Documents support fears of Muslim surveillance by Obama-era program | World news | The Guardian

Internal US law enforcement documents describe a highly controversial community initiative aimed at identifying potential terrorists before they “radicalize” as being intimately related to intelligence gathering.Despite years of official denials, American Muslim civil rights groups have claimed that Barack Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative was a euphemistic approach that targeted Muslims for surveillance.

Fuente: Documents support fears of Muslim surveillance by Obama-era program | World news | The Guardian


Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.

November 18 2016, 3:35 p.m.President Obama indicated on Friday that he won’t pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even as President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick to run the CIA: Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, who has called for “the traitor Edward Snowden” to be executed.

Fuente: Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.


El MI6 contratará casi mil espías para combatir el terrorismo – El Mostrador

Según afirmaciones de Younger publicadas por The Times el mundo digital “representa una amenaza porque los que se oponen a nosotros pueden utilizar esta capacidad para tener acceso a nuestras actividades, lo que significa que tenemos que cambiar completamente la forma en que hacemos las cosas”.

Fuente: El MI6 contratará casi mil espías para combatir el terrorismo – El Mostrador


German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian

Checking smartphones of those without passports among measures announced by the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière

Fuente: German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian


Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept

Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept.

BY GLENN GREENWALD AND ANDREW FISHMAN 

Featured photo - Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a press release trumpeting its latest success in disrupting a domestic terrorism plot, announcing that “the Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.

The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts.” The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, “began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.” Acting under the FBI’s direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack.

Family members say Cornell converted to Islam just six months ago and claimed he began attending a small local mosque. Yet The Cincinnati Enquirer could not find a single person at that mosque who had ever seen him before, and noted that a young, white, recent convert would have been quite conspicuous at a mosque largely populated by “immigrants from West Africa,” many of whom “speak little or no English.”

The DOJ’s press release predictably generated an avalanche of scary media headlines hailing the FBI. CNN: “FBI says plot to attack U.S. Capitol was ready to go.” MSNBC: “US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.” Wall St. Journal: “Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.”

Just as predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance. House Speaker John Boehner claimed yesterday that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” He warned: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” 


‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes | Politics | The Guardian

‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes | Politics | The Guardian.

Campaigners fear draft code of Ripa legislation will allow police sweeping powers to access phone and email records of journalists, lawyers and doctors
Armed police officers Houses of Parliament
Armed police officers inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

An urgent campaign has been launched for a “freedom of expression” law to protect confidential journalists’, MPs’ and lawyers’ phone and communications records being secretly snooped on by the police.

Senior editors and lawyers condemned as “wholly inadequate” safeguards put forward by Theresa May in December to meet concerns over the police use of surveillance powers in a code of practice linked to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa).

The critics of the draft code fear that the police will still have sweeping powers allowing them to authorise themselves to access the phone and email records of professionals such as journalists, lawyers, doctors, MPs and priests who handle privileged, confidential information.

More than 3,000 national and regional editors are being asked to sign a joint letter from the Society of Editors and Press Gazette, the industry’s journal, condemning the Home Office joint code for failing to recognise “the overarching importance of protecting journalists’ sources”.

The campaign comes as the prime minister, David Cameron, called for an extension of the laws that give snooping powers to security services with a plan to ban encrypted messages in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks.


Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On – The InterceptThe Intercept

Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On – The InterceptThe Intercept.

By  and 

The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.

According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:

• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

The individuals appear on an NSA spreadsheet in the Snowden archives called “FISA recap”—short for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under that law, the Justice Department must convince a judge with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is probable cause to believe that American targets are not only agents of an international terrorist organization or other foreign power, but also “are or may be” engaged in or abetting espionage, sabotage, or terrorism. The authorizations must be renewed by the court, usually every 90 days for U.S. citizens.

The spreadsheet shows 7,485 email addresses listed as monitored between 2002 and 2008. Many of the email addresses on the list appear to belong to foreigners whom the government believes are linked to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Among the Americans on the list are individuals long accused of terrorist activity, including Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who were killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.

But a three-month investigation by The Intercept—including interviews with more than a dozen current and former federal law enforcement officials involved in the FISA process—reveals that in practice, the system for authorizing NSA surveillance affords the government wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.

The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.


White House: racial slurs in NSA intelligence material 'unacceptable' | World news | theguardian.com

White House: racial slurs in NSA intelligence material ‘unacceptable’ | World news | theguardian.com.

FBI and NSA to review policy after leaked documents suggest training materials referred to targets using offensive language

 

 

NSA HQ in Fort Meade, Maryland
It is at least the second time the White House has ordered a review of agency training materials said to include offensive language. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

 

The White House has instructed US security agencies to review their training and policy materials for racial or religious bias after documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed training material for the intelligence agencies referring to “Mohammed Raghead”.

After an extensive investigation by the Intercept on Wednesday reported that the NSA and the FBI spied on the emails of five prominent US activists and attorneys with Muslim backgrounds, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that the administration took accusations of the slurs “extremely seriously.”

“Upon learning of this matter, the White House immediately requested that the director of national intelligence undertake an assessment of intelligence community policies, training standards or directives that promote diversity and tolerance, and as necessary, make any recommendations changes or additional reforms,” Hayden said.

It is at least the second time the White House has ordered a review of agency training materials said to include offensive language.

The Intercept cited the “Mohammed Raghead” epithet as a placeholder for a target in a surveillance training document from 2005.

Vanee Vines, a spokeswoman for the NSA, said that she would not comment on “the authenticity of any leaked material,” but said the NSA “has not, and would not, approve official training documents that include insulting or inflammatory language. Any use of racial or ethnic stereotypes, slurs, or other similar language by employees is both unacceptable and inconsistent with NSA policy and core values.”

Hayden declined to provide additional detail on the scope or duration of the investigation. But it is reminiscent of an earlier incident in which the White House ordered the government’s vast counter-terrorism apparatus to find and purge inflammatory training material, particularly that which singled out Muslims for particular scrutiny.

In 2011, this reporter published FBI training material instructing newer counter-terrorism agents that Islam itself was a threat to US national security and compared the prophet Muhammad to a cult leader. Initial FBI pushback gave way to an inquiry, at the instruction of the White House, that removed significant quantities of offensive or imprecise training material.