History of Economic Thought

Nobody Does It Better Spying On People of The World — National Security Agency — Turnkey Tyranny Turned On The American People — NSA Budget $100 Billion Plus Paid By The American People — The Patriot Act Expires On June 1, 2015 — Both Republican and Democratic Parties Will Renew It! — Secret Security Surveillance State — Alive, Well and Growing — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Story 1: Nobody Does It Better Spying On People of The World — National Security Agency — Turnkey Tyranny Turned On The American People — NSA Budget $100 Billion Plus Paid By The American People — The Patriot Act Expires On June 1, 2015 — Both Republican and Democratic Parties Will Renew It! — Secret Security Surveillance State —  Alive, Well and Growing — Videos

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government.  It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

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What You Didn’t Know About The NSA Bluffdale Spy Center – From Former NSA Director Bill Binney

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Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]

30c3 keynote with Glenn Greenwald [30c3]

FISA Court: Telecoms okay with NSA data collection

US Supreme Court refuses to let Americans challenge FISA eavesdropping law

FISA Section 215: A Debate about Its Legality, Usefulness and Civil Liberties

The creepy spying power buried in the Patriot Act

Real Talk: The Patriot Act

Patriot Act Powers – GOP Fights To Renew NSA Surveillance Law – Fox & Friends

Marco Rubio blasts colleagues over renewing NSA spying powers

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The Obama Administration’s War on Whistleblowers–7 Whistleblowers speak at News Conference 04-27-15

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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

Glenn Greenwald: The NSA Can “Literally Watch Every Keystroke You Make”

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake Prevails in Unprecedented Obama Admin Crackdown

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013

29C3 Panel: Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, William Binney on whistleblowing and surveillance

Everything We Know About NSA Spying: “Through a PRISM, Darkly” – Kurt Opsahl at CCC

FBI’s Patriot Act Abuse of National Security Letters and illegal NSA spying

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Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets

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NSA can spy on 98 percent of the world

Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”

Glenn Greenwald on Domestic Surveillance: NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Controversy (2006)

Enemy of the State (1998) Predicts Edward Snowden’s Revelations

Enemy Of The State – The NSA Can Read The Time Off Your F**king Wristwatch!

Will Smith | Enemy of the State 1998 Movie Full HD

Ron Paul to Congress: DO NOT Extend the “PATRIOT” Act!

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Why Shouldn’t I Work for the NSA?

(Good Will Hunting)

N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Is Illegal, Appeals Court Rules

THE COMPUTERS ARE LISTENING

HOW THE NSA CONVERTS SPOKEN WORDS INTO SEARCHABLE TEXT

Most people realize that emails and other digital communications they once considered private can now become part of their permanent record.

But even as they increasingly use apps that understand what they say, most people don’t realize that the words they speak are not so private anymore, either.

Top-secret documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency can now automatically recognize the content within phone calls by creating rough transcripts and phonetic representations that can be easily searched and stored.

The documents show NSA analysts celebrating the development of what they called “Google for Voice” nearly a decade ago.

Though perfect transcription of natural conversation apparently remains the Intelligence Community’s “holy grail,” the Snowden documentsdescribe extensive use of keyword searching as well as computer programs designed to analyze and “extract” the content of voice conversations, and even use sophisticated algorithms to flag conversations of interest.

The documents include vivid examples of the use of speech recognition in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in Latin America. But they leave unclear exactly how widely the spy agency uses this ability, particularly in programs that pick up considerable amounts of conversations that include people who live in or are citizens of the United States.

Spying on international telephone calls has always been a staple of NSA surveillance, but the requirement that an actual person do the listening meant it was effectively limited to a tiny percentage of the total traffic. By leveraging advances in automated speech recognition, the NSA has entered the era of bulk listening.

And this has happened with no apparent public oversight, hearings or legislative action. Congress hasn’t shown signs of even knowing that it’s going on.

The USA Freedom Act — the surveillance reform bill that Congress is currently debating — doesn’t address the topic at all. The bill would end an NSA program that does not collect voice content: the government’s bulk collection of domestic calling data, showing who called who and for how long.

Even if becomes law, the bill would leave in place a multitude of mechanisms exposed by Snowden that scoop up vast amounts of innocent people’s text and voice communications in the U.S. and across the globe.

Civil liberty experts contacted by The Intercept said the NSA’s speech-to-text capabilities are a disturbing example of the privacy invasions that are becoming possible as our analog world transitions to a digital one.

“I think people don’t understand that the economics of surveillance have totally changed,” Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told The Intercept.

“Once you have this capability, then the question is: How will it be deployed? Can you temporarily cache all American phone calls, transcribe all the phone calls, and do text searching of the content of the calls?” she said. “It may not be what they are doing right now, but they’ll be able to do it.”

And, she asked: “How would we ever know if they change the policy?”

Indeed, NSA officials have been secretive about their ability to convert speech to text, and how widely they use it, leaving open any number of possibilities.

That secrecy is the key, Granick said. “We don’t have any idea how many innocent people are being affected, or how many of those innocent people are also Americans.”

I Can Search Against It

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who was trained as a voice processing crypto-linguist and worked at the agency until 2008, told The Intercept that he saw a huge push after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to turn the massive amounts of voice communications being collected into something more useful.

Human listening was clearly not going to be the solution. “There weren’t enough ears,” he said.

The transcripts that emerged from the new systems weren’t perfect, he said. “But even if it’s not 100 percent, I can still get a lot more information. It’s far more accessible. I can search against it.”

Converting speech to text makes it easier for the NSA to see what it has collected and stored, according to Drake. “The breakthrough was being able to do it on a vast scale,” he said.

More Data, More Power, Better Performance

The Defense Department, through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), started funding academic and commercial research into speech recognition in the early 1970s.

What emerged were several systems to turn speech into text, all of which slowly but gradually improved as they were able to work with more data and at faster speeds.

In a brief interview, Dan Kaufman, director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, indicated that the government’s ability to automate transcription is still limited.

Kaufman says that automated transcription of phone conversation is “super hard,” because “there’s a lot of noise on the signal” and “it’s informal as hell.”

“I would tell you we are not very good at that,” he said.

In an ideal environment like a news broadcast, he said, “we’re getting pretty good at being able to do these types of translations.”

A 2008 document from the Snowden archive shows that  transcribing news broadcasts was already working well seven years ago, using a program called Enhanced Video Text and Audio Processing:

(U//FOUO) EViTAP is a fully-automated news monitoring tool. The key feature of this Intelink-SBU-hosted tool is that it analyzes news in six languages, including Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, English, and Farsi/Persian. “How does it work?” you may ask. It integrates Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) which provides transcripts of the spoken audio. Next, machine translation of the ASR transcript translates the native language transcript to English. Voila! Technology is amazing.

A version of the system the NSA uses is now even available commercially.

Experts in speech recognition say that in the last decade or so, the pace of technological improvement has been explosive. As information storage became cheaper and more efficient, technology companies were able to store massive amounts of voice data on their servers, allowing them to continually update and improve the models. Enormous processors, tuned as “deep neural networks” that detect patterns like human brains do, produce much cleaner transcripts.

And the Snowden documents show that the same kinds of leaps forward seen in commercial speech-to-text products have also been happening in secret at the NSA, fueled by the agency’s singular access to astronomical processing power and its own vast data archives.

In fact, the NSA has been repeatedly releasing new and improved speech recognition systems for more than a decade.

The first-generation tool, which made keyword-searching of vast amounts of voice content possible, was rolled out in 2004 and code-named RHINEHART.

“Voice word search technology allows analysts to find and prioritize intercept based on its intelligence content,” says an internal 2006 NSA memo entitled “For Media Mining, the Future Is Now!

The memo says that intelligence analysts involved in counterterrorism were able to identify terms related to bomb-making materials, like “detonator” and “hydrogen peroxide,” as well as place names like “Baghdad” or people like “Musharaf.”

RHINEHART was “designed to support both real-time searches, in which incoming data is automatically searched by a designated set of dictionaries, and retrospective searches, in which analysts can repeatedly search over months of past traffic,” the memo explains (emphasis in original).

As of 2006, RHINEHART was operating “across a wide variety of missions and languages” and was “used throughout the NSA/CSS [Central Security Service] Enterprise.”

But even then, a newer, more sophisticated product was already being rolled out by the NSA’s Human Language Technology (HLT) program office. The new system, called VoiceRT, was first introduced in Baghdad, and “designed to index and tag 1 million cuts per day.”

The goal, according to another 2006 memo, was to use voice processing technology to be able “index, tag and graph,” all intercepted communications. “Using HLT services, a single analyst will be able to sort through millions of cuts per day and focus on only the small percentage that is relevant,” the memo states.

A 2009 memo from the NSA’s British partner, GCHQ, describes how “NSA have had the BBN speech-to-text system Byblos running at Fort Meade for at least 10 years. (Initially they also had Dragon.) During this period they have invested heavily in producing their own corpora of transcribed Sigint in both American English and an increasing range of other languages.” (GCHQ also noted that it had its own small corpora of transcribed voice communications, most of which happened to be “Northern Irish accented speech.”)

VoiceRT, in turn, was surpassed a few years after its launch. According to the intelligence community’s “Black Budget” for fiscal year 2013, VoiceRT was decommissioned and replaced in 2011 and 2012, so that by 2013, NSA could operationalize a new system. This system, apparently called SPIRITFIRE, could handle more data, faster. SPIRITFIRE would be “a more robust voice processing capability based on speech-to-text keyword search and paired dialogue transcription.”

Extensive Use Abroad

Voice communications can be collected by the NSA whether they are being sent by regular phone lines, over cellular networks, or through voice-over-internet services. Previously released documents from the Snowden archive describe enormous efforts by the NSA during the last decade to get access to voice-over-internet content like Skype calls, for instance. And other documents in the archive chronicle the agency’s adjustment to the fact that an increasingly large percentage of conversations, even those that start as landline or mobile calls, end up as digitized packets flying through the same fiber-optic cables that the NSA taps so effectively for other data and voice communications.

The Snowden archive, as searched and analyzed by The Intercept, documents extensive use of speech-to-text by the NSA to search through international voice intercepts — particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Mexico and Latin America.

For example, speech-to-text was a key but previously unheralded element of the sophisticated analytical program known as the Real Time Regional Gateway (RTRG), which started in 2005 when newly appointed NSA chief Keith B. Alexander, according to the Washington Post, “wanted everything: Every Iraqi text message, phone call and e-mail that could be vacuumed up by the agency’s powerful computers.”

The Real Time Regional Gateway was credited with playing a role in “breaking up Iraqi insurgent networks and significantly reducing the monthly death toll from improvised explosive devices.” The indexing and searching of “voice cuts” was deployed to Iraq in 2006. By 2008, RTRG was operational in Afghanistan as well.

A slide from a June 2006 NSA powerpoint presentation described the role of VoiceRT:

VoiceRT: Index/Search of Voice Cuts

Keyword spotting extended to Iranian intercepts as well. A 2006 memoreported that RHINEHART had been used successfully by Persian-speaking analysts who “searched for the words ‘negotiations’ or ‘America’ in their traffic, and RHINEHART located a very important call that was transcribed verbatim providing information on an important Iranian target’s discussion of the formation of a the new Iraqi government.”

According to a 2011 memo, “How is Human Language Technology (HLT) Progressing?“, NSA that year deployed “HLT Labs” to Afghanistan, NSA facilities in Texas and Georgia, and listening posts in Latin America run by the Special Collection Service, a joint NSA/CIA unit that operates out of embassies and other locations.

“Spanish is the most mature of our speech-to-text analytics,” the memo says, noting that the NSA and its Special Collections Service sites in Latin America, have had “great success searching for Spanish keywords.”

The memo offers an example from NSA Texas, where an analyst newly trained on the system used a keyword search to find previously unreported information on a target involved in drug-trafficking. In another case, an official at a Special Collection Service site in Latin America “was able to find foreign intelligence regarding a Cuban official in a fraction of the usual time.”

In a 2011 article, “Finding Nuggets — Quickly — in a Heap of Voice Collection, From Mexico to Afghanistan,” an intelligence analysis technical director from NSA Texas described the “rare life-changing instance” when he learned about human language technology, and its ability to “find the exact traffic of interest within a mass of collection.”

Analysts in Texas found the new technology a boon for spying. “From finding tunnels in Tijuana, identifying bomb threats in the streets of Mexico City, or shedding light on the shooting of US Customs officials in Potosi, Mexico, the technology did what it advertised: It accelerated the process of finding relevant intelligence when time was of the essence,” he wrote. (Emphasis in original.)

The author of the memo was also part of a team that introduced the technology to military leaders in Afghanistan. “From Kandahar to Kabul, we have traveled the country explaining NSA leaders’ vision and introducing SIGINT teams to what HLT analytics can do today and to what is still needed to make this technology a game-changing success,” the memo reads.

Extent of Domestic Use Remains Unknown

What’s less clear from the archive is how extensively this capability is used to transcribe or otherwise index and search voice conversations that primarily involve what the NSA terms “U.S. persons.”

The NSA did not answer a series of detailed questions about automated speech recognition, even though an NSA “classification guide” that is part of the Snowden archive explicitly states that “The fact that NSA/CSS has created HLT models” for speech-to-text processing as well as gender, language and voice recognition, is “UNCLASSIFIED.”

Also unclassified: The fact that the processing can sort and prioritize audio files for human linguists, and that the statistical models are regularly being improved and updated based on actual intercepts. By contrast, because they’ve been tuned using actual intercepts, the specific parameters of the systems are highly classified.

“The National Security Agency employs a variety of technologies in the course of its authorized foreign-intelligence mission,” spokesperson Vanee’ Vines wrote in an email to The Intercept. “These capabilities, operated by NSA’s dedicated professionals and overseen by multiple internal and external authorities, help to deter threats from international terrorists, human traffickers, cyber criminals, and others who seek to harm our citizens and allies.”

Vines did not respond to the specific questions about privacy protections in place related to the processing of domestic or domestic-to-international voice communications. But she wrote that “NSA always applies rigorous protections designed to safeguard the privacy not only of U.S. persons, but also of foreigners abroad, as directed by the President in January 2014.”

The presidentially appointed but independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) didn’t mention speech-to-text technology in itspublic reports.

“I’m not going to get into whether any program does or does not have that capability,” PCLOB chairman David Medine told The Intercept.

His board’s reports, he said, contained only information that the intelligence community agreed could be declassified.

“We went to the intelligence community and asked them to declassify a significant amount of material,” he said. The “vast majority” of that material was declassified, he said. But not all — including “facts that we thought could be declassified without compromising national security.”

Hypothetically, Medine said, the ability to turn voice into text would raise significant privacy concerns. And it would also raise questions about how the intelligence agencies “minimize” the retention and dissemination of material— particularly involving U.S. persons — that doesn’t include information they’re explicitly allowed to keep.

“Obviously it increases the ability of the government to process information from more calls,” Medine said. “It would also allow the government to listen in on more calls, which would raise more of the kind of privacy issues that the board has raised in the past.”

“I’m not saying the government does or doesn’t do it,” he said, “just that these would be the consequences.”

A New Learning Curve

Speech recognition expert Bhiksha Raj likens the current era to the early days of the Internet, when people didn’t fully realize how the things they typed would last forever.

“When I started using the Internet in the 90s, I was just posting stuff,” said Raj, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute. “It never struck me that 20 years later I could go Google myself and pull all this up. Imagine if I posted something on alt.binaries.pictures.erotica or something like that, and now that post is going to embarrass me forever.”

The same is increasingly becoming the case with voice communication, he said. And the stakes are even higher, given that the majority of the world’s communication has historically been conducted by voice, and it has traditionally been considered a private mode of communication.

“People still aren’t realizing quite the magnitude that the problem could get to,” Raj said. “And it’s not just surveillance,” he said. “People are using voice services all the time. And where does the voice go? It’s sitting somewhere. It’s going somewhere. You’re living on trust.” He added: “Right now I don’t think you can trust anybody.”

The Need for New Rules

Kim Taipale, executive director of the Stilwell Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy, is one of several people who tried a decade ago to get policymakers to recognize that existing surveillance law doesn’t adequately deal with new global communication networks and advanced technologies including  speech recognition.

“Things aren’t ephemeral anymore,” Taipale told The Intercept. “We’re living in a world where many things that were fleeting in the analog world are now on the permanent record. The question then becomes: what are the consequences of that and what are the rules going to be to deal with those consequences?”

Realistically, Taipale said, “the ability of the government to search voice communication in bulk is one of the things we may have to live with under some circumstances going forward.” But there at least need to be “clear public rules and effective oversight to make sure that the information is only used for appropriate law-enforcement or national security purposes consistent with Constitutional principles.”

Ultimately, Taipale said, a system where computers flag suspicious voice communications could be less invasive than one where people do the listening, given the potential for human abuse and misuse to lead to privacy violations. “Automated analysis has different privacy implications,” he said.

But to Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, the distinction between a human listening and a computer listening is irrelevant in terms of privacy, possible consequences, and a chilling effect on speech.

“What people care about in the end, and what creates chilling effects in the end, are consequences,” he said. “I think that over time, people would learn to fear computerized eavesdropping just as much as they fear eavesdropping by humans, because of the consequences that it could bring.”

Indeed, computer listening could raise new concerns. One of the internal NSA memos from 2006 says an “important enhancement under development is the ability for this HLT capability to predict what intercepted data might be of interest to analysts based on the analysts’ past behavior.”

Citing Amazon’s ability to not just track but predict buyer preferences, the memo says that an NSA system designed to flag interesting intercepts “offers the promise of presenting analysts with highly enriched sorting of their traffic.”

To Phillip Rogaway, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, keyword-search is probably the “least of our problems.” In an email to The Intercept, Rogaway warned that “When the NSA identifies someone as ‘interesting’ based on contemporary NLP [Natural Language Processing] methods, it might be that there is no human-understandable explanation as to why beyond: ‘his corpus of discourse resembles those of others whom we thought interesting'; or the conceptual opposite: ‘his discourse looks or sounds different from most people’s.’”

If the algorithms NSA computers use to identify threats are too complex for humans to understand, Rogaway wrote, “it will be impossible to understand the contours of the surveillance apparatus by which one is judged.  All that people will be able to do is to try your best to behave just like everyone else.”

Next: The NSA’s best kept open secret.

Readers with information or insight into these programs are encouraged to get in touch, either by email, or anonymously via SecureDrop.

Documents published with this article:

Research on the Snowden archive was conducted by Intercept researcher Andrew Fishman

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/05/05/nsa-speech-recognition-snowden-searchable-text/

 

Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act

EFF sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act in October 2011 for answers about “secret interpretations” of a controversial section of the law. In June 2013, a leaked FISA court order publicly revealed that “secret interpretation”: the government was using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect the phone records of virtually every person in the United States.

Prior to the revelations, several senators warned that the DOJ was using Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to support what government attorneys called a “sensitive collection program,” targeting large numbers of Americans. The language of Section 215 allows for secret court orders to collect “tangible things” that could be relevant to a government investigation – a far lower threshold and more expansive reach than a warrant based on probable cause.  The list of possible “tangible things” the government can obtain is seemingly limitless, and could include everything from driver’s license records to Internet browsing patterns.

In response to a court order in our lawsuit, in September 2013, the government released hundreds of pages of previously secret FISA documents detailing the court’s interpretation of Section 215, including an opinion excoriating the NSA for misusing its mass surveillance database for years. In October 2013, the government released a second batch of documents related to Section 215, which showed, among other things, that the NSA had collected cell site location without notifying its oversight committees in Congress or the FISA court.

EFF’s lawsuit came after the DOJ failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the interpretation and use of Section 215.  The suit demanded records describing the types of “tangible things” that have been collected so far, the legal basis for the “sensitive collection program,” and information on the how many people have been affected by Section 215 orders.

The lawsuit remains ongoing.

https://www.eff.org/foia/section-215-usa-patriot-act

Background Articles and Videos

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Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]

Published on Dec 30, 2013

Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying

From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil society organization, has been litigating against the NSA spying program for the better part of a decade. EFF has collected and reviewed dozens of documents, from the original NY Times stories in 2005 and the first AT&T whistleblower in 2006, through the latest documents released in the Guardian or obtained through EFF’s Freedom of Information (government transparency) litigation. EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl’s lecture will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news. He will also discuss the legal and policy ramifications that have become part of the public debate following the recent disclosures, and what you can do about it. After summarizing the programs, technologies, and legal/policy framework in the lecture, the audience can ask questions.

Speaker: Kurt Opsahl
EventID: 5255
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Language: english

Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”

Inside the NSA

Ed Snowden, NSA, and Fairy Tales

AT&T Spying On Internet Traffic

For years the National Securities Agency, has been spying on each & every keystroke. The national headquarters of AT&T is in Missouri, where ex-employees describe a secret room. The program is called “Splitter Cut-In & Test Procedure.”

NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All – Op-Docs: The Program

The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks

William Benny – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)

‘After 9/11 NSA had secret deal with White House’

The story of Whistleblower Thomas Drake

Whistleblowers, Part Two: Thomas Drake

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013

Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower

The Truth About Edward Snowden

N.S.A. Spying: Why Does It Matter?

Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets

NSA Whistleblower Exposes Obama’s Dragnet

AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-1/2

AT&T Whistleblower Urges Against Immunity for Telecoms in Bush Spy Program

The Senate is expected to vote on a controversial measure to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act tomorrow. The legislation would rewrite the nation’s surveillance laws and authorize the National Security Agency’s secret program of warrantless wiretapping. We speak with Mark Klein, a technician with AT&T for over twenty-two years. In 2006 Klein leaked internal AT&T documents that revealed the company had set up a secret room in its San Francisco office to give the National Security Agency access to its fiber optic internet cables.

AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-2/2

Enemy Of The State 1998 (1080p) (Full movie)

Background Articles and Videos

Stellar Wind

Stellar Wind was the open secret code name for four surveillance programs by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau.[1] The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001.[2] Stellar Wind was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.[3]

The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity.[1] William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.[4]

There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.[4]

During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”.[2] One of the known uses of these data were the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.[1]

In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon.[5] The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_Wind_%28code_name%29

PRISM

PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[1][2][3][Notes 1] PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN.[8][9] It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).[10] The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.

A document included in the leak indicated that the PRISM SIGAD was “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.”[11] The President’s Daily Brief, an all-source intelligence product, cited PRISM data as a source in 1,477 items in 2012.[12] The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been requiring the telecommunications company Verizon to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.[13][14]

According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum.[15] Clapper issued a statement and “fact sheet”[16] to correct what he characterized as “significant misimpressions” in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.[17]

History

Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US

Details of information collected via PRISM

PRISM is a “Special Source Operation” in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s.[1] A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and had its legality questioned, because it was conducted without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).[18][19][20][21] PRISM was authorized by an order of the FISC.[11] Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act of 2007 under President Bush and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with US intelligence collection and was renewed by Congress under President Obama in 2012 for five years until December 2017.[2][22] According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.[22]

PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden.[2][1] The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles.[1][2] The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012).[23] The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.”[1]

The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States.[11] The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.[2][11]

According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be United States citizens, but in the process, communication data of some United States citizens are also collected unintentionally.[1] Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign United States data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”[1]

Response from companies

The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.[2][1]

Initial Public Statements

Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports.[2][24] Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:[25][26]

Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began

  • Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”[25]
  • Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.”[25] “Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”[26]
  • Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”[25]
  • Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data.”[25] “[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”[26]
  • Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”[27]
  • Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”[25]

In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.[13] The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.”[1] “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.[26]

“If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.[28]

Slide showing two different sources of NSA data collection. The first source the fiber optic cables of the internet handled by the Upstream program and the second source the servers of major internet companies handled by PRISM.[29]

On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant.[30] Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”[31]

The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.”[32] The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely.[32] In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort.[32] The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel.[32] These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states “Collection directly from the servers”[29] and the companies’ denials.[32]

While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission.[32] Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said.[32] Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information.[32] Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.[33]

Post-PRISM Transparency Reports

In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.

