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Progressive Review
SINCE 1964, THE NEWS WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

NSA UNDERNEWS

Homeland Police
Civil liberties & justice

Our coverage of NSA domestic spying 1993-2003

Facts

NSA and CIA double number of illegal searches

Topics

Illegal phone & email spying

NSA crime of the day: spying on text messages

2013

Former CIA director wants NSA to spy on emails

NSA struck deal with Britain to spy on its citizens

NSA can tap your phone

How NSA can get into your computer

Illegal court approves more illegal phone spying

Federal judge says NSA can ignore Constitution and other laws

Federal judge says NSA's data grabbing likely unconstitutional

Guide to how NSA may be including your phone in the billions it tracks every day

Info

A timeline of how your government became a police state after 9/11

Guide to how NSA may be including your phone in the billions it tracks every day

Edward Snowden catches up with the Progresive Review

We were interested to see a story in Intercept that noted:

Near the heartland of New Zealand’s renowned wine country, there is a place that visitors are not allowed to go. The peculiar large white domes that protrude from the earth in the Waihopai Valley are surrounded by razor wire and shrouded in secrecy.

But now, newly revealed documents from the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden shine a light on what is behind the security perimeter. The buildings there are crammed with sophisticated NSA spying technology, used by New Zealand to sweep up text messages, emails, phone calls, and other communications in bulk across the Asia-Pacific.

The documents, revealed Saturday by the Sunday Star-Times in collaboration with The Intercept, show how closely New Zealand has worked with the NSA to maintain surveillance coverage of the region.

The Progressive Review first started reporting on the NSA's offshore spying on Americans nearly two decades ago. A few samples:

Progressive Review, 1997 - An important story behind the story of Whitewater is the increasing role of intelligence agencies. It appears that the FBI, CIA and NSA are all involved with institutional agendas that greatly muddy an already complex saga.

For example, some of the information concerning Chinese efforts to buy and exercise influence over American politics seems to have come from NSA intercepts of telephone calls carried out by listening posts such as those in England and New Zealand, which the agency uses to evade US wiretap laws. The NSA apparently also has a large file on Vincent Foster for unexplained reasons.

The CIA has taken an unprecedented interest in a collection of files at the SBA related to the Clinton's China trade. So important are these files that when a congressional investigator with a top secret clearance came to check them out, he was told he couldn't. A congressional source told the Washington Times that "the documents are so classified that we were not allowed to look at them. They were taken from Commerce to the SBA, and there has been no explanation to date on how or why that occurred."

Progressive Review, 1998 - The Washington Post has finally told its readers about NSA's massive electronic spying, but only after the agency itself admitting having 1,056 pages of classified information on the late Princess Diana. Until now, NSA's practice of spying on global communications has been reported largely by alternative media such as the Progressive Review.

Using the sort of sophistry honed by the CIA in its denial of involvement in the drug trade, NSA denied that Diana was ever a "target." Wrote the Post, "The NSA system sucks up millions of electronic signals from around the world every hour, but only 'targeted' communications are actually analyzed and deciphered after a vast array of supercomputers sort them out on the basis of programmed search terms, such as 'Saddam Hussein.'

Last January, the European Parliament reported that all "e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency" by a system called Echelon. The operation is carried out in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, because American law doesn't permit it on US soil. NSA claims it does not monitor American conversations.

Said the report: "Each of the five [countries] supply 'dictionaries' to the other four of keywords, phrases, people and places to 'tag,' and the tagged intercept is forwarded straight to the requesting country," according to the report."

News of the Diana file came out after a Freedom of Information request was made of the agency. While admitting it had the files, NSA denied the request because "because their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security."

Sunday Times, 2000 - Spy agencies in Britain and America eavesdropped on Diana, Princess of Wales and Mark Thatcher, son of the former prime minister, as part of a global system of monitoring communications, according to former intelligence officials . . . The officials also revealed that charities such as Amnesty International, Christian Aid and Greenpeace were secretly spied on. Overseas targets have even included the Vatican: messages sent by the Pope and the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta have been intercepted, read and passed on to Whitehall intelligence officers, the sources say.

Code named Echelon, the monitoring system is part of a worldwide network of listening stations capable of processing millions of messages an hour. At least 10 Echelon stations operate around the world. Canada, Australia and New Zealand participate, as well as Britain and the United States. Former intelligence officials have spoken out after a decision by the European parliament to launch an inquiry into Echelon's operations. Officially, the British and American governments continue to deny the network's existence. Wayne Madsen, who worked for 20 years at America's National Security Agency and other agencies, said last week: "Anybody who is politically active will eventually end up on the NSA's radar screen" . . .

