Thursday, February 11, 2016

U. S. Government Spies on its Own Citizens. Duh!

ב׳ לחודש השנים עשר תשע״ו

Well, "they" have finally come out with it. But, of course, those of us bothering to pay attention already knew this was going on in one form or another.
The Guardian: US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you
James Clapper did not name specific agency as being involved in surveillance via smart-home devices but said in congressional testimony it is a distinct possibility

Spencer Ackerman and Sam Thielman in New York, 9 February 2016

The US intelligence chief has acknowledged for the first time that agencies might use a new generation of smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities.
Image Credit: Mid-Continent Public Library
Cutting to the chase...
...James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, was more direct in testimony submitted to the Senate on Tuesday as part of an assessment of threats facing the United States.

“In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper said.
...which they attempt to justify, claiming that...
Online threats again topped the intelligence chief’s list of “worldwide threats” the US faces, with the mutating threat of low-intensity terrorism quickly following. While Clapper has for years used the equivocal term “evolving” when asked about the scope of the threat, he said Tuesday that Sunni violent extremism “has more groups, members, and safe havens than at any other point in history”.

The Islamic State topped the threat index, but Clapper also warned that the US-backed Saudi war in Yemen was redounding to the benefit of al-Qaida’s local affiliate.

Domestically, “homegrown extremists” are the greatest terrorist threat, rather than Islamic State or al-Qaida attacks planned from overseas. Clapper cited the San Bernardino and Chattanooga shootings as examples of lethal operations emanating from self-starting extremists “without direct guidance from [Isis] leadership”.
And, while the U. S. Government attempts to justify spying on its own citizens...
On the Iran nuclear deal, Clapper said intelligence agencies were in a “distrust and verify mode”, but added: “We have no evidence thus far that they’re moving toward violation.”
...which is code for "We are really stupid," or "We are collaborating with Iran," or most likely, "We are being lax in security, so that an attack will surely occur, justifying further measures to increase control over the populace."
Clapper’s admission about the surveillance potential for networked home devices is rare for a US official. But in an overlooked 2012 speech, the then CIA director David Petraeus called the surveillance implications of the internet of things “transformational … particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft”.
In other words, someone screwed up, and even the U. S. Government could not hide it anymore. Due to its arrogance, it underestimated its own citizens.
Clapper suggested that US adversaries had overtaken its online capabilities: “Russia and China continue to have the most sophisticated cyber programs.”
...which is suppose to justify the U. S. Government's goal of accessing...
Connected household devices [which] are a potential treasure trove to intelligence agencies seeking unobtrusive ways to listen and watch a target...
...which, in conclusion, means...
...“Law enforcement or intelligence agencies may start to seek orders compelling Samsung, Google, Mattel, Nest or vendors of other networked devices to push an update or flip a digital switch to intercept the ambient communications of a target,” the authors wrote.
The introduction for the television series Person Of Interest (2011) explains one way in which the U. S. Government could theoretically spy on all of its citizens simultaneously.

The existence of this show suggests that either there was a leak (very doubtful)...

Or "they" are trying to convince us just how far-fetched this is, in an attempt to keep the wool pulled over our eyes...

Or this is one of the ways in which "they" are trying to get us used to the idea of being spied on, and attempt to show us how this is for our "own good."

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