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Photo by: joanneleon. October, 2013.


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October 26th, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
A Rally Against Mass Surveillance

Right now the NSA is spying on everyone's personal communications, and they’re operating without any meaningful oversight. Since the Snowden leaks started, more than 571,000 people from all walks of life have signed the petition telling the U.S. Congress that we want them to rein in the NSA.
On October 26th, the 12th anniversary of the signing of the US Patriot Act, we're taking the next step and holding the largest rally yet against NSA surveillance. We’ll be handing the half-million petitions to Congress to remind them that they work for us -- and we won’t tolerate mass surveillance any longer.

12pm Eastern, Saturday October 26th
Gather at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station, then march to the Capitol Reflecting Pool


(Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), former chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, issued the following statement on the anit-domestic surveillance Stop Watching Us rally and protest on the National Mall, commemorating the 12th anniversary of the infamous PATRIOT Act becoming law:

“The American patriots participating in this protest understand the fundamental truth I have articulated before: a true democracy does not treat its entire citizenry as suspects. The PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act do exactly that, which is why in August 2013 I offered the Surveillance State Repeal Act (H.R. 2818), which would repeal both of these laws and end the civil liberties abuses they have spawned.

“I am grateful that key groups responsible for organizing this event—the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and CREDO Action—are long-time supporters of the bill. I hope every activist participating in this event in Washington and those supporting it around the country and online will join me in seeking an end to the American surveillance state by calling for swift passage of the Surveillance State Repeal Act.”

If you haven't watched this yet, you should, and check out how it was produced by a "science journalist" for the government on a DoD science blog. Taxpayers pay for this blog "Armed with Science".  The article I Spy, No Lie that accompanies this video interview" is here and it's a must read. Go see the science you're paying for.  One of Alexander's more notable analogies was that submitting to the NSA is like "taking a bath".  The analogy is for boys only though.

A side note, this site was not updated during the government shutdown but it's unclear whether the person who runs the blog was considered an essential employee when DoD employees were called back early.  The notice that the site would not be updated during the shutdown was posted on October 2.

This video is starting to go viral and so are the Thumbs Down dislikes on it.  97% of the ratings are Dislikes.  Plus, Keith Alexander gave the protesters a lot of material. Freedom of the Press Foundation used one of his quotes as their protest graphic today.

Just another side note. The Cyber Command who is trying to convince you to give up more rights and privacy so that they can protect you, and for which billions of dollars are pouring into cybersecurity -- the NSA web site was down for many hours yesterday.  A hacker group claims they launched a vanilla DDOS attack on the site.  NSA claims it was an internal error related to a routine update.


Our current and recent intelligence leaders seem determined to reinforce this judgment. On Thursday, Michael Hayden, the former director of the N.S.A., talking on his cell phone on Amtrak’s Acela, gave anonymous quotes to various reporters loudly enough for a fellow passenger named Tom Matzzie to hear and live-tweet it. The same day, the Pentagon posted a video interview with Hayden’s successor, General Keith Alexander, in which he awkwardly tried to explain that the operations Snowden revealed “are not spying programs” and dismissed privacy concerns this way:

It’s like when you were younger—well, this is for boys—you know, when you’re younger you say, “I don’t want to take a bath.” You say, “No, I’ll never to take a bath.” Why would you want to take a bath, well, you have to take a bath, clean, da da, da. You say, “But isn’t there a better way?” So we had to take baths, right. Or showers.
So is reading e-mails the bath and metadata collection the shower? And girls are supposedly O.K. with both? More mysteriously, why is Alexander comparing people who question his agency’s work to dirty children? Alexander then went on to say that leakers might have blood on their hands, and, as Politico noted, accused newspapers of “selling” Snowden’s documents. He said that anyone who thought we were, for example, spying on French phone calls en masse, should remember that French people spoke French and that it would take a long time to listen to them all.

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Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull

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