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(Mother Jones)   Metadata schmetadata. The NSA is actually recording every call made every day   (motherjones.com) divider line 60
    More: Followup, NSA, NSA Revelations, international call  
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4808 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Jul 2013 at 7:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-07-02 05:25:36 PM
7 votes:
Horseshiat.

Or at a minimum, there's a lot of qualifiers missing there.

Cell phone calls produce an amount of data daily that is surely exponentially greater than the production rate of the various storage media. There are 315,000,000 people in the US alone, probably 95% of whom make at least one and potentially dozens of phone calls per day. 99.99% of those calls are utterly useless to anyone - hairdressers ordering pizza, teenage girls talking about OMG how hunky Brett from the lacrosse team is, etc. The costs of storing all of that data would be astronomical, even IF the physical capacity existed.

And that doesn't even touch on a lot of other problems, like throwaway prepaid phones, people with 35 different email addresses all registered under BS data via proxies, etc. Yes, they can crack it, but that's time consuming, and for what? To figure out that some guy in West Memphis better deliver that pound of pot like he said he would, or he is gonna get his ass kicked?

This smacks of hysteria and/or a poor description.

Either:

1. They are storing everything for a very finite period of time. Like, a day, or a couple of weeks, tops
2. They are profiling and storing everything for a very few and just doing metadata for everyone else
3. They're saving time and effort and just doing the metadata for most things.

I'll believe they have the capacity to listen in on anyone in real time, and that they can record whomever they want, whenever they want. They've probably had that ability for 10 years. But they're not recording everything live all the time and storing it forever. They simply don't have the ability yet.

Unless 4. they have discovered some absurd new technology, like an unreal compression algorithm, or quantum data storage, or some such.

But I'll believe it's coming.
2013-07-02 07:34:03 PM
4 votes:
Why does everyone think all of a sudden that the US government is so efficient, creative and capable? Every time someone brings up technical limitations, a bunch of people swoop in and start talking about how much more advanced the NSA is than all the tech companies put together!

Surely it's more reasonable to expect that the government that can't get the VA records computerised and talking to each other isn't 10 years ahead of Amazon in data warehousing and processing.

They might have built a giant data centre, it might have a lot of storage, but I'm pretty confident that the software and hardware in it is not more advance than that running Facebook or Google or the phone company itself.

So whilst that might be super secret squirrel and seem super advanced and magical for some of us, when someone who does know the limitations of those systems outlines some of them, it's silly to tell them they're wrong because surely the government tech is 50 years ahead of all the private industry that's doing R&D for profit.

If that is actually true, then isn't that a victory for state run communism over capitalism?
2013-07-02 07:18:12 PM
4 votes:
Has this ever ended well for a government when they behave like this? Or its citizens?

This sucks.
2013-07-02 11:16:26 PM
2 votes:

sendtodave: I DO NOT WANT MY COUNTRY TO KEEP ME SAFE AT MY OWN EXPENSE ANY MORE.



No one is genuinely interested in keeping you safe.

The target of the surveillance is you.  The purpose and function of the surveillance is to control you.

You are the livestock, and you are being farmed in a kind of open-air, free-range environment.  The owners of this plantation learned a long time ago that it is far less expensive for them to run the operation, and you are far more productive and less revolution-y, if you are not kept in tight confinement, and are unaware of your status as livestock.
2013-07-02 10:27:37 PM
2 votes:
Is anyone here compiling a list of Fark handles that are being used by obvious NSA agents or flacks for the military-industrial complex?
2013-07-02 10:16:40 PM
2 votes:
The alleged constitutionality of the whole scheme rests on a questionable premise that the government can automatically collect and store everything because no "search" or "seizure" has occurred unless a human being accesses data and maybe not even then because of various also-questionable rationales.

This is exactly the kind of fundamental question about interpreting the Constitution in the context of formerly unimaginable technology that the Supreme Court should address. Watch the government continue to do everything it can to keep that question out of the courts by getting cases dismissed for lack of standing (you can't prove you were affected!) and national security (even talking about this puts lives at risk, your honor!).
2013-07-02 09:37:21 PM
2 votes:

MrEricSir: RexTalionis: Seriously, I don't see how any reasonable person can read that slide and think "OMG, they're recording all of my emails and chat messages."

Well, you could read the rest of the slide you posted and notice items B and E on the list are IMs and email, respectively.


Or, you know, the rest of the article:
This is from a speech that Glenn Greenwald gave last Friday:

....It talks about how a brand new technology enables the National Security Agency to redirect into its repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day.

....It doesn't mean they're listening to every call. It means they're storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time and it does mean that they're collecting millions upon million upon millions of our phone and email records.
2013-07-02 08:37:50 PM
2 votes:

Nobodyn0se: MrEricSir: Right, because why wouldn't you trust the government that's been hiding a massive spying program to be completely honest with you about the fake court system they operate in secret? Oh wait...

1. They haven't really done a bangup job of hiding this program, considering it's been all over the news for years now.

2. That "fake court system" was set up before most Farkers were even born. It's not anything new.

3. I will trust the evidence I have until I find evidence that contradicts it. So if you have some evidence that ANYONE is viewing this data without a warrant, or that the warrant process is less than ethical, I'd love to see it. Until then, I'll trust the evidence I have that warrants are required and not easy to get.


