June 11, 2013

Hasn't somebody else been spying on American telephone metadata for years?

My latest column in Taki's Magazine points out:
The news last week that the US government had collected Verizon’s “metadata” on who had called whom when and from where was widely seen as a stunning revelation. Timothy B. Lee of the Washington Post warned: 
For example, having the calling records of every member of Congress would likely reveal which members kept mistresses, which could be used to blackmail members of Congress into supporting a future president’s agenda. Calling records could also provide valuable political intelligence, such as how frequently members of Congress were talking to various interest groups. 
Likewise, Jane Mayer reported for The New Yorker: 
…in the world of business, a pattern of phone calls from key executives can reveal impending corporate takeovers. 
And yet informed observers have assumed for most of this century that American telephone metadata may well already be available to a foreign military-intelligence complex via hypothesized “backdoors” coded into complex commercial software.

Read the whole thing there. Feel free to follow the links to the sources.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The most shocking part of the Monica Lewinsky Oral Office scandal was President Fun telling her not to call him at the official Oval Office phone because (guess-who) had it tapped.

Anonymous said...

Quite a few years ago there was the caper of the Israeli "art students" getting busted by field people among our federal law enforcement, only to be released, the story buried, and the whole thing down the Memory Hole. Many retired federal law enforcement people have brushed up against the "untouchable" presence of Isreali espionage operating at will on "American" soil.

Anonymous said...

You might also check out Check Point, the world's leading network security (firewall) firm. And I happen to know that a small Israeli firm supplied the video streaming technology by which the security cabinet watched the Bin Laden raid.

Anonymous said...

Imagine all the dirt they've had on Republican senators and congressmen like Lindsey Graham, Bill Owens, Larry Craig, etc. It's like every other Republican legislator is a closet case.

Anonymous said...

It actually makes sense that closet cases would be promoted as Republican politicians by insiders with dirt on them since Republicans aren't supposed to be gay and nobody really cares if Dem pols are gay.

Anonymous said...

What's the main reason for peace within Israel and war inside Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Bahrain.

Israel is majority Jewish and put Palestinians in their place.

Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Bahrain are ethnically, tribally, sectarianly, and/or religiously divided with no dominant majority powers.

Under strongman rule, there was order, but once central power weakens, the divisions come to the fore.

And despite the repressiveness in Arab/Muslim nations, no group has been treated as Jews have treated Palestinians in the occupied territories. Jews really keep the Pallies under wraps.

dearieme said...

Personally, I'd also tend to assume that China will know everything it wants to know about the US too. "will" implies that there might be a short time delay.

Anonymous said...

And who can forget the paraplegic pornographer Larry Flynt promising to put out of business any congress critters who dared to attack Bill Clinton. as I remember there wwere quite a few decisions to resign in the years following that announcement. I'm beginning to wondeer whether Larry did things on his own or got a little help from apparatchiks in the administration.

Anonymous said...

As Obama gets immaculated, white men get emasculated.

Colin Laney said...

It's the Jews, stupid:

http://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2013-6

Does the name AMDOCS mean anything to readers here? I wish you all an afternoon of happy Googling.

Some background: http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/03/12/israeli-spying-in-the-united-states/

Anonymous said...

Re "Larry Flynt"....More than one person knowing something of the world of espionage, has speculated whether "Morris Dees" and $PLC could be serving larger interests than $PLC professes to be serving.

pat said...

I read a Sci-Fi story many years ago about a man in a future society who wanted to kill someone. His problem was that the technology of the day allowed the cops to see every action in every room and hear every word. All crimes were recorded from every angle. As I remember somehow the regular sheetrock walls could be made to reveal everything that had ever happened near them.

Well we aren't quite there yet but we're close. In downtown London every square inch of public space is covered by a traffic or other camera. In America that's also true except the images are in a thousand individual cell-phone cameras.

In '1984' the TV sets transmit as well as receive so you are observed inside your house. I don't know if that's happening now but it is certainly easy enough to get remote access to anyone's web cam. Dating sites let you cede authority to them so for a few minutes while they capture a video of you to add to your profile. Do you suppose it's possible that some nerd at NSA has figured out a way to turn on your web cam without permission?

Most tablets and smart phones have two cameras - one facing forward and another backward. These are connected usually by Wi-Fi or 4G to the outside network. Such devices also typically have GPS. So it is conceivable that the authorities know where you are and what you are looking at as well as what you are saying.

What can an individual do about all this? Not much. You could put a piece of black tape over your web cam's lens when you aren't using it. But remember to do the same for your smart phone and any security cameras too. You could turn off your GPS but can it be turned back on remotely? There's no way to go unobserved outdoors anymore except in the deep woods.

I don't like all this very much but it seems to come with the territory. I like Wikipedia and I like streptomycin. Modernity seems to be a package deal.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

What's the main reason for peace within Israel and war inside Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Bahrain.

Israel is majority Jewish and put Palestinians in their place.

Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Bahrain are ethnically, tribally, sectarianly, and/or religiously divided with no dominant majority powers.

Under strongman rule, there was order, but once central power weakens, the divisions come to the fore.

And despite the repressiveness in Arab/Muslim nations, no group has been treated as Jews have treated Palestinians in the occupied territories. Jews really keep the Pallies under wraps.


Despite some very stiff competition, this may be the stupidest iSteve comment ever.

Jeeves said...

A Red Eye guest got it right: Nothing to fear from metadata surveillance unless you're a child pornographer.

But seriously...Mark Steyn correctly points out that indiscriminate dragnets like the NSA's are necessary mainly because the West is so paralyzed by political correctness that it's afraid to specifically identify Muslim immigrants as a major domestic terror threat.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Maybe if you, Ann Coulter, and the rest of the "Citizenist" brigade continue to make proxy arguments aimed at Jews, we'll finally convince them how "Anti-Semitic" Latinos are and they'll will immediately scrap any amnesty plans.

Sorry, I couldn't help it.

"It’s not just Muslims who aren’t warming to Western values. Polls by the Anti-Defamation League going back decades have shown a steady decline of anti-Semitism in the U.S. But a 2002 poll showed a surprising upsurge.

While 17 percent of all Americans were said to hold “strongly anti-Semitic” views, 35 percent of Hispanics did – as did 44 percent of foreign-born Hispanics.

(Note to Sheldon Adelson: It may be time to give your Hispanic employees a raise.)"

Anonymous said...

Jews own the media so everything we know comes from them.

I guess Snowden is an inconvenient goy.

Hunsdon said...

Pat:

Lacey and His Friends, by David Drake?

Anonymous said...

"nothing to fear from metadata"
Facts do not always speak for themselves and misunderstanding is the great threat ( and the largest motivation for privacy, BTW) Too, from a psychopathic standpoint, getting paid to keep track of peope who are not breaking the law means you don't really have to be cross examined in court and have your reports put to scrutiny. Innocence is not its own protection, sadly.

NOTA said...

Jeeves:

Or an antiwar protester, or an Occupy protester, or a Muslim, or a reporter covering national security issues, or a federal employee or contractor suspected of being a whistleblower. Or, presumably, a white nationalist, or a gun nut, or a tax protester, or a drug-legalization activist, or a pro-life activist.

There is probably a real consequence to using these programs to spy on John Boehner or John McCain. But there isn't going to be any consequence to using them to spy on someone far from power and broadly unsympathetic.