NSA, GCHQ, Declare Civil War on Their Own People

The Guardian, NYT, and ProPublica have the first of the co-reported stories we’ve been promised, reporting that after the government failed to get Congress to require back doors into encrypted communication, it just went ahead and took it.

I’ll come back to these stories, but for the moment, want to just point to the various names it has given this effort, from ProPublica.

The full extent of the N.S.A.’s decoding capabilities is known only to a limited group of top analysts from the so-called Five Eyes: the N.S.A. and its counterparts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only they are cleared for the Bullrun program, the successor to one called Manassas — both names of American Civil War battles. A parallel GCHQ counterencryption program is called Edgehill, named for the first battle of the English Civil War of the 17th century.

Unlike some classified information that can be parceled out on a strict “need to know” basis, one document makes clear that with Bullrun, “there will be NO ‘need to know.’ ”

Only a small cadre of trusted contractors were allowed to join Bullrun. It does not appear that Mr. Snowden was among them, but he nonetheless managed to obtain dozens of classified documents referring to the program’s capabilities, methods and sources.

Manassas, Bullrun, and Edgehill.

All civil war battles.

Even rhetorically, our governments have declared civil war on us and our privacy.

Update: In related news, Obama’s Insider-Independent Non-Tech Tech Review Committee is seeking public comment on the dragnet.

Go let Cass Sunstein know what you think of this.

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emptywheel @AndyMcCanse Entire attack now on whether Bernie is realistic ignores that part of ACA history (which also legitimized Tea Party). @lhfang
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bmaz In the 60s, Bernie was marching with MLK against segregation; while HRC was a Young Republican Goldwater Girl https://t.co/ljDNVNn9SS
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bmaz So Clinton is attacking @BernieSanders on black/racial issues? Really? https://t.co/9Pui9Szk26
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emptywheel @AndyMcCanse has been ignored. There was a critical moment in 2009 when insurers playing both sides to harmful effect @lhfang
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emptywheel @AndyMcCanse I RTed it bc in discussions of whether ACA was all we could get, degree to which ins people in on deal also ran oppo @lhfang
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bmaz @ggreenwald Good thing there is nothing establishment here.
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emptywheel RT @bradheath: Here's the full #DOJ complaint against the City of Ferguson. https://t.co/yRAVhuLruK https://t.co/gcFFuXURnJ
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emptywheel RT @lhfang: Jill Alper, a "Hillblazer" fundraising for Hillary, is a superdelegate. Her firm was hired by health insurers to undermine Obam…
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @csoghoian For my money, think you both would be better for it. And can I come?? I promise to just drink and stay quiet!
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @csoghoian well, you both are quite decent people even if fundamentally disagree on many things.
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bmaz @benjaminwittes @csoghoian Passionate people get ahead of themselves sometimes It runs both ways. (I do it about every day) All should chill
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