On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. Government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to their web site, Facebook reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000.” Facebook further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000″ user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.[34]

Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base”.[35]

Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its site transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.[36]

Response from United States government

Executive branch

Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats.[13] The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”[37] He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.”[37] Clapper concluded his statement by stating “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”[37] On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.[38] In an NBC News interview, Clapper said he answered Senator Wyden’s question in the “least untruthful manner by saying no”.[39]

Clapper also stated that “the NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, because collecting it (in) a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. The information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. The program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.”[15]

On June 8, 2013, Clapper said “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.”[40][10] The fact sheet described PRISM as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”[10]

The National Intelligence fact sheet further stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”[10]

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said on June 7 “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.”[41] He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”[41]

In separate statements, senior (not mentioned by name in source) Obama administration officials said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.[42]

Legislative branch

In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification,[43] and others said that they had not been aware of the program.[44] After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

  • June 9 “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation,”[45]

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

  • June 9 “These programs are within the law”, “part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe”, “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it”.[46]
  • June 9 “Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”[47]
  • June 11 “It went fine…we asked him[ Keith Alexander ] to declassify things because it would be helpful (for people and lawmakers to better understand the intelligence programs).” “I’ve just got to see if the information gets declassified. I’m sure people will find it very interesting.”[48]

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee

  • June 11 “I had, along with Joe Lieberman, a monthly threat briefing, but I did not have access to this highly compartmentalized information” and “How can you ask when you don’t know the program exists?”[49]

Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives

  • June 11 “He’s a traitor”[50] (referring to Edward Snowden)

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act

  • June 9, “This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.”[51] “President Obama’s claim that ‘this is the most transparent administration in history’ has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans.”[51]

Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

  • June 9 “One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,”[46]
  • June 9 “Within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, to stop a terrorist attack in the United States we know that. It’s, it’s, it’s important, it fills in a little seam that we have and it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States. So in that regard it is a very valuable thing,”[52]

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)

  • June 9 “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.” “I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” “It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up”.[46]

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)

  • June 10 “We have no idea when they [ FISA ] meet, we have no idea what their judgments are”,[53]

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

  • June 6 “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act,”[54]
  • June 9 “I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”[45]

Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

  • June 9 “We will be receiving secret briefings and we will be asking, I know I’m going to be asking to get more information. I want to make sure that what they’re doing is harvesting information that is necessary to keep us safe and not simply going into everybody’s private telephone conversations and Facebook and communications. I mean one of the, you know the terrorists win when you debilitate freedom of expression and privacy.”[52]

Judicial branch

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has not acknowledged, denied or confirmed any involvement in the PRISM program at this time. It has not issued any press statement or release relating to the current situation and uncertainty.

Applicable law and practice

On June 8, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence issued a fact sheet stating that PRISM “is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program”, but rather computer software used to facilitate the collection of foreign intelligence information “under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”[10] Section 702 provides that “the Attorney General [A.G.] and the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.”[55] In order to authorize the targeting, the A.G. and DNI need to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to Section 702 or certify that “intelligence important to the national security of the United States may be lost or not timely acquired and time does not permit the issuance of an order.”[55] When asking for an order, the A.G. and DNI must certify to FISC that “a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”[55] They do not need to specify which facilities or property that the targeting will be directed at.[55]

After getting a FISC order or determining that there are emergency circumstances, the A.G. and DNI can direct an electronic communication service provider to give them access to information or facilities to carry out the targeting and keep the targeting secret.[55] The provider then has the option to: (1) comply with the directive; (2) reject it; or (3) challenge it to FISC.

If the provider complies with the directive, it is released from liability to its users for providing the information and reimbursed for the cost of providing it.[55]

If the provider rejects the directive, the A.G. may request an order from FISC to enforce it.[55] A provider that fails to comply with FISC’s order can be punished with contempt of court.[55]

Finally, a provider can petition FISC to reject the directive.[55] In case FISC denies the petition and orders the provider to comply with the directive, the provider risks contempt of court if it refuses to comply with FISC’s order.[55] The provider can appeal FISC’s denial to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and then appeal the Court of Review’s decision to the Supreme Court by a writ of certiorari for review under seal.[55]

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the FISA Courts had been put in place to oversee intelligence operations in the period after the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Beverly Gage of Slate said, “When they were created, these new mechanisms were supposed to stop the kinds of abuses that men like Hoover had engineered. Instead, it now looks as if they have come to function as rubber stamps for the expansive ambitions of the intelligence community. J. Edgar Hoover no longer rules Washington, but it turns out we didn’t need him anyway.”[56]

Involvement of other countries

Australia

The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.[57]

Canada

Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment, said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate”. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind,” Stoddart wrote in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”[58]

Germany

Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.[59]

Israel

Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed[60] the Business Insider article[61] about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program – Verint Systems and Narus.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”[62]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. PRISM may have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material.[63][64]

Domestic response

Unbalanced scales.svg
The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2013)

The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,”[65] and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”[66]

Republican and former member of Congress Ron Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.”[67] Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.”[67] He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.[68]

In response to Obama administration arguments that it could stop terrorism in the cases of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said in regards to the role of PRISM and Boundless Informant interviews with parties involved in the Zazi scheme and court documents lodged in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services initiated the investigation into the Zazi case.[69] An anonymous former CIA agent said that in regards to the Headley case, “That’s nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case. That’s not the way it happened at all.”[69] Pilkington and Watt concluded that the data-mining programs “played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots.”[69] Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Inspire and even though Russian intelligence officials alerted U.S. intelligence officials about Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston bombings, and that the initial evidence implicating him came from his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not from federal intelligence. In addition Daly pointed to the fact that Faisal Shahzad visited Inspire but that federal authorities did not stop his attempted terrorist plot. Daly concluded “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.”[70] In addition, political commentator Bill O’Reilly criticized the government, saying that PRISM did not stop the Boston bombings.[71]

In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers;[72] the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.”[72][73] George Takei, an actor who had experienced Japanese American internment, said that due to his memories of the internment, he felt concern towards the NSA surveillance programs that had been revealed.[74]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.[75]

On June 11, 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA citing that PRISM “violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy”.[76]

International response

Reactions of Internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy. The story broke just before US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California.[77][78] When asked about NSA hacking China, the spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said “China strongly advocates cybersecurity”.[79] The party-owned newspaper Liberation Daily described this surveillance like Nineteen Eighty-Four-style.[80] Hong Kong legislators Gary Fan and Claudia Mo wrote a letter to Obama, stating “the revelations of blanket surveillance of global communications by the world’s leading democracy have damaged the image of the U.S. among freedom-loving peoples around the world.”[81]

Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, called PRISM “a violation of EU laws”.[82]

Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, condemned the program as “monstrous”.[83] He further added that White House claims do “not reassure me at all” and that “given the large number of German users of Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft services, I expect the German government […] is committed to clarification and limitation of surveillance.” Steffen Seibert, press secretary of the Chancellor’s office, announced that Angela Merkel will put these issues on the agenda of the talks with Barack Obama during his pending visit in Berlin.[84]

The Italian president of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.[85]

William Hague, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, dismissed accusations that British security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by Prism[86] saying, “Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards.”[86] David Cameron said Britain’s spy agencies that received data collected from PRISM acted within the law: “I’m satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law.”[86][87] Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said that if the British intelligence agencies were seeking to know the content of emails about people living in the UK, then they actually have to get lawful authority.[87] The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was more cautious, saying it would investigate PRISM alongside other European data agencies: “There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.”[82]

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”[88]

Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur who owned Megaupload, which was closed by the U.S. federal government, said “We should heed warnings from Snowden because the prospect of an Orwellian society outweighs whatever security benefits we derive from Prism or Five Eyes.”[89] The Hong Kong law firm representing Dotcom expressed a fear that the communication between Dotcom and the firm had been compromised by U.S. intelligence programs.[90]

Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden.[91]

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said “We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.”[92][93]

Related government Internet surveillance programs

A parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, gathers up metadata as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”[94]

A related program, a big data visualization system based on cloud computing and free and open-source software (FOSS) technology known as “Boundless Informant”, was disclosed in documents leaked to The Guardian and reported on June 8, 2013. A leaked, top secret map allegedly produced by Boundless Informant revealed the extent of NSA surveillance in the U.S.[95]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29

ThinThread

ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun.[1] The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued three weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority.[2] The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.

ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections.[3] A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinThread

Trailblazer

Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail.[1][2] It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.

NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.

The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation.[3][4] The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience”.[5]

Background

Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens.[4][3] Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.[3]

In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000.[6][7][8] SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman.[9] SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.[10][11]

Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. [12][5]

The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” [13]

In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.”[5] The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.[14]

In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule.[15] In 2006 the program was shut down,[3] after having cost billions of US Dollars.[16] Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.[17]

The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.[3]

Whistleblowing

According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”[3]

In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying.[3][18][19] A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy.[19] Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter.[19] Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed.[20] She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.[19]

Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.[3]

In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG)[19] had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure.[21] It had cost more than $1 billion.[8][22][23]

In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative.[18] Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.[3]

In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun.[24][17][25] Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.[17]

In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union.[3][18] None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.

In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917,[17][26][27] part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”.[24][17][28][18] The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.[3]

In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.[5]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AXwwSq_me4

Boundless Informant

Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization system used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to give NSA managers summaries of NSA’s world wide data collection activities.[1] It is described in an unclassified, For Official Use Only Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo published by The Guardian.[2] According to a Top Secret heat map display also published by The Guardian and allegedly produced by the Boundless Informant program, almost 3 billion data elements from inside the United States were captured by NSA over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.

Data analyzed by Boundless Informant includes electronic surveillance program records (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR) stored in an NSA data archive called GM-PLACE. It does not include FISA data, according to the FAQ memo. PRISM, a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN, which was revealed at the same time as Boundless Informant, is one source of DNR data. According to the map, Boundless Informant summarizes data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources (SIGADs). In the map, countries that are under surveillance are assigned a color from green, representing least coverage to red, most intensive.[3][4]

History

Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US.

Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court).[5][6][7]

NSA global data mining projects have existed for decades, but recent programs of intelligence gathering and analysis that include data gathered from inside the United States such as PRISM were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under President Obama in December 2012.[8]

Boundless Informant was first publicly revealed on June 8, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Guardian.[1][9] The newspaper identified its informant, at his request, as Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.[10]

Technology

According to published slides, Boundless Informant leverages Free and Open Source Software—and is therefore “available to all NSA developers”—and corporate services hosted in the cloud. The tool uses HDFS, MapReduce, and Cloudbase for data processing.[11]

Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008

The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Section 702 is referenced in PRISM documents detailing the electronic interception, capture and analysis of metadata. Many reports and letters of concern written by members of Congress suggest that this section of FAA in particular is legally and constitutionally problematic, such as by targeting U.S. persons, insofar as “Collections occur in U.S.” as published documents indicate.[12][13][14][15]

The ACLU has asserted the following regarding the FAA: “Regardless of abuses, the problem with the FAA is more fundamental: the statute itself is unconstitutional.”[16]

Senator Rand Paul is introducing new legislation called the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 to stop the NSA or other agencies of the United States government from violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution using technology and big data information systems like PRISM and Boundless Informant.[17][18]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundless_Informant

ECHELON

ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement[1] (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS[1] and Five Eyes).[2][3] It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[4]

ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.[5]

The system has been reported in a number of public sources.[6] Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001,[5] and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States.[4] The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.[5]

Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.

Organization

UKUSA Community
Map of UKUSA Community countries with Ireland

Australia
Canada
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States of America

The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:

  • the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom,
  • the National Security Agency of the United States,
  • the Communications Security Establishment of Canada,
  • the Defence Signals Directorate of Australia, and
  • the Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand.
  • the National SIGINT Organisation (NSO) of The Netherlands

The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.[5]

Capabilities

The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic.[5] During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication,[7] and could be intercepted at great distances.[5] The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”[5]

The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber.[8] The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%.[5] Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video.[9] Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.[5]

One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt.[5] A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.[5]

Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.[10]

Controversy

See also: Industrial espionage

Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes.[10] Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon[5][11] and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie.[12] An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.[13][14]

In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.[5]

Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.

Hardware

According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits.[citation needed] The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.[15]

Name

The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.”[5] The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).

Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK.[16] At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.[17]

Ground stations

The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report[5] lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:

Likely satellite intercept stations

The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:

  • Hong Kong (since closed)
  • Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (Geraldton, Western Australia)
  • Menwith Hill (Yorkshire, U.K.) Map (reportedly the largest Echelon facility)[18]
  • Misawa Air Base (Japan) Map
  • GCHQ Bude, formerly known as GCHQ CSO Morwenstow, (Cornwall, U.K.) Map
  • Pine Gap (Northern Territory, Australia – close to Alice Springs) Map
  • Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.) Map
  • Yakima Training Center (Washington, U.S.) Map
  • GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand)
  • GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand)
  • CFS Leitrim (Ontario, Canada)
  • Teufelsberg (Berlin, Germany) (closed 1992)

Other potentially related stations

The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:

  • Ayios Nikolaos (Cyprus – U.K.)
  • BadAibling Station (BadAibling, Germany – U.S.)
    • relocated to Griesheim in 2004[19]
    • deactivated in 2008[20]
  • Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado)
  • Fort Gordon (Georgia, U.S.)
  • Gander (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada)
  • Guam (Pacific Ocean, U.S.)
  • Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center (Hawaii, U.S.)
  • Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex (San Antonio, Texas)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

Room 641A

Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.[1][2]

Description

Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T.[1] The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic[3] and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, who has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore “the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic.”[4] Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.[2]

The room measures about 24 by 48 feet (7.3 by 15 m) and contains several racks of equipment, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed to intercept and analyze Internet communications at very high speeds.[1]

The very existence of the room was revealed by a former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, and was the subject of a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T.[5] Klein claims he was told that similar black rooms are operated at other facilities around the country.

Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.

Lawsuit

Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings[4]

More complicated diagram of how it allegedly worked. From EFF court filings.[3] See bottom of the file page for enlarged and rotated version.

Main article: Hepting v. AT&T

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.[6] A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

List of government surveillance projects for the United States

United States

A top secret document leaked by Edward Snowden to The Guardian in 2013, originally due to be declassified on 12 April 2038.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government_surveillance_projects

Section summary of the Patriot Act, Title II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President George W. Bush gestures as he addresses an audience Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at the Port of Baltimore in Baltimore, Md., encouraging the renewal of provisions of the Patriot Act.

The following is a section summary of the USA PATRIOT Act, Title II. The USA PATRIOT Act was passed by the United States Congress in 2001 as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Title II: Enhanced Surveillance Procedures gave increased powers of surveillance to various government agencies and bodies. This title has 25 sections, with one of the sections (section 224) containing a sunset clause which sets an expiration date, 31 December 2005, for most of the title’s provisions. On 22 December 2005, the sunset clause expiration date was extended to 3 February 2006.

Title II contains many of the most contentious provisions of the act. Supporters of the Patriot Act claim that these provisions are necessary in fighting the War on Terrorism, while its detractors argue that many of the sections of Title II infringe upon individual and civil rights.

The sections of Title II amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and its provisions in 18 U.S.C., dealing with “Crimes and Criminal Procedure“. It also amends the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. In general, the Title expands federal agencies’ powers in intercepting, sharing, and using private telecommunications, especially electronic communications, along with a focus on criminal investigations by updating the rules that govern computer crime investigations. It also sets out procedures and limitations for individuals who feel their rights have been violated to seek redress, including against the United States government. However, it also includes a section that deals with trade sanctions against countries whose government supports terrorism, which is not directly related to surveillance issues.

Contents

 [hide

Sections 201 & 202: Intercepting communications

Patriot Act Titles
Title I: Enhancing Domestic Security against Terrorism
Title II: Enhanced Surveillance Procedures
Title III: International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-terrorist Financing Act of 2001
Title IV: Protecting the border
Title V: Removing obstacles to investigating terrorism
Title VI: Providing for victims of terrorism, public safety officers and their families
Title VII: Increased information sharing for critical infrastructure protection
Title VIII: Strengthening the criminal laws against terrorism
Title IX: Improved intelligence
Title X: Miscellaneous

Two sections dealt with the interception of communications by the United States government.

Section 201 is titled Authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to terrorism. This section amended 18 U.S.C. § 2516 (Authorization for interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications) of the United States Code. This section allows (under certain specific conditions) the United States Attorney General (or some of his subordinates) to authorize a Federal judge to make an order authorizing or approving the interception of wire or oral communications by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or another relevant U.S. Federal agency.

The Attorney General’s subordinates who can use Section 201 are: the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, any Assistant Attorney General, any acting Assistant Attorney General, any Deputy Assistant Attorney General or acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division who is specially designated by the Attorney General.

The amendment added a further condition which allowed an interception order to be carried out. The interception order may now be made if a criminal violation is made with respect to terrorism (defined by 18 U.S.C. § 2332):

Note: the legislation states that title 18, section 2516(1), paragraph (p) of the United States Code was redesignated (moved) to become paragraph (q). This paragraph had been previously redesignated by two other pieces of legislation: the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996[dead link][1] and by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (see section 201(3)).[2]

Section 202 is titled Authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses, and amended the United States Code to include computer fraud and abuse in the list of reasons why an interception order may be granted.[3][4]

Section 203: Authority to share criminal investigative information

Section 203 (Authority to share criminal investigation information) modified the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure with respect to disclosure of information before the grand jury (Rule 6(e)). Section 203(a) allowed the disclosure of matters in deliberation by the grand jury, which are normally otherwise prohibited, if:

  • a court orders it (before or during a judicial proceeding),
  • a court finds that there are grounds for a motion to dismiss an indictment because of matters before the Grand Jury,
  • if the matters in deliberation are made by an attorney for the government to another Federal grand jury,
  • an attorney for the government requests that matters before the grand jury may reveal a violation of State criminal law,
  • the matters involve foreign intelligence or counterintelligence or foreign intelligence information. Foreign intelligence and counterintelligence was defined in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947,[5] and “foreign intelligence information” was further defined in the amendment as information about:
    1. an actual or potential attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
    2. sabotage or international terrorism by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power; or
    3. clandestine intelligence activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by an agent of foreign power; or
    4. information about a foreign power or foreign territory that relates to the national defense or the security of the United States or the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States.’.
    5. information about non-U.S. and U.S. citizens

203(a) gave the court the power to order a time within which information may be disclosed, and specified when a government agency may use information disclosed about a foreign power. The rules of criminal procedure now state that “within a reasonable time after such disclosure, an attorney for the government shall file under seal a notice with the court stating the fact that such information was disclosed and the departments, agencies, or entities to which the disclosure was made.”

Section 203(b) modified 18 U.S.C. § 2517, which details who is allowed to learn the results of a communications interception, to allow any investigative or law enforcement officer, or attorney for the Government to divulge foreign intelligence, counterintelligence or foreign intelligence information to a variety of Federal officials. Specifically, any official who has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, or evidence derived from this could divulge this information to any Federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense, or national security official. The definition of “foreign intelligence” was the same as section 203(a), with the same ability to define “foreign intelligence” to be intelligence of a non-U.S. and U.S. citizen. The information received must only be used as necessary in the conduct of the official’s official duties.[6]

The definition of “foreign intelligence information” is defined again in Section 203(d).

Section 203(c) specified that the Attorney General must establish procedures for the disclosure of information due to 18 U.S.C. § 2517 (see above), for those people who are defined as U.S. citizens.[7]

Section 204: Limitations on communication interceptions

Section 204 (Clarification of intelligence exceptions from limitations on interception and disclosure of wire, oral, and electronic communication) removed restrictions from the acquisition of foreign intelligence information from international or foreign communications. It was also clarified that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 should not only be the sole means of electronic surveillance for just oral and wire intercepts, but should also include electronic communication.[8][9]

Section 205: Employment of translators by the FBI

Under section 205 (Employment of translators by the Federal Bureau of Investigation), the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now allowed to employ translators to support counterterrorism investigations and operations without regard to applicable Federal personnel requirements and limitations. However, he must report to the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee the number of translators employed and any legal reasons why he cannot employ translators from federal, state, or local agencies.[10]

Section 206: Roving surveillance authority

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978[11] allows an applicant access to all information, facilities, or technical assistance necessary to perform electronic surveillance on a particular target. The assistance given must protect the secrecy of and cause as little disruption to the ongoing surveillance effort as possible. The direction could be made at the request of the applicant of the surveillance order, by a common carrier, landlord, custodian or other specified person. Section 206 (Roving surveillance authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) amended this to add:

or in circumstances where the Court finds that the actions of the target of the application may have the effect of thwarting the identification of a particular person.

This allows intelligence agencies to undertake “roving” surveillance: they do not have to specify the exact facility or location where their surveillance will be done. Roving surveillance was already specified for criminal investigations under 18 U.S.C. § 2518(11), and section 206 brought the ability of intelligence agencies to undertake such roving surveillance into line with such criminal investigations. However, the section was not without controversy, as James X. Dempsey, the Executive Director of the Center for Democracy & Technology, argued that a few months after the Patriot Act was passed the Intelligence Authorization Act was also passed that had the unintended effect of seeming to authorize “John Doe” roving taps — FISA orders that identify neither the target nor the location of the interception (see The Patriot Debates, James X. Dempsey debates Paul Rosenzweig on section 206).[12]

Section 207: Duration of FISA surveillance on agents of a foreign powe

Previously FISA only defined the duration of a surveillance order against a foreign power (defined in 50 U.S.C. § 1805(e)(1)) . This was amended by section 207 (Duration of FISA surveillance of non-United States persons who are agents of a foreign power) to allow surveillance of agents of a foreign power (as defined in section 50 U.S.C. § 1801(b)(1)(A)) for a maximum of 90 days. Section 304(d)(1) was also amended to extend orders for physical searches from 45 days to 90 days, and orders for physical searches against agents of a foreign power are allowed for a maximum of 120 days. The act also clarified that extensions for surveillance could be granted for a maximum of a year against agents of a foreign power.[13]

Section 208: Designation of judges

Section 103(A) of FISA was amended by Section 208 (Designation of judges) of the Patriot Act to increase the number of federal district court judges who must now review surveillance orders from seven to 11. Of these, three of the judges must live within 20 miles (32 km) of the District of Columbia.[14]

Section 209: Seizure of voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants

Section 209 (Seizure of voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants) removed the text “any electronic storage of such communication” from title 18, section 2510 of the United States Code. Before this was struck from the Code, the U.S. government needed to apply for a title III wiretap order[15] before they could open voice-mails, however now the government only need apply for an ordinary search. Section 2703, which specifies when a “provider of electronic communication services” must disclose the contents of stored communications, was also amended to allow such a provider to be compelled to disclose the contents via a search warrant, and not a wiretap order. According to Vermont senator Patrick Leahy, this was done to “harmonizing the rules applicable to stored voice and non-voice (e.g., e-mail) communications”.[16][17]

Section 210 & 211: Scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications

The U.S. Code specifies when the U.S. government may require a provider of an electronic communication service to hand over communication records.[18] It specifies what that provider must disclose to the government,[19] and was amended by section 210 (Scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications) to include records of session times and durations of electronic communication as well as any identifying numbers or addresses of the equipment that was being used, even if this may only be temporary. For instance, this would include temporarily assigned IP addresses, such as those established by DHCP.[20]

Section 211 (Clarification of scope) further clarified the scope of such orders. 47 U.S.C. § 551 (Section 631 of the Communications Act of 1934) deals with the privacy granted to users of cable TV. The code was amended to allow the government to have access to the records of cable customers, with the notable exclusion of records revealing cable subscriber selection of video programming from a cable operator.[21]

Section 212: Emergency disclosure of electronic communications

Section 212 (Emergency disclosure of electronic communications to protect life and limb) amended the US Code to stop a communications provider from providing communication records (not necessarily relating to the content itself) about a customer’s communications to others.[22] However, should the provider reasonably believe that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person then the communications provider can now disclose this information. The act did not make clear what “reasonably” meant.

A communications provider could also disclose communications records if:

  • a court orders the disclosure of communications at the request of a government agency (18 U.S.C. § 2703)
  • the customer allows the information to be disclosed
  • if the service provider believes that they must do so to protect their rights or property.