Um, WTF? You will never have evidence. Period. The government is hiding the evidence behind a fake court system for a reason.

You seem to be bending over backwards to come across as sounding reasonable, but what you're essentially saying is that you have 100% trust in a group of people who openly admit to deceiving you. That is not a reasonable position.
2013-07-02 06:36:40 PM
2 votes:
There is a reason they have 5 ZB in SLC and another 2.5 in San Antonio. They didn't just put that crazy amount of storage capability out there because ZOMG SO COOL!

They did it because of intercepts.
2013-07-02 06:27:37 PM
2 votes:

unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.



That is not true. The NSA Salt Lake facility has 5 ZB (zettabytes) of storage. Let's put that number in to perspective for everyone. The entirety of the internet is 500 EB (exabytes), which is .5 ZB. The entirety of all global data transmission is 2.7 ZB. They can record everything sent twice over.

Keep thinking that it is a technological impossibility and therefore the NSA can't or won't do it.
2013-07-02 06:02:12 PM
2 votes:
This is actually not all that surprising, if you consider what happened to me last week.  I was out at the park trying to call my friend Jim on a pay phone to score some weed, and this dude came up and started banging on the phone booth like he wanted to use it.  I was like, dude, I'm trying to score some weed, but he just kept banging and screeching at me.  Just let it go, man, I said, but then people were screaming and running because I think he was actually a howler monkey or something and then animal control showed up and I never got my weed because I got arrested for being naked in public, also they apparently haven't had pay phones there for a couple years now so I don't know what all that was about.

So yeah, I can totally see this happening.
2013-07-02 05:53:33 PM
2 votes:
www.morethings.com

PRANK CALLER! PRANK CALLER!
2013-07-02 05:44:30 PM
2 votes:

PreMortem: whistleridge: Horseshiat.

RexTalionis: BS:


Shortly after the F-117 (stealth fighter) was unveiled, I read an interview (Aviation Leek i believe) with a VP of Northrup Grumman who said what is classified is 50 years ahead of what is public. If you think the NSA/CIA is using off the shelf gear or anything you can imagine, well you just shouldn't.


Here's a question - what does that have to do with the fact that a journalist is basing an allegation of the NSA recording all emails and chats with a slide that doesn't actually back up this allegation?
2013-07-02 05:28:27 PM
2 votes:
BS:

www.motherjones.com

If this is the slide they're using to justify a claim that the NSA is recording every email or chat, then they are full of it.

Real-time knowledge of when someone logs in and when someone sent a message (i.e. email events) is not the same as knowing the content of the message. Seriously, I don't see how any reasonable person can read that slide and think "OMG, they're recording all of my emails and chat messages."
2013-07-03 07:42:04 AM
1 votes:
Don't worry, one day, a Republican will be President again. And then 50% of the people who posted in this thread will be happy about the NSA again. It will be like magic.
2013-07-03 07:32:43 AM
1 votes:

Phinn: sendtodave: I DO NOT WANT MY COUNTRY TO KEEP ME SAFE AT MY OWN EXPENSE ANY MORE.

No one is genuinely interested in keeping you safe.

The target of the surveillance is you.  The purpose and function of the surveillance is to control you.

You are the livestock, and you are being farmed in a kind of open-air, free-range environment.  The owners of this plantation learned a long time ago that it is far less expensive for them to run the operation, and you are far more productive and less revolution-y, if you are not kept in tight confinement, and are unaware of your status as livestock.


In the highest antiquity, the people did not know that they had rulers. In the next age they loved and praised them. In the next, they feared them. In the next, they despised them.  -Lao Tzu
2013-07-03 04:33:44 AM
1 votes:

DustBunny: jpo2269: I would encourage you to write to Lexis/Nexis

Interesting anecdote about how much information a private company can gather about you. I would assume that the government could also gather it without a warrant as it's all easily searchable public information.

Where, though, is the government invasion of privacy here? This is all information that you've allowed out into the world through going about your life. If you traced each piece to it's origin you'll find a clause in a terms of use that you've clicked or signed that says that info can be stored and sold.

This encapsulates my biggest issue with all this NSA stuff, people have these assumptions around what privacy means, and what data is out there and who can use it. They click and sign their privacy away every day. The info you put on a credit card application is NOT YOURS if the fine print says it's not. Your school records are NOT YOURS if there's a state or local government bylaw that says it can be used for 'research purposes' and finally, your phone records are NOT YOURS because the terms of use contract you sign with the phone company says they're not, and so they can do what they want with them, use them for their own research, sell them to marketing companies or give them to the government. In the fine print there's most likely a clause that says they'll cooperate with law enforcement where required (and I bet there's a wide definition of 'cooperation').

I think we need to reform all aspects of data collection on people, and it should start with plain language terms of use contracts in big letters, no legalese fine print, that sets your expectations around what can happen with your info. You should be able to opt out of everything being stored, and there should be tight laws around what can be done with it, not just to prevent your phone metadata being used to build relational databases about you, but to stop you getting profiled by corporations as well.


