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(Ars Technica)   The Senator who previously warned us about the NSA's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act used to track your phone calls, emails and more is now warning us that everyone's cell phone has been turned into a 24/7 tracking device   (arstechnica.com) divider line 221
    More: Followup, Patriot Act, NSA, Senate Intelligence Committee, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, tracking system, Ron Wyden, surveillance state, Center for American Progress  
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8829 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jul 2013 at 6:35 PM (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-24 10:38:28 PM

Surool: I had already noticed when pulling up Google Maps that it not only showed that I was home, but it was placing the dot within 15 feet of my location inside the house (when zoomed in). Not news.


I went for a hike this evening; usually my GPS is turned off but I was curious where I was on the terrain map. The default position showed me about 15 miles NW of my actual location, which was funny except if I hurt myself they'd never have found me. I was kind of glad I turned it on after that, even if it was just for a minute.
 
2013-07-24 10:39:38 PM
Just wait until this Senator learns about cookies when surfing the internet.
 
2013-07-24 10:39:59 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: So if I'm not doing anything wrong, why do I need to worry?


You only think you are not doing anything wrong.

Politics change over time.  What happens when we get tricked into voting some evil bastard into office?  What happens is that you get taken to the offices of Homeland Security to discuss your political views from twenty years ago.
 
2013-07-24 10:43:00 PM

Wrencher: kg2095: Boloxor the Insipid: revrendjim: Just because they can do something doesn't mean they are. The government has had the ability to listen to your phone calls for more than 100 years, but they're probably not.

Um, have you not been paying attention?  Yes, THEY ARE.  Thats the whole point of these stories.  The government IS listening in on all phone calls and internet activity.  Since position of your phone is part of the meta data, it is recorded too.
Recorded forever.
I think people don't really grasp the magnitude of whats happening.  They know more about you than you do! They know more about you than you do, because they don't forget.

How many people do you think the NSA would need to listen to all phone calls? How much storage space to record all of them?

They don't need people, and they have plenty of storage.

data center


Still can't store all the cell phone calls even just from the US each day. 320m calls per day of various lengths. I'm sure they can record and store a lot, but all for all of time? Nah, too much. Also, are they storing it as wave files or do they transcribe it? That's the real question. You could store that much text, easily.

They just set to purge specific data though and it might be more reasonable.
 
2013-07-24 10:44:58 PM

Sgygus: HotIgneous Intruder: So if I'm not doing anything wrong, why do I need to worry?

You only think you are not doing anything wrong.

Politics change over time.   What happens when we get tricked into voting some evil bastard into office?



You mean... like... just about every presidential election since JFK died?


/We didn't get "here" by accident
 
2013-07-24 10:45:09 PM
To everyone who cheered when the USA PATRIOT Act was passed, but are whining about it now that there's a Kenyan Muslin Usurper president: fark you. Anyone who supported and cheered that abortion of law deserves to be cavity searched repeatedly by FBI goons.
 
2013-07-24 10:56:08 PM

LincolnLogolas: To everyone who cheered when the USA PATRIOT Act was passed, but are whining about it now that there's a Kenyan Muslin Usurper president: fark you. Anyone who supported and cheered that abortion of law deserves to be cavity searched repeatedly by FBI goons.



It's not easy to con people into accepting - nay - cheering draconian demands that naturally run contrary to their best interests...


3.bp.blogspot.com

But it can be done.
 
2013-07-24 10:59:11 PM

Sgygus: Politics change over time. What happens when we get tricked into voting some evil bastard into office?


Don't we always?
 
2013-07-24 11:03:33 PM

LincolnLogolas: To everyone who cheered when the USA PATRIOT Act was passed, but are whining about it now that there's a Kenyan Muslin Usurper president: fark you. Anyone who supported and cheered that abortion of law deserves to be cavity searched repeatedly by FBI goons.


try the veal.
 
2013-07-24 11:06:18 PM

Hollie Maea: The government is way too busy to pay any attention to where you are going.

Holy shiat! Mr. Thinks-he's-way-more-important-than-he-is went to the grocery store again!  If you are managing to get on anyone's radar, you are doing some pretty hardcore shiat.  Just think of the people you are competing with for the Government's attention.

