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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37 Responses to NSA, GCHQ, Declare Civil War on Their Own People

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @kdrum Heh, you still don't like Bernie, but agree with most of his positions. The dichotomy of Kevin! Also shocked Cody Kesler went so high
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bmaz @MonaHol @adamjohnsonNYC Fuck that internet dick pic pervert
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bmaz RT @adamjohnsonNYC: everything you've ever said or written has been wrong https://t.co/PF9HJwZ7PU
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JimWhiteGNV RT @jdakwar: Historic Ruling Puts Justice Within Reach for CIA Torture Victims https://t.co/tOOhGl9NNo by @ACLU's Steven Watt https://t.co/
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bmaz @PogoWasRight Right. Nico has had superior equipment, but he is also a pretty damn smooth and reliable driver over several years. He's good.
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bmaz @PogoWasRight That was tough too, but Nico.
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JimWhiteGNV If Riker can't have his coral snake, he'll have to settle for stalking a squirrel through the window. https://t.co/nF91eY8e2T
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bmaz @PogoWasRight Only really hard one for me was Ronnie Peterson versus Gurney. Went with Peterson, but was really hard decision.
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JimWhiteGNV And how many will wash out due to character issues? https://t.co/uH6qov80a1
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bmaz RT @NATICKPOLICE: Unrest spotted at this morning's Little League Parade. #FreeBrady https://t.co/tLjm3ERgw3
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emptywheel @AthertonKD How are you supposed to learn abt math if all wars are forever really? @pastordan
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