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Why The 2,776 NSA Violations Are No Big Deal

Thanks to more documents leaked by Edward Snowden, this time to the Washington Post, we learned last week that a secret May 2012 internal audit by the NSA revealed 2,776 incidents of “unauthorized” collection of information on American citizens over the previous 12 months. They are routinely breaking their own rules and covering it up.

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Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion.

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A House Divided Over NSA Spying on Americans

Had Amash’s amendment passed, it would have been a significant symbolic victory over the administration’s massive violations of our Fourth Amendment protections. But we should be careful about believing that even if it had somehow miraculously survived the Senate vote and the President’s veto, it would have resulted in any significant change in how the Intelligence Community would behave toward Americans.

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New Egyptian War: Americans Lose, Again

Looking at the banners in the massive Egyptian protests last week, we saw many anti-American slogans. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government that was deposed by the military last week was very critical of what it saw as US support for the coup. Why is it that all sides in this Egyptian civil war seem so angry with the United States? Because the United States has at one point or another supported each side, which means also that at some point the US has also opposed each side. It is the constant meddling in Egyptian affairs that has turned Egyptians against us, as we would resent foreign intervention in our own affairs.

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Government Spying: Should We Be Shocked?

Last week we saw dramatic new evidence of illegal government surveillance of our telephone calls, and of the National Security Agency’s deep penetration into American companies such as Facebook and Microsoft to spy on us. The media seemed shocked.

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Four potential risks to intelligence fusion centers

The more than 40 local and regional intelligence fusion centers created after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to improve information sharing between the federal government and state, local and tribal law enforcement, are failing to accomplish their mission of protecting the homeland.

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Homeland Security contributed bad data to military intelligence database

If you disagree with the policies of the U.S. government, or are a member of a group or association which expresses disagreement with government policies, an agent of the federal government is likely reading your web site and subscribed to your mailing list. Undercover officers of the Federal Protective Service subscribed to the mailing lists

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Social Security data used for criminal investigations

Wage and earnings data held at the Social Security Administration has been used in terrorism investigations since September 11, 2001. But few if any of those investigated have been brought up on terrorism charges. Federal prosecutors don’t actually bring terrorism charges if they can find any lesser charges which will result in a deportation and

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Government tries to stop AT&T surveillance lawsuit

A federal appeals court on Wednesday agreed to hear arguments from the government as to why a lawsuit against AT&T for its alleged cooperation in a terrorist surveillance program should be dismissed due to state secrets.

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Google intelligence cooperation reprise

Something strange happened over the weekend. A story I wrote over eight months ago about Google’s quiet cooperation with the U.S. intelligence community suddenly got picked upall over the Internet. While I’d like to comment individually at all of the sites which have picked up the story, that would unfortunately be far too time-consuming. Even

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