I speak often of international activists working to track the loot VISIGOTHS have taken from Europe, UK, and the US. You can bet that the Snowden affair will help out as NSA's main focus was industrial spying.....following money movements all over the world. Now, you will say 'they were following terrorist money' and I will tell you 'no, they were following money moved to offshore accounts everywhere.
No one is naive enough to believe Capitol Hill is aghast by all of this. They are all Insider Traders after all. Hedge funds running the NSA doing something illegal they say?
Below you see how Snowden did more than anyone in US history to staunch a takeover of US government by corporate and wealth forces bent on taking every last cent of public wealth and this surveillance/security system built with trillions of dollars was the way to do it. He knew being a whistle blower at home would have made him a target, not a whistle blower so he did what was genius.....he made the nations of the world want to control and downsize this system for American citizens. As much bluster the 1% will give as to this being nothing.....we will continue unabated they say.....it is a decisive. Between the massive financial frauds that brought the world's economy down and now this most of the world want nothing to do with so criminal and corrupt a system of government and business.
Snowden outs NSA's "Follow The Money" international banking spies
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by Lee Munson on September 16, 2013
According to a new report, referencing leaks from Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been widely monitoring international banking and credit card transactions. The agency allegedly targeted customers of Visa Inc. as well as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).
According to Germany's Der Spiegel newspaper, information leaked by former NSA contractor Snowden shows that surveillance of financial transactions was carried out by a branch of the security agency known as "Follow The Money" (FTM).
The details of all the monitored transactions were then transferred to an NSA database called "Tracfin." Snowden claims that in 2011 that database held 180 million records of which 84% were related to credit card transactions.
Der Spiegel alleges that the NSA targeted transactions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to:
collect, parse and ingest transactional data for priority credit card associations, focusing on priority geographic regions.
In response to that allegation the newspaper quotes a Visa spokesperson who, "ruled out the possibility that data could be taken from company-run networks," whilst Mashable has a quote from Visa security and privacy representative Rosetta Jones:
With respect to the claims in the Der Spiegel article, we are not aware of any unauthorized access into our network. Visa takes data security seriously and, in response to any attempted intrusion, we would pursue all available remedies to the fullest extent of the law. Further, it’s Visa’s policy to only provide transaction information in response to a subpoena or other valid legal process.
The NSA also spied on SWIFT, a network used by more than 10,000 banking institutions in over 200 countries. The system, used by the banks for sending transaction data in a secure manner, was spied upon on many levels according to the Der Spiegel report. One such way in which the NSA was accessing the information was described as reading "SWIFT printer traffic from numerous banks."
"A deep invasion of privacy"
According to the documents there seemed to be at least some concern over the collection of such financial data.
The UK's intelligence agency, GCHQ, queried the legal issues surrounding "financial data" and its own involvement in the program saying that, "The collection, storage and sharing of politically sensitive data is a deep invasion of privacy", and involved "bulk data" full of "rich personal information," much of which "is not about our targets."
Whilst this news may be further confirmation that the NSA is involved in widespread spying, it is probably not a huge revelation to many.
In fact the real surprise may be that the Tracfin database 'only' stored 180 million records, considering that SWIFT itself processes over 15 million transactions every day.
The whole point of having an intelligence agency is to monitor the actions of potential enemies and the money trail is often a very good starting point for any investigation. It appears that this financial monitoring was almost exclusively targeting non-US citizens anyway so few, if any, domestic laws would have been broken.
Furthermore, the US Treasury already has an agreement with SWIFT which affords it consensual access to international transaction records, as confirmed by former Homeland Security chief Juan Zarate and SWIFT's own CEO Leornard Schrank just a couple of months ago. This agreement is further backed up by a European treaty which came into effect on August 1, 2010.
The one thing that will cause concern for these US spymasters is not Americans and their shouting.....they just ignore us since we never vote incumbents out of office.....it is Europe where a still working democracy will vote those corporate crooks out of office. The neo-liberals and conservatives are taking a beating around Europe and the UK and this will accelerate this drive. Place control back into the hands of labor and justice.....
