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How 160,000 Intercepted Communications Led to Our Latest NSA Story

July 14, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman publised a new piece at The Washington Post discussing how his story with Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani about National Security Agency surveillance came about.

Excerpt:

NSA surveillance is a complex subject — legally, technically and operationally. We drafted the story carefully and stand by all of it. I want to unpack some of the main points and controversies, sprinkling in new material for context. In this format, I can offer more technical detail about the data set that Snowden provided and the methods we used to analyze it. I will also address some ethical and national security issues we faced. Along the way, I will explain why our story actually understated its findings, clear up speculation about spying on President Obama and fact-check a recent CIA tweet about lost passwords.

Read more here.

Tags: nsa leaks, edward snowden, barton gellman, bart gellman

The CIA Might Have Your Password After All

July 14, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

MSN News mentions TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman in an article discussing how the CIA may have access to passwords.

Excerpt:

In a lengthy article Friday, Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman attempted to answer some questions that have surfaced since he reported on a new Snowden leak last week. Buried deep in the report is a two-paragraph gem that says the CIA's Twitter, while funny, is also propagating misinformation.
The CIA opened a Twitter account last month and has used cheeky humor to win a large following in a short time. On Monday, the account sent out this announcement: "No, we don't know your password, so we can't send it to you." It went viral, with more than 12,000 retweets.
As it happens, the [National Security Agency] files we examined included 1,152 "minimized U.S. passwords," meaning passwords to American e-mail and chat accounts intercepted from U.S. data links. Don't expect tech support from Langley, but the CIA does have access to that raw traffic.

Read the article here.

Tags: cia twitter account, cia twitter, barton gellman, bart gellman

The N.S.A.‘s Spying on Muslim-Americans

July 10, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

The New Yorker mentions TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman in a recent article discussing the NSA's spying on Muslim-Americans.

Excerpt:

“Unknown” can sound mysterious; or maybe it’s just another word for reckless disregard for the privacy of Americans. In a report in the Washington Post over the Fourth of July weekend, Barton Gellman, Julie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani examined a “large cache of intercepted communications.” (Like the “FISA Recap,” they were among the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor.) In this cache, which “came from domestic NSA operations,” the Post found that nearly half the files “contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents.” The N.S.A. is supposed to “minimize” the harm when it “incidentally” spies on Americans; the Post found nine hundred instances, in this sample, in which that was not done. And even minimizing can leave plenty in the government’s files—never mind that some agent may have already read about your views on your boss or your friends or your political associations before having the belated revelation that you are an American.

Read more here.

Tags: nsa, gellman, edward snowden, barton gellman

Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide

July 9, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Inside Higher Ed mentions TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman in an article discussing Glenn Greenwald's book No Place to Hide.

Excerpt:

In the next chapters he describes the “collect it all” mentality of the NSA and sums up what we know about the various programs that serve that purpose. The story that Barton Gellman and fellow reporters broke at the Washington Post on the 5th of July fills out some of the details of how non-targets can have intimate details of their lives assembled and examined by the instruments of power.

Read more here.

Tags: nsa, glenn greenwald, edward snowden and the nsa, barton gellman, bart gellman

In The NSA Archive: 800 Pages Of Doomed Lovers’ Emails, Facebook Messages

July 9, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Forbes mentions TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman in a recent article discussing the actual messages intercepted by the NSA.

Excerpt:

Over the holiday weekend, the Washington Post published its latest Snowden-leak-based blockbuster: a story about actual messages intercepted by the NSA. Post reporters Bart Gellman, Julie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani read “160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts.” Some of the messages addressed topics of national concern — such as talk of a secret nuclear project and identities of hackers targeting the U.S. — but the majority were the types of messages that likely reside in your own email, including scandalous selfies...

Read the article here.

Tags: washington post, nsa, edward snowden and the nsa, barton gellman, bart gellman

Vast Majority of docs Collected by NSA come from Ordinary Internet Users, Not Legal Targets

July 7, 2014 BY: Barton Gellman TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

The Verge references TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman in a recent article discussing his recent article at The Washington Post.

Excerpt:

A massive report from The Washington Post this weekend delves into tens of thousands of communications and documents collected by the NSA's wide-reaching surveillance programs. The first-of-its-kind report reveals that as many as nine out of ten web users caught in the NSA's surveillance efforts are not the persons targeted by the agency. Private and personal emails, instant messages, photos, and documents from these digital bystanders — many of whom appear to be spuriously connected to the target — remain in the agency's servers long after they've been deemed irrelevant. According to the Post, a large portion are US citizens or residents, with almost half of all communications containing information that the NSA connected to Americans.

Read the article here.

Tags: washington post nsa, snowden leaks, nsa, barton gellman, bart gellman

 

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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