And no, just because you are maintaining a blog about gun rights doesn't mean the government gives a shiat about you.


Why is this always about some self-aggrandizing schmuck and his overinflated ego? What if MLK Jr's every move, from his hypothetical first facebook post on through his teens and young adulthood, had been recorded? If that history could be perused and cherry picked at J Edgar's will and spun 180 million ways from Sunday... his character would have been assassinated so decisively that his dream would be nothing more than to have been buried with it.
 
2013-07-24 11:31:06 PM

YouPeopleAreCrazy: No, they cannot track my cellphone.

It is a seriously old clamshell dumbphone. No GPS, no WiFi. It is currently off. And the battery is probably dead. It lives in the glove compartment of my truck.

Why do I still have it? No idea.


Yes, they can still track you.  Very easily through tower triangulation.  Even when your phone is off.
 
2013-07-24 11:35:46 PM
CSB

I have an Android phone with a couple of games on it. I get the free games, so I'm accustomed to seeing in-game ads. One day, my co-worker and I were discussing the benefits of Gorilla Glass. Later that night, the ads in my game were for Gorilla Glass.

Odd, but surely a coincidence, right?

A week later, we're having a party at the house and everyone is discussing their escapades of underage drinking.

The next day - ads for "Help Curb Teenage Drinking" and "Think Your Teen Might Be Drinking?"

Keep in mind, this wasn't anything I searched for on my phone - just things that were discussed in the vicinity of my phone while it was on standby.

/CSB
 
2013-07-24 11:45:26 PM

Amos Quito: kg2095: Boloxor the Insipid: revrendjim: Just because they can do something doesn't mean they are. The government has had the ability to listen to your phone calls for more than 100 years, but they're probably not.

Um, have you not been paying attention?  Yes, THEY ARE.  Thats the whole point of these stories.  The government IS listening in on all phone calls and internet activity.  Since position of your phone is part of the meta data, it is recorded too.
Recorded forever.
I think people don't really grasp the magnitude of whats happening.  They know more about you than you do! They know more about you than you do, because they don't forget.


kg2095: How many people do you think the NSA would need to listen to all phone calls?


They only listen to the phone calls of people they're interested in. The cool part is, that if they become interested in you, they can not only monitor the calls you make today, but conversations you may have "persons of interest" from months or years earlier.


kg2095:  How much storage space to record all of them?


Do you believe in YouTube?


That's not at all the same. We are talking about monitoring and recording every single phone conversation.
 
2013-07-24 11:49:35 PM
THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996

http://www.stern.nyu.edu/networks/telco96.html

/read 'em and weep
 
2013-07-25 12:16:56 AM

justtray: Wrencher: kg2095: Boloxor the Insipid: revrendjim: Just because they can do something doesn't mean they are. The government has had the ability to listen to your phone calls for more than 100 years, but they're probably not.

Um, have you not been paying attention?  Yes, THEY ARE.  Thats the whole point of these stories.  The government IS listening in on all phone calls and internet activity.  Since position of your phone is part of the meta data, it is recorded too.
Recorded forever.
I think people don't really grasp the magnitude of whats happening.  They know more about you than you do! They know more about you than you do, because they don't forget.

How many people do you think the NSA would need to listen to all phone calls? How much storage space to record all of them?

They don't need people, and they have plenty of storage.

data center

Still can't store all the cell phone calls even just from the US each day. 320m calls per day of various lengths. I'm sure they can record and store a lot, but all for all of time? Nah, too much. Also, are they storing it as wave files or do they transcribe it? That's the real question. You could store that much text, easily.

They just set to purge specific data though and it might be more reasonable.


How many 1 terabyte thumb drives could be packed into a 1,000,000 sq/ft warehouse?
 
2013-07-25 12:21:55 AM
Roy Wyden must be the last man to know
 
2013-07-25 12:34:44 AM

HeadbangerSmurf: How the hell do you think 911 calls are tracked so they can find you when you call?