IF WE CAN GET GOOD PEOPLE IN OFFICE AND NOT PLANTED NEO-LIBERALS FOR GOODNESS SAKE....we can turn this around in no time. RULE OF LAW AND FREE PRESS IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED TO BRING TENS OF TRILLIONS IN CORPORATE FRAUD BACK AND GOVERNMENT WITH SOME INTEGRITY!
NSA Spying Will Continue Despite Snowden's Leaks, Experts Say
Oct. 30, 2013 By COLLEEN CURRY Colleen Curry
Reporter via World News
Members of Congress were quick to react to news that the U.S. government has been surveilling the phone calls of foreign leaders, calling hearings and introducing legislation this week that called for tightening the U.S.'s ability to spy.
But despite the statements of Washington politicians, little change has really come from the information leaked by former intelligence employee Edward Snowden, who began telling intelligence secrets to journalists in June and has so far revealed how robustly the U.S. keeps an eye on its friends and enemies via technology.
And, according to former intelligence officials, changes are not likely to come anytime soon, regardless of how loudly Snowden's revelations reverberate around Washington.
"Will this make any significant changes? I doubt it," said John Sano, a retired CIA official in the Clandestine Service. California Senator "Dianne Feinstein has legitimate outrage over this but saying we need to change the rules and actually creating a mechanism that will effectively change the rules and allow Congress to monitor it is a completely different story."
This week, politicians have come out in force to question the reach of National Security Agency tactics and, at the same time, to condemn Snowden for bringing it to their attention.
"It is abundantly clear that a total review of all intelligence programs is necessary so that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are fully informed as to what is actually being carried out by the intelligence community," Feinstein, head of the Intelligence Committee, said Monday.
It marked the first time the government was provoked to action by Snowden's leaked information.
On Tuesday, a group of lawmakers in Washington introduced legislation known as the USA Freedom Act to reign in the NSA's phone surveillance..
At the same time, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota questioned Department of Justice officials over Snowden during a congressional hearing on the spying.
"Was the leaker in question, Ed Snowden, was he a traitor?" Bachmann asked.
"You're asking me? Absolutely," said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, head of the U.S. intelligence community.
"Absolutely," agreed Keith Alexander, director of the NSA.
"Yes, ma'am," said John Inglis, deputy director of the NSA.
The exchange highlights a litany of political and intelligence voices that have condemned Snowden for leaking information over the four months, even while they discuss the merits of the information he leaked.
Feinstein has said in the past that Snowden committed treason, joining a host of Washington politicians, including Sen. John McCain, who called Snowden a traitor. Even Rep. Nancy Pelosi, an often liberal voice, said Snowden's actions were criminal.
Snowden's defenders, including such varied voices as Glenn Beck and Michael Moore, have called him a hero and a whistle-blower. Glenn Greenwald, a journalist writing for The Guardian, has published many of Snowden's leaks.
"Every time there's a whistle-blower, somebody who exposes government wrongdoing, the tactic of the government is to try and demonize them as a traitor," Greenwald told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.
The leaks began on June 5, when Greenwald revealed that the NSA collected millions of Verizon customers' telephone records, and the Washington Post published an article on PRISM, an Internet program that gave the government direct access to Google, Facebook, Apple and other major Internet companies.
Later, the Guardian revealed that the NSA and British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters surveilled foreign governments and their leaders, NSA employees had listened in on private calls, and the NSA had been looking at people's buddy lists and emails address books, among other secrets.
But former officials from the intelligence community say real change is unlikely to come because the programs are important and are working.
Sano noted that the U.S. already has agreements with some other English-speaking countries to not spy on them; at best, he said, that agreement may extend to some other countries, like Germany.
Gene Poteat, a retired senior CIA official, agreed, saying that other countries know about our surveillance and there will be no impetus to change. The real damage, he contends, has been from the media reports exposing the country's surveillance capabilities to the world.
This is what the surveillance state does domestically so you can see how overseas they find all this autocratic overreach!
I constantly warn people that the intent with this securitization is to have in place a system that cuts off all communication if there is a large movement and/or revolution so it is critical to have public means of communication like the Post Office. We know public media is captured so fight to keep the Post Office strong!
