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The [Monday] Papers

"A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States," the New York Times reports.

"The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. It reports that the N.S.A.'s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.

"The Australians told officials at an N.S.A. liaison office in Canberra, Australia, that 'information covered by attorney-client privilege may be included' in the intelligence gathering, according to the document, a monthly bulletin from the Canberra office. The law firm was not identified, but Mayer Brown, a Chicago-based firm with a global practice, was then advising the Indonesian government on trade issues."


From Data Protection Law & Policy last fall:

"Following leaks from notorious whistleblower Edward Snowden, more has been revealed about the National Security Agency (NSA's) clandestine data gathering and surveillance methods in its fight against terrorism.

"The new information has led to welcome debate to assess and reform the scope of NSA authority and oversight.

"Despite an unprecedented public defense of its practices by the NSA, as well as President Obama and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the revelations have raised a host of questions about the NSA's activities.

"In Part One of this feature, Alex Lakatos, Partner at Mayer Brown LLP1, explores the legal underpinnings of the NSA programs and discusses the proposals for reform of the NSA's legal authority now pending before Congress."


More recently from Lakatos:

"President Barack Obama delivered - on 17 January 2014 - a speech at the US Department of Justice, announcing reforms in response to disclosures regarding the National Security Agency's (NSA) activities leaked by Edward Snowden on 6 June 2013. Obama announced several reforms stating, 'I have taken the unprecedented step of extending certain protections that we have for the American people to people overseas.'

"Alex Lakatos, Partner at Mayer Brown, told DataGuidance, 'Obama's speech offers little in the way of direct relief for multinationals caught between EU and US legal requirements. EU laws (as well as private contracts) may obligate multinationals to inform customers when customer data has been compromised, whereas the Patriot Act contains gag orders that prevent that type of disclosure. Even under Obama's concept, the shorter gag order could be extended if law enforcement says it has good reason to do so' . . .

"'Obama did not touch upon some subjects that cause multinational companies and their customers serious, justified concerns. For example, whether the NSA will stop asking companies to insert flaws into their programs to permit it to access user data and whether the NSA will stop exploiting inadvertent flaws in programs that permit it to access user data. If anything, Obama's speech - which tempers calls for reforms with liberal use of 'spies will be spies' rhetoric - suggests that the answer is no.'"


And Mayer Brown has been so good to Obama until now.


Back to the Times:

"In justifying the agency's sweeping powers, the Obama administration often emphasizes the N.S.A.'s role in fighting terrorism and cyberattacks, but disclosures in recent months from the documents leaked by Mr. Snowden show the agency routinely spies on trade negotiations, communications of economic officials in other countries and even foreign corporations. "




Dan Bumbleford
"Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford said he has not read the results of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and political pressure in his office," AP reports.

Isn't that an obligation of his job?

"[A]lthough his spokeswoman said he might have seen an executive summary."


Mass Transit Madness
"The Chicago area's mass transit agencies are doing a poor job of serving the commuting needs of the region - portions of which are 'transit deserts' - while planning efforts are haphazard, a new report says," the Tribune reports.


From our very own Natasha Julius:

"I said all of this in October and didn't need a 15-person panel to put the thoughts together. I looked at a FUCKING MAP."

Lincoln Logroll
"Unlike the 13 other presidential libraries that fall under the jurisdiction of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, the Lincoln library and museum are funded by the state of Illinois," the Tribune mentions as it compares the Lincoln library and museum to official presidential libraries that do fall under the jurisdiction of the National Archives.

You see, the Lincoln library in Springfield is not a real presidential library; it's a greased-up tourist trap that we're all still subsidizing. Let's start there instead of fretting about how the "library" hasn't "kept up."


"It is not affiliated with the U.S. National Archives and its system of Presidential Libraries."


Beachwood Podcast #1
We'll be adding a theme song, guests and other goodies as we go along, so it's only going to get better . . .


The Top 10 Ways Science Was Just Advanced In Chicago
Including: Robotic Termites Build Without A Boss; Animals Dance To Earth, Wind & Fire.

Why UIC Professors Are Striking
In their own words.

The Dancing Presidents Live On
But no more furniture.

SportsMonday: The Cubs' Bear Market
Better to buy index funds.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Emphatic, Ane Brun, The Hoyle Brothers with Gerald Dowd, Late Night Alumni, Red, Charlie Organaire, 3Lau, Mayer Hawthorne, MKTO, Emblem3, and Justin Timberlake.


* Dibs 'Thief' Rids Chicago Neighborhoods Of Street Junk.

* The Myth Of The Affluent Gay.

* This Man Didn't Have Valentine's Plans. So He Did Something Way Better.

* Berrios Crosses The Line In 39th House Race.

* Basically, @BarackObama Is A Parody Account.

* Alderman Runs Scorched-Earth Campaign On City Time.

* Some Sponsors Compose Olympians' Tweets.

* The Erosion Of Early Childhood Investments In Illinois.

* Can You Believe Sears' Presidents Day Sale Prices?







The Beachwood Tip Line: That's what we am.


Posted on February 17, 2014

MUSIC - Pandemophenia.
TV - NBC's Bicentennial Special.
POLITICS - A New Minimum Merger Maxim.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Unless Someone Dies.

BOOKS - The Legacy Of Racism For Children.


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