Exclusive: High-Level NSA Whistleblower Says Blackmail Is a Huge – Unreported – Part of Mass Surveillance

Cross-Posted from Washington’s Blog

The Untold Story In the NSA Spying Scandal: Blackmail

It is well-documented that governments use information to blackmail and control people.

The Express reported last month:

British security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges.

***

Whistleblower Mr X, whose identity we have agreed to protect, became a very senior figure in local government before retiring a few years ago.

***

He has given a formal statement to that effect to detectives from Operation Fernbridge ….

***

“And he said [the pedophile group] was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles….”

Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 made gross indecency a crime in the United Kingdom, which included male gay sex.  The Amendment was so frequently used to blackmail gay Brits that it was dubbed the “Blackmailer’s Charter“.

There is widespread speculation that Pope Benedict resigned because of sexual blackmail.

And the American government has a long history of blackmailing people – including high-level officials– with knowledge of their sexual peccadilloes.

Wikipedia notes:

The Lavender Scare refers to the fear and persecution of homosexuals in the 1950s in the United States, which paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism.

Because the psychiatric community regarded homosexuality as a mental illness, gay men and lesbians were considered susceptible to blackmail ….

Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson has written: “The so-called ‘Red Scare’ has been the main focus of most historians of that period of time. A lesser-known element . . . and one that harmed far more people was the witch-hunt McCarthy and others conducted against homosexuals.”

FBI head Hoover was famous for blackmailing everyone … including politicians.  The New York Times reports:

J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.

Alfred McCoy – Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – provides details:

Upon taking office on Roosevelt’s death in early 1945, Harry Truman soon learned the extraordinary extent of FBI surveillance. “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police,” Truman wrote in his diary that May. “FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail.”

After a quarter of a century of warrantless wiretaps, Hoover built up a veritable archive of sexual preferences among America’s powerful and used it to shape the direction of U.S. politics.  He distributed a dossier on Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson’s alleged homosexuality to assure his defeat in the 1952 presidential elections, circulated> audio tapes of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philandering, and monitored President Kennedy’s affair with mafia mistress Judith Exner. And these are just a small sampling of Hoover’s uses of scandal to keep the Washington power elite under his influence.

“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” recalled William Sullivan, the FBI’s chief of domestic intelligence during the 1960s, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter…’ From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.” After his death, an official tally found Hoover had 883 such files on senators and 722 more on congressmen.

***

With a few hundred cable probes and computerized decryption, the NSA can now capture the kind of gritty details of private life that J. Edgar Hoover so treasured and provide the sort of comprehensive coverage of populations once epitomized by secret police like East Germany’s Stasi. And yet, such comparisons only go so far.

After all, once FBI agents had tapped thousands of phones, stenographers had typed up countless transcripts, and clerks had stored this salacious paper harvest in floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets, J. Edgar Hoover still only knew about the inner-workings of the elite in one city: Washington, D.C.  To gain the same intimate detail for an entire country, the Stasi had to employ one police informer for every six East Germans — an unsustainable allocation of human resources. By contrast, the marriage of the NSA’s technology to the Internet’s data hubs now allows the agency’s 37,000 employees a similarly close coverage of the entire globe with just one operative for every 200,000 people on the planet.

***

In the Obama years, the first signs have appeared that NSA surveillance will use the information gathered to traffic in scandal, much as Hoover’s FBI once did. In September 2013, the New York Times reported that the NSA has, since 2010, applied sophisticated software to create “social network diagrams…, unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible…, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner.”

***

By collecting knowledge — routine, intimate, or scandalous — about foreign leaders, imperial proconsuls from ancient Rome to modern America have gained both the intelligence and aura of authority necessary for dominion over alien societies. The importance, and challenge, of controlling these local elites cannot be overstated. During its pacification of the Philippines after 1898, for instance, the U.S. colonial regime subdued contentious Filipino leaders via pervasive policing that swept up both political intelligence and personal scandal. And that, of course, was just what J. Edgar Hoover was doing in Washington during the 1950s and 1960s.

***

According to James Bamford, author of two authoritative books on the agency, “The NSA’s operation is eerily similar to the FBI’s operations under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s where the bureau used wiretapping to discover vulnerabilities, such as sexual activity, to ‘neutralize’ their targets.