This.
This.
And this again.

Which I've been saying since this broke. If people insist on spraying their data out into the ethersphere, having cellphone conversations, the convenience of one-swipe purchasing, cloud storage, online communication, etc. etc.......well....there's going to be someone, whether it's our government or someone else's, or a company or a black-hat hacker or SOMEBODY who is going to collect it and sell it off to the highest bidder. Are people honestly naive/stupid enough to think "Well, I should be able to leave my personal info out there and nobody else should look at it,' as if that would do it; like a teenage girl upset that her little brother read through her VERY PRIVIT DIARY cuz it was locked?

Yeah, in a perfect world, I guess an ethical government wouldn't peek at someone's very privit dariy because it had MARY'S DAIRY! SEKRIT! PRIVIT! written on the cover; but we don't live in that world. And does it matter so much if the US Government is collating your data, or if Walmart is doing it (which they are) or if Hackerbob is doing it (which he is) or the Israeli government, or China (yep, them too). The best we can do is try to keep our personal info to ourselves, pressure our lawmakers to write tighter laws with stricter controls on who gets access to what data, and realize that it's now the 21st century, and if we want convenience, then personal data is pretty much available.

Or, you know, go back to the barter system, old fashioned cash registers with the little buttons, no more online purchases and point-of-sale transactions and everything goes back to how it was in 1950. There are people who'd like that a lot. Probably nobody here on Fark. But there ARE people who would profit by everyone being suspicious and paranoid of the government, you know. Very much so.
2013-07-03 04:01:19 AM
1 votes:
i.imgur.com

Proof positive that the Library of Congress contains trillions of books.
2013-07-03 02:04:40 AM
1 votes:

firefly212: LasersHurt: firefly212: unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

As impossible as a massive datacenter tapping into all the lines and having multiple Zetabytes of storage capacity? Whaddya suppose they're storing there, cookbook recipes?

Likely they're storing the output from ARGUS drones.

I can only assume it's because people aren't intimately familiar with tech, but it's silly how people keep bringing up the storage capacity of the datacenter. It's irrelevant. Amazon has more than enough CAPACITY to store every call made, but the issue is slightly more complicated than raw capacity.

The data center is big enough that pretty much, no matter what you say they're recording, it's possible. I don't think voice data would take up that much space, given decent compression. Even if you get into the email/sms side of things, weeding out duplicates and spam is easy enough, and storing whats left wouldn't be that big of a feat.

The problem (in my mind) is not one of storage, but of organizing all of it in such a manner that it is usable/mineable in a semi-efficient manner. I have strong doubts about the ability to filter such unfocused and erratic information flows into something useful, actionable, and productive. Thus far, the keywords released have indicated that they could have their data mining operation alert someone if there was a major event happening, but none of it is indicative of an ability to foresee events prior to occurrence.


-------------------------------------

I remember folks talking about and personally reading about research/work on computer systems designed to detect, classify, identify and preempt activity over a decade ago. Which is why many people assume we have very little privacy beyond some of the personal freedoms we enjoy in the privacy of our homes.

Like so many other things, people ask if you are wearing your tin hat when you mention things like this.  Then when something leaks, of course the gov only admits to what has become public - like they are doing now.

Is Snowden a hero or a traitor? Who knows what history will say about him, but I must admit it's a bit humorous to watch him release bits of info at a time in order to show how our gov keeps us in the dark and feed us BS much of the time.

Old school, and suddenly relevant:

ts3.mm.bing.net

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Awareness_Office
2013-07-03 12:40:20 AM
1 votes:

GhostFish: jars.traptone: unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.

You ever listen to the sound quality on a cellphone? Even on the top-notch devices, it's shiat. There's a reason for that.

Even if it was technically possible, it wouldn't make any god damn sense. It's a horrible strategy to assist in any kind of investigation. Almost every single compressed piece of information will never be relevant to any investigation and almost none of it will ever be accessed through legal warrant.

This type of shiat doesn't make sense. Not even for a movie style, draconian dictatorship. Anyone with the access to such levels of technology and knowledge would understand that it is a ridiculous waste of resources.

They do not care about stopping terrorism or oppressing people that much. There is a very real technological and monetary cost when it comes to saving or oppressing lives and this kind of program would blow past that bottom line at lightning speed.

We are simply not that important to them, whether they prefer to help or harm or control us. The don't care enough for this level of insanity.




Stasi in East Germany collected the scents of dissidents and suspects.

www.dw.de
2013-07-03 12:32:04 AM
1 votes:

James F. Campbell: I wonder if it would be possible to encrypt your data transmission in such a way that it does something malicious to whatever it's stored on -- or, at the very least, defeats storage of itself.


Damn, dude, someday you'll end up farkied in green if you keep this up.

/I have no doubt /b/ is working on that right this second
//I doubt it would work, but it'd be really freakin' hilarious if someone did that and looped an hour of Oppan Gangnam Style
2013-07-03 12:30:59 AM
1 votes:

Gyrfalcon: So on both counts, people are worrying at the wrong end. A government bound by laws as ours is simply won't be using the kinds of illicit means to subjugate its citizens as if we were living in a bad sci-fi dystopia. And a government that would be using such means wouldn't be bound by law and thus wouldn't need to pretend to be obeying the law anymore--and you would know it; we'd be living in a pretty obvious dictatorship, sci-fi dystopias notwithstanding.


