NSA Director Says Snowden Leaks Could Lead To Deaths

In the latest salvo regarding the spying on ordinary Americans by the National Security Agency, the head of that group is saying that soldier’s lives will be put in danger if more documents are released to the public.

General Keith Alexander told Fox News that his “greatest concern” was the possible loss of life because of Snowden’s actions.

Gen. Alexander said the NSA has a “good assessment” of the remaining documents that Snowden stole before he fled to Russia and that many of those documents will compromise U.S. military actions around the world.   Revealing those could put the lives of soldiers and possibly their family members in danger.

He also addressed comments from former President Jimmy Carter that he was concerned the NSA was monitoring e-mails by denying the NSA would do it.

“The reality is, we don’t do that. And if we did, it would be illegal and we’d be … held accountable and responsible,” Gen. Alexander said.

U.S. Military Tracks Civilian Traffic Tickets

A little known database managed by the U.S. military tracks civilian traffic tickets including parking tickets or minor traffic citations.

The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, also called LinX, has over 500 million law enforcement records.  The information includes more than just official citations.  The database includes information cards filled out by officers when no crime took place.

LinX is run by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and it is raising concern among privacy advocates that the database is allowing the military to access information on ordinary citizens in violation of the law.

A military law expert at Yale University called the system “domestic spying.”

“Clearly, it cannot be right that any part of the Navy is collecting traffic citation information,” Eugene Fidell said. “This sounds like something from a third-world country, where you have powerful military intelligence watching everybody.”

Department of Homeland Security Cancels Controversial Program

The Department of Homeland Security has announced the cancellation of a program that had drawn the ire of privacy advocates nationwide.

Homeland Security Secretary ordered the immediate end to a plan by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to collect data on all license plates in the United States and storing them in a massive database.

ICE officials has claimed in their initial request for proposals that the collection of the plates would help law enforcement be able to find and track fugitives.  The database would also be used to help track down immigrants in the country illegally.

“The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been cancelled,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in prepared statement.  “While we continue to support a wide range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.”

Members of Congress reacted swiftly to the announcement in praising the withdrawal of the proposed program but wondered how something like this could be made public without the knowledge of those in charge of ICE.

NSA Tracking 5 Billion Cell Phone Movements A Day

A new document released by fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden shows that the National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on movements of cell phones around the world.

The records are placed in a database that stores information on at least hundreds of millions of cell devices. The database tracks the movements of the cells and any interactions they could have with other cell devices in their area.

The report says that the NSA does not target Americans by design but that data on Americans is also collected by the system. The report calls the connection “incidentally” meaning legally it was a foreseeable but not deliberate result.

Government officials said there was nothing illegal about the collection of the data and that it was used only to develop intelligence against foreign targets.

The NSA has said the data is used for programs like CO-TRAVELER which allows them to identify unknown associates of known intelligence targets.

A technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union told the Washington Post that the only way to hide your location is to disconnect from modern communications and live in a cave.

NSA Plans To Use Web Searches Against “People With Radical Views”

A report says the National Security Agency has been tracking the website use of anyone they consider having a “radical view” with the intent of releasing the information to discredit them.

A document released by fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden shows the agency tracking two Muslims with “radical beliefs” and marking websites they visited that are not in line with strict Islamic teachings.

Online privacy advocates Privacy International said the revelations from Snowden of the NSA’s activities should cause major concern.

“This is not the first time we’ve seen [United] States use intimate and private information of an individual who holds views the government doesn’t agree with, and exploit this information to undermine an individual’s message,” the group said in a statement to the BBC.

None of the men listed in the report as being tracked by the NSA were accused of being directly involved in terrorism or with a terrorist group.

Seattle Police System Can Track Citizens Without Their Knowledge

Police in Seattle are claiming to have deactivated a “mesh network” that was installed in the city to allow officers to send large amounts of data between each other while in the field.

The reason? The system also contacts every wireless device in its radius like a cellphone or wireless internet modem allowing police to track civilians without their knowledge.

The network could also collect a series of data from the devices of citizens.

The SPD said they had “no bad intentions” when they installed the network and that they were going to disable the system until a policy was adopted by the city for what they consider proper use for the network.

However, residents told an alternative newspaper that their phones were still showing the internet boxes as connecting to their devices when they were within range of one of the system’s white boxes. Police later admitted the system was still on but not being used by police personnel.