The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer has warned that a president might “ask the NSA to use the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political opponent, journalist, or human rights activist. The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would be naïve to think it couldn’t use its power that way in the future.” Even President Obama’s recently convened executive review of the NSA admitted: “[I]n light of the lessons of our own history… at some point in the future, high-level government officials will decide that this massive database of extraordinarily sensitive private information is there for the plucking.”

Indeed, whistleblower Edward Snowden has accused the NSA of actually conducting such surveillance.  In a December 2013 letter to the Brazilian people, he wrote>, “They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.” If Snowden is right, then one key goal of NSA surveillance of world leaders is not U.S. national security but political blackmail — as it has been since 1898.

Today, the NSA tracks people’s porn-viewing habits >in order to discredit activists.  The NSA also gathers and keeps nude and suggestive photos of people in order to blackmail them.

The Associated Press notes:

The stockpiling of sexually explicit images of ordinary people had uncomfortable echoes of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” where the authorities — operating under the aegis of “Big Brother” — fit homes with cameras to monitor the intimate details of people’s home lives.

***

The collection of nude photographs also raise questions about potential for blackmail. America’s National Security Agency has already acknowledged that half a dozen analysts have been caught trawling databases for inappropriate material on partners or love interests. Other leaked documents have revealed how U.S. and British intelligence discussed leaking embarrassing material online to blacken the reputations of their targets.

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds alleged under oath that a recently-serving Democratic Congresswoman was secretly videotaped – for blackmail purposes  – during a lesbian affair. There have been allegations of blackmail of gay activities within the U.S. armed forces for years.

And even the raw data on American citizens collected by the NSA is shared with Israel.  This likely includes Congress members and other politicians, as well.

Bill Binney – the NSA’s senior technical director and head of the agency’s global digital information gathering program – told Washington’s Blog:

Bulk collection of everything gives law enforcement all the data they need on every citizen in the country.  And, it gives NSA all that info on everyone too.  Makes them akin to a J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids.

Binney explained to us the importance of this story:

Being able to blackmail people is one major aspect of bulk/mass collection that has not been talked about. E.g., they could use this data to blackmail members of governments around the world. But, surely just to get them to do what they wanted them to do. Just like J. Edgar Hoover did.

This is on top of the ability to do world-wide industrial espionage.

Indeed, Binney tells us that the NSA’s blackmail tactics are the same as those used by the KGB and Stasi:

This is just one of the ways to make controlling people possible.  Standard KGB/Stasi tactics.

(Binney told the Guardian recently: “The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control.”)

And Binney tells Washington’s Blog that NSA surveillance allows the government to target:

  • “[CIA head] General Petraeus and General Allen and others like [New York State Attorney General] Elliot Spitzer”
  • “Supreme Court Judges, other judges, Senators, Representatives, law firms and lawyers, and just anybody you don’t like … reporters included”

NSA whistleblower Russell Tice< (a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping), also says:

  • The NSA is spying on and blackmailing its overseers in Washington, as well as Supreme Court judges, generals and others
  • The agency started spying on Barack Obama when he was just a candidate for the Senate

And senior NSA executive Thomas Drake explains to Washington’s Blog that the NSA can use information gathered from mass surveillance to frame anyone it doesn’t like.

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55 comments

  1. Oregoncharles

    This aspect was fairly obvious from the beginning, but it’s still useful to have it confirmed.

    For one thing, the biggest single revelation from Snowden is that their internal security is – hmmmm – crapified. Snowden himself has now pointed that out. So there was very little to prevent their employes from going in for free-lance blackmail, as they went in for free-lance spying.

    I’m glad this article also mentions the commercial espionage. For instance, spying on the Brazilian oil company; nothing to do with terrorism, of course, but I bet the information went straight to the American oil companies – and anyone else that would pay for it.

    1. Lord Koos

      It’s in the grand tradition of J. Edgar Hoover, but with superior technology. I’m sure the most important use of blackmail would be to stifle any attemped investigation of NSA practices, as well as any attempt to shrink their budget or otherwise threaten the agency’s power.

  2. diptherio

    To what?!? Good gawd man, you can’t just leave a person hanging like that! What is the NSA using information gathered from mass surveillance to do? Given the post so far, it’s probably awful. I’m sure it’s not anything useful like sending everyone reminders when their anniversary is coming up or suggesting someplace good to take your date for dinner…they’re using the information to make a list of people to send to those FEMA prison camps I heard about on Alex Jones, aren’t they? That’s it, isn’t it?…now I’ll never get to sleep tonight…thanks a lot George!