"I just think of Echelon as a great vacuum cleaner in the sky which sucks everything up," said Mike Frost, a former Canadian intelligence officer. "We just get to look at the goodies." Frost, who retired in 1992 after 20 years' service, has also revealed that Canada's equivalent of GCHQ was used by Margaret Thatcher to monitor two cabinet colleagues. "She wanted to find out not what they were saying," Frost said, "but what they were thinking" . . .

 

2017

How NSA spies on ordinary Americans

NSA continunes raid on Americans' private phone records

NSA's spy blimp

Why the NSA is illegal

NSA sharing ilegally gathered info with FBI

2015

Top European court says NSA violates privacy of millions

Bush, Fiorina, Christie, Rubio want more power for NSA to ignore the Constitution

NSA moves on to child abuse

Former NSA head calls Congress' so-called reforms "cool"

Michael Hayden claims he's better than the Constitution

Ways in which NSA could be spying on your phone calls

Word: A NSA whistleblower on the [sic] Freedom Act

NSA has been spying on our phones for at least two decades

2014

NSA may have your Skype sessions

Why you don't want to date a NSA agent

Dissenters within the National Security Agency, led by a senior agency executive, warned in 2009 that the program to secretly collect American phone records wasn't providing enough intelligence to justify the backlash it would cause if revealed, current and former intelligence officials say

NSA shares illegal spying on Americans with Brits

Daily Mail, UK - British spies can help themselves to data collected by the NSA from the telephone calls and Internet communications of Americans without a warrant, a new court document shows.

The agreement between the NSA and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters means that American citizen's data can be seen and stored by the United States' closest ally without a warrant when that is 'not technically feasible'.

Anything discovered in the data, once obtained, can be kept by the British for up to two years and specifically relates to 'unselected' or raw data.

But, this deadline can be extended unilaterally by 'senior UK officials' if they believe it to be necessary for national security purposes.

Now NSA is into child abuse

Snowden: NSA routinely passed communications of Palestinian-Americans to Israel

Yahoo threatened with huge fines if it didn't cave to NSA

NSA helping domestic police spy on you

NSA terror junkie figures out how to make millions out of his government career

NSA in bed with repressive Saudi Arabian agency

NSA shares secrets on US citizens with Israel

Germans consider using typewriters to block NSA spying

Woman files suit against Obama and NSA for spying on her cellphone

Obama's phony oversight board clears NSA to engage in criminal action against citizens

NSA whistleblower: Agency wants "total control"

NSA & FBI spied on top American Muslim leaders

NSA spies on those seeking web privacy

Obama's pseudo privacy board approves illegal NSA spying

Former NSA chief now seeking $1 million a month for his crummy opinions

How NSA hides its spying on, and blackmailing of, presidents, Supreme Court justices and other top olfficials

NSA records all calls in Afghanistan

NSA's psychopathic policy goals

Two Democratic senators blast Obamadmin for lying to Supreme Court over NSA

Obama says NSA must reveal software problems (unless it doesn't want to)

Greenwald: NSA intercepted computer hardware shipments to add surveilance devices

NSA knew about Heartbleed problem for more than two years but hid it from US citizens

Snowden:NSA spied on Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

Obamadmin to reduce criminal spying by NSA

Spy mob leader admits to illegal searches of Americans

NSA claims Internet firms knew about its spying

How to keep the NSA from spying on you through your webcam

NSA develops system to implant your computer with malware

Chief of law breaking NSA wants to criminalize journalists for doing their job

ACLU takes on NSA's illegal spying on American citizens

Constitution assaulting NSA chief suggests Congress may restrict media

The NSA's threat to a free press

NSA can spy on your Internet visits

NSA spying on Congress, and maybe Obama

NSA tapped German chancellor's phone

The National Security Agency monitored the communications of other governments ahead of and during the 2009 United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the latest document from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

White House defends unconstitutional spying on Americans

Diane Feinstein doesn't mind a police state as long as it is "professional"

Glenn Greenwald on Obama & NSA

NSA's Keith Alexander

2013

If Snowden is a traitor than what about those who backed NAFTA and TPP?

