Super User

Super User

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Here's where I shamelessly beg for patronage. If you like what I'm doing, I dunno, maybe buy me a beer? I need your shares and tweets too! Thanks for reading.

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Are we to condemn a man for what he says in private, to his loved ones, under the expectation of privacy? Do we want to be able to say what we really feel to one another, regardless of the political correctness, in the privacy of our own homes? Are we now no longer afforded the luxury of a private moment, on private property, in the company of our peers and loved ones?

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

For nearly ten years, Brian Hooker has been requesting documents that are kept under tight wraps by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His more than 100 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have resulted in copious evidence that the vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is still used in the flu shot that is administered to pregnant women and infants, can cause autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Shadow Lobbying Complex

On paper, the lobbying industry is quickly disappearing. In January, records indicated that for a third straight year, overall spending on lobbying decreased. Lobbyists themselves continue to deregister. In 2013, the number of registered lobbyists dipped to 12,281, the lowest number on file since 2002. But experts say that lobbying isn’t dying; instead, it’s simply going underground.

Based on Edward Snowden’s revelations, opposition to National Security Agency (NSA) spying has spread across the world, upsetting diplomatic relations and threatening shifts in global power balances. However, as Cyril Mychalejko reports, the NSA network also includes an equally far-reaching, though lesser-known operation called the Open Source Indicators (OSI) Program. The OSI Program involves “academics working at the behest of a research branch of the NSA”—the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA—who analyze and interpret online data collected by other government agencies and contractors in order to predict future events, such as political protests, pandemics, resource shortages, mass migrations and economic crises.

We need to tell Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act and amend it to make it even stronger.

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Dana Priest traces the journey from 9/11 to the Marathon bombings and investigates the secret history of the 12-year battle against terrorism. First published Sept 6th, 2011.

I can't say that I had very high hopes for Obama's NSA reforms. (Hello, Gitmo?) The man can still give a good speech, though, and make me feel like everything is going to be alright. Unfortunately, what really matters is the policy and what actually happens. After his recent announcement about reforming surveillance procedures, bulk collection of everyone's communication data will still occur.