Yeah.  I didnt realize this until I made a 911 call several years ago for a domestic incident in front of my house.  Not only did the dispatcher (or someone with the PD) call my cell back (I didnt give my number), but an officer also knocked on my door (didnt give my specific address just the block I live on).

That was a reality check of sorts.
 
2013-07-25 12:40:36 AM

caddisfly: LoneCraneFullMoon: I already leave my phone at home when I'm out committing crimes for this very reason.

Yeah.  Let's leave our phones at home and go get sushi and not pay!


s3.amazonaws.com
approve
 
2013-07-25 12:49:49 AM

Frederick: HeadbangerSmurf: How the hell do you think 911 calls are tracked so they can find you when you call?

Yeah.  I didnt realize this until I made a 911 call several years ago for a domestic incident in front of my house.  Not only did the dispatcher (or someone with the PD) call my cell back (I didnt give my number), but an officer also knocked on my door (didnt give my specific address just the block I live on).


That was a reality check of sorts.


Where have you been?
It's alright we know where you've been.

Welcome to the machine
 
2013-07-25 12:57:04 AM
Let'em track me.  Don't know about anyone else, but my routine is bound to get boring quick.  Go to the Veterans Hospital, go to grocery, help my daughter get to classes at her college, pick up the dry-cleaning, distribute the coke I scored last night, drop by Barnes and Noble, go home for a nap, check out Fark, have some brews, make nice with the wife when she gets in from working at the church.  That's about it.  Meh.
 
2013-07-25 01:29:09 AM
I've got a bad case of outrage/fear fatigue.
 
2013-07-25 01:30:43 AM
Good.

Catch some criminals maybe.

/they'll pursue me right before they come after the jaywalkers.
 
2013-07-25 01:58:21 AM

aspAddict: CSB

I have an Android phone with a couple of games on it. I get the free games, so I'm accustomed to seeing in-game ads. One day, my co-worker and I were discussing the benefits of Gorilla Glass. Later that night, the ads in my game were for Gorilla Glass.

Odd, but surely a coincidence, right?

A week later, we're having a party at the house and everyone is discussing their escapades of underage drinking.

The next day - ads for "Help Curb Teenage Drinking" and "Think Your Teen Might Be Drinking?"

Keep in mind, this wasn't anything I searched for on my phone - just things that were discussed in the vicinity of my phone while it was on standby.

/CSB


That's a mite bit disturbing. I'd love to take a look at the source code for that app... granted I'd have to know a language other than Visual Basic first though >.<

/still learning
 
2013-07-25 02:01:12 AM
When will it end? Are they going to track track our license plates now?


What?


i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-25 02:23:55 AM

Sgygus: HotIgneous Intruder: So if I'm not doing anything wrong, why do I need to worry?

You only think you are not doing anything wrong.


Pretty sure the Intruder understands this.  You can find the full text of Wyden's remarks here.  Meanwhile, today the House voted down the Amash-Conyers amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which would have poked a big stick in the NSA's eye.  4ts went on CSPAN as the debate was finishing and heard some D's and R's saying some fine sounding things in 30 and 60 second bites; lots of versions of the line about not giving up liberty for security and similar high flown rhetoric about the 4th and the NSA being out of control.  It actually made me feel like somebody was getting it.

Then this crazy looking buzz-cut R got up for the two minute rebuttal and said the surveillance has saved "untold" numbers of American lives, and when he was on the battlefield in Iraq he needed to know right away where the bad guy was, and WE ARE AT WAR!! (twice, for emphasis).  Measure defeated on voice vote.

He knew he was going to win, so he kind of phoned it in, but really, does any sane person believe that someday we will be able to declare that the threat of a terrorist attack has disappeared and we are no longer "at war"?  Right, so it's perpetual martial law then.  Fark us.
 
2013-07-25 04:15:53 AM
This means there's an individual person at a terminal somewhere watching a map pinpointing my exact location, video feeds from both of my phone's cameras and an audio feed from the mic.

Because any kind of surveillance automatically means all imaginable kinds.
 
2013-07-25 05:47:31 AM
You don't understand, dear naive writer for Ars Technica, I would willingly give up my mobile phone so I could not be tracked and targeted for killing by drones. Damn thing is too expensive and annoying anyway.
 
