Eariler, Ron Bailey noted that today is the one-year anniversary of the start of Edward Snowden's National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance leaks. The Electronic Frontier Foundation decided to take today's date, June 5 (or 6/5, if you will), and remind us all of 65 things we learned over the past year. Where were you when you first discovered that the NSA had all the command of PowerPoint of a small town bank manager?
Some top choices from the list:
1. We saw an example of the court orders that authorize the NSA to collect virtually every phone call record in the United States—that's who you call, who calls you, when, for how long, and sometimes where.
3. The NSA has created a "content dragnet" by asserting that it can intercept not only communications where a target is a party to a communication but also communications "about a target, even if the target isn't a party to the communication."
7. A leaked internal NSA audit detailed 2,776 violations of rules or court orders in just a one-year period.
11. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress when asked directly by Sen. Ron Wyden whether the NSA was gathering any sort of data on millions of Americans.
19. The NSA "intercepts 'millions of images per day'—including about 55,000 'facial recognition quality images'"—and processes them with powerful facial recognition software.
27. NSA undermines the encryption tools relied upon by ordinary users, companies, financial institutions, targets, and non-targets as part of BULLRUN, an unparalleled effort to weaken the security of all Internet users, including you.
31. When the DEA acts on information its Special Operations Division receives from the NSA, it cloaks the source of the information through "parallel construction," going through the charade of recreating an imaginary investigation to hide the source of the tip, not only from the defendant, but from the court. This was intended to ensure that no court rules on the legality or scope of how NSA data is used in ordinary investigations.
There's so, so much more at the full list. As above, each item on the list includes a link to the initial story providing more details.
Today, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee is having a hearing discussing the watered-down USA FREEDOM Act that provides some rather weak reforms. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (that would be Clapper) today tweeted its support of the act, which is a good indicator of how terrible it probably is.