This section was repealed by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 — this act also created the Homeland Security Department — and was replaced with a new and permanent emergency disclosure provision.[23]

Section 213: Delayed search warrant notification

Section 213 (Authority for delaying notice of the execution of a warrant) amended the US Code to allow the notification of search warrants[24] to be delayed.[25] This section has been commonly referred to as the “sneak and peek” section, a phrase originating from the FBI[citation needed] and not, as commonly believed, from opponents of the Patriot Act. The U.S. government may now legally search and seize property that constitutes evidence of a United States criminal offense without immediately telling the owner. The court may only order the delayed notification if they have reason to believe it would hurt an investigation — delayed notifications were already defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2705 — or, if a search warrant specified that the subject of the warrant must be notified “within a reasonable period of its execution,” then it allows the court to extend the period before the notification is given, though the government must show “good cause”. If the search warrant prohibited the seizure of property or communications, then the search warrant could then be delayed.

Before the Patriot Act was enacted, there were three cases before the United States district courts: United States v. Freitas, 800 F.2d 1451 (9th Cir. 1986); United States v. Villegas, 899 F.2d 1324 (2d Cir. 1990); and United States v. Simons, 206 F.3d 392 (4th Cir. 2000). Each determined that, under certain circumstances, it was not unconstitutional to delay the notification of search warrants.[26]

Section 214: Pen register and trap and trace authority

FISA was amended by section 214 (Pen register and trap and trace authority under FISA) to clarify that pen register and trap and trace surveillance can be authorised to allow government agencies to gather foreign intelligence information.[27] Where the law only allowed them to gather surveillance if there was evidence of international terrorism, it now gives the courts the power to grant trap and traces against:

  • non-U.S. citizens.
  • those suspected of being involved with international terrorism,
  • those undertaking clandestine intelligence activities

Any investigation against U.S. citizens must not violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[28]

Section 215: Access to records and other items under FISA

This section is commonly referred to as the “library records” provision[29] because of the wide range of personal material that can be investigated.[30][31]

FISA was modified by section 215 (Access to records and other items under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) to allow the Director of the FBI (or an official designated by the Director, so long as that official’s rank is no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) to apply for an order to produce materials that assist in an investigation undertaken to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. The act specifically gives an example to clarify what it means by “tangible things”: it includes “books, records, papers, documents, and other items”.

It is specified that any such investigation must be conducted in accordance with guidelines laid out in Executive Order 12333 (which pertains to United States intelligence activities). Investigations must also not be performed on U.S. citizens who are carrying out activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Any order that is granted must be given by a FISA court judge or by a magistrate judge who is publicly designated by the Chief Justice of the United States to allow such an order to be given. Any application must prove that it is being conducted without violating the First Amendment rights of any U.S. citizens. The application can only be used to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a U.S. citizen or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.

This section of the PATRIOT Act is controversial because the order may be granted ex parte, and once it is granted — in order to avoid jeopardizing the investigation — the order may not disclose the reasons behind why the order was granted.

The section carries a gag order stating that “No person shall disclose to any other person (other than those persons necessary to produce the tangible things under this section) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things under this section”. Senator Rand Paul stated that the non-disclosure is imposed for one year,[32] though this is not explicitly mentioned in the section.

In order to protect anyone who complies with the order, FISA now prevents any person who complies with the order in “good faith” from being liable for producing any tangible goods required by the court order. The production of tangible items is not deemed to constitute a waiver of any privilege in any other proceeding or context.

As a safeguard, section 502 of FISA compels the Attorney General to inform the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate of all such orders granted. Every six months, the Attorney General must also provide a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate which details the total number of applications made for orders approving requests for the production of tangible things and the total number of such orders either granted, modified, or denied.[33]

During a House Judiciary hearing on domestic spying on July 17, 2013 John C. Inglis, the deputy director of the surveillance agency, told a member of the House judiciary committee that NSA analysts can perform “a second or third hop query” through its collections of telephone data and internet records in order to find connections to terrorist organizations.[34] “Hops” refers to a technical term indicating connections between people. A three-hop query means that the NSA can look at data not only from a suspected terrorist, but from everyone that suspect communicated with, and then from everyone those people communicated with, and then from everyone all of those people communicated with.[34][35] NSA officials had said previously that data mining was limited to two hops, but Inglis suggested that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has allowed for data analysis extending “two or three hops”.[36]

This section was reauthorized in 2011.

Section 216: Authority to issue pen registers and trap and trace devices[edit]

Section 216 (Modification of authorities relating to use of pen registers and trap and trace devices) deals with three specific areas with regards to pen registers and trap and trace devices: general limitations to the use of such devices, how an order allowing the use of such devices must be made, and the definition of such devices.

Limitations

18 U.S.C. § 3121 details the exceptions related to the general prohibition on pen register and trap and trace devices. Along with gathering information for dialup communications, it allows for gathering routing and other addressing information. It is specifically limited to this information: the Act does not allow such surveillance to capture the actual information that is contained in the communication being monitored. However, organisations such as the EFF have pointed out that certain types of information that can be captured, such as URLs, can have content embedded in them. They object to the application of trap and trace and pen register devices to newer technology using a standard designed for telephones.

Making and carrying out orders

It also details that an order may be applied for ex parte (without the party it is made against present, which in itself is not unusual for search warrants), and allows the agency who applied for the order to compel any relevant person or entity providing wire or electronic communication service to assist with the surveillance. If the party whom the order is made against so requests, the attorney for the Government, law enforcement or investigative officer that is serving the order must provide written or electronic certification that the order applies to the targeted individual.

If a pen register or trap and trace device is used on a packet-switched data network, then the agency doing surveillance must keep a detailed log containing:

  1. any officer or officers who installed the device and any officer or officers who accessed the device to obtain information from the network;
  2. the date and time the device was installed, the date and time the device was uninstalled, and the date, time, and duration of each time the device is accessed to obtain information;
  3. the configuration of the device at the time of its installation and any subsequent modification made to the device; and
  4. any information which has been collected by the device

This information must be generated for the entire time the device is active, and must be provided ex parte and under seal to the court which entered the ex parte order authorizing the installation and use of the device. This must be done within 30 days after termination of the order.

Orders must now include the following information:[37]

  • the identifying number of the device under surveillance
  • the location of the telephone line or other facility to which the pen register or trap and trace device is to be attached or applied
  • if a trap and trace device is installed, the geographic limits of the order must be specified

This section amended the non-disclosure requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 3123(d)(2) by expanding to include those whose facilities are used to establish the trap and trace or pen register or to those people who assist with applying the surveillance order who must not disclose that surveillance is being undertaken. Before this it had only applied to the person owning or leasing the line.

Definitions

The following terms were redefined in the US Code’s chapter 206 (which solely deals with pen registers and trap and trace devices):

  • Court of competent jurisdiction: defined in 18 U.S.C. § 3127(2), subparagraph A was stricken and replaced to redefine the court to be any United States district court (including a magistrate judge of such a court) or any United States court of appeals havingjurisdiction over the offense being investigated (title 18 also allows State courts that have been given authority by their State to use pen register and trap and trace devices)
  • Pen register: defined in 18 U.S.C. § 3127(3), the definition of such a device was expanded to include a device that captures dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information from an electronics communication device. It limited the usage of such devices to exclude the capturing of any of the contents of communications being monitored. 18 U.S.C. § 3124(b) was also similarly amended.
  • Trap and trace device: defined in 18 U.S.C. § 3127(4), the definition was similarly expanded to include the dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information from an electronics communication device. However, a trap and trace device can now also be a “process”, not just a device.
  • Contents: 18 U.S.C. § 3127(1) clarifies the term “contents” (as referred to in the definition of trap and trace devices and pen registers) to conform to the definition as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2510(8), which when used with respect to any wire, oral, or electronic communication, includes any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communication.

Section 217: Interception of computer trespasser communications

Section 217 (Interception of computer trespasser communications) firstly defines the following terms:

  • Protected computer: this is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(2)(A), and is any computer that is used by a financial institution or the United States Government or one which is used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication, including a computer located outside the United States that is used in a manner that affects interstate or foreign commerce or communication of the United States.
  • Computer trespasser: this is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2510(21) and references to this phrase means
    1. a person who accesses a protected computer without authorization and thus has no reasonable expectation of privacy in any communication transmitted to, through, or from the protected computer; and
    2. does not include a person known by the owner or operator of the protected computer to have an existing contractual relationship with the owner or operator of the protected computer for access to all or part of the protected computer

Amendments were made to 18 U.S.C. § 2511(2) to make it lawful to allow a person to intercept the communications of a computer trespasser if

  1. the owner or operator of the protected computer authorizes the interception of the computer trespasser’s communications on the protected computer,
  2. the person is lawfully engaged in an investigation,
  3. the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the contents of the computer trespasser’s communications will be relevant to their investigation, and
  4. any communication captured can only relate to those transmitted to or from the computer trespasser.

Section 218: Foreign intelligence information

Section 218 (Foreign intelligence information) amended 50 U.S.C. § 1804(a)(7)(B) and 50 U.S.C. § 1823(a)(7)(B) (both FISA sections 104(a) (7)(B) and section 303(a)(7)(B), respectively) to change “the purpose” of surveillance orders under FISA to gain access to foreign intelligence to “significant purpose”. Mary DeRosa, in The Patriot Debates, explained that the reason behind this was to remove a legal “wall” which arose when criminal and foreign intelligence overlapped. This was because the U.S. Department of Justice interpreted “the purpose” of surveillance was restricted to collecting information for foreign intelligence, which DeRosa says “was designed to ensure that prosecutors and criminal investigators did not use FISA to circumvent the more rigorous warrant requirements for criminal cases”. However, she also says that it is debatable whether this legal tightening of the definition was even necessary, stating that “the Department of Justice argued to the FISA Court of Review in 2002 that the original FISA standard did not require the restrictions that the Department of Justice imposed over the years, and the court appears to have agreed [which] leaves the precise legal effect of a sunset of section 218 somewhat murky.”[38]

Section 219: Single-jurisdiction search warrants for terrorism

Section 219 (Single-jurisdiction search warrants for terrorism) amended the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to allow a magistrate judge who is involved in an investigation of domestic terrorism or international terrorism the ability to issue a warrant for a person or property within or outside of their district.[39]

Section 220: Nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence

Section 220 (Nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence) gives the power to Federal courts to issue nationwide service of search warrants for electronic surveillance. However, only courts with jurisdiction over the offense can order such a warrant. This required amending 18 U.S.C. § 2703 and 18 U.S.C. § 2711.

Section 221: Trade sanctions

Section 221 (Trade sanctions) amended the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.[40] This Act prohibits, except under certain specific circumstances, the President from imposing a unilateral agricultural sanction or unilateral medical sanction against a foreign country or foreign entity. The Act holds various exceptions to this prohibition, and the Patriot Act further amended the exceptions to include holding sanctions against countries that design, develop or produce chemical or biological weapons, missiles, or weapons of mass destruction.[41] It also amended the act to include the Taliban as state sponsors of international terrorism. In amending Title IX, section 906 of the Trade sanctions act, the Taliban was determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism and the export of agricultural commodities, medicine, or medical devices is now pursuant to one-year licenses issued and reviewed by the United States Government.[42] However, the export of agricultural commodities, medicine, or medical devices to the Government of Syria or to the Government of North Korea were exempt from such a restriction.[43]

The Patriot Act further states that nothing in the Trade Sanctions Act will limit the application of criminal or civil penalties to those who export agricultural commodities, medicine, or medical devices to:

Section 222: Assistance to law enforcement agencies

Section 222 (Assistance to law enforcement agencies) states that nothing in the Patriot Act shall make a communications provider or other individual provide more technical assistance to a law enforcement agency than what is set out in the Act. It also allows for the reasonable compensation of any expenses incurred while assisting with the establishment of pen registers or trap and trace devices.[47]

Section 223: Civil liability for certain unauthorized disclosures

18 U.S.C. § 2520(a) allows any person who has had their rights violated due to the illegal interception of communications to take civil action against the offending party. Section 223 (Civil liability for certain unauthorized disclosures) excluded the United States from such civil action.

If a court or appropriate department or agency determines that the United States or any of its departments or agencies has violated any provision of chapter 119 of the U.S. Code they may request an internal review from that agency or department. If necessary, an employee may then have administrative action taken against them. If the department or agency do not take action, then they must inform the notify the Inspector General who has jurisdiction over the agency or department, and they must give reasons to them why they did not take action.[48]

A citizen’s rights will also be found to have been violated if an investigative, law enforcement officer or governmental entity discloses information beyond that allowed in 18 U.S.C. § 2517(a).[49]

U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2712 added

A totally new section was appended to Title 18, Chapter 121 of the US Code: Section 2712, “Civil actions against the United States”. It allows people to take action against the US Government if they feel that they had their rights violated, as defined in chapter 121,chapter 119, or sections 106(a), 305(a), or 405(a) of FISA. The court may assess damages no less than $US10,000 and litigation costs that are reasonably incurred. Those seeking damages must present them to the relevant department or agency as specified in the procedures of the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Actions taken against the United States must be initiated within two years of when the claimant has had a reasonable chance to discover the violation. All cases are presented before a judge, not a jury. However, the court will order a stay of proceedings if they determine that if during the court case civil discovery will hurt the ability of the government to conduct a related investigation or the prosecution of a related criminal case. If the court orders the stay of proceedings they will extend the time period that a claimant has to take action on a reported violation. However, the government may respond to any action against it by submitting evidence ex parte in order to avoid disclosing any matter that may adversely affect a related investigation or a related criminal case. The plaintiff is then given an opportunity to make a submission to the court, not ex parte, and the court may request further information from either party.[50]

If a person wishes to discover or obtain applications or orders or other materials relating to electronic surveillance or to discover, obtain, or suppress evidence or information obtained or derived from electronic surveillance under FISA, then the Attorney General may file an affidavit under oath that disclosure or an adversary hearing would harm the national security of the United States. In these cases, the court may review in camera and ex parte the material relating to the surveillance to make sure that such surveillance was lawfully authorized and conducted. The court may then disclose part of material relating to the surveillance. However, the court is restricted in they may only do this “where such disclosure is necessary to make an accurate determination of the legality of the surveillance”.[50] If it then determined that the use of a pen register or trap and trace device was not lawfully authorized or conducted, the result of such surveillance may be suppressed as evidence. However, should the court determine that such surveillance was lawfully authorised and conducted, they may deny the motion of the aggrieved person.[51]

It is further stated that if a court or appropriate department or agency determines that an officer or employee of the United States willfully or intentionally violated any provision of chapter 121 of the U.S. Code they will request an internal review from that agency or department. If necessary, an employee may then have administrative action taken against them. If the department or agency do not take action, then they must inform the notify the Inspector General who has jurisdiction over the agency or department, and they must give reasons to them why they did not take action. (see[49] for a similar part of the Act)

Section 224: Sunset

Section 224 (Sunset) is a sunset clause. Title II and the amendments made by the title originally would have ceased to have effect on December 31, 2005, with the exception of the below sections. However, on December 22, 2005, the sunset clause expiration date was extended to February 3, 2006, and then on February 2, 2006 it was further extended to March 10:

Title II sections that did not expire on March 10, 2006
Section Section title
203(a) Authority to share criminal investigation information : Authority to share Grand Jury information
203(c) Authority to share criminal investigation information : Procedures
205 Employment of translators by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
208 Designation of judges
210 Scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications
211 Clarification of scope
213 Authority for delaying notice of the execution of a warrant
216 Modification of authorities relating to use of pen registers and trap and trace devices
219 Single-jurisdiction search warrants for terrorism
221 Trade sanctions
222 Assistance to law enforcement agencies

Further, any particular foreign intelligence investigations that are ongoing will continue to be run under the expired sections.

Section 225: Immunity for compliance with FISA wiretap[edit]

Section 225 (Immunity for compliance with FISA wiretap) gives legal immunity to any provider of a wire or electronic communication service, landlord, custodian, or other person that provides any information, facilities, or technical assistance in accordance with a court order or request for emergency assistance. This was added to FISA as section 105 (50 U.S.C. § 1805).

Notes and references

  1. Jump up^ See Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, section 434(2)
  2. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 201. Authority to Intercept Wire, Oral, and Electronic Communications Relating to Terrorism.”, page 7 & Patrick Leahy, Section-bySection Analysis, “Sec. 201.”
  3. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 2516(1)(c)computer crime is a felony violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030.
  4. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 202. Authority to Intercept Wire, Oral, and Electronic Communications Relating to Computer Fraud and Abuse Offenses.”, page 8 & Patrick Leahy, Section-bySection Analysis, “Sec. 202.”
  5. Jump up^ 20 U.S.C. § 401a
  6. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 2517
  7. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 203. Authority to share criminal investigation information”, page 8 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 203.”
  8. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 2511(2)(f) was amended to allow this change
  9. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 204. Clarification of Intelligence Exceptions From Limitations on Interception and Disclosure of Wire, Oral and Electronic Communications.”, page 9 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 204.”
  10. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 205. Employment of Translators by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”, page 9 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 205.”
  11. Jump up^ 50 U.S.C. § 1805(c)(2)(B)
  12. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 206. Roving Surveillance Authority Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.”, page 10 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 206.”
  13. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 207. Duration of FISA Surveillance of Non-United States Persons Who are Agents of a Foreign Power.”, page 10 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 207.”
  14. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 208. Designation of judges”, page 11 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 208.”
  15. Jump up^ A “Title III wiretap” is shorthand for Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, which deals with wiretaps and was the law that created Title 18, chapter 19 of the United States Code (entitled “Wire Interception and Interception of Oral Communications,” it includes 18 U.S.C. § 251018 U.S.C. § 2520)
  16. Jump up^ Patrick Leahy, section by section analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, section 209. Accessed November 12, 2005.
  17. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 209. Seizure of voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants”, page 11
  18. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 2703
  19. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 2703(c)(2)
  20. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications”, page 11 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 210.”
  21. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Clarification of scope”, page 11 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 211.”
  22. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 2702(a)(3)
  23. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Emergency disclosure of electronic communications to protect life and limb”, page 12 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 212.”
  24. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 3103a(a) states that “a warrant may be issued to search for and seize any property that constitutes evidence of a criminal offense in violation of the laws of the United States”
  25. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 3103a
  26. Jump up^ For some analysis of section 213 of the PATRIOT Act, see: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 213: Authority for delaying notice of the execution of a warrant”, page 12 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 213.”
  27. Jump up^ Section 402 of FISA (50 U.S.C. § 1842) and Section 403 of FISA (50 U.S.C. § 1843) were both amended
  28. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 214: Pen register and trap and trace authority under FISA”, page 13 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 214.”
  29. Jump up^ Carle, David (2011-01-26). “Leahy Renews Effort To Extend Expiring PATRIOT Act Authorities, Increase Oversight”. Press release from Senator Patrick Leahy‘s office (Washington). Archived from the original on 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  30. Jump up^ Mascaro, Lisa. “Congress votes in time to extend key Patriot Act provisions”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  31. Jump up^ Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted Under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
  32. Jump up^ Paul, Rand (2011-04-15). “Senator Rand Paul’s Letter of Opposition to the Patriot Act”. Archived from the original on 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  33. Jump up^ See also: Charles Doyle (December 10, 2001), Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, “Section 215: Access to records and other items under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act”, page 14 & Patrick Leahy, Section-by-Section Analysis, “Sec. 215.”
  34. ^ Jump up to:a b Ackermann, Spencer (17 July 2013). “NSA warned to rein in surveillance as agency reveals even greater scope”. The Guardian. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  35. Jump up^ Bump, Philip (17 July 2013). “The NSA Admits It Analyzes More People’s Data Than Previously Revealed”. The Atlantic Wire. RetrievedJuly 18, 2013.
  36. Jump up^ Cite error: The named reference McClatchy20130717 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  37. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 3123(b)(1)
  38. Jump up^ Mary DeRosa (undated), “Section 218, amending the FISA Standard, a summary by Mary DeRosa”, The Patriot Debates, accessed January 22, 2006
  39. Jump up^ Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, rule 41(a)
  40. Jump up^ The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 is defined in title 22, chapter 79 of the United States Code
  41. Jump up^ Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, Title IX, section 904(2)(C); corresponds to 22 U.S.C. § 7203(2)(C).
  42. Jump up^ Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, title IX, section 906(A)(1) 22 U.S.C. § 7205(A)(1)
  43. Jump up^ Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, title IX, section 906(A)(2) 22 U.S.C. § 7205(A)(2)
  44. Jump up^ This is defined in Executive Order No. 12947: “Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process”
  45. Jump up^ This is defined in Executive Order No. 13224: “Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism”
  46. Jump up^ Defined in Executive Order No. 12978: “Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers”; & the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act
  47. Jump up^ As defined in section 216 of the Patriot Act.
  48. Jump up^ Defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2520(f) and 18 U.S.C. § 2707(d)
  49. ^ Jump up to:a b Defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2520(g) and 18 U.S.C. § 2707(g)
  50. ^ Jump up to:a b 18 U.S.C. § 2712(b)
  51. Jump up^ 50 U.S.C. § 1845(g)

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_summary_of_the_Patriot_Act,_Title_II

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Story 1: Two Terrorist Islamic Jihadists Attack Garland Texas Curtis Culwell Center Where Mohammed Cartoon Contest Free Speech Event Was Ending — Suspect Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi Shot Dead — Don’t Mess With Texas — Videos

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Story 1: Two Terrorist Islamic Jihadists Attack Garland Texas Curtis Culwell Center Where Mohammed Cartoon Contest Free Speech Event Was Ending — Suspect Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi Shot Dead — Don’t Mess With Texas — Videos

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

First Amendment

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Amendment

The Second Amendment has most recently been interpreted to grant the right of gun ownership to individuals for purposes that include self-defense.  At first it was thought to apply only to the Federal government, but through the mechanism of the Fourteenth Amendment, it has been applied to the states as well.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

Charlie-GETTY ORIGINALMahamud-Cartoon-Contestgarland-curtis-culwellgarland-texas-map-620x434 curtis_culwellspeakersfgddfdsadsfgarland-peopltwo killed shooting-garland-telton-simpsonnadir-soofitwo terroristTwo+Gunmen+Killed+Outside+Mohammed+CartoonBaggedpolice chiegProphet Cartoon Contest Shooting (7)afdiads american_freedom_defense_initiativeIslamofobia lexington adPamela Geller ubway adislam-ad

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FBI had known about suspected Texas shooter for years

By Adam Goldman and Mark Berman

One of the gunmen authorities say opened fire Sunday outside an exhibition of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad had previously been suspected of trying to fly overseas and wage violent jihad, according to court records.

He was identified as Elton Simpson, 30, of Phoenix, according to a U.S. law enforcement official. Law enforcement officials said Monday afternoon that the second shooter in the Texas attack was Nadir Soofi, 34, Simpson’s roommate.

FBI agents searched a Phoenix apartment Monday as part of the investigation into the shooting, which occurred Sunday evening in Garland, a city near Dallas.

The FBI had begun monitoring Simpson again recently. Authorities said Monday that they were still working to determine details about the two men and who may have instigated the plan. The FBI does not believe the shooting was directed by an international terrorist group, but is still investigating.

Police say the two gunmen drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center during a controversial art exhibition and, at around 6:50 p.m., opened fire with assault rifles, striking a security guard in the leg.

An officer who normally works on traffic was there as part of a heavy security detail for the event, and this officer shot and killed both gunmen using his duty pistol, said Joe Harn, a spokesman for the Garland police.

“Both those men died there on the street next to their car,” Harn said during a news conference Monday morning.

The gunmen had additional ammunition as well as suitcases in their vehicle, but no bombs or explosives were found, Harn said. They were also wearing some form of protective gear, he said.

While Harn would not say if police believed the shooting was directly connected with the event, he said the two gunmen intended to get inside the center and shoot people.

“We were able to stop those men before they were able to penetrate the area and attempt to shoot anyone else,” Harn said.

The guns recovered by authorities in Garland were being traced Monday by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Officer ‘probably saved lives’ in Tex. shootings(1:57)
Police planned security for months before a Texas event showing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, a police spokesperson said. (Reuters)
City officials said that Bruce Joiner was the Garland Independent School District security officer who was shot at by the two gunmen. Joiner was treated for an ankle wound and released, the city said in a statement.

