On August 9, President Obama gave a major policy speech on NSA spying programs. The compliant White House press corps promptly dumped a barrel of ink on the flesh of fallen trees to lovingly describe his statements as a major change in direction for the administration on privacy and civil liberties. It is not clear if the government-approved beltway faithful had been provided with the same transcript as the Free Press.

The United States government continued its attack on internet activists this week, attempting to gag imprisoned journalist Barrett Brown and his defense team while forcing the shuttering of several popular secure mail services and an exit node of TOR, the internet’s most widely used anonymous proxy service.

The anonymous browser TOR is the most popular end user security tool in the world. Using this browser allows people to surf the internet anonymously. The service is used worldwide to avoid secret police surveillance by dissidents living under repressive regimes in places like Syria, Turkey and the United States. It is also used by hackers and others to conceal their identities. According to Wired Magazine's security blog “Threat Level,” the service was compromised by a hack Sunday night.

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”
George Orwell "Politics and the English Language," 1946

One media pundit described the event as an earthquake caused by so many jaws hitting the floor at once. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos just bought the Washington Post for a cool $250 million. A family owned and operated newspaper for nearly eight decades was just gobbled up for a little more than 1% of Bezos's massive personal fortune.

Like all schoolchildren in America, Congress is now on summer recess. Predictably, while unsupervised, they have taken to playground shoving and taunting in earnest. A troika of ardent NSA defenders took to the airwaves Sunday to claim that they were fully informed. Meanwhile a member of the small but growing wing of Congress with the reading comprehension skills to digest the Constitution took to social media to dispute them.

The latest bombshell revelation from Edward Snowden via the Guardian newspaper is a program called XKEYSCORE. In a previous article, the Free Press released a drop down menu that allowed NSA analysts to simply fill in the blank defining how an internet user is foreign.

On July 26, Attorney General Eric Holder made promises to Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia via Russia's Justice Minister, Alexander Konovalov. In his open letter, Holder claimed that the United States would not execute Edward Snowden for his alleged crimes.

Having agreed to Putin's conditions of not making additional revelations, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden packed his bag and moved to an undisclosed location somewhere in Russia after having been granted temporary asylum. The revelations continued anyway as the Guardian released another top secret document detailing another NSA spying program called XKEYSCORE.

Army private and whistle-blower Bradley Manning was found guilty of 19 separate charges at his court martial on Tuesday. He was not convicted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which carried the death penalty. The convictions include six violations of the Espionage Act of 1917. These convictions alone could cost Manning 60 years behind bars. The espionage convictions are considered especially chilling to the press, as now news “sources” can be prosecuted for much more serious charges.


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