Edward Snowden unveiled SAURON, a network of satellites capable of spying on the entire planet’s surface and indefinitely retaining the images.
MOSCOW, Russia – Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who recently unveiled the NSA’s ubiquitous PRISM wiretapping program, unveiled yet another insidious, citizen-targeting surveillance system Friday afternoon, in a chat with Internet Chronicle reporters.
SAURON, or the Semi-Autonomous Ultra-high-Resolution Orbital Network, is comprised of a series of hundreds of low-orbiting cameras that can make out objects on the ground as small as 1 centimeter in size.
There are so many satellites in this network that they are able to effectively monitor the entire planet’s populated surface without interruption. According to slides Snowden shared, taken from the NSA presentation on SAURON, each spy satellite feeds directly into a data bank so large that it is able to retain the captured imagery indefinitely.
SAURON is also a reference to a villain in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, an evil god of discord who appears in the material world as an ever-searching eye.
Snowden, looking as if he hadn’t slept in weeks, spoke with Internet Chronicle reporters in the transit corridor of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. In a near whisper Snowden said, “It is shocking that the U.S. government would appropriate such evil imagery for a so-called security system like this. There is little doubt that this program – I won’t utter the name here – is not concerned with the security of citizens, but rather, it is a bald grab at power for power’s sake.”
Snowden has proved the insidious discount card programs at Supermarkets track your every move.
MOSCOW, Russia – New leaks by Edward Snowden, the whistleblower responsible for unveiling NSA surveillance programs, show that all “discount cards” offered by supermarkets are in fact used as part of a ubiquitous data collection and surveillance program.
“Every time you swipe that card to save a few measly cents,” said Snowden, via collect call, “they collect information on everything you purchase. They know what you eat and drink, and they know how you pay for it.”
Supermarkets fired back at Snowden, claiming that the data isn’t identified with individuals unless it poses a clear and present danger.
But Snowden provided evidence to The Internet Chronicle showing that that was clearly not the case. In documents obtained during his tenure as elite hacker for the NSA, Snowden uncovered a program to profile every individual, including images taken from supermarket video surveillance, which has been in place for decades.
“They watch you pick up every item and can compare it with metadata,” warned Snowden. “Everyone has a file, and I wouldn’t be surprised if shoplifters were prosecuted 10, 20 years down the line when it’s possible to analyze this data in more detail.”
Emotional moments before Senator Davis’ untimely demise.
WASHINGTON, DC — Fans mourn the loss of Texas senator Wendy Davis as the news reels trickled in this morning. After amassing support from not only Texas democrats throughout her years as a politician, she managed to garner a hefty klout score last night as her awe inspiring anti-abortion bill filibuster ran for 11 hours straight.
While the Texas senator was in good shape, dawning pink Nike crossfit training shoes to keep her buoyant on her final dance floor, she could not outrun the angry mob of rubes awaiting her outside the senate floor who tweeted furiously #StandWithWendy, collapsing Davis under the weight of her own eFame.
“She was a total fighter,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and champion kick-boxer. “She’ll be missed around the gym, that much is certain.”
An Anonymous spokesperson claimed to have hacked Obama’s Skype by gaining access to PRISM
INTERNET — Anonymous hackers claimed to have infiltrated PRISM’s network infrastructure after gaining access to the graphical user interface which was intended only for use by federal agents in cases of terrorism. Because the PRISM system has access to a log of all Internet phone calls (voIP via Skype, Google, etc.) and video chats, Anonymous vigilante intelligence researchers quickly unearthed evidence of high-level collusion between corporate executives and government officials. “We have access to President Obama’s Skype,” said a spokesperson for Anonymous, “and we’re only afraid it’s too absurd to be true.”
Anonymous will not comment on details of the leak until the information has been confirmed and verified. This time, Anonymous is seeking input from government sources so that their final release will be seen by the public as an even-handed nonpartisan attempt at uncovering the truth. “We want to know the government’s point of view simply because it will help us build a more complete view of what’s really going on. Even clever lies, denials, and evasion help us in our pursuit of truth. We won’t release the information until we’ve run it all over with several officials and received a frank appraisal of its context.”
