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The Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017, Story 1: Will Congress Reauthorize Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? Yes with changes to protect the privacy of American People. — How About Executive Order 12333 That Allow The President To Target Americans Without A Warrant — Unconstitutional and Illegal — Happens Every Day! — Oversight My Ass –Videos — Story 2: National Security Agency Under Obama Spied On American People —  Obama’s Abuse of Power — Huge Scandal Ignored By Big Lie Media — Videos — Story 3: President Trump To Nominate Christopher A. Wray For FBI Director — Videos

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Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 860: March 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 859: March 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 858: March 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 857: March 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 851: March 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 850: March 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

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Story 1: Will Congress Reauthorize Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? Yes with changes to protect the privacy of American People — How About Executive Order 12333 That Allows The President To Target American Citizens Without A Warrant — Unconstitutional and Illegal — Happens Every Day! — Oversight My Ass –Videos

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FISA: 702 Collection

In 2008, Congress passed a set of updates to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including Section 702 which authorized warrantless surveillance of non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the country. However, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that 702 was being used far more heavily than many expected, serving as the legal basis for the collection of large quantities of telephone and Internet traffic  passing through the United States (and unlike 215, including content rather than just metadata). Still, as 702 only permits overseas collection, most criticism of the provision has come from abroad. But many domestic privacy advocates also worry that large amounts of American communication are being swept up “incidentally” and then used as well.

How the Senate hearing on surveillance turned into a Russia hearing

Blunt Questions National Security Officials Regarding Russia Investigation & FISA 6/7/17

FULL: Rosenstein, Intel Chiefs Testify at Senate Hearing on President Trump and Russia Investigation

Heinrich Questions Top Intelligence Officials In Senate Intel Committee Hearing

Senator Kamala Harris Grills Deputy AG Rosenstein On Whether He Has Given Mueller Full Independence

Trump Russia Collusion Investigation, Part 1 – Senate Intelligence Committee – FISA 6/7/2017

Trump Russia Collusion Investigation, Part 2 – Senate Intelligence Committee – FISA 6/7/2017

Trump Russia Collusion Investigation, Part 3 – Senate Intelligence Committee – FISA 6/7/2017

‘You Went Back on a Pledge!’ Dem. Senator Gets Nasty With DNI Chief Dan Coats

June 7, 2017: Sen. Cotton’s Q&A at Senate Intel Committee FISA Hearing

OPENING STATEMENT: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Testifies at Senate Intel Committee

Senate Russia Investigation: National security officials testify to intelligence committee on FISA

Rand Paul on Unmaskings: ‘We Can’t Live in Fear of Our Own Intelligence Community’

Rand Paul on Obama Illegally Spying on Americans | NSA Wiretapping

Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act

FISA Hearing – Sec 702 Intel Surveillance – IMPORTANT

NSA Spying On Americans ‘Widespread’ – Let Sec. 702 Expire!

Bill Binney explodes the Russia witchhunt

Obama’s NSA conducted illegal searches on Americans for years: Report

NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney on Tucker Carlson 03.24.2017

NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney On 9/11

William Binney – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

State of Surveillance: Police, Privacy and Technology

The Fourth Amendment Explained: US Government Review

Why We’re Losing Liberty

Sen. Rand Paul Defends the Fourth Amendment – February 11, 2014

Rand Paul Shames Homeland Security on Spying on Americans

Top Intel Community Officials Deny That Trump Pressured Them On Russia Probe

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CHUCK ROSS
Reporter

The directors of the Office of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency testified on Wednesday that they have not been pressured by President Trump on the ongoing Russia investigation, undercutting recent reports that they were.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of NSA, largely declined to discuss details about their interactions with Trump when pressed on the matter during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

According to news reports published last month, Trump asked both Coats and Rogers to rebut stories that Trump was under investigation as part of the Russia probe.

Both Coats and Rogers reportedly felt uncomfortable with the requests from Trump.

But when asked about those interactions on Wednesday, both declined to discuss their specific conversations with Trump while stating that they have never felt pressure from the White House.

“In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything that I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate. And to the best of my collection … I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so,” Rogers told Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate panel.

“Did the president … ask you in any way, shape or form to back off or downplay the Russia investigation?” Warner asked.

Rogers said that he would not discuss specifics of conversations he had with Trump, but added: “I stand by the comment I just made, sir.”

Coats, a former Indiana senator who was appointed by Trump, also denied ever being pressured to downplay the Russia investigation or any other.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Coats told associates on March 22 that Trump asked him to intervene with former FBI Director James Comey to push back against the Russia investigation.

“In my time of service … I have never been pressured, I have never felt pressure, to intervene or interfere in any way, with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation,” Coats testified Wednesday.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/07/top-intel-community-officials-deny-that-trump-pressured-them-on-russia-probe/

The Way the NSA Uses Section 702 is Deeply Troubling. Here’s Why.

MAY 7, 2014

This blog post was updated at 5:10 pm PST 5/8/14.

The most recent disclosure of classified NSA documents revealed that the British spy agency GCHQ sought unfettered access to NSA data collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Not only does this reveal that the two agencies have a far closer relationship than GCHQ would like to publicly admit, it also serves as a reminder that surveillance under Section 702 is a real problem that has barely been discussed, much less addressed, by Congress or the President.

In fact, the “manager’s amendment” to the USA FREEDOM Act, which passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary Committee, has weakened the minimal changes to Section 702 that USA FREEDOM originally offered. Although Representative Zoe Lofgren—who clearly understands the import of Section 702—offered several very good amendments that would have addressed these gaps, her amendments were all voted down. There’s still a chance though—as this bill moves through Congress it can be strengthened by amendments from the floor.

Section 702 has been used by the NSA to justify mass collection of phone calls and emails by collecting huge quantities of data directly from the physical infrastructure of communications providers. Here’s what you should know about the provision and why it needs to be addressed by Congress and the President:

  • Most of the discussion around the NSA has focused on the phone records surveillance program. Unlike that program, collection done under Section 702 capturescontent of communications. This could include content in emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, web browsing history, and more.
  • Even though it’s ostensibly used for foreign targets, Section 702 surveillance sweeps up the communications of Americans. The NSA has a twisted, and incredibly permissive, interpretation of targeting that includes communications about a target, even if the communicating parties are completely innocent. As John Oliver put it in his interview with former NSA General Keith Alexander: “No, the target is not the American people, but it seems that too often you miss the target and hit the person next to them going, ‘Whoa, him!'”
  • The NSA has confirmed that it is searching Section 702 data to access American’s communications without a warrant, in what is being called the “back door search loophole.”  In response to questions from Senator Ron Wyden, former NSA director General Keith Alexander admitted that the NSA specifically searches Section 702 data using “U.S. person identifiers,” for example email addresses associated with someone in the U.S.
  • The NSA has used Section 702 to justify programs in which the NSA can siphon off large portions of Internet traffic directly from the Internet backbone. These programs exploit the structure of the Internet, in which a significant amount of traffic from around the world flows through servers in the United States. In fact, through Section 702, the NSA has access to information stored by major Internet companies like Facebook and Google.
  • Section 702 is likely used for computer security operations. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted Section 702’s use to obtain communications “regarding potential cyber threats” and to prevent “hostile cyber activities.” Richard Ledgett, Deputy Director of NSA, noted the use of intelligence authorities to mitigate cyber attacks.
  • The FISA Court has little opportunity to review Section 702 collection. The court approves procedures for 702 collection for up to a year. This is not approval of specific targets, however; “court review [is] limited to ‘procedures’ for targeting and minimization rather than the actual seizure and searches.” This lack of judicial oversight is far beyond the parameters of criminal justice.
  • Not only does the FISA Court provide little oversight, Congress is largely in the dark about Section 702 collection as well. NSA spying defenders say that Congress has been briefed on these programs. But other members of Congress have repeatedly noted that it is incredibly difficult to get answers from the intelligence community, and that attending classified hearings means being unable to share any information obtained at such hearings. What’s more, as Senator Barbara Mikulski stated: “‘Fully briefed’ doesn’t mean that we know what’s going on.”  Without a full picture of Section 702 surveillance, Congress simply cannot provide oversight.
  • Section 702 is not just about keeping us safe from terrorism. It’s a distressingly powerful surveillance tool. While the justification we’ve heard repeatedly is that NSA surveillance is keeping us safer, data collected under Section 702 can be shared in a variety of circumstances, such as ordinary criminal investigations. For example, the NSA has shared intelligence with the Drug Enforcement Agency that has led to prosecutions for drug crimes, all while concealing the source of the data.
  • The President has largely ignored Section 702. While the phone records surveillance program has received significant attention from President Obama, in his speeches and his most recent proposal, Section 702 remains nearly untouched.
  • The way the NSA uses Section 702 is illegal and unconstitutional—and it violates international human rights law. Unlike searches done under a search warrant authorized by a judge, Section 702 has been used by the NSA to get broad FISA court authorization for general search and seizure of huge swathes of communications. The NSA says this is OK because Section 702 targets foreign citizens. The problem is, once constitutionally protected communications of Americans are swept up, the NSA says these communications are “fair game” for its use.
  • Innocent non-Americans don’t even get the limited and much abused protections the NSA promises for Americans. Under international human rights law to which the United States is a signatory, the United States must respect the rights of all persons. With so many people outside the United States keeping their data with American companies, and so much information being swept up through mass surveillance, that makes Section 702 the loophole for the NSA to violate the privacy rights of billions of Internet users worldwide.

The omission of Section 702 reform from the discourse around NSA surveillance is incredibly concerning, because this provision has been used to justify some of the most invasive NSA surveillance. That’s why EFF continues to push for real reform of NSA surveillance that includes an end to Section 702 collection. You can help by educating yourself and engaging your elected representatives. Print out our handy one-page explanation of Section 702. Contact your members of Congress today and tell them you want to see an end to all dragnet surveillance, not just bulk collection of phone records.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/05/way-nsa-uses-section-702-deeply-troubling-heres-why

 

By ZACK WHITTAKER CBS NEWS June 30, 2014, 4:02 PM
Legal loopholes could allow wider NSA surveillance, researchers say
CBS NEWS

NEW YORK — Secret loopholes exist that could allow the National Security Agency to bypass Fourth Amendment protections to conduct massive domestic surveillance on U.S. citizens, according to leading academics.

The research paper released Monday by researchers at Harvard and Boston University details how the U.S. government could “conduct largely unrestrained surveillance on Americans by collecting their network traffic abroad,” despite constitutional protections against warrantless searches.

One of the paper’s authors, Axel Arnbak of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, told CBS News that U.S. surveillance laws presume Internet traffic is non-American when it is collected from overseas.

“The loopholes in current surveillance laws and today’s Internet technology may leave American communications as vulnerable to surveillance, and as unprotected as the internet traffic of foreigners,” Arnbak said.

Although Americans are afforded constitutional protections against unwarranted searches of their emails, documents, social networking data, and other cloud-stored data while it’s stored or in-transit on U.S. soil, the researchers note these same protections do not exist when American data leaves the country.

Furthermore, they suggest that Internet traffic can be “deliberately manipulated” to push American data outside of the country. Although the researchers say they “do not intend to speculate” about whether any U.S. intelligence agencies are actually doing this, they say it could provide a loophole for vacuuming up vast amounts of U.S. citizen data for intelligence purposes, thus “circumventing constitutional and statutory safeguards seeking to protect the privacy of Americans,” they warned.

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Snowden: NSA programs “uncontrolled and dangerous”
The academic paper lands just over a year since the Edward Snowden revelations first came to light, outlining the massive scope of U.S. government surveillance, under the justification of preventing terrorism. Although the classified programs that make up the NSA’s data acquisition arsenal have only recently been disclosed over the past year, the laws that govern them have been under close scrutiny for years. The paper only adds fuel to the fire of the intelligence agency’s alleged spying capabilities, which have been heavily criticized by civil liberties and privacy groups alike.

“The fix has to come from the law — the same laws that apply to Internet traffic collected domestically should also apply to traffic that is collected abroad,” the paper’s co-author, Sharon Goldberg of Boston University’s Computer Science Department, said.

While the researchers do not say whether these loopholes are being actively exploited — saying their aim is solely to broaden the understanding of the current legal framework — the current legislation as it stands “opens the door for unrestrained surveillance,” they write.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the subsequent introduction of the Patriot Act allowed certain kinds of data to be collected to help in the fight against terrorism — so-called “metadata,” such as the time and date of phone calls and emails sent, including phone numbers and email addresses themselves. But the contents of those phone calls or emails require a warrant. The classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed that while the public laws have been in effect for years or even decades, the U.S. government has used secret and classified interpretations of these laws for wider intelligence gathering outside the statutes’ text.

The Obama administration previously said there had been Congressional and Judicial oversight of these surveillance laws — notably Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorized the collection of Americans’ phone records; and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which authorized the controversial PRISM program to access non-U.S. residents’ emails, social networking, and cloud-stored data.

But the researchers behind this new study say that the lesser-known Executive Order (EO) 12333, which remains solely the domain of the Executive Branch — along with United States Signals Intelligence Directive (USSID) 18, designed to regulate the collection of American’s data from surveillance conducted on foreign soil — can be used as a legal basis for vast and near-unrestricted domestic surveillance on Americans.

The legal provisions offered under EO 12333, which the researchers say “explicitly allows for intentional targeting of U.S. persons” for surveillance purposes when FISA protections do not apply, was the basis of the authority that reportedly allowed the NSA to tap into the fiber cables that connected Google and Yahoo’s overseas to U.S. data centers.

An estimated 180 million user records, regardless of citizenship, were collected from Google and Yahoo data centers each month, according to the leaked documents. The program, known as Operation MUSCULAR, was authorized because the collection was carried out overseas and not on U.S. soil, the researchers say.

The paper also said surveillance can also be carried out across the wider Internet by routing network traffic overseas so it no longer falls within the protection of the Fourth Amendment.

However, an NSA spokesperson denied that either EO 12333 or USSID 18 “authorizes targeting of U.S. persons for electronic surveillance by routing their communications outside of the U.S.,” in an emailed statement to CBS News.

“Absent limited exception (for example, in an emergency), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires that we get a court order to target any U.S. person anywhere in the world for electronic surveillance. In order to get such an order, we have to establish, to the satisfaction of a federal judge, probable cause to believe that the U.S. person is an agent of a foreign power,” the spokesperson said.

The report highlights a fundamental fact about Internet traffic: Data takes the quickest route possible rather than staying solely within a country’s borders. Data between two U.S. servers located within the U.S. can still sometimes be routed outside of the U.S.

Although this is normal, the researchers warn data can be deliberately routed abroad by manipulating the Internet’s core protocols — notably the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which determines how Internet traffic is routed between individual networks; and the Domain Name Service (DNS), which converts website addresses to numerical network addresses.

If the NSA took advantage of the loophole by pushing Internet traffic outside of the U.S., it would have enough time to capture the data while it is outside the reach of constitutional protection.

The researchers rebuffed the NSA’s statement in an email: “We argue that these loopholes exist when surveillance is conducted abroad and when the authorities don’t ‘intentionally target a U.S. person’. There are several situations in which you don’t ‘target a U.S. person’, but Internet traffic of many Americans can in fact be affected.”

“We cannot tell whether these loopholes are exploited on a large scale, but operation MUSCULAR seems to find its legal and technical basis in them.”

Mark M. Jaycox, a legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said: “If you are intentionally spying on a U.S. person, the government must go to the FISA Court,” he said. “That’s the way the law is supposed to operate.”

Describing how the NSA says it never “intentionally collects” U.S. information, he warned the agency’s foreign data dragnet would inevitably include U.S. data.

“The NSA is an intelligence organization — it’s going to be targeting foreigners. But it’s the way that its targeting millions of foreigners, and millions of foreign communications that will eventually pick up U.S. persons’ data and information. And once that data has been collected, it must be destroyed.”

“It’s a question the NSA can’t reconcile, so they lean heavily on saying they never ‘intentionally collect’ the U.S. person information,” he said

A recent primer on EO 12333 written by the privacy group said the order “mandates rules for spying… on anyone within the United States.” The group also notes because the order remains inside the Executive Branch, the Obama administration could “repeal or modify” it at will.

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a post on its website that the U.S. government interprets USSID 18 to “permit it to sweep up Americans’ international communications without any court order and with little oversight.”

Patrick Toomey, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, said: “Today, Americans’ communications increasingly travel the globe — and privacy protections must reliably follow. This academic paper raises key questions about whether our current legal regime meets that standard, or whether it allows the NSA to vacuum up Americans’ private data simply by moving its operations offshore.”

He added that there should be a uniform set of laws that protect Americans’ privacy regardless of where they are in the world, and that Congressional oversight of all rules governing surveillance is needed for comprehensive reforms.

The ACLU has also filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit with a federal court in New York, questioning “whether it [EO 12333] appropriately accommodates the constitutional rights of American citizens and residents whose communications are intercepted in the course of that surveillance.”

Although there is no direct evidence yet to suggest the NSA has exploited this loophole, network monitoring firm Renesys observed two “route hijacking” events in June and November 2013 that led Internet traffic to be redirected through Belarus and Iceland on separate occasions. These events are virtually unnoticeable to the ordinary Internet user, but the side effect is that U.S. data may be readable by foreign governments traveling through their country’s infrastructure. It also could allow the NSA to capture that data by treating it as foreign data.

These legal and technical loopholes can allow “largely unrestrained surveillance on Americans communications,” the researchers wrote.

The NSA, whose job it is to produce intelligence from overseas targets, said for the first time in August 2013 that it derives much of its “foundational authority” for its operations from EO 12333. Recent Snowden disclosures shed new light on understanding the capabilities of the executive order.

It was also recently revealed that Snowden himself questioned the legal authority of EO 12333, according to one declassified email exchange released by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

According to John Schindler, a former NSA chief analyst, speaking to The Washington Post in October, the sole aim of the NSA’s “platoon” of lawyers’ is to figure out “how to stay within the law and maximize collection by exploiting every loophole.”

“It’s fair to say the rules are less restrictive under [EO] 12333 than they are under FISA,” he added.

FISA expanded the NSA’s powers allowing it to obtain foreign intelligence — including economic and political surveillance of foreign governments, companies, news outlets and citizens. But the amended law in 2008 also restricted what can be collected on U.S. citizens.

The so-called “targeting” and “minimization” procedures, which remain classified but were reported as a result of the Snowden leaks, were introduced to ensure any data inadvertently collected on U.S. citizens from overseas would not be used in investigations. These were later criticized following subsequent leaks which suggested the rules on collecting U.S. persons’ data were more relaxed than the statute led the public to believe.

U.S. intelligence agencies can only do so much with U.S. data, therefore they have a “strong incentive to conduct surveillance abroad,” the researchers say, because legal protections under the Fourth Amendment and FISA do not apply outside U.S. territory.

“Programs under EO 12333 may collect startling amounts of sensitive data on both foreigners and Americans,” the paper summarizes, “without any meaningful congressional or judiciary involvement.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/legal-loopholes-could-let-nsa-surveillance-circumvent-fourth-amendment-researchers-say/

 

FISA Authority and Blanket Surveillance: A Gatekeeper Without Opposition

Vol. 40 No. 3

The author is with ZwillGen PLLC in Washington, D.C.

Surveillance and espionage were once practices ordinary Americans only read about in novels or saw in movie theaters. That is no longer true. America is at the center of a worldwide communications network. It is home to the world’s most popular telecommunications, email, instant message, and video chat providers. Because of America’s unique role, hundreds of millions of users send communications through American soil. At the same time, America’s enemies have grown from nation-states, like the Soviet Union, to small cells of terrorists that use ordinary communications networks. Taken together, it is not surprising that signals intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), which intercept and analyze these signals, would seek and use surveillance powers to conduct more surveillance at home.

