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 Twitterverse
emptywheel @onekade No no. Other stuff. Very pressing. Tomorrow. Also, stupid NGO fed me some actually interesting 12333 documents so mouth watering.
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emptywheel @onekade Oh yeah.
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emptywheel @joanneleon You've been sitting at home with a bowl, testing? Consumer Reports might pay for that. @NamelessCynic
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emptywheel @joanneleon Right. Basic math right? More surface area more crappy cheap chocolate. @NamelessCynic
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bmaz @emptywheel @ShitSquare Whaaaa? Who, me?
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emptywheel RT @GRPress: Surfers braved big waves and snow today in Muskegon. That's Pure Michigan. Video: http://t.co/qFhFHfmWo8 http://t.co/YjCCK8DKaf
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emptywheel @bmaz Hey, get off my @ShitSquare and start trash talking me about Noodle Arm storming Foxboro.
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bmaz Bingo. RT @emptywheel This is why Obama prolly could get Preet confirmed AG. http://t.co/LUV3herhhv
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emptywheel @joanneleon Too much oxygen, too little nested treasure of HCFS nougatty goodness. Also, fewer peanuts. @NamelessCynic
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bmaz RT @FeleciaForAZ: "It's clear to me that APS is not making an endorsement, it's paying off Mr. Brnovich and he is welcoming this... http://…
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 Sadly for Chuck Schumer he left open the "best Wall Street owned Senator on Twitter" role. @TimFernholz
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 Booker would be Wall Street's baby even if he didn't live in NJ. @TimFernholz
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