NSA program stopped no terror attacks, says White House panelist

German chancellorcompares NSA with Stasi

French intelligence joined in NSA's illegal spying

Canada let NSA spy on global summits

ACLU takes on NSA

NSA continunes to hold lead as most prolific criminal organization in world

Illegal court gave go ahead for NSA's illegal spying back in 2004

Supreme Court refuses to take on NSA

NSA reminds Germans of Stasi

NSA freedom of info requests up 988%

At the CIA, Keith Alexander was known as "The Weasel"

NSA & Homeland Security declare satire illegal

Economic espionage: Why America is spying so hard

Top Obama official: stop worrying about NSA, it's just like stop and frisk

Now NSA is definitely going to hell

Spain adds to multi-million victims of NSA

NSA spied on phone calls of 35 world leaders

Why is Obama so indifferent to the NSA scandal?

Feinstein challenges Cruz for dumbest senator post

NSA Mafia illegally capturing millions of online contact names

Who is NSA blackmailing?

Illegal court grants NSA illegal powers

Americans overwhelmingly opposed to NSA spying on them

NSA storing everything millions do on Web for a year

NSA changing countries' rules about Internet

Why spying on your metadata can be worse than tapping one of your calls

No big telecom complained about NSA spying

Illegal court rules that illegal spying is okay

NSA spying on credit cards

John Hopkins attempts to suppress professor's blog because of NSA reeferences

A timeline of how your government became a police state after 9/11

NSA as seen 30 years ago

NSA shares American citizens' phone calls & emails with Israel

Obamadmin vastly increased NSA's criminality in 2011

NSA can steal your smartphone data

Feds have been illegally spying on phone calls since 1987

NSA paying U.S. corporations for access to communications networks

NSA bugged the UN

Why you never want to date a NSA staffer

Obama continues the NSA con with "independent" review panel

NSA claims copyright to silence critic

National gun registration already exists. . .but only the NSA gets to look at it

Why isn't Tina Brown going to prison for 35 years?

Obama lies on NSA role

Obama regime silences another website

Obama wants to remove cell phones from constituional protection

Court destroys key federal worker rights, including to tell you what's really going on

Obama regime threatens to arrest Lavabit founder for closing down service

A short guide to ways your government is spying on you (long)

Obama regime launches criminal investigation into polygraph instructors who show why machines don't work the way they're meant to

Relax, the FBI says it will only kill you for a just cause

Head of secret court tells how weak it is against spy agencies

Audit find NSA a major criminal operation

Obama tries to wiggle out of Clapper zapper

Victim of Obama Spygate explains what happened

How to surveil the judges on the FISA court

The surveillance reforms Obama supported before he became president

A few easy ways to become a suspected terrorist

Chances are, your foreign emails are being read by the NSA

FBI pressuring Internet providers for illegal access

DEA uses illegal mass database

Other agencies mad they can't get hold of NSA's illegal data

Congress members denied access to basic NSA information

Intel chips could let federal spies inside your computer

NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'

A guide to the government's massive illegal spying on us

NSA aided New Zealand spying on one of its journalists

So you think NSA snooping is bad . . .

Fourth Circuit assaults freedom of the press

Ex NSA oficial challenges Obama on extent of spying

Kerry threatens to cripple Venezuela over Snowden

New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate

In its entire 33-year history, the FISA court has rejected just 11 of 34,000 requests

@TimothyS - In 2009 two NSA whistleblowers assigned to Iraq said they were listening in to US soldiers talking to families at home.

"Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had," Glenn Greenwald said in an interview in Rio de Janeiro with the Argentinean daily La Nacion

A former NSA official tells the real story

In a new court filing, the Obama Administration says the secret FISA court has no obligation to publish its decisions — not even those that explain why new forms of spying are constitutional

Montana first state to pass anti-spy law

Secret court gave NSA huge secret powers

The corporate media's long relationship with the spook world helps explain why it doesn't like Snowden

Justice Roberts has named all judges to unconstitutional secret court

NSA engaged in child abuse

Postal Service spying on you, too

Want to see your FBI or NSA file?

Obama creates new crisis in NSA fiasco

Edward's Snowden's search for political asylum is not going well

Washington Post editorializes against the leaks that gave it a major story

Helping troubled teens rethink crime

Kerry says spying on allies is not unusual

How a 30-year-old lawyer exposed NSA mass surveillance of Americans—in 1975

Ex-Stasi boss says NSA's spying efforts 'a dream come true"

Former staffer: NSA cut spy deals with European countries

Der Spiegel: NSA tapped EU offices

Before a dinner of pizza and fried chicken late Sunday in Hong Kong, Edward J. Snowden insisted that a group of lawyers advising him in the Chinese territory "hide their cellphones in the refrigerator of the home where he was staying, to block any eavesdropping," as my colleague Keith Bradsher reported. Why a refrigerator? It is the materials that make up refrigerator walls that could potentially turn them into anti-eavesdropping devices. "What you want to do is block the radio signals which could be used to transmit voice data, and block the audio altogether," Adam Harvey, a designer specializing in countersurveillance products explained.

