Last summer, after months of encrypted emails, I spent three days in Moscow hanging out with Edward Snowden for a Wired cover story. Over pepperoni pizza, he told me that what finally drove him to leave his country and become a whistleblower was his conviction that the National Security Agency was conducting illegal surveillance on every American. Thursday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed with him. In a long-awaited opinion, the three-judge panel ruled that the NSA program that secretly intercepts the telephone metadata of every American — who calls whom and when — was illegal.
The Edward Snowden bust that was illegally affixed to a war monument in Fort Greene Park has been recovered from the NYPD. The statue, which sat on a column in the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument for just a few hours on April 6 before park officials took it down, had been in police custody for exactly one month. “We are pleased that we could resolve this matter without litigation, and appreciate the City’s commitment to artistic expression, even though the artists failed to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ when initially erecting their sculpture,” said Ronald L. Kuby, the civil rights lawyer representing the artists behind the sculpture. Kuby successfully argued that the artwork, while illegally placed,was not inherently contraband. The artists, who installed the piece at dawn, were fined $50 each for entering the park after hours.
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was interviewed on the German television network ARD. What many Americans may be unaware of is that the Edward Snowden interview was intentionally blocked from the US public with none of the major new outlets covering the interview or its contents. YouTube has even taken steps to remove the post as soon as it is reposted. The video got a wide viewing in Europe and it is not only an important interview when it comes to the vast surveillance state that is currently constructed, but is also still future. Snowden explained to German television (oh the irony here is rich) how tyrannical surveillance programs erode human rights and individual liberty and freedom.
This week, we dive into the shallow waters of California’s extreme drought and what you can do about it CA (hint: it’s not just about cutting back on personal hygiene). From extreme drought to extreme measures, we take a look at Baltimore’s notice to over 25,000 people that their water will be shut-off. Is water a human right? Are low income residents all to blame? Could there be some low life scum lurking in these murky waters? From murky waters to gallery art shows, we shift to some Art with Teeth, interviewing founder Keef Ward on why he handpicks thousands of social and political artists to showcase on his page, why art in activism is so important and some artists you absolutely have to check out now.
By Memorial Day weekend, Congress will likely have decided whether the federal government’s mass surveillance programs — exposed first by The New York Times in December 2005 and more broadly by National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 — will be partially reined in or will instead become a dominant, permanent feature of American life. The creation of what many refer to as the “American Surveillance State” began in secret, just days after the Sept. 11 attacks. As the wreckage of the Twin Towers smoldered, President Bush and his top national security and intelligence advisers were making decisions that would trigger a constitutional crisis over surveillance programs that the public was told was essential to combating terrorism.
The comedian surprised viewers on Sunday night by revealing that he visited Russia last week and met with Snowden, who leaked a trove of documents about the American government’s mass surveillance programs to journalists in 2013. The result was a half humorous, half serious R-rated conversation about surveillance, centering around one specific possibility: Can the government secretly access Americans’ naked selfies? Snowden’s answer was: yes. “If you have your email somewhere like Gmail, hosted on a server overseas or transferred overseas or [if it] at anytime crosses outside the borders of the United States, your junk ends up in the database.”
In a statement about the project, which they have entitled, “Prison Ship Martyrs Monument 2.0,” they wrote: Fort Greene’s Prison Ship Martyrs Monument is a memorial to American POWs who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War. We have updated this monument to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies. It would be a dishonor to those memorialized here to not laud those who protect the ideals they fought for, as Edward Snowden has by bringing the NSA’s 4th-Amendment-violating surveillance programs to light. All too often, figures who strive to uphold these ideals have been cast as criminals rather than in bronze. Our goal is to bring a renewed vitality to the space and prompt even more visitors to ponder the sacrifices made for their freedoms. We hope this inspires them to reflect upon the responsibility we all bear to ensure our liberties exist long into the future.
Canada’s electronic spy agency sifts through millions of videos and documents downloaded online every day by people around the world, as part of a sweeping bid to find extremist plots and suspects, CBC News has learned. Details of the Communications Security Establishment project dubbed “Levitation” are revealed in a document obtained by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and recently released to CBC News. Under Levitation, analysts with the electronic eavesdropping service can access information on about 10 to 15 million uploads and downloads of files from free websites each day, the document says. “Every single thing that you do — in this case uploading/downloading files to these sites — that act is being archived, collected and analyzed,” says Ron Deibert, director of the University of Toronto-based internet security think-tank Citizen Lab, who reviewed the document.
Every time you email someone overseas, the NSA copies and searches your message. It makes no difference if you or the person you’re communicating with has done anything wrong. If the NSA believes your message could contain information relating to the foreign affairs of the United States – because of whom you’re talking to, or whom you’re talking about – it may hold on to it for as long as three years and sometimes much longer. A new ACLU lawsuit filed today challenges this dragnet spying, called “upstream” surveillance, on behalf of Wikimedia and a broad coalition of educational, human rights, legal, and media organizations whose work depends on the privacy of their communications. The plaintiffs include Amnesty International USA, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and The Nation magazine, and many other organizations whose work is critical to the functioning of our democracy.
The Edward Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” won Best Documentary at the Oscars on Sunday night. Director Laura Poitras accepted the award with Glenn Greenwald and Lindsay Mills, Snowden’s girlfriend, by her side. “The disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” Poitras said in her acceptance speech. “When the most important decisions being made, affecting all of us, are made in secret, we lose our ability to check the powers that control. Thank you to Edward Snowden, for his courage, and for the many other whistleblowers. I share this with Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who are exposing truth.” The film tells the story of Snowden’s 2013 National Security Agency leaks.
American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.
During a unique conversation hosted by the New School and the New York Times on Thursday, the three people most responsible for bringing the story of mass global surveillance programs orchestrated by the U.S. National Security Agency were brought together for the first time since they first met in a Hong Kong hotel in 2013. Filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald sat with the New York Times media columnist David Carr on stage while the whistleblower himself, Edward Snowden, appeared via videolink from Russia where he remains under asylum protection. “Yes, governments possess extraordinary powers—but at the end of the day there are more of us than there are of them.” —Edward Snowden
The regime that governs the sharing between Britain and the US of electronic communications intercepted in bulk was unlawful until last year, a secretive UK tribunal has ruled. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) declared on Friday that regulations covering access by Britain’s GCHQ to emails and phone records intercepted by the US National Security Agency (NSA) breached human rights law. Advocacy groups said the decision raised questions about the legality of intelligence-sharing operations between the UK and the US. The ruling appears to suggest that aspects of the operations were illegal for at least seven years – between 2007, when the Prism intercept programme was introduced, and 2014.
Horace Edwards, who identifies himself as a retired naval officer and the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, has filed a lawsuit in Kansas federal court that seeks a constructive trust over monies derived from the distribution of Citizenfour. Edwards, who says he has “Q” security clearance and was the chief executive of the ARCO Pipeline Company, seeks to hold Snowden, director Laura Poitras, The Weinstein Co., Participant Media and others responsible for “obligations owed to the American people” and “misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies.” It’s an unusual lawsuit, one that the plaintiff likens to “a derivative action on behalf of the American Public,” and is primarily based upon Snowden’s agreement with the United States to keep confidentiality.