Partnership between Facebook and police could make planning protests impossible
Published time: October 25, 2013 18:15
Edited time: October 26, 2013 19:15 Get short URL Reuters / Kyle Carter
A partnership between police departments and social media sites discussed at a convention in Philadelphia this week could allow law enforcement to keep anything deemed criminal off the Internet—and even stop people from organizing protests.
A high-ranking official from the Chicago Police Department told attendees at a law enforcement conference on Monday that his agency has been working with a security chief at Facebook to block certain users from the site “if it is determined they have posted what is deemed criminal content,” reports Kenneth Lipp, an independent journalist who attended the lecture.
Lipp reported throughout the week from the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, and now says that a speaker during one of the presentations suggested that a relationship exists between law enforcement and social media that that could be considered a form of censorship.
According to Lipp, the unnamed CPD officer said specifically that his agency was working with Facebook to block users’ by their individual account, IP address or device, such as a cell phone or computer.
Elsewhere at the conference, Lipp said law enforcement agencies discussed new social media tools that could be implemented to aid in crime-fighting, but at the price of potentially costing citizens their freedom.
“Increasingly in discussion in workshops held by and for top police executives from throughout the world (mostly US, Canada and the United Kingdom, with others like Nigeria among a total of 13,000 representatives of the law enforcement community in town for the event), and widely available from vendors, were technologies and department policies that allow agencies to block content, users and even devices – for example, ‘Geofencing’ software that allows departments to block service to a specified device when the device leaves an established virtual geographic perimeter,” Lipp wrote. “The capability is a basic function of advanced mobile technologies like smartphones, ‘OnStar’ type features that link drivers through GIS to central assistance centers, and automated infrastructure and other hardware including unmanned aerial systems that must ‘sense and respond.’”
Apple, the maker of the highly popular iPhone, applied for a patent last year which allows a third-party to compromise a wireless device and change its functionality, “such as upon the occurrence of a certain event.”
Bloggers at the website PrivacySOS.org acknowledged that former federal prosecutor-turned-Facebook security chief Joe Sullivan was scheduled to speak during the conference at a panel entitled “Helping Law Enforcement Respond to Mass Gatherings Spurred by Social Media,” and suggested that agencies could be partnering with tech companies to keep users of certain services for communicating and planning protests and other types of demonstrations. A 2011 Bloomberg report revealed that Creativity Software, a UK based company with international clients, had sold geofencing programs to law enforcement in Iran which was then used to track political dissidents. US Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) told Bloomberg that those companies should be condemned for being complicit in human rights abuses. And while this week’s convention in Philadelphia was for law enforcement agencies around the globe, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see American companies adopt similar systems.
“Is Facebook really working with the police to create a kill switch to stop activists from using the website to mobilize support for political demonstrations?” the PrivacySOS blog asked. “How would such a switch function? Would Facebook, which reportedly hands over our data to government agencies at no cost, block users from posting on its website simply because the police ask them to? The company has been criticized before for blocking environmentalist and anti-GMO activists from posting, but Facebook said those were mistakes. Let's hope this is a misunderstanding, too.”
Lipp has since pointed to a recent article in Governing magazine in which it was reported that the Chicago Police Department is using “network analysis” tools to identify persons of interest on social media.
“95.9 percent of law enforcement agencies use social media, 86.1 percent for investigative purposes,” Lipp quoted from the head of the social media group for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Have you heard on mainstream media or corporate 'public' media that the outpouring of protest is huge in America? They are too busy giving us business news to worry about mass social unrest.
Please report your local public media for corporate format.....they are allowing corporate funding be the primary support when public media requires mostly individual donors. We can get rid of NPR/APM for their Wall Street all the time format or make them change. IT IS CRITICAL NOT TO ALLOW OUR PUBLIC MEDIA BE CAPTURED BY CORPORATE INTERESTS!
Edward Snowden Endorses D.C. Protest Against NSA in Rare Public Statement Surveillance whistle-blower: 'Join us in sending the message: Stop Watching Us'
By Steven Nelson
October 24, 2013
Edward Snowden, right, is backing a Saturday protest against dragnet surveillance practices supported by many politicians, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., left.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden urged Americans to protest against the massive phone and Internet surveillance programs he exposed in a rare public statement Thursday.
