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Declassified Report Shows Hypocrisy of NSA’s Warrantless Spying

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Redacted, declassified report released to the press on a Saturday, casts doubt on the effectiveness, while touting the vastly increased use, of NSA warrantless surveillance.

… Another part of the newly disclosed report provides an explanation for a change in F.B.I. rules during the Bush administration. Previously, F.B.I. agents had only two types of cases: “preliminary” and “full” investigations.

But the Bush administration created a third, lower-level type called an “assessment.”

This development, it turns out, was a result of Stellarwind.  (The vast collection, storage and review of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, telephone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity.) 

F.B.I. agents were asked to scrutinize phone numbers deemed suspicious because of information from the program, but were not told why the data had been deemed suspicious and further, “not to use the information in legal or judicial proceedings.”

That made some agents uncomfortable … it was not clear how such mysterious leads fit into their rules for investigations.

The Justice Department created the new type of investigation, initially called a “threat assessment,” which could be opened with lower-grade tips.

Agents now use them tens of thousands of times a year.

[…]

Full Story:  Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.’s Warrantless Spying – NYTimes.com

Written by bothernews

April 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ancient “Super-Acoustics” technology used on Malta

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June 16th, 2014 Linda Eneix

Researchers detected the presence of a strong double resonance frequency at 70Hz and 114Hz inside a 5,000-years-old mortuary temple on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground complex created in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period as a depository for bones and a shrine for ritual use. A chamber known as "The Oracle Room" has a fabled reputation for exceptional sound behavior.

During testing, a deep male voice tuned to these frequencies stimulated a resonance phenomenon throughout the hypogeum, creating bone-chilling effects. It was reported that sounds echoed for up to 8 seconds. Archaeologist Fernando Coimbra said that he felt the sound crossing his body at high speed, leaving a sensation of relaxation. When it was repeated, the sensation returned and he also had the illusion that the sound was reflected from his body to the ancient red ochre paintings on the walls. One can only imagine the experience in antiquity: standing in what must have been somewhat odorous dark and listening to ritual chant while low light flickered over the bones of one’s departed loved ones.

 

                                                            Hal Saflieni (ca. 3600 BCE)

                                                     Credit: Mediterranean Institute of Ancient Civilizations

Sound in a Basso/Baritone range of 70 – 130 hz vibrates in a certain way as a natural phenomenon of the environment in the Hypogeum, as it does in Newgrange passage tomb, megalithic cairns and any stone cavity of the right dimensions.  At these resonance frequencies, even small periodic driving forces can produce large amplitude oscillations, because the system stores vibrational energy.  Echoes bounce off the hard surfaces and compound before they fade.  Laboratory testing indicates that exposure to these particular resonant frequencies can have a physical effect on human brain activity.

What is astounding is that five thousand years ago the builders exploited the phenomenon, intentionally using architectural techniques to boost these "super-acoustics". Glenn Kreisberg, a radio frequency spectrum engineer who was with the research group, observed that in the Hypogeum, "The Oracle Chamber ceiling, especially near its entrance from the outer area, and the elongated inner chamber itself, appears to be intentionally carved into the form of a wave guide."

The same people who created Ħal Saflieni also engineered a complete solar calendar with solstice and equinox sunrise alignments that still function today in one of their above-ground megalithic structures. There is no question that a sophisticated school of architectural, astronomic and audiologic knowledge was already in place a thousand years before the Egyptians started building pyramids.

 

Full Press Release on Phys.org by Project Organizer, Linda Eneix:  Ancient Man Used “Super-Acoustics” …

Written by bothernews

March 6, 2015 at 3:54 am

US military satellite suffers “catastrophic event”

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Linked Report is by Matthew Sparkes

10:39AM GMT 02 Mar 2015

A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.

Air Force Space Command confirmed to SpaceNews.com that the “catastrophic event” came after “a sudden spike in temperature” was detected, followed by “an unrecoverable loss of attitude control”.

The satellite was an ageing component of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program which the US military began developing the in the 1960s to help plan reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

The lost satellite was the 13th to be launched as part of DMSP, designated DMSP-F13, and had been in Earth orbit since 1995.

Like all DMSP satellites it orbited the earth at an altitude of around 500 miles in a “sun-synchronous orbit” – meaning that they flew in a path taking in the north and south poles.

On each path around the earth, which took roughly 101 minutes, they would see a slightly different part of the planet. This would give each satellite a complete view of the entire planet’s surface twice a day.

US military satellite explodes above Earth – Telegraph

Written by bothernews

March 3, 2015 at 1:08 am

EFF News on Jewel v. NSA

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State Secrets Privilege trumps 4th Amendment?  Did we vote for that?

This most recent ruling was in response to the motion for partial summary judgment EFF filed in July 2014 arguing that the NSA’s backbone surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment. The government responded with its own motion for partial summary judgment, asserting several defenses, including the “state secrets” privilege, which permits judges to disregard evidence that would endanger national security if publicly released. In support of its motion, the government filed secret declarations by NSA officials that were available to Judge White, but not to us [EFF] or the public, and the judge relied on this evidence in his order.

Judge White did not rule on the legality or constitutionality of the NSA mass Internet surveillance we challenged. Rather, the court explained that the publicly available information did not paint a complete picture of how the NSA collects Internet traffic, so the court could not rule on the program without looking at information that could constitute “state secrets.”

“Because a fair and full adjudication of the Government Defendants’ defenses would require harmful disclosures of national security information that is protected by the state secrets privilege, the Court must exclude such evidence from the case,” Judge White writes in the decision. “Addressing any defenses involves a significant risk of potentially harmful effects any disclosures could have on national security.”

Full Story at:  Jewel v. NSA: Making Sense of a Disappointing Decision Over Mass Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Also Must Read: Origin and History of the State Secrets Privilege

Written by bothernews

February 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on Wednesday re-introduced a bill that would expose the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy discussions and decisions to a congressional audit.

The Fed fears that a full GAO audit would reveal too much detail of monetary policy decisions made by the Federal Open Market Committee. Fed officials have said such exposure would complicate their public communications, hurt their credibility and stoke financial market volatility. The central bank also fears that efforts to impinge on its independence would hurt U.S. monetary policy.

Full Story:  Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill – Yahoo News Canada

Written by bothernews

January 29, 2015 at 12:45 am

‘Cyber war games’ to be staged by UK and US

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15 January 2015

The UK and US are to carry out "war game" cyber attacks on each other as part of a new joint defence against online criminals.

The first exercise, a staged attack on the financial sector, will take place later this year, Downing Street said.

The "unprecedented" arrangement between the two countries was announced as Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with US President Barack Obama.

Agents will also co-operate in "cyber cells" on both sides of the Atlantic.

Downing Street said this was the first "cyber cell" the UK had established with another country.

The measures come in the wake of recent cyber attacks on Sony Pictures and US Central Command.

Full Story:  BBC News – ‘Cyber war games’ to be staged by UK and US