NSA Surveillance Whistleblower: The Government Is Destroying Our Privacy

NSA Surveillance Whistleblower The Government Is Destroying Our PrivacyA 29-year-old computer technician for a U.S. defense contractor leaked details of a top-secret American program that collects vast streams of phone and Internet data, American and British newspapers revealed Sunday.

‘Massive surveillance machine’

“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” the source, Edward Snowden, told Britain’s the Guardian, one of the papers that broke stories on the program last week.

Snowden is a former technical assistant for the CIA and has been working at the National Security Agency, the U.S. electronic intelligence service, for the past four years, the newspaper reported. He said he walked away from a six-figure job in Hawaii for the computer consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and has holed up in a hotel in Hong Kong in preparation for the expected fallout from his disclosures.

“I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” he said.


‘Existential threat to democracy’

The Guardian reported Wednesday that Verizon Business Network Services had been ordered to hand over telephone records detailing the time, location and telephone numbers involved in domestic calls from April 25 to July 19. An order from a U.S. court that oversees U.S. surveillance efforts backed up the demand, the newspaper reported.

Thursday, the Guardian and the Post disclosed the existence of PRISM, a program they said allows NSA analysts to extract the details of customer activities — including “audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents” and other materials — from computers at Microsoft, Google, Apple and other Internet firms. Snowden said the NSA’s reach poses “an existential threat to democracy.”

Do you think the government is indeed stepping on the privacy of the people? Or is the PRISM just a necessary move to secure the nation’s safety?

Source: Matt Smith, CNN

Image: Politico

Seattle Group Negotiating With Maloofs To Buy Sacramento Kings

Seattle Group Negotiating With Maloofs To Buy Sacramento KingsThe Maloof family is finalizing an agreement to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group that hopes to move the franchise to Seattle for the 2013-14 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

‘First and goal at the 1′

The deal will sell the Kings for approximately $500 million to a group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer. The group is seeking to relocate the franchise to Seattle’s KeyArena for the 2013-14 season. The Seattle group’s plans, with support of the NBA, is to play two seasons in Key Arena before moving into a new Seattle arena, sources said.

No agreement has been signed, but one source with knowledge of the talks described the deal as “first and goal at the 1.” Sources said it will take “some time” to get a formal agreement in place. The Maloofs’ history of changing course late in negotiations still has some uneasy about getting the sale completed. The Maloofs previously neared a deal with Sacramento leaders to help finance a new arena in the city before backing out.


‘The Sonics’

The Maloofs are expected to keep an extremely small percentage of the team, but will have no real input or say in the franchise, sources said. Once the sale is completed, the Seattle-based group will have until March to file for relocation. NBA commissioner David Stern has been a big proponent of the Hansen-Ballmer group, and league officials will work diligently to help the franchise move to Seattle if the sale is finalized, sources said. The Seattle-based group is determined to not have the franchise spend a final lame-duck season in Sacramento.

The prospective Seattle ownership plans are to change the Kings’ name and logos back to the original proprietors of the city’s NBA history: the Sonics. “Same name and logos,” a source working with the group told Y! Sports.

Are you a fan of the Sacramento Kings? Do you think the upcoming relocation will do more good or more harm to the team?

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports

Image: USA Today