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NSA surveillance desperately needed to discover why this is news

Popularity 6Viewed 10116 times 2013-6-13 15:27 |System category:News| discover, needed

China blew the whistle on NSA surveillance phone-tapping whistleblowers five months ago.

“Incredibly intimate, personal conversations – and I just can't believe they were frigging recording them,” revealed the NSA analyst..

This is an updated article based on an editorial from China Daily’s website in February headlined Eavesdropping houses shouldn't throw stones by Lee Hannon

Apple has become the latest US company to take a bite of the pathetic hacking noir wafting across the pacific.

The latest loyal Labradors of the US government to drop the proverbial hacking bone for its master should, along with a few media organizations, take a sniff a little closer to home.

Fort Meade in Maryland, if incorporated, would become the biggest municipality in the state and is as secretive today as the day Harry Truman created it without the approval or knowledge of Congress.

To those who work at the NSA, the acronym stands for No Such Agency or Never Say Anything. The official number who work at the National Security Agency in the US remains classified but it is believed upwards of 30,000 across 132 hectares with 32 miles of private road.

It is encircled with razor wire, electric fences, motion detectors and sub-machine commandos known as Men In Black who pounce who anyone who dares go near.

Every day it intercepts and stores billions of e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications, many from its own citizens in one of the world's most advanced and sophisticated hacking systems.

It makes the small building in Shanghai at the center of the supposed latest media-inspired "cyber war" drama like comparing a pebble to a mountain.

But it also serves as a worthwhile reminder for those who have lost sight while throwing stones for those with ulterior motives.

Known as Crypto City, the NSA is home to the largest and most advanced eavesdropping organization on the planet.

In fact the NSA's own study concluded their interceptors motto is "In God we trust, all others we monitor."

In his best selling book James Bamford, an expert on America's National Security Agency, detailed the wholesale hacking of a nation to such an extent that two presidents attempted to ban his book.

In the rush to war post 9/11, America set about the biggest eavesdropping operation ever conducted and it was far from commercial secrets or business data, the current product of intelligence agencies the world over.

One NSA whistleblower, a former member of US military intelligence, spoke out to reveal what she believed was illegal warrantless spying on Americans.

Adrienne Kinne was so disturbed by what took place she made a personal decision to delete numerous calls she was tasked to listen in on, especially between Americans.

She said: A lot of the time you could tell they were calling their families, waking them up in the middle of the night because of the time difference. So they would be talking all quiet and soft and their family member is like half asleep – incredibly intimate, personal conversations – and I just can't believe they were frigging recording them, and don't know why they were or would ever have to begin with."

Given what has taken place it is hard to imagine how a news agenda can become gripped by something almost every country is in engaged in, some much more than others. I think I remember a certain country bugging the whole UN in the run up to the invasion of Iraq let alone stealing a few Facebook updates. My cat is doing fine after the trip to the vets for those inclined to like.

The so called Shanghai Unit 61398 building or not, I have no idea, surprise, shock, knowledge or care less. But imagine calling the news desk of CNN or BBC saying I have a report the CIA or GCHQ is spying.

Fantastic, it would be big news if it was not. Why does the prism of news in China have to be viewed with a different kaleidoscope to the West? A darker shadow that is obvious to any seasoned reader. And why are the rather dull revelations of Edward Snowden, which have been in the public domain for years suddenly news? The rebel-heartthrob of the privacy lobby and the case of the curious whistleblower, to me, doesn’t add up.

It is more like a made-for-TV drama with Snowden hiding out in HK with his Guardian minders promising more revelations as a press pack, and probably a few FBI agents, try to hunt him down. Rumors say he is heading to the Chinese mainland this week. He told the South China Morning Post he plans to stay in Hong Kong. The truth will be revealed over time, but this drama is riddled with questions and I’m not convinced of his motives or objectives. He could simply be a wacko who has gone rogue. He could have much more sinister intentions.  

Once again, from CNN’s Anderson Cooper to the BBC the headlines are dominated with the shocking new revelations from the NSA whistleblower” with politicians and pundits thirsty for blood.

From what I have seen they would be better served to pop down to the local library where there are countless books with much more riveting revelations than I have heard thus far. Where’s the fire? There’s a lot of dubious smoke, but all journalists should ask themselves are we are missing the real story here? Or is it simply having a whistleblower and a staged scandal all it takes  these days to dominate the news agenda for days with years old news.


The days ahead will answer these questions, but your theories are welcome, and a prize offered to who calls it right. Intelligence bait served up by a liberal media in HK? Orchestral tradecraft or rogue wacko?

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report J.E.Overington 2014-4-28 05:52
The White House staff on average prefer decent society. The Obama family and administration are for the middle class, upholding the American principle of each individual having a fair chance to have good results of good work done in an honest trade system. The National Security Agency is for the security of the nation. Canada may be imploding due to Canadians' -- on average -- inability to agree upon something... it's a cultural habit to disagree. Cf the National Energy Programme debates in Pierre Trudeau's era when Canadians would have mutually profited by simply agreeing on something instead of nothing. Who be Edward Snowden? Time will tell.

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Lee Hannon is a journalist with China Daily website

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  • NSA surveillance desperately needed to discover why this is news 2014-4-28 05:52

    The White House staff on average prefer decent society. The Obama family and administration are for the middle class, upholding the American principle of each individual having a fair chance to have good results of good work done in an honest trade system. The National Security Agency is for the security of the nation. Canada may be imploding due to Canadians' -- on average -- inability to agree upon something... it's a cultural habit to disagree. Cf the National Energy Programme debates in Pierre Trudeau's era when Canadians would have mutually profited by simply agreeing on something instead of nothing. Who be Edward Snowden? Time will tell.

  • Snowden guilty in court of public opinion 2014-4-27 07:37

    You are an effective writer however Snowden's fate is not necessarily as bleak as you have it seem. It is up to Edward Snowden who got caught stealing and lying. If Edward Snowden corrects his mistakes in public and rebalances his own public accounts by himself, without requesting instructions, and separates wrong from right by himself without needing explanations, he can ask the public to allow for him being able to start to live a new life. We the people know we sometimes do some things in childhood we stop doing when we grow up.

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