Category Archives: Congress

Obama Spied on Everybody Since April 2009 | Apr 25, 2017

The big, amazing list of people Obama spied on | Sharyl Attkisson

|| WND

 

“The Obama administration isn’t accused of gathering intelligence information to spy for political, and other, purposes just once. Or twice. Or even just three times.

A remarkable timeline assembled by ace investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson shows just how often the Obama administration apparently spied on friend and foe alike.

With all of this information gathered in one place, WND then compiled a list gleaned from Attkisson’s timeline of all those whom the Obama administration is suspected of targeting either by spying, or investigating and/or prosecuting using intelligence information.

And the list is impressive.

  • Former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.
  • Pro-Israel lobbyists
  • FBI contractor and whistleblower Shamai Leibowitz
  • Tea-party groups
  • WikiLeaks
  • New York Times reporter James Risen
  • NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake
  • Fox News reporter James Rosen
  • CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson
  • Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio
  • Fox News reporter Mike Levine
  • ATF Special Agent John Dodson
  • Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus
  • Associated Press reporters
  • Benghazi whistleblowers
  • President Obama’s vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright
  • Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning
  • CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou
  • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden
  • Reporter Audrey Hudson
  • FBI agent and contractor Donald Sachtleben
  • Former state department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Former CIA employee Jeffrey Alexander Sterling
  • Unspecified members of Congress
  • American-Jewish groups
  • Trump adviser Carter Page
  • Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
  • Candidate Donald Trump’s campaign
  • President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team

WND asked Attkisson: Given the sheer number of areas in which it engaged in spying, did it not seem clear that the Obama administration had weaponized the intelligence community?

“I think the facts of the timeline speak for themselves, and people are free to draw their own inferences,” she replied.

But, WND asked, would you not say that what the timeline clearly seems to imply is that spying was a tactic of the Obama administration in numerous areas?

“I think there’s little question that the intel community under the Obama administration utilized its tools tradecraft more aggressively and in a broader scope than had been done previously.”

Attkisson added, “As has been widely reported, it went after more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, it targeted reporters in ways that had never been done before, and it vastly expanded permission for itself to spy on members of Congress and ordinary U.S. citizens.”

But she saw more to the picture.

“I will point out that I think some of this is less a product of a specific administration and more an outgrowth of the dynamic of government pushing the limits of authorities granted after 9/11.

“Some of the intel officials and bureaucrats calling the shots persisted from administration to administration, Republican and Democrat alike,” Attkisson observed.”

….Continue reading more @ WND

 

Schock Tactics: How The Justice Department Violated The Constitution In Its Aaron Schock Investigation

|| JonathanTurley.org

“Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the investigation of former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill), who attracted notoriety for his use of a Downton Abbey motif for the decoration of his office.  Obviously a preference for haughty interiors should not be enough to generate a massive criminal investigation.  However, the prosecutor in this case has pursued Schock with utter abandon, including trampling over long-established protections accorded to Congress.  Regardless of the merits of the fraud allegations against Schock, the investigation raises troubling questions of constitutional law and Congress should hold hearings into the violation of Article I.

At the start of his famous poem Mending Wall, Robert Frost wrote, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” When it comes to the Justice Department, that statement is particularly true this month. In the prosecution of former congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), the Justice Department did not simply ignore the wall of separation between the legislative and executive branches, it bulldozed it.

In its invitation of possible fraud by Schock, the FBI enlisted a staff member to record conversations in the office, rummage through files and paperwork, and remove documents for investigators and prosecutors to search of any wrongdoing. It is an egregious violation of the protections afforded members of Congress and, if left unaddressed, would constitute extremely dangerous precedent for our constitutional system.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Rep. Ken Buck Makes Allegations of Massive Corruption in Congress | Apr 15, 2017

Allegations Of Massive Corruption In The Halls Of Congress

| Youtube | FoxNews

“In order to be on a committee you have to pay dues….to your…campaign committee. That’s corrupt. To put that kind of pressure on people to pay 450,000 to get on a committee….is the wrong thing, it sends the wrong message to the American people.”

….More @ Youtube

 

Panicked mob flees a packed Penn Station after Amtrak cops jolt man with stun gun amid long NJ Transit delays

| New York Daily News

“Pandemonium erupted at Penn Station Friday after Amtrak police used a stun gun on an unruly man — sending scared riders scrambling for safety.

