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(Talking Points Memo)   NSA director: PRISM disrupted "dozens of attacks", they can't tell you which ones, but you can trust them on this. Totes   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 95
    More: Unlikely, prisms, NSA, totes  
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385 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Jun 2013 at 8:39 AM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-13 08:45:02 AM
because TERROR
 
2013-06-13 08:45:37 AM
But they're in Canada, you wouldn't know them
 
2013-06-13 08:46:52 AM
Yep. I completely trust them. I assume dozens of court cases resulted?
 
2013-06-13 08:48:54 AM
You're being snarky, subby. Ha, ha, I get snarky. But to be serious for a moment, seriously, what you have to remember is that if there's a successful terrorist attack, that attack becomes an inspiration for other terrorists. Who then plan other attacks, and if they're successful those in turn become inspirations. So there's a ripple effect that ripples out like ripples from even a single event, see? So, realistically, once you factor in those and other extrapolatables, stopping even 1 attack is actually the equivalent to stopping ten, thirty, a hundred potential attacks. Hell, it could even be a thousand attacks if you really factor it out. Try to not be so cynical and maybe show some gratitude here; imagine if there had been 1000 terrorist attacks last year.
 
2013-06-13 08:49:50 AM
I like how super duper ultra secret the whole operation needed to be but as soon as the US public found out and some people got pissed off they were able to de-classify huge portions of the program within a day or so.
 
2013-06-13 08:52:44 AM
I'm sure there has been an attack or two that has been thwarted, but that's about it.

By the government's metric, "dozens of attacks" probably includes people who sneak into the Express Lane at the grocery store with one item over the limit.
 
2013-06-13 08:53:31 AM
Real potential terror attacks, or like the ones the FBI is always busting that go like this:

[Mopey muslim guy]: "Death to America and stuff! That would be cool."
[FBI informant]: "Hey, I know a guy with bombs, you want to blow stuff up?"
[Mopey muslim]: "Sure, why not."
[FBI informant]: "LOL/JK, busted."
 
2013-06-13 08:54:16 AM
img.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-13 08:55:14 AM
Well they should brief members of Congress who have the required level of security clearance. If said Congressmen still believe the program needs to be shutdown those Congressman can introduce legislation making the practice illegal.

My guess is there won't be a legislative changes.
 
2013-06-13 08:55:20 AM

Target Builder: I like how super duper ultra secret the whole operation needed to be but as soon as the US public found out and some people got pissed off they were able to de-classify huge portions of the program within a day or so.


If it's any consolation, everyone's decided to ignore pretty much everything the government says about it, for better or worse.
 
2013-06-13 08:55:54 AM
The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.
 
2013-06-13 08:57:55 AM
How many of those were staged by the FBI?
 
2013-06-13 08:58:36 AM

Fail in Human Form: The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.


I've never liked this argument. It's too convenient and dismissive.
 
2013-06-13 08:58:54 AM
PRISM, which we won't tell you anything about, is stopping attacks, which we won't tell you anything about in places we won't tell you anything about at times we won't tell you anything about and is overseen by a court we won't tell you anything about that issues warrants we won't tell you anything about.

So, yea, trust us!

/ seems legit
// I'd be a lot more surprised about all this if we hadn't known about it for more than a decade and the current guy in power hadn't made it clear he was all for this 1984-style bullshiat back in 2007 by voting for the telco immunity bill.....
 
2013-06-13 08:59:45 AM
Is it really news that the government listens in on everything? I'd always assumed there were flag-words in speech/text that would be red-flagged, like putting bamb in the same sentence as prisidint.
 
2013-06-13 09:00:13 AM

Fail in Human Form: The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.


This.

I'd rather tempt my fate through a few terrorist attacks and be free than to live my life in a super surveillance nanny state.
 
2013-06-13 09:01:03 AM

LasersHurt: I've never liked this argument. It's too convenient and dismissive.


More importantly, it's 100% valid in situations like this.

When your opponent in the debate refuses to actually present an argument, you get to be completely dismissive and still win the debate.
 
2013-06-13 09:02:15 AM
Sure. I know this to be true, I asked my wife, Morgan Fairchild, whom I've seen naked.
 
2013-06-13 09:02:15 AM

Pocket Ninja: You're being snarky, subby. Ha, ha, I get snarky. But to be serious for a moment, seriously, what you have to remember is that if there's a successful terrorist attack, that attack becomes an inspiration for other terrorists. Who then plan other attacks, and if they're successful those in turn become inspirations. So there's a ripple effect that ripples out like ripples from even a single event, see? So, realistically, once you factor in those and other extrapolatables, stopping even 1 attack is actually the equivalent to stopping ten, thirty, a hundred potential attacks. Hell, it could even be a thousand attacks if you really factor it out. Try to not be so cynical and maybe show some gratitude here; imagine if there had been 1000 terrorist attacks last year.


