who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
Cameron makes concessions to rush through
2. Germany asks top US
intelligence official to leave country
over spy row
3. Retaliation for Spying:
Germany Asks CIA Official to
ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control
through the surveillance laws is a further erosion
of political trust
6. NSA’s Retention of Intimate
Details and Photos of
7. The Guardian view on David
Cameron's scramble for
emergency data laws
This is the Nederlog of July
11. It is an ordinary crisis log.
There are today seven crisis items, which is three less than yesterday.
There also is a very brief item on me+M.E. at the end.
1. David Cameron makes concessions to rush through
item is an article by Patrick Wintour, Rowena Masson and James Ball on
This starts as follows:
"emergency laws" are indeed caused by a ruling of the European court of
justice, and are in fact hardly discussed in parliament, and result
from a deal between party leaders, as sketched in the first two
paragraphs. And I included the fourth paragraph to mark the bullshit of
Theresa May, who doesn't say that the new laws are criminal if the old
laws were (and who very much exaggerates).
abandoned his year-long resistance to tightening the accountability of
the security services as the price for winning Liberal Democrat and
Labour support for emergency surveillance laws.
Standing alongside Nick
Clegg, the prime minister unveiled emergency laws, to be bundled
through parliament in days, designed to shore up the powers of spies,
police and government agencies. But Cameron agreed to a "sunset clause"
time-limiting the bill to 2016, a full-scale review of intercept laws,
a new oversight board and restrictions on the number of public bodies
that can make use of surveillance data.
Ministers said the
apparent sudden need for new laws stemmed partly from a European court
of justice (ECJ) ruling in April restricting state access to citizens'
data. They also warned that foreign-based phone and internet companies
were imminently going to stop handing over the content of individual
communications in response to UK warrants.
Theresa May, the home
secretary, told the Commons: "Without this legislation, we face the
very real prospect of losing access to this data overnight, with the
consequence that police investigations would suddenly go dark and
criminals would escape justice."
There is also this:
Yes, for the one thing
that is sure is that these laws cannot be rationally consented to by
the parliament: they are simply a deal by the political leaders that is
forced through without almost any debate.
The new data retention
and investigation powers bill (DRIP) will reassert the duty of internet
firms to retain most data, including emails, texts and phone data, for
up to 12 months.
campaigners, including the Labour MP Tom Watson, said "a last-minute
stitch-up by the elite" meant laws would be passed in days next week
that might expand, rather than simply shore up, the presupposed powers
of the security services.
Also see item 7.
asks top US intelligence official to leave country
over spy row
item is an article by Philip Oltermann and Spencer Ackerman on The
This starts as
There is rather a lot
more in the article, but there also is another article about the same
between Germany and the US
plunged to a new low after Angela Merkel's government asked the top
representative of America's secret services in Germany to leave the
While not formally
amounting to a full expulsion, the move nonetheless sends a dramatic
signal: after a year-long dispute triggered by the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden,
Merkel seems to have finally run out of patience with Washington's
failure to explain itself.
According to Süddeutsche
Zeitung, the US embassy staffer who has been asked to leave is a CIA
"chief of station" who coordinates secret service activity in Germany,
and who emerged as the key contact for two German officials recently
arrested for allegedly spying for the US.
According to German media
reports, such drastic action had previously only been thinkable when
dealing with "pariah states like North Korea or Iran".
3. Retaliation for Spying: Germany Asks CIA
Official to Leave
is an article
by Matthias Gebauer on Spiegel On Line (and see the previous item):
This starts with a bold
In what amounts
to a diplomatic earthquake, Berlin has asked the country's top CIA
official to leave Germany. The measures comes in response to the second
allegation in a week of a German government employee spying for the US.
Actually, there is
more: It seems the US is totally irresponsive both to Merkel's person
and to her government asking for any data or information about the
NSA's tapping of Merkel's phone or insight into her American dossier.
The article itself starts
Marking its most vocal
response yet to the United States for alleged spying and a tough new
tone, the government in Berlin asked Washington's top CIA official in
Germany to leave the country on Thursday. The news followed a meeting
of the Parliamentary Control Panel (PKGR) in the federal parliament
responsible for scrutiny of intelligence services.
Next, it explains that
there are now two German persons suspected of spying for the
NSA, and then says:
The revelations of
the past week show that, in addition to conducting signals intelligence
to gather information on Germany, US intelligence agencies are also
using human intelligence. They strongly suggest that US services in
Germany continue to collect large amounts of intelligence, and all this
despite the outrage over the NSA scandal and news in
October 2013 that the Americans had been spying on Chancellor Merkel's
Yes - and "strongly
suggests" is quite weak, in the circumstances, given Snowden's
revelations. The article also says:
On a diplomatic
level, it is no less than an earthquake and represents a measure that
until Thursday would have only been implemented against pariah states
like North Korea or Iran. It also underscores just how deep tensions
have grown between Berlin and Washington over the spying affair.