Except that is has happened before. See COINTELPRO.

And that was only revealed to the public because a group of citizens broke the law by breaking into an FBI office to steal files related to the program.

The only thing inevitable about these programs is that they will be abused.
2013-07-03 12:29:49 AM
1 votes:

Gyrfalcon: A government that wants to torture people, yet goes the extra mile to redefine torture in legalese so it will be defensible in court, isn't the sort of government that will be using metadata, however illicitly collected, to create black dossiers on random citizens; even if they could dig through infino-bytes of data and find such incriminating evidence.


Step 1: Convince everyone "we have the data", regardless of whether or not they can actually access it.
Step 2: With "help from the data", child pornography and terrorism crimes go up ten-thousand percent, oddly skewed towards those who have views contrary to the state.
Step 3: Ta da!
2013-07-03 12:15:23 AM
1 votes:
While there is a role for the NSA, what is coming to light is something I cannot support and think it is something that needs to be curtailed dramatically.

Anyone that that thinks they can hide in the volume of data produced everyday, I would encourage you to write to Lexis/Nexis requesting your consumer file (it's free) and you will be surprised to learn how much information on your life is easily accessible.

When I made my request, there were several things that caught my attention:

1. I mailed my request on a Friday and received my file the next Friday.
2. The file was roughly 25 pages long
3. Any e-mail address I have ever had was part of this report
4. Of my record of residences, my address in high school (I never applied for credit while at this address)
5. One of the addresses listed was one I had never lived at, just had applied for a lease at that address..never had any mail forwarded to this address, never stepped foot in the front door-chose another property from this landlord same day..
6. There was a yellow sticky placed on the file that read "I know what you did in Tiajuana.... that poor donkey..."

/ok. I might have made up number 6.....

For those that claim they aren't doing anything wrong so they have nothing to hide... I have never been arrested/detained and I do not do drugs or prostitutes, yet I do have a problem with this program..
2013-07-02 11:45:01 PM
1 votes:

Nobodyn0se: That's a completely separate argument than the one I was having with Mr Derpy up there.

As an answer: I don't know. It might be. It might not be. That's a very relevant question that should be debated and discussed. But it's a program that has existed for a long time under established legal precedent, it is being overseen by the legislative branch and it is using the warrant process outlined in the fourth amendment, meaning it's also being overseen by the judicial branch.

Trying to frame this as some huge deal that is unprecedented and horribly violating all our rights are overblown at best, full of crap at worst.


At this point, this is what interests me the most.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/02/senators-wyden-udall-nsa -s urveillance

Two US senators on the panel overseeing the National Security Agency said intelligence officials were "unable" to demonstrate the value of a secret surveillance program that collected and analyzed the internet habits of Americans.

Well, that, and the fact people like to commit character assassination against those they disagree with, even for following their conscience and disobeying set rules at personal risk.  But that's just how people are, I guess.

The fact that the guys overseeing the program question its value is more important at present.
2013-07-02 11:41:46 PM
1 votes:

Nobodyn0se: sendtodave: guess these are possibilities:

1) The NSA and FBI are doing blanket surveillance. They get all (or at least much of) the relevant data floating around the cloud (bad).

2) They are targeting specific people without a warrant, and getting data on them (bad).

3) They are targeting specific people with a rubber stamp warrant (less bad).

If it's the third, well, there is a political solution - get rid of secret FISA courts.

You forgot the most likely one:

4) They are targeting specific people with a difficult to obtain warrant (Perfectly fine).


or

5) They are targeting specific people with a warrant that's easy to get if a specific set of parameters and evidence thresholds are met, leading to a near perfect approval rate for warrants because they're consistently meeting the requirements
2013-07-02 11:20:47 PM
1 votes:

Enemabag Jones: If anyone can make sense of the NSA documents Snowden released, here is the links below:

Link


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/20/exhibit-b-ns a- procedures-document

Some snips that caught my eye.

---
Processed or processing means any step necessary to convert a communication into anintelligible form intended for human inspection. (U)(11) Pabliclyevailable information means information that a member of the public couldobtain on request, by research in public sources, or by casual observation. (U)Technical data base means information retained for traffic analytic, orsignal exploitation purposes.  ---

