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How Extensive is the NSA Domestic Surveillance of U.S. Media? Is it legal?

4 June 2013 6 Comments

Be sure to check the updates on this story at Who is Watching the Watchers

Appearing in Canada Free Press.
When the Obama administration started to pursue whistleblowers they took it to a whole new level than previous administrations by going aggressively after the journalists — the government watchdogs, and their whistleblowing sources by misusing government agencies. We saw it recently with Attorney General Eric Holders’ Justice Department targeting of FOX News reporter James Rosen and by secretly collecting two months of telephone records from reporters and editors at The Associated Press.

The question that must be asked and answered now is does the National Security Agency (NSA) domestic surveillance program apply to the U.S. citizens in the media as well? The reason this question must be asked is because it appears, Canada Free Press columnist, private investigator of the Northeast Intelligence Network, and radio show host of the Hagmann & Hagmann Report, Doug Hagmann, has apparently been caught up in the NSA’s media dragnet.

Just like the Posse Comitatus laws prohibit the use domestically of the military and militarized weapons inside the United States or against U.S. citizens, reserving those authorities and tools to policing agencies, the NSA’s tools are restricted domestically from use against U.S. citizens and businesses. A fact which is apparently lost on the Obama administration, as we already see in Jewel vs. NSA, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation is meticulously documenting.

Hagmann has been on the forefront of reporting dubious DHS programs and the cover-up of the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, for well over a year. As I previously reported, the Republicans already tried to roll over on Benghazi when they wrongly confirmed an Obama administration false narrative regarding denying sending anyone help in Benghazi.

Like “Tea Party” and “constitution” were the trigger words for the IRS criminal activities, apparently “whistleblower” and “insider” were the trigger words for the NSA in their targeting of the media. Hagmann has extensively reported using information provided to him by his whistleblowers, insiders—high level government sources.

On May 30, Hagmann, a U.S. citizens, after having a phone conversation with another internationally known media type, also a U.S. citizen, regarding various government activities, who were both in the U.S. at the time, upon ending their conversation and hanging up, Hagmann received a strange ringed phone call. “Curious because of the ring tone, he looked at the caller ID displayed and was startled to see the following on the telephone caller ID screen: “UT NSA DATA REC CTR.”” He picked up the receiver and heard the following message in a male voice:

“…your notification that the Utah NSA Data Recording Center successfully captured this landline communication under file # [I was unable to copy the numbers as they were spoken quickly]. Refer to senior duty officer for access code under file #[this appeared to be a different alpha-numeric sequence].”

See full details in Hagmann’s affidavit signed under the penalty of perjury at the end. Under the advice of his government sources, it has been notarized and sent to Hagmann’s congressman and senators for further scrutiny.

This is particularly disturbing for many reasons.

First, the Utah Data Center, also known as the First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center, according to a whistleblower, has software that eavesdrops on domestic phone calls. The NSA denies the whistleblower’s allegations and claims “it does not tap into U.S. citizens, especially without a warrant.”

As in the Rosen case, if a warrant was requested and granted in the Hagmann case, are the facts as they have been laid out true and accurate? After all, we know they were not in the Rosen case. Whatever the case, it would seem the NSA is not the appropriate agency to be conducting this monitoring.

Moreover, what happened to Hagmann appears to be in violation of NSA’s mission.

“NSA’s mission, as set forth in Executive Order 12333, is to collect information that constitutes “foreign intelligence or counterintelligence” while not “acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons”. NSA has declared that it relies on the FBI to collect information on foreign intelligence activities within the borders of the USA, while confining its own activities within the USA to the embassies and missions of foreign nations.