    Seriously, though, thanks for the info. You’ve got quite the knack for compiling.

    1. Banger

      Washington has turned into a power game of political Risk. Armies of operators, hustlers, con artists are bouncing around, little plots hatched, careers enhanced or ruined. Since there is very little sense, in Washington, of the well-being of the country as a whole, why not get in the game and play? It’s a great adrenalin rush and creates wonderful opportunities to dominate and intimidate people. Access to NSA info is very handy and thus NSA officials become, like their CIA counterparts, king/queen-makers and king/queen-destroyers which gives the intel community a lot of power and makes the information they have a great commodity to be bought and sold which, I believe, they do.

      9/11 was used as the excuse to gradually turn the USA into whatever it is we are becoming–come combination of neo-feudalism and totalitarianism.

    1. ambrit

      Dear psychohistorian;
      I fear it will all end up too much like a Sartre play; “No Exit” or “The Honourable Prostitute.”
      I would take measures when I come to this site and find a “Closed By Order of..” announcement posted. The best defense will probably be a local support group. I know that many will say that small and local is a recipe for disaster. But what if the Powers are faced with thousands of such groups? One of the simplest and most effective counter drone strategies is swarming.

  3. barutanseijin

    There’s no place in a democracy for this nonsense.

    (And yes, i know the US isn’t a democracy –but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be.)

  4. R Foreman

    I hear outlandish claims about public officials all the time. It doesn’t destroy any of them. These days they just laugh at the bad press and keep right on defrauding the public.

    1. hunkerdown

      When the deep state wants you benched, this is how they do it. The rest is just noise so that those busybodies susceptible to the fundamental attribution error stay keen and addicted.

  5. sd

    Everyone has a price, surveillance is giving the Watchers a way to calculate just what that price is. In the case of Elliot Spitzer, it was pussy (crass yes, but can you think of a better way to describe his grossly immature stupidity?) Call it blackmail, bribery or extortion they will find a way to buy you.

    1. hunkerdown

      What about engaging a sex worker is grossly immature? You don’t know what agreements he and his partner may have made, and not only that, it’s none of your business. People who give currency to sex scandals need to be mocked, insulted, and generally shouted down until they can’t be trusted around sharp objects.

  6. McKillop

    But, but, but. I saw A. Dershowitz on PBS just the other day cavilling about this issue and asking, in an imitative Woody Allen manner, for those who fear NSA eavesdropping to explain “how come” a government agency _not_ evil (like those others) would want to do such a thing.
    Silly me, I turned off the programme before anyone couldn’t answer!

    1. Old Steve

      I was at a Dershowitz lecture recently and I asked him point-blank about this issue during Q&A and he did exactly as you described. I was disappointed but not surprised. The level of indifference to this spying is the real story here.

      1. fresno dan

        Makes me wonder what they go on him (Dershowitz)
        Of course, the government doesn’t “do” anything – they just make the targets not do something….

        1. hunkerdown

          They don’t need to have anything on him if he’s loyal. You know, some people actually believe in their hearts that some people are born more equal than others, and some religions actually teach it.

  7. Banger

    It’s too late to really do much about it at this point other than change your habits, use encryption, don’t go to porn sites, avoid making digital videos or pictures of your sex life, drunken behavior of drug activity etc., etc. As for all the stuff they already have on us during the time we believed the this was something resembling a free country not a classier version of the Soviet Union well, the best we can hope for, is to make sure that, culturally we adapt a more open and forgiving attitude towards human experimentation and human vice.

    Our future appears not to lie in the normal political remedies–we really are not a Constitutional repuclic with democratic institutions and we need to face that fact. That doesn’t mean we cant have good and fulfilling lives but we need to dispense with the fakery and denialism that appers to be at the heart of civic culture in the USA. I find that attitude to be the more troubling than mass NSA surveillance. For me, as I advise people, I believe real change can only come through cultural forces and that change can only come (by process of elimination if nothing else) through spiritual development which has the virtue of helping us feel connected to a large whole–just need to throw that in every now and then.

    1. RUKidding

      “… but we need to dispense with the fakery and denialism that appers to be at the heart of civic culture in the USA.”

      Agree 100%. But this is very difficult. Most USians simply do not want to face this reality and wish to live in denial. I have switched my conversations somewhat from discussing how there’s really very little difference between the “two” political parties to discussing how this country is no longer (if it ever was) a constitutional democracy and what that means. Many simply do not want to hear this, but it must be said.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Many foreigners also do not want to know how far the USA has fallen. Some hold on to an idealized image of the USA as a beacon of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world. They do not want to be woken from their dreams.