Part of this new regime means that more legal process to gather intelligence is being served on companies in the United States. Recent revelations have declassified documents describing the NSA’s broad “collect now, search later” approach to surveillance. This means that some electronic communications providers, and their in-house and outside counsel, are faced with new forms of legal process. But unlike criminal process, which is rooted in a large body of publicly available case law and which often comes to light in the course of criminal trials, this new process comes to these providers in secret. As documents recently declassified by the director of national intelligence demonstrate, the government has served a number of different kinds of orders on providers—each of whom must assess when and how they might comply with or challenge those orders.

My firm and I represented one such provider in In re Directives [Redacted] Pursuant to Section 105B of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [Redacted], 551 F.3d 1004 (FISA Ct. Rev. 2008). That case presented a challenge that more providers may face as the NSA explores its surveillance capabilities. The provider received process known as a 105B directive (which is now called a 702 directive) starting in 2007. In contrast with typical criminal process, there was no prior court review or approval of particular surveillance targets. Instead, a 702 directive, like the one served on that provider, approved of the government’s procedure for conducting surveillance—not its targets.

 

Faced with this process, the provider had to make decisions about how it could respond. The provider chose not to comply with the process, and the government filed a motion to compel in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a secret court charged with reviewing and approving some types of surveillance.

The course of that litigation proved complex. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR), which handles appeals from the FISC, had published a single opinion before the In re Directives case, and while the lower court, the FISC, had rules for proceedings, there were no publicly available decisions on which to rely in litigating the procedural aspects of the case. The merits of the case too were litigated in the dark. No docket was made available, and there was no public mention of the case until after it was appealed and the FISCR entered its decision. Some documents related to the case are still being declassified, but in the words of the FISCR’s declassified decision, there was “multitudinous briefing” in the FISC and ample briefing on appeal.

The FISCR released its opinion in In re Directives in 2009, and a beam of light shone on its decisions for the first time in seven years. But then the FISC went dark again. In late 2013, however, the director of national intelligence, in response to increased public pressure seeking information on surveillance activities, began releasing more FISC opinions that are instructive on how the FISC operates and how it has been interpreting the Fourth Amendment and process under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq. (FISA) in the intervening years, giving much needed guidance to providers and outside counsel.

 

The History of FISA

Understanding how to advise clients faced with FISA process, the challenges they face, and how to revise FISA to address public concerns about the NSA’s “collect now, search later” surveillance requires some history, legal analysis, and creative thinking. FISA’s history provides context for the reforms needed to adjust the balance between surveillance and privacy. Current events provide information about the extent of the problem. And creative thinking is required to create solutions.

FISA occupies an uneasy place. It resides where intelligence gathering meets the Fourth Amendment. FISA addresses the problem of how, and when, the government can conduct surveillance for intelligence-gathering purposes on United States soil. Over time, Congress has addressed this delicate balance by amending FISA to expand and contract surveillance capabilities. Today, FISA provides a comprehensive set of procedures for obtaining and using “foreign intelligence information” within the United States.

Before Congress passed FISA in 1978, there were no clear rules for when the executive branch could conduct clandestine surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Prior to FISA, every president since at least 1931 used surveillance to protect national security interests—even when no law specifically allowed that surveillance. See Sen. Rep. No. 94-755 (1976), Book III, Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans [hereinafter Church Report], available at www.intelligence.senate.gov/pdfs94th/94755_III.pdf. Presidents justified this surveillance by pointing to their role as commander-in-chief combined with their duty and authority to execute the laws of the United States. U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, § 2, cl. 1; see Church Report, supra, at 279.

This power remained relatively untested until the seminal case United States v. U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, 407 U.S. 297 (1972), also known as the Keith case. There, the government prosecuted three individuals for conspiring to bomb an office of the Central Intelligence Agency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Keith defendants moved to compel the government to disclose electronic surveillance information the government collected without first getting a warrant. The attorney general argued the surveillance satisfied the Fourth Amendment because it was necessary “to gather intelligence information deemed necessary to protect the nation from attempts of domestic organizations to attack and subvert the existing structure of the Government.” Id. at 300. The Supreme Court found that the government must get a warrant before engaging in domestic surveillance, but limited its opinion to “domestic aspects of national security” and stated that it “express[ed] no opinion as to the issues which may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents.” Id. at 321. Keith changed the landscape of domestic surveillance, but lower courts struggled to decide when surveillance required a warrant and when surveillance fell outside Keith’s holding; as a result, they increasingly invalidated surveillance. See Zweibon v. Mitchell, 516 F.2d 594, 651 (D.C. Cir. 1975).

Faced with this uncertainty and the revelations about warrantless surveillance, the Senate created the Church Committee to investigate the executive branch’s use of warrantless surveillance. The committee’s report provided revelations much like those that are coming to light today as a result of Edward Snowden’s leaks. The committee’s report, which is actually 14 separate reports regarding intelligence abuses, provides one of the most extensive, in-depth examinations of the use and abuse of surveillance powers in the United States. The Church Report revealed that from the early 1960s to 1972, the NSA targeted certain Americans’ international communications by placing their names on a watch list. It contended that intercepting these Americans’ communications was part of monitoring programs it was conducting against international communications channels. As is the case in news reports today, “to those Americans who have had their communications—sent with the expectation that they were private—intentionally intercepted and disseminated by their Government, the knowledge that NSA did not monitor specific communications channels solely to acquire their message is of little comfort.” Church Report, supra, at 735.

History tends to repeat itself. Today, newspapers have reported that the NSA engages in bulk telephone records surveillance using the “Business Records” provision in section 215 of FISA (50 U.S.C. § 1861). This bulk surveillance, however, isn’t anything new. The Church Report provides shockingly similar revelations about the NSA’s Operation SHAMROCK. Much like recent revelations about today’s bulk records collection, Operation SHAMROCK, which lasted all the way from August 1945 until May 1975, collected millions of telegrams leaving or transiting the United States and monitored certain telephone links between the United States and South America. As part of this monitoring, the NSA intercepted Americans’ international communications and disseminated those communications to other intelligence agencies. In doing so, the NSA “never informed the companies that it was analyzing and disseminating telegrams of Americans.” Unlike today, however, “the companies, who had feared in 1945 that their conduct might be illegal, apparently never sought assurances that NSA was limiting its use to the messages of foreign targets once the intercept program had begun.” Church Report, supra, at 740–41.

The NSA discontinued SHAMROCK in 1975, but it still incidentally collected Americans’ communications—much like it does (to a lesser extent) today. The Church Committee described the NSA’s “initial interception of a stream of communications” as “analogous to a vacuum cleaner.” “NSA picks up all communications carried over a specific link that it is monitoring. The combination of this technology and the use of words to select communications of interest results in NSA analysts reviewing the international messages of American citizens, groups, and organizations for foreign intelligence.” Id. at 741. This is eerily similar to the FISC’s description of bulk records collection as recently as October 2011, in which it stated “that NSA has acquired, is acquiring, and . . . will continue to acquire tens of thousands of wholly domestic communications,” Redacted, slip op. at 33 (FISA Ct. Oct. 3, 2011), because it intercepts all communications over certain Internet links it is monitoring and is “unable to exclude certain Internet transactions.” Id. at 30.

 

Purposes of FISA

That history tells us where FISA comes from and the problems Congress was trying to solve. Congress had two main goals: provide some oversight where there was none, and draw clear lines so that law enforcement would know when it could use foreign intelligence process and when it had to follow ordinary criminal process. To address these goals, FISA contains two important parts. First, it established a framework for judicial review by creating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. It also created a new FISA process to replace criminal process such as warrants, subpoenas, surveillance orders, and pen register/trap and trace orders. The FISA versions of each of these has less stringent requirements for the government to satisfy than criminal process. See 50 U.S.C. § 1801–12 (electronic surveillance equivalent to Title III orders), 50 U.S.C. § 1821–29 (physical searches like search warrants), 50 U.S.C. § 1841–46 (pen registers and trap-and-trace devices), 50 U.S.C. § 1861–62 (business records like grand jury subpoenas).

Second, FISA addressed when law enforcement can and cannot use these FISA processes to conduct surveillance or gather evidence. As it was originally enacted, law enforcement could obtain FISA process, rather than criminal process, when the “primary purpose” of surveillance was to gather foreign intelligence information. At the same time, Congress explicitly excluded activities conducted abroad from FISA’s reach. It also did not provide protection for U.S. citizens when they left the United States. See H.R. Rep. No. 95–1283, at 51 (1978).

To fill in the gaps FISA left and to provide rules of executive branch intelligence agencies, President Reagan issued Executive Order 12,333, United States Intelligence Activities (46 Fed. Reg. 59,941 (Dec. 4, 1981)). That order (as amended) remains the basis for executive branch surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. What is important is that the order sets forth procedures that apply where FISA did not, specifically for surveillance of United States persons located abroad. Id. § 2.5.

Foreign intelligence gathering continued under FISA and Executive Order 12,333 for nearly two decades without major revision or challenge, until the attacks of September 11, 2001. Following 9/11, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, which amended FISA by expanding law enforcement authority and lowering the standards required to obtain surveillance authority. Pub. L. No. 107–56 (H.R. 3162), 115 Stat. 272 (2001). The act eliminated the “primary purpose” test and replaced it with a “significant purpose” test. Id. § 218. The “primary purpose” test led law enforcement to create a wall between agencies that engaged in criminal prosecutions (such as parts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice) and agencies that primarily engaged in foreign intelligence gathering (such as the NSA). One of the problems identified in the aftermath of 9/11 was a reluctance to share information because of this “primary purpose” rule—and the fear that doing so could put surveillance or criminal prosecutions at risk.

In a rare published decision (there have been only two), the FISCR upheld the “significant purpose” test in In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717 (FISA Ct. Rev. 2002). The FISC court had found that the “significant purpose” standard was lower than the “primary purpose” standard but that the Fourth Amendment did not require more. The court concluded that the procedures and government showings required under FISA, even if they do not meet the warrant requirement, come close enough that FISA as amended by the Patriot Act meets the balancing test between Fourth Amendment rights and the need to protect against national security threats. In re Sealed Case would prove to be a launching point for reconciling FISA with the Fourth Amendment and for chipping away at the warrant requirement for foreign intelligence-gathering purposes.

In December 2005, a New York Times article revealed a warrantless domestic wiretapping program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), in which the NSA was allowed to eavesdrop on communications where at least one party was not a United States person. According to reports, technical glitches resulted in some “purely domestic” communications being subject to surveillance. The surveillance was based on a 2002 executive order that allowed the NSA to monitor international email messages and international telephone calls transmitted by communications networks based in the United States—surveillance that was outside the scope of review in In re Sealed Case. That executive order claimed that FISA’s warrant requirements were implicitly superseded by the passage of the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against terrorists and that the president’s inherent authority under Article II of the Constitution to conduct foreign surveillance trumped FISA.

A group of plaintiffs sought to challenge the TSP in American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency, 438 F. Supp. 2d 754 (E.D. Mich. 2006). The district court ruled that the surveillance violated the Fourth Amendment, finding that the TSP was implemented without regard to the Fourth Amendment or to FISA, and thus violated FISA, the standards of Title III, and the Fourth Amendment. On appeal, however, the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the TSP because they had not alleged that they were the actual victims of warrantless surveillance. ACLU v. NSA, 493 F.3d 644 (6th Cir. 2007); see also Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l, 133 S. Ct. 1138 (2013).

The Protect America Act of 2007

Following the public outcry in response to the New York Times article and the ACLU decision, the Bush administration proposed the Protect America Act of 2007 (PAA), Pub. L. No. 110-55, 121 Stat. 552, which was designed to address surveillance of communications facilities located in the United States that transmit communications between individuals both of whom are located abroad. PAA § 105A. Again, just as in 1978, the government needed more guidance on when FISA applied and when the executive branch was free of its requirements. The PAA addressed a new problem: capturing wholly foreign communications on U.S. soil. In the past, to capture foreign communications between non-U.S. persons, the government simply implemented surveillance on foreign communications networks, which are not subject to restrictions imposed by the Fourth Amendment or any statute. Now that foreign communications could be transferred within the United States and the TSP’s constitutionality had been called into doubt, the intelligence community required a new tool to continue that surveillance. The PAA, by providing a number of procedures to conduct surveillance of targets outside the United States, and in an attempt to avoid resort to traditional warrants and Title III orders, implemented a system of internal controls at the NSA as well as overarching review of policies and procedures by the FISC. The PAA was a stopgap measure, to preserve some aspects of warrantless surveillance of foreign communications transmitted within the United States while Congress worked to overhaul FISA.

Notably, the PAA, like the Patriot Act, again changed the test of when the FISA process does and does not apply. The PAA changed the focus from the identity of the party targeted to whether a party was present in the United States. This change made it much simpler for the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to approve surveillance—rather than certifying that both parties to the communication were foreign powers or agents of foreign powers, they now only had to certify that the target of the surveillance was located outside the United States. Under the PAA, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general could permit, for up to one year, “the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States” if they determined that the acquisition met five specified criteria and the minimization procedures for that surveillance were approved by the FISC. PAA § 105B. In practical terms, the government could serve providers with orders that the FISC approved, and then name the targets of surveillance later.

One provider, Yahoo, challenged this in In re Directives [Redacted] Pursuant to Section 105B of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [Redacted], 551 F.3d 1004 (FISA Ct. Rev. 2008). In that case, the government revealed that it not only complied with the PAA but also voluntarily complied with Executive Order 12,333, 46 Fed. Reg. 59,941, 59,951 (Dec. 4, 1981), which taken together mean that the certifications at issue “permit surveillances conducted to obtain foreign intelligence for national security purposes when those surveillances are directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.” In re Directives, 551 F.3d at 1008. The court upheld these warrantless searches, finding that because the purpose of the surveillance was to gather foreign intelligence information, it fell under a “foreign intelligence exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement” so long as it was directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside the United states. Id. at 1012.

The court also found that the searches were reasonable because they complied with Executive Order 12,333, which required probable cause to believe that an individual is outside the United States and a finding that such surveillance was necessary, and which limited the duration of the surveillance and thus contained sufficient protections to avoid risk of mistake or executive branch misconduct.

The PAA was a stopgap measure and was eventually replaced by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), Pub. L. No. 110-261, § 403, 122 Stat. 2436, 2473. The FAA repealed the most troublesome provision of the PAA, which provided for warrantless surveillance of foreign intelligence targets “reasonably believed” to be outside the United States, even if they were U.S. persons, by adding a new section to FISA entitled “Additional Procedures Regarding Certain Persons Outside the United States.” Much of this section enshrines the protections present in Executive Order 12,333’s treatment of U.S. persons that the court relied on in In re Sealed Case and In re Directives to uphold the surveillance of United States persons located abroad.

The FAA again addressed the question of when FISA applies via a complicated web of procedures and processes for each category of target subject to surveillance: individuals outside the country that are not “U.S. Persons” (section 1881a), acquisitions inside the country targeting U.S. persons outside the country (section 1881b), and U.S. persons outside the country (section 1881c). Different processes are required for each type of target, but in a nutshell, U.S. persons receive slightly more protection. The most important change is that there is no prior judicial review of surveillance conducted in the United States that targets non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. FAA § 1881a. To conduct surveillance of U.S. persons outside the United States, however, the government must first obtain FISC approval of the particular targets. FAA § 1881b.

 

Time to Address Problems

FISA’s history and current events demonstrate that we are at a point in the cycle where it is again time to address the two basic questions: How do we provide oversight of intelligence-gathering activities? And when does this oversight apply? FISA, from a textual perspective, provides the government with far-reaching authority for surveillance and specific process for each type of surveillance it may want to conduct, but the public was relatively unaware of how the government used that authority until Edward Snowden leaked classified documents in late 2013 providing some detail on the NSA’s use of surveillance activities. In response, the government has begun declassifying a wealth of FISC decisions, letters to Congress, and other information regarding the NSA’s use of FISA authorities. A detailed analysis of these opinions could lead to a new report as voluminous as the Church Committee’s reports, but even a high-level analysis provides some context for moving forward.

The recently released opinions—such as Redacted, LEXIS 157706 (FISA Ct. Oct. 3, 2011), and Redacted II, LEXIS 157706 (FISA Ct. Nov. 30, 2011)—confirm what appeared to be the case in In re Directives, that the FISC has adopted an exception to the warrant requirement for foreign intelligence gathering—particularly where the government seeks communications that are not wholly domestic. In those cases, despite finding that the NSA knowingly collected wholly domestic communications that had nothing to do with foreign intelligence, the FISC generally approved most of the government’s targeting and minimization procedures. On a bad set of facts for the government, the FISC held that only a small part of the NSA’s surveillance program was unconstitutional and only because the NSA did not make enough of an effort to delete wrongly collected communications—a problem the NSA soon remedied. Redacted II, LEXIS 157705 (FISA Ct. Nov. 30, 2011).

The window left open in Keith seems to be closed. Similarly, the FISC has approved of the NSA’s “collect now, restrict searching later” approach to minimization. See In re Application of the F.B.I. for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted], No. BR 13-109, LEXIS 134786 (FISA Ct. Sept. 13, 2013). In other words, the FISC has found no constitutional or statutory impediment to the government “over collecting” data—so long as it does not intentionally collect wholly domestic communications and it has minimization procedures to restrict access. There is no indication that the government has used its surveillance powers improperly (except in a limited number of circumstances attributable to NSA employee misconduct), but the FISC has not taken a robust view of the Fourth Amendment.

As was the case back in the late 1970s, the American public has reacted to executive surveillance activities—some of which are eerily similar to the NSA’s use of surveillance authority in the mid– to late 1970s. And as was the case in the late 1970s, it may again be time for Congress to take action. The problems remain quite similar to those Congress faced in 1978: provide oversight where there is none, or where it is inadequate, and make clear when the government can, and cannot, use different types of FISA process.

In late 2013, numerous members of Congress began proposing bills to reform FISA and provide new protections. See Mark M. Jaycox, “Cheat Sheet to Congress’ NSA Spying Bills,” Elec. Frontier Found. (Sept. 11, 2013), http://www.eff.org/deep links/2013/08/effs-cheat-sheet. Given the heated nature of the current debate, it is likely that the particular content of these bills will change daily, and summarizing their particularities is best left to blogs. Still, the bills generally fall into two categories: increasing transparency and restructuring the process. A few bills address bulk collection of records under section 215, but none takes a comprehensive approach to changing the question of when FISA applies and when it does not.

The current system of checks and balances under the FAA is simply not enough. It’s not because of a lack of desire by the providers to defend their users. Unlike the telephone and telegraph companies that did not act to end NSA spying in the Operation SHAMROCK era, providers today are taking a much more active role in the process. Yahoo challenged the FISA process in 2008, interest groups have filed actions seeking information about surveillance practices, and now providers have brought declaratory judgment actions seeking to reveal more information about surveillance process they receive.

One of the pending bills, Senator Blumenthal’s FISA Court Reform Act of 2013, Senate Bill 1460 and Senate Bill 1467, provides an answer that, having had the experience of litigating before the FISC myself, I believe could provide much needed improvements. That bill provides for a new Office of the Special Advocate, which introduces an adversary to the court. (This is similar to the public privacy advocate that President Obama recently proposed.) The act attempts to solve a basic problem with the current oversight procedures: There is no true adversarial process for most of the legal issues that arise. The newly declassified opinions the director of national intelligence has released make this abundantly clear. Setting aside the legal arguments, the procedural history of the opinions indicates delays on the government’s part, a lack of supervision after the court issues its orders, and a preference for secrecy over public disclosure at any cost. Appointing a special advocate ad litem for the public would ensure that novel legal arguments in the FISA court would face a consistent, steady challenge no matter who the provider is, thereby strengthening the FISA process by subjecting results to checks and balances.