2013-07-25 06:07:40 AM

wambu: When will it end? Are they going to track track our license plates now?


What?


[i.imgur.com image 500x327]


They will use digital plates for that.
 
2013-07-25 07:33:29 AM

jj325: That's why I pay cash for disposables


That doesn't help.

Why?

Because it's *TRACKING* you.  Every few minutes, it pings the local cell towers so that the system knows where the phone is.

If they want to know what the number of your burner phone is so that they can track you, all they have to do is use a simple query to find out which phone numbers have been at your home address, and which phone numbers have been at your work address, and look for the common number.

It's as simple as this:

select distinct a.phone_number from nsa_cell_ping_table a
  where a.latitude = [latitude of your home]
     and a.longitude = [longitude of your home]
     and exists (select 'x' from nsa_cell_ping_table b
                           where b.phone_number = a.phone_number
                               and b.latitude = [latitude of your work]
                               and b.longitude = [longitude of your work])


That's all there is to something like that.  That little snippet of SQL would give a list of every phone number that's been both at your home *AND* at your work.  From there, they can simply winnow out co-workers who visited your home by looking at the patterns.

Ah, you say:  You'll just get a new burner phone regularly!

That won't help, because they can just run that query every day (and running it using the date and time as a key along with the lat/lon would make it run much faster anyway) and they could figure out your knew number within a couple of days.

All of this is facilitated by the NSA grabbing all the metadata on phone records and storing it.  They *SAY* they need a warrant to access the data, but they also said they weren't collecting the data itself, and that was shown to be a lie.
 
2013-07-25 07:38:09 AM
If you do not want to be tracked turn you cell phone off and take the battery out.
 
2013-07-25 07:55:37 AM
wfiles.brothersoft.com
 
2013-07-25 07:56:54 AM
I know this is going to wrankle a few folks. What's driving all this consternation? Is it paranoia, or an inflated sense of self-importance? If you're of interest to anyone, and I mean anyone, they can find you; with or without an electronic communications device in your pocket.
 
2013-07-25 07:57:18 AM
This is why I always give my cell phone to a random homeless guy when I'm not using it.

Or I put it on the conveyor belt at the sushi place.

Simple precautions, people.
 
2013-07-25 07:59:50 AM

4tehsnowflakes: the House voted down the Amash-Conyers amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which would have poked a big stick in the NSA's eye


True enough, but you leave out the part where the vote to shut it down was very, very close.

The vote was also incredibly bipartisan.

111 Democrats and 94 Republicans voted to shut down NSA spying.

They only missed by 7 votes.

So when the lying liars claim that Congress supports blanket spying, everyone should remember that they are full of shait.
 
2013-07-25 08:07:36 AM

GrymReeper: What's driving all this consternation?


I know, right?

If you can't trust the Executive Branch when they create their own secret laws usurping the role of Congress, and then assert that the Judicial Branch can't rule on the legality of their actions because of national security, who can you trust?

Wasn't the whole point of creating three branches of government in a system of checks and balances to throw that all away, because terrorism?

Sane people opposed this when Bush did it and oppose it just as much now that Obama is doing it.
 
2013-07-25 08:11:58 AM

fark'emfeed'emfish: Why is this always about some self-aggrandizing schmuck and his overinflated ego? What if MLK Jr's every move, from his hypothetical first facebook post on through his teens and young adulthood, had been recorded? If that history could be perused and cherry picked at J Edgar's will and spun 180 million ways from Sunday... his character would have been assassinated so decisively that his dream would be nothing more than to have been buried with it.


Well, there's a good chance that if MLK Jr was raised in the time of Facebook, he'd be to busy trying to get past level 96 on Candy Crush to do any marching or speaking.
 
2013-07-25 08:15:12 AM

BullBearMS: If you can't trust the Executive Branch when they create their own secret laws usurping the role of Congress, and then assert that the Judicial Branch can't rule on the legality of their actions because of national security, who can you trust?


Maybe I haven't been following this closely, but hasn't the Administration's defense of their program been specifically that it was supervised by the Judicial branch (FISA)?  Did I miss something?