The transit hub was unusually crowded at rush hour thanks to an NJ Transit train that stalled in a tunnel earlier, causing massive delays to kick off the holiday weekend.

Cops confronted a man and subdued him with a stun gun around 6:30 p.m., sparking a stampede of frightened travelers who feared that a shooting had taken place.

“We were sitting on the ground and all of a sudden we heard this loud noise and everyone started sprinting,” said 24-year-old Aubrey Moore. “It sounded like a gunshot, but nobody knew what was going on so I just sprinted.”

FDNY officials said 13 people were injured in the chaos. Amtrak authorities said the man was taken into custody.

Video of the arrest shows cops pinning a man on the ground and placing him in handcuffs.

“Be advised, individual in custody, force used, individual was Tased,” one of the officers says into his radio.

The four cops were quickly joined by officers from the NYPD and members of the National Guard.

Other videos, from networks covering the stalled train, show pandemonium erupting as panicked crowds pushed past one another to escape the underground hub.”

…Continue reading more @ NY Daily News

 

 

Facebook knocks down massive spammer network

| CNet

“Facebook famously boasts it has 1.86 billion users who visit the social network every month. It looks like that number shrank on Friday.

The company, which previously announced it’s cracking down on fake accounts, said it’s disrupted a major spam operation being run out of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

“The apparent intent of the campaign was to deceptively gain new friend connections by liking and interacting primarily with popular publisher Pages on our platform, after which point they would send spam,” Shabnam Shaik, a Facebook technical program manager wrote in a blog post.

“We found that most of this activity was generated not through traditional mass account creation methods, but by more sophisticated means that try to mask the fact that the accounts are part of the same coordinated operation,” Shaik wrote. “By disrupting the campaign now, we expect that we will prevent this network of spammers from reaching its end goal of sending inauthentic material to large numbers of people.”

The number of authentic users matters for Facebook because the company charges marketers and advertisers to reach the most eyeballs. Facebook didn’t reveal the number of accounts affected by this crackdown.

Fake profiles, or bots, are an ongoing problem for social networks, and making software that generates the fake fans has become a big-money industry. In 2014, Facebook estimated 67.7 million to 137.8 million accounts were either duplicates or fake.

Twitter has had the same problem. About 15 percent of Twitter’s 319 million active monthly users are reportedly bots, according to research from the University of Southern California and Indiana University.”

….Continue reading more @ CNet

 

 

Judge Gorsuch Confirmed to Supreme Court | Apr 07, 2017

Senate confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court, giving Trump big win

| The Hill

“The Senate on Friday confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, giving President Trump the biggest victory of his first 100 days in office.

The 54-45 vote caps a bitter political battle that began with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than a year ago and resulted in the Senate triggering the “nuclear option,” breaking Democrats’ blockade and ending filibusters for Supreme Court nominees.

Three Democrats facing reelection next year in strongly pro-Trump states voted for Gorsuch: Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).

Chief Justice John Roberts is set to administer the Constitutional Oath in a private ceremony at 9 a.m., and Justice Anthony Kennedy will administer the oath at a public ceremony at the White House later in the morning.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said the fight will leave a scorch mark on the Senate because Republicans employed the nuclear option.

“It will make this body a more partisan place. It will make the cooling saucer of the Senate considerably hotter, and I believe it will make the Supreme Court more of a partisan place,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, argued that the change to the filibuster, which Republicans made with a party-line vote Thursday, would restore the Senate to its tradition of not filibustering judicial nominees.

…..Continue reading @ The Hill

 

Four Killed By Truck Driven Into Crowd In Swedish Capital

| OANN

“STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A truck plowed into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday, killing four people and wounding 15 in what the prime minister said appeared to be a terrorist attack.

Swedish police said they had arrested one person after earlier circulating a picture of a man wearing a grey hoodie. They did not rule out the possibility other attackers were involved.

“We have a person who is arrested who may have connections to the event in Stockholm earlier today,” police spokesperson Towe Hagg said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

“I turned around and saw a big truck coming toward me. It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control, it was trying to hit people,” Glen Foran, an Australian tourist in his 40s, told Reuters.

