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Police State Horror: NSA circumvents law requiring a warrant by using British spy agency


First we were told that it is a conspiracy theory that the NSA was spying on law abiding US citizens. Then we learned that the level of spying is like something out of a science fiction movie. The famous NSA spy scene parody in the Simpsons movie, was actually realistic.

So, then we were told that the NSA only collects hundreds of megabytes of data on hundreds of millions of people, including all US citizens, but doesn’t actually look at the data. The Federal government had the audacity to tell the US public that they “need a warrant” to actual access the data. Government officials place their High School enemies on the no fly list, and the TSA admits they can’t prevent their own employees from stealing your luggage,  but your supposed to believe that the government is collecting insane amounts of data and never looking at it.

Newly unclassified documents from the British spy agency reveal that the NSA has systems in place to circumvent US law requiring a warrant to access data they obtained by spying on you. The NSA is assisting the British spy agency to collect data. This includes data on US citizens. Britain has no law requiring a warrant to access the data. There is no pretense that the data is not being looked at.

Between 2008 and 2010, the British spy agency GCHQ was assisted by the NSA to intercept and store webcam images from 1.8 million yahoo webcam users from around the world. This includes law abiding Americans.

How many other foreign spy agencies are being assisted by the US government, so recorded telephone calls and internet dialog can be accessed without a warrant?

From UK Guardian…

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of “a whole new level of violation of our users’privacy”.

GCHQ does not have the technical means to make sure no images of UK or US citizens are collected and stored by the system, and there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans’ images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant.

The documents also chronicle GCHQ’s sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff, though there is little discussion about the privacy implications of storing this material in the first place.