On the night of the shooting, George Zimmerman weighed 42 pounds more than the autopsied weight of Trayvon Martin. He also was trained in mixed martial arts. If Zimmerman's claims are correct why was he such a lousy fighter that he had to use a gun?

Obama's NSA collected US email records (including yours) for more than two years

70% of 18-34s think Snowden did a good thing. Only 47% of those 55 and up

Word: Tom Morello on Snowden

Word: Frank Church on NSA

Obama's new CIA director launches campaign to suppress leaks to "reinforce our corporate culture of secrecy"

The FBI's mole inside Wikileaks

Snowden hid documents in case something happens to him

NSA is not only bad, it's not very good at it

NSA stealing data from under ocean telecommications cables

Ben Cohen, co-founder of the Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand, called both Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden "incredibly courageous patriots" during an AMA on Reddit

New Yorker reports that NSA is 3 times size of CIA,with one third of the U.S.’s entire intelligence budget

NSA says it can treat encryption users as non-American citizens

How your smart meter can spy on you

Supreme Court squeezes guts out of workers' civil rights law

This week's court actions

Anti-war activists labelled as "terrorists"

They can spy on your cellphone even when it's turned off


Paul Anderson

 

David Gregory joins journalists who prefer the NSA to the Constitution (or journalism)

Michael Hastings' last article:
Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans

Obama's major war on truth

@ggreenwald - The Obama DOJ just charged its 7th leaker under "espionage" statute - total for all prior presidents: 3

Words & meaning: Learning from Orwell & Mussolini

Andy Borowitz - Agency Busy Spying on Three Hundred Million People Failed to Notice One Dude Working for It

Glenn Greenwald - The Espionage Act is a 1917 statute that was enacted under the Woodrow administration, designed to criminalize dissent against World War I. And for that reason, it has been used very sparingly before Barack Obama became president

Word: The Manning -Snowden generation

Skype in bed with NSA

Former NSA analyst says Obama and Supreme Court justice were tapped

More warrantless spying by NSA

More warrantless spying by NSA

@emptywheel - The administration that has not prosecuted a single major bankster is lecturing Hong Kong about the rule of law.

@MitchBenn - Edward Snowden's been charged with espionage for refusing to spy on people? And they say Americans don't do irony.

@SenSanders - The real issue is not Snowden, the real issue is what he revealed

Blowing in the winds of Washington

Summary of ways in which your government is spying on you

The government's sweetheart deals with Booz Allen

IRS is spying on you, too

NY police commissioner blasts NSA spying

A guide to NSA's domestic spying through the years

Infrequently asked questions

How many politicians, including presidents, have been blackmailed by NSA, CIA or the FBI. How would we know? Just wondering.

NSA spied on foreign officials at G20 summit

NSA head not only wants to right to ingore the law, but lawsuits as well

Why the FISA Court is a scam

NSA told Congress it doesn't need court authorization to listen to your phone calls

Your loss of constitutional rights thanks to NSA is a huge pork barrel for private industry

Al Gore on NSA spying: This in my view violates the constitution.. . . It is not acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is.

William Binney, a former NSA official who claims to have designed the prototype of the program that allows the NSA to sweep up almost infinite amounts of information, told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2011 that he regretted his input. “I should apologize to the American people,” he said. “It’s violated everyone’s rights. It can be used to eavesdrop on the whole world.”

Nancy Gertner - As a former Article III judge, I can tell you that your faith in the FISA Court is dramatically misplaced. Two reasons: One … The Fourth Amendment frameworks have been substantially diluted in the ordinary police case. One can only imagine what the dilution is in a national security setting. Two, the people who make it on the FISA court, who are appointed to the FISA court, are not judges like me. Enough said.

Blowing in the winds of Washington

IRS shopping for new ways to spy on you

Whistleblower experts on Snowden case

Why privacy mockers are wrong

A debate on NSA between Obama in 2013 and Biden in 2006

Democrats favoring NSA over Constitution

  • Barack Obama
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Diane Feinstein
  • Al Francken

Journalists favoring NSA over Constitution

  • David Gregory
  • Matt Miller
  • David Brooks
  • Richard Cohen
  • Chris Matthews

Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.

