Here’s Why the Close Collaboration Between the NSA and AT&T Matters

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Newly disclosed documents unveiling the close relationship between the National Security Agency and AT&T could breathe new life into a long-running legal dispute about the NSA’s controversial method of tapping the Internet backbone on U.S. soil.This program, according to documents provided by Edward Snowden, is largely enabled by telecom giant AT&T, which filters Internet traffic, based on NSA instructions. AT&T then forwards the “take” to the spy agency’s storage facilities for further review and analysis.But a single email traverses the Internet in hundreds of tiny slices, called “packets,” that travel separate routes. Grabbing even one email requires a computer search of many slices of other people’s messages.Privacy advocates have long argued in court that grabbing portions of so many emails — involving people not suspected of anything — is a violation of the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures provided by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group, is now hoping that the new documents will bolster their claims in a long-running case, Jewel v. NSA. “We will be presenting this information to the court,” said Cindy Cohn, executive director of the foundation. A Department of Justice spokesman declined to comment.So far, the only court that has reviewed the constitutional question is the secret panel of jurists known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This court only hears arguments from the government and all of their decisions are highly classified.Other federal courts have declined to debate the constitutional question for fear that discussing any collaboration with telecom companies would damage American security. Last year, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told a court that confirming the identities of any telecoms that work with the NSA would alert terrorists that “certain channels of communications are vulnerable to NSA interception.”But the internal NSA documents describe a nearly unavoidable surveillance system on AT&T’s Internet backbone in the United States. One document shows a technical sketch of how AT&T provides the spy agency not only with access to traffic on its own network, but also traffic from other telecoms that crosses its network.Such cooperative arrangements, known in the industry as “peering,” are central to the speed of the global Internet. The packets that make up emails and other messages are sent through the fastest routes possible, jumping on and off each company’s network as needed. That means that any Internet user’s communications, regardless of whetherthey are an AT&T customer, could end up on AT&T’s network — and in the NSA’s hands.The newly disclosed documents seem to confirm the words of former AT&T technician Mark Klein, who has testified that the spy agency had access to vast amounts of data from other telecoms that was transmitted over AT&T’s fiber-optic lines.Klein’s allegations are central to Jewel v. N.S.A., which alleges that the NSA’s “bulk, untargeted seizure of the Internet communications of millions of innocent Americans” from AT&T’s networks amounted to an unconstitutional search and seizure.The government has responded that there is no evidence that any particular communications have been copied, and, even if they were, they would have been “destroyed within milliseconds of their creation” if they did not have intelligence value. Even in that scenario, the government says, the surveillance would be a “minimal intrusion on Fourth Amendment interests” that would be “vastly outweighed” by the benefits of the program.The court agreed, dismissing most of the case in February without examining the plaintiffs’ constitutional questions.For Kevin Bankston, the new document disclosure is bittersweet. Bankston was the attorney at the EFF who first brought Mark Klein’s allegations to court.After reviewing the documents, he said, “We were treated as crazy for years for allegations that we now know are substantially true.”ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

Oscar win draws unlikely political support for ‘Parasite’s’ Bong

