On August 27, 2013, the President announced the creation of the Review Group
on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. The immediate backdrop for
our work was a series of disclosures of classified information involving
foreign intelligence collection by the National Security Agency. The disclosures
revealed intercepted collections that occurred inside and outside of the
United States and that included the communications of United States persons
and legal permanent residents, as well as non-United States persons located
outside the United States.
Although these disclosures and the responses and concerns of many people
in the United States and abroad have informed this Report, we have focused
more broadly on the creation of sturdy foundations for the future, safeguarding
(as our title suggests) liberty and security in a rapidly changing world.
|Limiting the review to Snowden's revelations ignores the extensive history
of governmental technological abuses and narrows the scope of abusive technology
to the small amount of Snowden's material released. This is so deceptive
it could be considered part of a campaign to divert attention.
A decade after the Congressional investigations of abusive spying in the
1970s, Duncan Cambell in 1988
reported on Echelon,
the 5-nation global surveillance system by US, UK, CA, AU and NZ. More from
then to the present at his
website demonstrating what may
be the most comprehensive grasp of abusive technology outside the secrecy
In 1998 Nicky Hager published
Exposing the Global Surveillance
The 1998 "An Appraisal of
Technologies for Political Control," published by the European Parliament
covered a far wider range of abusive technologies.
Four subsequent EP reports in 2000 expanded the earlier study in detail:
"Development of Surveillance Technology
and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information.
This culminated in the EP's
final Echelon report
Beyond Echelon, the specific
and other sophisticated means and methods were reported.
Continuing news reports, books and public interest lawsuits on the technology
of political control have appeared since the 1970s, and were not initiated
only after 9/11 but were given a boost and greater latitude after that attack.
Amply reported (and litigated) by EFF,
National Security Archive, national
security media, and others.
Examples hosted by Cryptome
And the range is far from limited to that covered in this report and is not
likely to be assessed unless pubic attention is directed to it by technological
experts able to disclose duplicitous policy and legal glossing of technological
aggression, recognizing that some experts have secretly helped develop the
tools of political control.
For a primer see EFF's recent
of ever-growing worldwide technological abuses aided and promoted by
secret-sharing agreements of governments and industry.