Snowden is living in exile in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum on Aug. 1 after a dramatic month-long stay in Moscow's international airport. He's wanted by U.S. authorities for alleged theft of government property and alleged violations of the Espionage Act of 1917.
Since being granted asylum, the whistle-blower has largely shunned media attention. But in his Thursday statement, he recommends participation in the Saturday protest organizers hope will be the largest anti-surveillance demonstration in U.S. history.
[READ: Anti-Surveillance Protesters Will Rally on Patriot Act's Birthday]
Members of the Stop Watching Us coalition, which is hosting the protest, include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mozilla Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, social news website Reddit, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Demand Progress and Students for Liberty.
"In the last four months, we've learned a lot about our government," Snowden says in the statement. "We've learned that the U.S. intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance. Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.
"Now," he says, "it's time for the government to learn from us. On Saturday, the ACLU, EFF, and the rest of the StopWatching.Us coalition are going to D.C. Join us in sending the message: Stop Watching Us."
Documents released by Snowden in June revealed that the administration of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had been vacuuming up the phone records of all Americans with secret court orders and, allegedly, working with major Internet companies to access user information.
[WATCH: Celebrities Join Anti-Surveillance Campaign]
In addition to domestic surveillance, documents about spying on the leaders of Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, as well as on international businesses and other U.S. allies have prompted sequential furors as they are reported by media outlets with access to documents distributed by Snowden.
The House of Representative narrowly rejected on July 24 an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that would have ended the NSA's collection of all Americans' phone records. That amendment fell 12 votes short of passing.
Surveillance programs are expected to get another bout of legislative attention later this year. Supporters of the programs, including Obama, say NSA agents don't rifle through files on ordinary Americans and claim NSA surveillance led to information on 54 terror plots since 2001. NSA Director Keith Alexander admitted during an Oct. 2 Senate committee hearing only 13 cases were related to the U.S. The role of NSA surveillance in disrupting publicly disclosed plots has been disputed.
In a bid to raise awareness for the Saturday protest near Congress, the Stop Watching Us coalition on Wednesday released a video featuring actor John Cusack, documentary filmmaker Oliver Stone, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and others denouncing the surveillance programs. An online petition by the coalition has more than 577,000 signatures.
IF YOUR INCUMBENT IS NOT SHOUTING LOUDLY AND STRONGLY AGAINST ALL OF THIS....THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND NEED TO GO. STOP ALLOWING A CAPTURED DNC CHOOSE YOUR CANDIDATES!
You can hear how this has an effect on Wall Street just by listening to MarketPlace Money/American Public Media---they know Wall Street will be brought down in all this as people understand that they are behind the NSA.
Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013 08:30 AM EST
Senate candidate: Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a criminal
The long-term Maine ACLU director tells Salon she can beat Susan Collins, and calls out Congress for NSA complicity
By Josh Eidelson Salon
Arguing that the “intelligence community now faces a trust deficit,” and backed by 60 co-sponsors, House Patriot Act author Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Tuesday introduced a “USA Freedom Act” to restrict National Security Agency spying. That move came amid high-profile, bipartisan congressional criticism of reported U.S. spying on world leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel. Among the critics of surveiling Merkel was Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a three-term Republican who’s chaired the Homeland Security Committee and now serves on the Intelligence Committee.
But Collins’ 2014 challenger Shenna Bellows – who directed the Maine ACLU for eight years before last week becoming the first declared contender for the Democratic nomination – says that’s not good enough. In a Tuesday afternoon interview, Bellows told Salon that politicians have “trampled on the Constitution,” and called for Edward Snowden to “be treated as a whistle-blower and not a criminal.” She also called out Congress for preferring “to scold the White House in public but codify NSA spying.” A condensed version of our conversation follows.
Sen. Collins put out a statement saying … that she’s not aware of a justification for collecting intelligence on Chancellor Merkel, and that she would be telling the German ambassador that “it was wrong” for the administration to do that. What’s your reaction to that?
We absolutely need to stop listening in on phone calls of allies like Angela Merkel. But we also need to stop spying on millions of Americans.
What do you make of the comparative attention that those two kinds of surveillance get?
… It’s certainly concerning to international relations to learn that we were spying on the phone conversations of some of our closest allies. But it’s equally important to address the issue of spying on millions of ordinary Americans.
