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[liberationtech] NSA, FBI, Verizon caught red handed spying on US citizens in the US

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Thu Jun 6 08:15:44 PDT 2013

The US government -- nor most any government, I imagine (certainly any
democracy) -- is not monolithic.  It represents a great struggle of policy
arguments and internally is more like a mass of mating snakes than a
monolithic front.

To say that because the NSA is spying on citizens invalidates any voice the
US may have is a bit odd.

Jake and I are US citizens, activists, and I am a former State Democratic
Committee member. Jake's day job is partly government funded by parts of
.gov that are in fact in open conflict with DHS policies domestically.

It's no secret that there are conflicts between the policies set by
different branches of the US government.  WE ARE NOT A DICTATORSHIP. Yet.

Someone last week told me with some heat that my former position as a
Democratic Party "operative" means I am the sort of person (contrary to the
evidence of his senses) who does not talk to him because it makes me a
right-leaning (!) ruling elite! (My father was a wobbly organizer as a
young man, my grandfather a syndicalist -- let's say I am not terribly
right wing?)

I think I will frame that one...

My point being, in a democratic society, we all have power to exert
influence into the process at various levels, and I expect everyone here is
on this list because they do or aspire to.

So the first step might be to abandon the model that "the government"
exists, any more than a school of herring exists.  They tend to move as a
whole, eh?  But there is no solid thing.

In fact, government is less whole than a school of fish, because a school
of fish is coded in DNA and neurotransmitters and instinct.  Not so,

Government is a slow stubborn thing because it is so large and powerful
viewed as the "forest" -- huge inertia!  But the trees are not so hard.
Elected officials, staff, policies, laws, courts, communications channels,
media, regulations, contractors, bureaucrats, elections, political parties,
everywhere there's a place to communicate, exchange influence/money, you
can insert yourself into the system.

It is not monolithic.

In a democracy, by its nature, the citizenry are the rightful rulers.  When
they aren't cruising kittens on youtube, amiright? ;)

So I post this story on G+ and most of my fellow citizens won't give a damn
because they've been sold on the idea that:

Government is monolithic, what could I do anyway?

Politics is dirty.  Only bad people get involved.  I  would not want to be
a politician, activist, or hactivist, those are all bad, dangerous people.

I click on internet petitions.  I never have to leave the comfort and
safety of my ergonomic chair to save the world.  My karma is good and I
give money to various liberal or conervative appeals and sleep well at

People who ask me to be politically active seem frustrated and uncool.
They should take more soma.

Kittens are kwai!

Yes, we are working on it here.  That these documents are leaked and
published is evidence of that, if you think about it, rather than just
reacting to it.


Shava Nerad
shava23 at
On Jun 6, 2013 8:36 AM, "Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes" <
alps6085 at> wrote:

> OK, so the US government has no business, or rather no moral authority,
> chiding other countries about freedom of speech!
> On Jun 6, 2013 6:10 AM, "Jacob Appelbaum" <jacob at> wrote:
>> Dear Libtech,
>> We've waited a long time for this kind of FISA court document to leak -
>> we see clearly evidence that there is still dragnet surveillance that is
>> ongoing - the current order leaked is still valid as of today, it will
>> continue to be valid until the middle of July.
>> This specifically includes Americans without any international or even
>> inter-city connections!
>> To quote:
>> "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls"
>> It specifically says a lot more:
>> Declassify on: 12 April 2038
>> ...
>> IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, the Custodian of Records shall produce to the
>> National Security Agency (NSA) upon service of this Order, and continue
>> production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this
>> Order, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, an electronic copy of the
>> following tangible things: all call detail records or "telephony
>> metadata" created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United
>> States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including
>> local telephone calls. This Order does not require Verizon to produce
>> telephony metadata for communications wholly originating and terminating
>> in foreign countries. Telephony metadata includes comprehensive
>> communications routing information,. including but not limited to
>> session identifying information (e.g., originating and
>> terminating telephone number, International Mobile Subscriber Identity
>> (IMSI) number, International Mobile station Equipment Identity (IMEI)
>> number, etc.), trunk identifier, telephone calling card numbers, and
>> time and duration of call. Telephony metadata does not include the
>> substantive content of any communication, as defined by 18 U.S.C.
>> § 2510(8), or the name, address, or financial information of a
>> subscriber or customer.
>> The leaked order is here:
>> The writeup by Glenn Greenwald is worth reading as he broke the story:
>> This pretty much settles the dragnet surveillance debate - the FBI, the
>> NSA, the FISA courts are aware of it - all the way to the top. Thus it
>> is likely the DoJ are all in on it. This is madness and it is exactly
>> proof of what we have been saying for years. This time it is undeniable
>> as it is signed by a FISA judge and it is *currently* happening.
>> I look forward to the FISA order for full content or the FISA for
>> targeted based on patterns to leak next!
>> All the best,
>> Jacob
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