Congress’ New Budget for NASA Is Huge — And Secretly Contains Hated Spying Bill CISA


The bill about to pass through Congress is one small step for NASA, and one giant leap for the surveillance state.

In the newest version of the “omnibus” spending bill, the yearly legislation that passes enormous federal budget guidelines, NASA has been allocated $19.3 billion, a whole $1.27 billion more than the Obama administration asked for. This will allow NASA to fund its missions, ferry people between Earth and the International Space Station, and continue to sever its dependence on Russian funds by shoring up its commercial crew program.

For people who love science and technology, it would be a resounding victory, but Congress is determined to break their hearts and poison their punchbowl. Congress slipped in CISA, a privacy bill that’s been fought and rejected by advocates and legislators for years, into that same budget bill.

“CISA’s not preventing attacks, it’s allowing the government as an excuse to collect more data.”

CISA is meant to be a cybersecurity bill, allowing companies like Facebook, Verizon and Google to work with the government’s security agencies to mitigate damage after a breach. But because the bill offers vast immunities to these companies for handing over user data, the bill is largely seen as not a security bill, but a surveillance bill.

“CISA’s not preventing attacks, it’s allowing the government an excuse to collect more data,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, told Mic back when CISA passed through the senate.



Source: Fight For the Future

This version of CISA is even worse for privacy. The CISA that made it into the omnibus bill is even more explicitly surveillance-focused and pervasive than previous versions. They’ve stripped away the parts of the bill that prevent the NSA from using the information handed over for surveillance purposes, and most alarmingly, they’ve removed the language that says companies have to scrub and anonymize the data handed over to protect their users from government overreach.

But at least one piece of anti-open-internet legislation didn’t make the final omnibus. Initially, there were plans to include anti-net neutrality riders that would handicap the FCC’s ability to regulate internet providers, but those riders aren’t included in the omnibus, which is expected to come up for a vote on Friday.

Somehow, the victory for NASA doesn’t seem so sweet.

‘Giant’ surrendered, senior German shepherd has won over shelter volunteers

On July 16, a handsome senior named “Jack,” lost his home and family after his owner surrendered him to the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control facility in Lancaster, Calif. Please pass this story forward.

The nine-year-old German shepherd mix has endeared himself to the volunteers at the facility during the time that he has been in their care. The following information is written on Jack’s Shelter Me biography:

Sweet Mr. Jack is just as mellow as can be and he has already won over most of the staff and volunteers at the shelter. He has an incredible personality that you just have to love. He was hanging out with the shelter veterinarian sharing lunch with the doctor and just chilling out like the cool guy he is. Jack is a big giant sweetheart and would love a home to kick back and relax in his golden years.

The busy, high-intake animal control facility is not a safe place for Jack to be…at the time that this article was written, nearly 300 dogs were in the care of the Lancaster Animal Services facility. Unfortunately, dogs are put down when space constraints become an issue.

Please take a moment to network on the behalf of this wonderful senior…he did not ask to be put in the situation that he has been placed in.


  • Shelter me profile for Jack here
  • Identification number for Jack A3850458
  • Petharbor link for Jack here
  • Los Angeles County Animal Control – Lancaster at (661) 940-4191
  • Facebook thread for Jack here
  • Please direct ALL inquiries about this dog to the facility where he is being held; ask for information about animal ID number A3850458

How the NSA & FBI made Facebook the perfect mass surveillance tool

  • by Harrison Weber

Update May 15 at 3:11 PM ET: Facebook and Akamai responded to VentureBeat’s report.

The National Security Agency and the FBI teamed up in October 2010 to develop techniques for turning Facebook into a surveillance tool.

Documents released alongside security journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book, “No Place To Hide,” reveal the NSA and FBI partnership, in which the two agencies developed techniques for exploiting Facebook chats, capturing private photos, collecting IP addresses, and gathering private profile data.

According to the slides below, the agencies’ goal for such collection was to capture “a very rich source of information on targets,” including “personal details, ‘pattern of life,’ connections to associates, [and] media.”

NSA documents make painfully clear how the agencies collected information “by exploiting inherent weaknesses in Facebook’s security model” through its use of the popular Akamai content delivery network. The NSA describes its methods as “assumed authentication,” and “security through obscurity.”

The slide below shows how the NSA and U.K. spy agency GCHQ also worked together to “obtain profile and album images.”

Two months ago, following a series of Facebook-related NSA spying leaks, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg stated in a blog post that he’s “confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the U.S. government.”

