Empty Wheel, NSA Break-Ins and Why I’m Blogging About It

Added an excellent site to the blogroll list at right:

emptywheel.net

A recent post discusses the ins and outs of the recent revelations regarding NSA’s “break-ins” at Yahoo and Google (what happened to Apple and others? Was fairly certain they were also on the “direct server access” list?).

The analysis is good based on the facts we’ve been given. I don’t have issue with it at all and I recommend Marcy’s site along with Sibel Edmond’s (especially for understanding what’s happening globally–don’t know where else you can get such complex issues explained so simply, quickly, with an understanding of the players and their real objectives) and History Commons for the news as it was reported at the time it happened and what came later as well as the most comprehensive 9/11 timeline there is. (They probably need some help adding in the criminal activities of many Democrats, but that’s so difficult to separate from disinfo due to two or three issues to begin with.)

Side note, About page mentions the Duke Cunningham scandal. That one is a favorite of mine for several reasons, some merely due to poetic memes.

Right. Marcy is doing good journalistic work. Not knocking it. Love it. The way most things are done and made acceptable as fact by reasonable people (we do still have those, correct?).

My issues are with the story in general. Similar to focusing on Angela Merkel’s precious cellphone being tapped distracts from the millions of private citizens it is done to, focusing on NSA “breaking in” to Google servers distracts from the big picture reality.

Google regularly hands over data to NSA. The break-in story, to the busy American who doesn’t have time to seek the details of everything that is happening, will assume that only NSA is to blame here and ignore corporate America’s role in subjugating American citizens. Google is a NSA subcontractor. Anyone who thinks a company like that doesn’t also have its share of CIA agents doesn’t understand how the intelligence community operates. Google was and likely still is a partner in aiding the government spy on US and foreign citizens.

Where I was attempting to go with my line of questioning on Twitter was, “What is the value of this ‘stolen’ data over that obtained through the ‘legal’ channels provided by the FISA court already?” I was doing this in order to disprove my hypothesis that, in addition to this appearing to be the government attempting to protect Google’s reputation, so that we will continue to use them and their very attractive free services, that maybe real intelligence operations are not planned, approved, and carried out on Post-It™ notes:

image

It’s a different perspective. It is more skeptical in that it examines the “metaquestions” like where the information came from, why we might be focusing on it, and why that might be a problem. It looks at the known goals of the players, their psychology, likely adaptations of historical deceptions, and asks if there is an alternate explanation as to why this is before us.

A side note. It very damn well may be that Google resisted and simply had no choice. I don’t doubt that as a possibility.

In 2010, when my ex-partner (who worked at Google at the time) came to visit me in Minneapolis, he discussed a couple of accidents (one was a sailing accident) involving Google employees. The other was I think in California. Then there was, close on the heels of the boat death, the stabbing death of an Irish national who had just interviewed with Google earlier in the day.

He of course was merely making conversation, meant nothing sinister at all by relating that.

That happens to me all the time.

After he went back to New York, I looked it up. Some other blogger had already found those deaths and several previous to 2010, had done the statistics and found that the Google employee death rate was higher than that of the Canadian Army.

Since then, I’ve been unable to “google” that site. One of many things I read, I apparently did not bookmark it. Further searching for the separate articles on those deaths (much like how the articles on the December 2009 fire disappeared) likewise came up with nothing.

You may think you’re cynical about what I say, write. If so, I may think you’re not cynical or skeptical enough of power.

A person in my situation cannot rely on things like FOIA (can’t afford it and even that system is regularly thwarted in various ways, see Jason Leopold and TruthOut on the topic) nor the Inspectors General (as long as they can feed the RUMINT machine they can label me a person of interest and state essentially that I don’t have rights). Add to that the indicators (no credit rating, treated like on burn notice which is often less kind than TV might make you think) and choices become very limited.

This is survival for me. Waiting for power to admit it’s worst dirty deeds all on its own? Takes fifty years, sometimes longer.

The worse they behave the less likely it will be exposed because politicians fear what the reaction will be to the really, really bad stuff (think Michael Hastings and rape with broken bottles and then tell me why we’re so up in arms over PRISM in the first place when there is so much worse going on. Not all of it is overseas nor directed strictly towards foreign intelligence and the best interests of American citizens).

Feinstein and others don’t want to know what they do. Neither does the President. Knowing makes them accessories to illegal activities. As long as the cash flows, the machine will ignore the cries of the abused. There’s no advantage in helping people as long as you can just appear to be doing so, is the way power works and therefore subsequently the world.

Big money. Big lies.

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