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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bmaz RT @emptywheel: @bmaz How come no one is counting all the Jewish SCOTUS justices who are ALSO blowing off Bibi?
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emptywheel @bmaz How come no one is counting all the Jewish SCOTUS justices who are ALSO blowing off Bibi?
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bmaz @emptywheel The big drinking party is at RBG's pad.
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bmaz RT @ScottGreenfield: Politics Aside, Statutory Interpretation Matters http://t.co/0hm8PEE2WG
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JimWhiteGNV Another day, another hot-headed war monger spouting lies in Congress. Only difference is this one not elected by misinformed Americans.
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emptywheel RT @csoghoian: Compare and contrast what China wants of US tech co's to what the US demands of foreign telcos http://t.co/WgBcMUjWdS http:/…
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emptywheel Other part of Clapper's speech that is precious. He talks abt losing tools in our toolkit. As if the IC has EVER lost a surveillance tool.
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emptywheel One thing Clapper admitted yesterday at CFP is "moderate [in Syria] is anyone who's not affiliated w/ISIL." http://t.co/aO5y1KF2MX
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 Best part is this is the NICE part of the day, weather wise.
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emptywheel @georgecolombo Yes. Perhaps I wouldn't be so annoyed if Cole hadn't started by accusing others of not doing their reading. @froomkin
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emptywheel @froomkin Betcha a dollar that Cole doesn't even know what those "underlying discussions" refer to. Sort of critical to doc. @Thomas_Drake1
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emptywheel @froomkin You did. Cole did not. @Thomas_Drake1
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