Without such a process, the court and the Department of Justice must work through difficult legal issues with no balancing input. An advocate could participate in all cases involving a new statute or authority or a new interpretation or application of an existing authority. The special advocate could choose the cases in which to be involved, or the court or a provider that receives process could request its involvement where an opposition would be useful to test and evaluate the government’s legal arguments. The special advocate’s office could be established with proper security safeguards to draft, store, and access classified records more efficiently. It could also be required to report to the public and Congress the number of cases it has argued and how often it has limited or pared back the government’s requests. It would provide a vital counterpoint for legislators exercising their oversight duties.

The special advocate would be especially useful in cases in which the government demands access to communications in a way that may have a profound effect on people other than the target, such as when decryption may be involved or when a provider is asked to provide assistance in ways that are unlike traditional wiretaps.

Providing for an advocate in front of the court would also resolve several problems for companies and individuals faced with receiving FISA process or having evidence gathered using that process used against them. The statutory process as it stands now does not necessarily provide for complete transparency or a level playing field for the provider. As the published decision in In re Directives makes clear, a phalanx of 11 government lawyers, including the acting solicitor general of the United States, was involved in defending the statute. The decision also shows that some of the documents relied on by the court of review were classified procedures submitted as part of an ex parte appendix that remains sealed. 551 F.3d at 1013–14.

If an advocate were present in other matters before the FISC, the government and court would be more likely to provide more public information on what challenges have and have not been successful. Public access would also provide litigators with a much greater opportunity to use those challenges in advising and defending their clients. The FISC’s decisions may or may not have been correct, depending on your view, but the secrecy employed up to this point erodes the safeguards built into our adversarial court system. The presence of an advocate would help to ensure that the government cannot continue to keep new opinions classified, unless it is truly in the interest of national security to do so.

Revising FISA is no easy task, and analyzing and responding to the FISA process presents thorny questions. There is one constant throughout the history of surveillance, as was the case in the Church Report and as is the case today with news reports about NSA surveillance: The government will use the surveillance power it is given to its fullest. This article does not opine on when that is and is not appropriate. America’s long history of surveillance and current events demonstrate a need to revise the process and take a hard look at whether courts have the tools to oversee executive branch surveillance and when the executive branch should be allowed to use foreign intelligence procedures. Introducing an advocate to test the government’s theories and surveillance in every case—even the ones it brings ex parte—would go a long way toward ensuring that the American public is not shocked again.

https://www.americanbar.org/publications/litigation_journal/2013-14/spring/fisa_authority_and_blanket_surveillance_gatekeeper_without_opposition.html

Meet Executive Order 12333: The Reagan rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans

July 18, 2014

John Napier Tye served as section chief for Internet freedom in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from January 2011 to April 2014. He is now a legal director of Avaaz, a global advocacy organization.

In March I received a call from the White House counsel’s office regarding a speech I had prepared for my boss at the State Department. The speech was about the impact that the disclosure of National Security Agency surveillance practices would have on U.S. Internet freedom policies. The draft stated that “if U.S. citizens disagree with congressional and executive branch determinations about the proper scope of signals intelligence activities, they have the opportunity to change the policy through our democratic process.”

But the White House counsel’s office told me that no, that wasn’t true. I was instructed to amend the line, making a general reference to “our laws and policies,” rather than our intelligence practices. I did.

Even after all the reforms President Obama has announced, some intelligence practices remain so secret, even from members of Congress, that there is no opportunity for our democracy to change them.

Public debate about the bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ data by the NSA has focused largely on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, through which the government obtains court orders to compel American telecommunications companies to turn over phone data. But Section 215 is a small part of the picture and does not include the universe of collection and storage of communications by U.S. persons authorized under Executive Order 12333.

From 2011 until April of this year, I worked on global Internet freedom policy as a civil servant at the State Department. In that capacity, I was cleared to receive top-secret and “sensitive compartmented” information. Based in part on classified facts that I am prohibited by law from publishing, I believe that Americans should be even more concerned about the collection and storage of their communications under Executive Order 12333 than under Section 215.

Bulk data collection that occurs inside the United States contains built-in protections for U.S. persons, defined as U.S. citizens, permanent residents and companies. Such collection must be authorized by statute and is subject to oversight from Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The statutes set a high bar for collecting the content of communications by U.S. persons. For example, Section 215 permits the bulk collection only of U.S. telephone metadata — lists of incoming and outgoing phone numbers — but not audio of the calls.

Executive Order 12333 contains no such protections for U.S. persons if the collection occurs outside U.S. borders. Issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to authorize foreign intelligence investigations, 12333 is not a statute and has never been subject to meaningful oversight from Congress or any court. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has said that the committee has not been able to “sufficiently” oversee activities conducted under 12333.

Unlike Section 215, the executive order authorizes collection of the content of communications, not just metadata, even for U.S. persons. Such persons cannot be individually targeted under 12333 without a court order. However, if the contents of a U.S. person’s communications are “incidentally” collected (an NSA term of art) in the course of a lawful overseas foreign intelligence investigation, then Section 2.3(c) of the executive order explicitly authorizes their retention. It does not require that the affected U.S. persons be suspected of wrongdoing and places no limits on the volume of communications by U.S. persons that may be collected and retained.

“Incidental” collection may sound insignificant, but it is a legal loophole that can be stretched very wide. Remember that the NSA is building a data center in Utah five times the size of the U.S. Capitol building, with its own power plant that will reportedly burn $40 million a year in electricity.

“Incidental collection” might need its own power plant.

A legal regime in which U.S. citizens’ data receives different levels of privacy and oversight, depending on whether it is collected inside or outside U.S. borders, may have made sense when most communications by U.S. persons stayed inside the United States. But today, U.S. communications increasingly travel across U.S. borders — or are stored beyond them. For example, the Google and Yahoo e-mail systems rely on networks of “mirror” servers located throughout the world. An e-mail from New York to New Jersey is likely to wind up on servers in Brazil, Japan and Britain. The same is true for most purely domestic communications.

Executive Order 12333 contains nothing to prevent the NSA from collecting and storing all such communications — content as well as metadata — provided that such collection occurs outside the United States in the course of a lawful foreign intelligence investigation. No warrant or court approval is required, and such collection never need be reported to Congress. None of the reforms that Obama announced earlier this year will affect such collection.

Without any legal barriers to such collection, U.S. persons must increasingly rely on the affected companies to implement security measures to keep their communications private. The executive order does not require the NSA to notify or obtain consent of a company before collecting its users’ data.

The attorney general, rather than a court, must approve “minimization procedures” for handling the data of U.S. persons that is collected under 12333, to protect their rights. I do not know the details of those procedures. But the director of national intelligence recently declassified a document (United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18) showing that U.S. agencies may retain such data for five years.

Before I left the State Department, I filed a complaint with the department’s inspector general, arguing that the current system of collection and storage of communications by U.S. persons under Executive Order 12333 violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. I have also brought my complaint to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to the inspector general of the NSA.

I am not the first person with knowledge of classified activities to publicly voice concerns about the collection and retention of communications by U.S. persons under 12333. The president’s own Review Group on Intelligence and Communication Technologies, in Recommendation 12 of its public report, addressed the matter. But the review group coded its references in a way that masked the true nature of the problem.

At first glance, Recommendation 12 appears to concern Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes collection inside the United States against foreign targets outside the United States. Although the recommendation does not explicitly mention Executive Order 12333, it does refer to “any other authority.” A member of the review group confirmed to me that this reference was written deliberately to include Executive Order 12333.

Recommendation 12 urges that all data of U.S. persons incidentally collected under such authorities be immediately purged unless it has foreign intelligence value or is necessary to prevent serious harm. The review group further recommended that a U.S. person’s incidentally collected data never be used in criminal proceedings against that person, and that the government refrain from searching communications by U.S. persons unless it obtains a warrant or unless such searching is necessary to prevent serious harm.

The White House understood that Recommendation 12 was intended to apply to 12333. That understanding was conveyed to me verbally by several White House staffers, and was confirmed in an unclassified White House document that I saw during my federal employment and that is now in the possession of several congressional committees.

In that document, the White House stated that adoption of Recommendation 12 would require “significant changes” to current practice under Executive Order 12333 and indicated that it had no plans to make such changes.

All of this calls into question some recent administration statements. Gen. Keith Alexander, a former NSA director, has said publicly that for years the NSA maintained a U.S. person e-mail metadata program similar to the Section 215 telephone metadata program. And he has maintained that the e-mail program was terminated in 2011 because “we thought we could better protect civil liberties and privacy by doing away with it.” Note, however, that Alexander never said that the NSA stopped collecting such data — merely that the agency was no longer using the Patriot Act to do so. I suggest that Americans dig deeper.

Consider the possibility that Section 215 collection does not represent the outer limits of collection on U.S. persons but rather is a mechanism to backfill that portion of U.S. person data that cannot be collected overseas under 12333.

Proposals for replacing Section 215 collection are currently being debated in Congress. We need a similar debate about Executive Order 12333. The order as used today threatens our democracy. There is no good reason that U.S. citizens should receive weaker privacy and oversight protections simply because their communications are collected outside, not inside, our borders.

I have never made any unauthorized disclosures of classified information, nor would I ever do so. I fully support keeping secret the targets, sources and methods of U.S. intelligence as crucial elements of national security. I was never a disgruntled federal employee; I loved my job at the State Department. I left voluntarily and on good terms to take a job outside of government. A draft of this article was reviewed and cleared by the State Department and the NSA to ensure that it contained no classified material.

When I started at the State Department, I took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. I don’t believe that there is any valid interpretation of the Fourth Amendment that could permit the government to collect and store a large portion of U.S. citizens’ online communications, without any court or congressional oversight, and without any suspicion of wrongdoing. Such a legal regime risks abuse in the long run, regardless of whether one trusts the individuals in office at a particular moment.

I am coming forward because I think Americans deserve an honest answer to the simple question: What kind of data is the NSA collecting on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/meet-executive-order-12333-the-reagan-rule-that-lets-the-nsa-spy-on-americans/2014/07/18/93d2ac22-0b93-11e4-b8e5-d0de80767fc2_story.html?utm_term=.0be4d4e8beac

A Primer on Executive Order 12333: The Mass Surveillance Starlet

JUNE 2, 2014

Many news reports have focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act (used to collect all Americans’ calling records) and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FAA) (used to collect phone calls, emails and other Internet content) as the legal authorities supporting much of the NSA’s spying regime. Both laws were passed by Congress and are overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court). However, it’s likely that the NSA conducts much more of its spying under the President’s claimed inherent powers and only governed by a document originally approved by President Reagan titled Executive Order 12333. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is currently conducting a secret investigation into the order, but Congress as a whole—including the Judiciary committee—must release more information about the order to the public.

EO 12333 was first written in 1981 in the wake of Watergate and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, an act passed by Congress that regulates spying conducted on people located within the United States. Since FISA only covers specific types of spying, the President maintains that the executive branch remains free to spy abroad on foreigners with little to no regulation by Congress.

Executive Order 12333

The Executive Order does three things: it outlines what it governs, when the agencies can spy, and how they can spy. In broad strokes, the Executive Order mandates rules for spying on United States persons (a term that includes citizens and lawful permanent residents wherever they may be) and on anyone within the United States. It also directs the Attorney General and others to create further policies and procedures for what information can be collected, retained, and shared.

The first section of the order covers the role of every agency conducting intelligence in the Intelligence Community, which includes seventeen different agencies, including well-known entities like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the NSA, and lesser-known entities like the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Department of Treasury. The roles vary by agency. For instance, the NSA is, among other things, responsible for “collection, processing and dissemination of signals intelligence,” while the CIA is responsible for “national foreign intelligence.

The Information Collected

The Executive Order purports to cover all types of spying conducted with the President’s constitutional powers—including mass spying. That’s important to note because some of the spying conducted under EO 12333 is reportedly similar to the mass spying conducted under Section 702 of the FAA. Under this type of spying, millions of innocent foreigners’ communications are collected abroad, inevitably containing Americans’ communications. In the Section 702 context, this includes techniques like Prism and Upstream. While we don’t know for sure, the Executive Order probably uses similar techniques or piggybacks off of programs used for Section 702 spying.

The second section of the EO partly covers mass spying by establishing what information intelligence agencies can collect, retain, and share about US persons. The current guidelines, the United States Signals Intelligence Directive SP0018, also known as “USSID 18,” are (just like the “minimization procedures” based off of them) littered with loopholes to over-collect, over-retain, and over-share Americans’ communications—all without a probable cause warrant or any judicial oversight.

Defenders (.pdf) of the mass spying conducted under the Executive Order point out the order “protects” such US person information with guidelines like USSID 18, but such protections are window-dressing, at best. Policies like USSID 18 and other accompanying Executive Order guidelines such as the “Special Procedures Governing Communications Metadata Analysis” allow for extensive use of US person information and data without a probable cause warrant. Indeed, news reports and Congressional testimony confirm the “Special Procedures” are used to map Americans’ social networks. The procedures are clear evidence the government believes that Fourth Amendment’s protections stop at the border.

Uses of Executive Order 12333

We do know a little about the spying conducted using EO 12333, but more must be revealed to the public. One early news report revealed it was the NSA’s claimed authority for the collection of Americans’ address books and buddy lists. It’s also involved in the NSA’s elite hacking unit, the Tailored Access Operations unit, which targets system administrators and installs malware while masquerading as Facebook servers. And in March, the Washington Postrevealed the order alone—without any court oversight—is used to justify the recording of “100 percent of a foreign country’s telephone calls.” The NSA’s reliance on the order for foreign spying includes few, if any, Congressional limits or oversight. Some of the only known limits on Executive spying are found in Executive procedures like USSID 18, the metadata procedures discussed above, and probably other still-classified National Security Policy Directives, none of which have been publicly debated much less approved by Congress or the courts.

The extent of the NSA’s reliance on Executive Order 12333 demands that the government release more information about how the order is used, or misused. And Congress—specifically the Judiciary and Intelligence committees—must reassert the same aggressive and diligent oversight they performed in the 1970s and 1980s.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/06/primer-executive-order-12333-mass-surveillance-starlet

Maintaining America’s Ability to Collect Foreign Intelligence: The Section 702 Program

May 13, 2016 21 min read Download Report

Authors:Paul Rosenzweig, Charles Stimson andDavid Shedd

Select a Section 1/0

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will, in its current form, come up for reauthorization in 2017. Broadly speaking, the Section 702 program targets non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States, in order to acquire foreign intelligence. Over the past several years, this surveillance of the online activities of foreigners has been a critical and invaluable tool for American intelligence professionals and officials. Knowledgeable officials note that more than 25 percent of all current U.S. intelligence is based on information collected under Section 702.[1]

Still, there are those who have concerns about the program. These critics believe that the program, as currently implemented, infringes on Americans’ rights. Their concern hinges on the inevitable reality that in the course of collecting information about foreign actors, the Section 702 program will also collect information about American citizens. As a result, some opponents liken the Section 702 program to the government telephony metadata program disclosed by Edward Snowden, and characterize Section 702 as an instance of government overreach.[2] Such comparisons are misguided and unfair. The program is so vital to America’s national security that Congress should reauthorize Section 702 in its current form.

Section 702 Explained

Section 702 has its origins in President George W. Bush’s terrorist surveillance program and the Patriot Act. That program was initiated in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, on the President’s own authority. That reliance on exclusive presidential authority contributed to the controversy that initially attended the program—some vocal critics saw it as an example of executive overreach.

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That aspect of the criticism was significantly ameliorated, if not eliminated, several years later, when Congress fully discussed and authorized the activities in question. Indeed, the governing law was adopted and amended twice, after the program had been initiated on the President’s own authority. First, Congress adopted a temporary measure known as the Protect America Act in 2007.[3] Then, it passed the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) in 2008. This is the statute that includes the new Section 702.[4]

Under Section 702, the U.S. Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) may jointly authorize surveillance of people who are not “U.S. persons.” U.S. persons is a term of art in the intelligence community (IC) that means people who are not only American citizens but also covers permanent-resident aliens. As such, the targets of Section 702 surveillance can be neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.

Section 702 authorizes the government to acquire foreign intelligence by targeting non-U.S. persons “reasonably believed” to be outside U.S. borders. Taken together, these two requirements identify the fundamental domain of Section 702 surveillance: it applies to foreigners on foreign soil. It is expressly against the law to attempt collection of information from targets inside the U.S.—whether Americans or foreigners—or to deliberately target the collection of online communications of American citizens.[5]

The law also requires the government to develop “targeting procedures”—the steps the government needs to take in order to ensure that the target is outside the United States at any time that electronic surveillance is undertaken. Obviously, that is sometimes difficult. A cell phone number, for instance, remains the same whether the phone is physically overseas or in the U.S., and the fact that someone has a U.S. cell phone number does not necessarily indicate whether the owner or user of that cell phone is a foreigner or an American. Hence, targeting must be tied to the geolocation of a phone and some knowledge about the owner/user, rather than solely to the phone’s number. Ultimately, it is the targeting procedures, not the targets themselves, that must be approved by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).[6]

To conduct this surveillance, the government can compel assistance from Internet service providers (ISPs) and telephone companies in acquiring foreign intelligence information—that is, information relating to a foreign espionage program or international terrorism. The government often compensates these providers for the necessary effort. According to The Washington Post, the payments range from $250 million to nearly $400 million annually.[7] Some critics of the program suspect that as a result, surveillance turns from a legal obligation to a source of income. Finally, it is important to note that not only regulated carriers, such as traditional cable and telephone companies (such as AT&T or Verizon), are required to participate, but also newer technology companies to include Google, Facebook, and Skype.

The Incidental Collection Issue

If that were all that the 702 program involved, it would likely not be particularly controversial. Few Americans have expressed grave concerns about America’s overseas intelligence collection. Significantly, the 702 program cannot be used to target any U.S. person or any person located in the U.S., whether that person is an American or a foreigner. The government is also prohibited from “reverse targeting” under 702—that is, the government cannot target a non-U.S. person outside the U.S. when the real interest is to collect the communications of a person in the U.S. or of any U.S. person, regardless of location.

But a residual issue arises because of the inevitability of inadvertent collection—the incidental collection of information about Americans as part of the authorized collection of foreign intelligence.

To see why this happens, one needs to understand two distinct aspects of the Section 702 program: one portion that goes by the name of PRISM, and another that is referred to colloquially as “upstream collection.”[8]

PRISM collection is relatively straightforward. A hypothetical can explain: The government has information about a particular e-mail address, or a particular individual, linking it or him to a foreign terrorist organization. That address (john.doe@xyz.com) or that individual’s name (John Doe) is known as a “selector”; it is a basis for sifting through vast quantities of data, and selecting what will be collected and analyzed.

The Attorney General and the DNI certify the selector as relating to a non-U.S. person who is outside the United States, and who is reasonably believed to be connected to a foreign intelligence activity. Then, the National Security Agency (NSA) sends a query about that selector to an ISP. The ISP, in turn, is required to hand over to the government any communications it might have that were sent to—or from—the identified selector. The NSA receives all data collected through PRISM, and makes portions of it available to the CIA and the FBI.

Upstream collection, by contrast, does not focus on the ISP. Instead, it focuses on the “backbone,” through which all telephone and Internet communications travel, which lies “upstream” within the telecommunications infrastructure. For example, an individual’s ISP might be a local company, while the backbone that carries its Internet traffic across the ocean to Europe is almost certainly operated by a larger provider, such as Verizon or AT&T.

There are several additional differences that distinguish upstream collection from PRISM. Most notably, upstream collection can involve “about” communications. “About” communications refer to selectors that occur within the content of the monitored communication, instead of, in the example of e-mail, in the “To” or “From” line.