According to a report by The Intercept, the above slides do not reveal the NSA’s Facebook surveillance program in full. The report states that the NSA also “disguises itself as a fake Facebook server” to perform “man-in-the-middle” and “man-on-the-side” attacks and spread malware [below].

As we wrote at the time, the “NSA’s Facebook targeting is reportedly a response to the declining success of other malware injection techniques. Previous techniques included the use of “spam emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link.”

Following the report, released in March, Zuckerberg said, “When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.”

Zuckerberg claimed he disapproved of the NSA’s actions and said that he’s spoken to president Barack Obama by phone to “express [his] frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future.”

VentureBeat has reached out to both Akamai and Facebook for comment on the matter.

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w… read more »

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Occupy Movement Infiltrated

The Occupy Wall Street movement which has successfully mounted and is mounting demonstrations around the world in order to bring awareness to the public of the immense disparity between those who have and those who have not, has been infiltrated by a known agent of the state department. Ahmed Maher, a United States State Department funded activist has become involved in the movement, as reported in Wired News.

Ahmed Maher was essential in the organizing of the movement that occurred in Egypt earlier this year. He gave focus to a group of young people who had been loosely organized through Facebook and other similar social sites. Ultimately they brought down the Egyptian Government of Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak, the man who had been in power in Egypt since the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat. He had been Sadat’s vice President and succeeded him into the Presidency. Whereas, Sadat, had been on a conciliatory path with Israel, a path that many believed led to his assassination, Mubarak had a much stronger fist approach to all aspects to the reforms that Sadat had implemented in Egypt prior to his death, which occurred over thirty years ago.

Sources say, operatives of the United States government have been involved in all of the rebellions that have occurred in the Middle East this year, in most cases, as of this date, exchanging one dictator for another, so the question is raised as to what the possible motive for creating the unrest over there would be? The public consumption line is the promoting of Democracy, yet Democracy doesn’t appear to be emerging. Our Republic is not a Democracy, so what interests would the State Department have in infiltrating the “Occupy” movement? While the Occupy Movement is seen as an awakening to the real problems affecting our Nation and World, it must always be remembered that those who have manipulated events and facts in the past, in order to attain their desires, have been perfecting it for decades and it takes little time for them to infiltrate, refocus, and bend ideas, or at least, create a different perspective for public consumption.

Remember, it was not that long ago, although it seems like ancient times now, that all aspects of our society were prospering, incomes could sustain your families with enough for some extracurricular activities, but the elite were not content, it wasn’t good enough that they were making monies and profiting from their investments, they wanted more, the Carlyle group issued their prospectus for the future and with the Soviet Union losing it’s status as a World Power there emerged a window of opportunity for the United States to fill the gap in this void, but according to the report, it would be nice to have a coalescent event, much like Pearl Harbor, in order to forge popular support for American Capital adventures. Jeb Bush and Cheney were just a few of the names who signed the report.®

Sarah Palin: Misinformer of the Year-LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Dear Editor,

This year, we’ve chosen Sarah Palin — former half-term governor, current Fox News contributor and prolificFacebook user — as our Misinformer of the Year.

It was a tough competition. On issues like health care, net neutrality, climate change and immigration, the conservative media offers an unprecedented flood of distortions, exaggerations and utter fabrications. We atMedia Matters for America work around the clock to expose, fact-check and counter this non-stop flood of lies and attacks.

Click here to watch the “Misinformer of the Year” video and support Media Matters for America with a tax-deductible donation.

This year, Palin stood out for her sheer ability to dominate our national conversation and draw the attention of the entire news media to her factually challenged claims and vicious attacks. She has blurred the line completely between media figure and political activist.

When Glenn Beck’s over-the-top rhetoric and conspiracy theories inspired unhinged gunman Byron Williams to target the Tides Foundation with violence, Palin could have stood up for responsibility and helped rein Beck in. Instead, she legitimized him and his attacks, saying “I stand with you, Glenn.”

From spreading lies about “death panels” to cropping Obama’s comments about “American exceptionalism,” from her comfortable perch at Fox News to her self-promoting books and reality show, Palin has truly broken new ground in misinformation.

In the year to come, Palin is sure to keep up her efforts at dominating the headlines, influencing the political process and advancing falsehoods and distortions at every turn — aided and abetted by millions in free airtime and glowing coverage from her friends at Fox News. We are prepared to fight back — but we need your help.

Click here to watch the “Misinformer of the Year” video and support Media Matters for America with a tax-deductible donation.

Thank you for your support.

David Brock
Founder and CEO
Media Matters for America