Bilderberg 2014, Snowden, EFF Vs DOJ Fed Court NSA Spying
How the NSA Violates International Human Rights Standards
Even before Ed Snowden leaked his first document, human rights lawyers and activists were concerned about law enforcement and intelligence agencies spying on the digital world. One of the tools developed to tackle those concerns was the development of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (the “Necessary and Proportionate Principles”). This set of principles was intended to guide governments in understanding how new surveillance technologies eat away at fundamental freedoms, and outlined how communications surveillance can be conducted consistent with human rights obligations. Furthermore, the Necessary and Proportionate Principles act as a resource for citizens—used to compare new tools of state surveillance to global expectations of privacy and due process.
We are now able to look at how the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, which we have learned about in the past year, fare when compared to the Necessary and Proportionate Principles.
As you might expect, the NSA programs do not fare well. To mark the first anniversary of the Snowden disclosures, we are releasing Unnecessary and Disproportionate, which details how some of the NSA spying operations violate both human rights standards and the Necessary and Proportionate Principles.
Some of the conclusions are as follows:
The NSA surveillance lacks “legality” in that NSA surveillance laws are largely governed by a body of secret law developed by a secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which selectively publishes its legal interpretations of the law;
The NSA surveillance is neither “necessary,” nor “proportionate,” in that the various programs in which communications data are obtained in bulk violate the privacy rights of millions of persons who are not suspected of having any connection to international terrorism;
The NSA surveillance programs are not supported by competent judicial authority because the only judicial approval, if any, comes from the FISC, which operates outside of normal adversarial procedures such that the individuals whose data are collected lack access to the court;
The NSA surveillance programs lack due process because the FISC presents no opportunity for a public hearing;
The NSA surveillance programs lack user notification: those whose data is obtained do not know that their communications have been monitored and hence they cannot appeal the decision nor get legal representation to defend themselves;
The NSA surveillance programs lack the required transparency and public oversight, because they operate in secret and rely on gag orders against the entities from whom the data are obtained, along with secret, if any, court proceedings;
The NSA surveillance programs damage the integrity of communication systems by undermining security systems, such as encryption, requiring the insertion of surveillance back doors in communications technologies, including the installation of fiber optic splitters in transmission hubs; and
The US surveillance framework is illegitimate because it applies less favorable standards to non-US persons than its own citizens; this discrimination places it in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
More broadly, the United States justifies the lawfulness of its communications surveillance by reference to distinctions that, considering modern communications technology, are irrelevant to truly protecting privacy in a modern society. The US relies on the outmoded distinction between “content” and “metadata,” falsely contending that the latter does not reveal private facts about an individual. The US also contends that the collection of data is not surveillance—it argues, contrary to both international law and the Principles, that an individual’s privacy rights are not infringed as long as her communications data are not analyzed by a human being. It’s clear that the practice of digital surveillance by the United States has overrun the bounds of human rights standards. What our paper hopes to show is exactly where the country has crossed the line, and how its own politicians and the international community might rein it back.
Court Hearing in EFF Lawsuit to Uncover Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA Spying
EFF Faces Off Against Department of Justice in Federal Court in Oakland
Oakland – At a hearing on Tuesday, June 3, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Mark Rumold will argue before a judge that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) must release key legal opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) regarding Section 215 of the Patriot Act—the law the National Security Agency (NSA) uses to collect telephone records on a massive scale.
EFF filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the DOJ to obtain “secret interpretations” of Section 215 in October 2011, 18 months before the public leak of the FISC order that showed how the NSA indiscriminately obtained call metadata from Verizon. So far, the court has ordered the government to release hundreds of pages of previously secret documents, including FISA court opinions that excoriated the NSA for misusing its mass surveillance database for years.
The June 3 hearing may determine whether the DOJ will be forced to release further records, some of which may shine light on other undisclosed mass surveillance programs.
“This hearing, almost a year to the day after the first article appeared in The Guardian about the NSA’s use of Section 215, shows how far we’ve come in a year,” Rumold said. “But it also shows how far we have left to go. Now, the public has much more information about the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ records, but other significant legal opinions and other collection programs still remain secret. The public needs access to this information, and the public needs that access now.”
The 2014 Bilderberg meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark is taking place amidst a climate of panic for many of the 120 globalists set to attend the secretive confab, with Russia’s intransigence on the crisis in Ukraine and the anti-EU revolution sweeping Europe posing a serious threat to the unipolar world order Bilderberg spent over 60 years helping to build.