So, if the government were using a name—John Doe—as a selector, under the upstream collection program, it would also collect foreign intelligence–related communications in which that name appeared in the body of the communication. Say, for example, that two al-Qaeda members are communicating via e-mail, and one says to the other: “We should recruit Doe.” That e-mail would be subject to upstream collection and would be a good example of an “about” communication. The e-mail is about Doe. Under the PRISM program, by contrast, the government would collect e-mails to and from the user name, and nothing more.

As should be evident, in some cases, these programs might result unintentionally in the collection of information about an American. If two Americans are communicating domestically in an exchange that names a foreign intelligence target (say, an e-mail that mentions an al-Qaeda operative by name), that e-mail might be incidentally collected by upstream collection. Likewise, an e-mail between two terrorist targets might be collected that incidentally includes information not only about legitimately identified U.S. persons (the recruit target John Doe), but also others. An e-mail might also mention Mary Doe—even though no evidence exists of any connection between Mary Doe and a foreign intelligence matter.

This prospect of collecting American data led Congress to include certain requirements that would reduce, though not entirely eliminate, the possibility that the data could be misused. Under the FAA, when information is collected about an American, whether incidentally as part of an authorized investigation, or inadvertently as the result of a mistake, the government is required to apply FISC-approved “minimization” procedures to determine whether such information may be retained or disseminated.

When lawyers and intelligence professionals use the word “minimization” in the context of intelligence collection, it means that any information inadvertently collected on a U.S. person is retained (if at all) only for a limited time, and that information about Americans is used and revealed and further disseminated only under narrowly defined circumstances. Minimization requirements may also mean deleting the information entirely. As with the targeting procedures, these minimization procedures are approved by the FISC—but again, the approval is for the entire system of minimization, not for each individual case.

So, for example, under these minimization rules, the NSA, CIA, and FBI are subject to certain limitations in how they are permitted to query and analyze the data they have lawfully collected. For example, they must demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that targeting a particular item in the information collected will result in the development of foreign intelligence. In other words, the rules limit when a U.S. person can be targeted for examination, and how long data about an American can be retained before it is deleted.

The Effectiveness of Section 702

With that background in mind, it is useful to turn to more practical questions about the program: Does it work? Is it being abused?

The public record suggests that the Section 702 program has indeed helped in the fight against terrorism. Classified records might provide additional support for this conclusion but they are unavailable to us.[9] The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)—a bipartisan panel in the executive branch that reviews actions the executive branch takes to protect the country from terrorism, and also monitors civil liberty concerns—has reported that more than one-quarter of NSA reports on international terrorism include information that is based in whole, or in part, on data collected under the Section 702 program.

The PCLOB found that the 702 program “makes a substantial contribution to the government’s efforts to learn about the membership, goals, and activities of international terrorist organizations, and to prevent acts of terrorism from coming to fruition.”[10] Additionally, the program has “led the government to identify previously unknown individuals who are involved in international terrorism, and it has played a key role in discovering and disrupting specific terrorist plots aimed at the United States and other countries.”[11]

Although the details supporting these findings are classified, the board has also said that the program has played a role in discovering, and disrupting, specific terrorist plots aimed at the United States by enabling the government to identify previously unidentified individuals involved in international terrorism.[12] Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has posted three declassified examples from the NSA that involved the effective use of Section 702 collection in 2009: the New York City Subway Attack Plot; the Chicago Terror Investigation; and Operation Wi-Fi.

A few critics of the 702 program have disputed its actual impact in the New York City Subway Attack Plot and the Chicago Terror Investigation. TheGuardian interviewed several people who were involved in the two investigations and reviewed U.S. and British court documents.[13] Based on this incomplete record, The Guardian concluded that these investigations began with “conventional” surveillance methods—such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services—rather than from leads produced by NSA surveillance.

But the fact remains that current and former intelligence officials, members from both political parties across two Administrations, national security law experts in the private sector, and the PCLOB maintain that 702 has been and continues to be a very important intelligence tool for overseas intelligence collection.

Section 702 Criticisms v. Facts

Some of the criticisms of Section 702 are little more than philosophical objections to the concept of overseas surveillance.

Setting aside those concerns, there are other specific criticisms, each of which lacks merit. For example, there has been criticism that there is no significant publicly available data on how little, or how much, incidental collection there is about U.S. persons. Such data would be helpful to know in assessing the program. According to the PCLOB, in 2013 the NSA approved 198 U.S. person identifiers to be used as content query terms. The real issue is the frequency with which U.S. persons’ information was collected incidentally to the general foreign intelligence mission, and what is done with the information. After all, if the volume of incidental collection even remotely came close to what is collected as useful data on terrorism activities, including threats, skepticism about Section 702’s efficacy would be warranted.

Given that the targets of Section 702 collection are non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located overseas, it can reasonably be inferred that the predominant portion of the collected data does not contain U.S. person information. Although it would be useful to have an accurate estimate of how much incidental U.S. person information actually resides within the remaining portion of the data collected under the Section 702 program, it has proved very difficult to find any solution that would provide such an estimate. The first problem is that the collected data is often not readily identifiable as being associated with a U.S. person and would require the application of additional scarce technological and analytic resources in an effort to make those associations. The second problem is that the targets of the Section 702 collection efforts do not always communicate with persons of foreign intelligence interest. Ironically, an effort to ascertain an accurate estimate of non-pertinent U.S. person information lying dormant in the collected data is inconsistent with the purpose of Section 702, which is to identify foreign intelligence information. Such an effort to provide an estimate would result in more invasive review of U.S. person information.

FISA itself takes a more practical approach in attempting to understand the potential U.S. person privacy implications raised by Section 702 collection. It requires the head of each element of the Intelligence Community to conduct an annual review and to provide an accounting of the references to U.S. persons in intelligence reporting.[14] This outcome-based approach focuses on the U.S. person information that is actually being seen by the Intelligence Community, in order to assess whether there is any prejudicial impact on privacy rights. Also, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently released its “Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities–Annual Statistics for Calendar Year 2015.”[15] The report estimates that 94,368 non-U.S. persons are targets of Section 702 collection. By comparison, the report estimates that the IC used 4,672 known U.S. person search terms in 23,800 queries of the lawfully collected Section 702 data. The report also notes that in 2015, the NSA disseminated 4,290 Section 702 intelligence reports that included U.S. person information. Of those reports, the U.S. person information was masked in 3,168 reports and unmasked in 1,122 reports. The remaining major criticisms of the 702 program are more systematic and definitional. One critique is that the government uses too broad a means in its first stage of collection, which is then followed by a more refined collection of data.[16] Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the FISC has described the program more accurately: “While in absolute terms, the scope of acquisition under Section 702 is substantial, the acquisitions are not conducted in a bulk or indiscriminate manner. Rather they are effected through…discrete targeting decisions for individual selectors.”[17]

Another complaint about the Section 702 program is that U.S. person data is retained—at least partially—at all. Under current rules, when the U.S. government targets someone abroad, it is not required to discard the incidentally collected communications of U.S. persons—if authorities conclude that those conversations constitute foreign intelligence.

In that event, even incidental conversations by or about U.S. persons may be retained. And the threshold for querying a U.S. person within the data collected is relatively low. To affirmatively query the data collected about a U.S. person, all that is needed is a determination that the search is reasonably likely to return foreign intelligence information. “Reasonably likely” is an especially easy standard to meet. It does not, for example, require any particularized suspicion that the U.S. person who is subject of the inquiry is engaged in any wrongdoing himself.

For that reason, a Presidential Review Board, as well a few Members of Congress, believe that Section 702 collection on Americans goes too far.[18] The program, they argue, is permissible and lawful without individual case supervision or a warrant requirement precisely because it targets non-Americans. So they contend that when the communications of U.S. persons are queried, probable cause and warrant requirements should apply. Any loophole that allows that particular querying should be closed because the government should not be able to obtain “back door” evidence against U.S. persons that it could otherwise only obtain with judicial approval.

But there is no “back door” here—a query does not collect any additional data. The FISC specifically holds that the 702 collection is constitutional and entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment’s protections. The court found that “the querying provisions of the FBI Minimization Procedures strike a reasonable balance between the privacy interests of U.S. persons and persons in the United States, on the one hand, and the government’s national security interests, on the other.”[19] Even the fact that the “FBI’s use of those provisions to conduct queries designed to return evidence of crimes unrelated to foreign intelligence” did “not preclude the Court from concluding that taken together, the targeting and minimization procedures submitted with the 2015 Certifications are consistent with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.”[20]

Obviously, Congress itself did not agree with these systematic and definitional complaints. While the focus of Section 702 collection is on non-U.S. persons located overseas, one of the specifically intended benefits of Section 702 was its ability to provide tip and lead information about persons in the United States who might be conspiring with overseas terrorists. This limited information might prove useful in helping to establish the probable cause necessary to obtain full surveillance coverage of these domestic suspects. It is also important to understand that the response to complaints about the theoretical possibility of abuse under FISA revolves around tight controls. The PCLOB found little evidence of abuse of the Section 215 metadata program, and in the case of Section 702 implementation found virtually no intentional misuse of the collection authorities where U.S. persons were concerned:

Over the years, a series of compliance issues were brought to the attention of the FISA court by the government. However, none of these compliance issues involved significant intentional misuse of the system. Nor has the Board seen any evidence of bad faith or misconduct on the part of any government officials or agents involved with the program. Rather, the compliance issues were recognized by the [FISA] court—and are recognized by the Board—as a product of the program’s technological complexity and vast scope, illustrating the risks inherent in such a program.[21]

Similarly, the PCLOB included a section in its 702 report called “Compliance Issues.” According to the PCLOB, the few instances of error in the administration of the 702 program were infrequent and mainly minor and administrative in nature. That is why the PCLOB found that “internal and external compliance programs have not to date identified any intentional attempts to circumvent or violate the procedures or the statutory requirements, but both unintentional incidents of noncompliance and instances where Intelligence Community personnel did not fully understand the requirements of the statute.”[22]

In other words, all of the errors in the program were accidental or due to mistakes. None was the product of intentional misconduct. Indeed, the non-compliance incident rate has been substantially below 1 percent, according to the PCLOB.[23] Over half of the reported incidents involved instances in which the “NSA otherwise complied with the targeting and minimization procedures in tasking and de-tasking a selector, but failed to make a report to the NSD and ODNI” in a timely fashion.[24]

Two other common reasons why compliance errors occurred are that: (1) the wrong selector was tasked due to a typographical error, or (2) a delay in de-tasking (removing the selector) resulted when an analyst de-tasked some, but not all, of the Section 702-tasked selectors placed on a non-U.S. person target known to be traveling to the United States.[25]

Taken together, these minor administrative errors accounted for “almost 75% of the compliance incidents,” according to the PCLOB.[26]

Section 702: Constitutional and Lawful

One last aspect of Section 702 needs to be addressed: the suggestion that the program might in some way be unconstitutional or unlawful. This Backgrounder concludes that relevant case law firmly supports the constitutionality and legality of the Section 702 program. To support this conclusion, we provide a brief history of relevant case law.

The predicate case is United States v. United States District Court,[27] sometimes known as the Keith case, after Judge Damon Keith, the federal district court judge who oversaw the case.

The case hearkens back to an era of protest and civil unrest in the United States. It involved several leaders of the so-called White Panther Party—a white supremacist group—who were charged with bombing a CIA office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1968. Their phones were wiretapped by order of U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, who served under President Richard Nixon. Mitchell said that no warrant was required to authorize the interception, because the defendants posed a “clear and present danger to the structure or existence of the government.”

Judge Keith responded that the Attorney General’s rationale was insufficient, and ruled that warrantless interception and surveillance of domestic conversations was unconstitutional. When the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices agreed with Judge Keith, establishing as precedent the idea that a warrant was needed before electronic surveillance commenced, even if the domestic surveillance was related to national security.

As Justice Lewis Powell said in writing for the Court, the “price of lawful public dissent must not be a dread of subjection to an unchecked surveillance power.” Justice Powell continued, “Nor must the fear of un-authorized official eavesdropping deter vigorous citizen dissent and discussion of government action in private conversation. For private dissent, no less than open public discourse, is essential to our free society.”

Notably, however, the Court limited its holding to domestic surveillance, and said that different rules might apply when the surveillance occurred outside the United States, or was directed at a foreign power—or at non-Americans. Regarding surveillance of non-Americans overseas, courts around the country have agreed with the implicit suggestion of the Supreme Court, holding that surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes need only be reasonable (and that a warrant is not required).[28] That distinction—between domestic and foreign surveillance—is preserved in FISA, which allows more relaxed FISA procedures (for which a criminal warrant was not required) only when the purpose of the investigation is to collect foreign intelligence.

In Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, the Supreme Court upheld the drug testing of high school athletes and explained that the exception to the warrant requirement applied “when special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable cause requirements impracticable.”[29] Although Vernonia was not a foreign intelligence case—far from it—the principles from the Court’s “special needs” cases influenced later cases in the national security context.

In “In re: Sealed Case,” the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review held that FISA did not require the government to demonstrate to the FISA court that its primary purpose in conducting electronic surveillance was not criminal prosecution and, significantly, the PATRIOT Act’s amendment to FISA, permitting the government to conduct surveillance of agents of foreign powers if foreign intelligence was the “significant purpose” of the surveillance, did not violate the Fourth Amendment.[30] The court avoided an express holding that a foreign intelligence exception exists, but held that FISA could survive on reasonableness grounds.

In 2008, “In re: Directives Pursuant to Section 105B of FISA” applied the principles derived from the special needs cases to conclude that the foreign intelligence surveillance authorized by the Protect America Act possesses characteristics that qualify it for a foreign intelligence exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.[31]

Notably, the “In re: Directives” decision cites a Fourth Circuit opinion for the proposition that there is a high degree of probability that requiring a warrant would hinder the government’s ability to collect time-sensitive information and thus impede vital national security interests.[32]

In April 2016, the first decision addressing the constitutionality of upstream collection under Section 702 was publicly released. The FISA court issued a declassified opinion[33] in which it concluded that use of information collected under Section 702 authority for domestic investigations satisfied both constitutional standards and was within the statutory bounds of the FISA Amendments Act. Notably, for purposes of this discussion, the court reached this conclusion after having had the benefit of a public advocate who articulated a position contrary to that of the government.[34] Judge Hogan cites “In re: Directives” in support of the proposition that the Fourth Amendment does not require the government to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance in order “to obtain foreign intelligence for national security purposes [that] is directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States.”

Section 702: Continuing Improvements

On February 5, 2016, the PCLOB issued its “Recommendations Assessment Report.” The purpose of the report was to assess whether the DNI had responded appropriately to recommendations it had made for the improvement of the program.

The DNI had taken action to the PCLOB recommendations. Indeed, with respect to the 10 recommendations relating to the Section 702 program, the PCLOB Recommendations Assessment Report determined that five recommendations have been fully implemented; one has been substantially implemented; three are in the process of being implemented; and one has been partially implemented.[35]

The historical record demonstrates the effectiveness of both the PCLOB’s oversight function and the responsiveness of the DNI to its recommendations—a win-win story in the new age of intelligence oversight.[36]

Conclusions

First, Section 702 is constitutional, statutorily authorized, and carefully constructed to address a vital U.S. national security requirement: the collection of vital information relating to foreign threats.

Second, it seems clear that, in light of careful scrutiny by the PCLOB, the specter of alleged abuse of the program is more theoretical than real.

Third, the Section 702 program has great current utility and provides invaluable intelligence of practical impact and not replaceable by other means of collection.

The benefits of the Section 702 program greatly outweigh its (theoretical) costs and the program should continue as currently authorized. Indeed, the record suggests that the 702 Program is invaluable as a foreign intelligence collection tool. The fruits of the program constitute more than 25 percent of the NSA’s reports concerning international terrorism. It has clearly defined implementation rules and robust oversight by all three branches of government, and is a necessary tool for defending the nation.

Congress should reauthorize 702 in its entirety. There is no need for a further sunset of the act’s provisions, as it has demonstrated its usefulness; and an arbitrarily forced reconsideration by Congress is unnecessary, a waste of time and money, and at the expense of national security.

The program can, and should, be implemented in a manner that is consistent with American values. To quote General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and former CIA director:

[A]n American strategy for cyberspace must reflect and serve our ideals. In our zeal to secure the internet, we must be careful not to destroy that which we are trying to preserve, an open, accessible, ubiquitous, egalitarian, and free World Wide Web. There are nations—like Iran, China, Russia and others—who view precisely those attributes as the very definition of cyber security threats. Their concern is not digital theft, but the free movement of ideas. We must take care that in our efforts to prevent the former, we do not legitimize their efforts to prevent the latter.[37]

A properly configured Section 702 program has met that challenge to the benefit of the American public. At a time when international terrorism is on the rise, the United States must have a lawful, robust foreign intelligence capability.

—David R. Shedd is a Visiting Distinguished Fellow in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Paul Rosenzweig is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, of the Davis Institute, and Charles D. Stimson is Manager of the National Security Law Program and Senior Legal Fellow in the Center for National Defense, of the Davis Institute, at The Heritage Foundation.

JUNE 06, 2017 5:27 PM

Republicans worried about leaks consider cutting back surveillance authority

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 872, April 12, 2017, Story 1: Seal Team 6 Training in South Korea For Mission To “Incapacitate” Kim Jong-Un in North Korea! — Videos — Story 2: Flying The Not So Friendly Skies of United — Public Relations Disaster — How Not To Treat Your Paying Passengers — Videos

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Seal Team 6 Training in South Korea For Mission To  “Incapacitate” Kim Jong-Un  in North Korea! — Videos

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Navy SEAL team responsible for killing Osama bin Laden ‘is training alongside troops in South Korea preparing to “incapacitate” Kim Jong-un

  • USS Carl Vinson arrived at the southern port of Busan, in South Korea, to join the annual joint military exercise
  • South Korea military source says heightened presence is part of plan to decapitate North Korean leadership
  • Pyongyang has long condemned the annual joint drills – called Foal Eagle – between South Korea and the US
  • Tensions have escalated with missile launches from North and assassination of Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother 

A US Navy unit which killed Osama Bin Laden will be taking part in drills simulating removing North Korean despot Kim Jong-un from power.

The Special Warfare Development Group, best known as SEAL Team 6, will carry out drills in South Korea, the country’s Ministry of National Defense has revealed.

It is the team which carried out Operation Neptune Spear, the killing of the Al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan back in May 2011.

The Navy SEAL team is responsible for the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011

The Navy SEAL team is responsible for the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011

It will be taking part in exercises aimed at removing North Korean despot Kim Jong-un from power

It will be taking part in exercises aimed at removing North Korean despot Kim Jong-un from power

An aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, will arrive in South Korea today, The Japan Times reports, along with US Army unit Delta Force, which specialises in counterterrorism operations.

It comes a day after US President Donald Trump said North Korea was ‘looking for trouble’ following missile tests, and vowed the United States would ‘solve the problem’ with or without China’s help.

Pyongyang has reacted angrily to the impending arrival of the aircraft carrier, warning of ‘catastrophic consequences’.

It comes after US President Donald Trump said North Korea was 'looking for trouble', and vowed the United States would 'solve the problem' with or without China's help

It comes after US President Donald Trump said North Korea was ‘looking for trouble’, and vowed the United States would ‘solve the problem’ with or without China’s help

The move is part of a growing US presence off the Korean Peninsula, and is reportedly part of a plan aimed at ‘incapacitating’ Kim Jong-Un‘s regime should conflict break out.

A nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea last month for joint military exercises in the latest show of force against the North.

More than 80 aircraft, including the fighter aircraft F/A-18F Super Hornet, the E-2C Hawkeye and the carrier-based EA-18G Growler were on board the supercarrier.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency claims the heightened military presence is part of a plan to decapitate North Korean leadership.

It claims a military official, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘A bigger number of and more diverse U.S. special operation forces will take part in this year’s Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises to practice missions to infiltrate into the North, remove the North’s war command and demolition of its key military facilities.’ 