The threat that worries NSA & the Pentagon: You

Blowing in the winds of Washington

Things to do to protect your online privacy

Why privacy mockers are wrong

Corporations given access to top secret info

Snowden plans to stay in Hong Kong

Why did Snowden go to Hong Kong?

Mass surveillance doesn't even keep us safe

If you think NSA spying is bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet (but somebody else has)

56% approve of unconstitutional phone tapping

NSA recruiting in schools

2008: NSA staffers spying on phone calls,
sharing phone sex recordings

How come a 29 year old high school drop out was earning more than any senior government manager save the president?

Headline of the day
Sales of ’1984? Way Up, Booz Allen Stock Down, 4th Amendment Downgraded To Junk Status

Wonkette

The FBI's PRISM predecessor

Solitary confinement is not only torture; it doesn't work

NSA whistleblower: Verizon invasion "just tip of the iceberg"

NSA spying on credit cards

Video interview with NSA whistleblower

"I, sitting at my desk, certainly have the authorities to wiretap anyone - from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President.”

Five ways to stop NSA spying on you

Stats

If you divide the number of K12 teachers (2.8 million) in the U. S. by 2, you get the number of corporate geeks and geekettes with top secret U. S. Government clearance

Personal to news editors
Edward Snowden did not "leak;" he reported a crime

Snowden in a dangerous place

Told to leave Hong Kong

Carlyle Group owns Booz Allen

A few things to remember

 Word
"Can it really be a crime to expose crime?" - Daniel Ellsberg

Senator Frank Church on the NSA, 1975

Israeli companies involved in NSA spying scandal

Obama regime fights release of secret court decision finding unconstitutional surveillance

2001: NSA wanted White House to "rethink" Fourth Amendment

Matt Damon on Good Will Hunting explains why not to work for the NSA

Constitution-bashing NSA head Clapper:"The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans."

"I want to deliver a warning this afternoon: when the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry." - Ron Wyden two years ago

NSA was bugging Windows software by 1999

NSA whistlelower warned of dangers six months ago

Officials using national security excuse to conceal potentially illegal behavior

Europeans furious over Obama regime phone spying

Federation of American Scientists' site on Echelon

Obama calls it a "modest encroachment"

Russ Feingold: the only senator to vote against Patriot Act

Obama administration mining your data from nine Internet firms(and data from members of Congress and the press)

More on this

Government can monitor every thing you do online

Pants on fire

Heroes: The NSA whistleblowers

NY Times softens its criticism of Obama

Photos of where Obama administration is hiding your private data

Verizon being forced to turn over all phone records to Obama administration

Your phone data being shared with Britain

Obama is third president to illegally spy on American's phone calls

By this logic, Senator Feinstein should appear naked on the Senate floor so we'll know she's not going to blow the place up

Bloggers may be denied press protection under shield law

Infrequently asked questions

Where in the Constitution does it say that its enumerated rights must be "balanced" by whatever an administration wants to do?

Obama administration says it should be allowed to search laptops at borders based on hunches

2012

[The National Security Agency's] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back. - Senator Frank Church, 1975

Anti-Internet bill allows web firms to turn over private data to NSA

NSA close to knowing all about you

NSA building massive center to spy on you

NSA turns from non-constitutional to nonsensical

NSA whistle-blower: Obama “worse than Bush”

2003
BACK TO TOP

TOM CARVER, BBC - The NSA was created after World War II to stop another surprise attack like Pearl Harbor by providing early warning. But in the hour when the need was greatest, it failed the country. And it failed not because it did not have enough information, but because it had too much. According to author James Bamford, who has studied the NSA for years, each one of their dozen largest listening posts around the world picks up more than two million communications an hour - cell phones, diplomatic trffic, emails, faxes. That works out at 500 million hours every day.

Observer, UK - The United Nations has begun a top-level investigation into the bugging of its delegations by the United States, first revealed in the Observer last week. Sources in the office of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan confirmed last night that the spying operation had already been discussed at the UN's counter-terrorism committee and will be further investigated. The news comes as British police confirmed the arrest of a 28-year-old woman working at the top secret Government Communications Headquarters on suspicion of contravening the Official Secrets Act.

. . . The revelations of the spying operation have caused deep embarrassment to the Bush administration at a key point in the sensitive diplomatic negotiations to gain support for a second UN resolution authorizing intervention in Iraq. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were both challenged about the operation last week, but said they could not comment on security matters.