NSA’s domestic surveillance activities are limited by the requirements imposed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; however, these protections do not apply to non-U.S. persons located outside of U.S. borders, so the NSA’s foreign surveillance efforts are subject to far fewer limitations under U.S. law.[33] The specific requirements for domestic surveillance operations are contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which does not extend protection to non-U.S. citizens located outside of U.S. territory.[33]

These activities, especially the publicly acknowledged domestic telephone tapping and call database programs, have prompted questions about the extent of the NSA’s activities and concerns about threats to privacy and the rule of law. (Wikipedia)”

The NSA is for external surveillance, not inside the United States. It appears that the NSA is doing domestic surveillance on American citizens. While Hagmann’s reporting appears in an international publication, Canada Free Press, so do James Rosen’s reports appear internationally on FOX News.

Is it lawful for people in the media, who are an outlet for whistleblowers to be targeted by the U.S. government? Obviously these actions make it very dicey for those whistleblowers who believe there is a need to make public questionable activities and possible malfeasance occurring in the government. As the public is well aware of by now, the Obama administration had no problem lying to them.

The stated purpose of the Obama/Clinton/Holder administration’s targeting of whistleblowers is to protect national security. Where have the journalists that are being targeted exposed America’s national security infrastructure in any way that would threaten America? Does anyone suppose that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, China or Iran, is, or was unaware, of the gunrunning operation the U.S. was conducting out of Libya to Syria, which Hagmann reported on extensively—possibly more than any other media person since Benghazi happened?

What is really being protected is the cover-up of what has been going on inside the Obama administration. Make no mistake about it. These investigations are intended to intimidate and silence the media and the whistleblowers. What do you suppose the possibility is that even the ring-back on Hagmann’s phone was actually an intentional subtle threat—both for him and his whistleblowing sources. No national security secrets have been put at risk. No spies have been put at risk of being exposed either. The only risk is exposing the extent of the Obama administration’s gunruning operations into Syria and the real reason behind the Benghazi attack.

Eric Holder and the Justice Department have already misused domestic surveillance assets and personnel. The apparent use of the NSA’s assets and tools against Hagmann raises an entirely different measure of concern that falls within the purview of a separate Congressional investigation. Just when you thought it couldn’t get bigger than Holder, the IRS, and Benghazi, the NSA pops up. How many ugly, squirrely critters might we find when we roll this rock over? You can bet, like what happened with FOX News and the Associated Press at Justice, Hagmann and Jewel are the tip of the iceberg at the NSA.

The American people deserve honest, uncompromised, unfiltered reporting. Hagmann wants to provide that. The director of the NSA, General Keith B. Alexander, needs to be brought in and questioned. NSA is many times bigger than the CIA, with a much larger budget. When you have a big budget it is a lot easier to misbehave.

Check back to this page for more information as developments unfold.

Voluntary Statement

Date: 30 May 2013

I, Douglas J. Hagmann, your affiant, makes the following free and voluntary statement to publicly memorialize an event that occurred at 1206 hours on Thursday, 30 May, 2013 relating to a domestic, interstate landline telephone conversation between [Name and telephone number REDACTED], and myself, (814)-[REDACTED]. I make this statement of my own free will without any threats or promises extended to me.

The purpose of this written statement is to officially memorialize an event and make publicly known what appears to be either (1) an accidental exposure by an official agency of the United States government of active surveillance and data collection on two private U.S. citizens without the consent of either party; or (2) harassment by an official agency of the United States government of law-abiding citizen journalists, or (3) a combination thereof, or (4) purposes unknown.

I fully understand that this statement is given concerning my knowledge of the following:

• A landline telephone conversation concerning your affiant’s sources within the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), following contact with other domestic and international intelligence agencies, and also multiple telephone communications with certain reporters from Fox News.

At 1150 hours on Thursday, 30 May 2013, your affiant, a United States citizen having no prior criminal record history, received a telephone call (landline to landline) from [REDACTED], also a citizen of the United States. As documented by your affiant’s telephone system, this unscheduled conversation lasted exactly 16 minutes and 17 seconds, from 11:50:05 hours ET to 12:06:22 ET, and included but was not limited to information obtained from a high level source within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (hereafter referred to as DHS) known publicly under the pseudonym “Rosebud,” and another intelligence source with a separate intelligence agency. Both sources previously provided concise and accurate information about the inner workings of the DHS as well as the activities and agendas of various individuals in that agency. The intelligence source provided whistleblower information pertaining to the events in Benghazi on multiple occasions. It was during this conversation that your affiant shared specific information about the latest contacts with these sources that is in the process of being transcribed for future publication.