More than 80 aircraft, including the fighter aircraft F/A-18F Super Hornet (at the front of the carrier), the E-2C Hawkeye and the carrier-based EA-18G Growler (in the middle) are on board the super carrier

More than 80 aircraft, including the fighter aircraft F/A-18F Super Hornet (at the front of the carrier), the E-2C Hawkeye and the carrier-based EA-18G Growler (in the middle) are on board the super carrier

The USS Carl Vinson approaches Busan port in South Korea to join the annual joint military exercise called Foal Eagle

The USS Carl Vinson approaches Busan port in South Korea to join the annual joint military exercise called Foal Eagle

The aircraft carrier and a US destroyer carried out naval drills including an anti-submarine manoeuvre with South Koreans in waters off the Korean peninsula as part of the annual Foal Eagle exercise.

Washington insisted they are purely defensive in nature.

Rear Admiral James Kilby, commander of USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group 1, said: ‘The importance of the exercise is to continue to build our alliance and our relationship and strengthen that working relationship between our ships.’

The US has also started to deploy ‘Gray Eagle’ attack drones to South Korea, a military spokesman revealed last month.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is taking part in South Korea-U.S. joint military maneuvers carried out in the largest scale yet, with North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats in focus

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is taking part in South Korea-U.S. joint military maneuvers carried out in the largest scale yet, with North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats in focus

South Korean and US troops began the large-scale joint drills on March 1.

The spike in tensions concerned Beijing, with China’s Foreign Ministry calling on all sides to end ‘a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control.’

North Korea, which has alarmed its neighbours with two nuclear tests and a string of missile launches since last year, said the arrival of the US strike group was part of a ‘reckless scheme’ to attack it.

The North Korea’s state KCNA news agency said: ‘If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater.

‘On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft flew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army,’ KCNA said.

Last month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan in response to annual US-South Korea military drills, which the North sees as preparation for war.

The murder in Malaysia last month of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother has added to the sense of urgency to efforts to get a grip on North Korea.

Visiting the headquarters of an army unit early this month, Kim praised his troops for their ‘vigilance against the US and South Korean enemy forces that are making frantic efforts for invasion’, according to the North’s official KCNA news agency.

Kim also ordered the troops to ‘set up thorough countermeasures of a merciless strike against the enemy’s sudden air assault’, it said.

The threat represented by North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile arsenal is the main reason for his trip to the region.

An F/A Super Hornet fighter jet takes off from the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier

An F/A Super Hornet fighter jet takes off from the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier

F/A Super Hornets and other fighter jets await takeoff aboard the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier

F/A Super Hornets and other fighter jets await takeoff aboard the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier

A U.S. F18 fighter jet lands on the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during the annual joint military exercise

A U.S. F18 fighter jet lands on the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during the annual joint military exercise

A U.S. Navy crew member works on a U.S. F18 fighter jet on the deck of USS Carl Vinson 

A U.S. Navy crew member works on a U.S. F18 fighter jet on the deck of USS Carl Vinson

A F18 fighter jet prepares for take off as part of the annual military drills in South Korea that the North regards as rehearsal for invasion

A F18 fighter jet prepares for take off as part of the annual military drills in South Korea that the North regards as rehearsal for invasion

South Korean and U.S. troops began the large-scale joint drills, which are billed as defensive in nature, on March 1 

South Korean and U.S. troops began the large-scale joint drills, which are billed as defensive in nature, on March 1

US Navy crew members look at an F/A-18 fighter from the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson

US Navy crew members look at an F/A-18 fighter from the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson

US Navy crew members run next to an E-2C Hawkeye as it lands on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson

The all-weather E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management aircraft has served as the "eyes" of the U.S. Navy fleet for more than 30 years

The all-weather E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management aircraft has served as the ‘eyes’ of the U.S. Navy fleet for more than 30 years

PLANES ON THE USS CARL VINSON

The aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1982, is the centerpiece of the 7,500-sailor strike group. The 100,000-ton ship measures 333 meters in length and 77 meters in width.

The Carl Vinson has been involved in a number of notable events including Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ship also received huge attention in 2011 when the body of Osama bin Laden was buried at sea from its deck.

More than 80 aircraft, including the fighter aircraft F/A-18F Super Hornet, the E-2C Hawkeye and the carrier-based EA-18G Growler are on board the supercarrier.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is the U.S. Navy’s primary strike and air superiority aircraft.

The E-2C Hawkeye is the U.S. Navy’s primary carrier-based airborne early warning and command and control aircraft.

The EA-18G Growler is the U.S. Navy’s newest electronic attack aircraft intended to replace ageing EA-6B Prowlers in the service’s fleet.

As part of his plans to bolster the military, President Trump has vowed to expand the number of carriers the US fields from 10 to 12.

And he promised to bring down the cost of building three ‘super-carriers,’ which has ballooned by a third over the last decade from $27 to $36 billion.

US Navy crew members stand by an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson

US Navy crew members stand by an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson

The Carl Vinson Strike Group is participating in the annual joint Foal Eagle exercise between South Korea and the US

The Carl Vinson Strike Group is participating in the annual joint Foal Eagle exercise between South Korea and the US

The joint exercises involve tens of thousands of troops, as well as strategic US naval vessels and air force assets

The joint exercises involve tens of thousands of troops, as well as strategic US naval vessels and air force assets

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4405000/US-Navy-SEALs-killed-Bin-Laden-target-Kim-Jong-un.html#ixzz4e612SBpg
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Story 2: Flying The Not So Friendly Skies of United — Public Relations Disaster — How Not To Treat Your Paying Passengers — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 700, June 16, 2016, Story 1: Trump Targets Terrorist Control vs. Clinton and Obama Talk Gun Control — Pulse Gay Night Club Was A Gun Free Zone — Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Americans Armed Against Gun Grabbing Government Tyrants — Defend The Second Amendment — Radical Islamists Want To Replace The United States Constitution and U.S. Law With Sharia Law — Background Check Are Racist — Videos

Posted on June 16, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Airlines, American History, Assault, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, European History, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Gangs, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Islam, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Networking, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Rifles, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Networking, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 700: June 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 699: June 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 698: June 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 697: June 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 696: June 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 695: June 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 694: June 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 693: June 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 692: June 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 691: June 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 690: June 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 689: May 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 688: May 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 687: May 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 686: May 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 685: May 24, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 683: May 20, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 681: May 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 680: May 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 679: May 13, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 677: May 11, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 675: May 9, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 670: May 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 669: April 29, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 660: April 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 659: April 15, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 655: April 11, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 650: April 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 649: March 31, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 647: March 29, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 645: March 24, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 642: March 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 641: March 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 640: March 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 639: March 9, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 637: March 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 636: March 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 635: March 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 634: March 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 633: March 1, 2016

Story 1: Trump Targets Terrorist Control vs. Clinton and Obama Talk Gun Control — Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Americans Armed Against Gun Grabbing Government Tyrants — Defend The Second Amendment — Videos

Oath of office of the President of the United States

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”[1]

ARTICLE II, SECTION 3, United States Constitution

[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed….

http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/2/essays/98/take-care-clause

gun-control1clarity-dictators-like-gun-control Gun-control-dictatorsgun-control_dictators stalin mao hitler  guns-1935-hitler-on-gun-control obama guncontrol

No Fly List, No Guns?

Tom McClintock Trashes Leftist No Fly List Gun Control

Ted Cruz Destroys Senate Dems for Gun Control Filibuster

Ted Cruz: ‘Offensive’ That Democrats Are Calling For Gun Control After Orlando | NBC News

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2YkqTSTZDY]

Best 7 minutes on gun control I have ever seen!

John Lott on gun control: “The background check system itself is basically racist”

John Lott: Why More Guns Equal Less Crime

John Stossel -The Gun Violence Myth

Mark Levin discusses the gun control issue with John Lott (audio from 11-30-2015)

Trump threatens to run apart from GOP on gun control

Obama Calls for Assault Weapons Ban, New ‘No Fly, No Buy’ Law

Trump: People using PC terms against us to not report terror

Trump renews calls for Muslim ban, surveillance of mosques

Donald Trump Jr.: Extremists only understand force

Obama Criticises Donald Trump Over His Calls To Ban Muslims From US!!!!

CIA Director Warns of ISIS Using Refugee Streams to Move Operatives

Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority

CIA DIRECTOR TESTIFIES AT SENATE HEARING ON NATIONAL SECURITY

Obama goes on tirade against Trump over ‘radical Isl…

Former intel chair rips Pres. Obama’s anti-Trump speech

The 2nd Amendment Explained

Donald Trump Rally Speech 6/15/16: Atlanta, GA: Trump Blasts Hillary

Second Amendment of United States Constitution

Trump vs. Clinton: Two views on Orlando terror

Paul Ryan Interview Bill O’Reilly Factor Fox News Regarding Donald Trump

FULL: Donald Trump Orlando Terrorism Speech 6/13/16

LGBT Nightclub Orlando Trump ISLAMIC terrorism VS Obama Clinton HomeGrown Hate CRIME

Background Checks? Shooter Had Them in Spades

Why restrict ‘good’ gun owners, resident asks President Obama at town hall

Gunning For Hillary – Trump Says Clinton Will Abolish 2nd Amendment – Fox & Friends

Hillary Clinton on Second Amendment Gun Rights – June 5, 2016 – ABC This Week

The Clintons Are Coming For Your Guns

Hillary Clinton, If President, Vows To ‘Get Those Guns’ Out Of People’s Hands

Hillary Clinton Outlines Plan to Abolish the Second Amendment

Ginny Simone Reporting | S7 E1: “Obama: Our Biggest Threat To National Security”

Judge Napolitano: Obama Doesn’t Believe in the 2nd Amendment

Judge Napolitano Reacts to NY Times Criticism “Either We Have a 2nd Amendment or We Don’t”

Barack Obama On 2nd Amendment Rights

Trump: We need strong surveillance, we need intelligence

AK47 versus M16 – R. Lee Ermey

EDUCATE YOURSELF ~ Semi-Auto Firearms vs Fully-Automatic Firearms

The Truth About AK-47 Firepower

Lock n’ Load with R. Lee Ermey – Machine Guns

MG42 Machine Gun – “Hitler’s Buzz Saw”

CIA chief: IS working to send operatives to the West

CIA Director John Brennan will tell Congress on Thursday that Islamic State militants are training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for their territorial losses.

CIA Director John Brennan will tell Congress on Thursday that Islamic State militants are training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for their territorial losses.

In remarks prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee, Brennan says IS has been working to build an apparatus to direct and inspire attacks against its foreign enemies, as in the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels — ones the CIA believes were directed by IS leaders.

“ISIL has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West,” Brennan said, using another acronym for the group. He said IS probably is working to smuggle them into countries, perhaps among refugee flows or through legitimate means of travel.

Brennan also noted the group’s call for followers to conduct so-called lone-wolf attacks in their home countries. He called last week’s attack in Orlando a “heinous act of wanton violence” and an “assault on the values of openness and tolerance” that define the United States as a nation.

He said IS is gradually cultivating its various branches into an interconnected network. The branch in Libya is likely the most advanced and most dangerous, but IS is trying to increase its influence in Africa, he said. The IS branch in the Sinai has become the “most active and capable terrorist group in Egypt,” attacking the Egyptian military and government targets in addition to foreigners and tourists, such as the downing of a Russian passenger jet last October.

Other branches have struggled to gain traction, he says. “The Yemen branch, for instance, has been riven with factionalism. And the Afghanistan-Pakistan branch has struggled to maintain its cohesion, in part because of competition with the Taliban.”

He called IS a “formidable adversary,” but said the U.S.-led coalition has made progress combatting the group, which has had to surrender large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and has lost some of its leaders in airstrikes. IS has struggled to replenish its ranks of fighters, Brennan said, because fewer of them are traveling to Syria and others have defected.

“The group appears to be a long way from realizing the vision that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi laid out when he declared the caliphate two years ago in Mosul,” Iraq, Brennan said.

He said the group’s ability to raise money has also been curtailed, although the group still continues to generate at least tens of millions of dollars in revenue each month, mostly from taxation and from sales of crude oil.

“Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach,” he said.

“In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.”

 

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 695-700

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-694

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 675-684

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows151-157

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The Pronk Pops Show 687, May 26, 2016, Story 1: Is The Lying Lunatic Left Above the Law? Obama and Clinton — The American People Will Vote Democratic Party Out of Office In November — Trump Winning Momentum — Trump Rattles Obama — No Obama Third Term — Videos

Posted on May 26, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Airlines, American History, Autos, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Budgetary Policy, Business, Climate Change, Coal, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islamic Republic of Iran, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Mexico, Middle East, Monetary Policy, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nixon, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Railroads, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Solar, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Transportation, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 687: May 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 686: May 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 685: May 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 684: May 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 683: May 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 682: May 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 681: May 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 680: May 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 679: May 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 678: May 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 677: May 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 676: May 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 675: May 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 674: May 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 673: May 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 672: May 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 671: May 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 670: May 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 669: April 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 668: April 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 667: April 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 666: April 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 665: April 25, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 663: April 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 662: April 20, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 660: April 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 659: April 15, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 655: April 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 654: April 8, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 651: April 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 650: April 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 649: March 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 648: March 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 647: March 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 646: March 28, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 643: March 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 642: March 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 641: March 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 640: March 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 639: March 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 638: March 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 637: March 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 636: March 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 635: March 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 634: March 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 633: March 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 632: February 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 631: February 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 630: February 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 629: February 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 628: February 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 627: February 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 626: February 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 625: February 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 624: February 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 623: February 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 622: February 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 621: February 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 620: February 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 619: February 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 618: February 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

Story 1: Is The Lying Lunatic Left Above the Law? Obama and Clinton — The American People Will Vote Democratic Party Out of Office In November — Trump Winning Momentum — Trump Rattles Obama — No Obama Third Term — Videos

President Obama slams Trump at G7 summit

Obama: World Leaders ‘Rattled’ By Trump

Trump on Obama: Unusual That Every Time He Holds Press Conference He Talks About Me

Donald Trump answers questions ahead of policy speech on energy

Pres Obama At G7 Summit: World Leaders “Rattled” By Trump – Outnumbered

Donald Trump Energy Policy Speech! 5/26/16

The Beatles – I’m a Loser

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-687

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 675-684

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 668-674

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 651-659

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 637-643

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 608-616

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 599-607

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 590-598

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 575-584

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 565-574

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

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The Pronk Pops Show 680, May 16, 2016, Story 1: Secret Security Surveillance State of The Two Party Tyranny American Empire — National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — Who Are They Afraid? American People — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 680: May 16, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

 

Story 1: Secret Security Surveillance State of The Two Party Tyranny American Empire — National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — Videos

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure fromunreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government.  It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.

Learn more…

microphones fbi

JFK Secret Societies Speech (full version)

EXPOSED! Hidden Microphones Used As Part of Government Surveillance Program

The FBI Has Been Hiding Microphones In Trees And At Bus Stops To Record The Public

FBI can secretly activate a computer’s webcam to SPY on YOU !!! PROTECT YOURSELF

How to determine if YOUR COMPUTER is being watched by the FBI.

The NSA Wouldn’t Let Us in This Building (But We Found Out What’s Inside)

FoxNews FBI Listening in on Mobile phone microphones.mp4

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013

Edward Snowden – America’s Secret Government

DOCUMENTARY: Edward Snowden – Terminal F (2015)

America’s Surveillance State 1 (The Surveillance Machine)

America’s Surveillance State 2 (Inside The NSA: How Do They Spy?)

America’s Surveillance State 3 (Rise of The Press)

America’s Surveillance State 4 (The Surveillance Industrial Complex)

America’s Surveillance State 5 (Insider Threats)

America’s Surveillance State 6 (The Future)

The Silent Order NSA Sees Everything Hears Everything Documentary HD

CIA, FBI, NSA Secret Covert Psychological Experiments – MK Ultra, New Phoenix, ELF Waves

Glenn Greenwald: “Edward Snowden and the Secrets of the National Security State”

NSA’s Largest Spy Center Located in Utah (What you need to know)

29C3 Panel: Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, William Binney on whistleblowing and surveillance

WhistleBlower Head of FBI tells all from NWO

Hidden Microphones Exposed As Part of Government Surveillance Program In The Bay Area

Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.

Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing.  It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn’t even need a warrant to do it.

Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.

Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”

FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.

Federal authorities are trying to prove real estate investors in San Mateo and Alameda counties are guilty of bid rigging and fraud and used these recordings as evidence.

Harp said, “An agent can’t just go out and grab a recording device and plant it somewhere without authorization from a supervisor or special agent in charge.”

The lawyer for one of the accused real estate investors who will ask the judge to throw out the recordings, told KPIX 5 News that, “Speaking in a public place does not mean that the individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy…private communication in a public place qualifies as a protected ‘oral communication’… and therefore may not be intercepted without judicial authorization.”

Harp says that if you’re going to conduct criminal activity, do it in the privacy of your own home. He says that was the original intention of the Fourth Amendment, but it’s up to the judge to interpret it.

Hidden Microphones Exposed As Part of Government Surveillance Program In The Bay Area

 

SECRET PENTAGON REPORT REVEALS US “CREATED” ISIS AS A “TOOL” TO OVERTHROW SYRIA’S PRESIDENT ASSAD

Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad
Dr Nafeez Ahmed – MAY 24, 2015
Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US “Created” ISIS As A “Tool” To Overthrow Syria’s President Assad
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From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world’s stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world’s terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the “straight to beheading YouTube clip” purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria’s president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe’s dominant – and belligerent – source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.
The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year:
If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama’s new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that “such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.”
But it’s one thing to speculate; it’s something entirely different to have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.
That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.
According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”
And not just that: as we reported last week, now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people’s heads of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, sophisticated weapons in the region in order to “modernize” and “replenish” the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq.
But that the US military-industrial complex is a winner every time war breaks out anywhere in the world (usually with the assistance of the CIA) is clear to everyone by now. What wasn’t clear is just how the US predetermined the current course of events in the middle east.
Now, thanks to the following declassified report, we have a far better understanding of not only how current events in the middle east came to be, but what America’s puppermaster role leading up to it all, was.
From Nafeez Ahmed: Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’, originally posted in Medium.