Nice try, Obama
 
2013-06-13 09:02:18 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.

I've never liked this argument. It's too convenient and dismissive.


To believe otherwise is to adopt the position that government employees and contractors are above reproach.  History, recent history even, show this to be unimaginably naive.  Their attempt to hold up the FISA court as the safeguard is laughable at best.
 
2013-06-13 09:03:03 AM

skozlaw: LasersHurt: I've never liked this argument. It's too convenient and dismissive.

More importantly, it's 100% valid in situations like this.

When your opponent in the debate refuses to actually present an argument, you get to be completely dismissive and still win the debate.


No, it's not. The only "100% valid" thing is to get all of the information and make a fair assessment. It's been a few DAYS, remember. They already declassified the program. The director said he's pushing for permission to release the info on these attacks, for what it's worth.

They haven't given you ALL of the info, yes. But to say they've said nothing is just incorrect.
 
2013-06-13 09:03:39 AM

Fail in Human Form: LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.

I've never liked this argument. It's too convenient and dismissive.

To believe otherwise is to adopt the position that government employees and contractors are above reproach.  History, recent history even, show this to be unimaginably naive.  Their attempt to hold up the FISA court as the safeguard is laughable at best.


No, it's not.
 
2013-06-13 09:04:16 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.

I've never liked this argument. It's too convenient and dismissive.

To believe otherwise is to adopt the position that government employees and contractors are above reproach.  History, recent history even, show this to be unimaginably naive.  Their attempt to hold up the FISA court as the safeguard is laughable at best.

No, it's not.


How so?
 
2013-06-13 09:05:01 AM
Because we should tell our enemies how we beat them to give them a fair advantage. I love these threads, filled with people who have no idea how the world works.
 
2013-06-13 09:05:18 AM
OK, we'll tell you how we're stopping the terrorists, but you have to promise not to tell the terrorists.
 
2013-06-13 09:06:06 AM
The smarter question to ask is not whether or not terrorist attacks have been thwarted, one would assume that if you're listening in on EVERYTHING you'd catch someone. The question should be 'was there a less invasive way of thwarting those attacks.' And the answer is most definitely 'yes' since we've always been doing it long before 911 and all this crap.

The Boston bombings prove that this can't stop everything, and of course terrorists have an ironclad way around this which is simply not to communicate over phone/email. Sure that makes things more difficult, but not that difficult. So in the end this is nothing but a giant invasive net that doesn't replace traditional investigative methods and is easy to get around.
 
2013-06-13 09:06:50 AM

Fail in Human Form: How so?


I honestly don't understand how this needs clarification. He said "The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks. " This asserts that there is NO AMOUNT of good that could ever outweigh some theoretical abuse in the future.

My objection to this in NO WAY implies that abuse is IMPOSSIBLE, or that gov't employees who abused it would be "above reproach." I really don't know where you're getting this connection.
 
2013-06-13 09:09:35 AM
I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.
 
2013-06-13 09:10:09 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: How so?

I honestly don't understand how this needs clarification. He said "The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks. " This asserts that there is NO AMOUNT of good that could ever outweigh some theoretical abuse in the future.

My objection to this in NO WAY implies that abuse is IMPOSSIBLE, or that gov't employees who abused it would be "above reproach." I really don't know where you're getting this connection.


I said it because I believe there IS no amount of good that could justify a program such as this.  I'm willing to accept the risk.  I'm not willing to hand over my entire life to the government simply because they tell me, "it's for my own good."
 
2013-06-13 09:11:33 AM

Fail in Human Form: I'm not willing to hand over my entire life to the government simply because they tell me, "it's for my own good."


They can potentially access data. Your life has changed in no way. But your "entire life" has been handed over to them?

I don't think the rhetoric matches the rhubarb, is what I am saying. We need to learn more, and maybe calm the fart down a little.
 
2013-06-13 09:12:32 AM

LasersHurt: But to say they've said nothing is just incorrect


I said they didn't put forward an argument in defense of it, and they haven't. If they do at some point in the future we can always change our opinions, but, right now, today, they haven't, and I can be as dismissive of their waffly bullshiat as I want.

They've had more than a decade to make this sort of stuff available. I think after a decade I'm justified in just saying "fark them" especially since the only reason they've even doing it now is that the leak gives enough footing for a lawsuit that will probably wind up opening it all up anyway.
 
2013-06-13 09:14:57 AM

skozlaw: I said they didn't put forward an argument in defense of it, and they haven't.


Presuming you ignore their arguments they've offered. A bad argument is still an argument.

skozlaw: They've had more than a decade to make this sort of stuff available.


Hindsight and all.
 