Personnel will exercise reasonable judgment in determining whether infonnationacquired must be minimized and will destroy inadvertently acquired conirnunicationsof or concerning a United States person at the earliest practicable point in theprocessing cycle at whi ch such corninunication can be identifi ed either: as clearly notrelevant to the authorized purpose of the acquisition the communication doesnot contain foreign intelligence infonnation); or, as not containing evidence of acrime which may be disseminated under these procedures. Such inadvertentlyacquired conrniunications of or concerning a United States person may be retained nolonger than five years in any event. The that may be retainedinclude electronic communications acquired because of limitations on NSASS abilityto filter communications.  ---A communication identified as a domestic coinmunication will be destroyed upon. recognition unless the Director (or Acting Director) of NSA specifically determines, in writing, that: (S) (1) the communication is reasonably believed to contain significant foreign intelligence information. Such communication may be provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (including United States person identities) for possible dissemination by the FBI in accordance with its minimization procedures; (S) (2) the coinniunication does not contain foreign intelligence information but is reasonably believed to contain evidence of a crime that has been, is being, or is about to be Such comniunicati on may be disseminated (including United States person identities) to approp1ja.te Federal law enforcement authorities, in accordance with 50 U.S.C. l806(b) and l825(c), Executive Order No. 12333, and, where applicable, the oriines reporting procedures set out in the August l995 "Mernorandurn of Understanding: Reporting of Information Concerning Federal Crimes," or any successor document. Such communications may be retained by NSA for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed. six months unless extended in writing by the Attorney General, to permit law enforcement agencies to determine whether access to original recordings of such is required for law enforcement purposes; (8) (3) the cornrnunication is reasonably believed. to contain technical data base information, as defined in Section or information necessary to understand or assess a communications security vulnerability. Such communication may be provided to the FBI and/or disseminated. to other elements of the United States Government. Such comnnmications may be retained for a period sufficient to allow a thorough. exploitation and to permit access to data that are, or are reasonably believed likely to become, relevant to a current or future foreign intelligence requirement. Sufficient duration may vary with the nature of the exploitation. ---
So, if they accidentally get target a non-relevant American citizen, they must destroy the recording / data within five years.

If that citizen is relevant, and, they keep it, and/or give it to the FBI.

If that citizen is not relevant, but believed to be committing a crime, they give the info to law enforcement.

So, yeah, they could get you for scoring a bag of dope, feasibly.
2013-07-02 11:14:28 PM
1 votes:

Gyrfalcon: Enemabag Jones: A simple solution, everything is being recorded, but key words are being looked for.

Anytime it is practical (not a job or your grandma), include in your mundane phone conversations "hail Allah, may the infidels blood flow, no just kidding".

Waste NSA's time.

If they are looking for "keywords" then their time is being wasted.

Because they cannot possibly be investigating every time someone says "Yo, I think they set us up the bomb!"

I just don't know why people think that because they CAN collect and monitor everyone's data/"metadata" that they ARE. And that if they are, they're somehow combing it for incriminating "keywords" in the hopes of finding something. This is the same agency that when presented with the Phoenix memo couldn't connect enough of the dots to stop the 9/11 terrorists--not even one of them. The one guy who was caught was stopped by an alert ticket agent, ffs, who found it odd that someone would be flying into Miami with no money or luggage and only a shaky grasp of the English language.

Here's an actual story you might find instructive. A law professor once asked a roomful of hard-bitten cops what they'd do if the warrant requirement was totally abandoned--if they didn't have to ask for any warrants at all anymore. "Kick in doors!" one of them yelled. "Just kick in doors, all day long!" OK, the lawyer said, but which doors? The cops were brought up short as they realized what a waste of time it would be to spend all day "kicking in doors" and rummaging around various apartments looking for "something" when they still needed a place to start looking.

It's the same thing here. The NSA may have infino-bytes of data and may even have computers that can pull out "keywords" to start looking at and find suspicious numbers to analyze...or they could do it more efficiently from the other end, and find suspicious people first and then listen to their phones afterward, either with or without warrants. They may--like everyone here on F ...


I guess it comes down to how much you trust the authorities. I would never want the police to have this power, because I don't trust that they would use it wisely. Or, really, that I don't trust some, or even one very high ranking cop, to not abuse this power.

Another Cheney or Nixon will come along. Whatever we give them, they will abuse. Put on your evil hat and see what you can think of in five minutes. This is One Ring level of fun here.
2013-07-02 11:06:40 PM
1 votes:
If anyone can make sense of the NSA documents Snowden released, here is the links below:

Link
2013-07-02 11:02:28 PM
1 votes:

DustBunny: sendtodave: So, they have content. The question is how/when do they get it?

And isn't that the biggest question? In and of itself that slide you put up there is not incriminating in the slightest, it's just a flowchart of where stuff goes when they get it. It's almost meaningless in this discussion until your question is answered, and NOONE has even suggested that they have an accurate answer based on documented evidence except the government.


I guess these are possibilities:

1) The NSA and FBI are doing blanket surveillance.  They get all (or at least much of) the relevant data floating around the cloud (bad).

2)  They are targeting specific people without a warrant, and getting data on them (bad).

3)  They are targeting specific people with a rubber stamp warrant (less bad).

If it's the third, well, there is a political solution - get rid of secret FISA courts.
2013-07-02 10:58:17 PM
1 votes:

Enemabag Jones: A simple solution, everything is being recorded, but key words are being looked for.

Anytime it is practical (not a job or your grandma), include in your mundane phone conversations "hail Allah, may the infidels blood flow, no just kidding".

Waste NSA's time.


If they are looking for "keywords" then their time is being wasted.

Because they cannot possibly be investigating every time someone says "Yo, I think they set us up the bomb!"