Hypocrisy
The revelations contradict the official line of Western government on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home.
Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012.
The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and intelligence community.
So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria.
Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal prediction of the rise of ISIS. Yet none have accurately acknowledged the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly fostered a sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.
Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer, said:
“Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hilary Clinton regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012. However, the documents also contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion.”
The West’s Islamists
The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.
Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”
The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”
The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.
In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.”
The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.”
In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’).
‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entity
In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”
Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:
“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”
The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.”
The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the [Syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.”
Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway.
The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, it says, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.” Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq, and just this month has also taken control of Ramadi.
Such a quasi-state entity will provide:
“… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.”
The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR), not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, but its contents are vetted before distribution. The report was circulated throughout the US intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other agencies.
In response to my questions about the strategy, the British government simply denied the Pentagon report’s startling revelations of deliberate Western sponsorship of violent extremists in Syria. A British Foreign Office spokesperson said:
“AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”
The DIA did not respond to request for comment.
Strategic asset for regime-change
Security analyst Shoebridge, however, who has tracked Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, pointed out that the secret Pentagon intelligence report exposes fatal contradictions at the heart of official pronunciations:
“Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support. Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them.”
According to Brad Hoff, a former US Marine who served during the early years of the Iraq War and as a 9/11 first responder at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Battalion Quantico from 2000 to 2004, the just released Pentagon report for the first time provides stunning affirmation that:
“US intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.”
Hoff, who is managing editor of Levant Report — ?an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct experience of the Middle East?—?points out that the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”
The DIA intelligence report shows, he said, that the rise of ISIS only became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency?—?“there is no mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits.” The report demonstrates that:
“The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria is ‘exactly’ what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to weaken the Assad government.”
The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq, and fracture that country, was therefore clearly foreseen by US intelligence as likely?—?but nevertheless strategically useful?—?blowback from the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”
Complicity
Critics of the US-led strategy in the region have repeatedly raised questions about the role of coalition allies in intentionally providing extensive support to Islamist terrorist groups in the drive to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria.
The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were supported.
However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.
Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq.
As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”?—?namely, the emergence of ISIS?—?“but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”
Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer who blew the whistle in the 1990s on MI6 funding of al-Qaeda to assassinate Libya’s former leader Colonel Gaddafi, similarly said of the revelations:
“This is no surprise to me. Within individual countries there are always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.”
She explained that MI6’s Libya operation in 1996, which resulted in the deaths of innocent people, “happened at precisely the time when MI5 was setting up a new section to investigate al-Qaeda.”
This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, said Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were:
“… supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.”
Divide and rule
Several US government officials have conceded that their closest allies in the anti-ISIS coalition were funding violent extremist Islamist groups that became integral to ISIS.
US Vice President Joe Biden, for instance, admitted last year that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey had funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria that metamorphosed into ISIS.
But he did not admit what this internal Pentagon document demonstrates?—?that the entire covert strategy was sanctioned and supervised by the US, Britain, France, Israel and other Western powers.
The strategy appears to fit a policy scenario identified by a recent US Army-commissioned RAND Corp report.
The report, published four years before the DIA document, called for the US “to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.”
The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.” Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance.
The RAND report confirmed that the “divide and rule” strategy was already being deployed “to create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is being used at the tactical level.”
The report observed that the US was forming “temporary alliances” with al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the US for four years in the form of “weapons and cash.” Although these nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.”
The 2012 DIA document, however, further shows that while sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq to counter al-Qaeda, Western governments were simultaneously arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria.
The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers.
In the wake of the rise of ISIS, intrusive new measures to combat extremism including mass surveillance, the Orwellian ‘prevent duty’ and even plans to enable government censorship of broadcasters, are being pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, much of which disproportionately targets activists, journalists and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims.
Yet the new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western government claims, the primary cause of the threat comes from their own deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism for dubious geopolitical purposes.
Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the ‘System Shift’ column for VICE’s Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye. He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award, known as the ‘Alternative Pulitzer Prize’, for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work, and was selected in the Evening Standard’s ‘Power 1,000’ most globally influential Londoners.
Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist, Counterpunch, Truthout, among others. He is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010), and the scifi thriller novel ZERO POINT, among other books. His work on the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest.

http://www.infowars.com/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-us-created-isis-as-a-tool-to-overthrow-syrias-president-assad/

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The Pronk Pops Show 679, May 13, 2016, Story 1: Airlines and Airports Should Be Responsible For Security Not The Federal Government — TSA (Thousand Standing Around) While Millions Wait In Long Lines — A Case of Government Failure — Privatize Airport and Airline Security — Stop The Two Party Tyranny — Secret Security Surveillance State — Videos

Posted on May 13, 2016. Filed under: Airlines, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Progressives, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 679: May 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 678: May 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 677: May 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 676: May 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 675: May 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 674: May 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 673: May 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 672: May 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 671: May 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 670: May 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 669: April 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 668: April 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 667: April 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 666: April 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 665: April 25, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 655: April 11, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 650: April 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 649: March 31, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 647: March 29, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 624: February 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 623: February 12, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 620: February 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 619: February 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 618: February 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

 

 

 Story 1: Airlines and Airports Should Be Responsible For Security Not The Federal Government — Privatize The TSA (Thousand Standing Around) While Millions Wait In Long Lines — Videos

 

FILE - In this March 17, 2016, file photo, a K-9 handler with the Transportation Security Administration walks his dog through lines of travelers approaching a security screening checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Facing a growing backlash over extreme airport security lines, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Transportation Security Administration Administrator Peter Neffenger will address the upcoming summer travel season Friday, May 13, 2016, and what steps they’re taking to alleviate waits. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

airportsecurityairport-security-tsa-line

FILE - In this Jan. 4 2010 file photo, TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in SeaTac, Wash. The Transportation Security Administration will allow you to keep your laptop in your bag during the screening process if the bag will produce a clear and unobstructed image of the laptop when undergoing X-ray screening.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

airport_security_terrorairport_securityairport_security_toonscartoons checkIn-The-Mood-For-TSA

private security slogan tsa bombs patdown terrorists wontsa_airport_security TSA-linestsa-line

TSA are you f***ing kidding me?

TSA Devises Plan After Passengers Post Photos of Ridiculously Long Lines

TSA makes “aggressive” plan to fix long security lines at airports across the country

#iHatetheWait campaign calls attention to long lines, slow screening at airports

TSA Wants More Bomb-Sniffing LoneWolf Dogs Help Alleviate Long airport security lines – LoneWolf

Long Lines At Airport TSA Security Checks

Fmr. TSA official on the lack of security checks for employees at U.S. airports

Airports Dealing With Long Lines & “Woefully Understaffed” TSA

TSA Long Airport Lines Fake News and Grand Social Experiments

The TSA is demanding more overtime pay ahead of the busy summer travel season.

New Report Shows Frequent TSA Failures, Tells Same Old Story

Public Reaches Breaking Point With TSA – #NewWorldNextWeek

John Stossel – TSA Vs Private Airport Screeners

TSA losing out as Florida airports move to private screeners for security

Adam Ruins Everything – Why the TSA Doesn’t Stop Terrorist Attacks

TSA starts stopping people on US highways without warrants or probable cause

Flawless Airline Security on Israeli Planes

El Al Airlines in Israel has had a 100% success rating on its airline security for more than three decades: No hijackings, no bombings, no failed attempts aboard a flight.

TSA Harasses Little Girl For Dangerous Capri Sun

Investigation Proves TSA Screeners Are HORRIBLE At Their Jobs

Girl in Wheelchair, 3, Detained by TSA: Caught on Tape

TSA Singles Out Sexy Women for Multiple Body Scans?

Israel Airport Security

Israel’s national airline hasn’t had a terror incident for decades – it’s considered one of the safest worldwide. That’s because Israel employs unconventional methods that include profiling. When the U.S. TSA began implementing body scans and searches, a call for Israeli tactics to be implemented arose.

Critics Call To Privatize The TSA After Agency Fails New “Secret Security Tests” – Bulls & Bears

TSA Security Failures Lead to Calls for Privatization

States Should Reject the REAL ID Law

REAL ID: TSA WILL FORCE AIRLINE PASSENGERS TO SHOW NATIONAL ID BEFORE FLYING IN 2016

Abolish the Transportation Security Administration (David Rittgers)

TSA is A Joke says Former Head of Israeli Airport Security

REAL ID: Fear, Federalism, and the U.S. National ID Program (Jim Harper)

The REAL ID Act is a law that Congress passed without hearings in 2005, which sought to make state driver licensing into a national ID system. The law tries to coerce state compliance with federal identification standards by threatening that the Transportation Security Administration will refuse driver’s licenses and IDs from noncompliant states when Americans go to travel. This fall, a Department of Homeland Security campaign to stir up fears that the TSA will refuse drivers licenses at airports across America was so successful that passport offices in New Mexico were swamped, and a DHS official recently published a piece in the Albuquerque Journal backtracking on a widely reported January 2016 deadline for state compliance.

Mission Creep at the TSA and the Case for Privatization (Khaliah Barnes)

Sen. Rand Paul in TSA Pat-Down Standoff Video- wake up it’s time to get rid of the tsa!!!

Ron Paul: Get rid of the TSA, “Privatize Airport Security”.

DHS: Progress in 2015, Goals for 2016 — Secretary Jeh C. Johnson

Jeff Sessions Shreds Jeh Johnson DHS Immigration Policy…

Greyson Chance – Waiting Outside The Lines

The Transportation Security Administration’s FY2017 Budget Request

Nightmarish Lines Continue At Airport Security Checkpoints

Travelers flying out of Chicago just can’t catch a break. With increasingly long lines to get through security at the city’s airports, many travelers have been missing their flights, and some ended up sleeping at O’Hare International Airport on Sunday.

American Airlines put out cots for fewer than 100 travelers who missed their flights Sunday night due to the long lines at TSA security checkpoints.

Adrian Petra said he missed his flight after standing in line for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

The TSA has been urging passengers to get to the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights, and three hours early for international flights. However, some passengers have said that is not enough time to get through security and still make their flight.

American Airlines said some 4,000 passengers have missed flights at O’Hare since February because of the long wait times.

ohare security line Nightmarish Lines Continue At Airport Security Checkpoints

The TSA has blamed the long waits at security on a shortage of screeners, due to federal budget cuts. The agency also has said airlines are seeing record travel volume, meaning more passengers in lines.

American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott sounded off on the security issues.

“We are frustrated. We know our passengers are frustrated, and our employees are really frustrated,” she said.

Scott said, on Sunday alone, American had to delay 30 flights, and about 450 passengers missed their flights due to the security lines.

Nearly 800 people missed American flights from O’Hare in the last week alone, the most of any airport where American operates.

Lines have been so bad at Terminal 3 in the mornings and afternoons that American Airlines workers have removed some kiosks to make room.

Scott said the company plans to hire people this week to try to help reduce the excruciatingly long waits for security.

“We will be hiring employees who will do non-security TSA functions; so, the people who tell you to take the liquids out of your bags, take your laptop out,” she said.

American Airlines said passengers who get through security but miss their flights will be rebooked for no charge.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged the TSA to increase the number of dogs at security checkpoints. He said they could cut wait times in half.

The head of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA, said it will immediately increase the use of overtime and work to bring in more security officers.

The TSA also has been urging travelers to enroll in its Precheck pgrogram, or other similar programs, which can significantly reduce wait times.

Nightmarish Lines Continue At Airport Security Checkpoints

Complaints Over Airport Security Delays Surged 10-Fold in March

By Alan Levin

Frustrated travelers are turning to the complaint box in growing numbers as long lines and delays getting through airport security result in missed flights.
Complaints filed on such topics as courtesy and processing time surged in March to the highest levels in the past year, according to the Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report released Monday.
Reports filed over the time it took U.S. Transportation Security Administration to screen passengers grew more than 10-fold, to 513 this past March from 48 in March 2015. Concern about lack of courtesy by TSA screeners increased more than three-fold, to 1,012 in March from 294 a year ago.
Other categories of complaints on the screening process and travelers’ personal property were also at the highest levels recorded in the past year, according to DOT. A spokesman for the TSA didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on Monday’s report.
The TSA is trying to get 500 new airport screeners through training and onto the job by the end of June as a growth in travelers has led to longer lines at airports. Almost 6,800 people traveling on American Airlines missed flights in March due to delays at TSA checkpoints, airline spokesman Casey Norton said in an interview earlier this month.
The issue has been exacerbated because the TSA was forced to revamp and tighten security after a series of reports last year showing it missed weapons and explosives in bags.
Some members of Congress have complained that TSA failed to plan for the longer lines, while the agency has said its screener workforce has declined under its annual budget.
Staffing authorized by Congress for the TSA, which operates security at airports across the country, has fallen almost 10 percent from 47,147 full-time employees in 2013 to 42,525 this year, according to agency data. At the same time, the volume of passengers rose 15 percent from 643 million to an estimated 740 million this year, according to TSA.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-16/complaints-over-airport-security-delays-surged-10-fold-in-march

TSA blames you for longer lines at airport security checkpoints

WASHINGTON (WCMH/AP) — Facing a growing backlash over extremely long airport security lines, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Friday asked fliers “to be patient” as the government takes steps to get them onto planes more quickly.

Travelers across the country have endured lengthy lines, some snaking up and down escalators, or through food courts, and into terminal lobbies. At some airports, lines during peak hours have topped 90 minutes. Airlines have reported holding planes at gates to wait for passengers to clear security.

Johnson said the government has a plan to deal with the lines but won’t neglect its duty to stop terrorists.

“Our job is to keep the American people safe,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference. “We’re not going to compromise aviation security in the face of this.”

The comments reflect a statement released earlier this week after long lines were reported at Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airport security checkpoints. When asked about those long lines, the TSA essentially blamed you in a press release, specifically passengers who bring too many carry-on items:

There are several factors that have caused checkpoint lines to take longer to screen passengers… including more people traveling with carry-on bags, in many cases bringing more than the airline industry standard of one carry-on bag and one personal item per traveler;

Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide…Individuals who come to the TSA checkpoint unprepared for a trip can have a negative impact on the time it takes to complete the screening process.”

In response, some airport authorities are now threatening to dump the TSA and hire their own private security firms.

The Transportation Security Administration has fewer screeners and has tightened security procedures. Meanwhile, more people are flying. Airlines and the TSA have been warning customers to arrive at the airport two hours in advance, but with summer travel season approaching even that might not be enough.

In the past three years, the TSA and Congress cut the number of front-line screeners by 4,622 — or about 10 percent — on expectations that an expedited screening program called PreCheck would speed up the lines. However, not enough people enrolled for TSA to realize the anticipated efficiencies.

Congress this week did agree to shift $34 million in TSA funding forward, allowing the agency to pay overtime to its existing staff and hire an extra 768 screeners by June 15 to bring it up to the congressionally mandated ceiling of 42,525.

But that might barely make a dent on the lines. This week, the president of the union representing the TSA officers sent a letter to congressional leaders suggesting that 6,000 additional screeners are needed. J. David Cox, Sr. wrote that the $34 million just provides “a small amount of temporary relief for travelers” and defers dealing with the long-term, larger problem.

Additionally, the agency loses about 100 screeners a week through attrition.

Airlines and airports have hired extra workers to handle non-security tasks at checkpoints — such as returning empty bins to the beginning of the line — as part of an effort to free up as many TSA employees to handle passenger screening.

The help can’t come quickly enough.

Friday morning, American Airlines held at least five flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport because of passengers stuck at security lines, according to airline spokesman Ross Feinstein.

On the 7:20 a.m. flight to Las Vegas, 52 of the 160 passengers were not onboard 10 minutes before departure. American held the plane an extra 13 minutes past its scheduled pushback from the gate, allowing 23 passengers to hop onboard. However, 29 still missed the jet and arrived on later flights.

A few gates away, 27 passengers missed their flight to Orlando.

At another American hub, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, security lines peaked at one hour and 45 minutes on Thursday.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told The Associated Press Thursday that “the longer lines get the more passengers are going to miss flights and there’s not much you can do about that.”

File- This Oct. 22, 2013, file photo shows passengers walking through the pre-check lane at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. The PreCheck program allows previously vetted fliers to use special lanes at the checkpoint. Shoes, belts and light jackets stay on. Laptops and liquids stay in bags. And these fliers go through standard metal detectors rather than the explosive-detecting full-body scanners most pass through. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
File- This Oct. 22, 2013, file photo shows passengers walking through the pre-check lane at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport. The PreCheck program allows previously vetted fliers to use special lanes at the checkpoint. Shoes, belts and light jackets stay on. Laptops and liquids stay in bags. And these fliers go through standard metal detectors rather than the explosive-detecting full-body scanners most pass through. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

The biggest help to ease lines is to have more fliers enroll in the PreCheck program.

Launched nationwide in 2012, PreCheck gives previously vetted passengers special screening. Shoes, belts and light jackets stay on. Laptops and liquids stay in bags. And these fliers go through standard metal detectors rather than the explosive-detecting full-body scanners most pass through.

PreCheck security lanes can screen 300 passengers an hour, twice that of standard lanes.

The TSA offered Congress a lofty goal of having 25 million fliers enrolled in the program. But as of March 1, only 9.3 million people were PreCheck members. Applicants must pay $85 to $100 every five years. Most must also trek to the airport for an interview before being accepted. Getting once-a-year fliers to join has been a challenge.

Johnson Friday said that 10,000 people applied for PreCheck Thursday, up from 8,500 a day in April and 7,500 in March. Still, at that pace, it will take more than four years to reach 25 million members.

TSA blames you for longer lines at airport security checkpoints

Help is coming for long airport security lines

Expect epic lines at the airport this summer

Transportation Security Administration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Transportation Security Administration
— TSA —
Transportation Security Administration Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed November 19, 2001; 14 years ago
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction Transportation systems inside, and connecting to the United States of America
Headquarters Pentagon City, Arlington County, Virginia
Employees 55,600+ (2014)
Annual budget $7.39 billion (2014)
Agency executive
Parent agency Department of Homeland Security
Website www.tsa.gov

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States.[1]

The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representatives[2] and Ernest Hollings in the Senate,[3] passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on March 9, 2003.

History and organization

Seal when under theDepartment of Transportation

The TSA was created as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Its first administrator, John Magaw, was nominated by President Bush on December 10, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate the following January. The agency’s proponents, including Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, argued that only a single federal agency would better protect air travel than the private companies who operated under contract to single airlines or groups of airlines that used a given terminal facility.

The organization was charged with developing policies to protect U.S. transportation, especially in airport security and the prevention of aircraft hijacking.

With state, local, and regional partners,[who?] the TSA oversees security for highways, railroads, buses, mass transit systems, pipelines and ports. However, the bulk of the TSA’s efforts are in aviation security. The TSA is responsible for screening passengers and baggage at more than 450 U.S. airports.[4]

Private screening did not disappear under the TSA, which allows airports to opt out of federal screening and hire firms to do the job instead. Such firms must still get TSA approval under its Screening Partnership Program (SPP) and follow TSA procedures.[5]Among the U.S. airports with privately operated checkpoints are San Francisco International Airport; Kansas City International Airport; Greater Rochester International Airport; Tupelo Regional Airport; Key West International Airport; Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport; and Jackson Hole Airport.[6][7]

Administration

TSA headquarters located inPentagon City, Arlington County, Virginia.

TSA Administrators have included John Magaw (2002), Admiral James Loy (2002–2003), Rear Admiral David M. Stone (2003–2005), Kip Hawley (2005–2009) and John Pistole (2010–2014). In April 2015 President Obama nominated Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger to succeed Pistole.[8] On July 6, 2015, Neffenger was sworn as TSA’s sixth administrator.[9]

Organizational structure

  • Administrator
    • Deputy Administrator
    • Chief Risk Officer
      • Office of Acquisition
      • Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement
      • Office of Chief Counsel
      • Office of Finance and Administration
      • Office of Global Strategies
      • Office of Human Capital
      • Office of Information Technology
      • Office of Inspection
      • Office of Intelligence and Analysis
      • Office of Law Enforcement / Federal Air Marshal Service
      • Office of Legislative Affairs
      • Office of Professional Responsibility
      • Office of Security Capabilities
      • Office of Security Operations
      • Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement
      • Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
      • Office of Training and Development

Employees

Among the types of TSA employees are:[10]

  • Transportation Security Officers: The TSA employs around 47,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), often referred to as screeners or agents. They screen people and property and control entry and exit points in airports. They also watch several areas before and beyond checkpoints.[11][12] TSOs carry no weapons, and are not permitted to use force, nor do they have the power to arrest.[13]
As of September 2014 the starting salary for a TSO is $25,773 to $38,660[14] per year, not including locality pay (contiguous 48 states) or cost of living allowancein Hawaii and Alaska. A handful of airports also have a retention bonus of up to 35%.[15] This is more than what private screeners were paid.[16]

TSA security search

  • Behavior Detection Officers: In 2003, the TSA implemented the Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique (SPOT), which expanded across the United States in 2007. In this program, Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs), who are TSOs, observe passengers as they go through security checkpoints, looking for behaviors that might indicate a higher risk. Such passengers are subject to additional screening.[17]
This program has led to concerns about, and allegations of racial profiling.[18][19] According to the TSA, SPOT screening officers are trained to observe behaviors only and not a person’s appearance, race, ethnicity or religion.[20]
The TSA program was reviewed in 2013 by the federal government’s Government Accountability Office, which recommended cutting funds for it because there was no proof of its effectiveness.[21] The JASON scientific advisory group has also said that “no scientific evidence exists to support the detection or inference of future behavior, including intent.”[22]
The FAM role, then called “sky marshalls”, originated in 1961 with U.S. Customs Service (now U.S. Customs and Border Protection) following the first US hijacking.[24] It became part of the TSA following the creation of the TSA following the September 11 attacks,[23] was transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2003, and back to the TSA in fiscal 2006.[citation needed]
  • Transportation Security Inspectors (TSIs): They inspect, and investigate passenger and cargo transportation systems to see how secure they are. TSA employs roughly 1,000 aviation inspectors, 450 cargo inspectors,[25] and 100 surface inspectors.[10]

VIPR team working cars waiting to board a ferry in Portland, Maine

  • National Explosives Detection Canine Teams Program: These trainers prepare dogs and handlers to serve as mobile teams that can quickly find dangerous materials. As of June 2008, the TSA had trained about 430 canine teams, with 370 deployed to airports and 56 deployed to mass transit systems.[26]
  • Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams: VIPR teams started in 2005 and involved Federal Air Marshals and other TSA crew working outside of the airport environment, at train stations, ports, truck weigh stations, special events, and other places. There has been some controversy and congressional criticism for problems such as the July 3, 2007 holiday screenings. In 2011, Amtrak police chief John O’Connor moved to temporarily ban VIPR teams from Amtrak property. As of 2011, VIPR team operations were being conducted at a rate of 8,000 per year.[27]

The TSA also oversees the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which gives some pilots permission to carry firearms in the cockpit as a defense against hijackers.

