ISPs

US govt grants large ISPs immunity if they help spy on internet usage of Americans

Saturday, May 04, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Fourth Amendment, cyber spying, ISPs

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Monsanto's seed imperialism halted in Canada thanks to massive protests
Delicious
(NaturalNews) In these post-constitutional days it's not just the government that is out to violate your rights. Count on Corporate America to be a co-conspirator.

In a one-two knock-out punch to the Fourth Amendment, officials within the Obama Administration have secretly authorized major telecom firms to intercept communications carried on portions of their networks, C/NET reports, noting that the practice, under federal wiretapping laws, would otherwise be illegal. Carriers include AT&T and other major ISPs - Internet service providers.

Per C/NET:

The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors' Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.

(Question: Before entering politics, wasn't President Obama some sort of constitutional professor? I'm just asking because that seems relevant here - and because no one in the Praetorian Washington Press Corps is going to. And what copy of the Bill of Rights is Attorney General Eric Holder using?)

'Alarm bells should be going off'

The justification for this blatant privacy violation, of course, is the same that it always is: It's for our own safety. But that excuse is just a smokescreen, as Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, observes.

"The Justice Department is helping private companies evade federal wiretap laws," he said. Rotenberg's organization obtained over 1,000 pages of internal government documents and provided them to C/NET.

"Alarm bells should be going off," he told the online magazine.

According to the report, the documents showed that the National Security Agency (NSA), which is located on the grounds of Ft. Meade, Md., and the Defense Department were heavily involved in lobbying for the secret legal authorization. NSA Director Keith Alexander actually participated in some of the discussions personally.

"Despite initial reservations, including from industry participants, Justice Department attorneys eventually signed off on the project," C/NET said, indicating that Justice officials knew good and well what NSA and DoD was requesting was unconstitutional - that is, before they decided to play along.

As part of the agreement, the Justice Department said it will grant legal immunity to any participating network providers, backed up with what participants in the confidential discussions said were "2511 letters," in reference to the Wiretap Act codified at 18 USC 2511 in federal statutes.

"The Wiretap Act," C/NET reported, "limits the ability of Internet providers to eavesdrop on network traffic except when monitoring is a 'necessary incident' to providing the service or it takes place with a user's 'lawful consent.'"

Apparently not.

No help from Congress

One industry rep told the online magazine that the 2511 letters give ISPs legal immunity - stay-out-of-jail cards, if you will - and a promise from the Justice Department not to prosecute them for any criminal violations of the Wiretap Act. C/NET said it wasn't clear how many of the 2511s were issued.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, in 2011, publicly disclosed some details of the original project, called the DIB Cyber Pilot. In May 2012, the project was transformed into an ongoing program, which was much broader but still voluntary. It was then the Department of Homeland Security became involved in it for the first time. Renamed the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program in January, it is currently being expanded once again, this time to all tech and information firms that operate "critical" infrastructure.

If you're wondering why Congress isn't outraged and taking action, you should know that this is likely being done with tacit congressional approval. Both the House and Senate intelligence committees, in their oversight role, have almost certainly been briefed about this little Fourth Amendment violation, so don't expect any help from the Legislative Branch - though clearly Congress has a role, as well as a duty to act. Last month the non-partisan Congressional Research Service published a report concluding the Executive Branch most likely does not have the authority to circumvent the Privacy Act unless Congress changes the law.

I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Sources for this article include:

http://news.cnet.com

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2511

http://www.dhs.gov/enhanced-cybersecurity-services

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42984.pdf

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.