President Obama has scheduled a press conference for Monday, and the White House has already released a statement condemning Anonymous. “The sad irony is that PRISM doesn’t even exist, but because of hacks like these we need something like it,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “We will not cooperate with terrorists on any level, and we refuse to comment on illegally obtained confidential information.”
Despite such polemic rhetoric, the general consensus of Anonymous is that truth is still of the utmost importance. “The White House can’t order all 20 million of its employees around. Someone will always talk to us, and help us understand the truth behind these troubling but somewhat ambiguous conversations and other communications. All your PRISM are belong to us, and it’s going to be this way for as long as something like PRISM exists.”
One fine morning several weeks ago, I received a phone call from the local FBI office requesting an interview about Barrett Brown, former spokesperson for the Anonymous hacking collective. I told the agent, on the phone, that I didn’t really have any useful information, but he still wanted to talk to me. I didn’t see the harm in it, so I agreed to meet him that afternoon at a nearby coffee shop. For the rest of the day I grew increasingly nervous about the meeting as new and scarier possibilities came into my mind, despite their improbability. Was this guy a legitimate FBI agent, or was he something else? Did he intend to harm me, or possibly kill me?
I arrived to the coffee place a few minutes early and browsed through a selection of used books which included Bruce Sterling’s Hacker Crackdown — on sale for ten cents. Nearly immediately, I was accosted by a gregarious teenage girl, who complimented my beard and compared me to a popular musician I had never heard of. She was blonde, cute, and bubbly, but just underneath the surface lurked high culture. For the next few minutes we talked about Nietzsche and Goethe, until I saw the FBI agent staring at me from the corner of my eye. I said to the girl something like, “I’m sorry. I’m here to meet an FBI agent and talk to him about some shit.” She did not ask why, but instead exclaimed, loudly, “I hope he doesn’t drag you away and poison you!” This bizarre exchange, to which I have done little justice, was surely within earshot of the agent, and I still wonder whether it was some insidious kind of psychological manipulation. I am sure it was even stranger from the point of view of the agent.
He sat at a small table with a little pile of papers, and I joined him. On the papers were questions for me and information about me. I saw my driver’s license photo in full color for the first time, but with a distorted aspect ratio which widened my face. His manner was gentle, as you’d expect from a computer guy, and he wore an impeccable grey suit with fancy wingtip shoes. Because he alluded to a position with national security implications, that is all the description I will provide. Despite warning me that he was not an expert on Anonymous, he came across as generally well-informed, if not hopelessly misled on a few specifics. His praise for my writing was effusive and embarrassing, so much so that he apologized, and I could not help but glance at the girl, who now sat with her friends just a table away, as circuit breakers in my brain began to blow. What does she think of me, sitting here, getting this kind of incredible praise from an FBI agent? Surely she must be hearing this shit, and certainly she must not believe any of it. This boiling cauldron of ego soup was all the hotter for the chilling anxiety I had felt leading up to it. Yet, for all that, I did not detect a hint of inauthenticity in the agent’s manner, and, in fact, I saw genuine disappointment after a joke he told bombed because of my abnormally serious demeanor.
The business of the interview, the source of my anxiety, turned out to be a bit of a sad joke and far less disconcerting than all the continuous praise. Several questions, for instance, hinged on a case of mistaken identity. Because I use the pseudonym Kilgore Trout and had been somewhat of a nemesis to Barrett Brown, the FBI had apparently connected me with another Kilgore Trout who was, several years before I knew of Brown, also at odds with Brown. Both Brown and the other Trout had participated on the Little Green Footballs web site, some despicable hole of fringe punditry, but I knew very little about it. The agent claimed Brown had tasked a hacker with cracking Little Green Footballs — a fairly explosive piece of information. Evidence of Brown giving jobs to hackers has been alluded to in many stories about LulzSec, but no one has been sure of Brown’s level of involvement. If it was true he tasked someone with hacking Little Green Footballs, then his involvement with LulzSec could have possibly been pivotal. It was shocking, but of course I knew nothing that could be of help in any case. With grave seriousness which was not present in any other part of the conversation, he asked something like, “You once wrote that Barrett Brown worked for China or Russia. Is this true?” Like his joke that bombed earlier, my mind was too messed up to laugh at the right cue, and I did my best to seriously explain the joke. While anything is possible, I can’t get over the certainty that the FBI, in general, is seriously convincedin Anonymous and its possible connections to foreign power. It brings to mind reports out of Iranian state-owned media that attacks by Anonymous are orchestrated by the American government.
It’s nice to be reminded that law enforcement agents are real people, but it’s also a bit disturbing — because they’re real people. Anons, especially, tend to imagine law enforcement as a monolithic edifice which sees all and acts like a hatefully inhuman machine in exacting draconian punishments for the smallest infractions. Maybe that likeness is accurate enough in a few cases, but at the same time it’s really humans we’re talking about — prone to the same fear, misinterpretation, misinformation, and confusion as the rest of us.
Portrait of Kiriakou, by artist unknown, taken from Kiriakou’s Twitter account
In January we reported on John Kiriakou, the CIA officer who recently started his 30-month stint in federal prison—for what he said was acting on pangs of conscience, not endangering national security, as judges and prosecutors would have it. Brian Sonenstein, at Firedoglake’s Dissenter blog, received a prison letter, and we’ve taken the time to transcribe it all over again to include what was crossed out in the Dissenter text: an accusation the incarcerated father of five seemingly began to level at the Justice Department, not just the “Bureau of Prisons,” for his mistreatment.
An address to write to Kiriakou is at the bottom of the letter.
“Letter From Loretto”
Greetings from the Federal Correctional Institution at Loretto, Pennsylvania. I arrived here on February 28, 2013 to serve a 30-month sentence for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. At least that’s what the government wants people to believe. In truth, this is my punishment for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official U.S. government policy. But that’s a different story. The purpose of this letter is to tell you about prison life.
At my formal sentencing hearing in January, the judge, the prosecutors, and my attorneys all agreed that I would serve my sentence in Loretto’s Federal Work Camp. When I arrived, however, much to my surprise, the Corrections Officer (CO, or “hack”) who processed me said that the Justice Department Bureau of Prisons had deemed me a “threat to the public safety,” and so I would do serve the entire sentence in the actual prison, rather than the camp.
Processing took about an hour and included fingerprinting, a mug shot (my third after the FBI and the Marshals), my fourth DNA sample, and a quite comprehensive strip search. I was given a pair of baggy brown pants, two brown shirts, two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, and a pair of cheap sandals. My own clothes were boxed and mailed to my wife. The CO then led me to a steel bunk in “Central Unit” and walked away. I didn’t know what to do, so I took a nap.
My cell is more like a cubicle made out of concrete block. Built to hold four men, mine holds six. Most others hold eight. My cellmates include two Dominicans serving 24- and 20-year sentences for drugs, a Mexican serving 15 years for drugs, a Puerto Rican serving [7 ½ years ?] 7 ½ years for drug conspiracy, and the former auditor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, who’s doing [unintelligible] years a long sentence for corruption. They’re all decent guys and we actually enjoy each other’s company.
The prison population is much like you might expect. Loretto has 1,369 prisoners. (I never call myself an “inmate.” I’m a prisoner.) About 50% are black, 30% are Hispanic, and 20% are white. Of the white prisoners, most are pedophiles with personal stories that would make you sick to your stomach. The rest of the whites prisoners are here for drugs, except for a dozen or so who ran Ponzi schemes. Of the 1,369 prisoners, 40 have college degrees and 6 of us have master’s degrees. The GED program is robust. (Bust when I volunteered to teach a class my “counsellor” [sic] shouted, “Dammit, Kiriakou! If I wanted you to teach a fucking class, I’d ask you to teach a fucking class!”) I’m a janitor in the chapel. I make $5.25 a month.