2013-06-13 09:15:05 AM
Sounds legit to me.
 
2013-06-13 09:17:20 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: I'm not willing to hand over my entire life to the government simply because they tell me, "it's for my own good."

They can potentially access data. Your life has changed in no way. But your "entire life" has been handed over to them?

I don't think the rhetoric matches the rhubarb, is what I am saying. We need to learn more, and maybe calm the fart down a little.


Think of how much, even excluding things like Facebook, of our personal information is transmitted digitally.  There's a larger hurdle in getting a warrant THEN going after my data than there is in already having it and simply having a form stamped to "officially" go over it.  Also, this goes beyond MY data.  What about politicians or businessmen in important industries?  That's an awfully tempting moral hazard if there's an agenda you want to push and someone is standing in your way.
 
2013-06-13 09:20:10 AM

Fail in Human Form: LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: I'm not willing to hand over my entire life to the government simply because they tell me, "it's for my own good."

They can potentially access data. Your life has changed in no way. But your "entire life" has been handed over to them?

I don't think the rhetoric matches the rhubarb, is what I am saying. We need to learn more, and maybe calm the fart down a little.

Think of how much, even excluding things like Facebook, of our personal information is transmitted digitally.  There's a larger hurdle in getting a warrant THEN going after my data than there is in already having it and simply having a form stamped to "officially" go over it.  Also, this goes beyond MY data.  What about politicians or businessmen in important industries?  That's an awfully tempting moral hazard if there's an agenda you want to push and someone is standing in your way.


I agree there's a lot of "what ifs". But we'll get to the bottom of it. There's a mountain of suits spinning up over this as we speak; I think it's a matter of time.
 
2013-06-13 09:20:49 AM

Fail in Human Form: The potential for abuse far outweighs any benefit in using this method to prevent terrorists attacks.


This is how I feel as well.

The problem is that humans are corrupt and can't be trusted to work in secret, especially when you are giving them this kind of power. They'll lie to keep it and they'll lie about what they've done with it. Its all covered because of unspecified operational security reasons (which they've probably lied about too).

I bet this things being used to push political agendas, follow mistresses, and make stock market decisions.   Not stop terrorists.

/If they'd hindered a terrorist at any point, it wouldn't have taken a leak to tell us about it.
/We'd have heard every detail from the administrations mouthpieces endlessly boasting about it.
 
2013-06-13 09:21:33 AM

Pocket Ninja: You're being snarky, subby. Ha, ha, I get snarky. But to be serious for a moment, seriously, what you have to remember is that if there's a successful terrorist attack, that attack becomes an inspiration for other terrorists. Who then plan other attacks, and if they're successful those in turn become inspirations. So there's a ripple effect that ripples out like ripples from even a single event, see? So, realistically, once you factor in those and other extrapolatables, stopping even 1 attack is actually the equivalent to stopping ten, thirty, a hundred potential attacks. Hell, it could even be a thousand attacks if you really factor it out. Try to not be so cynical and maybe show some gratitude here; imagine if there had been 1000 terrorist attacks last year.


I know, I know, I mean just look at how many planes were flown into skyscrapers after 9/11 and before this program was in place. Walking through the streets in any city was like raining cats and dogs only it was raining bodies and debris. The lines of terrorists in front of the cockpit door in airplanes was longer than the lines waiting to go pee.

I'm supposed to show gratitude for having been put in danger in the first place by the same people that now advocate for tighter surveillance? What is wrong with you?
 
2013-06-13 09:22:32 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: I'm not willing to hand over my entire life to the government simply because they tell me, "it's for my own good."

They can potentially access data. Your life has changed in no way. But your "entire life" has been handed over to them?

I don't think the rhetoric matches the rhubarb, is what I am saying. We need to learn more, and maybe calm the fart down a little.

Think of how much, even excluding things like Facebook, of our personal information is transmitted digitally.  There's a larger hurdle in getting a warrant THEN going after my data than there is in already having it and simply having a form stamped to "officially" go over it.  Also, this goes beyond MY data.  What about politicians or businessmen in important industries?  That's an awfully tempting moral hazard if there's an agenda you want to push and someone is standing in your way.

I agree there's a lot of "what ifs". But we'll get to the bottom of it. There's a mountain of suits spinning up over this as we speak; I think it's a matter of time.


I like your optimism, but not a chance.  This program will never be stopped, I'd bet good money it'll be expanded over time, and all the government has to do with the lawsuits is claim state secrets and it's over.
 
2013-06-13 09:22:34 AM

clambam: I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.


ermm... there haven't been any attacks because we went over there and killed the shiat out of all of them.  and anybody thinking about it would probably conclude it's not a good idea because not only will they get blown up, but so will all of their comrades.  the whole risk/punishment thing.

you are aware that two wars were started over this thing, right?  do you watch the news?
 