The inflammatory event was hosted by a New York group that had promised $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting Muhammad. Drawing or otherwise depicting Muhammad is largely forbidden under Islam.
Authorities said there was considerable discussion on social media in the days leading up to the cartoon event, which prompted authorities to deploy heavy security. One tweet sent out on Sunday referred to taking a pledge of allegiance and referred to a #texasattack, but it was unclear whether the account belonged to either of the men involved.

Simpson was born in Illinois and converted to Islam at a young age, court documents show. The government began investigating him in 2006, recording conversations between him and a paid informant.

In May 2009, according a federal court document, Simpson told an FBI informant: “It’s time to go to Somalia, brother.” He added: “It’s time. I’m tellin’ you man. We gonna make it to the battlefield…it’s time to roll.”

Simpson was arrested by the FBI in January 2010 after a lengthy investigation. He was charged with lying to agents in connection with terrorism. Authorities suspected he was trying to fly to Somalia, but Simpson claimed at the time he had intended to travel to South Africa to go to school and study Islam there.

Following a bench trial, a judge dropped the terrorism enhancement, citing insufficient evidence. The judge, Mary H. Murguia, said in March 2011 that the government had failed to prove that Simpson intended to wage violent jihad in Somalia. Murguia reduced the charge to making a false statement to federal officials and sentenced Simpson to three years of probation. Authorities also returned his passport, which they had confiscated after his arrest.

Simpson’s lawyer described him as a very religious man who had converted to Islam.

“He didn’t seem to me to be any threat to anybody,” Kristina Sitton, Simpson’s lawyer, said in a telephone interview Monday. “He seemed to be very kind but entrenched in Islam. He wouldn’t shake my hand.”

She said that after he was sentenced to probation, Simpson called her saying that he had tried to board a domestic flight and was told he could not fly. Sitton said she believed he was on the no-fly list.
Soofi was a pre-med student at the University of Utah from 1998 to 2003, according to a spokeswoman for the school. He left the school in the summer of 2003 without having earned a degree, she said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/05/04/fbi-had-known-about-suspected-texas-shooter-for-years/?wpisrc=al_alert

Former terror suspect well known to the FBI is named as one of two gunmen shot dead by cops after attack on anti-Islam ‘draw Muhammad’ art contest near Dallas

  • Elton Simpson, 30, and his roommate Nadir Soofi, 34, were gunned down after shooting a guard in the leg outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas on Sunday evening
  • Simpson was convicted of lying to federal agents about traveling to Africa five years ago – but a judge ruled it could not be proved that he was going to join a terror group
  • Their Phoenix, Arizona home has been surrounded and a bomb squad is carrying out a search 
  • The American Freedom Defense Initiative event had offered a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of the prophet; local residents had expressed their concerns about the event but organizers said they were exercising free speech
  • The security guard who was shot, Bruce Joiner, was taken to hospital in stable condition and has been released 
  • One traffic officer shot both men dead and has been praised by cops for potentially saving many lives 
  • ISIS fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-ISIS individuals 

A former terror suspect has been named as one of the gunmen shot dead by police after the two attackers blasted an unarmed security guard in the ankle during an anti-Islam art contest in Texas on Sunday night.

Elton Simpson, 30, who was previously the subject of a terror investigation, and his roommate Nadir Soofi, 34, were armed with assault rifles when they were killed by a quick-thinking traffic officer after opening fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Dallas, at around 7pm.

The shooting unfolded as the American Freedom Defense Initiative held an event inside the building where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were being displayed. Followers of Islam deem that any physical depiction of the prophet – even a positive one – is blasphemous.

Simpson, identified in court papers as an American Muslim, had been convicted of lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Somalia five years ago, but a judge ultimately ruled it could not be proved that he was heading there to join a terror group. He was placed on probation.

Soofi, named as the second gunman by the Washington Post, shared an apartment with Simpson at the Autumn Ridge complex in Phoenix.

On Monday morning, FBI agents and investigators could be seen cordoning off and searching the apartment, as well as a white van believed to belong to Simpson. Investigators are also reviewing computer records from materials found at the home.

Shot dead: Elton Simpson, pictured, was one of the two gunmen who stormed an anti-Islam event on Sunday evening in Texas

Killed: FBI crime scene investigators look at the bodies of the two killed gunmen outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas on Monday. Police killed the two men after they opened fire at an anti-Islam event on Sunday

Destroyed: Investigators destroyed some of the belongings found inside the back of the suspects' car, pictured, as a precaution

Destroyed: Investigators destroyed some of the belongings found inside the back of the suspects’ car, pictured, as a precaution

Investigation: Agents work on the scene near to where the men opened fire before they were shot dead by a traffic officer

Investigation: Agents work on the scene near to where the men opened fire before they were shot dead by a traffic officer

Search: Reporters gather near the home of Elton Simpson, one of the suspected attackers, in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday morning

Search: Reporters gather near the home of Elton Simpson, one of the suspected attackers, in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday morning

Raid: Police tape surrounds a vehicle, believed to belong to one of the two gunmen, in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday

Raid: Police tape surrounds a vehicle, believed to belong to one of the two gunmen, in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday

Probe: Investigators pull belongings from the back of the truck and carry items inside the complex on Monday morning

ISIS supporters claimed on Twitter that one of the gunmen was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light on the social media site

ISIS supporters claimed on Twitter that one of the gunmen was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light on the social media site

Investigators also searched the car that the two gunmen drove to the scene and found luggage and further ammunition inside. Some of the belongings were destroyed as a precaution but no explosives were found inside the vehicle, Garland Police Officer Joe Harn said on Monday.

On Monday, Simpson’s father said that he believes his son, who had worked in a dentist’s office, ‘made a bad choice’.

‘We are Americans and we believe in America,’ Dunston Simpson told ABC News. ‘What my son did reflects very badly on my family.’

Ahead of the attack on Sunday evening, several Twitter messages were sent out, and authorities believe Simpson was behind them. The last one was shared just half an hour before the shooting.

Followers of ISIS had been calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning that the competition in Garland would feature a ‘draw Muhammad’ art contest, with a prize of $10,000 for the best caricatur

After the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group reported that an Islamic State fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-Isis individuals.

In a series of tweets and links, a jihadist named as Abu Hussain AlBritani, which SITE said was British IS fighter Junaid Hussain, claimed that ‘2 of our brothers just opened fire’ at the Prophet Muhammad exhibition in Texas.

‘They Thought They Was Safe In Texas From The Soldiers of The Islamic State,’ added the tweet.

Other ISIS supporters claimed on Twitter that one of the gunmen was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light on the social media site, using the now-suspended account name @atawaakul, according to New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi.

He had posted a message earlier that said ‘the bro with me and myself have given bay’ah [oath] to Amirul Mu’mineen [ISIS leader Al Baghdadi]. May Allah accept us as mujahideen #texasattack’.

The contest was just minutes from finishing when multiple gunshots were heard.

The two suspects had pulled up in a vehicle before getting out and firing at a security officer, 57-year-old Bruce Joiner, who was employed by the independent school district. He was later taken to hospital in a stable condition and was released on Sunday evening.

Attack: The bodies of shooting suspects are seen next to their vehicle as it is searched for explosives at an anti-Muslim event in Texas on Sunday. The two men had got out the vehicle and opened fire, wounding a security guard in the leg, before they were shot by police

Attack: The bodies of shooting suspects are seen next to their vehicle as it is searched for explosives at an anti-Muslim event in Texas on Sunday. The two men had got out the vehicle and opened fire, wounding a security guard in the leg, before they were shot by police

Controversial: On Sunday, two heavily armed police officers can be seen securing art work following the shooting. The art competition, which was awarding $10,000 to the best caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, had been condemned by critics

Controversial: On Sunday, two heavily armed police officers can be seen securing art work following the shooting. The art competition, which was awarding $10,000 to the best caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, had been condemned by critics

An officer prevents two people from leaving the building as the area was placed on lockdown after multiple gunshots were heard

TAPES OF A TERROR SUSPECT: RECORDINGS SHOW SIMPSON’S INTENTIONS TO WAGE A WAR

Elton Simpson was well known to the FBI. In 2010, he was convicted of lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Somalia – although a judge ultimately ruled it could not be proved that he was heading there to join a terror group.

During the investigation, an FBI informant recorded their conversations, which showed Simpson talking about his intentions to fight for the Muslim way of life.

Court documents state: ‘Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away”…. “[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”‘

He added that in countries, such as Palestine, Iraq and Somalia, ‘they trying to bring democracy over there man, they’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws’.

He went on: ‘That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.’

In a recording from 2009, he told the informant that it was time they went to Somalia.

‘It’s time,’ he said. ‘I’m tellin’ you man. We gonna make it to the battlefield… It’s time to roll…

‘People fighting and killing your kids, and dropping bombs on people that have nothing to do with nothing. You got to fight back you can’t be just sitting down… smiling at each other…’

As the gunmen got out of their car with their weapons, one police officer – a tenured traffic cop – shot both men dead, Garland Police officer Joe Harn said at a press conference on Monday. The officer used his service pistol to shoot the men, who were carrying assault weapons.

‘With what he was faced with and his reaction and his shooting with a pistol, he did a good job,’ Harn said of the officer.

‘He did what he was trained to do, and under the fire that he was put under, he did a very good job and probably saved lives. We think their strategy was to get into the events center and they were not able to get past that outer perimeter.’

Randy Potts, a contributor for The Daily Beast, recalled how he was watching the speeches wrap up when a man wearing camouflage shouted: ‘Get inside the conference room now!’

‘The room was oddly quiet,’ he said. ‘A hush fell over the crowd of about 150, as if we were listening for something outside. Then a camo-clad security guard with a rifle got up on stage and announced that a cop and two suspects had been shot.’

He described how security surrounding the event was evident even as he drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center. The parking lot was surrounded by yellow tape and his ID was checked twice before he was allowed to enter.

Johnny Roby of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, had also been attending the conference. He said he was outside the building when he heard around 20 shots that appeared to be coming from the direction of a passing car.

Roby said he then heard two single shots before officers yelled that they had the car before he was sent inside the building.

The building, which had about 100 people inside, and surrounding areas were placed on lockdown by SWAT teams.

FBI bomb squad robots were then sent in to check the suspects’ vehicle, as the two bodies of the gunmen lay on the road beside it. The bodies were not immediately taken from the scene because they were too close to the car, which police feared had incendiary devices inside.

Shortly before midnight, police alerted media that a strong electronic pulse would be activated near the scene, presumably as part of the bomb squad’s work, and a loud boom was heard moments later, though police did not comment further on what was carried out.

The art event had been condemned by critics as an attack on Islam, but the organizers insisted they were exercising free speech.

Some Twitter users began posting about the shooting using a #JeSuisGarland hashtag, mirroring the #JesuisCharlie hashtag that became popular after January’s jihadist attacks in France. In that incident, gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in revenge for its cartoons of the prophet.

After the gunfire in Garland, those inside the building started to sing patriotic songs, including the national anthem and God Bless America, and said a prayer for the injured security guard after one woman pulled out an American flag from her bag.

Garland Police officer Joe Harn said on Sunday evening they had been monitoring the build-up to the event and had not received any credible threats.

During a press conference, he described how the shootout lasted only seconds. A large area around the Center remained blocked off late into the night.

Update: On Monday, Garland Police spokesperson Joe Harn praised the traffic officer who took down both of the attackers

Update: On Monday, Garland Police spokesperson Joe Harn praised the traffic officer who took down both of the attackers

Keeping calm: A policeman keeps members of the audience inside the auditorium after the shots were fired at the controversial event

Keeping calm: A policeman keeps members of the audience inside the auditorium after the shots were fired at the controversial event

At the ready: Members of the Garland Police Department stand guard inside the Curtis Culwell Center in the aftermath of the shooting 

At the ready: Members of the Garland Police Department stand guard inside the Curtis Culwell Center in the aftermath of the shooting

Safe: Attendees of the event were led off of a school bus into another building where they were questioned by law enforcemen

Safe: Attendees of the event were led off of a school bus into another building where they were questioned by law enforcemen

Two heavily-armed officers stand guard as police blocked off the street surrounding the scene in Garland, Texas

He said: ‘Because of the situation of what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we are considering their car (is) possibly containing a bomb.’

Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the incident as a ‘senseless attack’ and praised the ‘swift action’ of Garland law enforcement.

Security guard Bruce Joiner was shot in the leg while standing outside the building. His injuries were not life-threatening

Security guard Bruce Joiner was shot in the leg while standing outside the building. His injuries were not life-threatening

The attack unfolded shortly after Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, had delivered his keynote speech. There had been calls by members of Congress for him to be stopped at the border so he would not be able to speak.

‘We are here in defiance of Islam to stand for our rights and freedom of speech,’ he said during his speech shortly before the building was shut down. ‘That is our duty… Our message today is very simple: we will never allow barbarism, never allow Islam, to rob us of our freedom of speech.’

His remarks were met with a standing ovation. He then told the audience that most terrorists are Muslims, and ‘the less Islam the better’.

In 2009, he sparked controversy for showing a controversial film which linked the Koran to terrorism and has previously said the Netherlands is being taken over by a ‘tsunami of Islamisation’.

Pamela Geller, the organizer of the event and the leader of Stop Islamisation of America, wrote on her personal website after the attack: ‘This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?’

In a post in late March, she insisted that the event was necessary to fight back against what she described as ‘the jihad against freedom’.

It was set up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and had been described by opponents as an attack on Islam. They booked the center a little more than a week after Islamic militants in France killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The Garland Independent School district, who own the cultural center, allowed the event to go ahead despite criticism from residents and local Muslims that it was a risk to public safety.

The group spent $10,000 on 40 additional security officers, aware of potential threats they may attract, while Garland Police officers were fully prepared to deal with any issues that arose.

Before the event, the New York-based organisation made the headlines for its sponsorship of anti-Islamic adverts which it paid to run on transit systems in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and San Francisco.

A picture taken from inside the event just before the attack showed Geller giving a check for $12,500 to Bosch Fawtin who won the event.

He told the Dallas Morning News he believed there would be no danger because of the high levels of security surrounding the event.

‘I had known it would be secure, but seeing it is a whole new thing,’ he said before the shootings.

Locals in Garland said they were upset with the exhibit being held in their town, and tried to convince the city council to intervene.

One resident, Dorothy Brooks, said that the event was like shouting ‘fire!’ in a theater – an oft-cited example of freedom of speech taken too far.

She continued: ‘I understand that participants have a right to express themselves with cartoons, but I regret that this will be happening in our city.’

Another, Lena Griffin, asked at a city council meeting: ‘Do we want to be involved with this type of rhetoric?’ It is not an issue of free speech but clearly one of public safety.’

Winner: Artist Bosh Fawstin (left) is presented with a check for $12,500 by Dutch politician Geert Wilders (center) and Pamela Geller (right) during a ceremony at the Curtis Culwell Center just before the shootings occurred 

Winner: Artist Bosh Fawstin (left) is presented with a check for $12,500 by Dutch politician Geert Wilders (center) and Pamela Geller (right) during a ceremony at the Curtis Culwell Center just before the shootings occurred

Proud: Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, center, poses for a photograph with officers who responded to the shooting

Proud: Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, center, poses for a photograph with officers who responded to the shooting

Pamela Geller, co-founder and President of Stop Islamization of America, also spoke just before the two gunmen opened fire 

Pamela Geller, co-founder and President of Stop Islamization of America, also spoke just before the two gunmen opened fire

Wilders, who has sparked controversy for linking the Koran with terrorism, speaks at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest

Scene: An aerial view shows the Curtis Culwell Center and the black car (seen center bottom) that was used by the two gunmen

Scene: An aerial view shows the Curtis Culwell Center and the black car (seen center bottom) that was used by the two gunmen

The event had already been the subject of disapproval from further afield, according to ForeignPolicy.com.

The site obtained a letter from congressmen Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and André Carson (D-Indiana) sent to John Kerry and Homeland Security asking them to bar a speaker for the event from entering the United States.

Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed have triggered violent protests in the past, including when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published 12 satirical cartoons in 2005, triggering deadly protests in some Muslim countries.

In January, just weeks after the Paris attacks, an event called Stand with the Prophet was held in the same center. Muslim leaders from across the world gathered to try and combat ‘Islamophobes in America’ who had turned Muhammad into an ‘object of hate’.

Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: ‘Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!’ Others held signs with messages such as, ‘Insult those who behead others,’ an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

Mr Abbott said state officials are investigating, and Dallas FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont said that the agency is providing investigative and bomb technician assistance.

The Charlie Hebdo attack was followed by another a month later in Europe. A masked gunman sprayed bullets into a Copenhagen meeting in February attended by a Swedish artist who had been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

A civilian was killed and three police officers were injured in the attack, aimed at artist Lars Vilks, who stirred controversy in 2007 with published drawings depicting the Prophet Mohammad as a dog.

Denmark itself became a target 10 years ago after the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad. The images led to sometimes fatal protests in the Muslim world.

CONTROVERSIAL CARICATURES: WHY DEPICTING THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD IS BANNED BY MUSLIMS

It’s not mentioned in Islam’s holy book, the Quran, but the religion’s ban on depicting the Prophet Muhammad — even favorably — has run firm through the centuries.

Religious traditions built over the years have prohibited such depictions out of respect for Muhammad and to discourage idolatry, according to Muslim scholars and clerics. The ban is further rooted in a wider prohibition against images or statues of human beings.

There have been exceptions. A rich tradition of depicting Muhammad emerged in miniatures and illustrations for manuscripts from around 1200 to 1700. The art is mainly from Turkey and Iran, where pictorial traditions were stronger than in the Arab world. The paintings often show traditional stories from Muhammad’s life, such as his journey to heaven, though in some the prophet’s face is obscured by a veil or a plume of flame.

Shiites also differ from Sunnis by depicting Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, revered by Shiites who see him as the prophet’s rightful successor. His image — and those of his sons Hassan and Hussein — are plentiful among Shiites, adorning posters, banners, jewelry and even keychains. For Sunnis, the ban on depictions extends beyond the prophet to his close companions and wives.

‘The Prophet Muhammad enjoys sublime and supreme status among Muslims and it is impossible to let a normal person depict or act the role of the prophet,’ said Iraqi Shiite cleric Fadhil al-Saadi. ‘There is no confirmed information about the shape or the features of the Prophet … So nobody should come up with a painting or an image of him. That would represent an insult to the status of the prophet.’

With no explicit text against depictions — or against images of humans in general — the prohibition comes from deduction by Muslim scholars and interpreters over the centuries from the collections of Hadeeth, or sayings and actions of Muhammad.

The prohibition against depicting humans and other living beings, which emerged from scholars as early as the 9th century, came from reported sayings of Muhammad, in some of which he refused to enter a room with such depictions or challenged their creators to breathe life into them. The presumption was that such art would suggest man can emulate God’s powers of creation — and there were worries that statues in particular could encourage idolatry.

Islamic tradition is full of written descriptions of Muhammad and his qualities — describing him as the ideal human being. But clerics have generally agreed that trying to depict that ideal is forbidden. That puts satirical — and obscene — depictions like those in the French magazing Charlie Hebdo far beyond the pale.

While no one knows Muhammad’s true appearance, followers of the relatively modern, ultraconservative Salafi movement in Islam seek to emulate him as closely as possible — including in what they believe to be his physical features and dress. Hardcore Salafis wear a beard without a moustache, let their hair grow long, line their eyes with kohl or wear robes stopping around mid-shin, contending that was the prophet’s manner.

The ban also extends to his wives, daughters, sons-in-law, the first caliphs who succeeded him and his closest companions. In fact, Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque, the Sunni world’s foremost seat of religious learning, has complained when ‘Mohammed, Messenger of God,’ an epic 1970s Hollywood production, depicted the prophet’s camel.

There is a thriving production of religious TV series in the Arab world depicting the times of the prophet. But Muhammad and his companions are never themselves shown. At times, a white light stands in for Muhammad in the films or in movie posters — and when they are meant to be addressing Muhammad, the actors usually speak into the camera.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3066779/Police-officer-suspect-said-injured-shooting-outside-art-anti-Muslim-exhibition-art-depicting-prophet-Muhammad.html 

How Texas “Terror” Shooter Elton Simpson Avoided Prison In 2011

Wiretaps of Texas shooter Elton Simpson talking about jihad didn’t convince a federal judge that he was a potential terrorist

The attorney who once defended one of two men who opened fire at a “Draw Muhammad” event in Texas on Sunday says she was “shocked” to learn that he was involved in the attack. She says she has represented a number of people charged with terrorism-related crimes. Some of them are the “worst of the worst,” but Elton Simpson was “one of the good ones,” she said.

“He was always respectful to me and my staff—did everything he was supposed to do,” attorney Kristina Sitton told Vocativ.

According to Sitton, Simpson didn’t come from a Muslim family and didn’t convert to Islam until he was in high school. “He said he was running with a bad crowd in high school—smoking, drinking and stuff,” she said. “He said Islam got him away from that stuff.”

Sitton defended Simpson against charges that he made false statements to an FBI agent in 2010 about a trip he was planning to take to Somalia to study Islam. He was facing up to eight years in prison if federal prosecutors had been able to convince Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Mary Murguia that the trip was related to international or domestic terrorism. Ultimately, Murguia in 2011 sentenced him to three years probation for the false statement. According to federal court records obtained by Vocativ, the judge determined that the feds didn’t make their case—despite audio recordings of Simpson talking about “jihad” with an FBI informant.

The FBI began investigating Simpson in 2006 after he was found to be in contact with a man who authorities believe was attempting to set up a terror cell in Phoenix, Arizona. Investigators began recording conversations between Simpson and the informant, Dabla Deng. The federal government paid Deng $132,000 to befriend Simpson under the guise of being new to Islam and needing guidance.

Between March 2007 and November 2009, Deng recorded more than 1,500 hours of conversations he had with Simpson, during which the two discussed fighting non-Muslims and how getting killed while waging jihad made it possible to get to heaven “straight away.”

“[Heaven] that’s what we (sic) here for, so why not take [the jihad] route,” Simpson said during a conversation with Deng on July 31, 2007.

In another recording, from May 29, 2009, Simpson tells Deng: “It’s time to go to Somalia, brother,” before explaining, “we gonna make it to the battlefield…it’s time to roll.” On January 7, 2010, FBI agents contacted Simpson and specifically asked whether he “discussed traveling to, or are you planning to, travel to Somalia?”

Simpson said “no.”

“I thought [the case] was completely ridiculous, to tell you the truth,” said Sitton, who told Vocativ that she’s “not a bleeding heart — I’m a Republican.”

“They show up at his house and ask him about something that happened two years ago, and he says ‘no’ and then faces federal charges?” Sitton said that in the 1,500 hours of recordings with Deng, Simpson only mentioned Al-Shabaab, a Somali terrorist organization, twice.

Federal prosecutors wanted Simpson to receive the beefed-up sentence of eight years because, they argued, his crime of lying to federal authorities involved terrorism. But Judge Murguia—an Obama appointee on what is often considered to be the most left-leaning appeals court in the country—found that there was insufficient evidence that Simpson’s false statement to authorities involved international terrorism.

On Sunday, Simpson posted on Twitter: “May Allah accept us as mujahideen,” with the hashtag “#texasattack,” before he and another man drove to the “Draw Muhammad” event at a conference center in a Dallas suburb and opened fire. Both men were fatally shot by security.

Sitton says the narrative of the shooting is not representative of the client she describes as a kind, respectful young man who frequently tried to convert her and others to Islam. “He was always kind about it,” she said. “He would say, ‘the Koran says this and the Koran says that,’ but it was always respectful.”