Wasn't the whole point of creating three branches of government in a system of checks and balances to throw that all away, because terrorism?

Sane people opposed this when Bush did it and oppose it just as much now that Obama is doing it.


Bush said outright that the Judicial branch couldn't review his programs.  Unless I missed something, Obama was saying that FISA does review them.  That's kind of a significant difference.
 
2013-07-25 08:18:04 AM

boinkingbill: If you do not want to be tracked turn you cell phone off and take the battery out.


, don't drive and don't carry your bank cards.
 
2013-07-25 08:25:49 AM

BullBearMS: If you can't trust the Executive Branch when they create their own secret laws usurping the role of Congress, and then assert that the Judicial Branch can't rule on the legality of their actions because of national security, who can you trust?


This claim isn't even backed up by the linked article.  Wyden's beef isn't that the judicial branch can't oversee the programs, but merely that they aren't as aggressive or as adversarial as he would like.  And there is no suggestion that the Executive is acting illegally, but instead in accordance with the powers Congress has granted them--Which, again, Wyden thinks are overbroad.

So, this really isn't a situation where the checks and balances of the three branches of government are being abrogated, but instead a situation where they are all in place, but an outcome that many people find unsatisfactory has still resulted.
 
2013-07-25 08:32:10 AM

boinkingbill: If you do not want to be tracked turn you cell phone off and take the battery out.


At which point you might as well just not have a cell phone, because it's largely useless as a communications device that way.

If, on the other hand, you use simple radios to communicate, you ironically have a more secure device:  Granted, it's easier to casually eavesdrop on a radio conversation, but there are several advantages over a cell phone when it comes to government monitoring:

1. The installed infrastructure to listen to those communications everywhere all the time just isn't there.  Satellites don't help, either, because a monitoring satellite isn't going to be able to distinguish your particular conversation out of the several hundred simultaneous ones it hears on the same frequency.

2. The installed infrastructure to direction-find the signal when you are transmitting just isn't there, unlike with the cell phone network.  That means that in order to find out where you are, they would have to assign direction finding assets to your 'local' area, and there just aren't that many assets to go around.

3. When you aren't transmitting, there is no way for them to know where you are.  A radio in receive mode doesn't give away it's position.
 
2013-07-25 08:34:21 AM

Skleenar: Maybe I haven't been following this closely, but hasn't the Administration's defense of their program been specifically that it was supervised by the Judicial branch (FISA)? Did I miss something?


How legit do you think a secret court whose judges are composed entirely of Republicans hand selected by Justice Roberts without any Congressional oversight is?

It's rulings are secret.

The only lawyer who appears before it states the government's case with no opposing counsel representing the interests of the people.

The record shows that the secret court has only denied the Government in .03% of all cases before it. EVAR.

Doesn't sound legit.

Or do you think the Republicans should be allowed to trash the Constitution in secret without oversight from any elected official?
 
2013-07-25 08:43:12 AM
I retired in 2007 and also retired my cell phone 5 months later when the required contract was up. I went off the smart phone grid. Every day I check the mail to see if my free government issued smart phone has arrived as I think there must be a dozen or so people assigned to me to see why I am not traceable 24/7. This stuff must drive them crazy if they can't find you at any given minute.
 
2013-07-25 08:44:05 AM

Skleenar: Bush said outright that the Judicial branch couldn't review his programs.  Unless I missed something, Obama was saying that FISA does review them.  That's kind of a significant difference.


The head of the NSA under Obama testified to Congress that the NSA doesn't collect the metadata from everyone in the US.  This was proven to be a lie by the documents that Edward Snowden leaked.

Now, I'm aware of the pressure that General Alexander and James Clapper were under:  The programs were highly classified, so they couldn't talk about them or reveal them through not talking about them (ie., saying something like "I can't answer that question in open session", or even "no comment").  So basically, they were in a Kobayashi Maru scenario:  Either break the law by revealing the programs (and perhaps reducing their effectiveness), or break the law by lying to Congress while under oath.

I happen to think they failed.
 