      2. Banger

        The USA never really lived up to its billing but, relatively speaking, it did a pretty good job of balancing power for the betterment of the people through a clever Constitution and to have a fairly robust democracy by historical standards. That changed, gradually, with the build up of the permanent war state instituted during WWII. For many years the Constitutional system managed to co-exist with the war state. After 9/11 the Constitution and the traditional Anglo-Saxon legal tradition was replaced with something we see now.

        1. hunkerdown

          The Anglo-Saxon tradition has been intrinsically hierarchical and authoritarian for quite a while now, hasn’t it? There’s no sanctuary to be found there.

    2. fresno dan

      “….other than change your habits, use encryption, don’t go to porn sites, avoid making digital videos or pictures of your sex life, drunken behavior of drug activity etc., etc”

      That is UNPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! especially for the etc., – – and extra especially for the next etc…

    3. hunkerdown

      Or, just treat sexuality as a private matter and save your ire for the messenger who is committing something very much like rape.

    4. Eclair

      ” … real change can only come through cultural forces and that change can only come (by process of elimination if nothing else) through spiritual development which has the virtue of helping us feel connected to a large whole–just need to throw that in every now and then.”

      And, thank you Banger, for “throwing it in.” I have had the honor, over the last 18 months of spending time with folk from the Lakota and Dineh cultures. Their feeling of “connectedness” to all living beings, as well as to the Earth, allowed them to live for centuries on semi-arid lands. Humans are part of an interconnected web of existence, not the apex of an exploitive pyramid. They would no more think of strip-mining to extract tar sands than they would of raping their mother.

  8. TheCatSaid

    Whistleblower Edmonds in an online interview describes how an FBI colleague approached her prior to her case going to court, to warn her about expecting justice from judges. The colleague said in his early years in the FBI he and others were assigned to do extensive background checks on possible candidates for political or government positions. They were asked to look for any kind of negative information–financial, sexual, affairs, business gone bust, etc. The FBI colleague said he was surprised to discover the lists developed on the basis of their background reports excluded those candidates with squeaky-clean backgrounds, and those with the worst backgrounds consistently topped the “recommended” list.

    Another studio guest in that discussion who was a CIA whistleblower expressed surprise at hearing about this; he had been involved in doing the same kind of “preventative” background checks for the CIA, with the same results (people being recommended who were the most compromised), and was surprised to learn the FBI had been doing the same thing.

    1. RUKidding

      For those of us who have had a gimlet eye on the Alphabets for quite some time, it’s been known that the those mostly recommended for higher positions had background stuff that could be used against them; great way to control them to do the bidding of whomever was the “master” of the moment. Just that it’s becoming better known to the general populace that this is a tactic that’s been used probably for centuries. Does this knowledge make much difference? It might have at one time, but now that the US media is wholly by the 1%, USians (and probably others world-wide) are easy to dupe & manipulate.

      It’s all a game of shaming & blaming & “look over there!” My take is that the role of religion has been to manipulate the proles into buying into the shaming & blaming of the current scapegoat du jour for their alleged peccadillos. Who among us has not had peccadillos? And then duly noted that some in power get away with their peccadillos even after they’ve been busted for it, while others are kicked off the public stage.

      It’s a rigged game. As long as the proles go along with it, it will continue to work.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Indeed.

        Among other things, Edmonds was told by her colleague that government insiders are able to control which judge is assigned to a case by gaming the system that is supposed to prevent this. In her case, a judge with a neutral judicial background was pulled off her case after a short time, without explanation, to be replaced by a judge with a different attitude and history.

        Perhaps whistleblowers will shed additional light on how these webs are used to position, control and exercise power.

  9. TheCatSaid

    Among other things, Edmonds was also told by her colleague that government insiders are able to control what judge is assigned to a case by gaming the system that is supposed to prevent this. In her case, a judge with a neutral judicial background was pulled off her case after a short time, without explanation, to be replaced by a judge with a different attitude and history.

    Implications:
    *** Voters have to choose among candidates who have been “pre-vetted” to ensure they have skeletons in their closet, allowing them to be controlled when necessary.

    *** The judicial branch of government is less likely to be “just” than we might have guessed–particularly in those decisions TPTB determine to be of strategic importance.
    *** Appointed government officials include some who can be controlled “when necessary” as a form of blackmail.