The cafeteria, or “chow hall” was the most difficult experience of my first few days. Where should I sit? On my first day, two Aryans, completed covered in tattoos, walked up to me and asked, “Are you a pedophile?” Nope, I said. “Are you a fag?” Nope. “Do you have good paper?” I didn’t know what this meant. I turned out that I had to get a copy of my formal sentencing documents to prove that I wasn’t a child molester. I did that, and was welcomed by the Aryans, who aren’t really Aryans, but more accurately self-important hillbillies.
The cafeteria is very formally divided. There is a table for the Aryans whites with good paper, a section of a table for the Native Americans, a section of a table for people belonging to a certain Italian-American stereotypical “subculture,” two tables for the Muslims, four tables for the pedophiles, and all the remaining tables for the blacks and Hispanics. We don’t all eat at the same time, but each table is more-or-less reserved as I’ve described.
Violence hasn’t been much of a problem since I arrived. There have been maybe a half-dozen fights, almost always over what television show to watch. The choices are pretty much set in stone between ESPN, MTV, VH1, BET and Univision. I haven’t watched TV since I got here. It’s just not worth the trouble. Otherwise, violence isn’t a problem. Most of the guys in here have worked their way down to a low-security prison from a medium or a maximum, and they don’t want to go back.
I’ve also had some luck in this regard. My reputation preceded me, and a rumor got started that I was a CIA hit man. The Aryans whispered that I was a “Muslim hunter,” but the Muslims, on the strength of my Arabic language skills and a well-timed statement of support from Louis Farrakhan have lauded me as a champion of Muslim human rights. Meanwhile, the Italians have taken a liking to me because I’m patriotic, as they are, and I have a visceral dislike of the FBI, which they do as well. I have good relations with the blacks because I’ve helped several of them write commutation appeals or letters to judges and I don’t charge anything for it. And the Hispanics respect me because my cellmates, who represent a myriad of Latin drug gangs, have told them to. So far, so good.
The only thing close to a problem that I’ve had has been from the Cos. When I first arrived, after about four days, I heard an announcement that I was to dread: “Kiriakou – report to the lieutenant’s office immediately.” Very quickly, I gave my wife’s phone number to a friend and asked him to call her if, for some reason, I was sent to the SHU (Special Housing Unit) more commonly known as the hole, or solitary confinement. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but this kind of thing happens all the time.
When I got to the lieutenant’s office, I was ushered into the office of SIS, the Special Investigative Service. This is the prison version of every police department’s Internal Affairs Division detective bureau. I saw on a desk a copy of my book, The Reluctant Spy, as well as DVD copies of all the documentaries I’ve been in. The CO showed me a picture of an Arab. “Do you know this guy,” he asked me. I responded that I had met him a day earlier, but our conversation was limited to “nice to meet you.” Well, the CO said, this was the uncle of the Times Square bomber, and after we had met, he called a number in Pakistan, reporting the meeting, and was told to kill me. I told the CO that I could kill the guy with my thumb. He’s about 5’4” and 125 pounds compared to my 6’1” and 250 pounds. The CO said they were looking to ship him out, so I should stay away from him. But the more I thought about it, the more this made no sense. Why would the uncle of the Times Square bomber be in a low-security prison? He should be in a maximum. So I asked my Muslim friends to check him out. It turns out that he’s an Iraqi Kurd from Buffalo, NY. He was the imam of a mosque there, which also happened to be the mosque where the “Lackawana [sic] 7” worshipped [sic]. (The Lackawana 7 were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism.) The FBI pressured him to testify against his parishioners. He refused and got five years for obstruction of justice. The ACLU and several religious freedom groups have rallied to his defense. He had nothing to do with terrorism.
