The Story Behind Anti-Surveillance Airship Over NSA Data Center

Illegal Spying Below: Activists Fly Anti-Surveillance Airship Over NSA’s Utah Data Center


To celebrate the Fourth of July, EFF teamed up with Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center to launch an airship (yes, you read that correctly) over the NSA’s sprawling data center in Utah.

Acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger documented our campaign in a short, powerful video.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

12 True Tales of Creepy NSA Cyberstalking

Paper to Use

By Kevin Poulsen

The NSA has released some details of 12 incidents in which analysts used their access to America’s high-tech surveillance infrastructure to spy on girlfriends, boyfriends, and random people they met in social settings. It’s a fascinating look at what happens when the impulse that drives average netizens to look up long-ago ex-lovers on Facebook is mated with the power to fire up a wiretap with a few keystrokes.

One such analyst working on foreign soil started surveillance on nine phone numbers belonging to women over five years, from 1998 to 2003. He “listened to collected phone conversations,” according to a letter from the NSA’s Inspector General to Senator Charles Grassley released today. The unnamed spy conducted “call chaining” on one of the numbers — to determine who had called, or been called from, the phone — and then started surveillance on two of those numbers as well.

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Is Glenn Greenwald’s journalism now viewed as a ‘terrorist’ occupation? | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free |

glenn greenwaldIs Glenn Greenwald’s journalism now viewed as a ‘terrorist’ occupation? | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free |

Simon Jenkins’ analysis seems to be correct, and, as usual, concise and incisive.  Here it is…

The detention at Heathrow on Sunday of the Brazilian David Miranda is the sort of treatment western politicians love to deplore in Putin’s Russia or Ahmadinejad’s Iran. His “offence” under the 2000 Terrorism Act was apparently to be the partner of a journalist, Glenn Greenwald, who had reported for the Guardian on material released by the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden. We must assume the Americans asked the British government to nab him, shake him down and take his personal effects.

Miranda’s phone and laptop were confiscated and he was held incommunicado, without access to friends or lawyer, for the maximum nine hours allowed under law. It is the airport equivalent of smashing into someone’s flat, rifling through their drawers and stealing papers and documents. It is simple harassment and intimidation.

Greenwald himself is not known to have committed any offence, unless journalism is now a “terrorist” occupation in the eyes of British and American politicians. As for Miranda, his only offence seems to have been to be part of his family. Harassing the family of those who have upset authority is the most obscene form of state terrorism.

Last month, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, airily excused the apparently illegal hoovering of internet traffic by British and American spies on the grounds that “the innocent have nothing to fear,” the motto of police states down the ages. Hague’s apologists explained that he was a nice chap really, but that relations with America trumped every libertarian card.

The hysteria of the “war on terror” is now corrupting every area of democratic government. It extends from the arbitrary selection of drone targets to the quasi-torture of suspects, the intrusion on personal data and the harassing of journalists’ families. The disregard of statutory oversight – in Britain’s case pathetically inadequate – is giving western governments many of the characteristics of the enemies they profess to oppose. How Putin must be rubbing his hands with glee.

The innocent have nothing to fear? They do if they embarrass America and happen to visit British soil. The only land of the free today in this matter is Brazil.

Latest NSA Revelations Debunk Obama’s “No Spying on Americans” Claim


Sustainable Prosperity, Published on Friday, August 9, 2013 by Common….

A bit late catching up with this, but due to it’s importance, I reckon it’s not too late.

While Acton’s dictum about the relationship between power and corruption comes to mind, he had other observations about the State which are just a relevant:

Whenever a single definite object is made the supreme end of the State, be it the advantage of a class, the safety of the power of the country, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, or the support of any speculative idea, the State becomes for the time inevitably absolute. (Wikipedia)

A note of caution may be in order.  Before rushing to judgement, it may be wise to fully understand the nature of what is happening, lest our remedies be incomplete.  From the article…

Existence of “secret backdoor” loophole appears to contrast with repeated presidential assurances


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Congress Must End Unconstitutional Government Spying (petition)

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


In the wake of the traumatic attacks on 9/11, Congress rushed to pass the PATRIOT Act, which greatly expanded the ability of the U.S. government to spy on American citizens.

Since the leaks by Edward Snowden, even the original author of the PATRIOT Act, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, has said that the authority claimed by the government to spy on Americans far exceeds the intent of the law.

The leaks and recent admissions about NSA programs have pierced the veil of secrecy surrounding government spying and created an opening for us to take action. Now’s the time to push hard and get members of Congress on the record and show them that there is grassroots momentum to take on this fight.

Recently, Congressman Rush Holt, an outspoken advocate of reining in the growing surveillance state, introduced legislation to repeal the PATRIOT Act and restore our constitutionally protected civil liberties.

Tell Congress: Join Rep. Holt and fight to repeal the PATRIOT Act.

To sign, click here.