“It hit people, it was terrible. It hit a pram with a kid in it, demolished it,” he said.

“It took a long time for police to get here. I suppose from their view it was quick, but it felt like forever.”

Part of central Stockholm was cordoned off and the area was evacuated, including the main train station. All subway traffic was halted on police orders. Government offices were closed.

“Sweden has been attacked. Everything points to the fact that this is a terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters during a visit to western Sweden. He was immediately returning to the capital.

Several attacks in which trucks or cars have driven into crowds have taken place in Europe in the past year. Al Qaeda in 2010 urged its followers to use trucks as a weapon.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Nice, France, last July, when a truck killed 86 people celebrating Bastille Day, and one in Berlin in December, when a truck smashed through a Christmas market, killing 12 people.”

….Continue reading more @ OANN

 

Gov Moonbeam & California Prepare To Enact The Highest Gas Tax In The Country

| Daily Caller

“The California Senate Democrats has approved a multi-billion-dollar increase in the state’s gas tax to pay for road and infrastructure projects.

The so-called Road Repair and Accountability Act would ratchet up the state’s gas tax by 12 cents a gallon, and raise the tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents a gallon. It also etches out an additional charge to annual vehicle license fees ranging from $25 to $175 depending on the car’s value.

The Senate passed the bill, 27-11 on Thursday. Republicans did not support the measure.

Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, supports the measure and says it will raise $52 billion for transportation projects, including repairs to roads and bridges.”

…..Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

 

Gas-tax increase to pay for road repair clears California Legislature

| SacBee

Actually only 60% of the proposed funding goes to repair roads

“The state Legislature on Thursday passed a sweeping $52 billion transportation plan that will raise California gas taxes after leaders struck deals with wavering lawmakers to fund road projects in their districts.

The state Senate voted 27-11 and the state Assembly voted 54-26 – the bare minimum two-thirds margins required for a tax increase. The votes took place shortly after Gov. Jerry Brown met with Senate Democrats behind closed doors during a recess from the floor session.

The legislation will raise the money to pay for the plan over 10 years. It raises the base gasoline excise tax by 12 cents, creates a transportation improvement fee based on the value of a vehicle and raises diesel excise and sales taxes.

Republican lawmakers criticized the deal for putting a burden on ordinary Californians to pick up the bill for the Legislature’s failure to prioritize spending on roads without raising taxes.

“This institution is sick,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City. “You have to be drunk to support this measure tonight – drunk on the power that is ruining this institution, and that is making it harder and harder to live in this state.”

Brown and Democratic legislative leaders estimate that SB 1’s higher fuel taxes and fees would increase costs for the average motorist by about $10 a month.

But by afternoon, it remained uncertain whether Democrats would be able to rally votes to pass the bill. They were having particular difficulty with members representing districts that can shift parties depending on the election because the measure contains a gas tax increase.

Lawmakers began crafting a separate measure outlining spending for individual legislative districts, Senate Bill 132. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León said the projects would have been funded anyway, but the bill moves them up in the “queue.”

“The projects are transportation-worthy, no question about that, in an area that is highly congested with bad air quality and badly needed infrastructure repair,” he said.

Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Modesto, was the only Republican to vote for the deal. The measure provides $500 million in funding to Cannella’s district. It allocates $400 million for an extension of a Bay Area commuter rail line, the Altamont Corridor Express, to Ceres and Merced and a $100 million parkway project between the University of California, Merced campus and Highway 99.

“For over two years, I have fought for real solutions to California’s transportation problems,” Cannella said in a statement. “This state cannot continue to just put asphalt band aids on potholes when what we really need is major road and rail surgery to keep Californians and their economy moving. In addition, this will be transformative for commerce and commuter travel throughout the Central Valley.”

The bill also earmarks $427 million for the Riverside County Transportation Efficiency Corridor in Democratic Sen. Richard Roth’s Riverside County district. The corridor overlaps with the Assembly District represented by Sabrina Cervantes, a Democrat who also lives in Riverside.

All three members represent swing districts.

Cervantes’ office would not comment on whether the appropriation was part of a deal with the assemblywoman.

Several Republicans repeated complaints that Democrats have squandered transportation funding over the years, deferring necessary maintenance and leading to the decline of the state’s infrastructure.”

