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Thread: The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

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    Default The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

    Today I listened to a newish interview with Edward Snowden with the German publication DeutschlandFunk:

    Quote Edward Snowden im Dlf-Interview
    Was wäre die Gesellschaft ohne Whistleblower?

    2013 ging Edward Snowden mit geheimen Dokumenten an die Öffentlichkeit, die eine massenhafte Überwachung durch US-amerikanische Geheimdienste enthüllte. Im Dlf kritisierte er, dass es für Quellen investigativer Recherche immer schwieriger werde. Sein Leben im Exil zeige, welche Konsequenzen die Entscheidung mit sich bringe.

    Edward Snowden im Gespräch mit Stefan Fries und Stefan Koldehoff
    Here: https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/edwar...icle_id=458854

    The interview itself is in English (while the article is in German)

    Regardless of whether or not one feels that Snowden is someone’s instrument / operative or what one thinks of the efficacy of his technical advice and solutions in avoiding surveillance, this is an interesting discussion.

    Snowden speaks about his recently published book, which includes both his story and also the broader contact against which his story is set. He speaks of the rise of a “sinister authoritarianism” and discusses laws brought into play in various countries that allow bulk surveillance.

    Overall, an interview which is worth watching for the discussion of the broader context of surveillance, control and power.


    Source: Watch on Vimeo

    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

    US sues Snowden for violating 'CIA & NSA non-disclosure pact' with his new book, but it also wants the proceeds

    RT
    Published time: 17 Sep, 2019 17:23
    Edited time: 18 Sep, 2019 10:30
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    Edward Snowden speaks via videolink as he takes part in a discussion about his book "Permanent Record", Berlin, September 17 © Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch

    The US government has filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, alleging that his newly-published memoir 'Permanent Record' violates nondisclosure agreements he signed with the CIA and NSA.

    The civil lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, claims that Snowden violated these agreements by not sending a draft of the book to the spy agencies for review – and presumably redaction – before publication. It also alleges that the whistleblower’s public speeches on “intelligence-related matters” violated the agreements.
    Rather than pull the book from the shelves, the government wants to pocket all the earnings from its sale.


    “Intelligence information should protect our nation, not provide personal profit,” said Zachary Terwilliger, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This lawsuit will ensure that Edward Snowden receives no monetary benefits from breaching the trust placed in him.”

    However, with Snowden now living in asylum in Moscow, it is unlikely that he will face a jury unless he returns to the US voluntarily, as Russia does not assist the US with extradition. Unable to physically serve him with the suit, prosecutors have proposed serving him via his lawyer, his publisher, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where he sits on the board.


    Quote
    William Turton @WilliamTurton

    U.S Attorneys in the Eastern District of VA propose three ways to serve Snowden in its lawsuit intending to block from from the proceeds of his memoir published today: his lawyer, his publisher, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where he sits on the board


    7:38 PM - Sep 17, 2019
    The CIA and NSA subcontractor shot to prominence in 2013, when he leaked classified documents revealing massive domestic and global spying programs by the NSA and its ‘Five Eyes’ allies.

    Snowden fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he has been repeatedly granted short term asylum, on the condition that he avoid carrying out any activities against US interests.

    The US charged him under the antiquated Espionage Act, and if convicted, Snowden could face 30 years in prison. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the whistleblower-in-exile said that he would return to the US, but only if he believed he would receive a fair trial.

    "I'm not asking for a parade. I'm not asking for a pardon," he told CBS News. “What I'm asking for is a fair trial. And this is the bottom line that any American should require."

    Snowden insists that he never took an oath of secrecy, but an oath to defend the Constitution "from all enemies, foreign and domestic."

    Precluding a return to the US, Snowden has applied for asylum in France. The request found favor with the country’s Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet, who said over the weekend that France should stick “to our strong principles on immigration,” meaning that “we must accept asylum seekers.” French President Emmanuel Macron’s office later disavowed her remarks, however.
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    Default Re: The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

    Snowdon should stay where he is and not trust any asylum offers which are sure to be a replay of what was done to his counterpart now imprisoned in London for doing absolutely nothing. My problem is that when people say they are being true to the Constitution, I would like to know WHICH CONSTITUTION. Is it the original Constitution made during the beginning of the country or is it the Constitution of the Corporation of the United States of America under which we have all be sold out to the Bl***** Bankers.

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    Default Re: The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

    Quote Posted by amor (here)
    My problem is that when people say they are being true to the Constitution, I would like to know WHICH CONSTITUTION. Is it the original Constitution made during the beginning of the country or is it the Constitution of the Corporation of the United States of America under which we have all be sold out to the Bl***** Bankers.

    We have not all sold out because the Constitution does not apply to civilians, it is binding on government.

    Instead, we have sold out to lesser or to statutory laws by accepting that government's offer of citizenship, which is democracy. The Revolution and the Constitution are against democracy.

    If we refuse the subjugation of citizenship, we would be unable to use the system of banks, insurance, and real estate. So if everyone rebuked it, they would have no customers. Likewise, the Income Tax monster would starve, and so forth. The federal government would be a foreigner mostly leaving us alone.

    Once we are in the system, there is no protection, no privacy, anything could happen to us.

    Citizen is a subject like a piece of property.

    Resident is a status criminal like a vagrant.

    If that is what we say we are, they will make it come true. Authoritarianism is in the laws to begin with, and no, watching control freaks roll it out with new cameras and policies on behavior and so forth is not particularly appealing, but I have found my "power as a citizen" to affect it is next to nothing.

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    Default Re: The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

    Excerpt from a Snowden presentation by video:



    Quote RT
    @RT_com
    Snowden’s take on Facebook data collection: ‘We've legalized the abuse of the person through the personal'
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: The emergence of a “sinister authoritarianism” - Snowden

    "...the Pensions Regulator, which checks that companies have added their employees to their pension schemes, need to be able to delve into anyone’s emails so it can “secure compliance and punish wrongdoing.”

    Taken together, the requests reflect exactly what critics of the Investigatory Powers Act feared would happen: that a once-shocking power that was granted on the back of terrorism fears is being slowly extended to even the most obscure government agency for no reason other that it will make bureaucrats' lives easier."


    -------------------------------

    United Kingdom Snoopers Charter - The Sequel

    For residents in the UK, particularly, a recent report from The Register highlights again the often baffling needs (sic) of an array of seemingly disparate groups or entities claiming rights of access to persons' personal data.

    With the ongoing concerns in the current climate change of Covid-19 with the planned implementation of contact tracing applications - a climate change in the very real sense of the term - this report turns the light back on the much maligned Snoopers Charter properly known as The Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

    Click image for larger version

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    Related tweet from November 2016

    -------------------

    Why should the UK pensions watchdog be able to spy on your internet activities?Same reason as the Environment Agency and many more

    Extraordinary surveillance powers set to be injected into govt orgs

    By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco 23 Apr 2020 at 07:33

    It has been called the “most extreme surveillance in the history of Western democracy.” It has not once but twice been found to be illegal. It sparked the largest ever protest of senior lawyers who called it “not fit for purpose.”

    And now the UK's Investigatory Powers Act of 2016 – better known as the Snooper’s Charter – is set to expand to allow government agencies you may never have heard of to trawl through your web histories, emails, or mobile phone records.

    In a memorandum [PDF] first spotted by The Guardian, the British government is asking that five more public authorities be added to the list of bodies that can access data scooped up under the nation's mass-surveillance laws: the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Environment Agency, the Insolvency Service, the UK National Authority for Counter Eavesdropping (UKNACE), and the Pensions Regulator.

    The memo explains why each should be given the extraordinary powers, in general and specifically. In general, the five agencies “are increasingly unable to rely on local police forces to investigate crimes on their behalf,” and so should be given direct access to the data pipe itself.

    Five Whys
    The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is a special armed police force that does security at the UK’s nuclear sites and when nuclear materials are being moved. It should be given access even though “the current threat to nuclear sites in the UK is assessed as low” because “it can also be difficult to accurately assess risk without the full information needed.”

    The Environment Agency investigates “over 40,000 suspected offences each year,” the memo stated. Which is why it should also be able to ask ISPs to hand over people’s most sensitive communications information, in order “to tackle serious and organised waste crime.”

    The Insolvency Service investigates breaches of company director disqualification orders. Some of those it investigates get put in jail so it is essential that the service be allowed “to attribute subscribers to telephone numbers and analyse itemised billings” as well as be able to see what IP addresses are accessing specific email accounts.

    UKNACE, a little known agency that we have taken a look at in the past, is home of the real-life Qs, and one of its jobs is to detect attempts to eavesdrop on UK government offices. It needs access to the nation's communications data “in order to identify and locate an attacker or an illegal transmitting device”, the memo claimed.

    And lastly, the Pensions Regulator, which checks that companies have added their employees to their pension schemes, need to be able to delve into anyone’s emails so it can “secure compliance and punish wrongdoing.”

    Taken together, the requests reflect exactly what critics of the Investigatory Powers Act feared would happen: that a once-shocking power that was granted on the back of terrorism fears is being slowly extended to even the most obscure government agency for no reason other that it will make bureaucrats' lives easier.

    None of the agencies would be required to apply for warrants to access people’s internet connection data, and they would be added to another 50-plus agencies that already have access, including the Food Standards Agency, Gambling Commission, and NHS Business Services Authority.

    Safeguards
    One of the biggest concerns remains that there are insufficient safeguards in place to prevent the system being abused; concerns that only grow as the number of people that have access to the country's electronic communications grows.

    It is also still not known precisely how all these agencies access the data that is accumulated, or what restrictions are in place beyond a broad-brush “double lock” authorization process that requires a former judge (a judicial commissioner, or JCs) to approve a minister’s approval.

    A report published earlier this month by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office (IPCO), which was setup to oversee the spying law, covering 2018, gave the entire process a clean bill of health while revealing a self-contained process brimming with self-congratulation.

    “We have been increasingly impressed by the advantage of IPCO’s dual role: first, undertaking the review of warrants and, second, having retrospective oversight of the use of investigatory powers,” the report noted. “JCs regularly ask the inspectors to focus on particular issues during the latter’s’ oversight visits and the inspectors similarly share information relevant to the warrantry process with the JCs. In other words, these two functions – warrantry and ex post facto (retrospective) inspection – serve significantly to enhance each other and the confidence in the overall system.”

    The report noted that 2018 was a “year of transition” but only in a separate section explained that was as a result of the fact that the law had to be changed because it had been found to be illegal since it did not limit the public authorities’ access to retained communications data solely for fighting serious crime.

    It was the second time the law was found to be illegal in part. And last year the entire law was challenged as being incompatible with human-rights laws.

    Everything is peachy
    Despite the “transition” resulting in what the report acknowledged is inaccurate data (“the statistics at the end of the report do not provide as full a picture as they will in future years”), it was encouraged by the fact that “it is clear that there were only a few refusals by the JCs of the applications they considered.”

    The IPCO then immediately defended both the JCs and the government: “It is critical that this should not be interpreted as a failure by the JCs to provide rigorous scrutiny of the applications. Nothing could be further from the truth. These applications only come to IPCO after there has been detailed, multi-layered consideration within the organisation requesting the authorisation and, when applicable, the Warrant Granting Department.”

    There is no indication in the new memo that seeks to expand the Investigatory Powers Act's surveillance powers to five new agencies whether the resources of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC), which currently employs “approximately 50 people," will also be expanded.

    That, and whether the new agencies’ investigatory work can be considered "serious crimes" and sufficient to grant them access to millions of people’s personal data, will have to be decided by MPs and peers as it progresses through the Parliamentary process.

    ------------------------------

    Last edited by Tintin; 26th April 2020 at 21:37.
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