In the meantime, SIS told him that I had made a call to Washington after we met, and that I had been instructed to kill him! We both laughed at the ham-handedness by which SIS tried to get us to attack each other. If we had, we would have spent the rest of our sentences in the [unintelligible] SHU – solitary. Instead, we’re friendly, we exchange greetings in Arabic and English, and we chat.
The only other problem I’ve had with the COs was about two weeks after I arrived. I get a great deal of mail here in prison (and I answer ever letter I get.) Monday through Friday, prisoners gather in front of the unit CO’s office for mail call. One female CO butchers my name every time she says it. So when she does mail call, I hear “Kirkaow, Kiriloo, Teriyaki” and a million other variations. One day after mail call I passed her in the hall. She stopped me and said, “Are you the motherfucker whose name I can’t pronounce?” I responded “Ki-ri-AH-koo.” She said, “How about if I just call you Fuckface?” I just walked away and a friend I was walking with said, “Classy.” I said to him, “White trash is more like it.” And hour later, four COs descended on both of our cells, trashing all of our worldly possessions in my first “shake-down.” Lesson learned: COs can treat us like subhumans but we have to show them faux respect even when it’s not earned.
I’ll write about COs more next time. If you’d like to drop me a line, I can be reached at John Kiriakou 79637-083, P.O. Box 1000, FCI Loretto, Loretto, PA 15940.
A leading watchdog group named Renzi, above, as one of the top 20 most corrupt congressmen for three straight years. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Opening arguments in the Tucson trial of former Arizona Representative Rick Renzi (R-AZ) began Wednesday with federal prosecution characterizing Renzi as having engaged in “lying and stealing … taking advantage of people” and having “sold out his office.” Meanwhile Renzi counsel Kelly Kramer contended that his client “didn’t extort anybody … solicit any bribes” or “defraud anyone.” Charged with 32 counts of conspiracy, fraud and extortion, if convicted the three-term former congressman from Arizona’s 1st District could face up to 400 years of prison.
Dennis Wagner writes at The Arizona Republic:
In 2005 Resolution Copper Mining wanted surface rights to an ore-laden national forest area near [the town of] Superior. Another investment group involving former Gov. Bruce Babbitt [(D)] was seeking to trade private conservation land for potential development properties owned by the government near Phoenix.
In response to their request, Renzi allegedly replied, “No Sandlin land, no deal.”
“That’s extortion,” said Justice Department attorney David Harbach Wednesday.
Redditors enjoy a front-page appearance and are aroused as agents storm through their house.
BOSTON — 9/11 fans rejoiced Thursday after Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested by thousands of paramilitary police units which stormed through nearly 10,000 houses in Watertown, systematically invading every home in the area.
Citizens lauded the merciless efficiency and overwhelming numbers of police who found Tsarnaev critically injured and hiding in a boat.
Eagerly jacked into the story developments on corporate-controlled television media, Twitter, Facebook, and in many cases in real life, Redditors ate junk food and excitedly watched police storm through their houses.
A collective sigh of relief echoed through the Twittersphere when the police announced, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.” Exuberant families ran into the streets chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.!”
Police photographers captured the barbarian’s arrest and tweeted it to their quivering, orgasmic fans in real time.
Glorious Stormtroopers accost fiendish Muslim enemy.
WASHINGTON — The Internet Chronicle has obtained footage of classification authorities discussing the classification process and allegations of overclassification. Early this month the national intelligence director counsel, Robert Litt, and a former director of the Information Security Oversight Office, J. William Leonard, took questions from attendees of a Brennan Center forum on secrecy and security.
Leonard pointed out that Obama administration officials had been instructed not to discuss the CIA’s targeted assassination program. That statement at the forum by Leonard, who served from 2002 to 2007, was in line with what former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told MSNBC’s last month. Then Gibbs said that his own vetting process had included that instruction that he was “not even to acknowledge the drone program.”