2013-06-13 09:24:00 AM

LasersHurt: A bad argument is still an argument.


I would suggest it's bad enough as to not even constitute an argument. The point is that they've offered a series of claims and offered no backing for any of them. That can be dismissed out of hand. If you want to wait and see if they do wind up offering one, that's fine, but for now I'm just calling bullshiat. They've used a secret court with secret warrants to perform secret wiretaps for secret operations.

There is literally no reason but blind faith to believe any of that was used for the reasons they claim. Going strictly by the evidence, you have no more reason to believe they used those wiretaps to stop attacks than that they used them to steal people's homemade porn. I'm sure most if not all of the warrants really were used for what they believed were threats, but that's where the breakdown starts for me. There's nothing but volumes of historical evidence where governments have abused sweeping powers by continually expanding their definition of a "threat" and, of course, you occasionally get some boot-licking dick-knocker like McCarthy who decides to start specifically targeting people he just doesn't like.

Frankly, I think with all the evidence of how these types of things typically wind up being abused, you'd have to be totally nuts not to think that it either already hasn't been or won't be some day. And on that conclusion is what I rest my thoughts for the government on this matter: "go fark yourselves".
The government is made up of people and many people can't be trusted, especially when they think they're doing good. You need to keep your eyes on them at all times to make sure they don't get out of hand because that's just how people are.
 
2013-06-13 09:24:03 AM

Fail in Human Form: I agree there's a lot of "what ifs". But we'll get to the bottom of it. There's a mountain of suits spinning up over this as we speak; I think it's a matter of time.

I like your optimism, but not a chance.  This program will never be stopped, I'd bet good money it'll be expanded over time, and all the government has to do with the lawsuits is claim state secrets and it's over.


I dislike your pessimism. Fatalist attitudes keeps you from properly pushing for the truth to come out. Remember, we're ultimately responsible for the makeup of our government.
 
2013-06-13 09:25:14 AM

skozlaw: There is literally no reason but blind faith to believe any of that was used for the reasons they claim. Going strictly by the evidence, you have no more reason to believe they used those wiretaps to stop attacks than that they used them to steal people's homemade porn.


You also have no more reason to believe that this has ever hurt any innocent person than you do that it has. So my point is chill out and fight for the evidence to be released. High rhetoric doesn't accomplish anything.
 
2013-06-13 09:25:19 AM
If they DID thwart one, they'd have shouted about it from the rooftops the second they had someone in custody.

So yeah, boolsheet.
 
2013-06-13 09:26:35 AM
It's really not that hard for the government to foil a terrorist attack when the government comes up with the plan, finances the plan, provides materials, equipment and manpower for the plan, and then blackmails some idiot into joining the plan.
 
2013-06-13 09:27:30 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: I agree there's a lot of "what ifs". But we'll get to the bottom of it. There's a mountain of suits spinning up over this as we speak; I think it's a matter of time.

I like your optimism, but not a chance.  This program will never be stopped, I'd bet good money it'll be expanded over time, and all the government has to do with the lawsuits is claim state secrets and it's over.

I dislike your pessimism. Fatalist attitudes keeps you from properly pushing for the truth to come out. Remember, we're ultimately responsible for the makeup of our government.


To what avail?  When this came out, remember congress VOTED for this according to the administration, many said they had never heard of this before.  They then got a very short private meeting about it which lead to some saying the PATRIOT Act needed to be repealed after the meeting.
 
2013-06-13 09:29:40 AM
Totes?

So how long until we're using num nums?
 
2013-06-13 09:30:07 AM

Fail in Human Form: LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: I agree there's a lot of "what ifs". But we'll get to the bottom of it. There's a mountain of suits spinning up over this as we speak; I think it's a matter of time.

I like your optimism, but not a chance.  This program will never be stopped, I'd bet good money it'll be expanded over time, and all the government has to do with the lawsuits is claim state secrets and it's over.

I dislike your pessimism. Fatalist attitudes keeps you from properly pushing for the truth to come out. Remember, we're ultimately responsible for the makeup of our government.

To what avail?  When this came out, remember congress VOTED for this according to the administration, many said they had never heard of this before.  They then got a very short private meeting about it which lead to some saying the PATRIOT Act needed to be repealed after the meeting.


And then what, they did nothing? Buried their heads in the sand? Better re-elect them. Hell they passed it in the first place, better re-elect them.

Acting like we're not largely responsible for this ourselves is ridiculous.
 