I just don't know why people think that because they CAN collect and monitor everyone's data/"metadata" that they ARE. And that if they are, they're somehow combing it for incriminating "keywords" in the hopes of finding something. This is the same agency that when presented with the Phoenix memo couldn't connect enough of the dots to stop the 9/11 terrorists--not even one of them. The one guy who was caught was stopped by an alert ticket agent, ffs, who found it odd that someone would be flying into Miami with no money or luggage and only a shaky grasp of the English language.

Here's an actual story you might find instructive. A law professor once asked a roomful of hard-bitten cops what they'd do if the warrant requirement was totally abandoned--if they didn't have to ask for any warrants at all anymore. "Kick in doors!" one of them yelled. "Just kick in doors, all day long!" OK, the lawyer said, but which doors? The cops were brought up short as they realized what a waste of time it would be to spend all day "kicking in doors" and rummaging around various apartments looking for "something" when they still needed a place to start looking.

It's the same thing here. The NSA may have infino-bytes of data and may even have computers that can pull out "keywords" to start looking at and find suspicious numbers to analyze...or they could do it more efficiently from the other end, and find suspicious people first and then listen to their phones afterward, either with or without warrants. They may--like everyone here on Fark--think it's more effective to do it the long way around by gathering data first and combing through it afterwards, but I suspect that like the cops given free rein to kick down doors, they're going to find that trying to sort through infinite amounts of data with more coming in every second is just not as efficient as finding a rat and convincing him to talk.
2013-07-02 10:51:02 PM
1 votes:

Silverstaff: MisterRonbo: There are quotes from authorities that strongly indicate this happened with the Boston bombers.

Citation Needed.

Please.  I'm kinda curious.  What Government officials say that the US went back to pre-existing archives of tapped calls to investigate the Tsarnaev Brothers?  I'd not heard anything about this, and I'm kinda wondering what official would say this if it was a classified program.


Here ya go:

Over the past couple days, cable news tabloid shows such as CNN's Out Front with Erin Burnett have been excitingly focused on the possible involvement in the Boston Marathon attack of Katherine Russell, the 24-year-old American widow of the deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As part of their relentless stream of leaks
On Wednesday night,
BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."
"All of that stuff" - meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant - "is being captured as we speak".
2013-07-02 10:50:57 PM
1 votes:

Mrbogey: We've built Skynet but instead of national defense we made him a voyeur.


That's an unfair characterization.

Mr. Clapper specifically said that the  "NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens' emails."

They still pore through them, but they aren't voyeurs!
2013-07-02 10:41:55 PM
1 votes:

LedZeppelinRule: So what's the technological hurdle here? I would really love for someone to point it out, because at this point I believe the worst is probably true. It makes every bit of sense for the NSA to record every shred of communication they can get their hands on and look at it later, once they get a rubber-stamped "warrant" to access it.


You can't preemptively analyze it.  You don't have the processing power to shove everything through voice recognition looking for keywords and phrases preemptively (and we don't have the algorithms to beat 80% accuracy or so even if we did).

Now they can totally store everything and get access retroactively based on outside information or metadata analysis, but 99.999999999% of it will never ever get used.

/And from everything I've heard, the NSA and CIA are fairly good about having actual human beings not look at stuff known to be from inside the USA.  So as long as the FBI lacks access to NSA's databases (and given how much the various bureaucracies hate each other, this is a moderately safe bet), your stuff is safe.
2013-07-02 10:40:21 PM
1 votes:

RexTalionis: sendtodave: RexTalionis: Did you noticed that that slide said nothing about recording anything?

They have access to basically all types of content, and are notified in real time when triggers for new content occur, but they're not actually recording anything.

I want to believe.

Or they can just record when a message is sent or received. Which is, once again, metadata.


See the slide I just posted.

In once step, they forward "metadata" to FALLOUT, and "voice content" to CONVEYANCE.  DNI and video content goes to PINWALE.

So, they have content. The question is how/when do they get it?
2013-07-02 10:36:32 PM
1 votes:
www.washingtonpost.com

Huh.  Interesting.

The FBI DITU are the ones doing the data intercept, and then giving the info to NSA.
2013-07-02 10:27:03 PM
1 votes:

MrEricSir: If the government is hiding something important, then they're keeping information out of the hands of the people. Therefore, it's not a democracy.


The definition of Democracy does not include "The people know every state secret of the government."

The fact that you believe it does is very, very scary to me.
2013-07-02 10:18:51 PM
1 votes:

MrEricSir: How does trusting a government that is hiding its dirty secrets from you fit?


The same as it's fit every single other person for all of human history. All governments keep secrets. It's part of their job.
2013-07-02 10:07:42 PM
1 votes:

unlikely: Add on top of that the amount of storage you'd need to hold every voice call made for a single day and multiply it by even just a week you've gone into crazybucket territory.


This technology already exists: you're using it right now. The data we're transmitting is stored in the memory of lots of computing machines already. The US government needs to build a system that has as much persistent storage as our telecom system has transient storage. Given that the value of the US telecom system's transient storage is finite, and persistent storage is cheaper by orders of magnitude, the government has to build a system that's much cheaper than our current telecom network.