“[W]hen the principal architect of that program,” said Litt on March 14, “goes before Congress in order to be confirmed as a director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he then makes the observation that, ‘yeah, maybe it’s a good idea to debate these things in public.’”
But, said Leonard, Brennan’s call for transparency about the CIA’s drone came too late. Leonard said that when the government unleashes any and all violence upon an individual, the American public must be informed.
Our next snippet of footage comes in the Q-and-A, when an attorney rose to ask the national intelligence director’s own lawyer about the nature of alleged retroactive classification. This analyst cannot be sure of her client list, but the cases she mentions seems evocative of that of whistleblower Thomas Drake. Leonard has been altogether sympathetic to his plight.
The incidence of retroactive classification has for years heightened concerns among activists and whistleblowers that classification could be used for professional retribution — not, to wit, safeguarding the American people.
Executive Order 13526, from 2009, is intended to prohibit overclassification, and the questioner references its matter. (Specifically, she alludes to Section 5.5(b)(2), which offers “sanctions” for overclassification.) What stood out in the hundreds of thousands of State Department cables leaked by Bradley Manning is not the career-ending content but rather the arbitrary level of secrecy present. Said Litt at a later point in the forum (see video below), “My experience is that there’s very little conscious abuse of the classification process. What there is, is a set of incentives that lead people to apply the rules in a way that leans towards classification.”
The questioner said that her clients, “after their [books have] gone through pre-publication review,” had been told they stepped over the line with disclosures.
When another questioner complained that White House Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) had not been adequately transparent on the use of drones, against foreign nationals and potentially citizens alike, Robert Litt was dismissive.
There is a “long history of Congress,” said Litt, “claiming they’re not getting information from the executive branch.” Indeed at a March 6 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), also of Senate Select Intelligence, expressed misgivings that the Judiciary Committee could not see the executive branch’s legal rationale for the use of drones, abroad or potentially at home.
“[A]ny suggestion,” said Litt this month at the Brennan Center, “that the [House and Senate] Intelligence Committees did not understand the legal basis for the targeted killing program is wrong,” adding that they “were fully briefed on and fully informed of the reason” for drone use.
The legislative branch’s increased demands — climaxing with a day of filibuster by Kentucky Sen. Ran Paul (R) — and the executive branch’s recalcitrance, said Litt, amounts to a “creative tension,” adding, “No amount of reforms that we do will solve that problem.”
Chronicle.su field correspondents spotted PyCon drama queen and feminist partying down with hackers and felons alike at a loft in Newark, New Jersey Sunday night, when supposedly at PyCon.
Richards, supposedly took out her feminist ire out on a poor python programming man at PyCon last weekend, getting him fired in the process. He had 3 kids, one is now dead.
She has been the subject of extreme scrutiny since the child’s death and some speculate she may have possibly been committed via 5150 to a mental institution. However, after field reports spotted her at Newark, New Jersey doing pot and swinging from swings, little to no truth is known to be truer than the truth itself, which can only be the truth.
A wave of paranoia swept through the Anonymous consortium late Monday night when #TeamSabu was introduced by Aaron Bale who claims is a group of Sabu sympathizers and synthesizers, led by the OWS and Wikileaks activist shm00p of UGNazi and Rustle League fame, who is actually Sabu himself.
#TeamSabu is lead not only by shm00p, but has close ties to Adria Richards, who sold exploit code to Matthew Keys in an effort to gain the good graces of LulzSec so she could eventually land a job at the DailyDot. Little did she know that among a group of thugs, hackers and drunks, people would be snapping photos.
So who was at PyCon and why the drama surrounding Adria Richards? Simply to distract us from #OpBlackout and Aaron Bales efforts to thwart Jen Emick with Ron Brynaert in tow.
No one knows for certain, but after reading some threads on abovetopsecret.com, we believe this is Illuminati related, considering Luke Rudkowski was at weev’s sentencing.