2013-06-13 09:30:22 AM

Pocket Ninja: You're being snarky, subby. Ha, ha, I get snarky. But to be serious for a moment, seriously, what you have to remember is that if there's a successful terrorist attack, that attack becomes an inspiration for other terrorists. Who then plan other attacks, and if they're successful those in turn become inspirations. So there's a ripple effect that ripples out like ripples from even a single event, see? So, realistically, once you factor in those and other extrapolatables, stopping even 1 attack is actually the equivalent to stopping ten, thirty, a hundred potential attacks. Hell, it could even be a thousand attacks if you really factor it out. Try to not be so cynical and maybe show some gratitude here; imagine if there had been 1000 terrorist attacks last year.


So by saying "dozens of attacks,"  he's really saying negative 500 attacks?
 
2013-06-13 09:32:28 AM
i34.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-13 09:33:28 AM

LasersHurt: Fail in Human Form: I'm not willing to hand over my entire life to the government simply because they tell me, "it's for my own good."

They can potentially access data. Your life has changed in no way. But your "entire life" has been handed over to them?

I don't think the rhetoric matches the rhubarb, is what I am saying. We need to learn more, and maybe calm the fart down a little.


Herein lies the beauty of this sort of surveillance, and why we will so willingly bend over and take it - it isn't inconvenient for us. The collection of this data is a painless process that isn't going to interrupt our watching Game of Thrones, so we'll shrug it off and move on.

If it required NSA agents to turn up at the door with their secret court issued warrant for our browser history then we'd have a real problem with it.
 
2013-06-13 09:33:53 AM

LasersHurt: Acting like we're not largely responsible for this ourselves is ridiculous.


I think our apathy is partly responsible, but I don't get briefings on these bills... do you?  If I would have brought up something like this prior to the leak I would have been mocked as a "conspiracy theorist."  It seems like both parties continue the march against our rights and the members of congress who do speak up get no traction.
 
2013-06-13 09:36:15 AM

BlippityBleep: clambam: I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.

ermm... there haven't been any attacks because we went over there and killed the shiat out of all of them.  and anybody thinking about it would probably conclude it's not a good idea because not only will they get blown up, but so will all of their comrades.  the whole risk/punishment thing.

you are aware that two wars were started over this thing, right?  do you watch the news?


Again, you really believe that? That the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prevented or are preventing native-born or foreign terrorists already here from attacking? Given the level of naivete implied by your post, I hardly know how to respond.
 
2013-06-13 09:36:23 AM
If the program had to be secret to be effective, I assume they're formatting all of the hard drives now and unplugging the servers
 
2013-06-13 09:39:49 AM

LasersHurt: You also have no more reason to believe that this has ever hurt any innocent person than you do that it has


The probability is non-zero which is infinitely higher than what is required to offset any unproven benefit that's been claimed.

We're working from two different ends on this. You seem to be of the opinion that this could potentially be justified. I see no possible way that could happen. The "evidence" as to what's already been done is inconsequential to me because my position is that it's impossible to justify complete secrecy in this matter. I have little interest in what happened at this point unless what happened was actually illegal and those involved could be prosecuted (which seems highly improbable thanks to PATRIOT). Instead, I'd prefer we worry about how it can either be adapted in the future so that it's not just completely secret government spying on its own citizens or, better yet, completely dismantled.
 
2013-06-13 09:40:22 AM
This reminds me of the torture debate.   The ends don't justify the means even if you can demonstrate successes:  Also:

1) identifying plans does not necessarily equal thwarting attacks
2) who is to say the same thing could not have been accomplished with traditional legal warrants
3) who is to say the information could not have been obtained through other intelligence work
4) how many false leads being chased down does this approach generate
 
2013-06-13 09:42:37 AM

LasersHurt: Remember, we're ultimately responsible for the makeup of our government.


Since most people are functionally disenfranchised unless they live in a battleground district, that is not really all that true.
 
2013-06-13 09:48:55 AM
I didn't buy this line under Bush, and I'm not buying it under Obama.
 
2013-06-13 09:53:48 AM

lilplatinum: LasersHurt: Remember, we're ultimately responsible for the makeup of our government.

Since most people are functionally disenfranchised unless they live in a battleground district, that is not really all that true.


"Functionally" because? Because everyone votes for one guy no matter what he's done. Still a people problem.

skozlaw: LasersHurt: You also have no more reason to believe that this has ever hurt any innocent person than you do that it has

The probability is non-zero which is infinitely higher than what is required to offset any unproven benefit that's been claimed.

We're working from two different ends on this. You seem to be of the opinion that this could potentially be justified. I see no possible way that could happen. The "evidence" as to what's already been done is inconsequential to me because my position is that it's impossible to justify complete secrecy in this matter. I have little interest in what happened at this point unless what happened was actually illegal and those involved could be prosecuted (which seems highly improbable thanks to PATRIOT). Instead, I'd prefer we worry about how it can either be adapted in the future so that it's not just completely secret government spying on its own citizens or, better yet, completely dismantled.