There is considerably
more in the article.
ultimate goal of the NSA is total
item is an article
by Antony Loewenstein on The Guardian:
This starts as
follows, and is a quite interesting article:
Not only that:
William Binney is one of
the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a
leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but
resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move
towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference
in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and
revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush
and Obama administrations.
“At least 80% of
fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no
accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At
least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and
stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
First the exabytes (<-
Wikipedia), which I also had to look up: This is the name for 10006=1018
bytes. This probably still doesn't mean much, but here is a
clarification from Wikipedia:
The NSA will soon be able
to collect 966
exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former
Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the
beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.
Binney, who featured in a
2012 short film
by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future
where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.
“The ultimate goal of the
NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little
optimistic with some recent
Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a
warrant before searching a smartphone.”
technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally
compressed) exabytes in 1986 to 15.8 in 1993, over 54.5 in 2000, and to
295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007. This is equivalent to less
than one CD (650 MB) per person in 1986 (539 MB per
person), roughly 4 CDs per person of 1993, 12 CDs per person in the
year 2000, and almost 61 CDs per person in 2007. Piling up the imagined
404 billion CDs from 2007 would create a stack from the earth to
the moon and a quarter of this distance beyond
(with 1.2 mm thickness per CD).
Note that we live 7
years after 2007, and from the 966 exabytes per year, that means over
180 CDs of 650 MB per person, per year. Here is another estimate (from
one exabyte could
hold a hundred thousand times the printed material, or 500 to 3,000
times all content of the Library of Congress.
Next the future: I completely agree with Binney on the
goal of the NSA:
“The ultimate goal
of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said (...)
The main reason why I
completely agree is that this is the only adequate explanation
for the behavior of the NSA, and indeed that behavior has been going on
since 2001 and was already planned in
1968, although in 1968 there were not yet any
Also, when that goal has been reached, which it seems is mostly the
case, the complete political landscape will radically change, and
indeed the preparations for that - militarized police, no more
effective Bill of Rights, detention without court orders and without
appearing in court - also seem to be well on the way.
There is also this by Binney
There is considerably
more in the article, which you should read all of. It ends like this -
and this extends to Obama, Feinstein, Clapper, Alexander etc. etc. for
in indeed are the politicians of all kinds and colors
who further this, very consciously also, and always lying about
"terrorism" and "security":
“The Fisa court has only
the government’s point of view”, he argued. “There are no other views
for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion
constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double
A Fisa court in 2010 allowed
the NSA to spy on 193 countries around the world, plus the World Bank,
though there’s evidence
that even the nations the US isn’t supposed to monitor – Five Eyes
allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aren’t immune from
being spied on. It’s why encryption is today so essential to transmit
that there could be a second NSA leaker, the time for more aggressive
reporting is now. As Binney said: “I call people who are covering up
NSA crimes traitors”.
Here is most of the last
paragraph of the Wikipedia on Binney (with one note removed):
Binney was invited
as a witness by the NSA commission of the German Bundestag.
On July 3, 2014 the Spiegel wrote, he said that the NSA wanted to
have information about everything. In Binney's view this is a
totalitarian approach, which had previously been seen only in
Binney stated the goal was also to control people. Meanwhile, he said
it is possible in principle to survey the whole population, abroad and
in the US, which in his view contradicts the United States Constitution. In
October 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA began with its mass surveillance,
he said. Therefore, he left the secret service shortly afterwards,
after more than 30 years of employment. Binney mentioned that there
were about 6000 analysts in the surveillance at NSA already during his
tenure. According to him, everything changed after 9/11. The NSA used
the attacks as a justification, to start a giant mass surveillance
"This was a mistake. But they still do it", he said. The secret service
was saving the data as long as possible: "They do not discard anything.
If they have anything they keep it." The NSA was saving the data quasi
infinitely. Binney said he deplored the NSA 's development of the past
few years, not only to collect data on groups who are suspicious for
criminal or terrorist activities. "We have moved away from the
collection of these data to the collection of data of the 7 billion
people on our planet."
5. Forcing through the surveillance laws is a
further erosion of political trust
item is an article
by Tom Watson on The Guardian:
This starts with the
following subtitle, and refers to item 1:
The secret deal to
make law a bill that is in breach of our human rights takes parliament
a step further away from the people
Yes indeed - and
please note that in a state of law you cannot make a law "that is in breach of our human rights", from which it follows that Great
Britain is no longer a state of law, but has an illegal government that
spies on its population with the end of totally controlling them in the
none to far future (see item 4).