Additional cost savings include:

doesn't have to be as accurate as the telecom system we have now (no one will complain if you "drop" a surveillance)
latency doesn't matter
voice quality doesn't matter
as analysis speed improves, data is stored for less time and the system gets cheaper to operate
snooping can be done by patching into the telco or tower with a wired tap, making bandwidth much cheaper

I'd bid 100 billion, eyeballing it (and probably come in under budget). I'll even go one farther, not only does it exist, but the Feds have probably built this system three times over and all the different agencies are operating their own clones in secret from each other.
2013-07-02 10:03:42 PM
1 votes:
TheBigJerk: ...(snip)...
Recording every conseration remains technologically, if not IMPOSSIBLE then at least improbable.  Further the FUNDING required (even assuming magic hypertech we can only currently imagine) is juxtaposed with the military-industrial complex' desire to sell inferior products and pocket the difference.

Not sure why people keep saying this is impossible, many people in this thread have provided evidence that it is indeed possible:

- Voice is apparently easy to compress - a previous poster linked a study that estimated domestic voice traffic at less than 1 exabyte per year. By contrast, Google handles on the order of 24 petabytes of data per day, working out to about 10 exabytes per year.

- The NSA has multiple data centers with storage in the zettabyte range. A zettabyte is 1000 exabytes, so a single 5 ZB storage facility would hold about 500 years of phone calls and Google searches. They have space for all your emails, your phone calls, your texts, and all your metadata, with plenty of room to spare.

- We already know the NSA has access to what amounts to the trunk lines of global communication. They're splitting data off at the backbone, they can tap anything and everything at will.

- They're keeping metadata on every communication we make, so they can identify persons of interest and their social networks for closer scrutiny. It also means they have a handy way of cataloging any amount of phone calls, emails, and other data they could care to record, which they could then access after the fact if needed.

So what's the technological hurdle here? I would really love for someone to point it out, because at this point I believe the worst is probably true. It makes every bit of sense for the NSA to record every shred of communication they can get their hands on and look at it later, once they get a rubber-stamped "warrant" to access it.
2013-07-02 10:01:48 PM
1 votes:
It doesn't mean they're listening to every call. It means they're storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time and it does mean that they're collecting millions upon million upon millions of our phone and email records.

Why would our government do this?  And why does a bear shiat in the woods?

We need to gut our security state.

Fark the NSA, CIA, TSA, fark the whole War on Terror.

And actually, while we're at it, fark the War on Drugs, fark asshole cops, fark our obscenely large military.  Fark it all.

I DO NOT WANT MY COUNTRY TO KEEP ME SAFE AT MY OWN EXPENSE ANY MORE.
2013-07-02 09:00:31 PM
1 votes:

udhq: swahnhennessy: I, for one, will trust and defend the guys who keep lying to us about all of this. It's legal! What more do you want?

Hey, if you don't want this going on, do what Obama asked you to in his speech last month: contact your congress-person and ask them to change the law!


That's like saying that street cops have the power not to use the guns they encounter a threat.

The bottom line is that the president's #1 job is to do all he can to maintain national security.   While I'm not entirely unsympathetic to people who criticize these programs, and I recognize (as does the president) that there exists a HUGE conflict of interest, the job of deciding which tools and applications of those tools go too far belongs to the oversight courts, not with the president.

He is ethically bound to use EVERY tool at his disposal.  To not do so would be a dereliction of his responsibilities.
2013-07-02 08:57:36 PM
1 votes:

MisterRonbo: Trail of Dead: You'd think we would have heard about all the cases that got thrown out because of illegal wiretaps. Or of people going to jail because of illegal wiretaps. Or of people being convicted because of legal wiretaps. Something. I'm hearing crickets.

COINTELPRO operated for 15 years.  It was another four years after that when the Church Committee hearings revealed what they'd been doing.

The CIA's abuses from the 1950s to the early 1970s was collected in a series of files known as the "family jewels".  The information was released to the public in 1977

If you're not using this stuff in prosecutions, its easy to keep it secret. Notice how many sting operations the FBI conducts against wanna-be terrorists?  Suddenly an informant appears, talks the idiots in to something stupid, provides them with a fake bomb.

Maybe that's all due to informants.  Or maybe an informant tips them off, and thanks to the wiretaps their informant has a great set of information going in: insight in to everyone's relationships and personalities.


Interesting, thanks. That's kind of what I was getting at - if they aren't using this system to prosecute people for non-terrorism related stuff, then I'm just not seeing the issue here beyond "slippery slope". Does the NSA give one rat's ass if I'm calling my dealer?
2013-07-02 08:49:34 PM
1 votes:
they. must. be. soooooooooooooooo friggin bored.

/your calls don't even interest the person you're talking to.
//don't assume the nsa gives a shiat either
2013-07-02 08:46:31 PM
1 votes:

udhq: Yes, Obama is clearly responsible for this program that was first made public 2 years before he took office.....


Like it or not, he is now. He has the power to stop it and chooses not to. This makes him just as guilty. He doesn't get one iota of clearance for walking into it.
2013-07-02 08:42:44 PM
1 votes:

PreMortem: whistleridge: Horseshiat.

RexTalionis: BS:


Shortly after the F-117 (stealth fighter) was unveiled, I read an interview (Aviation Leek i believe) with a VP of Northrup Grumman who said what is classified is 50 years ahead of what is public. If you think the NSA/CIA is using off the shelf gear or anything you can imagine, well you just shouldn't.