You are assuming that this WILL hurt innocents, and I suppose you're assuming at a higher rate than traditional methods. I'm not sure I agree with that. If your complaint is that it's non-zero and you want zero, then all law enforcement is off the table, as there is no such thing.

As far as adapting to the future for safety, no complaints.
 
2013-06-13 09:55:28 AM
How many of those would have been stopped anyway by non-crazy enforcement action?
 
2013-06-13 09:56:22 AM
You can always tell when a high ranking government official is lying: their lips are moving.
 
2013-06-13 10:02:30 AM

LasersHurt: If your complaint is that it's non-zero and you want zero


My complaint is that it's non-zero and we have no way of knowing what non-zero number it is, when it happens, what the impact is, or why it happens.

It's the complete blackout on it. I will never accept that anything the government does is necessary or justifiable when it is completely blacked out from the public.
 
2013-06-13 10:06:46 AM

skozlaw: LasersHurt: If your complaint is that it's non-zero and you want zero

My complaint is that it's non-zero and we have no way of knowing what non-zero number it is, when it happens, what the impact is, or why it happens.

It's the complete blackout on it. I will never accept that anything the government does is necessary or justifiable when it is completely blacked out from the public.


Well gosh if only it had recently come to light and is now the subject of huge scrutiny.
 
2013-06-13 10:13:24 AM
My feeling about this whole thing is that if  PRISM works exactly the way NSA says it does, I really don't have that much of a problem with it.  It would be focused on seeing big patterns, and wouldn't really focus on individuals until the data led them there.

But that's a pretty farking big "if".  The huge problem here is how you know that that's what this program is, how you keep an eye on the NSA.  And I'm not really seeing a good way to do that yet.
 
2013-06-13 10:14:08 AM

LasersHurt: lilplatinum: LasersHurt: Remember, we're ultimately responsible for the makeup of our government.

Since most people are functionally disenfranchised unless they live in a battleground district, that is not really all that true.

"Functionally" because? Because everyone votes for one guy no matter what he's done. Still a people problem.


Functionally because we are an idiotic winner take all Weeners the post system that, due to Duverger's law, leads us to a two party system - meaning that unless you live in a certain place your vote simply does not count.  I spent most of my adult life registered in Texas and now in Brooklyn New York.   My vote is literally irrelevant to any but the very most local of races, so the "we" you stated certainly does not include me.
 
2013-06-13 10:15:06 AM
i.imgur.com

"Yeah, like attacks on my coolant port," said a voice from within the network.
 
2013-06-13 10:15:27 AM
Well there's this one: PRISM Stopped Najibullah Zazi From Blowing Up Backpacks in the [NYC] Subway

For some people, this may be enough. For others, not so much...
 
2013-06-13 10:15:27 AM

clambam: I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.


If there are terrorists that are dumb enough to think no ones watching their communication, we have one the war.  Sadly I don't think that's ALWAYS the case.  Canada's been able to stop every terrorist plot without the need for this, I don't see why America can't with it's trillion dollar army and intelligence agencies.
 
2013-06-13 10:16:58 AM

LasersHurt: Well gosh if only it had recently come to light and is now the subject of huge scrutiny.


Which somehow justifies the last decade of abuse or means I should alter my expectations about how they might behave in the future? What's your unnecessarily sarcastic point here?

And I hate to break it to you and so many others, but this behavior didn't just "recently come to light". It's been known for more than a decade that the government is using a secret court as a broad basis to wiretap Americans. It's been publicly debated multiples times in Congress.

People just suddenly started caring again because somebody leaked some specifics about it.
 
2013-06-13 10:19:19 AM

links136: Canada's been able to stop every terrorist plot without the need for this


I'm not confident that Canada doesn't do the same thing.  Google "Echelon", "UK", & "Canada"

/Canadian
 
2013-06-13 10:20:11 AM

Pocket Ninja: You're being snarky, subby. Ha, ha, I get snarky. But to be serious for a moment, seriously, what you have to remember is that if there's a successful terrorist attack, that attack becomes an inspiration for other terrorists. Who then plan other attacks, and if they're successful those in turn become inspirations. So there's a ripple effect that ripples out like ripples from even a single event, see? So, realistically, once you factor in those and other extrapolatables, stopping even 1 attack is actually the equivalent to stopping ten, thirty, a hundred potential attacks. Hell, it could even be a thousand attacks if you really factor it out. Try to not be so cynical and maybe show some gratitude here; imagine if there had been 1000 terrorist attacks last year.