The operation is thought to have been authorized by US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, but American intelligence experts told the Observer that a decision of this kind would also have involved Donald Rumsfeld, CIA director George Tenet and NSA chief General Michael Hayden. President Bush himself would have been informed at one of the daily intelligence briefings held every morning at the White House.

2000

ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFO CENTER: Recently released National Security Agency documents obtained by EPIC indicate that the agency drafted policies for handling communications intercepted from or about former President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and candidates who ran for national office in 1996. The memos, which contain guidance for the writing of reports regarding intercepted communications, make clear the necessity of keeping the identities of the individuals confidential. Currently, the NSA is prohibited by law from conducting surveillance on American citizens.

NICK FIELDING AND DUNCAN CAMPBELL, SUNDAY TIMES, LONDON: Spy agencies in Britain and America eavesdropped on Diana, Princess of Wales and Mark Thatcher, son of the former prime minister, as part of a global system of monitoring communications, according to former intelligence officials . . . The officials also revealed that charities such as Amnesty International, Christian Aid and Greenpeace were secretly spied on. Overseas targets have even included the Vatican: messages sent by the Pope and the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta have been intercepted, read and passed on to Whitehall intelligence officers, the sources say.

Code named Echelon, the monitoring system is part of a worldwide network of listening stations capable of processing millions of messages an hour. At least 10 Echelon stations operate around the world. Canada, Australia and New Zealand participate, as well as Britain and the United States. Former intelligence officials have spoken out after a decision by the European parliament to launch an inquiry into Echelon's operations. Officially, the British and American governments continue to deny the network's existence. Wayne Madsen, who worked for 20 years at America's National Security Agency and other agencies, said last week: "Anybody who is politically active will eventually end up on the NSA's radar screen" . . .

"I just think of Echelon as a great vacuum cleaner in the sky which sucks everything up," said Mike Frost, a former Canadian intelligence officer. "We just get to look at the goodies." Frost, who retired in 1992 after 20 years' service, has also revealed that Canada's equivalent of GCHQ was used by Margaret Thatcher to monitor two cabinet colleagues. "She wanted to find out not what they were saying," Frost said, "but what they were thinking" . . .

1999

Agence France Presse A French intelligence report today accused US secret agents of working with computer giant Microsoft to develop software allowing Washington to spy on communications around the world. The report, drawn up by the Strategic Affairs Delegation, the intelligence arm of the French Defence Ministry, was quoted in today's edition of the news-letter Le Monde du Renseignement (Intelligence World). . . Written by a senior officer at the DAS, the report claims agents from the National Security Agency helped install secret programmes on Microsoft software, currently in use in 90 percent of computers. . . According to the report, 'it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by the NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the MS-DOS operating system by the same administration.'The report claimed the Pentagon was Microsoft's biggest client in the world.

Progressives Review - The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked a federal court on December 3 to order the release of internal National Security Agency documents discussing the legality of the agency's intelligence activities. NSA refused to provide the documents to the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year, resulting in an unusual public reprimand of the secretive spy agency. The surveillance activities of the NSA have recently come under increased scrutiny, with published reports indicating that the agency is coordinating a massive global interception initiative known as ECHELON. The current issue of the New Yorker magazine reports that it took NSA only 11 months to fill three years' worth of planned storage capacity for intercepted Internet traffic.

Progressive Review - The National Security Agency is now drafting a "memoranda of understanding" to clarify ways in which it can help the FBI track terrorists and criminals in the United States, Newsweek is reporting. The FBI welcomes the help from the NSA, but some senators are reported uneasy about letting the NSA eavesdrop more in the United States. The NSA and CIA are supposed to spy on foreign threats while the FBI tends to crime at home. Both the former agencies have repeatedly violated the strictures.

Progressive Review -Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger of the Austrian Institute for Legal Policy reports that during a symposium at the Harvard Law School, representatives of the National Defense University and Science Application International Corporation said that a number of Internet anonymous remailers in the US are run by government agencies scanning traffic. SAIC's William Marlowe said that the government runs at least a dozen remailers and that the most popular remailers in France and Germany are also run by government agencies. They also said that the NSA has successfully developed systems to break encrypted messages below 1000 bit of key length and strongly suggested to use at least 1024 bit keys. They said that they themselves use 1024 bit keys.

