Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/19/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

NSA spied on trade talks with Australian help.

According to a document released by NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, the NSA spied on lawyers during discussions with a foreign government engaged in trade talks with the United States. The NSA had the help of the Australian Signals Directorate in the talks.

Americans are wary of the NSA, but few people have any ideas on how to stop them.

Americans are wary of the NSA, but few people have any ideas on how to stop them.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/19/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: NSA, privacy, trade talks, Indonesia, attorneys, law firm, spying

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The reality is becoming clear. NSA spying has less to do with preventing terrorism and more to do with control. A document leaked by Edward Snowden reveals that the NSA spied on discussions between an unnamed American law firm and the Indonesian government. The law firm was advising the Indonesian government during trade talks with the United States.

The NSA obtained the information from the Australian Signals Directorate, which handled the actual interception, then provided the information to the NSA via its office in Canberra. The document was dated to February 2013, just weeks before Snowden would make off with thousands of damning documents and materials related to NSA operations.

The Australians warned the NSA that the information they were intercepting could be covered by American attorney-client privilege, but the NSA accepted them anyway. How the information was used remains unknown.

It is possible that it was ultimately consumed by U.S. officials responsible for the talks to provide an advantage to negotiators. It is unreasonable to think that Indonesian negotiators could be likely terrorism suspects.

Interestingly, the NSA is not barred from eavesdropping on attorney-client conversations. This simple fact is the reason why the American Bar Association changed its ethics rules in 2012 to ask lawyers to make efforts to protect information from being intercepted by outsiders. However, the guideline is vague and it is unclear what attorneys can reasonably do to prevent NSA interception.

Attorneys have already complained before the Supreme Court that a 2008 law, which allows warrantless wiretapping of the kind engaged in by the NSA, could force them to take unreasonable measures to protect their clients. For example, attorneys could be forced to travel overseas to meet with foreign clients instead of conferencing with them via the internet. The Supreme Court answered that such fears were "speculative" in dismissing their challenge.

Although trade disputes between the U.S. and Indonesia can be particularly contentious, since the U.S. has banned some imports, such as clove cigarettes, nothing in the talks elevates the information to a national security level. This is proof then, that the NSA is using its powers much more broadly than to simply net terrorists.

The agency is an all-encompassing spy agency, handling signal intercepts as well as mass data collection to provide information to other agencies including the CIA, FBI, and yes, even the IRS and possibly local law enforcement.

While the people who are often the target of dedicated efforts are those who we wish to ensnare for reasons of security and safety, there are also a lot of Americans who are being subjected to what may be the greatest mass-violation of their Fourth Amendment rights in American history.

There is also fear that the powers wielded by the NSA could creep and result in the erosion of rights for the average citizen going about everyday business. Already, the NSA has demonstrated that it has the capability to intercept and monitor individual communications on a massive scale. We also know that the corrupting influence of power usually results in its eventual abuse. Several NSA agents have reportedly abused their power to wiretap individuals for personal reasons, including love interests.

It remains a matter of time before the powers of the agency are turned against the people themselves in an effort to control them, subtly at first, perhaps less so later.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President Fran├žois Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:15-27
15 'I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
82 Bless the Lord, all the human race: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:34-36
34 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, ... Read More