She questioned the motivation of the organizers of the “Draw Muhammad” event, as images of the prophet are highly offensive to many Muslims. “I kind of wonder what this event was about,” she says. “It just seems like they want to provoke people.”

http://www.vocativ.com/usa/nat-sec/how-texas-terror-shooter-elton-simpson-avoided-jail-in/

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Rand Paul Running — Libertarian and Fiscal Conservative Republicans and Independents Will Vote For Him — Big Government Republicans, Neoconservatives and Progressive Democrats Demonize and Fear Him — Can He Beat Senator Ted Cruz? — Time Will Tell — Two Clues For Rand Paul — Videos

Posted on April 10, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Banking, Blogroll, British History, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Investments, IRS, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Radio, Raves, Religious, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Rand Paul Running — Libertarian and Fiscal Conservative Republicans and Independents Will Vote  For Him —  Big Government Republicans, Neoconservatives and Progressive Democrats Demonize and Fear Him — Can He Beat Senator Ted Cruz? — Time Will Tell — Two Clues For Rand Paul — Videosrand_paul

U.S. Senator Paul arrives with wife Kelley before announcing candidacy for president during an event in Louisville

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Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson and U.S. Federal Court Judge Andrew Napolitano would seem to be at odds on many topics. One they agree with is the spending of the U.S. government and the lack of fiscal responsibility. See how they explain the debt problem in the U.S. and the ways in which this crisis is harming america. Is the Obama administration oblivious, or not caring, when it comes to borrowing money to support social programs and defense spending? Will the Democrats and Republicans come together in time to defeat the massive overspending and budget deficit? See what these two men have to say.

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Transcript: Read Full Text of Sen. Rand Paul’s Campaign Launch

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul launched his presidential campaign in Louisville Tuesday.

I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back.

We have come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank, the special interests that are more concerned with their personal welfare than the general welfare.

The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.

Less than five years ago I stood just down the road in home town in Bowling Green and said those same words. I wasn’t supposed to win, no one thought I would.

Some people asked me, then why are you running? The answer is the same now as it was then. I have a vision for America. I want to be part of a return to prosperity, a true economic boom that lists all Americans, a return to a government restrained by the Constitution.

A return to privacy, opportunity, liberty. Too often when Republicans have won we have squandered our victory by becoming part of the Washington machine. That’s not who I am.

That’s not why I ran for office the first time just a few years ago. The truth is, I love my life as a small-town doctor. Every day I woke up, I felt lucky to be able to do the things I loved. More importantly, I was blessed to be able to do things that made a difference in people’s lives.

I never could have done any of this, though, without the help of my parents who are here today. I’d like you to join me and thank my mother and dad.

With my parents’ help, I was able to make it through long years of medical training to become an eye surgeon. For me there is nothing that compares with helping someone see better. Last August I was privileged to travel to Guatemala on a medical mission trip together with a team of surgeons from across the U.S.

We operated on more than 200 people who were blind or nearly blind from cataracts. I was grateful to be able to put my scrubs back on, peer into the oculars of the microscope, and focus on the task at hand, to take a surgical approach to fix a problem.

One day in Guatemala, a man arrived and told me that I’d operated on his wife the day before. His wife could see clearly for the first time in years, and she had begged him to get on the bus, travel the winding roads and come back to our surgery center. He too was nearly blind from hardened cataracts.

After his surgery, the next day, his wife sat next to me. As I unveiled the patch from his eyes, it was a powerful emotional moment for me to see them looking at each other clearly for the first time years to see the face they loved again.

As I saw the joy in their eyes, I thought, “This is why I became a doctor.”

In that moment, I also remembered my grandmother, who inspired me to become an eye surgeon. She spent hours with me as a kid. We would sort through her old coin collection, looking for wheat pennies and Indian heads. But as her vision began to fail, I became her eyes to inspect the faintness of the mint marks on the old weather-worn coins.

I went with my grandmother to the ophthalmologist as she had her corneas replaced. I was also with her when she received the sad news that macular generation had done irreparable harm to her eyes.

My hope… my hope that my grandmother would see again made me want to become an eye surgeon, to make a difference in people’s lives.

I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been able to enjoy the American Dream.

I worry, though, that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters. As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, “What kind of America will our grandchildren see”?

It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.

Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration.

And it’s now tripling under Barack Obama’s watch. President Obama is on course to add more debt than all of the previous presidents combined.

We borrow a million dollars a minute. This vast accumulation of debt threatens not just our economy, but our security.

We can wake up now and do the right thing. Quit spending money we don’t have.

This message of liberty is for all Americans, Americans from all walks of life. The message of liberty, opportunity and justice is for all Americans, whether you wear a suit, a uniform or overalls, whether you’re white or black, rich or poor.

In order to restore America, one thing is for certain, though: We cannot, we must not dilute our message or give up on our principles.

If we nominate a candidate who is simply Democrat Light, what’s the point?

Why bother?

We need to boldly proclaim our vision for America. We need to go boldly forth under the banner of liberty that clutches the Constitution in one hand and the Bill of Rights in the other.

Washington is horribly broken. I fear it can’t be fixed from within. We the people must rise up and demand action.

Congress will never balance the budget unless you force them to do so. Congress has an abysmal record with balancing anything. Our only recourse is to force Congress to balance the budget with a constitutional amendment.

I have been to Washington, and let me tell you, there is no monopoly on knowledge there.

I ran for office because we have too many career politicians. I believe it now more than ever.

We limit the President to two terms. It’s about time we limit the terms of Congress!

I want to reform Washington. I want common sense rules that will break the logjam in Congress.

That’s why I introduced a Read the Bills Act.

The bills are thousands of pages long. And no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desks only a few hours before a vote.

I’ve proposed something truly extraordinary — Let’s read the bills, every page!

The bills are 1,000 pages long and no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desk with only a few hours before a vote, so I propose something truly extraordinary. Let’s read the bills every day.

From the time I was a very young boy I was taught to love and appreciate America. Love of liberty pulses in my veins not because we have beautiful mountains or white sand beaches, although we do, and not because of our abundance of resources. It’s more visceral than that. Our great nation was founded upon the extraordinary notion that government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized.

America, to me, is that beacon. We are unique among the nations that our — that our country stands for freedom. Freedom nurtured our country from a rebellious group of colonies into the world’s greatest nation.

When tyranny threatened the world America led the way to rid the world of Nazis and fascist regimes. Resolutely we stood decade after decade against Communism, the engine of capitalism finally winning out against the sputtering, incompetent engine of socialism.

We won the Cold War.

America and freedom are so intertwined that people literally are dying to come here. The freedom we have fostered in America have unleashed genius and advancement like never before. Yet our great nation still needs new ideas and new answers to old problems.

From an early age I worked. I taught swimming lessons, I mowed lawns, I did landscaping, I put roofs on houses, I painted houses. I never saw work though as punishment. Who always gave me a sense of who I am.

Self-esteem cant be given; it must be earned.

Work is not punishment; work is the reward.

Two of my sons work minimum wage jobs while they go to college. I am proud of them as I see them realize the value of hard work. I can see their self-esteem grow as they cash their paychecks. I have a vision for America where everyone who wants to work will have a job.

Many Americans though are being left behind. The reward of work seems beyond their grasp. Under the watch of both parties, the poor seem to get poorer and the rich get richer. Trillion-dollar government stimulus packages has only widened the income gap.

Politically connected crones get taxpayer dollars by the hundreds of millions and poor families across America continue to suffer. I have a different vision, an ambitious vision, an ambitious vision, a vision that will offer opportunity to all Americans, especially those who have been left behind.

My plan includes economic freedom zones to allow impoverished areas like Detroit, West Louisville, Eastern Kentucky to prosper by leaving more money in the pockets of the people who live there.

Can you imagine what a billion-dollar stimulus could do for Detroit or for Appalachia? I’m convinced that most Americans want to work. I want to free up the great engine of American prosperity.

I want to see millions of Americans back at work. In my vision for America, we’ll bring back manufacturing jobs that pay well. How? We’ll dramatically lower the tax on American companies that wish to bring their profits home.

More than $2 trillion in American profit currently sits overseas. In my vision for America, new highways and bridges will be built across the country, not by raising your taxes, but by lowering the tax to bring this American profit home.

Even in this polarized Congress, we have a chance of passing this. I say let’s bring $2 trillion home to America, let’s bring it home now.

Liberal policies have failed our inner cities. Let’s just get the facts straight. They have failed our inner cities. Our schools are not equal, and the poverty gap continues to widen. Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas. He described them as two starkly different American experiences that exist side-by-side.

In one in America, people experience the opportunity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the other America, people experience a daily ugliness that dashes hope and leaves only the fatigue of despair.

Although I was born into the America that experiences and believes in opportunity, my trips to Detroit, to Appalachia, to Chicago have revealed what I call an undercurrent of unease.

It’s time for a new way, a way predicated on justice, opportunity and freedom.

Those of us who have enjoyed the American dream must break down the wall that separates us from the other America. I want all our children to have the same opportunities that I had. We need to stop limiting kids in poor neighborhoods to failing public schools and offer them school choice.

It won’t happen, though, unless we realize that we can’t borrow our way to prosperity. Currently some $3 trillion comes into the U.S. Treasury. Couldn’t the country just survive on $3 trillion?

I propose we do something extraordinary. Let’s just spend what comes in.

In my vision for America, freedom and prosperity at home can only be achieved if we defend against enemies who are dead set on attacking us.

Without question we must defend ourselves and American interests from our enemies, but until we name the enemy, we can’t win the war.

The enemy is radical Islam. You can’t get around it.

And not only will I name the enemy, I will do whatever it takes to defend America from these haters of mankind.

We need a national defense robust enough to defend against all attack, modern enough to deter all enemies, and nimble enough to defend our vital interests. But we also need a foreign policy that protects American interests and encourages stability, not chaos.

At home, conservatives understand that government is the problem, not the solution.

Conservatives should not succumb, though, to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow succeed in building nations abroad.

I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by overseas nation-building.

I envision a national defense that promotes, as Reagan put it, peace through strength.

I believe in applying Reagan’s approach to foreign policy to the Iran issue. Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are only achieved from a position of strength.

We’ve brought Iran to the table through sanctions that I voted for. Now we must stay strong. That’s why I’ve cosponsored legislation that ensures that any deal between the U.S. and Iran must be approved by Congress.

Not — not only is that good policy, it’s the law.

It concerns me that the Iranians have a different interpretation of the agreement. They’re putting out statement that say completely the opposite of what we’re saying. It concerns me that we may attempt, or the president may attempt, to unilaterally and prematurely halt sanctions.

I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran’s nuclear ambitions and have strong verification measures.

And I will insist that the final version be brought before Congress.

The difference between President Obama and myself, he seems to think you can negotiate from a position of weakness. Yet everyone needs to realize that negotiations are not inherently bad. The trust (inaudible) verify is required in any negotiation, but then our goal always should be and always is peace, not war.

We must realize, though, that we do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan.

Let’s quit building bridges in foreign countries and use that money to build some bridges here at home.

It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting “Death to America” in countries that receive millions of dollars in our foreign aid.

I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America.

To defend our country, we do need to gather intelligence on the enemy. But when the intelligence director is not punished for lying under oath, how are we to trust our government agencies?

Warrantless searches of Americans’ phones and computer records are un-American and a threat to our civil liberties.

I say that your phone records are yours. I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business.

Is this where we light up the phones?

The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. And as president on day one, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance.

I believe we can have liberty and security and I will not compromise your liberty for a false sense of security, not now, not ever.

We must defend ourselves, but we must never give up who we are as a people. We must never diminish the Bill of Rights as we fight this long war against evil. We must believe in our founding documents. We must protect economic and personal liberty again.

America has much greatness left in her. We are still exceptional and we are still a beacon for the world. We will thrive when we believe in ourselves again.

I see an America strong enough to deter foreign aggression, yet wise enough to avoid unnecessary intervention.

I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.

I see an America with a restrained IRS that cannot target, cannot harass American citizens for their political or religious beliefs.

I see our big cities once again shining and beckoning with creativity and ingenuity, with American companies offering American jobs. With your help, this message will ring from coast to coast, a message of liberty, justice and personal responsibility. Today begins the journey to take America back.

To rescue a great country now adrift, join me as together we seek a new vision for America. Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America.

http://time.com/3773964/rand-paul-presidential-campaign-launch-speech-transcript/

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 439-442

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Alan Greenspan — The Map and The Territory 2.0: Risk, Human Nature, and The Future of Forecasting — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Music, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Alan_Greenspanthe map and terroritory 2.0Alan Greenspan The Map and The Territoryalan greenspan

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Alan Greenspan on Central Banks, Stagnation, and Gold

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, joins Gillian Tett, U.S. managing editor at the Financial Times, to discuss current trends in the global economy and solutions for addressing the financial crisis.

Alan Greenspan on Central Banks, Stagnation, and Gold

Alan Greenspan on Gold and The Federal Reserves inability to stop QE

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Department of Labor Revised Job Numbers in November of 414,000 and December of 329,000 Plus 257,000 in January — Wages Increase 12 Cents Per Hour — Solid Jobs Report — U-3 Unemployment Rate Increased From 5.6% to 5.7% and 9 Million Unemployed — 1 Million Additional Americans Looking For Jobs — Spread The Message of Liberty — Videos

Posted on February 8, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Faith, Family, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Story 1: Department of Labor Revised Job Numbers in November of 414,000  and December of 329,000 Plus 257,000 in January — Wages Increase 12 Cents Per Hour — Solid Jobs Report — U-3 Unemployment Rate Increased From 5.6% to 5.7% and 9 Million Unemployed — 1 Million Additional Americans Looking For Jobs — Spread The Message of Liberty — Videos

gdp_large

sgs-emp

united-states-inflation-rateAverage-Inflation-in-United-States-by-Year-TableUS-Consumer-Price-Index-Annual-August-2013

Gallup CEO: Labor Department Numbers Are Misleading

Are monthly jobs numbers misleading

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton The “Real” Unemployment Rate In America @ 11.2% Double What Obama Says

Gallup discovers Obama may not be truthful on unemployment (Limbaugh)

 

Latest Jobs Report Sparking Questions About The Quality Of Jobs Being Created – Cavuto

Ep 51: Despite Slowing Economy, Job Growth Speeds Up

Investor Jim Rogers Gives Warning to Investor

US Job Market Improves

US jobs market booms as recovery accelerates

Nightly Business Report — February 6, 2015

February 6, 2015 Financial News – Business News – Stock Exchange – NYSE – Market News

The H1-B visa scam

Bill Gates Asks Senate For Infinite Number Of H 1B Visas

Peter Schiff Inflation Deterring Economic Growth

Taylor at CFR: Rethinking the Fed’s Dual Mandate

Uncommon Knowledge with John B. Taylor

A Discussion of the Fed’s Dual Mandate Responsibilities

The Federal Reserve’s Stanley Fischer on Inflation and Financial Stability

Sessions Calls On All Colleagues To Block President’s Planned Amnesty & Work Permits

Please Spread The Message of Liberty

liberty_bell1

Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.”

Let Freedom Ring

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton told CNBC he might “suddenly disappear” for telling the truth about the Obama unemployment rate.

The real Obama unemployment rate has never recovered and is still above 10%.
unemployment obama

Wall Street on Parade reported:

Years of unending news stories on U.S. government programs ofsurveillance,rendition and torture have apparently chilled the speech of even top business executives in the United States.

Yesterday, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, an iconic U.S. company dating back to 1935, told CNBC that he was worried he might “suddenly disappear” and not make it home that evening if he disputed the accuracy of what the U.S. government is reporting as unemployed Americans.

The CNBC interview came one day after Clifton had penned a gutsy opinion piece on Gallup’s web site, defiantly calling the government’s 5.6 percent unemployment figure “The Big Lie” in the article’s headline. His appearance on CNBC was apparently to walk back the “lie” part of the title and reframe the jobs data as just hopelessly deceptive.

Clifton stated the following on CNBC:

“I think that the number that comes out of BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] and the Department of Labor is very, very accurate. I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.”

After getting that out of the way, Clifton went on to eviscerate the legitimacy of the cheerful spin given to the unemployment data, telling CNBC viewers that the percent of full time jobs in this country as a percent of the adult population “is the worst it’s been in 30 years.”

 

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/02/gallup-ceo-i-may-suddenly-disappear-for-telling-the-truth-about-obama-unemployment-rate-video/

Civilian Labor Force

157,180,000

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

civilian labor force level

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153314(1) 153227 153377 153566 153492 153350 153276 153746 154085 153935 154089 153961
2012 154445(1) 154739 154765 154589 154899 155088 154927 154726 155060 155491 155305 155553
2013 155825(1) 155396 155026 155401 155562 155761 155632 155529 155548 154615 155304 155047
2014 155486(1) 155688 156180 155420 155629 155700 156048 156018 155845 156243 156402 156129
2015 157180(1)

Civilian Labor Participation Rate

62.9%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Labor Participation Rate

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.7 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.5 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.2 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.8
2014 63.0 63.0 63.2 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.7
2015 62.9

Employment Level

148,201,000

Series Id:           LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status:  Employed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

employment level

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614
2001 137778 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047
2002 135701 136438 136177 136126 136539 136415 136413 136705 137302 137008 136521 136426
2003 137417(1) 137482 137434 137633 137544 137790 137474 137549 137609 137984 138424 138411
2004 138472(1) 138542 138453 138680 138852 139174 139556 139573 139487 139732 140231 140125
2005 140245(1) 140385 140654 141254 141609 141714 142026 142434 142401 142548 142499 142752
2006 143150(1) 143457 143741 143761 144089 144353 144202 144625 144815 145314 145534 145970
2007 146028(1) 146057 146320 145586 145903 146063 145905 145682 146244 145946 146595 146273
2008 146378(1) 146156 146086 146132 145908 145737 145532 145203 145076 144802 144100 143369
2009 142152(1) 141640 140707 140656 140248 140009 139901 139492 138818 138432 138659 138013
2010 138438(1) 138581 138751 139297 139241 139141 139179 139438 139396 139119 139044 139301
2011 139267(1) 139400 139649 139610 139639 139392 139520 139940 140156 140336 140780 140890
2012 141633(1) 141911 142069 141953 142231 142400 142270 142277 142953 143350 143279 143280
2013 143328(1) 143429 143374 143665 143890 144025 144275 144288 144297 143453 144490 144671
2014 145206(1) 145301 145796 145724 145868 146247 146401 146451 146607 147260 147331 147442
2015 148201(1)
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Employment Population Ratio

59.3 %

Series Id:           LNS12300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment-Population Ratio
Labor force status:  Employment-population ratio
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

employment population ratio

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 64.6 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.4 64.5 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.3 64.4
2001 64.4 64.3 64.3 64.0 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.2 63.5 63.2 63.0 62.9
2002 62.7 63.0 62.8 62.7 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.7 63.0 62.7 62.5 62.4
2003 62.5 62.5 62.4 62.4 62.3 62.3 62.1 62.1 62.0 62.1 62.3 62.2
2004 62.3 62.3 62.2 62.3 62.3 62.4 62.5 62.4 62.3 62.3 62.5 62.4
2005 62.4 62.4 62.4 62.7 62.8 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.7 62.8
2006 62.9 63.0 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.3 63.3 63.4
2007 63.3 63.3 63.3 63.0 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7
2008 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7 62.5 62.4 62.2 62.0 61.9 61.7 61.4 61.0
2009 60.6 60.3 59.9 59.8 59.6 59.4 59.3 59.1 58.7 58.5 58.6 58.3
2010 58.5 58.5 58.5 58.7 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.3 58.2 58.3
2011 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.2 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.6 58.6
2012 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.4 58.6 58.8 58.7 58.6
2013 58.6 58.6 58.5 58.6 58.6 58.7 58.7 58.7 58.6 58.2 58.6 58.6
2014 58.8 58.8 59.0 58.9 58.9 59.0 59.0 59.0 59.0 59.2 59.2 59.2
2015 59.3

Unemployment Level

8,979,000

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

 

unemployment_level

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14046 13828 13728 13956 13853 13958 13756 13806 13929 13599 13309 13071
2012 12812 12828 12696 12636 12668 12688 12657 12449 12106 12141 12026 12272
2013 12497 11967 11653 11735 11671 11736 11357 11241 11251 11161 10814 10376
2014 10280 10387 10384 9696 9761 9453 9648 9568 9237 8983 9071 8688
2015 8979

Unemployment Rate

5.7%

unemployment_rate

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.2 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.0 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.6 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7

 

Teenage 16-19 Years Unemployment Rate

18.8%

Series Id:           LNS14000012
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate - 16-19 yrs.
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 to 19 years

 

teenage unemployment

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 12.7 13.8 13.3 12.6 12.8 12.3 13.4 14.0 13.0 12.8 13.0 13.2
2001 13.8 13.7 13.8 13.9 13.4 14.2 14.4 15.6 15.2 16.0 15.9 17.0
2002 16.5 16.0 16.6 16.7 16.6 16.7 16.8 17.0 16.3 15.1 17.1 16.9
2003 17.2 17.2 17.8 17.7 17.9 19.0 18.2 16.6 17.6 17.2 15.7 16.2
2004 17.0 16.5 16.8 16.6 17.1 17.0 17.8 16.7 16.6 17.4 16.4 17.6
2005 16.2 17.5 17.1 17.8 17.8 16.3 16.1 16.1 15.5 16.1 17.0 14.9
2006 15.1 15.3 16.1 14.6 14.0 15.8 15.9 16.0 16.3 15.2 14.8 14.6
2007 14.8 14.9 14.9 15.9 15.9 16.3 15.3 15.9 15.9 15.4 16.2 16.8
2008 17.8 16.6 16.1 15.9 19.0 19.2 20.7 18.6 19.1 20.0 20.3 20.5
2009 20.7 22.3 22.2 22.2 23.4 24.7 24.3 25.0 25.9 27.2 26.9 26.7
2010 26.1 25.6 26.2 25.4 26.5 25.9 25.9 25.5 25.8 27.2 24.8 25.3
2011 25.7 24.1 24.4 24.6 23.9 24.6 24.7 25.0 24.4 24.2 24.2 23.3
2012 23.7 23.8 25.0 24.8 24.3 23.4 23.6 24.3 23.7 23.9 24.0 24.1
2013 23.9 25.2 24.1 24.1 24.2 23.3 23.2 22.5 21.1 22.2 20.9 20.4
2014 20.8 21.3 20.9 19.1 19.2 20.7 20.0 19.4 19.8 18.7 17.5 16.8
2015 18.8

U-6 Unemployment Rate

11.3%

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

U-6 Total Unemployed

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                 USDL-15-0158
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, February 6, 2015

Technical information: 
 Household data:     (202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data: (202) 691-6555  •  cesinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:	(202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


                       THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JANUARY 2015


  NOTE: This news release was reissued on February 6, 2015, to correct data
  in table C for the employed (Dec.-Jan. change, after removing the population
  control effect). No other data were affected.


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate
was little changed at 5.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities,
and manufacturing.

    ____________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                            |
   |                  Changes to The Employment Situation Data                  |
   |                                                                            |
   |Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual       |
   |benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. Also, |
   |household survey data for January 2015 reflect updated population estimates.|
   |See the notes at the end of this news release for more information about    |
   |these changes.                                                              |
   |____________________________________________________________________________|


Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate, at 5.7 percent, changed little in January and has shown no net
change since October. The number of unemployed persons, at 9.0 million, was little
changed in January. (See table A-1. See the note at the end of this news release and
tables B and C for information about annual population adjustments to the household
survey estimates.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers (18.8 percent)
increased in January. The jobless rates for adult men (5.3 percent), adult women
(5.1 percent), whites (4.9 percent), blacks (10.3 percent), Asians (4.0 percent),
and Hispanics (6.7 percent) showed little or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2,
and A-3.)

In January, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was essentially unchanged at 2.8 million. These individuals accounted for 31.5 percent
of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down
by 828,000. (See table A-12.)

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian
labor force rose by 703,000 in January. The labor force participation rate rose by
0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent, following a decline of equal magnitude in the
prior month. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by
435,000 in January, and the employment-population ratio was little changed at
59.3 percent. (See table A-1. For additional information about the effects of the
population adjustments, see table C.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in January at 6.8 million.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In January, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by
358,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a
job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they
had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 682,000 discouraged workers in January, down
by 155,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in January had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or
family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January. Job gains occurred in
retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities, and manufacturing.
After incorporating revisions for November and December (which include the impact of
the annual benchmark process), monthly job gains averaged 336,000 over the past
3 months. (See table B-1 and summary table B. See the note at the end of this news
release and table A for information about the annual benchmark process.)

