Mark Klein worked for over twenty years as a technician for the AT&T Corporation. He blew the whistle on the AT&T’s collaboration with the National Security Agency, which allowed for warrantless wiretapping of phone and internet communications. In 2006, Klein came to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) with documents of AT&T’s involvement in the United States’ domestic spying program. His whistleblowing became the basis of the organization’s lawsuit against the NSA. According to Kevin Bankston [PDF], who was an EFF staff attorney, Klein described the “technology behind AT&T’s participation in the program, whereby the NSA had been given complete access to the Internet traffic transiting through at least one, and probably more, AT&T Internet facilities.”
Adham Amin Hassoun, a 58-year old US citizen and a Palestinian born in Lebanon, who is the first person detained indefinitely under the Patriot Act over terrorism-related charges, has been freed. Hassoun has been deported after a legal battle to hold him indefinitely failed, Associated Press reports. He left the US for an unknown country aboard a charter flight arranged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Last month, a judge ordered his release because the government failed to prove he is a threat to national security.
As the George Floyd Uprising intensified in Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday, President Trump asked Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper for options to deploy federal troops to the city. He signaled to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, “We have our military ready, willing and able if they ever want to call our military, and we can have troops on the ground every quickly.” Military Police soldiers from Fort Bragg (North Carolina), Fort Drum (New York), Fort Carson (Colorado), and Fort Riley (Kansas) were ordered to be ready to deploy for crowd and traffic control duties, if the state National Guards could not quell the unrest. On Monday, Trump put Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley “in charge,” lambasted state governors, and said he would soon order active-duty federal troops into U.S. cities to “quickly solve the problem for them.”
By Spencer Ackerman for The Guardian - As lawmakers and security agencies braced for a potential loss of the heart of the Patriot Act, a long-delayed Justice Department report showed that the FBI uses the surveillance authorities it provides for “large collections” of Americans’ internet records. Section 215 of the Patriot Act permits the FBI to collect business records, such as medical, educational and tax information or other “tangible things” relevant to an ongoing counter–terrorism or espionage investigation. Since 2006, the NSA had also secretly used it to collect US phone data in bulk. After Edward Snowden’s leaks allowed the Guardian to reveal the phone-records bulk collection in June 2013, deep political opposition coalesced around the bulk program – eclipsing the FBI’s acquisition of other data, which has long been an issue only for civil libertarians. But a Justice Department inspector general’s report finally released on Thursday covering the FBI’s use of Section 215 from 2007 to 2009 found that the bureau is using the business-records authority “to obtain large collections of metadata”, such as “electronic communication transactional information”.
By Eleanor Goldfield in Occupy - This week we dive into the toxic sludge of the oil industry, beginning with Shell’s latest plans to drill in the Arctic. Luckily, activists are standing, and sitting, up to these corporate cronies. We talk to Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign and George Edwardson, Inupiat leader, about the #ShellNo protests, how you can get involved and the importance of leaving the Arctic the f#@% alone. Moving on to Santa Barbara, Nigeria and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the oil industry easily gets this week’s lowlife scum award. Speaking of lowlife scum, frack is wack and Beyond Extreme Energy is making sure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hears them loud and clear over the sound of their rubber-stamped fracking rigs. Join them this week!
A coalition of advocacy groups from all sides of the political spectrum has joined forces to warn against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) plan to renew expiring portions of the Patriot Act without changes. Traditionally conservative organizations such as FreedomWorks and Gun Owners of America joined the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and dozens of other groups to warn the Senate majority leader against his “clean” reauthorization of the national security law. “In the absence of meaningful reform, it is unacceptable to rubber stamp reauthorization of an authority that the government has used to spy on millions of innocent Americans,” the groups told McConnell and other leaders of Congress on Wednesday. “These bulk surveillance programs raise serious constitutional concerns, erode global confidence in the security of digital products, and are unnecessary for national security,” they added.