….Continue reading @ SacBee

White House logs provide the Smoking Gun that Susan Rice is Lying | Apr 04, 2017

White House logs indicate Susan Rice consumed unmasked intel on Trump associates

| Circa

“Computer logs that former President Obama’s team left behind in the White House indicate his national security adviser Susan Rice accessed numerous intelligence reports during Obama’s last seven months in office that contained National Security Agency intercepts involving Donald Trump and his associates, Circa has learned.

Intelligence sources said the logs discovered by National Security Council staff suggested Rice’s interest in the NSA materials, some of which included unmasked Americans’ identities, appeared to begin last July around the time Trump secured the GOP nomination and accelerated after Trump’s election in November launched a transition that continued through January.

The intelligence reports included some intercepts of Americans talking to foreigners and many more involving foreign leaders talking about the future president, his campaign associates or his transition, the sources said. Most if not all had nothing to do with the Russian election interference scandal, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the materials.

Ordinarily, such references to Americans would be redacted or minimized by the NSA before being shared with outside intelligence sources, but in these cases, names were sometimes unmasked at the request of Rice or the intelligence reports were specific enough that the American’s identity was easily ascertained, the sources said.

The exact national security justifications for Rice accessing the reports isn’t clear and may require additional documentation that the House and Senate intelligence committees have requested from the NSA, America’s lead agency in spying on foreign powers.

How the information was disseminated beyond Rice will also be a potential focus of congressional oversight, since lawmakers may want to know if it was briefed to Obama or shared with members of her larger circle of advisers, like deputy Ben Rhodes.

Rice has not returned repeated calls for comment from Circa. But in an interview with PBS recently, she said she had no idea what House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes was talking about when he said Obama officials were monitoring Trump associates after the election.

One intelligence professional with detailed knowledge of how the NSA and other intelligence agencies share information with the White House during transitions told Circa that U.S. intelligence reporting on foreign leaders’ perceptions of Trump spiked after his unexpected election win in November, creating a trove of information that could be accessed by the outgoing White House.

The NSA can legally intercept foreigners’ conversations without court permission under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but it cannot target Americans’ conversations overseas. If an American is accidentally intercepted or two foreigners are caught talking about an American, that name is supposed to be redacted in intelligence reports and replaced by a description like “U.S. citizen 1.”

But Circa reported last week that Obama opened the door for his political aides like Rice to more easily gain access to unmasked Americans’ names in NSA intercepts through a series of rule changes beginning in 2011.”

….Continue reading more @ Circa.com

Top White House Official Under Fire Over Denial of Security Clearance

|  Free Beacon

“Lawmakers and congressional insiders continue to raise questions about a senior Obama administration official and proponent of its Iran diplomacy following revelations he was denied interim security clearance before being given a senior role in the White House, according to conversations with multiple sources.

The Washington Free Beacon first disclosed last week that Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser who handled the administration’s efforts to mislead the public about the terms of the Iran nuclear agreement, is being probed by Congress following disclosures the FBI may have denied him top-level security clearances.

Lawmakers told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration has been obstructing formal efforts to obtain information about why Rhodes was initially denied FBI clearance and how he ultimately received top-secret clearances.”

….Continue reading more @ Free Beacon

Why Is Obama Hiding from his Govt Spying Scandal? | Apr 02, 2017

Why the Deafening Silence From Obama Since Obamagate Blew Wide Open?

| theGatewayPundit

“Barack Hussein Obama has been dead silent since the Trump wiretapping scandal has blown wide open.

His entire administration, including himself are being accused of one of the biggest scandals in modern U.S. history, or perhaps the biggest scandal ever, yet not a peep from the arrogant guy who loves to ‘pop off’. How come?

The only ‘response’ we have received from Obama’s camp is from his spokesman. In a carefully worded, lawyer-esque response, Obama’s spokesman said:

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,”

As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

As usual, Obama’s camp is splitting hairs and obfuscating. This will only last so long because every day that passes, we are learning more and more about the surveillance of Trump and his team by the Obama administration. According to one report by Fox News, the surveillance began before Trump was even the GOP nominee.

We have also just learned that Nunes knows who did the unmasking of Trump and his private associates. This person is very well know and high up in the Intelligence community. The walls are closing in, Hussein Obama so you’ll have to start talking at one point.”