Lets be serious... if the NSA doesn't watch or do anything about the Tsarnaevs, even with other foreign intelligence agencies screaming bloody murder at them to do so... do I really believe that they do a better job with randomly picked up information? I mean, whether we're talking about the Boston Bombings, 9/11, or some of the other more brutal parts of our history with terrorism, the reality is that our intelligence communities seem to do a piss poor job and not utilize the intelligence they have... so giving up our fourth amendment rights with the belief that maybe if we deluge them with far more information, that maybe they'll do a better job next time just doesn't make any sense.
 
2013-06-13 10:23:06 AM

skozlaw: LasersHurt: Well gosh if only it had recently come to light and is now the subject of huge scrutiny.

Which somehow justifies the last decade of abuse or means I should alter my expectations about how they might behave in the future? What's your unnecessarily sarcastic point here?


My point is you're being a little too shirty about something that just came to light a few days ago, that's all (despite your valiant efforts for the last decade). Veruca Salt-y? "I want it Noooowww!"

Relax, everyone's with you. We want the info. There's a process. It's underway.
 
2013-06-13 10:23:18 AM

clambam: I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.


 By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away
 
2013-06-13 10:24:12 AM

TabASlotB: Well there's this one: PRISM Stopped Najibullah Zazi From Blowing Up Backpacks in the [NYC] Subway

For some people, this may be enough. For others, not so much...


Who is to say that court issued wiretap warrants could not have accomplished the same thing?

In almost every successful terrorist attack, evidence was available which with could intelligence/law enforcement work could have been used to thwart it.
 
2013-06-13 10:25:06 AM

TabASlotB: Well there's this one: PRISM Stopped Najibullah Zazi From Blowing Up Backpacks in the [NYC] Subway

For some people, this may be enough. For others, not so much...


Totally worth giving up the 4th amendment for.

Seriously, if we're just going to give up the things that matter the most to us, then what do the terrorists even matter.?
 
2013-06-13 10:25:55 AM

firefly212: Seriously, if we're just going to give up the things that matter the most to us, then what do the terrorists even matter.?


"A copy of data"
 
2013-06-13 10:27:52 AM
As someone whose job it is to actually read the content of peoples private emails all day, I'm really getting a kick...

Also my work totally stopped terrorists.

/not national security related
//but, hey, it might have, you don't know
 
2013-06-13 10:28:05 AM
Translation: "We need complete secrecy, but you don't any."

Just who are they concerned about keeping secrets from?
 
2013-06-13 10:28:55 AM

mrshowrules: TabASlotB: Well there's this one: PRISM Stopped Najibullah Zazi From Blowing Up Backpacks in the [NYC] Subway

For some people, this may be enough. For others, not so much...

Who is to say that court issued wiretap warrants could not have accomplished the same thing?

In almost every successful terrorist attack, evidence was available which with could intelligence/law enforcement work could have been used to thwart it.


Certainly. I didn't register my opinion on the topic, but did want to provide a counter to the assertion that no attack disruptions have been publicly attributed to this program. As I said, the mileage will vary wildly from person to person on this claim.
 
2013-06-13 10:32:11 AM

clambam: I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that.


I remember reading about the NSA's expanding capability in the late 1990s.
And because I have read about this off and on for a few years, I view their capabilities as a series of advancements not a sudden expansion.

So have to ask, what did you think of their capabilities pre 2001? Were you as supportive then as you are now?
 
2013-06-13 10:33:34 AM
Well, if it turns out that legit plots were thwarted and people's lives were saved and it's succinctly tied to this program, then great, let's keep the program.  But short of that, wtf government?
 
2013-06-13 10:37:01 AM
I'm sure the people of Boston are happy to know this program prevented a terrorist attack.
 
2013-06-13 10:37:56 AM

LasersHurt: There's a process. It's underway.


Say the people who kept it secret for the last decade.

LasersHurt: just came to light a few days ago


And why do you keep saying that when it's patently false?
 
2013-06-13 10:39:59 AM
In the track White Lines Grandmaster Melle Mel raps, "Ounce for once its costs more than gold!"

Is he talking about:

a) Cocaine
b) Diamonds
c) Inkjet Printer Ink
 
2013-06-13 10:43:22 AM

LasersHurt: firefly212: Seriously, if we're just going to give up the things that matter the most to us, then what do the terrorists even matter.?

"A copy of data"


Privacy
Open Government
Freedom from unreasonable searches

The reality is that no internet-connected database is secure... so when the farkers get hacked and spill your sensitive data on to the open internet, who are you gonna blame?
 
2013-06-13 10:44:33 AM

skozlaw: LasersHurt: just came to light a few days ago

And why do you keep saying that when it's patently false?


Unless you think nothing has changed recently regarding public awareness of this, you know exactly what I mean.

firefly212: so when the farkers get hacked and spill your sensitive data on to the open internet, who are you gonna blame?


The hackers, who could have gotten the information more easily by just hacking the source, most likely?
 
