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Wikimedia Foundation files lawsuit against NSA over mass surveillance

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The Wikimedia Foundation announced that it is filing a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice of the United States of America. The lawsuit challenges the NSA’s mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications.

The Wikimedia Foundation also joins eight other organizations, which includes The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA,Pen American Center, Global Fund for Women, The Nation Magazine, The Rutherford Institute, and Washington Office on Latin America, and will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Wikimedia foundation said that it had begun conversations with the ACLU about the possibility of filing suit against the NSA and other defendants on behalf of the Foundation, its staff, and its users in 2014.

“Wikipedia is written by people from around the world who often tackle difficult subjects. Very frequently they choose to remain anonymous, or pseudonymous. This allows them to freely create, contribute, and discover, without fear of reprisal. Surveillance might be used to reveal sensitive information, create a chilling effect to deter participation, or in extreme instances, identify individual users. Pervasive surveillance undermines the freedoms upon which Wikipedia and its communities are founded,” the foundation explained on its blog.

Leaks revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden showed that that the NSA specifically identifies Wikipedia and websites such as CNN.com, Gmail and Facebook. The agency said that monitoring these sites can allow NSA analysts to learn “nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet.” (pdf).


India’s involvement with the NSA

India may be working with the NSA to intercept email, chat, VPN data, VoIP and voice call records among others. This is based on documents that were newly released by Edward Snowden to Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information and The Intercept.

According to these documents, India is an “Approved SIGINT partner” with the NSA. SIGINT is a common term used in intelligence circles that stands for signals Intelligence, and refers to capturing of communication between two people. Decrypting of messages, traffic analysis etc are also part of SIGINT. The agency then taps these SIGINT partnerships for creating two major programs called RAMPART-A and WINDSTOP for collecting data in transit between the source and the servers, as opposed to collecting data from each Internet company (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) separately. Considering WINDSTOP only partners with second parties, primarily the UK, to access communications into and out of Europe and Middle East, third-party partner like India should fall under RAMPART-A.

Also read

Govt surveillance agencies acting beyond mandate under cloak of national security: Report

India is an enemy of the Internet thanks to CMS and Netra

Indian Govt Called Out By Human Rights Watch On CMS; USA Collects 6.3 Billion Data From India

Gemalto admits hacking happened: India among countries targeted

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  • The Two Hands

    Also visible in the Animal kingdom, the brutal Strength is no better or worse than the deadly Deception.

    Two are the Hands to cross and shape our World
    to mold It like a vase of clay and put their own seal
    the scepter of command, illusion of reward
    to drive at will one Destiny with no steering wheel.

    In the last World war, the Hand of Strength and Hand of Deception have crossed once again.
    Strength personified by the Axis and Deception by the Allies.
    Gestapo versus CIA.
    One long scar still bleeds over this Planet.
    With Strength defeated, the winners of the War have extended their cunning Hand, robbed the whole World and transformed each town in a place where Deception is the only reality.
    Two new blocks were soon formed right after the War.
    UK and USA celebrated Capitalism while Russia instead was infatuated with Communism.
    The Two Hands had only changed gloves.

    In the Animal World in which we live, those Two Hands belong today to the CIA which is a virtual State independent from any government and precursor of a New World Order.
    There should be no doubt in regard to whom are masters of Strength and Deception and who is the Beast at the top of this Animal kingdom.
    Although a New World Order will also be the natural end game only for a Humankind that will continue on the same footsteps and go on to believe at the same values.
    The alternative is a drastic change and repudiation of the single Animal Law to turn the page in the book of Destiny.