….Continue reading more @ theGatewayPundit

 

Here’s Why Nunes’ Obama Spying Revelations Are Such A Big Deal

| the Federalist

In the last three months of the Obama presidency, significant personal information from and about the Trump transition was collected and widely disseminated at intelligence agencies, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Dozens of intelligence reports provided to Nunes by an unnamed whistleblower were floating around during the sensitive transition period following the election, he said. The information collection itself may have technically been legal, but the failure to properly mask the information “alarmed” the California congressman, who notified the White House of the surveillance and dissemination of information on Wednesday afternoon.

Many of the reporters present didn’t seem to grasp the significance of what Nunes revealed. You can — and should — watch that press conference here.

Nunes began his remarks by reiterating his Monday request that anyone with information on surveillance of Trump or his team come forward. “I also said while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.” While Nunes’ earlier refutation of Trump’s wiretap claim received outsize attention by the media, his concern about other surveillance did not.

He then dropped the bombshell: “First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Second, details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked. Fourth and finally, I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.” Again:

1) Information was collected on the Trump team by Obama administration agencies.
2) This information had no reason to be shared in intelligence reports to Obama officials.
3) Obama officials may have flouted legally required attempts to minimize and mask personal identifying information.
4) This had nothing to do with Russia.

He later explained that these reports were related to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-permitted information collections. Such collections of information on foreign sources require hiding and protecting information about U.S. citizens incidentally picked up during the process when disseminating reports on information gleaned. He even referenced how this reminded him of the trouble the spy agencies got in when failing to mask members of Congress they routinely picked up while spying on Israel. So his concern is not just that the personal identifying information was not masked, but that there appeared to be little or no foreign intelligence value in the spreading of information regarding the political opponents of the previous administration.

Nunes said he wants to know who was aware of this behavior, why it was not disclosed to Congress, who requested and authorized the additional unmasking, whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates, and whether any laws and regulations or procedures were violated.”

…..Continue reading more @ theFederalist

Worse than Watergate: Obama’s Wiretaps Crossed Every Line | Mar 05, 2017

The Obama Spying Smoking Gun on MSNBC Mika & Farkas | Mar 29, 2017

 

Grassley Asks Why Hillary and Aides Still have Security Clearance? | Mar 31, 2017

Senator Grassley Asks Why “Extremely Careless” Hillary Still Has Access To Classified State Dept. Info

| ZeroHedge

“Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would very much like to understand why Hillary Clinton and 6 of her closest “research aides” may still have access to classified State Department information despite FBI Director Comey’s assertion that they were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

And, after sending numerous requests to John Kerry’s State Department that ‘shockingly’ fell on deaf ears, Grassely has sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson asking why Hillary’s security clearance hasn’t yet been revoked given that “any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation.”

….Continue reading more @ ZeroHedge

 

Nunes Did Nothing New By Viewing Raw Intel At The White House

| Daily Caller

“There is nothing new about House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes leaving the panel’s secure room beneath the Capitol Building and heading to the White House complex or a related facility nearby to view raw intelligence, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

For years, intelligence committee chiefs have trekked to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue or to an intelligence agency to view such super sensitive intelligence material, because the congressional secure room can’t handle such material.

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra told TheDCNF that “if someone was going to present me with raw intelligence or unfinished intelligence or with intelligence which was designed for use by another part of the government, yeah, it’s very reasonable to expect that I would have to go somewhere else.” The Michigan Republican chaired the intelligence panel from 2004 to 2007.

Nunes has been harshly criticized by congressional Democrats for his decision to travel to the White House executive complex to view raw intelligence delivered by a whistleblower about allegations the Obama administration spied on then President-elect Donald Trump and his transition aides.

Nunes’ actions amount to collusion with the Trump White House, according to Democrats, led by California Democrat Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee’s ranking minority member.

The New York Times Thursday went further, identifying two White House National Security Council (NSC) officials who assisted Nunes. The NYT concluded the unmasking of the NSC officials “is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration.”

But Col. (Ret.) Jim Waurishuk, who served at the NSC, told TheDCNF such viewings are “routine,” especially at the White House complex.