    The actual and potential blackmail enabled by government surveillance deserve attention. Whistleblowers will hopefully shed light on how these webs are used to position, control and exercise power.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Presumably with little lunches between insiders? I can’t remember the case where this was done in the Clinton impeachment saga, it was a long time agI think any member of the political class who doesn’t assume that every hotel and motel room in the Beltway isn’t wired is a fool.

      On the other hand, this is not new.o, but that’s how it’s generally done.

    2. RUKidding

      Strictly anecdotal speculation, but I suspect that lower-level trial court judges at state and local level may not be vetted in a similar fashion. I think they are mostly (not always) chosen on their ability, albeit, that said, there’s a certain amount of “old boys (mostly still male establishment) network” going on.

      It’s when the higher level State Courts (esp major states, like NY, CA, TX) & the Fed Courts make their appointments that the Judicial vetting becomes really serious… and the skeletons in the closet are located and tabulated for future reference. The US Sup Court is pretty much a joke anymore in terms of allegedly following Constitutional Law. Pull the other one. Not true, esp since Bush v. Gore travesty.

      But there is def. judge-picking going on at other levels. Corporations get to pick & choose their favorites to ensure the outcomes they want. Just ask Monsanto for starters!

    3. Gaianne

      Yes. Your implications are usually never stated, but indeed they are the heart of the matter.

      –Gaianne

      PS. And this is not “where we are heading” but where we are right now. Old news.

    4. different clue

      If citizen-voters decided to forgive and accept all those blackmailable blue-law-violation types of skeletons in officeholders’ closets, then those skeletons would no longer be exploitable for blackmail purposes.
      Then, of course, the Deep Surveillance/Security State would perfect the art of breaking into targets’ computers and installing child porn and etc., arranging crimes with all fabricated and engineered evidence designed to “point” “back” to the target, etc. Reform-minded officeseekers and their constituency-bases might learn to start expecting such things.
      “And just how did that child snuff-porn get onto your computer hmmmm?”
      “You tell me. You’re the one who put it there.”

  10. Quite Likely

    When you put it that way it does seem pretty suspicious how many politicians, including President Obama, are very pro-civil liberties and then suddenly make an about face the moment they have the power to do anything about it.

    So public service announcement for anybody who wants to shake up the establishment – clean living and handwritten letters are their own reward.

  11. TheCatSaid

    The blackmail potential may be the MAIN reason our various intelligence agencies are eager to gather more information. “Terrorism” is an effective smoke screen to conceal puppetmasters’ strings.

    1. Synopticist

      It was always about the blackmail potential. The exclusive knowledge of what EVERY POSSIBLE PLAYER was doing on the internet is what it’s about. You don’t even need to have some spook show you the file, you already know what they know.
      You know they can figure out you had a drug dealer for years, you know they can read your e-mails to ex-girlfriend which will reveal your affair, your lame attempt to dodge your taxes, your penchant for skype sex with strangers, your drunken e-mails with friends telling racist jokes or complaining about your annoying family, porn viewing habits, visits to extremist websites which could be made to look like something sinister, boasting about exceeding the speed limit, etc etc etc. How many people on earth can honestly say they haven’t done or said something on a digital media for the last 15 years which wouldn’t damage or destroy their careers or families or social positions?

      They have everything. So people in the public eye will pre-censor their public views. Oppositional types will avoid getting active because of their digital history. Judges won’t follow the letter when it might hurt the PTB. Journalists will toe the line, politicians will too, influential or business people who might othewrwise be independent enough to stick their necks out will chose not to.

      This is already happening. This partly explains the 100% media consensus on Syria and Ukraine, the police and judges going easy on criminal bankers on both sides of the Atlantic, European politicians rolling over to Washington, all that stuff.

      1. MtnLife

        This presents are real problem with any positive transformation as I don’t know any perfect people. I’m also leery of those who seem so as they tend to have the freakiest stuff hiding in the closet. So maybe the best practice is to go lightly on a bunch of different vices, and be open about it, instead of one horrible nasty one that you hide.

        1. RUKidding

          Being open about so-called “vices” is one way to go. I’ve wondered why the Feds (Obama & Holder) are so openly opposed to legalizing marijuana. There could several things going on with that: a) BigPharma doesn’t like it, but b) it destroys a reliable means of frightening some into toeing the line. Very few people over a certain age haven’t indulged in de debbil’s weed.