first_imgThe rest of the family then scheme to secure jobs in the wealthy household by inflating their qualifications and pretending they’re not related.Concerns with class and inequality fueled mass protests in 2016 that led to Park Geun-hye’s impeachment and subsequent ouster and propelled Moon into power the next year. While Moon’s administration has since been hit by its own corruption scandals, allegations that the Park administration excluded artists including Bong from state funding complicate any opposition hopes of scoring points from his victory.Bong was among 9,473 artists and cultural figures blacklisted for voicing criticism of how the administration handled the Sewol ferry sinking in 2014, according to South Korea’s culture ministry. Also on the list was CJ Group’s Miky Lee, a relentless advocate for Bong who shared the Oscar stage Sunday and who the Park administration pressured the company to demote.That hasn’t stopped LPK candidates from trying to leverage Bong’s status as a symbol of South Korean soft power. Kwak Sang-do, who was once Park’s senior presidential secretary for civil affairs and later served on the National Assembly’s cultural committee, pledged to expand cultural facilities in Bong’s hometown of Daegu.‘Act of Desperation’Another conservative candidate, Bae Young-shik, suggested erecting a statue of Bong, naming a street after him, as well as restoring his birth home.“The US, Russia, and Europe do not hold back on investing to honor their artists, politicians, academics, and scientists by making streets and erecting statues,” Bae told the DongA Ilbo newspaper. “We must support making Bong’s national contributions known all over the nationwide and worldwide.”Still, it’s unclear how many points such proposals will score with voters.“This is an act of desperation by the South Korean conservatives,” cultural critic Chin Jung-kwon wrote on Facebook. “They are trying to free-ride on director Bong Joon Ho’s glorious victory — that’s some gall.” Topics : “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho is getting support from unexpected quarters in the wake of the film’s historic Academy Awards triumph: South Korean conservatives.Since Bong became the first director of a foreign-language film to hoist a Best Picture Oscar on Sunday, conservative politicians have been rushing to lionize the filmmaker. One candidate seeking election in the country’s upcoming parliamentary election has proposed naming a street after Bong and erecting statues to him and his characters. Another proposed building a film museum in his hometown.The calls are surprising if only because they’re coming from members of South Korea’s opposition Liberty Korea Party, the successor group that backed former President Park Geun-hye. Park’s staff maintained a blacklist that denied state funding to artists such as Bong and more than 9,000 other cultural figures critical of the government.center_img The attempt to capitalize on “Parasite’s” groundbreaking Oscars success highlights a problem facing the LKP as it attempts to take the National Assembly back from President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party in the April general elections.A recent Korea Gallup poll showed 31% of the voters were undecided while 36% supported the ruling Democratic Party and 20% for the Liberty Korea Party, which voters historically associate with the pro-conglomerate policies widely blamed for the social inequality given global exposure by Bong’s film.Class and Inequality“Parasite” tells the story of the poor Kim family whose son Ki-wu gets a job teaching English to the daughter of a tech executive named Park Dong-ik. last_img read more

Yekini’s Nan si wa ju fun mi Re-echoes as NFF Serenades…

first_imgAITEO-NFF AWARDSTwenty-five years after Super Eagles won the AFCON 1994 in Tunisia as well as qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time, that golden generation of players were celebrated on Monday night in Lagos. DURO IKHAZUAGBE who witnessed the 2nd Aiteo-NFF Awards reports…Rashidi Yekini was an enigma of Nigeria football. Almost seven years after the man affectionately called ‘Goals-King’died on May 4, 2012 in Ilorin, his name re-echoed again at the Aiteo-NFF Football Awards that held in Lagos on Monday night. The former Vitoria de Setubal player in the Portuguese topflight whose name was dreaded like plague by Nigeria’s opponents in the ‘Beautiful Game’ around the continent and beyond, ‘resurrected’in the minds of the football family that witnessed the second edition of the Aiteo-NFF Awards inside the Eko Convention Centre on the Lagos Island.For the first time since Stephen Okechukwu Keshi led the 1994 Super Eagles, now commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Generation,’to win the AFCON in Tunisia and also qualified Nigeria for her first appearance at the World Cup held in the USA, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Amaju Pinnick, fished out these worthy ambassadors of the country’s football for special recognition.Sunday Oliseh, the effervescent member of that squad, while reeling out the names of five of their members who have died, recalled the influence Yekini had on the team. He revealed that goal scoring comes to the gangling forward as easy as drinking a glass of water. Speaking in Yoruba to drive home Yekini’s romance with goal scoring, Oliseh said: “ Really sad we are missing Yekini this night of honour for our 1994 squad. In my role in the midfield, Yekini would always tell me: ‘Sunday, a ni ko sha ti nan siwaju fun mi.’ Literarily speaking, he enjoys to get the ball laid on his pathway so that he can take on our opponents’defence. That was trademark Yekini for you,” observed Oliseh whose revelation was greeted with applause by the entire hall that included Yekini’s daughter, Omoyemi.The night was not all about Yekini but affectionate football followers who remembered the 34 goals the former IICC Shooting Stars forward scored for Super Eagles in 58 appearances were transported beyond the Eko Convention Centre into the era Nigeria’s senior national team was dreaded due to the quality of players in the team. Flashes of Yekini scoring Nigeria’s first World Cup goal in the 3-0 drubbing of Bulgaria in that debut outing at USA ’94 made the evening beautiful.Oliseh was not done yet in revealing some of the things that made the 1994 squad handled by Clemens Westerhof unique.Pointing in the direction of Okocha, Oliseh also revealed how on several occasions he almost engaged the former Bolton Wanderers star in fisticuff.“Okocha is an exceptionally gifted player, more talented than some of the biggest names the world is celebrating today. But there were times when we almost fought because he was always holding on to the ball too long,” stressed Oliseh on the dribbling habits of the former midfield maestro. Okocha flashed his trademark toothy smile to the audience.Of course, physically present and bathed in encomiums Monday night were goalkeepers Peter Rufai and Alloy Agu, defenders Austin Eguavoen, Uche Okechukwu, Benedict Iroha, Nduka Ugbade and Taribo West, midfielders Mutiu Adepoju, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh and Edema Fuludu. Also on the podium to share in the adulation were forwards like: Finidi George, Samson Siasia and Daniel Amokachi.Apart from Yekini, others who have died like Keshi, goalkeeper Wilfred Agbonavbare, defender Uche Okafor and midfielder Thompson Oliha were also remembered for their labour for their fatherland.Emmanuel Amuneke, Michael Emenalo, Emeka Ezeugo, Efan Ekoku, Isaac Semitoje and Chidi Nwanu could not make it down to Nigeria for the ceremony. While a couple of the players present on Monday night did not make the final cut for the World Cup in America, six members of the group went ahead to join the Dream Team and return to America to conquer – by winning Africa’s men’s football gold at the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta two years later.In other for the labour of these heroes past not to be in vain, Augustine Eguavoen begged the NFF to help some of their colleagues who are yet to get the houses promised them for winning the AFCON ’94.“Five of our colleagues have died. Yekini, Uche Okafor, Thompson Olihah, Wilfred Agbonnavbare, and Steven Keshi are no more with us. We don’t want their labour to be in vain. NFF should please help us talk to the right quarter in government to release those houses for our members who are yet to get theirs,” observed the ex international fondly called Cerezo.Eguavoen insisted that it will be unfair to promise and fail. “ If any one of our dead colleagues is yet to get the house before he died, they have children they left behind. Let them get the houses.”Before the special recognition awards to this ‘Golden Generation,’Super Eagles’ stand-in captain Ahmed Musa and Super Falcons’ opposite number Onome Ebi took the big gongs as best players of the year 2018 in the male and female categories.Musa beat both Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi to the award.His second goal in the 2-0 defeat of Iceland at the World Cup in Russia was also adjudged as the Goal of the Year. He was selected ahead of the goals scored by Ighalo and a player from the domestic league.Villarreal forward in the Spanish LaLiga, Samuel Chukwueze won the Young Player of the Year category while Nasarawa Amazons player, Anam Imo won the female version. Aiteo Federation Cup winning coach, Gbenga Ogunbote was selected as Coach of the Year while Coach Thomas Dennerby who led the Super Falcons to win the 2018 women AFCON in Ghana won the female version.Akwa United FC won the Fair Play Award while Kano Pillars Supporters Club won the best supporters of 2018.President of the Nigeria Football Federation and First Vice President of CAF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, once more eulogized the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the conducive environment for football to thrive and for total support for the NFF and the various National Teams, while calling on Nigeria’s other billionaires and well-heeled companies to emulate Aiteo Group and boost the development of football in Nigeria.Aiteo, Nigeria’s leading energy solutions company also stands erect as Official Optimum Partner of the NFF and sponsors of the Federation Cup. It also bankrolls the annual African Football Awards organized by CAF. Its team on Monday night was led by Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Francis Peters and included the Executive Director, Mr. Andrew Onyearu.Business mogul and politician, Chief M. K. O. Abiola was