“Speaking from my experience, I talked to members of both sides of the aisle,” he told TheDCNF. “I’ve done that a thousand times. I say that’s routine because that goes on all the time when you’re dealing with the intelligence committee or the armed services committees. We regularly obliged them. Cleared committee chairmen would go over the White House once or twice a week.

Members of the “Gang of Eight” — chairmen and ranking minority members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, plus top House and Senate leaders — cannot rely on getting real-time intelligence, raw intelligence or unfinished intelligence by sticking with their limited computers. They instead must travel elsewhere to access this highly sensitive information.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

 

United States National Intelligence Oversight – The “Gang of Eight”…

| TheConservativeTreehouse

One of the least understood aspects of congressional oversight is the elite group of elected politicians who are charged with congressional oversight over all intelligence activity. This highly important oversight group is called the Intelligence “Gang of Eight”.

The Gang of Eight are briefed on every covert operation that our various intelligence agencies carry out. They are directly responsible for oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The Go8 are responsible for overseeing all executive office policy as it relates to intelligence gathering and corresponding activity.  In short these eight elected representatives are in charge of all oversight of all U.S. intelligence operations, open and covert.

A position within the Gang of Eight comes as a result of holding one of the following eight positions: 1. The Speaker of the House, 2. The Minority Leader of the House, 3. the Majority Leader of the Senate, 4. the Minority Leader of the Senate, 5. the Chairperson of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, 6. the minority leader from the same committee; 7. The Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee and 8. the minority leader of the same committee.

It is important to understand that everything the White House, CIA, NSA, and U.S State Department does is approved by these eight members who are accountable to the U.S. electorate.  These eight representatives are the intelligence oversight “check” within the constitutionally established check and balance inside our federal government.

It is also important to understand that nothing ever happens without these eight members of congress being briefed on the occurrence.  If the United States are carrying out a covert CIA mission in Benghazi, these representative would know about and have approved.  If the United States is carrying out a covert CIA effort in Syria, these eight members would have to approve.”

…..Continue reading more @ theConservativeTreehouse.com

Congress Sells Out Online Privacy | Mar 31, 2017

How To Protect Your Online Privacy Now That Congress Sold You Out

| ZeroHedge

Authored by Eric Limer via Popular Mechanics

“All your private online data—the websites you visit, the content of your chats and emails, your health info, and your location—just became suddenly less secure. Not because of hackers, but because Congress just blocked crucial privacy regulations. This will allow your internet service provider to collect all your data and sell that info to the highest bidder without asking you first. Welcome to a brave new world.

A pair of resolutions, which passed through the Senate and House with exclusively Republican votes, roll back rules proposed by the Democratic leadership of the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration which, though passed in October, had not yet gone into effect.

The rules—which will be completely dead following the expected signature of President Trump—would have required ISPs to get explicit opt-in approval from customers before selling the following “sensitive data”:

This doesn’t just mean that sharing that information without your explicit permission will be fine and dandy. Since the rules were rolled back through the Congressional Review Act, the FCC is also barred from creating any “substantially similar” rules down the line.

In theory, the information collected will be stored under some sort of ID separate from your actual name. But that’s a cold comfort considering the level of detail in this sort of information would make your identity a dead giveaway, and ISPs can hardly be trusted to keep your identifying information suitably safe from prying eyes. After all, they’ll be building dossiers any hacker would love to steal.

What to do? There are a few things you can do to try and keep your data safe, and while they aren’t necessarily easy or free, they’re worth it if you value your privacy.

Opt out with your ISP

Your ISP may not need your permission to sell your data, but you can still go to them and tell them not to do it. The catch, of course, is this requires you to be proactive, and there’s no real guarantee that this will protect you completely. Still, do it. Get on the phone or visit the website of your ISP and opt out of every ad-related thing—and into every privacy-related thing—you can find. The process can be a little arduous—often requiring the use of your ISP-given email address that you probably never use—and it may not take effect immediately either. All the better reason to do it now.

Time Warner/Spectrum customers can find their privacy dashboard here. Comcast customers can opt out of some targeted programs using these instructions. Verizon customers can find opt out options here. Remember, your phone company is technically an ISP too, so look up your options on that front as well.

Opting out is an important first step, but it is not enough to actually preserve your privacy. Your ISP is not necessarily giving you the opportunity to opt out of all its ad-targeting programs. As the policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, Eric Null, told Gizmodo, it is “highly unlikely” the new FCC will go after ISPs that aren’t offering robust opportunities to opt-out.