2013-06-13 10:45:32 AM
Yep we have to monitor everyone in the country (world) in order to stop attacks by people so dangerous we can't possibly put them on trial.
 
2013-06-13 11:07:15 AM

Flargan: clambam: I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that.

I remember reading about the NSA's expanding capability in the late 1990s.
And because I have read about this off and on for a few years, I view their capabilities as a series of advancements not a sudden expansion.

So have to ask, what did you think of their capabilities pre 2001? Were you as supportive then as you are now?


They are reactive, but the are effectively reactive. I've already mentioned fertilizer and diesel fuel. Wonder why there haven't been any McVeigh style bombings since then? Because if you buy a bunch of fertilizer and diesel fuel, you get the immediate attention of the NSA and the FBI. Nobody's flying planes into buildings these days either. It's not because they don't want to, it's because they get shut down immediately if they take the first steps. As I said, I don't like it but it's better than the alternative.
 
2013-06-13 11:07:21 AM

TabASlotB: mrshowrules: TabASlotB: Well there's this one: PRISM Stopped Najibullah Zazi From Blowing Up Backpacks in the [NYC] Subway

For some people, this may be enough. For others, not so much...

Who is to say that court issued wiretap warrants could not have accomplished the same thing?

In almost every successful terrorist attack, evidence was available which with could intelligence/law enforcement work could have been used to thwart it.

Certainly. I didn't register my opinion on the topic, but did want to provide a counter to the assertion that no attack disruptions have been publicly attributed to this program. As I said, the mileage will vary wildly from person to person on this claim.


I see parallels with the torture argument.  For me, even if you could show it works and prevents terrorism (which it doesn't), I still would not support it.

Obviously privacy is not a absolute right.  Warranted wiretaps are just wrong and even if you could show it foiled a hundred terrorist attacks last month, my response would be how else this could have been accomplished while still maintaining the spirit of the 4th amendment.
 
2013-06-13 11:18:06 AM

LasersHurt: regarding public awareness of this


You seem to be conflating renewed interest with new awareness. That is not the case. People have been reminded of it, but it is not new. There have been public discussions and even public polling on this program numerous times since 2001.

The only thing that's really new and of any great significance is the companies that are participating.
 
2013-06-13 02:56:32 PM

clambam: BlippityBleep: clambam: I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.

ermm... there haven't been any attacks because we went over there and killed the shiat out of all of them.  and anybody thinking about it would probably conclude it's not a good idea because not only will they get blown up, but so will all of their comrades.  the whole risk/punishment thing.

you are aware that two wars were started over this thing, right?  do you watch the news?

Again, you really believe that? That the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prevented or are preventing native-born or foreign terrorists already here from attacking? Given the level of naivete implied by your post, I hardly know how to respond.


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-06-13 08:33:47 PM

Pocket Ninja: extrapolatables


+1
 
2013-06-13 08:47:13 PM

clambam: I can't believe you people honestly believe there hasn't been a 9/11 level attack in this country since 2001 because... what? Al Qaeda has lost interest? They're saving it up for the Big One? I can well believe that dozens of potential attacks have been thwarted in the past twelve years, and that the NSA's surveillance has had a big part in that. I don't like it any more than you do but the fact of the matter is that taking this stuff public would be, and now is, disastrous. For instance, the recent spate of publicity has made one thing very clear to potential terrorists in this country--don't try to contact al Qaeda. If you do, you will be infiltrated and neutralized. The result? "Lone gunmen"s like the Tsarnaevs building home-made bombs out of easily obtained materials. Expect more of them. If the NSA checking lists of people who bought pressure cookers against lists of people who made large fireworks purchases (just as I'm sure they look out for people who bought large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer after Oklahoma City) prevents your teenager from having her legs blown off in an explosion at your local mall, I'm reluctantly in favor of it. Sorry.


It's because of airport security.

Duh.
 
2013-06-13 08:48:18 PM

mrshowrules: Obviously privacy is not a absolute right.  Warranted wiretaps are just wrong and even if you could show it foiled a hundred terrorist attacks last month, my response would be how else this could have been accomplished while still maintaining the spirit of the 4th amendment.


WarrentLESS, I imagine?
 
2013-06-13 10:25:12 PM
And how many of those attacks were instigated by the FBI?
 
2013-06-13 11:10:27 PM

Fail in Human Form: To believe otherwise is to adopt the position that government employees and contractors are above reproach. History, recent history even, show this to be unimaginably naive. Their attempt to hold up the FISA court as the safeguard is laughable at best.


The government has the ability to read your emails (if they have a warrant).
This is way too much power!

The government has the ability to destroy mankind with hydrogen bombs.
Crickets.

That's a fine sense of proportion you got there.
 
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