Where would you draw the line on who the U.S. should be spying on?
advertisementI support measures to repeal the Patriot Act and prohibit the NSA from engaging in bulk data collection. The federal government should only be gathering information about Americans when there are specific and articulable facts that are actually relevant to a terrorism investigation …
Are there foreign leaders, or categories of foreign leaders, that you think it is appropriate for the U.S. government to be surveiling?
I think we need a paradigm shift in our surveillance – in our approach to surveillance. For the last decade, policymakers in Washington have trampled on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, creating a constitutional crisis. This paradigm of “Total Information Awareness” undermines our democracy and threatens international relations. We need a Church [Committee]-style investigation into the nature and extent of our surveillance practices. And we need meaningful reforms to restore our constitutional freedoms and restore our trust.
In June, the president said, “You can shout ‘big brother’ or ‘program run amok,’ but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance.” What do you make of that kind of comment?
NSA spying is out of control, and it undermines our democratic freedoms and is threatening our international relations and security. We can be both safe and free. We can protect our constitutional freedoms and our security.
When this gets talked about as a balance between security and liberty – is that a frame that you accept?
Benjamin Franklin famously said they who “give up essential liberty” to obtain “a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” We do not have to sacrifice our fundamental freedoms to be safe. Privacy is important as an individual liberty and as a building block in community trust. When the government spies on its own people, we the people lose trust in government … It’s a false choice to suggest that we need to sacrifice our constitutional freedoms for security.
What’s your assessment of the president’s record on civil liberties?
In areas of voting rights and marriage equality, President Obama has been a wonderful leader. In the area of privacy, Republicans and Democrats at all levels have failed the American people in passage of measures like the Patriot Act and in allowing these NSA spying abuses.
Here in Maine, we worked with Republicans and Democrats alike. We had a truly interesting coalition that included libertarians and progressives. And that’s why we were one of two states in the country to prohibit law enforcement from tracking people using their cellphones … We came together and did not compromise our principles, but rather stayed united in our shared values of support for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We need to continue to do that in Washington. And the bill put forward by Sen. Patrick Leahy and James Sensenbrenner is a step in the right direction in terms of restoring checks and balances.
How does President Obama’s record compare to that of President Bush on the issue of privacy?
What I think that we see over the last decade is that under both the Bush administration and the Obama administration we have — the government has allowed NSA spying to expand unchecked. And Congress has repeatedly, after passing the Patriot Act, Congress has repeatedly reauthorized these practices. Back in 2008, I led a coalition here in Maine to investigate the nature and extent of telecommunications companies’ involvement in surveillance of the phone calls of millions of Americans.
And we brought forward a complaint to the Public Utilities Commission here in Maine. [We] were moving with a state level investigation into the nature and extent of surveillance of Mainers’ telephone communications. Congress responded by passing a bill prohibiting the state from engaging in these investigations. So I think what we have seen are a series of policy decisions that have trampled on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. What we have been able to do for Maine is demonstrated a different way.
President Obama – is he “trampling on the Constitution”?
I think it’s up to Congress to do its job and put in place checks and balances to preserve our constitutional freedoms and keep our country safe. It’s not enough for Congress to scold the Obama administration and then fail to act.
In the time since the Patriot Act was passed, has that law made Americans more safe?
There have been numerous reports from inside and outside of government that indicate that the Patriot Act has significantly undermined our constitutional freedoms without increasing public safety. We need to repeal the Patriot Act and stop NSA spying. We can be both safe and free, and this total information awareness paradigm represented by the Patriot Act and NSA spying undermines our freedoms and our security.
What’s your view of the role that Edward Snowden and the information that he released have played in shaping this debate?
I think Edward Snowden has played a very important role. I think we need more protection for whistle-blowers so that we can have an open conversation about what’s appropriate. His revelations have been a catalyst for a national conversation that we really need to have.
Should he be punished?
You know, Daniel Ellsberg wrote a really interesting Op-Ed in which he talked about how his revelations in the Pentagon Papers would not have been possible under current law that prohibits whistle-blowers from coming forward. And the ACLU and other civil liberties groups have been involved in Snowden’s defense, and I think his revelations have created a really important conversation. We have too much secrecy surrounding these programs …
Do you believe that Snowden should be either charged with a crime or detained by the U.S. government?