Keep your data out of your ISP’s hands in the first place

Your ISP is uniquely suited to snoop on your information. Anything you put online has to pass through its hands. Email you send through Gmail, chats through Facebook Messenger—they all travel through your ISP before they reach the service that actually sends them on. But while it is impossible to cut your ISP out of this exchange entirely, you can hide the data as you are sending it.

Apps with end-to-end encryption can encrypt your private information on the phone or computer you’re using, ensuring that it is coded and protected through the entire delivery process. So while your ISP can see the data go by, they can’t make sense of it.

The most seamless solution is to pay for a Virtual Private Network—a VPN—which allows you to encrypt all the data that passes through your ISP. This means that while your ISP is still doing the work of hauling your data around, it can’t understand any of it. The downside to this is that VPNs (at least any VPNs you can trust) are not free. Most good ones will require a yearly subscription. Furthermore, you aren’t hiding your personal data from everyone, you are just entrusting it to the VPN instead of your ISP, so do your research and choose a VPN you trust not to sell you out. Fortunately, since VPNs exist exclusively to keep your data private, they are pretty incentivized to keep you happy.

The only one you can really trust to protect you is you.”

….Continue reading more @ ZeroHedge

Cisco Learned of Security Vulnerabilities Because of WikiLeaks CIA Dump

| Breitbart

“When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disclosed earlier this month that his anti-secrecy group had obtained CIA tools for hacking into technology products made by U.S. companies, security engineers at Cisco Systems swung into action.

The Wikileaks documents described how the Central Intelligence Agency had learned more than a year ago how to exploit flaws in Cisco’s widely used Internet switches, which direct electronic traffic, to enable eavesdropping.

Senior Cisco managers immediately reassigned staff from other projects to figure out how the CIA hacking tricks worked, so they could help customers patch their systems and prevent criminal hackers or spies from using the same methods, three employees told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Cisco engineers worked around the clock for days to analyze the means of attack, create fixes, and craft a stopgap warning about a security risk affecting more than 300 different products, said the employees, who had direct knowledge of the effort.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

Congress to US citizens: Want online privacy? Pay up!

| Computerworld

Worried consumers may resort to buying VPN services and paying higher fees to ISPs to protect their privacy

“A congressional vote to repeal U.S. restrictions on broadband providers doesn’t mean that online privacy is dead. Consumers will just have to pay for it.

The coming repeal, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law, paves a clearer path for broadband providers to sell customers’ internet browsing history and other online data, without their consent.

Privacy advocates are worried. Imagine corporate giants snooping on your internet activities, and then bombarding your PC, phone and TV with targeted ads.

However, the privacy rule rollback might have an opposite effect, too. Expect broadband providers and other internet services to emerge offering online privacy protections, but at a price.”

…..Continue  reading more @ Computerworld

 

The Ultimate Online Privacy Guide

| BestVPN

Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations highlighted just how much we have sacrificed to the gods of technology and convenience something we used to take for granted, and once considered a basic human right – our privacy.

It is just not just the NSA. Governments the world over are racing to introduce legislation that allows to them to monitor and store every email, phone call and Instant Message, every web page visited, and every VoIP conversation made by every single one of their citizens.

The press have bandied parallels with George Orwell’s dystopian world ruled by an all-seeing Big Brother about a great deal. They are depressingly accurate.

Encryption provides a highly effective way to protect your internet behavior, communications, and data. The main problem with using encryption is that its use flags you up to organizations such as the NSA for closer scrutiny.

Details of the NSA’s data collection rules are here. What it boils down to is that the NSA examines data from US citizens, then discards it if it’s found to be uninteresting. Encrypted data, on the other hand, is stored indefinitely until the NSA can decrypt it.

The NSA can keep all data relating to non-US citizens indefinitely, but practicality suggests that encrypted data gets special attention.

If a lot more people start to use encryption, then encrypted data will stand out less, and surveillance organizations’ job of invading everyone’s privacy will be much harder. Remember – anonymity is not a crime!”

Continue reading more @ https://bestvpn.com/

FBI’s James Comey Talks About Sony Hack and ‘Privacy’ in the USA | Mar 09, 2017