honoured with the NFF Presidential Award, while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his hefty support for football projects and programmes of the National Teams.Secretary-General of FIFA, Ms Fatma Samoura (the first African/first woman to occupy the position) was honoured with the NFF Order of Merit Award, as Presidents of 18 Member Associations of FIFA, the Abia State Governor (Chief Okezie Ikpeazu), the Acting Governor of Edo State (Comrade Philip Shaibu), two Governors-elect (Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State) and captains of industry, political juggernauts, A-class artistes and heavyweight stakeholders of the game watched at the event.There were several members of the CAF Executive Committee, namely Dr. Danny Jordaan of South Africa, Suleiman Waberi of Djibouti, Aisha Johansen of Sierra Leone, Moses Magogo of Uganda and Sita Sangare of Burkina Faso.2ND AITEO-NFF AWARDS WINNERSYoung Player of the Year (Female): Anam ImoYoung Player of the Year (Male): Samuel ChukwuezeFair Play Award: Akwa United FCFans of the Season: Kano Pillars FC FansCoach of the Year (Female): Thomas DennerbyCoach of the Year (Male): Olugbenga OgunboteGoal of the Year: Ahmed MusaTeam of the Season: Super FalconsNFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels Kids’ Cup)Special Recognition: Super Eagles of 1994Lifetime Achievement Award: Governor Akinwunmi AmbodeNFF Presidential Award: Chief M.K.O Abiola (of blessed memory)NFF Order of Merit Award: Fatma SamouraPlayer of the Year (Female): Onome EbiPlayer of the Year (Male): Ahmed MusaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in mid-season form with play, trash talk

first_imgKobe Bryant’s motor started to accelerate, and it went beyond impressing the Lakers with another promising performance on Thursday in five-on-five scrimmages.For every time Bryant elevated and sank another shot, his volume level also increased. Moments after drawing a foul on Nick Young, Bryant chirped, “Don’t play with me Nick. You ain’t strong enough.” Later on, Bryant sank a fade-away jumper over second-round draft pick Jordan Clarkson, a sequence that made him fall to the ground. Bryant then chided, “Don’t hurt yourself young fella.”Bryant has slowly but surely morphed back to his normal self. Lakers coach Byron Scott praised Bryant for looking “more active” on Thursday than in Wednesday’s morning session. Bryant maintained consistency with his jumper and defense. Bryant conceded he has “general soreness,” but Scott sat him out of Wednesday’s evening session and the sprinting drills on Thursday.Bryant also appears in midseason form with his trash talking. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Awards seasonLast season, Scott spent part of his time as a studio analyst with Time Warner Cable SportsNet playfully imitating Young’s voice. This year, Scott offered a bold prediction regarding his top reserve. “I really believe Nick has a chance to be sixth man of the year,” Scott said.Young averaged a team-leading 17.9 points per game last season, but he had no shot winning the award amid the Lakers finishing with their worst record in L.A. franchise history. This season, Bryant envisions Young as a “really big piece of this team,” offering both secondary scoring and helping Bryant when he faces double teams. Bryant and Young believe Scott’s intense conditioning drills and defensive expectations will spur his growth. “I’ll be lying if I said I wasn’t tired out here,” Young said. “We need it. Once the season starts, all that hard work put in will pay off.Injury updateContinuous injuries kept Lakers forwards Ryan Kelly (strained left hamstring) and Xavier Henry (back spasms) sidelined during Thursday’s practice.center_img “We really try to push each other, especially when we get tired,” Bryant said. “When guys are talking trash back and forth, you can’t help but play your best.”Bryant reserved his sharp tongue mostly for Young, who often went against him one-on-one. After Bryant drew a foul, Young pleaded to an official, “don’t feed into that and reward him just because he’s Kobe Bryant.” “He playfully does it. But then I take it to another level,” Bryant said of Young. “When somebody is talking to you, you have no choice but to perform.”Bryant’s banter continued when he sarcastically said “congratulations” after a reporter brought up Clarkson hitting a jumper over him. Bryant touted Clarkson as “only 12” when addressing his turnaround jumper over him. Bryant also disputed that the starting unit lost the first scrimmage despite Young saying otherwise. Only days earlier, Bryant told Time Warner Cable SportsNet that he ranked Young’s girlfriend, rapper Iggy Azalea, ahead of Young because “she’s been more successful in her career so far.”“He always seems to be motivating me,” Young said of Bryant. “Even when he said that comment about Iggy, he told me ‘after you work with me, you’ll be back on top.’”last_img read more