Although still kept under wraps by American media, the massive NSA eavesdropping operation known as ECHELON is attracting attention in Australia and Canada. Now Reps. Porter Goss and Bob Barr have demanded access to National Security Agency files concerning the legality of the surveillance system. The requirement, attached to the NSA budget authorization, calls on the CIA and the Justice Department to prepare a report discussing the legal basis for the wiretapping. It won't be easy going, though. Rep. Goss has already been rebuffed by NSA in a request for files of the agency's general counsel. The excuse: "attorney-client privilege."

Progressive Review - According to a report in Insight Magazine, the Clinton administration eavesdrops on over 300 locations during the Seattle Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. FBI videotapes of diplomatic suites "show underage boys engaging in sexcapades with men in several rooms over a period of days." The operation involves the FBI, CIA, NSA and Office of Naval Intelligence. Bugged are hotel rooms, telephones, conference centers, cars, and even a charter boat. Some of the information obtained is apparently passed on to individuals with financial interests in Asia.

Progressive Review - The London Telegraph reports that German security experts have found evidence that the NSA Echelon communications spy system is engaged in heavy industrial espionage in Europe. "Victims have included such German firms as the wind generator manufacturer Enercon. Last year it developed what it thought was a secret invention enabling it to generate electricity from wind power at a far cheaper rate than before. However, when the company tried to market its invention in the United States, it was confronted by its American rival, Kenetech, which announced that it had already patented a near-identical development. Kenetech then brought a court order against Enercon banning the sale of its equipment in the US. In a rare public disclosure, a NSA employee, who refused to be named, agreed to appear in silhouette on German television last August to reveal how he had stolen Enercon's secrets."

Progressive Review - An Australian TV program has shed new light on the Australian end of the Echelon communications spying operation in which virtually all phone, fax, and email messages in the world are monitored by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. The program -- probably the single greatest invasion of privacy on earth -- has been ignored or downplayed by American corporate media, although it has begun to attract some attention in Europe.

A former spy with Canada's Communications Security Establishment told Sunday's Ross Coulthart that his agency was asked to spy on two of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet -- the request coming from then British Prime Minister Thatcher -- and bug the mobile phone of Margaret Trudeau, the wife of the then Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.

Australia is routinely monitoring any fax, phone or data communications passing through satellites over the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The interception of these communications is controlled by a so-called "dictionary system" that scans all communications simultaneously with the use of powerful super-computers that have been programmed with key words, key numbers and even specific voice patterns. Some of the intercepted messages are sent to Australia's intelligence but the bulk go automatically to America.

Coulthart also reported a number of examples where the NSA had used its intercepts to provide valuable commercial intelligence which it turned over to American companies so they could gain a trade advantage.

1998

Progressive Review - According to the Computer Fraud and Security Bulletin, the National Security Agency is already spying on the Internet by "sniffing" data at key router and gateways hosts. NSA is also said to have made deals with Microsoft, Lotus and Netscape to prevent anonymous e-mail or encryption systems on the Net.

Progressive Review - The NSA is tapping phones at an extraordinary rate on the pretext that violating constitutional rights is okay as long as you do it from a foreign monitoring station.

NEW LIGHT ON NSA MASS EAVESDROPPING

A story in the London Daily Telegraph confirms what TPR and a few other alternative news sources have been reporting for some time: that the National Security Agency routinely eavesdrops on telephone, e-mail and fax communications around the world. A recent report of the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament notes that "within Europe all email telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency transferring all target information from the European mainland by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill in the North York moors in the UK." The report continues:

"Unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON is designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country. The ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large quantities of communications and then siphoning out what is valuable using artificial intelligence aids like MEMEX to find key words."

The Daily Telegraph notes that:

"The NSA, the world's biggest and most powerful signals intelligence organization, received approval to set up a network of spy stations throughout Britain. Their role was to provide military, diplomatic and economic intelligence by intercepting communications from throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The NSA is one of the shadowiest of the US intelligence agencies."

Progressive Review - All U.S. satellites have at least two extra printed circuit boards. One provides the military with the ability to take control of the satellite in the event of war or national emergency. The other routes all public and private communication signals to NSA computers for processing. After the crash of the much discussed Loral launch rocket in China, the Beijing government was, according to sources, able to acquire at least one of these circuit boards. Recent reports, including some by WorldNetDaily's Charles Smith, indicate that NSA changed its codes in response to this unreported breach of security. But that did not necessarily protect the data from Chinese intercepts. . . . The codes used to relay information between satellites is not very complicated. The program to decipher this information is actually hardwired into the circuit boards obtained by China in the crash. . . China and Russia have signed a formal agreement to share such information. So, if China has it, Russia has it -- or will very soon. -- Joseph Farah, Western Journalism Center

Progressive Review - The Washington Post has finally told its readers about NSA's massive electronic spying, but only after the agency itself admitting having 1,056 pages of classified information on the late Princess Diana. Until now, NSA's practice of spying on global communications has been reported largely by alternative media such as the Progressive Review.