I do not think that speaking out about matters of national import should be criminalized.
Your career included organizing to try to stop the Patriot Act. What did you learn from that experience – what struck you about that political fight?
What I learned was the importance of reaching out across ideological lines and backgrounds to work together. At the ACLU we worked with very unusual partners. I helped organize a coalition that included the American Library Association and Veterans of America working together to try to rein in the abuses of the Patriot Act. And that became a model for the work that I did here in Maine …
You mentioned …
I want to go back to the Snowden question. Snowden is absolutely a whistle-blower and should be treated as such. His revelations revealed government illegality and abuse of authority and we as a country depend upon truthful information about what the government is doing, particularly … when activity infringes on individual rights. So we could not have had a properly informed public debate about spying without Snowden’s leaks. Now unfortunately there are exceptions in the federal whistle-blower protection act that do not provide for effective avenues internally to report illegal activity. So I think that Snowden should be treated as a whistle-blower and not a criminal.
Do you believe we’re going to see more Edward Snowdens soon?
What I think that we need to do at the federal level is improve our whistle-blower laws so that when intelligence community employees see government illegality or violations of the Constitution, they can speak out safely.
You mentioned legislation sponsored by congressman Sensenbrenner … How much do you think the politics on these issues have changed since the period immediately after 9/11?
What we experienced here in Maine over the last decade is truly bipartisan support for restoration of our constitutional freedoms. So it’s really exciting to see today the introduction of the USA Freedom Act by congressman Sensenbrenner, who was the lead author of the Patriot Act, and by Democrat Patrick Leahy, who voted for the Patriot Act. And I think that demonstrates that people can change their minds.
Now one of the problems with the original Patriot Act is the secrecy surrounding its implementation. The ACLU is handling a case on behalf of a librarian in Connecticut who was served with an order under the Patriot Act. And the gag provision on the Patriot Act prohibited that librarian from meeting with his members of Congress when the Patriot Act was being reauthorizing to discuss that order …
One of the things that comes up in these debates … is that you have politicians … referencing information that is classified, often to defend these programs. How much of the intelligence information that is currently classified do you think should be?
I think we have a real problem with too much government secrecy … Time and time again, groups like the ACLU have challenged the constitutionality of some of these programs and the government has defended the programs under the doctrine of state secrets, and has blocked judicial review of the surveillance practices. We have gone too far – or, Congress has gone too far in allowing the actions of these spy agencies to be hidden from public view.
Congressman Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said that if people in France knew what was being intercepted, they would be “popping champagne corks” because “it’s a good thing” and “it keeps the French safe.” What’s your reaction to that?
The challenge here with government secrecy about these programs is that it prohibits a full and fair debate of what is necessary or appropriate. The government secrecy around the Patriot Act and NSA spying programs deprive policymakers and the public of the crucial information to make decisions about whether the information being collected is appropriate or not.
But I also think that what we’ve seen over the last few months is that increased public awareness about the nature and extent of NSA spying has led to … broad bipartisan opposition to what’s being perceived as abuse of power.
It’s sometimes argued that the Obama administration in particular gets a pass [on surveillance], whether from elected Democrats or from some liberal organizations, because of [Obama] being a Democrat … Do you think that’s a fair critique?
Its been really interesting to watch the reactions of members of Congress who are scolding the White House in public, but then willing to support the NSA spying, Patriot Act, and other surveillance measures in their votes. It’s unacceptable for Congress to scold the White House in public but codify NSA spying … We need to hold all of our elected leaders accountable for the decisions that we have made that have infringed upon our constitutional freedoms and undermined our democratic institutions …
As a Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Susan Collins has an opportunity to correct her past support of the Patriot ACT and NSA spying, to begin to restore constitutional freedoms.
… Why is the next step for you to run for the U.S. Senate?
Our democracy is too important for good people to stay on the sidelines …
Are you going to be the Democratic nominee?
Are you going to then beat Susan Collins?
[Laughs] Yes …
I’m building a different kind of campaign. It’s a grass-roots campaign … grass-roots movements are really the only way real change has ever happened.