Will center around how to derail a global political awakening that threatens to hinder Bilderberg’s long standing agenda to centralize power into a one world political federation, a goal set to be advanced with the passage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will undoubtedly be a central topic of discussion at this year’s meeting.
The TTIP represents an integral component of Bilderberg’s attempt to rescue the unipolar world by creating a “world company,” initially a free trade area, which would connect the United States with Europe. Just as the European Union started as a mere free trade area and was eventually transformed into a political federation which controls upwards of 50 per cent of its member states’ laws and regulations with total contempt for national sovereignty and democracy, TTIP is designed to accomplish the same goal, only on a bigger scale.
The deal is being spearheaded by Obama’s U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, a Wall Street insider and a CFR member, Bilderberg’s sister organization. Froman is simultaneously helping to build another block of this global government, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a similar project involving Asian countries.
Given that Bilderberg schemed to create the Euro single currency as far back as 1955 (Bilderberg chairman Étienne Davignon bragged about how the Euro single currency was a brainchild of the Bilderberg in 2009 interview), the results of the European elections are sure to have stirred outright alarm amongst Bilderberg globalists who are aghast that their planned EU superstate is being eroded as a result of a populist resistance mainly centered around animosity towards uncontrolled immigration policies.
In Denmark itself, the buzz is centered around Morten Messerschmidt and the Danish People’s party, which won 27% of the vote in the Euro elections and doubled its number of MEPs. Although some are wary of Messerschmidt’s far right inclinations, his success reflects a general resentment not only in Denmark but across Europe towards immigration and the welfare state, concerns that the EU has only exasperated.
Meanwhile in France, Marine Le Pen is carving out a role as the face of a conservative movement that threatens “to break up one united Europe,” with her European election win being described as an “earthquake” that has rattled the political heart of Europe.
Voters in the United Kingdom also delivered a thumping rejection of the EU and in turn Bilderberg with the success of Nigel Farage and UKIP, a Euroskeptic triumph some are labeling the “most extraordinary” election result for 100 years.
As well as TTIP and the fallout from the European election disaster, Bilderberg will be tackling a number of other key issues, most of which will revolve around the continued effort to centralize economic power under several different guises, including a carbon tax paid directly to the United Nations, with the financial hit being taken by individuals as big companies are granted special “waivers” that will allow them to continue to pollute.
The rumbling crisis in Ukraine and the relationship between Russia and NATO will also be a focal point of Bilderberg 2014. Globalists now consider Vladimir Putin to have ostracized Russia from the new world order because he dared to “challenge the international system,” as John Kerry put it.
Bilderberg will discuss fears that Putin is intent on constructing an alternative world order based around the BRICS countries, a “multi-polar” system that would devastate the dollar as the world reserve currency and also heavily dilute the current US-EU-NATO power axis.
The 62nd Bilderberg conference will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark from tomorrow 29th May to 1st June 2014.
About 140 participants from some 22 countries have already confirmed their attendance. These include ‘…a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media’.
The following key topics will be included in their discussions:
• Is the economic recovery sustainable?
• Who will pay for the demographics?
• Does privacy exist?
• How special is the relationship in intelligence sharing?
• Big shifts in technology and jobs
• The future of democracy and the middle class trap
• China’s political and economic outlook
• The new architecture of the Middle East
• What next for Europe?
• Current events
The UK is well represented with the following attendees:
Marcus Agius, Non-Executive Chairman PA Consulting Group
Helen Alexander, Chairman UBM plc
Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sherard Cowper-Coles, Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group CEO HSBC Holdings plc
Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive BP plc
Douglas J. Flint, Group Chairman HSBC Holdings plc
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development
John Kerr, Deputy Chairman Scottish Power
Peter Mandelson, Chairman, Global Counsel LLP
John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief The Economist
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
John Sawers, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service
Martin H. Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator The Financial Times
The following people will be there as International attendees:
Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Benoît Coeuré, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO
Viviane Reding, Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship of the European Commission
Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Snowden defended himself against claims minimizing his intelligence experience before he stole and leaked a trove of classified documents revealing the NSA’s program of phone and Internet surveillance.
“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not – and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” he said.
He said he had worked covertly as “a technical expert” for the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, as well as as a trainer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“I don’t work with people. I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from – from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top,” he said.
“So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.”
Snowden, who left high school at 15 without graduating, made his revelations three months into his new job with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton as a systems administrator based at the NSA’s threat operations center in Hawaii.
Sources: https://www.eff.org/press/releases/court-hearing-eff-lawsuit-uncover-secret-court-opinions-justifying-nsa-spying , https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/05/unnecessary-and-disproportionate-how-nsa-violates-international-human-rights
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