Uniforms

In 2008, TSA officers began wearing new uniforms that have a blue-gray 65/35 polyester/cotton blend duty shirt, black pants, a wider black belt, and optional short-sleeved shirts and black vests (for seasonal reasons).[28] The first airport to introduce the new uniforms was Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Starting on September 11, 2008, all TSOs began wearing the new uniform. One stripe on each shoulder board denotes a TSO, two stripes a Lead TSO, and three a Supervisory TSO.

TSOs are issued badges similar to those carried by police officers, which has led to complaints from the latter group.[29]

2013 LAX shooting

On Friday, November 1, 2013, TSA officer Gerardo I. Hernandez, age 39, was shot and killed by a lone gunman at the Los Angeles International Airport. Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia who was shot and wounded by law enforcement officers before being taken into custody.[30] Ciancia was wearing fatigues and carrying a bag containing a hand-written note that said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs”. Hernandez is the first TSA officer to be killed on the job.

2015 New Orleans airport attack

On March 21, 2015 63-year-old Richard White entered the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport armed with Molotov cocktails, a gasoline lighter, and a machete. White promptly began assaulting passengers and Transportation Security Administration officers by spraying them with a can of wasp killer, then drew his machete and ran through a metal detector. Jefferson Parish‘s deputy sheriff shot and killed White as he was chasing a TSA officer with his machete.[31]

Funding

For fiscal year 2012, the TSA had a budget of roughly $7.6 billion.

Budget[32] $ Million Share
Aviation Security 5,254 70%
Transportation Security Support & Intelligence 1,032 14%
Federal Air Marshals 966 13%
Transportation Threat Assessment & Credentialing 165 2%
Surface Transportation Security 135 2%
Total 7,552 101%

Part of the TSA budget comes from a $2.50 per-passenger tax. The Obama administration has proposed tripling this fee by 2019, with most of the increase going to reduce the national debt.[33]

Travelers left about half a million dollars behind at airport checkpoints in 2012 and 2013.[34] TSA keeps the money for security operations.[35]

Screening processes and regulations

TSA agent screening luggage

Passenger and carry-on screening

Identification requirements

See also: No Fly List

The TSA requires that passengers show a valid ID at the security checkpoint before boarding their flight. Valid forms of identification include passports from the U.S. or a foreign government, state-issued photo identification, or military ID. Passengers that do not have ID may still be allowed to fly if their identity can be verified through an alternate way.[36]

Passenger names are compared against the No Fly List, a list of about 21,000 names of suspected terrorists who are not allowed to board.[37] Passenger names are also compared against a longer list of “selectees”, passengers whose names match names from this list receive a more thorough screening before being potentially allowed to board.[38] The effectiveness of the lists has been widely criticized on the basis of errors in how those lists are maintained,[39] for concerns that the lists are unconstitutional, and for its ineffectiveness at stopping Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate plastic explosives in his underwear, from boarding an aircraft.[40] At the airport security checkpoint, passengers are screened to ensure they are not carrying prohibited items. These include most sorts of sharp objects, many sporting goods such as baseball bats and hockey sticks, guns or other weapons, many sorts of tools, flammable liquids (except for conventional lighters), many forms of chemicals and paint.[41] In addition, passengers are limited to 3.4 US fluid ounces (100 ml) of almost any liquid or gel, which must be presented at the checkpoint in a clear, one-quart zip-top bag.[42] These restrictions on liquids were a reaction to the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot.

The number of passengers who have attempted to bring firearms onto airplanes in their carry-on bags has increased in recent years, from 976 in 2009 to 1,813 in 2013, according to the TSA. This is part of the reason security measures, which travelers often find cumbersome, are so thorough.[43] Up to 70 percent of the weapons passengers attempt to bring on-board are never found by screeners.[44] Firearms can be legally checked in checked luggage on domestic flights.[45]

In some cases, government leaders, members of the US military and law-enforcement officials are allowed to bypass security screening.[46][47]

In a program begun in October 2011, the TSA’s Precheck Program allows selected members of the American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America, Southwest Airlines, Air Canada, JetBlue Airlines, and Sun Country Airlinesfrequent flyer programs, members of Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI and active duty members of the US military[citation needed] to receive expedited screening for domestic and select international itineraries.[48] As of August 2015, this program was available at 156 airports.[49] TSA currently only allows US citizens and permanent residents to apply[50] for Precheck. After completing a background check, being fingerprinted,[51] and paying an $85 fee, travelers will get a Known Traveler Number. The program has led to complaints of unfairness and longer wait lines.[52]

In October 2013, the TSA announced that it had begun searching a wide variety of government and private databases for information about passengers before they arrive at the airport. They did not say which databases were involved, but TSA has access to past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, law enforcement and intelligence information, among others.[53]

Large printer cartridges ban

After the October 2010 cargo planes bomb plot, in which cargo containing laser printers with toner cartridges filled with explosives were discovered on separate cargo planes, the U.S. prohibited passengers from carrying certain printer cartridges on flights.[54] The TSA said it would ban toner and ink cartridges weighing over 16 ounces (453 grams) from all passenger flights.[55][56] The ban applies to both carry-on bags and checked bags, and does not affect average travelers, whose toner cartridges are generally lighter.[56]

November 2010 enhanced screening procedures

Beginning in November 2010, TSA added new enhanced screening procedures. Passengers are required to choose between an enhanced patdown, allowing TSOs to more thoroughly check areas on the body such as waistbands, groin, and inner thigh.[46] or instead to be imaged by the use of a full body scanner (that is, eitherbackscatter X-ray or millimeter wave detection machines) in order to fly. TSA encouraged flyers to choose scanners by emphasizing the “intrusive” nature of the “enhanced” patdown. These changes were said to be made in reaction to the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab bombing attempt.[57]

Pat-downs
See also: Frisking

The new pat-down procedures, which were originally not made public,[58] “routinely involve the touching of buttocks and genitals”[59][60][61] as well as breasts.[62]These procedures were controversial, and in a November poll, 50% of those polled felt that the new pat-down procedures were too extreme, with 48% feeling them justified.[63] A number of publicized incidents created a public outcry against the invasiveness of the pat-down techniques,[64][65][66] in which women’s breasts and the genital areas of all passengers are patted.[67] Pat-downs are carried out by agents of the same gender the passenger presents at the screening.[68]

Concerns were raised as to the constitutionality of the new screening methods by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union.[69] As of April 2011, at least six lawsuits were filed for violation of the Fourth Amendment.[70][71]George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen has supported this view, saying “there’s a strong argument that the TSA’s measures violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.”[72] Concerns were also raised about the effects of these pat-downs on survivors of sexual assault.[73] In January 2014, Denver police launched a sexual assault investigation against a screener at Denver International Airport over what the passenger stated was an intrusive patdown.[74]

Full body scanners
Main article: Full body scanner

Screenshot from an active millimeter wave scanner

X-ray backscattertechnology produces an image that resembles a chalk etching.[75]

A backscatter unit.

In November 2010, the TSA began putting backscatter X-ray scanners and millimeter wave scanners machines into airports. The TSA refers to these two technologies as Advanced Imaging Technologies, or AIT. Critics sometimes refer to them as “naked scanners”.[76]

Passengers are directed to hold their hands above their heads for a few seconds while front and back images are created.[77] If the operator sees an anomaly on the scanner, or if other problems occur, the passenger will also have to receive the pat-down.

Full body scanners have also proven controversial due to privacy and health concerns.

The American Civil Liberties Union has called the scanners a “virtual strip search.”[78] Female passengers have complained that they are often singled out for scanning, and a review of TSA records by a local CBS affiliate in Dallas found “a pattern of women who believe that there was nothing random about the way they were selected for extra screening.”[79]

The TSA, on their website, states that they have “implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy which is ensured through the anonymity of the image,”[80] and additionally states that these technologies “cannot store, print, transmit or save the image, and the image is automatically deleted from the system after it is cleared by the remotely located security officer”.[81] This claim, however, was proven false after multiple incidents involving leaked images. The machines do in fact have the ability to “save” the images and while this function is purported to be “turned off” by the TSA in screenings, TSA Air Marshalls and training facilities have the save function turned on.[82][83][84]

As early as 2010, the TSA began to test scanners that would produce less intrusive “stick figures”.[85] In February 2011, the TSA began testing new software on the millimeter wave machines already used at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport that automatically detects potential threats on a passenger without the need for having an officer review actual images. Instead, one generic figure is used for all passengers and small yellow boxes are placed on areas of the body requiring additional screening.[86] The TSA announced in 2013 that the Rapiscan’s backscatter scanners would no longer be used, due to the fact that the manufacturer of the machines could not produce “privacy software” to abstract the near-nude images that agents view and turn them into stick like figures. The TSA will continue to use other full body scanners.[87]

Health concerns have been raised about both scanning technologies.

With regards to exposure to radiation emitted by backscatter X-rays, and there are fears that people will be exposed to a “dangerous level of radiation if they get backscattered too often” A petition by both scientists and pilots argue that the screening machines are safe.[88] Ionizing radiation is considered a non-threshold carcinogen, but it is difficult to quantify the risk of low radiation exposures.[89]Active millimeter wave scanners emit radiation which is non-ionizing, does not have enough energy to directly damage DNA, and is not known to begenotoxic.[90][91][92]

Reverse screenings

In April 2016, TSA Administrator, Peter V. Neffenger told a Senate committee that small airports had the option to use “reverse screening” – a system where passengers are not screened before boarding the aircraft at departure, but instead are screened upon arrival at the destination. The procedure is intended to save costs at airports with a limited number of fights.[93]

Reactions

After the November 2010 initiation of enhanced screening procedures of all airline passengers and flight crews, the US Airline Pilots Association issued a press release stating that pilots should not submit to full body scanners because of unknown radiation risks and calling for strict guidelines for pat-downs of pilots, including evaluation of their fitness for duty after the pat-down, given the stressful nature of pat-downs.[67][94] Two airline pilots filed suit against the procedures.[95]

In March 2011, two New Hampshirestate representatives introduced proposed legislation that would criminalize as sexual assault invasive TSA pat-downs made without probable cause.[96][97][98] In May 2011, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it illegal for Transportation Security Administration officials to touch a person’s genitals when carrying out a patdown. The bill failed in the Senate after the Department of Justice threatened to make Texas a no-fly zone if the legislation passed.[99][100] In Congress, United States House of Representatives by Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the American Traveler Dignity Act(H.R.6416).[101]

On July 2, 2010, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit in federal court asking to halt the use of full body scanners by the TSA on Fourth amendment grounds, and arguing that the TSA had failed to allow a public notice and rule making period. In July 2011, the D.C. Circuit court of appeals ruled that the TSA did violate the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to allowing a public notice and comment rule making period. The Court ordered the agency to “promptly” undertake a public notice and comment rule making. In July 2012, EPIC returned to court and asked the court to force enforcement; in August, the court granted the request to compel the TSA to explain its actions by the end of the month.[102] The agency responded on August 30, saying that there was ““no basis whatsoever for (The DC Circuit Court’s) assertion that TSA has delayed implementing this court’s mandate,” and said it was awaiting approval from the Department of Homeland Security before the hearings take place. The TSA also said that it was having “staffing issues” regarding the issue, but expects to begin hearings in February 2013.[103] The comment period began on March 25, 2013[104][105] and closed on June 25, 2013, with over 90% of the comments against the scanners.[105]As of October, 2015, no report has been issued.

Two separate Internet campaigns promoted a “National Opt-Out Day,” the day before Thanksgiving, urging travelers to “opt out” of the scanner and insist on a pat-down.[106] The enhanced pat-down procedures were also the genesis of the “Don’t touch my junkmeme“.[107]

Checked baggage

Luggage locks

TSA lock with symbol and general key access

3D printed master keys for Travel Sentry locks

In order to be able to search passenger baggage for security screening, the TSA will cut or otherwise disable locks they cannot open themselves. The agency authorized two companies to create padlocks, lockable straps, and luggage with built-in locks that can be opened and relocked by tools and information supplied by the lock manufacturers to the TSA. These areTravel Sentry and Safe Skies Locks.[108] TSA agents sometimes cut these locks off instead of opening them, and TSA received over 3500 complaints in 2011 about locks being tampered with.[109] Travel journalist and National Geographic Traveler editor Christopher Elliott describes these locks as “useless” at protecting the goods within,[110] whereas SmarterTravel wrote in early 2010 that the “jury is out on their effectiveness”, while noting how easy they are to open.[111]

In November 2014, The Washington Post inadvertently published a photograph of all seven of the TSA master keys in an article[112] about TSA baggage handling. The photograph was later removed from the original Washington Post article, but it still appears in some syndicated copies of the article.[113] On August 22, 2015, Twitter user Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) noticed the photograph and posted it on Twitter,[114] and from there it quickly spread across social media, gaining the attention of news sites.[115] Using the photograph, security researchers and members of the public have been able to reproduce working copies of the master keys using 3D printing techniques.[116][117] The incident has prompted discussion about the security implications of using master keys.[115]

Baggage theft[edit]

Notice of Baggage Inspection

The TSA has been criticized[118] for an increase in baggage theft after its inception. Reported thefts include both valuable and dangerous goods, such as laptops, jewelry[119] guns,[120] and knives.[121] Such thefts have raised concerns that the same access might allow bombs to be placed aboard aircraft.[122]

In 2004, over 17,000 claims of baggage theft were reported.[119] As of 2004, 60 screeners had been arrested for baggage theft,[119] a number which had grown to 200 screeners by 2008.[123] 11,700 theft and damage claims were reported to the TSA in 2009, a drop from 26,500 in 2004, which was attributed to the installation of cameras and conveyor belts in airports.[124] A total of 25,016 thefts were reported over the five-year period from 2010 to 2014.[125]

As of 2011, the TSA employs about 60,000 screeners in total (counting both baggage and passenger screening)[126] and approximately 500 TSA agents have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency’s creation in November 2001. The airports with the most reported thefts from 2010 to 2014 were JFK, followed by LAX and MCO.[125]

In 2008 an investigative report by WTAE in Pittsburgh discovered that despite over 400 reports of baggage theft, about half of which the TSA reimbursed passengers for, not a single arrest had been made.[127] The TSA does not, as a matter of policy, share baggage theft reports with local police departments.[127]

In September 2012, ABC News interviewed former TSA agent Pythias Brown, who has admitted to stealing more than $800,000 worth of items during his employment with the agency. Brown stated that it was “very convenient to steal” and poor morale within the agency is what causes agents to steal from passengers.[128]

The TSA has also been criticized for not responding properly to theft and failing to reimburse passengers for stolen goods. For example, between 2011 and 2012, passengers at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport reported $300,000 in property lost or damaged by the TSA. The agency only reimbursed $35,000 of those claims.[129] Similar statistics were found at Jacksonville International Airport – passengers reported $22,000 worth of goods missing or damaged over the course of 15 months. The TSA only reimbursed $800.[130]

Screening effectiveness

Undercover operations to test the effectiveness of airport screening processes are routinely carried out by the TSA’s Office of Investigations[131] and the Department of Homeland SecurityInspector General‘s office.

A report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found that TSA officials had collaborated with Covenant Aviation Security (CAS) at San Francisco International Airport to alert screeners to undercover tests.[132] From August 2003 until May 2004, precise descriptions of the undercover personnel were provided to the screeners. The handing out of descriptions was then stopped, but until January 2005 screeners were still alerted whenever undercover operations were being undertaken.[133] When no wrongdoing on the part of CAS was found, the contract was extended for four years. Some CAS and TSA workers received disciplinary action, but none were fired.[134][135]

A report on undercover operations conducted in October 2006 at Newark Liberty International Airport was leaked to the press. The screeners had failed 20 of 22 undercover security tests, missing numerous guns and bombs. The Government Accountability Office had previously pointed to repeated covert test failures by TSA personnel.[136][137] Revealing the results of covert tests is against TSA policy, and the agency responded by initiating an internal probe to discover the source of the leak.[138]

In July 2007, the Times Union of Albany, New York reported that TSA screeners at Albany International Airport failed multiple covert security tests conducted by the TSA. Among them was a failure to detect a fake bomb.[139]

In December 2010, ABC News Houston reported in an article about a man who accidentally took a forgotten gun through airport security, that “the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports”.[44]

In June 2011 TSA fired 36 screeners at the Honolulu airport for regularly allowing bags through without being inspected.[140]

In May 2012, a report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General stated that the TSA “does not have a complete understanding” of breaches at the nation’s airports, with some hubs doing very little to fix or report security breaches. These findings will be presented to Congress.[141]

A 2015 investigation by the Homeland Security Inspector General revealed that undercover investigators were able to smuggle banned items through checkpoints in 95% of their attempts.[142]

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, have had several joint hearings concerning the cost and benefits of the various safety programs including full body scanners, theTransportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), and the behavior detection program, among others.[143]

Some measures employed by the TSA have been accused of being ineffective and fostering a false sense of safety.[144][145] This led security expert Bruce Schneierto coin the term security theater to describe those measures.[146]

Unintended consequences of 2002 screening enhancements

Two studies by a group of Cornell University researchers have found that strict airport security has the unintended consequence of increasing road fatalities, as would-be air travelers decide to drive and are exposed to the far greater risk of dying in a car accident.[147][148] In 2005, the researchers looked at the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and found that the change in passenger travel modes led to 242 added driving deaths per month.[147] In all, they estimated that about 1,200 driving deaths could be attributed to the short-term effects of the attacks. The study attributes the change in traveler behavior to two factors: fear of terrorist attacks and the wish to avoid the inconvenience of strict security measures; no attempt is made to estimate separately the influence of each of these two factors.