Employment in retail trade rose by 46,000 in January. Three industries accounted
for half of the jobs added--sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+9,000);
motor vehicle and parts dealers (+8,000); and nonstore retailers (+6,000). 

Construction continued to add jobs in January (+39,000). Employment increased in
both residential and nonresidential building (+13,000 and +7,000, respectively).
Employment continued to trend up in specialty trade contactors (+13,000). Over the
prior 12 months, construction had added an average of 28,000 jobs per month. 

In January, health care employment increased by 38,000. Job gains occurred in
offices of physicians (+13,000), hospitals (+10,000), and nursing and residential
care facilities (+7,000). Health care added an average of 26,000 jobs per month 
in 2014.

Employment in financial activities rose by 26,000 in January, with insurance 
carriers and related activities (+14,000) and securities, commodity contracts,
and investments (+5,000) contributing to the gain. Financial activities has added
159,000 jobs over the past 12 months. 

Manufacturing employment increased by 22,000 over the month, including job gains
in motor vehicles and parts (+7,000) and wood products (+4,000). Over the past
12 months, manufacturing has added 228,000 jobs. 

Professional and technical services added 33,000 jobs in January, including
increases in computer systems design (+8,000) and architectural and engineering
services (+8,000).

In January, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend
up (+35,000). In 2014, the industry added an average of 33,000 jobs per month.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale
trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little
change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged
at 34.6 hours in January. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 41.0
hours, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls
edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
increased by 12 cents to $24.75, following a decrease of 5 cents in December. Over
the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent. In January, average
hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased
by 7 cents to $20.80. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +353,000
to +423,000, and the change for December was revised from +252,000 to +329,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in November and December were 147,000 higher than
previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from
businesses since the last published estimates and the monthly recalculation of
seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to these revisions.

_____________
The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on Friday,
March 6, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



                       Revisions to Establishment Survey Data


In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data released today have
been benchmarked to reflect comprehensive counts of payroll jobs for March 2014. These 
counts are derived principally from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW),
which enumerates jobs covered by the unemployment insurance tax system. The benchmark
process results in revisions to not seasonally adjusted data from April 2013 forward.
Seasonally adjusted data from January 2010 forward are subject to revision. In addition,
data for some series prior to 2010, both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, incorporate
revisions.

The total nonfarm employment level for March 2014 was revised upward by 91,000 (+67,000
on a not seasonally adjusted basis, or less than 0.05 percent). The average benchmark
revision over the past 10 years was plus or minus 0.3 percent. Table A presents revised
total nonfarm employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis for January through
December 2014.

An article that discusses the benchmark and post-benchmark revisions and other technical
issues can be accessed through the BLS website at www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.pdf.
Information on the data released today also may be obtained by calling (202) 691-6555.


Table A. Revisions in total nonfarm employment, January-December 2014, seasonally adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)

__________________________________________________________________________________________
                    |                                    |                                
                    |                Level               |      Over-the-month change     
                    |____________________________________|________________________________
    Year and month  |    As     |           |            |    As    |         |           
                    |previously |    As     | Difference |previously|   As    | Difference
                    |published  |  revised  |            |published | revised |           
____________________|___________|___________|____________|__________|_________|___________
                    |           |           |            |          |         |           
          2014      |           |           |            |          |         |           
                    |           |           |            |          |         |           
 January............|  137,539  |  137,642  |     103    |    144   |    166  |      22   
 February...........|  137,761  |  137,830  |      69    |    222   |    188  |     -34   
 March..............|  137,964  |  138,055  |      91    |    203   |    225  |      22   
 April..............|  138,268  |  138,385  |     117    |    304   |    330  |      26   
 May................|  138,497  |  138,621  |     124    |    229   |    236  |       7   
 June...............|  138,764  |  138,907  |     143    |    267   |    286  |      19   
 July...............|  139,007  |  139,156  |     149    |    243   |    249  |       6   
 August.............|  139,210  |  139,369  |     159    |    203   |    213  |      10   
 September..........|  139,481  |  139,619  |     138    |    271   |    250  |     -21   
 October............|  139,742  |  139,840  |      98    |    261   |    221  |     -40   
 November...........|  140,095  |  140,263  |     168    |    353   |    423  |      70   
 December (p).......|  140,347  |  140,592  |     245    |    252   |    329  |      77   
____________________|___________|___________|____________|__________|_________|___________

    p = preliminary


               Adjustments to Population Estimates for the Household Survey

Effective with data for January 2015, updated population estimates have been used in the
household survey. Population estimates for the household survey are developed by the
U.S. Census Bureau. Each year, the Census Bureau updates the estimates to reflect new
information and assumptions about the growth of the population since the previous
decennial census. The change in population reflected in the new estimates results
from adjustments for net international migration, updated vital statistics and other
information, and some methodological changes in the estimation process.

In accordance with usual practice, BLS will not revise the official household survey
estimates for December 2014 and earlier months. To show the impact of the population
adjustments, however, differences in selected December 2014 labor force series based on
the old and new population estimates are shown in table B.

The adjustments increased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population
in December by 528,000, the civilian labor force by 348,000, employment by 324,000, and
unemployment by 24,000. The number of persons not in the labor force was increased by
179,000. The total unemployment rate, employment-population ratio, and labor force
participation rate were unaffected.

Data users are cautioned that these annual population adjustments can affect the
comparability of household data series over time. Table C shows the effect of the
introduction of new population estimates on the comparison of selected labor force
measures between December 2014 and January 2015. Additional information on the 
population adjustments and their effect on national labor force estimates is
available at www.bls.gov/cps/cps15adj.pdf.


Table B. Effect of the updated population controls on December 2014 estimates by sex,
race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, not seasonally adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)

_______________________________________________________________________________________
                              |      |     |      |       |        |       |           
                              |      |     |      |       |  Black |       |           
                              |      |     |      |       |    or  |       |  Hispanic 
            Category          |Total | Men | Women| White | African| Asian | or Latino 
                              |      |     |      |       |American|       | ethnicity 
                              |      |     |      |       |        |       |           
______________________________|______|_____|______|_______|________|_______|___________
                              |      |     |      |       |        |       |           
  Civilian noninstitutional   |      |     |      |       |        |       |           
   population.................|  528 | 173 |  354 |  139  |  114   |  243  |     243   
    Civilian labor force......|  348 | 131 |  218 |  101  |   81   |  144  |     141   
      Participation rate......|   .0 |  .0 |   .0 |   .0  |   .0   |  -.1  |      .0   
     Employed.................|  324 | 120 |  204 |   94  |   72   |  138  |     133   
      Employment-population   |      |     |      |                        |           
       ratio..................|   .0 |  .0 |   .0 |   .0  |   .0   |  -.1  |      .0   
     Unemployed...............|   24 |  10 |   14 |    7  |    9   |    7  |       7   
      Unemployment rate.......|   .0 |  .0 |   .0 |   .0  |   .0   |   .0  |      .0   
    Not in labor force........|  179 |  42 |  137 |   38  |   33   |   99  |     102   
______________________________|______|_____|______|_______|________|_______|___________

   NOTE:  Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Estimates for the above race
groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data
are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or
Latino may be of any race.


Table C. December 2014-January 2015 changes in selected labor force measures,
with adjustments for population control effects
(Numbers in thousands)

______________________________________________________________________________
                                       |           |            |             
                                       |           |            |  Dec.-Jan.  
                                       | Dec.-Jan. |    2015    |   change,   
                                       |  change,  | population |  after re-  
                Category               |    as     |   control  |  moving the 
                                       | published |   effect   |  population 
                                       |           |            |   control   
                                       |           |            |  effect (1) 
_______________________________________|___________|____________|_____________
                                       |           |            |             
  Civilian noninstitutional population.|    696    |     528    |     168     
    Civilian labor force...............|  1,051    |     348    |     703     
      Participation rate...............|     .2    |      .0    |      .2     
     Employed..........................|    759    |     324    |     435(c)     
      Employment-population ratio......|     .1    |      .0    |      .1     
     Unemployed........................|    291    |      24    |     267     
      Unemployment rate................|     .1    |      .0    |      .1     
    Not in labor force.................|   -354    |     179    |    -533     
_______________________________________|___________|____________|_____________
                                                                              
   c = corrected.
   1 This Dec.-Jan. change is calculated by subtracting the population 
control effect from the over-the-month change in the published seasonally
adjusted estimates.
   NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.


    ___________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                           |
   |              Changes to The Employment Situation News Release             |
   |                                                                           |
   |Effective with this release, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics introduced|
   |several changes to The Employment Situation news release tables.           |
   |                                                                           |
   |Household survey table A-2 introduced seasonally adjusted series on the    |
   |labor force characteristics of Asians. These series appear in addition to  |
   |the not seasonally adjusted data for Asians displayed in the table. Also,  |
   |in summary table A, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Asians   |
   |replaced the not seasonally adjusted series that was previously displayed  |
   |for the group.                                                             |
   |                                                                           |
   |Household survey table A-3 introduced seasonally adjusted series on the    |
   |labor force characteristics of Hispanic men age 20 and over, Hispanic women|
   |age 20 and over, and Hispanic teenagers age 16 to 19. The not seasonally   |
   |adjusted series for these groups continue to be displayed in the table.    |
   |                                                                           |
   |The establishment survey introduced two data series: (1) total nonfarm     |
   |employment, 3-month average change and (2) total private employment,       |
   |3-month average change. These new series have been added to establishment  |
   |survey summary table B. Additionally, in the employment section of summary |
   |table B, the list of industries has been expanded to include utilities     |
   |(also published in table B-1). Also, hours and earnings of production and  |
   |nonsupervisory employees were removed from summary table B, although these |
   |series continue to be published in establishment survey tables B-7 and B-8.|
   |___________________________________________________________________________|



 

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]

CategoryJan.
2014Nov.
2014Dec.
2014Jan.
2015Change from:
Dec.
2014-
Jan.
2015

Employment status

 

Civilian noninstitutional population

246,915248,844249,027249,723

Civilian labor force

155,486156,402156,129157,180

Participation rate

63.062.962.762.9

Employed

145,206147,331147,442148,201

Employment-population ratio

58.859.259.259.3

Unemployed

10,2809,0718,6888,979

Unemployment rate

6.65.85.65.7

Not in labor force

91,42992,44292,89892,544

Unemployment rates

 

Total, 16 years and over

6.65.85.65.7

Adult men (20 years and over)

6.35.45.35.3

Adult women (20 years and over)

5.95.25.05.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

20.817.516.818.8

White

5.74.94.84.9

Black or African American

12.111.010.410.3

Asian

4.84.74.24.0

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

8.36.66.56.7

Total, 25 years and over

5.34.74.54.6

Less than a high school diploma

9.68.58.68.5

High school graduates, no college

6.55.65.35.4

Some college or associate degree

5.94.94.95.2

Bachelor’s degree and higher

3.33.22.92.8

Reason for unemployment

 

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

5,3544,4804,3254,242

Job leavers

815835798851

Reentrants

2,9112,7612,7012,829

New entrants

1,1811,0459711,033

Duration of unemployment

 

Less than 5 weeks

2,4492,5052,3752,383

5 to 14 weeks

2,4282,3782,2932,318

15 to 26 weeks

1,6991,4031,2741,380

27 weeks and over

3,6282,8222,7852,800

Employed persons at work part time

 

Part time for economic reasons

7,2746,8516,7906,810

Slack work or business conditions

4,4194,0684,0614,012

Could only find part-time work

2,5922,4472,4322,460

Part time for noneconomic reasons

19,31719,97119,73019,822

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

 

Marginally attached to the labor force

2,5922,1092,2602,234

Discouraged workers

837698740682

– December – January changes in household data are not shown due to the introduction of updated population controls.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

 

 

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Jan.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014(p)
Jan.
2015(p)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

166 423 329 257

Total private

183 414 320 267

Goods-producing

90 76 73 58

Mining and logging

5 1 3 -3

Construction

69 30 44 39

Manufacturing

16 45 26 22

Durable goods(1)

4 28 21 18

Motor vehicles and parts

-6.1 9.3 6.2 6.7

Nondurable goods

12 17 5 4

Private service-providing

93 338 247 209

Wholesale trade

17.5 8.0 11.3 12.7

Retail trade

-16.5 61.2 7.2 45.9

Transportation and warehousing

-2.7 25.9 33.8 -8.6

Utilities

-1.8 2.8 1.9 0.5

Information

0 7 4 6

Financial activities

4 28 9 26

Professional and business services(1)

36 96 80 39

Temporary help services

-5.2 30.8 25.0 -4.1

Education and health services(1)

19 51 48 46

Health care and social assistance

14.5 61.9 47.2 49.7

Leisure and hospitality

28 42 47 37

Other services

10 16 5 4

Government

-17 9 9 -10

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

197 298 324 336

Total private

203 289 317 334

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.4 49.3 49.3 49.3

Total private women employees

47.9 47.9 47.9 47.8

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.6 82.5 82.5 82.5

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.6 34.6 34.6

Average hourly earnings

$24.22 $24.68 $24.63 $24.75

Average weekly earnings

$833.17 $853.93 $852.20 $856.35

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

99.6 102.4 102.7 102.9

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

115.1 120.6 120.7 121.5

Over-the-month percent change

0.6 0.8 0.1 0.7

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (263 industries)

62.4 75.3 69.0 62.4

Manufacturing (80 industries)

57.5 76.3 64.4 58.1

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(p) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2014 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

US gains strong 257K jobs, pay jumps; jobless rate 5.7 pct.


By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER


 U.S. employers added a vigorous 257,000 jobs in January, and wages jumped by the most in six years — evidence that the job market is accelerating closer to full health.

The surprisingly robust report the government issued Friday also showed that hiring was far stronger in November and December than it had previously estimated. Employers added 414,000 jobs in November — the most in 17 years. Job growth in December was revised sharply up to 329,000 from 252,000.

Average hourly wages soared 12 cents in January to $24.75, the sharpest gain since 2008. Over the past 12 months, hourly pay, which has long been stagnant, has now risen 2.2 percent. That is ahead of inflation, which rose just 0.7 percent in 2014.

The unemployment rate last month rose to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent. But that occurred for a good reason: More than 1 million Americans — the most since January 2000 — began looking for jobs, though not all of them found work, and their numbers swelled the number of people counted as unemployed. An influx of job hunters suggests that Americans have grown more confident about their prospects.

“For the average American, it’s certainly good news — 2015 is going to be the year of the American consumer,” said Russell Price, senior economist at the financial services firm Ameriprise. “With job growth being strong, we’re going to see a pickup in wages and salaries.”

Investors immediately responded to the better-than-expected jobs figures by selling ultra-safe U.S. Treasurys, sending yields up. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.88 percent from 1.81 percent shortly before the jobs report was released.

Stock market index futures also edged higher in pre-market trading. Futures that track the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average each rose about 0.4 percent.

A sharp drop in gas prices has held down inflation and boosted Americans’ spending power. Strong hiring also tends to lift pay as employers compete for fewer workers. A big question is whether last month’s jump in wages can be sustained.

Job gains have now averaged 336,000 for the past three months, the best three-month pace in 17 years. Just a year ago, the three-month average was only 197,000.

“The labor market was about the last thing to recover from the Great Recession, and in the last six months it has picked up steam,” said Bill Hampel, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association. “The benefits for the middle class are now solidifying.”

The stepped-up hiring in January occurred across nearly all industries. Construction firms added 39,000 jobs and manufacturers 22,000. Retail jobs jumped by nearly 46,000. Hotels and restaurants added 37,100, health care 38,000.

The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring wages and other job market data as it considers when to begin raising the short-term interest rate it controls from a record low near zero. The Fed has kept rates at record lows for more than six years to help stimulate growth. Most economists think the central bank will start boosting rates as early as June.

Steady economic growth has encouraged companies to keep hiring. The economy expanded at a 4.8 percent annual rate during spring and summer, the fastest six-month pace in a decade, before slowing to a still-decent 2.6 percent pace in the final three months of 2014.

There are now 3.2 million more Americans earning paychecks than there were 12 months ago. That tends to boost consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of economic growth.

More hiring, along with sharply lower gasoline prices, has boosted Americans’ confidence and spending power. Consumer confidence jumped in January to its highest level in a decade, according to a survey by the University of Michigan. And Americans increased their spending during the final three months of last year at the fastest pace in nearly nine years.

A more confident, free-spending consumer could lend a spark that’s been missing for most of the 5½bd}-year-old economic recovery. Americans have been largely holding the line on spending and trying to shrink their debt loads. Signs that they are poised to spend more have boosted optimism that the economy will expand more than 3 percent this year for the first time in a decade.

One sector that has benefited from consumers’ increased willingness to spend has been the auto industry. Auto sales jumped 14 percent in January from the previous year, according to Autodata Corp. Last month was the best January for sales in nine years.

 

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150206/us–economy-5c2022abd1.html

 

NET U.S. JOB GAINS SINCE THE RECESSION HAVE GONE TO FOREIGN-BORN WORKERS

 

In the months and years since the recession began in December 2007, foreign-born workers have experienced a net increase in employment, while native-born Americans have experienced a net loss.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released updated employment data Friday.

The new BLS figures reveal that since the start of the recession in 2007 — which is said to have ended in June 2009 — the number of foreign workers employed in the United States rose by 1.7 million.

In December 2007 the number of foreign-born workers was 22,810,000 by January 2009 the number has increased to 24,553,000.

Meanwhile the number of American-born workers employed decreased by 1.5 million, from 123,524,000 to 121,999,000.

While the foreign-born and American-born population experienced different statistical employment fates, both categories of adults experienced net growth.

The numbers come as Congress continues to debate a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that would defund President Obama’s executive amnesty, which has opened the door for millions of illegal immigrants to legally work in the United States.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Immigration Subcommittee Chairman, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the president’s actions and the administration’s immigration policies, which he argues harms American workers.

Friday, his office highlighted the employment discrepancies between native- and foreign- born employment.

“There are two jobs narratives: the one from the Administration, and the one lived and experienced by American workers. Fewer American workers are employed today than when the recession began.  The President’s policies have profited the corporate immigration lobby and no-borders contingent, but have been only deleterious for wage-earners,” Session’s spokesman Stephen Miller emailed Breitbart News.

Miller highlighted that in addition to the annual flow of over 1.7 million permanent legal immigrants and nonimmigrant workers, as the Center for Immigration Studies recently exposed,  since 2009 the administration has also provided another 5.5 million immigrants with employment authorization documents (EAD).

“What we are seeing in the BLS stats is the human fallout from the President’s actions,” Miller continued. “Figures such as these should be leading the nightly news. One of the first questions posited ought to be: will Minority Leader [Harry] Reid’s (D-NV) caucus continue to shield the issuance of 5 million more EADs for those illegally here?”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/06/net-u-s-job-gains-since-the-recession-have-gone-to-foreign-born-workers/

The Federal Reserve’s Dual Mandate

What Is the Dual Mandate?

In 1977, Congress amended The Federal Reserve Act, stating the monetary policy objectives of the Federal Reserve as:

 

“The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.”

 

This is often called the “dual mandate” and guides the Fed’s decision-making in conducting monetary policy. On January 25, 2012, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released the principles regarding its longer-run goals and monetary policy strategy.

The statement notes that:

 

“The FOMC is firmly committed to fulfilling its statutory mandate from the Congress of promoting maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. The Committee seeks to explain its monetary policy decisions to the public as clearly as possible. Such clarity facilitates well-informed decision making by households and businesses, reduces economic and financial uncertainty, increases the effectiveness of monetary policy, and enhances transparency and accountability, which are essential in a democratic society.

 

Inflation, employment, and long-term interest rates fluctuate over time in response to economic and financial disturbances. Moreover, monetary policy actions tend to influence economic activity and prices with a lag. Therefore, the Committee’s policy decisions reflect its longer-run goals, its medium-term outlook, and its assessments of the balance of risks, including risks to the financial system that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals.

 

The inflation rate over the longer run is primarily determined by monetary policy, and hence the Committee has the ability to specify a longer-run goal for inflation. The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate. Communicating this inflation goal clearly to the public helps keep longer-term inflation expectations firmly anchored, thereby fostering price stability and moderate long-term interest rates and enhancing the Committee’s ability to promote maximum employment in the face of significant economic disturbances.

 

The maximum level of employment is largely determined by nonmonetary factors that affect the structure and dynamics of the labor market. These factors may change over time and may not be directly measurable. Consequently, it would not be appropriate to specify a fixed goal for employment; rather, the Committee’s policy decisions must be informed by assessments of the maximum level of employment, recognizing that such assessments are necessarily uncertain and subject to revision. The Committee considers a wide range of indicators in making these assessments. Information about Committee participants’ estimates of the longer-run normal rates of output growth and unemployment is published four times per year in the FOMC’s Summary of Economic Projections. For example, in the most recent projections, FOMC participants’ estimates of the longer-run normal rate of unemployment had a central tendency of 5.2 percent to 6.0 percent, roughly unchanged from last January but substantially higher than the corresponding interval several years earlier.”

 

Effective communications of the Committee’s objectives and economic forecasts increases the transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of policy decisions. To this end, the FOMC publishes the participants’ projections for the key economic variables and their estimates of the longer-run normal rates of output growth and unemployment four times a year in the Summary of Economic Projections. The projections are made by all FOMC participants, irrespective of whether they are voting members or not. The projections are prepared ahead of the FOMC meetings and do not necessarily reflect the discussions at the meetings that inform the FOMC’s decisions.

https://www.chicagofed.org/publications/speeches/our-dual-mandate-background

What Are the Dual Mandate Projections?

Inflation and Unemployment

Chart of inflation

 

Chart of unemployment rate

 

These charts plot the current rates of inflation and unemployment, as well as the FOMC participants’ most recent projections over the next three years and in the longer run. The dots show the median forecasts for the next three years and the dashed lines give the upper and lower ranges of the central tendency of the long-run projections.

 

 

Policy

Chart of fed funds rate

This chart plots the federal funds rate and the rate after adjusting for the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy prices. Read more…

 

 

Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

Charts of assets and liabilitiesDuring the financial crisis and in the period since the fed funds rate neared the zero lower bound, the FOMC has employed unconventional tools to improve the functioning of financial markets and to provide additional policy accommodation.

Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

ChartDuring the financial crisis and in the period since the fed funds rate neared the zero lower bound, the FOMC has employed unconventional tools to improve the functioning of financial markets and to provide additional policy accommodation. As seen in the chart above, the use of these tools has increased the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and altered its composition. At the same, the increase in assets has been accompanied by an increase in liabilities of a similar magnitude, driven primarily by an increase in the reserve balances of depository institutions held at the Federal Reserve.

 

 

Federal Funds Rate Projections

Chart of target fed funds rate

In addition to its interest rate and balance sheet policies, the FOMC has enhanced its communications and increased transparency regarding its outlook, objectives and policy strategy. The dots represent individual policymakers’ projections of the appropriate federal funds rate target at the end of each of the next several years and in the longer run. It should be noted that these projections reflect the views of all the participants, irrespective of whether they are a voting member or not.