It is important to note that the DHS source has expressed concern about the security and confidentiality of any telephone or e-mail communications, and previously requested your affiant to use alternate methods of contact. This source also stated that the DHS is actively and aggressively searching for “leaks” within the top levels of DHS, or those with access to certain inter-agency information. This source confirmed that certain individuals, under suspicion of talking to journalists, have been reassigned or otherwise cut-off from access to agency departments. This source also stated his belief that the landlines, cellular telephones, and all electronic communications of your affiant and contacts are being monitored by ‘several’ agencies within the U.S. government, including but not limited to the NSA, the FBI, and others for the purpose of identification of this source. Additionally, it is known to this source that your affiant, Douglas J. Hagmann, has been in contact with [REDACTED], a reporter with Fox News by telephone concerning certain information that has yet to be made public.

Subsequent to the telephone conversation that concluded at 12:06:17, your affiant replaced the receiver on the telephone. At that moment, the telephone emitted a short ring, perhaps best described as a muffled ring or a “chirp.” Initially, your affiant believed it to be a simple ring-back, much like those occasionally experienced during the course of otherwise normal telephone use. It is important to note, however, that the sound made by the telephone did not have that same characteristics as a ring back.

Curious because of the ring tone, your affiant looked at the caller ID displayed and was startled to see the following on the telephone caller ID screen: “UT NSA DATA REC CTR.” Your affiant immediate muted the telephone and picked up the receiver, hearing the following message in a male voice:

• “…your notification that the Utah NSA Data Recording Center successfully captured this landline communication under file # [I was unable to copy the numbers as they were spoken quickly]. Refer to senior duty officer for access code under file #[this appeared to be a different alpha-numeric sequence].”

It should be noted that your affiant copied the wording of the verbal message by hand onto a stenographer’s notebook kept by the telephone. No mechanical recording devices were accessible at this time. After the final number was spoken, your affiant heard a distinct “click” on the line, followed by silence. Interestingly, the caller ID information completely disappeared from the telephone at the instant of the “click.” Accordingly, your affiant has no photographic documentation to illustrate or verify the information provided herein. Additionally, the re-dial capabilities of your affiant’s telephone were rendered non-functional following this event.

I have read the statement consisting of one-(1) page and affirm that the facts contained herein are true and correct.

Douglas J. Hagmann
Host, The Hagmann & Hagmann Report
Northeast Intelligence Network
Licensed Investigator
Senior Columnist, Canada Free Press

Note: There are people who have speculated that the media person Hagmann was speaking with (whose name was redacted in his sworn affidavit) during his alleged NSA incident was Fox New’s James Rosen. It was NOT James Rosen. assuming, Hagmann’s allegation is true, I was told at the time that it was someone else. Once again it was NOT James Rosen or anyone who works at Fox News. Perhaps they jumped to conclusions here.

Hagmann on his NSA allegation

Hagmann talking about the NSA and FOIAs I was filing to nail down his allegation several times including here (starting around 12:00 & again at 44:00) and here.

Update: Judi McLeod on Hagmann’s NSA allegation and FOIA’s and in High Profiling Doug Hagmann against NSA.

Please contact Doug Hagmann and Judi McLeod directly for information or confirmation on Hagmann’s NSA allegation and the status of the FOIAs that were filed with the Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Homeland Security and the appeal with the NSA. I no longer write for CFP and can no longer stand by this story.

There are more details and updates at Who is watching the watchers?

Update: Did Doug Hagmann make up his NSA allegation he asked me to report?

Update: November 2015: No journalist should be defamed or have violence incited against them for correcting false allegations.

Defamation lawsuit filed against Christian Alternative media stars, Quayle, Hagmann, and Digital Corps.