You know who invents that kind of stuff? Scientists. It takes huge teams of incredibly well educated people, the kind of people who would eventually contain at least one member that would go public. Classified state technology can only stay a few years ahead of civilian tech, especially in the modern information age.
2013-07-02 08:21:08 PM
1 votes:

MrEricSir: Right, because why wouldn't you trust the government that's been hiding a massive spying program to be completely honest with you about the fake court system they operate in secret? Oh wait...


1. They haven't really done a bangup job of hiding this program, considering it's been all over the news for years now.

2. That "fake court system" was set up before most Farkers were even born. It's not anything new.

3. I will trust the evidence I have until I find evidence that contradicts it. So if you have some evidence that ANYONE is viewing this data without a warrant, or that the warrant process is less than ethical, I'd love to see it. Until then, I'll trust the evidence I have that warrants are required and not easy to get.
2013-07-02 07:41:06 PM
1 votes:
intercept call.
translate to text file.
keep forever.
2013-07-02 07:40:49 PM
1 votes:
Well, let's even give them 100% benefit of the doubt--they really ARE recording and storing every single cell phone conversation in "real time". A moment's thought would prove they can't possibly do anything with it in "real time"--there aren't enough people in the world.

To listen to a recorded conversation in real time takes as long as it did in actual time; so there's no advantage to recording and storing except for evidentiary purposes. To record and listen to a billion conversations after the fact would require half a billion people, or at least half a billion transactions; meanwhile, another billion calls have gone into storage that need reviewing.

Maybe they CAN do all this horrific real-time monitoring; but its neither practical nor necessary to actually do it.
2013-07-02 07:19:17 PM
1 votes:

James F. Campbell: I wonder if it would be possible to encrypt your data transmission in such a way that it does something malicious to whatever it's stored on -- or, at the very least, defeats storage of itself.


Store all my teamspeak encrypted packets, go for it. Or have the NSA deliver a national security letter to the German company that makes it, see how ordering them to help you spy on everyone goes over.

If nothing else, this NSA fiasco should encourage ordinary people to do a better job of securing their data both in transit and at either end.
2013-07-02 07:16:48 PM
1 votes:

unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

As impossible as a massive datacenter tapping into all the lines and having multiple Zetabytes of storage capacity? Whaddya suppose they're storing there, cookbook recipes?
2013-07-02 07:14:39 PM
1 votes:
I wonder if it would be possible to encrypt your data transmission in such a way that it does something malicious to whatever it's stored on -- or, at the very least, defeats storage of itself.
2013-07-02 07:01:10 PM
1 votes:

cannotsuggestaname: unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.


That is not true. The NSA Salt Lake facility has 5 ZB (zettabytes) of storage. Let's put that number in to perspective for everyone. The entirety of the internet is 500 EB (exabytes), which is .5 ZB. The entirety of all global data transmission is 2.7 ZB. They can record everything sent twice over.

Keep thinking that it is a technological impossibility and therefore the NSA can't or won't do it.


5ZB is 10,013,618,521 years of phone calls (assuming a 16kbps GSM call).
2013-07-02 06:43:18 PM
1 votes:

cannotsuggestaname: There is a reason they have 5 ZB in SLC and another 2.5 in San Antonio. They didn't just put that crazy amount of storage capability out there because ZOMG SO COOL!

They did it because of intercepts

porn.
2013-07-02 06:38:34 PM
1 votes:

Triumph: unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.

Like you know what technology exists.


I actually have a pretty good grasp of it. There's some stuff I only know in the abstract, but overall, yes I do.
2013-07-02 06:29:54 PM
1 votes:

cannotsuggestaname: unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.


That is not true. The NSA Salt Lake facility has 5 ZB (zettabytes) of storage. Let's put that number in to perspective for everyone. The entirety of the internet is 500 EB (exabytes), which is .5 ZB. The entirety of all global data transmission is 2.7 ZB. They can record everything sent twice over.

Keep thinking that it is a technological impossibility and therefore the NSA can't or won't do it.


It's not just storage space, dude. It's ALSO the combined amount of power to intercept, decode, record, and then transmit that all to a datacenter. It's a HUGE undertaking.

On top of that, unlikely also specifically said "I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could ".
2013-07-02 05:54:07 PM
1 votes:

unlikely: This is simply technically impossible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't if they could, but the technology does not exist.


You sure?

Consider:

* De-duplication
* Things the average American talks about.
2013-07-02 05:37:44 PM
1 votes:

whistleridge: Horseshiat.


RexTalionis: BS:



Shortly after the F-117 (stealth fighter) was unveiled, I read an interview (Aviation Leek i believe) with a VP of Northrup Grumman who said what is classified is 50 years ahead of what is public. If you think the NSA/CIA is using off the shelf gear or anything you can imagine, well you just shouldn't.
2013-07-02 05:36:53 PM
1 votes:
Yes, but it's just for quality assurance.
2013-07-02 05:19:18 PM
1 votes:
Last I recall, you have no expectation of privacy on a cellphone. I might be wrong, but I recall this being a thing.
 
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