Federal Funds Rate Projections

ChartIn addition to its interest rate and balance sheet policies, the FOMC has enhanced its communications and increased transparency regarding its outlook, objectives and policy strategy. Forward guidance regarding the likely future path of policy is one such communications tool. In its March 2009 statement, the FOMC stated that it anticipates rates to remain at low levels for an extended period. At its August 2011meeting, the Committee elaborated further by stating that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low rates “at least through mid-2013.” In the January 2012 statement, in response to changes in current and expected economic conditions, the Committee altered its forward guidance regarding the period of exceptionally low rates to “at least through late-2014.” To further enhance its communications, the FOMC also published the participants’ projections for the federal funds rate in January 2012. In this chart, the dots represent individual policymakers’ projections of the appropriate federal funds rate target at the end of each of the next several years and in the longer run. It should be noted that these projections reflect the views of all the participants, irrespective of whether they are a voting member or not. Moreover, the projections are made in advance of the FOMC meetings and do not reflect how the participants’ views are enhanced from the discussions at the meetings. The statements released after each FOMC meeting reflect the policy decision of the voting members of the FOMC and their consensus view regarding the likely path of the federal funds rate in the future.

https://www.chicagofed.org/publications/speeches/our-dual-mandate

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The Federal Reserve Opposes More Congressional Oversight and Audit Proposed By Senator Rand Paul — Audit The Fed and Then End The Fed — Videos

Posted on February 8, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Homes, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Raves, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: The Federal Reserve Opposes More Congressional Oversight and Audit Proposed By Senator Rand Paul — Audit The Fed and Then End The Fed — Videos

rand Paul

janet-yellen

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Rand Paul – Audit the Fed!

Major Move! House Passes Bill to Audit Federal Reserve!

Senator Vitter (R-LA) asks Janet Yellen about Audit the Fed (S.209)

Rand Paul on Janet Yellen, Transparency At The Fed, And Nsa Spying Bloomberg

Rand Paul: ‘Audit the Fed’ – CNBC 5/22/2013

Audit the Fed. by Ron Paul. Harry Reid gets slammed –

Fed fires back at Rand Paul

The Federal Reserve is lashing out at Sen. Rand Paul’s plan to give Congress more oversight over the central bank, a proposal that could gain traction in the new Republican-led Congress.

The Kentucky Republican reintroduced his “Audit the Fed” legislation last month with 30 co-sponsors, including other potential 2016 GOP hopefuls, Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).

The proposal — once championed by his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) —would subject the central bank to an audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Regional bank presidents from around the country are decrying the plan, which they argue could damage the economy.

“Who in their right mind would ask the Congress of the United States — who can’t cobble together a fiscal policy — to assume control of monetary policy?” Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said during an interview with The Hill.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has already vowed to fight the legislation, and President Obama would likely veto it.

Still, Fed watchers note that Paul has become emboldened by the new Republican majority in Congress. And he possesses an ever louder national microphone, as he moves closer to a 2016 presidential run.

Together, those factors could elevate the issue in the coming months, a prospect that has spurred strong words from bank officials.

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser told The Hill that financial auditing “already exists” for the Fed, and warned that Paul’s plan would empower Congress “to audit and question monetary policy decisions in real time.”

“This runs the risk of monetary policy decisions being based on short-term political considerations instead of the longer-term health of the economy,” Plosser said.

Paul pushed back against the criticism, saying Fed officials “will say and do anything to keep their business hidden from the American people.”

For Paul, the legislation allows him to burnish his Republican-libertarian credentials.

And he appears to want to make it part of his early presidential campaigning. On Friday, Paul will hold an Audit the Fed rally in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of a weekend trip to the early presidential caucus state.

The issue could give Paul an opening to tap into the public’s mistrust of the government, more than six years after the federal bailouts that followed the 2008 economic crisis.

“This secretive government-run bureaucracy promotes policies that have impacted the lives of all Americans,” Paul said. “Citizens have the right to know why the Fed’s policies have resulted in a stagnant economy and record numbers of people dropping out of the workforce.”

Fisher said lawmakers are looking to shift blame, having proven “unable to get together with their own colleagues on a working fiscal policy or construct a regulatory regime that incentivizes investment and job creation.”

“So they simply find it convenient to create a boogeyman out of an entity that does its job efficiently — the Federal Reserve,” Fisher said. “To some outsiders the Fed appears to be some kind of combination of Hogwarts, the Death Star, and Ebenezer Scrooge — especially to those who don’t take the time to read the copious amounts of reports and speeches and explanations we emit.”

The twelve presidents of the Fed’s regional banks are well connected, their boards of directors stacked with influential business leaders. They are likely to intensify their opposition to Paul’s proposal.

On Wednesday, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester criticized the legislation as “misguided” during public remarks in Columbus, Ohio.

“They really are about allowing political considerations to influence monetary policy decisions,” Mester said in her speech. “This would be a tremendous mistake, because it would ultimately lead to poorer economic performance.”

Yellen, who met with Senate Democrats last week on Capitol Hill, is scheduled to testify before Congress later this month. The appearance will be her first since Republicans seized control of the Senate, and she will likely face questions on the legislation.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), whose panel has jurisdiction on the bill, has also said he is interested in holding hearings on the issue.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/231822-fed-fires-back

Rand Paul Slams Federal Reserve’s Secrecy, Reintroduces Bill to ‘Audit the Fed’

Sen. Rand Paul is reviving his push to audit the Federal Reserve.

The Kentucky Republican and presumptive 2016 presidential candidate said he wants to bring several of the Fed’s monetary activities under congressional oversight.

In a statement released Monday, Paul said it was time to end the secrecy behind the Fed. He believes an audit is the best way to do it.

“[An] audit of the Fed will finally allow the American people to know exactly how their money is being spent by Washington.” Paul said.
He slammed the Fed’s current operating practices, saying it works “under a cloak of secrecy and it has gone on for too long.”

Paul concluded that “the American people have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation’s money supply.”

>>> Much More to Friedman Than Rule-Based Monetary Policy

Calls for a Fed audit increased after the 2008 financial crisis. The ensuing collapse in the housing market and financial industry sparked an ongoing effort to bring more sunlight to the agency.

Norbert Michel, a research fellow in financial regulations at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal he agreed with the senator.

“There is no justification for secrecy,” Michel said. “They should have a full policy audit and the Federal Open Market Committee’s full transcript, not just the minutes, should be released.”

Although the main goal of Paul’s legislation is to have a full audit of the Fed, completed within six months, there are several other reforms he’d like to implement. They include eliminating restrictions on the Government Accountability Office’s ability to conduct oversight and giving Congress oversight of Fed policies like quantitative easing.

>>> House Republicans Attempt to Lift ‘Veil of Secrecy’ From Federal Reserve

The bill has already gained popularity in the Republican caucus with 30 co-sponsors, including Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., potential presidential rivals in 2016.

“The Fed has expanded its balance sheet fivefold, yet economic growth is still tepid, businesses are sitting on cash, and median income and household wealth are depressed,” Cruz noted in a statement.

Cruz also slammed the Fed for its secrecy.

“Enough is enough,” Cruz said. “The Federal Reserve needs to fully open its books so Congress and the American people can see what has been going on. This is a crucial first step to getting back to a more stable dollar and a healthy economy for the long term.”

http://dailysignal.com/2015/01/29/rand-paul-slams-federal-reserves-secrecy-reintroduces-bill-audit-fed/

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Murray Rothbard — Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard — Videos

Posted on February 8, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Friends, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Language, Law, liberty, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

murray_boardStrictly Confidential

Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard

Murray Rothbard is widely known for his vast literary output, but a great deal of his work has never been published until now. During the late 1950s and early 60s he worked for the William Volker Fund, one of the few organizations willing to fund classical liberal scholars at the time. In that capacity, he wrote memos and reviews that offer insights on history, economics, foreign policy, and political theory.

Rothbard’s view and understanding of world events was unique and prescient. Strictly Confidential is an illuminating commentary on the feisty early years of the libertarian movement, and the fledgling intellectual base that became the root of today’s libertarianism.

No one tells it like it is better than Rothbard.

http://mises.org/library/strictly-confidential-private-volker-fund-memos-murray-n-rothbardmurray rothbard keynesian

rothbardMurray_Rothbard

How Murray Rothbard Became a Libertarian

A prolific author and Austrian economist, Murray Rothbard promoted a form of free market anarchism he called “anarcho-capitalism.”

In this talk, given at the 1981 National Libertarian Party Convention, Rothbard tells the story of how he came to learn about economics and libertarianism as he grew up in the Bronx and attended Columbia University in the 1930s and 40s. He reminisces about meeting Frank Chodorov, Baldy Harper, George Stigler and Ludwig von Mises, and takes a number of audience questions.

The Future of Austrian Economics | Murray N. Rothbard

This is the famous speech by Murray Rothbard given in the days following the collapse of the Soviet empire. His exuberance is palpable has he explains the meaning of it all for the place of liberty in the history of civilization.
A brilliant scholar and passionate defender of Liberty, Professor Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was dean of the Austrian School of economics, holder of the S.J. Hall Chair at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The author of 17 books and thousands of articles, the foremost Misesian economist, the father of modern freedom theory, and the most delightful personality in the profession, this great teacher here spellbinds an audience of students, faculty, and business leaders in the “Future of Austrian Economics,” at the 1990 Mises University at Stanford.

Only Austrian economics, Rothbard shows, can explain the collapse of socialism/communism and tell us what should replace it: laissez-faire capitalism. There is a lesson here as well, he shows, for dealing with the Leviathan in Washington, D.C.

The Founding of the Federal Reserve | Murray N. Rothbard

Libertarianism | Murray N. Rothbard

Murray Rothbard: Six Stages of the Libertarian Movement

Murray Rothbard – The Government Is Not Us

The Gold Standard Before the Civil War | Murray N. Rothbard

Rothbard on the ‘best’ US president

Keynes the Man: Hero or Villain? | Murray N. Rothbard

415. Murray Rothbard: Who He Was and Why He’s Important

Gene Epstein: Murray Rothbard’s Mixed Legacy

How Murray Rothbard Changed my Mind on War | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Murray Rothbard as Academic Role Model | Gary North

The Worldview of Murray Rothbard | Gerard Casey

Two Roads, One Truth | Gerard Casey

inflation

 

For A New Liberty For A New Liberty 2America's Great DepressionLThe Case Against The FedRothbard-MESstateMurray_Rothbard (1)

 

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Laurence H. Meyer — A Term At The Fed — Videos

Posted on February 7, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Lawrence Meyera term at the fed_

Interview with Laurence Meyer :: Forefront :: Part 1

Interview with Laurence Meyer :: Forefront :: Part 2

Interview with Laurence Meyer :: Forefront :: Part 3

Laurence Meyer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Laurence Meyer
Born March 8, 1944 (age 70)
Bronx, New York
Nationality United States
Field Macroeconomics
School or tradition
Neo-Keynesian economics
Alma mater MIT (Ph.D., 1970)
Yale (B.A., 1965)
Influences Hyman Minsky

Laurence Meyer (born March 8, 1944) is an economist and was a United States Federal Reserve System governor from June 1996 to January 2002.

Meyer received a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970. He then taught at Washington University in St. Louis for 27 years. Meyer also ran an economic consulting firm, Laurence H. Meyer and Associates, with two former students. After he moved to the Fed, he sold his interest in the firm and it renamed itself Macroeconomic Advisers. He won several economic forecasting awards while running the company.

He was nominated to the Fed by President Bill Clinton along with Alice Rivlin in 1996. At the Fed, Meyer was one of the Governors most ready to raise interest rates, because he believed that the economy was operating near full capacity, and especially that employment was near the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, or the rate that would cause inflation. Alan Greenspan, the Chairman at that time, was one of the leaders of the idea that improved productivity would allow the Fed to keep interest rates low without causing inflation.

After leaving the Fed, Meyer became a Distinguished Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He also resumed working with Macroeconomic Advisers.

Publications

  • Meyer, Laurence (2004). A Term at the Fed : An Insider’s View. Collins. ISBN 0-06-054270-5.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Meyer

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Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane — The Economics of Great Powers Balance From Ancient Rome To Modern America — Videos

Posted on January 2, 2015. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Computers, Data, Demographics, Diet, Disease, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Genocide, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, Math, media, Microeconomics, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Science, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Glenn Hubbard, “Balance” | Authors at Google

Q&A with R. Hubbard on “Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America”

Book TV: Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane, “Balance”

Dr. Tim Kane: “America and the Ghost of Great Powers Past”

Romney’s top economist talks taxes, Ben Bernanke, and bailouts – Freeland File

 

Glenn Hubbard (economist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Glenn Hubbard
Glenn Hubbard portrait.jpg
Dean of Columbia Business School
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 1, 2004
Preceded by Meyer Feldberg
20th Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
In office
May 11, 2001 – February 28, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Martin Neil Baily
Succeeded by N. Gregory Mankiw
Deputy Assistant Secretary at the United States Department of the Treasury
In office
1991–1993
President George H. W. Bush
Personal details
Born September 4, 1958 (age 56)
Orlando, Florida
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Central Florida(B.A., B.S.)
Harvard University (A.M., Ph.D.)
Profession Economist, professor
Religion Presbyterian
Signature
Website www.GlennHubbard.net

Robert Glenn Hubbard (born September 4, 1958) is an American economist and academic professor. He is currently the Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he is also Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics.[1] Hubbard previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1991 to 1993, and as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisorsfrom 2001 to 2003.

Hubbard is a Visiting Scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, where he studies tax policy and health care.[2]

Early Life

Born September 4, 1958, Hubbard was raised in Apopka, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. His father taught at a local community college and his mother taught at a high school. Hubbard’s younger brother, Gregg, is a member of the country-pop band Sawyer Brown.[3]

Hubbard is an Eagle Scout. A member of the chess team, he was a stellar student who graduated at the top of his class. He scored well enough on his College Level Examination Program to enter the University of Central Florida with enough credits to graduate with two degrees in three years. He obtained his B.A. and B.S. degrees summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida in 1979, and his masters and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1983.[3]

Career

Academic

Hubbard has been at Columbia University since 1988, being Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics since 1994.[4]

He was named dean of Columbia Business School on July 1, 2004.

Government

Hubbard was Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1991 to 1993.[2]

From February 2001 until March 2003, Hubbard was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush. A supply-side economist, he was instrumental in the design of the 2003 Bush Tax cuts[5]—an issue which split the economics profession on ideological lines, with those leaning left opposed and those leaning right supportive. See Economists’ statement opposing the Bush tax cuts.

He was tipped by some media outlets to be a candidate for the position of Chairman of the Federal Reserve when Alan Greenspan retired, although he was not nominated for the position.[5]

Political advisor

Hubbard served as economic advisor to the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, a position he also held during Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.[6] In August 2012, Politicoidentified Hubbard as “a likely Romney appointee as Federal Reserve chairman or Treasury secretary“.[7]

Other

Hubbard serves as Co-Chair of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.

“Hubbard is a member of the Board of Directors of Automatic Data Processing, Inc., BlackRock Closed-End Funds, Capmark Financial Corporation, Duke Realty Corporation,KKR Financial Corporation and Ripplewood Holdings. He is also a Director or Trustee of the Economic Club of New York, Tax Foundation, Resources for the Future, Manhattan Council and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse… Director of MetLife and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company since February 2007.”[4]

Hubbard is currently a board member of:

Inside Job interview and aftermath

Hubbard was interviewed in Charles Ferguson’s Oscar-winning documentary film, Inside Job (2010), discussing his advocacy, as chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration, of deregulation. Ferguson argues that deregulation led to the 2008 international banking crisis sparked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch. In the interview, Ferguson asks Hubbard to enumerate the firms from whom he receives outside income as an advisory board member in the context of possible conflict of interest. Hubbard, hitherto cooperative, declines to answer and threatens to end the interview with the remark, “You have three more minutes; give it your best shot.”[11] After the release of the film, Columbia ramped up ongoing efforts to strengthen and clarify their conflict of interest disclosure requirements.[12] (Columbia Business School professor Michael Feiner, a member of the faculty committee of Columbia’s Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics, has recommended that the film be shown to all business school students.[12]) One of Hubbard’s consulting contracts was examined in a deposition in 2012. His work for Countrywide Financial for $1200/hr, attesting that the lender’s loans were no worse than a control group of mortgages and not fraudulent, was examined by an attorney for MBIA. MBIA was suing Countrywide over its mortgage practices.[13]

Columbia Business School (CBS) Follies

Hubbard is also frequently featured in skits by Columbia Business School’s “Follies” group, ranging from videos of him monitoring students on classroom video cameras[14] to songs about his relationship with Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.[15]

References

  1. Jump up^ Glater, Jonathan D. (April 1, 2004). “Former Bush Aide Will Lead Columbia Business School”.New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b American Enterprise Institute, R. Glenn Hubbard
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b Segal, David (October 13, 2012). “Romney’s Go-To Economist”. The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Director – R. Glenn Hubbard”. Metlife. Retrieved 2008-12-15. R. Glenn Hubbard, Ph.D., age 50, has been the Dean of the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University since 2004 and the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics since 1994. Dr. Hubbard has been a professor of the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University since 1988. He is also a visiting scholar and Director of the Tax Policy Program for the American Enterprise Institute, and was a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers for the Congressional Budget Office from 2004 to 2006. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Hubbard served as Chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and as Chairman of the Economic Policy Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Dr. Hubbard is a member of the Board of Directors of Automatic Data Processing, Inc., BlackRock Closed-End Funds, Capmark Financial Corporation, Duke Realty Corporation, KKR Financial Corporation and Ripplewood Holdings. He is also a Director or Trustee of the Economic Club of New York, Tax Foundation, Resources for the Future, Manhattan Council and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse… Director of MetLife and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company since February 2007. Link.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Andrews, Edmund L.; David Leonhardt, Eduardo Porter, and Louis Uchitelle (October 26, 2005). “At the Fed, an Unknown Became a Safe Choice”. New York Times. Retrieved2008-12-15.
  6. Jump up^ Romney Taps Bush Hands to Shape Economic Policies, February 24, 2012
  7. Jump up^ “Who’s on the inside track for a Romney Cabinet” by MIKE ALLEN and JIM VANDEHEI,Politico, August 28, 2012, Retrieved 2012-08-28
  8. Jump up^ “Directors and Corporate Officers”. ADP : Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Retrieved2008-12-15.
  9. Jump up^ “BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund III Inc (CYE.N) Officers”. Reuters. Retrieved2008-12-15.
  10. Jump up^ “dukerealty.com – Investor Relations – Management”. Duke Realty. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  11. Jump up^ Transcript excerpt on “A Searing Look At Wall Street In ‘Inside Job’, Charles Ferguson interviewed by Melissa Block”, which aired October 1, 2010 on NPR‘s All Things Considered. During the program, Ferguson explained to Ms. Block, “Well, the entire interview was fairly contentious, as you can imagine. It surprised me somewhat to realize that these people were not used to being challenged, that they’d never been questioned about this issue before. They clearly expected to be deferred to by me and I think by everybody.”
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b “‘Inside Job’ prompts new look at conflict of interest policy,” published April 13, 2011, in the Columbia Spectator.
  13. Jump up^ Taibbi, Matt, “Glenn Hubbard, Leading Academic and Mitt Romney Advisor, Took $1200 an Hour to Be Countrywide’s Expert Witness”, Rolling Stone Taiblog, December 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  14. Jump up^ ECHO 360. CBS Follies. December 16, 2011 – via YouTube. Those ECHO 360 cameras in every room at CBS aren’t just recording lectures so you can skip class on Jewish holidays. They’re Hubbard’s eyes and ears. He’s watching you.
  15. Jump up^ White House Dream. CBS Follies. April 16, 2012 – via YouTube. From the Columbia Business School Follies Spring 2012 Show

External links

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Niall Ferguson — The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World, Financial Crisis, Empire, Descent of Money and Beyond The War of The World — Videos

Posted on December 24, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Computers, Corruption, Crisis, Documentary, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ascent_of_Moneyascent of moneyferguson_2164225b

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World by Niall Ferguson Epsd 1 5 Full Documentary

Professor Niall Ferguson – The Descent of Money

Niall Ferguson on importance of civil institutions and more, at Norwegian Nobel Institute

Niall Ferguson on the recent financial meltdown

Niall Ferguson – The Ascent of Money

Niall Ferguson at Charlie Rose 2011

[BBC Parliament] Niall Ferguson Lecture on his new book, The Ascent of Money – 14-12-08

Niall Ferguson Interview: Books, Financial History, Cash Nexus, Economics, Ascent of Money (2004)

Ferguson: Fiscal Crises and Imperial Collapses

Niall Ferguson: Fiscal Crises and Imperial Collapses: Historical Perspective on Current Predicaments

China and the West: Divergence and Convergence

NEED TO KNOW Niall Ferguson on the Tea Party, budget cuts and the economy

Niall Ferguson – Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World – Why Britain? 1/5

Niall Ferguson – Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World – Why Britain? 2/5

Niall Ferguson – Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World – Why Britain? 3/5

Niall Ferguson – Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World – Why Britain? 4/5

Niall Ferguson – Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World – Why Britain? 5/5

Conversations with History: Niall Ferguson

war of the world

The War of the World — Episode 1

The War of the World — Episode 2

The War of the World — Episode 3

The War of the World — Episode 4

The War of the World — Episode 5

The War of the World — Episode 6

 

Niall Ferguson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Niels Ferguson.
Niall Ferguson
Born Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson
18 April 1964 (age 50)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality British
Fields International history, economic history, American and British imperial history
Institutions Harvard University
Stanford
New York University
New College of the Humanities
Jesus College, Oxford
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford
Known for Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World
Influences Thomas Hobbes, Norman Stone,A. J. P. Taylor, Kenneth Clark,Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek,Milton Friedman, John Maynard Keynes, David Landes
Spouse Sue Douglas (1987–2011)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2011–present)

Niall Campbell Douglas Ferguson (/ˈnl ˈfɜr.ɡə.sən/; born 18 April 1964)[1] is a Scottish historian. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford, a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities. His specialties are international history, economic history, particularly hyperinflation and the bond markets, and British and Americanimperialism.[2] He is known for his provocative, contrarian views.[3]

Ferguson’s books include Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World and Civilization: The West and the Rest, all of which he has presented as Channel 4 television series.

In 2004, he was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Since 2011,[dated info] he has been a contributing editor for Bloomberg Television[4][5] and a columnist for Newsweek.

Ferguson was an advisor to John McCain’s U.S. presidential campaign in 2008, and announced his support for Mitt Romney in 2012 and has been a vocal critic of Barack Obama.[6][7]

Early life

Ferguson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on 18 April 1964. His father was a doctor and his mother a physics teacher.[8][9] He attended The Glasgow Academy.[10] He was brought up as, and remains, an atheist.[11]

Ferguson cites his father as instilling in him a strong sense of self-discipline and of the moral value of work, while his mother encouraged his creative side.[12] His journalist maternal grandfather encouraged him to write.[12] Unable to decide on studying an English or a history degree at university, Ferguson cites his reading of War and Peace as persuading him towards history.[9]

University of Oxford

Ferguson received a Demyship (half-scholarship) at Magdalen College, Oxford.[13] While there he wrote the 90 minute student film ‘The Labours of Hercules Sprote’ and became best friends with Andrew Sullivan, based on a shared affinity for right-wing politics and punk music.[14] He had become a Thatcherite by 1982, identifying the position with “the Sex Pistols‘ position in 1977: it was a rebellion against the stuffy corporatism of the 70s.”[9] While at university “He was very much a Scot on the make … Niall was a witty, belligerent bloke who seemed to have come from an entirely different planet,” according to Simon Winder.[14]Ferguson has stated that “I was surrounded by insufferable Etonians with fake Cockney accents who imagined themselves to be working-class heroes in solidarity with the striking miners. It wasn’t long before it became clear that the really funny and interesting people on campus were Thatcherites.”[14]

He graduated with a first-class honours degree in history in 1985.[13] He received his D.Phil from Magdalen College in 1989, and his dissertation was entitled “Business and Politics in the German Inflation: Hamburg 1914–1924″.[15]

Career

Academic career

Ferguson is a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is a resident faculty member of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and an advisory fellow of the Barsanti Military History Center at the University of North Texas.