          Really citizens need to figure out that freaking out over every little peccadillo is not beneficial for the 99s. Most of the stuff (not everything) that’s uncovered really isn’t such a huge deal, but citizens wish to cling to outdated notions of morality, which almost no one adheres to anyway (including religious folks). As long as enough of a percentage of citizens permit themselves into being manipulated into a tizzy over someone alleged affair (as long as it’s not with kids or includes violence or whatever), we’re going to be hoist on our own petards.

  12. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    The critical ingredient in any successful revolution is for a disaffected slice of the elite to throw in with the forces of revolt. The technocrat-military praetorians of our current oligarchic regime understand this full well. He’ll, I learned it in uni. So keeping blackmail on the entire population allows (how successfully, we will discover fairly soon, at the rate things are going) the security apparat to ruin the careers of anyone who poses a threat (in their expansive view) This is what Gay Edgar Hoover was doing.

  13. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Maybe I enjoyed Gilliam’s “Brazil” overmuch, but frankly I think most terrorism (dramatic incidents of mass murder and/or sabotage) is fabricated by state intelligence agencies, not the product of SPECTRE like secret organizations. So the blackmail and universal scrutiny just fits in neatly as part of the hermetic system of control that’s rapidly developing.

    1. TheCatSaid

      Or real-life corporate partnerships with cooperation of some gov’t insiders, like the actual shareholder arrangement described in “Coup d’Twelve”.

  14. Jagger

    —–And even the raw data on American citizens collected by the NSA is shared with Israel. This likely includes Congress members and other politicians, as well.——-

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/11/nsa-americans-personal-data-israel-documents

    ===- Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis
    • Only official US government communications protected
    • Agency insists it complies with rules governing privacy

    ====Although the memorandum is explicit in saying the material had to be handled in accordance with US law, and that the Israelis agreed not to deliberately target Americans identified in the data, these rules are not backed up by legal obligations.

    =====It also requests that the Israelis limit access only to personnel with a “strict need to know”. Israeli intelligence is allowed “to disseminate foreign intelligence information concerning US persons derived from raw Sigint by NSA” on condition that it does so “in a manner that does not identify the US person”. The agreement also allows Israel to release US person identities to “outside parties, including all INSU customers” with the NSA’s written permission.

    “This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law,” the document says.==============================

    Well we all know we can count on Israel to do the right thing with our US raw intelligence. This decision ranks right up there with Germany giving Israel a nuclear powered sub with ballistic missile capability. Who needs AIPAC when you have the NSA blackmail capability handed to you on a silver platter. Whoever made these “secret” decisions clearly didn’t have the well being of American democracy or American society as their first priority. I would really like to know who specifically made these decisions and those who signed off on them.

  15. susan the other

    I’m willing to believe that the recent pedophile ring scandal in the British Parliament was entrapment. Why not? It’s oh-so British. Really, I think I see the opportunity of a lifetime here. A niche to make squillions with an open source enterprise producing photos and videos that are so self defamating, or so pre-emptively self defamating, that no intelligence blackmailers can top them. Everyone doing vile and depraved things, all the time. And all on UTube. Ca-ching.

        1. fresno dan

          I thought it had to do with squids and tentacles…..or maybe just dirty rotten evil squillionaires….

    1. Synopticist

      That stuff wasn’t really entrapment, except in as far as the intel services knew ALL about it, and protected the people involved for their own purposes. It was a old-school peado network of powerful people abusing their positions.
      I head stories twenty years ago, and many times since, naming the same men who are now, slowly, getting outed. It’s been bubbling under for years.

  16. Lord Koos

    #1 priority for blackmail would have to be any politician involved in investigating the NSA, as well anyone attempting to limit their budget or powers.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Ditto for me, too. I thought mine had disappeared so I split it up in case it needed to be shorter.

  17. Baldur

    As a pedophile who has corresponded with one of the founders of PIE, I find this sad but amusing.
    The public forges its own chains. The majority seek to destroy anyone not like them, and create a world in which innocent men and women must keep secrets – and then end up enslaved because anyone can be easily blackmailed for something – not because they are bad but because if one casts the net wide enough for “peculiarities” and violations of an infinite number of laws, it will catch everyone.
    If the public was not so eager to punish harmless people, it would not be so easy for our representatives to be blackmailed and unable to serve the public.
    Y’all deserve what you get.

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