Blog

“The Edward Snowden Affair” Q&A Part 1



Edward Snowden truth Q: What are the most important disclosures? A: The first disclosure, the Verizon report, which shows that the phone records of all Americans (by all major phone providers) has been turned over to the federal government for the last seven years. The second exposés, the PRISM editorials, which appeared the next day in both The Guardian and Washington Post. These prove that surveillance is taking place with our online communications. The day after that, the Washington Post rewrote its report (and The Guardian debuted the same in a little noticed article), which revealed that GCHQ and the NSA are working together. The Boundless Informant article. It shows that the NSA has hid surveillance programs from congressional oversight committees. Later reports would argue that this was not an isolated incident. All of the South China Morning Post exposés. They were the first to state the NSA has been spying on foreign nations without provocation. This includes economic and civilian espionage. The XKeyscore article at the end of July is very condemning. It depicts the nearly godlike technological capabilities the NSA has at its fingertips. The Guardian's Microsoft report, which shows that Internet corporations are willfully participating in mass surveillance. The joint Guardian/Washington Post/Pro Publica encryption editorials. They prove that no communications are safe, not even ones using secure websites or encryption technology.   Q: What kinds of explosive material has the press failed to report to the public? A: I anticipate that forthcoming disclosures from the bounty of the purported 1.7 million files in the Snowden press's possession will continue to be limited to civilian, diplomatic, domestic, and economic affairs such as revealing that the Five Eyes are spying on each other atop domestic surveillance being more invasive. However, it is clear that of the millions of classified documents, military secrets are being carefully protected. This is because the Edward Snowden press has stated that--upon the whistleblower's request--national security will not be compromised. This implies that they have access to delicate military data but have, and continue, to refuse to divulge this information. Case in point, the federal government openly stated that Chinese hackers stole millions in military R & D from the Pentagon. To assume similar espionage hasn't been ordered and executed by the U.S. would be naïve.   Q: What are the most disturbing aspects of the NSA reports? A: That the intelligence community had hid surveillance programs from Congress. A secret court, the FISC, which was supposedly created with the express purpose of overseeing the NSA and whose judgments are rarely revealed to the American public, essentially rubberstamps itself into extraneousness. How our legislators gerrymandered the law in order to grant itself almost absolute freedom to spy, such as creating the word “metadata” because “communications,” by law, cannot be surveilled. The fact that the U.S. government isn’t acting alone and, as the Snowden press has heavily implied, has other nations spy on Americans in order to circumnavigate around the Fourth Amendment. However, the most enraging aspect of the intelligence revelations is the NSA’s attitude. A classified training slide was revealed that tells intelligence agents that if a privacy law has been violated, the error should be reported but, if the government worker fails to do so, it’s “nothing to worry about.” In a September report, another series of slides refers to cell phone users as naïve, gullible “zombies.”   Q: What was the NSA's response to the disclosures? A: Instead of changing protocol to keep other guilty consciences from whistleblowing, the NSA instituted a security lock down, i.e., two-person data transfer system. Interestingly, instead of curtailing its spying as a gesture of good faith, it increased its surveillance capabilities: It opened the Utah Data Center last September. This facility has the ability to retain an unimaginable amount of data and is said to be able to make metadata immortal. Author of the "Edward Snowden Affair," Michael Gurnow  


Read More 

6 Things Parents Need to Know About FAFSA



By Dr. Frank Mussano with Dr. Robert Iosuse, authors of the book College Tuition: Four Decades of Financial Deception Filling out the free application for student financial aid known as the FAFSA is the most important step you can take to receive financial assistance for paying college expenses. It determines eligibility for all federal student aid, including scholarships, low-cost loans, grants, and work-study. Education Reform 1. What is the FAFSA income limit for awarding financial aid? There is no income cut-off for federal financial aid. Many factors are considered in the needs analysis formula in addition to income. The bottom line is that students should not assume they are not eligible for financial aid. 2. What is the best way to submit the FAFSA? The FAFSA can be completed via paper application or online, but the online application is recommended because it offers many advantages. The FAFSA must be resubmitted every academic year. 3. When is the best time to submit the FAFSA? After filing taxes? After Acceptance to College? Although tax information from the previous year is required to complete the form, FAFSA allows applicants to estimate information and correct it after taxes are finalized. It is best to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of the year the student plans to enter college. 4. What information is needed to fill out the FAFSA? Collect the necessary financial records prior to sitting down to fill out the FAFSA. You should have: • most recent year’s tax forms or end-of-year pay stubs, • w-2 forms and other records of money earned • records of the most recent untaxed income from agencies such as welfare, veteran benefits, Social Security, etc. • current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments • current mortgage information (FAFSA does not assess home equity or personal assets) • student’s driver’s license and social security number • at least one, and up to ten, federal school codes for colleges the student is interested in attending (available via the school’s financial aid offices) 5. How can assets in the FAFSA needs analysis formula be minimized? Under current federal financial aid formulas, all assets of the student are assessed at a 20% rate while parents are assessed at a maximum rate of 5.65%. 6. Is help available to fill out the FAFSA? You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center with questions about the online or paper FAFSA application process at 1-800-433-3243.


Read More