In May 2010, he announced that the Education Secretary Michael Gove in the UK’s Conservative/Lib Dem government had invited him to advise on the development of a new history syllabus—”history as a connected narrative”—for schools in England and Wales.[17][18] In June 2011, he joined other academics to set up the New College of the Humanities, a private college in London.[19]

Fellow academics have questioned Ferguson’s commitment to scholarship. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, an editor of The Washington Monthly, comments that

The House of Rothschild remains Ferguson’s only major work to have received prizes and wide acclaim from other historians. Research restrains sweeping, absolute claims: Rothschild is the last book Ferguson wrote for which he did original archival work, and his detailed knowledge of his subject meant that his arguments for it couldn’t be too grand.”[20]

John Lewis Gaddis, a Cold War era historian, characterised Ferguson as having unrivaled “range, productivity and visibility” at the same time as criticising his work as being “unpersuasive”. Gaddis goes on to state that “several of Ferguson’s claims, moreover, are contradictory”.[21]

Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm has praised Ferguson as an excellent historian.[22] However, he has also criticised Ferguson, saying, on the BBC Radio programme Start the Week, that he was a “nostalgist for empire”.[23] Ferguson responded to the above criticisms in a Washington Post “Live Discussions” online forum in 2006.[24] [clarification needed]

Business career

In 2007, Ferguson was appointed as an investment management consultant by GLG Partners, focusing on geopolitical risk as well as current structural issues in economic behaviour relating to investment decisions.[25] GLG is a UK-based hedge fund management firm headed by Noam Gottesman.[26]

Career as commentator

In October 2007, Ferguson left The Sunday Telegraph to join the Financial Times where he was a contributing editor.[27][28] He also writes for Newsweek.[17]

Ferguson has often described the European Union as a disaster waiting to happen,[29] and has criticised President Vladimir Putin of Russia for authoritarianism. In Ferguson’s view, certain of Putin’s policies, if they continue, may stand to lead Russia to catastrophes equivalent to those that befell Germany during the Nazi era.[30]

Books

The Cash Nexus

In his 2001 book, The Cash Nexus, which he wrote following a year as Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England,[28] Ferguson argues that the popular saying, “money makes the world go ’round”, is wrong; instead he presented a case for human actions in history motivated by far more than just economic concerns.

Colossus and Empire

In his books Colossus and Empire, Ferguson presents a reinterpretation of the history of the British Empire and in conclusion proposes that the modern policies of the United Kingdom and the United States, in taking a more active role in resolving conflict arising from the failure of states, are analogous to the ‘Anglicization’ policies adopted by the British Empire throughout the 19th century.[31][32] In Colossus, Ferguson explores the United States’ hegemony in foreign affairs and its future role in the world.[33][34]

War of the World

The War of the World, published in 2006, had been ten years in the making and is a comprehensive analysis of the savagery of the 20th century. Ferguson shows how a combination of economic volatility, decaying empires, psychopathic dictators, and racially/ethnically motivated (and institutionalised) violence resulted in the wars and the genocides of what he calls “History’s Age of Hatred”. The New York Times Book Reviewnamed War of the World one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year in 2006, while the International Herald Tribune called it “one of the most intriguing attempts by an historian to explain man’s inhumanity to man“.[35]Ferguson addresses the paradox that, though the 20th century was “so bloody”, it was also “a time of unparalleled [economic] progress”. As with his earlier work Empire,[36] War of the World was accompanied by aChannel 4 television series presented by Ferguson.[37]

The Ascent of Money

Published in 2008, The Ascent of Money examines the long history of money, credit, and banking. In it he predicts a financial crisis as a result of the world economy and in particular the United States using too much credit. Specifically he cites the ChinaAmerica dynamic which he refers to as Chimerica where an Asian “savings glut” helped create the subprime mortgage crisis with an influx of easy money.[38] While researching this book, in early 2007, he attended a conference in Las Vegas where a hedge fund manager stated there would never be another recession, Ferguson stood up and challenged him on it. Later the 2 agreed a 7 to 1 bet, that there would be another recession, for $14,000, with Ferguson paying that amount if he lost and winning $98,000. “I said, ‘Never is a very bad timeframe,'” Ferguson said. “‘Let’s say five years.'” Ferguson collected his winnings as he knew having researched the book and written several papers on economics in history, so knew another recession would definitely occur and with this bet placed a timeline of it occurring before 2012.[39]

Civilization

Published in 2011, Civilization: The West and the Rest examines what Ferguson calls the most “interesting question” of our day: “Why, beginning around 1500, did a few small polities on the western end of the Eurasian landmass come to dominate the rest of the world?” He attributes this divergence to the West’s development of six “killer apps” largely missing elsewhere in the world – “competition, science, the rule of law, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic”.[17] A related documentary Civilization: Is the West History? was broadcast as a six-part series on Channel 4 in March and April 2011.[40]

Opinions and research

World War I

In 1998, Ferguson published the critically acclaimed The Pity of War: Explaining World War One, which with the help of research assistants he was able to write in just five months.[13][14] This is an analytic account of what Ferguson considered to be the ten great myths of the Great War. The book generated much controversy, particularly Ferguson’s suggestion that it might have proved more beneficial for Europe if Britain had stayed out of the First World War in 1914, thereby allowing Germany to win.[41] Ferguson has argued that the British decision to intervene was what stopped a German victory in 1914–15. Furthermore, Ferguson expressed disagreement with the Sonderweg interpretation of German history championed by some German historians such as Fritz Fischer, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Hans Mommsen and Wolfgang Mommsen, who argued that the German Empire deliberately started an aggressive war in 1914. Likewise, Ferguson has often attacked the work of the German historian Michael Stürmer, who argued that it was Germany’s geographical situation in Central Europe that determined the course of German history.

On the contrary, Ferguson maintained that Germany waged a preventive war in 1914, a war largely forced on the Germans by reckless and irresponsible British diplomacy. In particular, Ferguson accused the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey of maintaining an ambiguous attitude to the question of whether Britain would enter the war or not, and thus confusing Berlin over just what was the British attitude towards the question of intervention in the war.[42] Ferguson accused London of unnecessarily allowing a regional war in Europe to escalate into a world war. Moreover, Ferguson denied that the origins of National Socialismcould be traced back to Imperial Germany; instead Ferguson asserted the origins of Nazism could only be traced back to the First World War and its aftermath.

Ferguson attacked a number of ideas which he called “myths” in the book. They are listed here, (with his counter-arguments in parentheses):

  • Germany was a highly militarist country before 1914. (Ferguson argued that Germany was Europe’s most anti-militarist country when compared to countries like Britain and France.)[43]
  • The naval threat posed by Germany drove Britain into an informal alliance with France and Russia before 1914. (Ferguson argues that the British decided to align themselves with Russia and France seeing them as more influential and powerful than Germany.)[44]
  • British policy was due to a legitimate fear of Germany. (Ferguson shows how Germany posed no significant threat to Britain and British fears were driven by propaganda and economic self interest.)[45]
  • The pre-1914 arms race was consuming increasingly larger portions of national budgets at an unsustainable rate. (Ferguson demonstrates using actual budget information of the European powers that the only limitations on more military spending before 1914 were political, not economic.)[46]
  • That World War I was an act of aggression on the part of Germany that provoked the British to stop Germany from conquering Europe. (Ferguson infers that if Germany had been victorious over France and Russia, something like the European Union would have been created in 1914. It would have been for the best if Britain had chosen to opt out of war in 1914, as Germany just wanted its “place in the sun.”)[47]
  • Most people were enthusiastic when the war started in 1914. (Ferguson claims that most Europeans were saddened by the start of war, especially when it dragged on long after it was supposed to end.)[48]
  • That propaganda was successful in making men wish to fight. (Ferguson states that propaganda was not nearly as effective as most experts argue.)[49]
  • The Allies utilized their economic resources to the fullest. (Ferguson argues that the allies made poor use of their vast economic resources such as those coming from their colonies as well as corruption in the war time governments. France and Britain both possessed huge colonial possessions that offered a plethora of resources as well as man power.)[50]
  • That the British and the French possessed better armies than the central powers. (Ferguson claims that the German Army was superior, with better equipment and leadership.)[51]
  • The Allies were better at killing Germans throughout the war. (Ferguson statistically shows that the Germans were actually far superior in exacting casualties than the Allies, this is due to German strategy and use of poison gas.)[52]
  • The majority of soldiers hated fighting in the war due to intolerable conditions. (Ferguson asserts that most soldiers fought due to nationalism and a sense of duty.)[53]
  • The British treated German prisoners more humanely than the Germans did. (Ferguson cites numerous occasions in which British officers ordered the killing of German prisoners of war.)[54]
  • Germany was faced with reparations that could not be paid except at the expense of the German economy. (Ferguson attempts to prove that Germany could have paid reparations if they had been willing.)[55]

Another controversial aspect of The Pity of War is Ferguson’s use of counterfactual history also known as “speculative” or “hypothetical” history. In the book, Ferguson presents a hypothetical version of Europe being, under Imperial German domination, a peaceful, prosperous, democratic continent, without ideologies like communism or fascism.[56] In Ferguson’s view, had Germany won World War I, then the lives of millions would have been saved, something like the European Union would have been founded in 1914, and Britain would have remained an empire as well as the world’s dominant financial power.[56]

Rothschilds

Ferguson wrote two volumes about the prominent Rothschild family:

  • The House of Rothschild: Volume 1: Money’s Prophets: 1798–1848[57]
  • The House of Rothschild: Volume 2: The World’s Banker: 1849–1999[58]

The books won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and were also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award.[28]

Counterfactual history

Ferguson sometimes champions counterfactual history, also known as “speculative” or “hypothetical” history, and edited a collection of essays, titled Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (1997), exploring the subject.

Ferguson likes to imagine alternative outcomes as a way of stressing the contingent aspects of history. For Ferguson, great forces don’t make history; individuals do, and nothing is predetermined. Thus, for Ferguson, there are no paths in history that will determine how things will work out. The world is neither progressing nor regressing; only the actions of individuals determine whether we will live in a better or worse world.

His championing of the method has been controversial within the field.[59]

In a 2011 review of Ferguson’s book Civilization: The West and the Rest, Noel Malcolm (Senior Research Fellow in History at All Souls College at Oxford University) stated that: “Students may find this an intriguing introduction to a wide range of human history; but they will get an odd idea of how historical argument is to be conducted, if they learn it from this book.”[60]

Henry Kissinger

In 2003, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger provided Ferguson with access to his White House diaries, letters, and archives for what Ferguson calls a “warts-and-all biography” of Kissinger.[61]

Colonialism

Ferguson is critical of what he calls the “self-flagellation” that he says characterises modern European thought.

“The moral simplification urge is an extraordinarily powerful one, especially in this country, where imperial guilt can lead to self-flagellation,” he told a reporter. “And it leads to very simplistic judgments. The rulers of western Africa prior to the European empires were not running some kind of scout camp. They were engaged in the slave trade. They showed zero sign of developing the country’s economic resources. Did Senegal ultimately benefit from French rule? Yes, it’s clear. And the counterfactual idea that somehow the indigenous rulers would have been more successful in economic development doesn’t have any credibility at all.”[17]

Richard Drayton, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at the University of London, has stated that it is correct to associate “Ferguson with an attempt to ‘rehabilitate empire’ in the service of contemporary great power interests”.[62]

Bernard Porter attacked Empire in The London Review of Books as a “panegyric to British colonialism”.[63] Ferguson in response to this drew Porter’s attention to the conclusion of the book, where he writes: “No one would claim that the record of the British Empire was unblemished. On the contrary, I have tried to show how often it failed to live up to its own ideal of individual liberty, particularly in the early era of enslavement, transportation and the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of indigenous peoples.” Ferguson argues however that the British Empire was preferable to the alternatives:

‘The 19th-century empire undeniably pioneered free trade, free capital movements and, with the abolition of slavery, free labour. It invested immense sums in developing a global network of modern communications. It spread and enforced the rule of law over vast areas. Though it fought many small wars, the empire maintained a global peace unmatched before or since. In the 20th century too the empire more than justified its own existence. For the alternatives to British rule represented by the German and Japanese empires were clearly – and they admitted it themselves – far worse. And without its empire, it is inconceivable that Britain could have withstood them.’[63]

Exchange with Pankaj Mishra

In November 2011 Pankaj Mishra reviewed Civilisation: The West and the Rest unfavourably in the London Review of Books.[64] Ferguson demanded an apology and threatened to sue Mishra on charges of libel due to allegations of racism.[65]

Islam and “Eurabia”

Matthew Carr wrote in Race & Class that

“Niall Ferguson, the conservative English [sic] historian and enthusiastic advocate of a new American empire, has also embraced the Eurabian idea in a widely reproduced article entitled ‘Eurabia?’,”[66]

in which he laments the ‘de-Christianization of Europe’ and its culture of secularism that leaves the continent ‘weak in the face of fanaticism’.” Carr adds that

“Ferguson sees the recent establishment of a department of Islamic studies in his Oxford college as another symptom of ‘the creeping Islamicization of a decadent Christendom”,

and that in a 2004 lecture at the American Enterprise Institute entitled ‘The End of Europe?’,[67]

“Ferguson struck a similarly Spenglerian note, conjuring the term ‘impire’ to depict a process in which a ‘political entity, instead of expanding outwards towards its periphery, exporting power, implodes – when the energies come from outside into that entity’. In Ferguson’s opinion, this process was already under way in a decadent ‘post-Christian’ Europe that was drifting inexorably towards the dark denouement of a vanquished civilisation and the fatal embrace of Islam.”[68]

Iraq War

Ferguson supported the 2003 Iraq War, and he is on record as not necessarily opposed to future western incursions around the world.

“It’s all very well for us to sit here in the West with our high incomes and cushy lives, and say it’s immoral to violate the sovereignty of another state. But if the effect of that is to bring people in that country economic and political freedom, to raise their standard of living, to increase their life expectancy, then don’t rule it out”.[17]

Economic policy

In its 15 August 2005 edition, The New Republic published “The New New Deal”, an essay by Ferguson and Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University. The two scholars called for the following changes to the American government’s fiscal and income security policies:

  • Replacing the personal income tax, corporate income tax, Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA), estate tax, and gift tax with a 33% Federal Retail Sales Tax (FRST), plus a monthly rebate, amounting to the amount of FRST that a household with similar demographics would pay if its income were at the poverty line. See also: FairTax
  • Replacing the old age benefits paid under Social Security with a Personal Security System, consisting of private retirement accounts for all citizens, plus a government benefit payable to those whose savings were insufficient to afford a minimum retirement income
  • Replacing Medicare and Medicaid with a Medical Security System that would provide health insurance vouchers to all citizens, the value of which would be determined by one’s health
  • Cutting federal discretionary spending by 20%

In November 2012, Ferguson stated in a video with CNN that the U.S. has enough energy resources to move towards energy independence and could possibly enter a new economic golden age due to the related socio-economic growth—coming out of the post-world economic recession doldrums.[69]

Ferguson was an attendee of the 2012 Bilderberg Group meeting, where he was a speaker on economic policy.[70]

Exchanges with Paul Krugman

In May 2009, Ferguson became involved in a high-profile exchange of views with economist Paul Krugman (2008 Nobel Laureate in Economics) arising out of a panel discussion hosted by PEN/New York Review on 30 April 2009, regarding the U.S. economy. Ferguson contended that the Obama administration’s policies are simultaneously Keynesian and monetarist, in an “incoherent” mix, and specifically claimed that the government’s issuance of a multitude of new bonds would cause an increase in interest rates.[71]

Krugman argued that Ferguson’s view is “resurrecting 75-year old fallacies” and full of “basic errors”. He also stated that Ferguson is a “poseur” who “hasn’t bothered to understand the basics, relying on snide comments and surface cleverness to convey the impression of wisdom. It’s all style, no comprehension of substance.”[72][73][74][75]

In 2012, Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said that subsequent events had shown Ferguson to be wrong: “As we all know, since then both the US and UK have had deficits running at historically extremely high levels, and long-term interest rates at historic lows: as Krugman has repeatedly pointed out, the (IS-LM) textbook has been spot on.”[76]

Later in 2012, after Ferguson wrote a cover story for Newsweek arguing that Mitt Romney should be elected in the upcoming US presidential election, Krugman wrote that there were multiple errors and misrepresentations in the story, concluding “We’re not talking about ideology or even economic analysis here – just a plain misrepresentation of the facts, with an august publication letting itself be used to misinform readers. The Times would require an abject correction if something like that slipped through. Will Newsweek?”[77] Ferguson denied that he had misrepresented the facts in an online rebuttal.[78] Matthew O’Briencountered that Ferguson was still distorting the meaning of the CBO report being discussed, and that the entire piece could be read as an effort to deceive.[79]

In 2013, Ferguson, naming Dean Baker, Josh Barro, Brad DeLong, Matthew O’Brien, Noah Smith, Matthew Yglesias and Justin Wolfers, attacked “Krugman and his acolytes,” in his three-part essay on why he hates Paul Krugman,[80] whose title is originally made by Noah Smith.[81]

Remarks on Keynes’ sexual orientation

At a May 2013 investment conference in Carlsbad, California, Ferguson was asked about his views on economist John Maynard Keynes‘s quotation that “in the long run we are all dead.” Ferguson stated that Keynes was indifferent to the future because he was gay and did not have children.[82]

The remarks were widely criticised for being offensive, factually inaccurate, and a distortion of Keynes’ ideas.[83][84]

Ferguson posted an apology for these statements shortly after reports of his words were widely disseminated, saying his comments were “as stupid as they were insensitive”.[85] In the apology, Ferguson stated: “My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life.”[86]

Personal life

Ferguson married journalist Susan Douglas, whom he met in 1987 when she was his editor at the Daily Mail. They have three children.[87]

In February 2010, news media reported that Ferguson had separated from Douglas and started dating former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali.[88][89][90] Ferguson and Douglas divorced in 2011.

Ferguson married Hirsi Ali in September 2011[91] and Hirsi Ali gave birth to their son in December 2011.[92][93][94]

Ferguson dedicated his book Civilization to “Ayaan”. In an interview with The Guardian, Ferguson spoke about his love for Ali, who, he writes in the preface, “understands better than anyone I know what Western civilisation really means – and what it still has to offer the world”.[17] Ali, he continued,

…grew up in the Muslim world, was born in Somalia, spent time in Saudi Arabia, was a fundamentalist as a teenager. Her journey from the world of her childhood and family to where she is today is an odyssey that’s extremely hard for you or I [sic] to imagine. To see and hear how she understands western philosophy, how she understands the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, of the 19th-century liberal era, is a great privilege, because she sees it with a clarity and freshness of perspective that’s really hard for us to match. So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don’t understand how incredibly vulnerable it is.[17]

Ferguson’s self confessed workaholism has placed strains on his personal relations in the past. Ferguson has commented that:

…from 2002, the combination of making TV programmes and teaching at Harvard took me away from my children too much. You don’t get those years back. You have to ask yourself: “Was it a smart decision to do those things?” I think the success I have enjoyed since then has been bought at a significant price. In hindsight, there would have been a bunch of things that I would have said no to.[12]

Ferguson was the inspiration for Alan Bennett‘s play The History Boys (2004), particularly the character of Irwin, a history teacher who urges his pupils to find a counterintuitive angle, and goes on to become a television historian.[8] Bennett’s character “Irwin” gives the impression that “an entire career can be built on the trick of contrariness.”[8]

Bibliography

Publications

As contributor

  • “Let Germany Keep Its Nerve”, The Spectator, 22 April 1995, pages 21–23[95]
  • “Europa nervosa”, in Nader Mousavizadeh (ed.), The Black Book of Bosnia (New Republic/Basic Books, 1996), pp. 127–32
  • “The German inter-war economy: Political choice versus economic determinism” in Mary Fulbrook (ed.), German History since 1800 (Arnold, 1997), pp. 258–278
  • “The balance of payments question: Versailles and after” in Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman and Elisabeth Glaser (eds.), The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 401–440
  • “‘The Caucasian Royal Family’: The Rothschilds in national contexts” in R. Liedtke (ed.), ‘Two Nations’: The Historical Experience of British and German Jews in Comparison (J.C.B. Mohr, 1999)
  • “Academics and the Press”, in Stephen Glover (ed.), Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism (Penguin, 1999), pp. 206–220
  • “Metternich and the Rothschilds: A reappraisal” in Andrea Hamel and Edward Timms (eds.), Progress and Emancipation in the Age of Metternich: Jews and Modernisation in Austria and Germany, 1815–1848(Edwin Mellen Press, 1999), pp. 295–325
  • “The European economy, 1815–1914” in T.C.W. Blanning (ed.), The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Nineteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 78–125
  • “How (not) to pay for the war: Traditional finance and total war” in Roger Chickering and Stig Förster (eds.), Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 409–34
  • “Introduction” in Frederic Manning, Middle Parts of Fortune (Penguin, 2000), pp. vii–xviii
  • “Clashing civilizations or mad mullahs: The United States between informal and formal empire” in Strobe Talbott (ed.), The Age of Terror (Basic Books, 2001), pp. 113–41
  • “Public debt as a post-war problem: The German experience after 1918 in comparative perspective” in Mark Roseman (ed.), Three Post-War Eras in Comparison: Western Europe 1918-1945-1989 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2002), pp. 99–119
  • “Das Haus Sachsen-Coburg und die europäische Politik des 19. Jahrhunderts”, in Rainer von Hessen (ed.), Victoria Kaiserin Friedrich (1840–1901): Mission und Schicksal einer englischen Prinzessin in Deutschland (Campus Verlag, 2002), pp. 27–39
  • “Max Warburg and German politics: The limits of financial power in Wilhelmine Germany”, in Geoff Eley and James Retallack (eds.), Wilhelminism and Its Legacies: German Modernities, Imperialism and the Meaning of Reform, 1890–1930 (Berghahn Books, 2003), pp. 185–201
  • “Introduction”, The Death of the Past by J. H. Plumb (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. xxi–xlii
  • “Globalization in historical perspective: The political dimension”, in Michael D. Bordo, Alan M. Taylor and Jeffrey G. Williamson (eds.), Globalisation in Historical Perspective (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report) (University of Chicago Press, 2003)
  • “Introduction to Tzvetan Todorov” in Nicholas Owen (ed.), Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Oxford Amnesty Lectures (Amnesty International, 2003)
  • “The City of London and British imperialism: New light on an old question”, in Youssef Cassis and Eric Bussière (eds.), London and Paris as International Financial Centres in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 57–77
  • “A bolt from the blue? The City of London and the outbreak of the First World War”, in Wm. Roger Louis (ed.), Yet More Adventures with Britainnia: Personalities, Politics and Culture in Britain (I.B. Tauris, 2005), pp. 133–145
  • “The first ‘Eurobonds’: The Rothschilds and the financing of the Holy Alliance, 1818–1822”, in William N. Goetzmann and K. Geert Rouwenhorst (eds.), The Origins of Value: The Financial Innovations that Created Modern Capital Markets (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 311–323
  • “Prisoner taking and prisoner killing in the age of total war”, in George Kassemiris (ed.), The Barbarization of Warfare (New York University Press, 2006), pp. 126–158
  • “The Second World War as an economic disaster”, in Michael Oliver (ed.), Economic Disasters of the Twentieth Century (Edward Elgar, 2007), pp. 83–132
  • “The Problem of Conjecture: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine”, in Melvyn Leffler and Jeff Legro (eds.), To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Television documentaries

BBC Reith Lectures

Niall Ferguson recording the third of his 2012 BBC Reith Lecture atGresham College

In May 2012 the BBC announced Niall Ferguson was to present its annual Reith Lectures – a prestigious series of radio lectures which were first broadcast in 1948. These four lectures, titled The Rule of Law and its Enemies, examine the role man-made institutions have played in the economic and political spheres.[96]

In the first lecture, held at the London School of Economics, titled The Human Hive, Ferguson argues for greater openness from governments, saying they should publish accounts which clearly state all assets and liabilities. Governments, he said, should also follow the lead of business and adopt the Generally Accepted Accounting Principlesand, above all, generational accounts should be prepared on a regular basis to make absolutely clear the inter-generational implications of current fiscal policy. In the lecture, Ferguson says young voters should be more supportive of government austerity measures if they do not wish to pay further down the line for the profligacy of the baby boomergeneration.[97]

In the second lecture, The Darwinian Economy, Ferguson reflects on the causes of the global financial crisis, and erroneous conclusions that many people have drawn from it about the role of regulation, such as whether it is in fact “the disease of which it purports to be the cure”.

The Landscape of Law was the third lecture, delivered at Gresham College. It examines the rule of law in comparative terms, asking how far the common law‘s claims to superior