It says among other
Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband
and David Cameron are going to railroad surveillance laws through parliament in just three
days. Apparently it doesn't have time to discuss this properly. Yet
parliament went into recess a week early in May because we were told
there was no need to debate further legislation. Something isn't right
about representatives of the people being told by their party leaders
to pass laws that they've barely read, let alone properly considered.
The bill was published in
draft form a few hours ago. It's pointless attempting to scrutinise it
because, thanks to the secret deal, we know it will be law by the end
of next week.
That is how real
politics is done, especially by leaders who all crave complete power
over everyone, for that is the only possible tenable explanation. As
A secret deal between
elites has removed the possibility of parliamentary scrutiny and
engagement with civic society. The bill, warts and all, will be law
next week. Theresa May has in the past stood strongly for the idea of
policing by consent. What a shame she doesn't think the same principles
apply to our security services.
The party leaders will
get their way next week, but the price will be further erosion of the
authority of our political institutions.
Retention of Intimate Details and Photos of Innocent Americans
item is an article
by Washington's Blog, with a very long title that I print once:
This contains the following:
The answer to the question "So why does the NSA retain these
intimate – but wholly irrelevant – details and images of innocent
Americans?" is simple, it seems
to me and indeed also is given:
Boing Boing notes:
The collateral targets
— who far outnumber [actual targets] — have intimate, totally
irrelevant information about their lives collected and retained by the
spies, where it is routinely accessed by spies, analysts, and
Almost everything in
the NSA cache is haystack, in other words, with just a few needles. And
the hay is deliberately collected and retained, even though it
consists of things like love notes, baby pictures, medical records, and
other intimate data belonging to people who are under no suspicion at
So why does the
NSA retain these intimate – but wholly irrelevant – details and images
of innocent Americans? In other words, even if they were – as the
NSA claims – accidentally collected, why on earth is the NSA keeping
Washington Post reporters
an NSA official why the information was retained even though it was
According to one of the
co-authors of the Washington Post story – Ashkan Soltani – the NSA’s response
was that it might
become “of interest” at some time in the future (starting at
It’s very difficult to
ascertain the intelligence value of a particular collection, either a
photo or a communication.
It’s very hard
to be absolutely sure that it’s not going to be of interest.
Indeed, the NSA itself admitted
in writing that its “collection posture” is:
“Collect it All,”
“Process it All,” “Exploit it All,” “Partner it All,” “Sniff it All”
and, ultimately, “Know it All.”
Yes, indeed: I think
that is correct and is by far the most probable future, unless the NSA
(and Five Eyes) get radically tamed. But then the question is:
Who will do this? Who can do this?
Indeed, for 5,000
years straight, mass surveillance on one’s own people has always
aimed at crushing dissent. Former top-level NSA officials say
that this is “J.
Edgar Hoover on super steroids“, and that we’ve turned
into Stasi Germany or the Soviet Union. They say we’ve turned
into a police state.
What J. Edgar Hoover, the
Stasis and the Soviets did was collect information on people, and then
use it to discredit,
harass or blackmail those they decide
they don’t like … including the nation’s most powerful politicians
and military leaders.
There are some who try, such as Alan Grayson and
others, and of course Glenn Greenwald and others, but they do oppose a
massively funded very powerful secret organization that is being
actively protected by the government, by most politicians, and by much
of the media.
7. The Guardian view on David Cameron's scramble
for emergency data laws
and last crisis item
is an Editorial on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
That is mostly correct, though
I reject the "entirely
understandable urge" - that is,
if one rejects the notion that all or at least most politicians are out
for total power over their own population, and will stop at almost
nothing to get it.
At his press
conference today, the prime minister rattled off so many threats
that listeners were, in effect, asked to pick their own rationale for
his emergency data legislation. The myriad dangers – paedophile
networks, organised crime, an unstable Middle East – have little in
common, save for the fact that they are not passing exigencies at all,
but chronic problems. The real emergency is not any sort of hidden
plot; it is a
ruling by the court of justice of the European Union which rejected
virtually limitless state snooping on telephone and email data as
The EU directive thus struck
down was a British concoction, pushed through in the post-7/7 mood,
when an entirely understandable urge to give the authorities the
anti-terror tools they required was intensified by New Labour's
authoritarian posturing. It allowed governments to command
communications companies to maintain for 12 months complete logs of who
was ringing, emailing or texting whom when, and granted the authorities
access to these revealing details of day-to-day personal life in
Then again, at least the three English political leaders do
seem to want total power, and have made a deal, and it will be accepted
without almost any debate or argument.
The article ends thus:
parliament that is far too relaxed about officialdom listening in must
not, once again, tune out of a conversation that needs to be had.
Well, it has, once again.
final item of today is about me and my M.E.
and only serves to tell those who are interested that I did have a
fairly good and a rather productive week.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: