[ExI] The Total State

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Sat Jun 21 15:17:48 UTC 2008

If you grep on 'NSA' in the politech.mbox downloadable at the Declan's
web site, then you'll find an abundance of information about the NSA's
(and other federal agencies) domestic spying programs. Here I've
collected a few from Politech, mostly from 2005 and early 2006. There is
a slim probability that the bill that the House of Representatives
approved yesterday will not be approved in the Senate, but I consider
that possibility very slim. I think that the U.S. citizens are screwed
(with their complicit approval).

Some links:


Tangentially-related article about judge approving cell phone monitoring
without requiring prosecutors to show evidence of probable cause:

How extensive is NSA's spy program:

Bruce Schneier on how the Bush Administration has developed a whole
new surveillance paradigm -- exploiting the NSA's well known
capabilities to spy on individuals not one at a time, as FISA permits,
but to run communications en masse through computers in the search for
suspicious individuals or patterns. (See Schneier, "NSA and Bush's
Illegal Eavesdropping

A long summary to describe where we are on warrantless domestic surveillance
(via NSA, NSLs, and datamining)

This document tells you how the NSA is monitoring, and which companies
are _not_ involved

Some news about the legal proceedings (EFF suit against At&T), and a
note from a former AT&T employee about how AT&T set up their hardware
in San Francisco for NSA traffic monitoring:

The Updated NSA Watch site (formerly known as Echelon watch):
http://www.nsawatch.org/ which contains a wide variety of materials and
links documenting the NSA's extraordinary communication interception
capabilities ("sigint"), which are part of an international arrangement
sometimes referred to as "Echelon".

EPIC is another organization concerned about this issue, as well.
(EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C.  It was
established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil
liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and
constitutional values.)

Oh, and be careful what books you borrow from your local library.



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: DHS cross refs interlibrary loan to INS database?
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:48:38 -0500
From: Stephen Cobb, CISSP <scobb at cobb.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>


Unless there is more to the following story than was reported, I think
the implications are more chilling than the headline-grabbing unapproved
NSA taps, particularly since FISA approves virtually all taps anyway.

We have known for years that the NSA has the capability to listen to any
unscrambled phone call (foreign or domestic) and read any plaintext
email--such as this one--but routine cross-referencing of library
records with INS data would appear to be new. Can we now assume a
computer somewhere is constantly running a watch list of books against a
watch list of people (who spend 'a lot of time' outside the country)?

If anyone manages to lift the lid on this, I'm sure the book list itself
would make hilarious reading (who doesn't have a copy of The Little Red
Book left over from the sixties?). The criteria for the frequent
traveller database? Probably not so amusing.

Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior
Standard-Times staff writer

NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents
two months ago, after he requested [through the interlibrary loan
program] a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little
Red Book."

...The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for
Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism...He was
later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the
Department of Homeland Security...was told by the agents that the book
is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included
significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student


Stephen Cobb, CISSP


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