In 2007, the researchers studied the specific effects of a change to security practices instituted by the TSA in late 2002. They concluded that this change reduced the number of air travelers by 6%, and estimated that consequently, 129 more people died in car accidents in the fourth quarter of 2002.[148] Extrapolating this rate of fatalities, New York Times contributor Nate Silver remarked that this is equivalent to “four fully loaded Boeing 737s crashing each year.”[149] The 2007 study also noted that strict airport security hurts the airline industry; it was estimated that the 6% reduction in the number of passengers in the fourth quarter of 2002 cost the industry $1.1 billion in lost business.[150]

Data security incidents

Employee records lost or stolen

In 2007, an unencrypted computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data, and payroll information for about 100,000 employees was lost or stolen from TSA headquarters. Kip Hawley alerted TSA employees to the loss, and apologized for it. The agency asked the FBI to investigate. There were no reports that the data was later misused.[151][152]

Unsecured website

In 2007, Christopher Soghoian, a blogger and security researcher, said that a TSA website was collecting private passenger information in an unsecured manner, exposing passengers to identity theft.[153] The website allowed passengers to dispute their inclusion on the No Fly List. The TSA fixed the website several days after the press picked up the story.[154] The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated the matter,[155] and said the website had operated insecurely for more than four months, during which more than 247 people had submitted personal information.[156] The report said the TSA manager who awarded the contract for creating the website was a high-school friend and former employee of the owner of the firm that received the contract.[157] It noted:

neither Desyne nor the technical lead on the traveler redress Web site have been sanctioned by TSA for their roles in the deployment of an insecure Web site. TSA continues to pay Desyne to host and maintain two major Web-based information systems. TSA has taken no steps to discipline the technical lead, who still holds a senior program management position at TSA.[158]

In December 2009, someone within the TSA posted a sensitive manual titled “Screening Management SOP” on secret airport screening guidelines to an obscure URL on the FedBizOpps website. The manual was taken down quickly, but the breach raised questions about whether security practices had been compromised.[159] Five TSA employees were placed on administrative leave over the manual’s publication, which, while redacted, had its redaction easily removed by computer-knowledgeable people.[160]

Other criticisms

Insignia

Common criticisms of the agency have also included assertions that TSA employees slept on the job,[161][162][163][164] bypassed security checks,[165] and failed to use good judgment and common sense.[166][167][168]

TSA agents are also accused of having mistreated passengers, and having sexually harassed passengers,[169][170][171][172] having used invasive screening procedures, including touching the genitals, including those of children,[173] removing nipple rings with pliers,[174] having searched passengers or their belongings for items other than weapons or explosives,[175] and having stolen from passengers.[127][176][177][178][179][180][181][182] The TSA fired 28 agents and suspended 15 others after an investigation determined they failed to scan checked baggage for explosives.[183]

The TSA was also accused of having spent lavishly on events unrelated to airport security,[184] having wasted money in hiring,[185]and having had conflicts of interest.[186]

The TSA was accused of having performed poorly at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration viewing areas, which left thousands of ticket holders excluded from the event in overcrowded conditions, while those who had arrived before the checkpoints were in place avoided screening altogether.[187][188]

In 2013 dozens of TSA workers were fired or suspended for illegal gambling at Pittsburgh International Airport,[189] and eight TSA workers were arrested in connection with stolen parking passes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.[190]

A 2013 GAO report showed a 26% increase in misconduct among TSA employees between 2010 and 2012, from 2,691 cases to 3,408.[191] Another GAO report said that there is no evidence that the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) behavioral detection program, with an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, is effective.[192]

A 2013 report by the Homeland Security Department Inspector General’s Office charged that TSA was using criminal investigators to do the job of lower paid employees, wasting millions of dollars a year.[193]

On December 3, 2013, the United States House of Representatives passed the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (H.R. 2719; 113th Congress) in response to criticism of the TSA’s acquisition process as wasteful, costly, and ineffective.[194][195] If the bill became law, it would require the TSA to develop a comprehensive technology acquisition plan and present regular reports to Congress about its successes and failures to adhere to this plan. An April 2013 report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General indicated that the TSA had 17,000 items with an estimated cost of $185.7 million stored in its warehouses on May 31, 2012.[196] The auditors found that “TSA stored unusable or obsolete equipment, maintained inappropriate safety stock levels, and did not develop an inventory management process that systematically deploys equipment.”[196]

In January 2014, Jason Edward Harrington, a former TSA screener at O’Hare International Airport, said that fellow staff members assigned to review body scan images of airline passengers routinely joked about fliers’ weight, attractiveness, and penis and breast sizes. According to Harrington, screeners would alert each other to attractive female passengers with the code phrase “Hotel Papa” so that staff would have an opportunity to view the passengers’ nude form in body scanner monitors and retaliated against rude flyers by delaying them at the checkpoint. TSA Administrator John Pistole responded by saying that all the scanners had been replaced and the screening rooms disabled. He did not deny that the behaviors described by Harrington took place.[197]

In May 2016, actress Susan Sarandon revealed that during the entire time of the Bush administration she was “harassed everytime I came into the country”. She said that she hired two lawyers to contact the TSA to determine why she had been targeted, but that she assumed it was because she was critical of the Bush administration. She said the harassment stopped after her attorneys followed up a second time with the TSA.[198]

Public opinion

A CBS telephone poll of 1137 people published on November 15, 2010 found that 81% percent of those polled approved TSA’s use of full-body scans.[199] An ABC/Washington Post poll conducted by Langer Associates and released November 22, 2010 found that 64% of Americans favored the full-body X-ray scanners, but that 50% think the “enhanced” pat-downs go too far; 37% felt so strongly. In addition the poll states opposition is lowest among those who fly less than once a year.[200] A later poll by Zogby International found 61% of likely voters oppose the new measures by TSA.[201] In 2012, a poll conducted by the Frequent Business Traveler organization found that 56% of frequent fliers were “not satisfied” with the job the TSA was doing. 57% rated the TSA as doing a “poor job,” and 34% rated it “fair.” Only 1% of those surveyed rated the agency’s work as excellent.[202]

Calls for abolition

Numerous groups and figures have called for the abolition of the TSA in its current form, primarily persons and groups holding conservative or libertarian views.[203]These include Sen. Rand Paul,[204] (R-KY), Rep. John Mica,[205] (R-FL), The Cato Institute,[206]Downsize DC Foundation,[207]FreedomWorks,[208] and opinion columnists from Forbes,[209]Fox News,[210]National Review,[211]USA Today,[212]Vox,[213]The Washington Examiner,[214] and The Washington Post.[215]

The TSA’s critics frequently cite the agency as “ineffective, invasive, incompetent, inexcusably costly, or all four”[216] as their reasons for seeking its abolition. Those seeking to abolish the TSA have cited the improved efficacy and cost of screening provided by qualified private companies in compliance with federal guidelines.[217]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_Security_Administration

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The Pronk Pops Show 404, January 27, 2015, Story 1: Historic Progressive Politicians and Media Snow Job — Man-Made Computer Model Consensus Weather Forecast Busted — Never Mind — Dallas Hits 75 Degrees — Blame It On Global Warming — Give Me A Break — It Is Called Winter, Stupid — Both Weather and Climates Change — Videos

Posted on January 27, 2015. Filed under: Airlines, American History, Blogroll, Business, Climate Change, Coal, Coal, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Elections, Energy, Foreign Policy, Geology, Government, History, Language, Law, Media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Resources, Scandals, Science, Security, Social Science, Solar, Success, Transportation, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Story 1: Historic Progressive Politicians and Media Snow Job — Man-Made Computer Model Consensus Weather Forecast Busted — Never Mind — Dallas Hits 75 Degrees — Blame It On Global Warming — Give Me A Break — It Is Called Winter, Stupid — Both Weather and Climates Change — Videos

global-warming-winter-storm-political-cartoonglobal-warming-cartooncartoons-warmingibd_jpgClimate-Model-Comparison-1024x921CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means1CMIP5-global-LT-vs-UAH-and-RSScomputer modelsmod_v_obs_01_16_15Predictions1976-2011

Gilda Radner Miss Emily Litella

The Global Warming Hoax Explained for Dummies

Watermelons

ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole

The World Weather Forecast

National Weather Service apologizes for blizzard forecast miss

Brenda Lee – I’m Sorry

“I’m Sorry”

I’m sorry, so sorry
That I was such a fool
I didn’t know
Love could be so cruel
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-yesYou tell me mistakes
Are part of being young
But that don’t right
The wrong that’s been done(I’m sorry) I’m sorry
(So sorry) So sorry
Please accept my apology
But love is blind
And I was too blind toseeOh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-yesYou tell me mistakes
Are part of being young
But that don’t right
The wrong that’s been done
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-yesI’m sorry, so sorry
Please accept my apology
But love was blind
And I was too blind to see(Sorry)

Winter Storm Juno How US reported blizzard

New York snow: Winter Storm Juno downgraded as ‘one of the largest snowstorms

Winter Storm JUNO 2015 : Blizzard for Historic New York City – RAW VIDEO Compilation

New York blizzard: Winter snow storm ‘Juno’ hits US East Coast, in pictures
A huge snowstorm has slammed into northeastern US, shutting down public transport, cancelling thousands of flights and leaving roads and streets deserted as snow blanketed an area that’s home to tens of millions of people. Authorities ordered drivers off the streets in New York and other cities like Boston in the face of a storm that forecasters warned could reach historic proportions, dumping up to three feet (up to a metre) of snow in some areas

Winter storm looms with record level snow threat; 7,700 flights canceled
Seven states on the Northeast are in watch mode as a potentially record-setting storm is churning up the coast, threatening to dump up to 3 feet of snow in parts and paralyze the region from Philadelphia to Maine.

More than 7,700 flights for Monday and Tuesday have been canceled as of Monday evening, with Boston’s Logan Airport and Providence’s T.F. Green Airport closed outright. Delays and the knock-on effects of stranded planes and lost connections will start hitting the entire nation’s air-travel system Tuesday.

Winter Storm Juno: Blizzard Warnings for New York City, Boston, Parts of 7 States; Potentially Historic Northeast Snowstorm Ahead

Millions of people in the Northeast are bracing for Winter Storm Juno, which threatens to become a major snowstorm Monday through Wednesday with the potential for blizzard conditions and more than 2 feet of snow.

The high confidence in forecast wind and snowfall led the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings well in advance of the storm. As of late Sunday evening, those warnings were posted from the New Jersey shore all the way to Downeast Maine, including the cities of New York City, Boston, Providence, Hartford and Portland. The warnings were scheduled to go into full force as early as noon Monday along the Jersey Shore. The aforementioned stretch of Northeast coast will be fully under blizzard warnings by sunrise Tuesday, unless some are downgraded before then. Most of the warnings are set to run through late Tuesday night.

Winter Storm Juno: A Pummeling for the History Books
The East Coast already looks like a snow globe thanks to winter storm Juno, but the worst is yet to come.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Sunday, “This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city.” The National Weather Service (NWS) and Weather Channel meteorologist Chris Dolce have both said the impending storm is “potentially historic.” So, what does historic mean, and how strong is this “potentially”? It depends on your definition, but this storm could be one for the record books, and not just in the highest-3 point-shooting-percentage-in-the-third-q­uarter-with-two-bench-players-on-the-cou­rt-on-a-Tuesday type of statistic.

Based on a new experimental forecast from the NWS, as of Monday morning there is an 80 percent chance that NYC will receive at least 12” of snow. Since record keeping in Central Park began in 1869, there have been 35 events exceeding a foot of snow, so 12″ wouldn’t be a big record. But there is a 62 percent chance for at least 18” of snow, and there have only been 11 events reaching that marker. Despite the seeming endlessness of last year’s winter, only one event (on February 13th and 14th) made the 12”+ snow event list for New York City. New York has only seen snowfall totals above two feet twice, first in December 1947 and more recently in February 2006.

To be recorded in official weather history, what matters most for NYC is the official snowfall in Central Park. This is where the longest period of record is for the city, so it’s what is used for most of the statistics on weather events. While the NWS is calling for 20-30″ in most areas around NYC, local bands of snow will likely cause several more inches in some places. Scientists have difficulty predicting where these bands will occur, but whether such a band forms over Central Park could be the difference between a nuisance-maker and a history-making nuisance.

Blizzard 2015 New York City, Brooklyn, Historic Northeast Blizzard

CNN’s Anderson Cooper looks at some of the biggest nor’easters to hit the East Coast.

Tens of millions of people in the Northeast hunkered down on Monday for a historic blizzard that was expected to drop more than 2 feet of snow, whipped around by winds approaching hurricane..

Blizzard 2015 Airports Begin to Close as Historic Northeast Blizzard NearsBLIZZARD ’15: THE LATEST Nearly 7000 flights have been cancelled. Amtrak has suspended Tuesday service between New.

Tens of millions of people in the Northeast hunkered down on Monday for a historic blizzard that was expected to drop more than 2 feet of snow, whipped around by winds approaching hurricane.

Meteorology 101 – UniversalClass Online Course

 

Jamie Cullum – What A Difference A Day Made

Dinah Washington ‘Difference-complete TV segment

Dinah Washington singing here with the Louis Jordan Band. This is the complete TV Show segment with Dinah singing ‘What A Difference A Day Made’ and ‘Making Whopee’. Louis and Ronald Reagan make the announcements and I love the way Louis calls him ‘Ronnie’! The show was dated March 8th 1960.

Gilda Radner – LIVE FROM NEW YORK!

Storm Fails To Live Up To Predictions In Some Areas As National Weather Service Meteorologist Apologizes

A howling blizzard with wind gusts over 70 mph heaped snow on Boston along with other stretches of lower New England and Long Island on Tuesday but failed to live up to the hype in Philadelphia and New York City, where buses and subways started rolling again in the morning.

Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, apologized on Twitter for the snow totals being cut back.

“My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public,” Szatkowski tweeted. “You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn’t. Once again, I’m sorry.”

Jim Bunker at the agency’s Mount Holly office said forecasters will take a closer look at how they handled the storm and “see what we can do better next time.”

In New England, the storm that arrived Monday evening was a bitter, paralyzing blast, while in the New York metro area, it was a bust that left forecasters apologizing and politicians defending their near-total shutdown on travel. Some residents grumbled, but others sounded a better-safe-than-sorry note and even expressed sympathy for the weatherman.

At least 2 feet of snow was expected in most of Massachusetts, potentially making it one of the top snowstorms of all time. The National Weather Service said a 78 mph gust was reported on Nantucket, and a 72 mph one on Martha’s Vineyard.

“It felt like sand hitting you in the face,” Bob Paglia said after walking his dog four times overnight in Whitman, a small town about 20 miles south of Boston.

Maureen Keller, who works at Gurney’s, an oceanfront resort in Montauk, New York, on the tip of Long Island, said: “It feels like a hurricane with snow.”

As of midmorning, the Boston area had 1½ feet of snow, while the far eastern tip of Long Island had more than 2 feet. Snowplows around New England struggled to keep up.

“At 4 o’clock this morning, it was the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Larry Messier, a snowplow operator in Columbia, Connecticut. “You could plow, and then five minutes later you’d have to plow again.”

In Boston, police drove several dozen doctors and nurses to work at hospitals. Snow blanketed Boston Common, and drifts piled up against historic Faneuil Hall, where Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty stoked the fires of rebellion. Adjacent Quincy Market, usually bustling with tourists, was populated only by a few city workers clearing snow from the cobblestones.

As the storm pushed into the Northeast on Monday, the region came to a near standstill, alarmed by forecasters’ dire predictions. More than 7,700 flights were canceled, and schools, businesses and government offices closed.

But as the storm pushed northward, it tracked farther east than forecasters had been expecting, and conditions improved quickly in its wake. By midmorning Tuesday, New Jersey and New York City lifted driving bans, and subways and trains started rolling again, with a return to a full schedule expected Wednesday.

While Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey had braced for a foot or two of snow from what forecasters warned could be a storm of potentially historic proportions, they got far less than that. New York City received about 8 inches, Philadelphia a mere inch or so. New Jersey got up to 8 inches.

SOCIAL MEDIA CALLING BLIZZARD OF 2015 A ‘BUST’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his statewide ban on travel as “absolutely the right decision to make” in light of the dire forecast.

And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who drew criticism last fall after suggesting meteorologists hadn’t foreseen the severity of an epic snowstorm in Buffalo, said this time: “Weather forecasters do the best they can, and we respond based to the best information that we have.”

In New York City, Susanne Payot, a cabaret singer whose rehearsal Tuesday was canceled, said the meager snowfall left her bemused: “This is nothing. I don’t understand why the whole city shut down because of this.”

Brandon Bhajan, a security guard at a New York City building, said he didn’t think officials had overreacted.

“I think it’s like the situation with Ebola … if you over-cover, people are ready and prepared, rather than not giving it the attention it needs,” he said

http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2015/01/27/storm-fails-to-live-up-to-predictions-in-some-areas/

 

National Weather Service to evaluate work after missed call

A National Weather Service official says the agency will evaluate its storm modeling after a storm that was predicted to dump a foot or more of snow on many parts of New Jersey and the Philadelphia region delivered far less than that.

“You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn’t. Once again, I’m sorry,” said meteorologist Gary Szatkowski of the NWS.

Jim Bunker, who leads the weather service’s observing program in the Mount Holly office, says the storm tracked a bit to the east of what forecasting models predicted.

Parts of Long Island and New England are getting slammed. But many parts of New Jersey received less than 4 inches.

Bunker says the agency will evaluate what happened to see how it can do better in the future.

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/27950449/missed-call 

Blame De Blasio and Cuomo and Christie for the Blizzard Snow Job

As politicians rushed to out-serious each other, New Yorkers were whipped into a fear frenzy.

Every modern event has a hashtag and this morning, as New York City takes stock of the #snowmageddon2015 that wasn’t, it’s turning to #snowperbole.

On Monday, as Governor Cuomo, Governor Christie, and Mayor de Blasio rushed to out-serious each other, New Yorkers were whipped into a fear frenzy. Supermarket shelves were stripped bare, photos of Whole Foods depleted of kale circulated, and people stocked up for what would likely be days (maybe weeks!) indoors.

Even as we were doing it, we acknowledged it didn’t make much sense. After all, we’re in New York City. Bodegas never close. Delivery guys on bicycles have been a constant through all previous winter storms. All New Yorkers have their stories. That time we ordered Chinese Food during the snowstorm of 1994. Swimming on Brighton Beach during Hurricane Gloria. Buying Poptarts at the corner bodega during Sandy. Driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn and back again during the blackout of 2003. Yes, those are all mine.

As we waited for the storm deemed “historic,” the only real history was made when the subway shut down for the first time ever in preparation for snow. The real insult came when it was reported later that the trains were indeed still running, empty, as trains needed to keep moving to clear the tracks. Citibike was shut down. Cars were banned from the roads and anyone who didn’t take heed risked being fined.

These are all symptoms of our infantilizing “do something!” culture. Everyone understands the pressure politicians feel to be seen as proactive. But this time they went way too far in the name of protecting us. It’s one thing to warn drivers that conditions are dangerous and that they go out at their own risk. It’s another to shut down all roads in the city that allegedly never sleeps.

The 11 p.m. curfew resulted in lost wages for delivery people who count on larger-than-usual tips during inclement weather. Why couldn’t they make their own decisions about working during the snow? Not everyone makes a salary the way our mayor and governor do. Many workers count on their hourly wage, and their tips, to make their rent each month.

The storm was a dud, but even if had been as severe as predicted, bringing a city like New York to a preemptive standstill makes little sense. The people who keep New York humming take the subway after 11pm and can decide for themselves whether to keep their businesses open. Preparedness doesn’t have to mean panic.

http://time.com/3684240/blame-de-blasio-and-cuomo-and-christie-for-the-blizzard-snow-job/

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 400-404

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The Pronk Pops Show 396, January 13, 2014, Story 1: Obama Proposed New Cybersecurity Law — Unsecured Government Computers and Sites Are The Real Problem — Videos

Posted on January 13, 2015. Filed under: Airlines, American History, Applications, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Bombs, Business, Communications, Computer, Computers, Consitutional Law, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Crime, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Highway, History, Homicide, Insurance, Investments, IRS, Islam, Law, Media, MIssiles, National Security Agency, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Radio, Railroads, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Scandals, Science, Security, Social Networking, Social Science, Software, Space, Success, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,