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NSA releases decade’s worth of damaging intelligence reports in Christmas Eve document dump

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At approximately 1:30 p.m. EST on Christmas Eve, the National Security Agency responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from the American Civil Liberties Union by releasing more than a decade’s worth of incriminating quarterly and annual reports, David Lerman at Bloomberg News reports.

According to the heavily redacted reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board, intelligence operatives routinely emailed private data on American citizens to unauthorized recipients, stored that data in unsecured computers, and retained it long after laws required it be destroyed.

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“The government conducts sweeping surveillance under this authority — surveillance that increasingly puts Americans’ data in the hands of the NSA,” the ACLU’s Patrick C. Toomey told Bloomberg News in an email. “Despite that fact, this spying is conducted almost entirely in secret and without legislative or judicial oversight.”

In an executive summary, the NSA concluded that “[t]he vast majority of compliance incidents involve unintentional technical or human error. [The] NSA goes to great lengths to ensure compliance with the Constitution, laws and regulations.”

However, in one case, an NSA analyst “searched her spouse’s personal telephone directory without his knowledge to obtain names and telephone numbers for targeting.” In another, a civilian requested that intelligence be gathered on “the telephone number of his foreign-national girlfriend without an authorized purpose for approximately one month[.]”

In an August 2013 statement to Bloomberg News, the NSA claimed that “[o]ver the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA’s authorities have been found. [The] NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct, and cooperates fully with any investigations — responding as appropriate.”


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Lara Trump’s lie about Biden family business deals demolished by conservative: ‘You could look it up’

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On Fox News Thursday, ahead of the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump repeatedly claimed that Joe Biden was allowing his family to use his name "while he was vice president" to secure profitable business deals.

Lara Trump just murdered irony pic.twitter.com/aBSQjLUp32

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 22, 2020

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Trump supporters linked to Steve Bannon pushing ‘fantastical rumors’ to try to ‘pizzagate’ Joe Biden: report

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NBC News on Thursday published a blockbuster report on efforts to smear former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Some of the same people who pushed a false conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton that first emerged in 2016 are now targeting Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, with similar falsehoods. Their online posts are garnering astronomical numbers of shares on social media," NBC News correspondents Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny reported Thursday.

"The fantastical rumors, which NBC News is declining to repeat verbatim, echo specific plot points central to 'pizzagate,' a viral disinformation campaign that predates QAnon but also falsely alleges a vast conspiracy of child abuse," NBC News explained. "There is an important difference, however. The pizzagate-style rumors in 2016 were largely confined to far-right message boards like 4chan and parts of Reddit. But the Hunter Biden iteration of the same conspiracy theory took off last weekend with the help of speculation from conservative TV hosts and members of Congress. Their theorizing can be traced back to a new website that has been promoted by President Donald Trump and his surrogates."

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2020 Election

Pennsylvania AG warns Trump campaign poll watchers to stop videotaping voters

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On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the attorney general of Pennsylvania is warning Trump campaign surrogates to stop videotaping voters dropping off mail-in ballots.

"In a statement, Josh Shapiro, the Democratic state attorney general, said, 'Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them,'" reported Blake Montgomery.

"The campaign has filed complaints with Philadelphia officials based on the videos, alleging fraud on the part of several voters who submitted two or three ballots, according to The New York Times," continued the report. "The Trump campaign initially said the purpose of the videotaping was to catch voters who dropped off a large number of fraudulent ballots rather than one or two, according to the Times."

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