In the name of security, countries around the world are trying to redraw the line between surveillance and privacy.
The bill before me will allow the authority to identify, dismantle and disarm terrorist groups before they are assassinated.George W. Bush
Just a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush secretly ordered the government to secretly silence the phones of some U.S. citizens. It is not technically a difficult task to eavesdrop on a conversation. Almost all phone calls, faxes and emails go through a range of repeaters and satellites. Digital data can be received with satellite dishes or spy satellites. The United States alone has more than 30,000 interception stations operating in all parts of the world, in collaboration with at least a hundred spy satellites. Every three seconds, enough information is collected that could fill the congressional library. Governments argue that these methods increase security.
After 9/11, they took away one of the programs I wrote, at least part of the back end of it, and started using it to spy on every single person in this country. It was the Stellar Wind program that ran separately from general activities because it was used to spy on the home. When I saw the new equipment arrive, I knew something was going to happen, but when the suppliers told me what they were doing, I understood what that much hardware was needed for and what it was used for. The goal is to observe everyone. They build social networks in which each person is involved, then make a graph of it and index the recorded data on a graph. This means that they can filter out a particular community from the database and see the entire lives of all members of the community. If this is done continuously, in our case since 2001, they can see 10 years in chronological order of everyone’s life in the country. This is also true of senators and MPs, everyone. The danger lies in what happens when a dictatorial power emerges, as in East Germany.William Binney, NSA wistle-blower
Telephone metadata collection based on section 215, in fact this is already an extension of it, shed the information. This mass observation, on the other hand, was only good for putting people in the picture like a California taxi driver who transferred $ 8,500 for some reason. If this is what insiders have come up with, there is obviously no need for this program. We are no safer from him. While its operation consumes immeasurably large sums, it offers nothing in return. But they just said it and then we modify it. The National Security Agency is under the exclusive authority of the President. He could at any time liquidate, transform, or change its operation. Every single time you pick up the phone, dial a number, shop or travel by bus in your pocket with your mobile phone, your card is swiped, leaving a trail. And the government has decided that it would be good to collect all this under this program, even if the person has never been charged with any crime. Traditionally, authorities first identify the suspect and then go to the judge, saying we are accused of these crimes. And once they were given permission to do so, they were able to deploy their entire stockpile for investigation. Today, however, we can see that all means would be used from the very beginning, before the investigation phase.Edward Snowden
Either directly from the Federal Intelligence Service or only with its knowledge, but the National Security Agency has access to the German data. They could not talk about their release until they announced it, as it is confidential. And I want journalists to be able to differentiate between what is in the public interest and what can be published. However, it is no secret that the National Security Agency collects information about citizens of all countries worldwide. The small million pieces of data traffic of Germans in their daily lives, from talking on the mobile, sending sms, visiting a website or buying something online, all run into national security. And there is reason to believe that the Federal Intelligence Service is aware of this to some degree. Whether or not this also gives out information, I didn’t say that. Although the National Security Agency cannot collect information about German citizens in Germany, but what if we cross the border. The answer is a resounding yes. The National Security Agency can eavesdrop on telecommunications lines that transmit the Internet in a number of places. Not just in Germany, but in Sweden, Norway or Finland or even Britain or the United States. If the flow of information from the Germans passes through any of these places, it enters and is processed in the database.
Just because something is feasible doesn’t mean we have to do it, even though that’s exactly what happened. The technical possibilities created by the weak security standards of Internet protocols and communication networks based on telephone cells have created an opportunity for security services to put in place systems with which they can monitor anything. All I can say, though, is that Angela Merkel was tracked down by the National Security Agency. The question, of course, is how likely he was to be the only German official observed. How reasonable it seems that he is the only prominent German around whom the National Security Agency has investigated. In my view, it would be illogical that if someone wanted to soften the intentions of the German leadership, they would only start collecting data about Merkel and not extend it to her advisers, other senior officials, ministry officials, or even local government leaders. The problem is that the situation is completely degenerate. And so government policy is decisively influenced by private companies that keep only their own interests in mind. No matter how contrary to the common good. As a result, millions of individuals have had access to data, according to the government. And neither word nor speech could leave with them whenever they wanted, without any accountability, supervision, or control, while the government was unaware of it all.Edward Snowden