama was recorded in the documents as putting pressure on foreign governments to prosecute Julian Assange. The publication of classified documents is not illegal in the US, so the prosecution of Assange for leaked information about the war in Afghanistan had to be outsourced. As early as 2011, the NSA sought to have WikiLeaks labeled as a malicious foreign actor. This label would have granted the NSA the power to conduct malicious surveillance on even US visitors to the site. Assange responded by calling the actions of the NSA illegal and hostile. He then put it to the US government to begin a special investigation into the NSA’s attack on media sites like WikiLeaks and the individuals associated with them.
The NSA also sought to target the popular hactivist group Anonymous, among others. Anonymous is also labeled as a malicious foreign actor. The general aim of the NSA for improved national security may justify this in their eyes. But these direct attacks and the malicious surveillance of activist groups cannot rationalize their deep and unwarranted surveillance of US citizens. And it proves once again that the president was not honest in his repeated and insistent claims that Americans were not being spied on. It underlines the fact that the NSA is not concerned about compliance with laws that protect Americans or other foreign nationals from such malicious surveillance. But it also drives home the troubling reality that they are led by a president who is willing to passionately defend their unlawfulness. And to furthermore aid them in seeking the demise of groups and individuals considered to be threats to their programs. The people can no longer feel secured by FISA amendments that can be so twisted to the purposes of the NSA as to defeat the foundational amendments of the Constitution.
It is also very disheartening to see such clear evidence of what the NSA and the president are capable of. They are willing to go to the extent of seeking help from their allies to do the dirty work. They planned ways to get around the law to accomplish what would best serve their interests. They are both very high authorities that US citizens depend on for protection. And instead they sought the means to rob the people of their safety nets. So far their activities have violated both the First and the Fourth Amendments, among other laws that safeguard the rights of American persons.