Using the sort of sophistry honed by the CIA in its denial of involvement in the drug trade, NSA denied that Diana was ever a "target." Wrote the Post, "The NSA system sucks up millions of electronic signals from around the world every hour, but only 'targeted' communications are actually analyzed and deciphered after a vast array of supercomputers sort them out on the basis of programmed search terms, such as 'Saddam Hussein.'

Last January, the European Parliament reported that all "e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency" by a system called Echelon. The operation is carried out in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, because American law doesn't permit it on US soil. NSA claims it does not monitor American conversations.

Said the report: "Each of the five [countries] supply 'dictionaries' to the other four of keywords, phrases, people and places to 'tag,' and the tagged intercept is forwarded straight to the requesting country," according to the report."

News of the Diana file came out after a Freedom of Information request was made of the agency. While admitting it had the files, NSA denied the request because "because their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security."

1997

Progressive Review - An important story behind the story of Whitewater is the increasing role of intelligence agencies. It appears that the FBI, CIA and NSA are all involved with institutional agendas that greatly muddy an already complex saga.
For example, some of the information concerning Chinese efforts to buy and exercise influence over American politics seems to have come from NSA intercepts of telephone calls carried out by listening posts such as those in England and New Zealand, which the agency uses to evade US wiretap laws.

The NSA apparently also has a large file on Vincent Foster for unexplained reasons.

The CIA, already at risk because of intense interest in its 1980s activities out of Mena AK, has taken an unprecedented interest in a collection of files at the SBA related to the Clinton's China trade. So important are these files that when a congressional investigator with a top secret clearance came to check them out, he was told he couldn't. A congressional source told the Washington Times that "the documents are so classified that we were not allowed to look at them. They were taken from Commerce to the SBA, and there has been no explanation to date on how or why that occurred."

The FBI also has much at stake. Reports of inadequacies and improper procedures in its labs have sullied even the department's most routine and respected work. There are also charges of improper alteration of witness testimony in the Vince Foster case, not to mention the matter of how 900 personal FBI files ended up at the White House. Most recently, there has been a report of FBI warnings to selected members of Congress and the National Security Council concerning Chinese efforts to buy political influence in the last campaign. This story was reported by Robert Woodward, a journalist with a history of serving as a media mule for leaks from intelligence agencies. One question about this story: why has the FBI decide to tell this now? Further, in the wake of the revelation, Clinton found himself being directly contradicted by the FBI -- an unusual and ominnous development of the sort not seen since the notorious era of J. Edgar Hoover.

Each of these agencies has an interest in the outcome of the Whitewater affair that may frequently diverge from either their ostensible assignments or from the interests of other parties such as those in the White House or from that of the public. Within each agency -- as now seems the case with the FBI -- there may disputes over how matters have been or are being handled. Any or all of these agencies may be using the media to spin their version of the story no less intensively than Michael McCurry is for the Clintonistas. And each of these agencies has immense power to pressure or embarrass American politicians and to push history in the direction they desire.

Hence, all stories about Whitewater that touch on intelligence agencies should be read with such factors in mind. These are not pleasant or simple times.

1993

Progressive Review - The government sees ATT's new tap-proof phone as a threat. Webster Hubbell is assigned by Janet Reno to deal with the secure phone issue. Assistant Attorney General Colgate writes Hubbell: "The FBI, NSA and NSC want to purchase the first production run of these devices to prevent their proliferation. They are difficult to decipher and are a deterrent to wiretaps." Webster Hubbell arranges to buy the entire production run of secure AT&T phones using a slush fund filled by drug war confiscations. Part of the plan is to refit the phones with a new chip called Clipper that has been developed by NSA. This chip allows the government to tap the phone using a special key. A supply of these refitted phones is given to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Now other government agencies can tap the DEA. The plan also mandates Clipper chips for all American telephones. According to the Colgate memo to Hubbell, "FBI, NSA and NSC want to push legislation which would require all government agencies and eventually everyone in the U.S. to use a new public- key based cryptography method." The Clipper plan will eventually put on hold because of a large public outcry.