2013-07-25 08:47:41 AM

bunzer: I retired in 2007 and also retired my cell phone 5 months later when the required contract was up. I went off the smart phone grid. Every day I check the mail to see if my free government issued smart phone has arrived as I think there must be a dozen or so people assigned to me to see why I am not traceable 24/7. This stuff must drive them crazy if they can't find you at any given minute.


I've *NEVER* owned a cell phone.  The only time I carry one is during emergencies, like when I have to check up on my elderly father because no one has heard from him in a couple of days, and in that case I take my wife's cell with me.

So in reality, I've never really been *ON* the cell phone grid.  They want to follow my every move, they're going to have to do it the old fashioned way.
 
2013-07-25 08:47:56 AM

Skleenar: Bush said outright that the Judicial branch couldn't review his programs.


Obama has also said the the Judicial Branch couldn't review both his programs and Bush's programs.

Friday afternoon, the Obama DOJ filed the government's Weeners to EFF's lawsuit (.pdf), the first of its kind to seek damages against government officials under FISA, the Wiretap Act and other statutes, arising out of Bush's NSA program. But the Obama DOJ demanded dismissal of the entire lawsuit based on (1) its Bush-mimicking claim that the "state secrets" privilege bars any lawsuits against the Bush administration for illegal spying, and (2) a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim of breathtaking scope - never before advanced even by the Bush administration - that the Patriot Act bars any lawsuits of any kind for illegal government surveillance unless there is "willful disclosure" of the illegally intercepted communications.

In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad "state secrets" privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and - even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal - you are barred from suing them unless they "willfully disclose" to the public what they have learned.


Just as he has claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was created to have oversight on the CIA, was not allowed to know what secret law he felt allowed him to order the murder of American citizens without due process.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has sent an extraordinary letter to top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA. The letter poses questions about executive power, like "How much evidence does the President need to determine that a particular American can be lawfully killed?" and "Does the President have to provide individual Americans with the opportunity to surrender before killing them?" We're used to such questions from organizations like the ACLU, journalists like Charlie Savage, and various concerned citizens. And though rules that confer death should always be transparent, the fact that they're being kept even from Wyden is especially indefensible.

The body he sits on, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is charged with providing "vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States," to ensure "that they conform with the Constitution and U.S. law." There is no one in America more justified in demanding to know the official legal rationale behind actions like targeted killings. Obama isn't just keeping this information from the American people. He isn't just hiding his legal reasoning from the U.S. Congress. He is stonewalling one of 15 senators that federal law establishes as the most important check on secret abuses by the CIA.
 
2013-07-25 08:50:31 AM

dittybopper: So in reality, I've never really been *ON* the cell phone grid. They want to follow my every move, they're going to have to do it the old fashioned way.


Placing a GPS tracker on your car?
 
2013-07-25 08:56:32 AM

BullBearMS: How legit do you think a secret court whose judges are composed entirely of Republicans hand selected by Justice Roberts without any Congressional oversight is?

It's rulings are secret.

The only lawyer who appears before it states the government's case with no opposing counsel representing the interests of the people.

The record shows that the secret court has only denied the Government in .03% of all cases before it. EVAR.

Doesn't sound legit.

Or do you think the Republicans should be allowed to trash the Constitution in secret without oversight from any elected official?


Interesting:  You went from a "Obama is trashing the checks and balances of the government to spy on you" to "Evil Republicans judges are spying on you" argument.   I'll take that as a concession that your original point was weak.

There is room to talk about whether or not the FISA court provides ample assurance of individual rights.  But can we agree that the simple fact that it exists is better than the alternative?  At least the Administration needs to come up with a justification for their actions, and has to report to a group that will block them if they find the justifications weak.

A high approval rate doesn't necessarily mean that the FISA court is a rubber stamp--The (small number of) rejections effectively prove that it isn't, and the attorneys who apply for the warrants know what will likely be approved and therefore are probably going to write applications that stand a high chance of approval.
 
2013-07-25 08:58:20 AM

BullBearMS: Skleenar: Bush said outright that the Judicial branch couldn't review his programs.

Obama has also said the the Judicial Branch couldn't review both his programs and Bush's programs.

Friday afternoon, the Obama DOJ filed the government's Weeners to EFF's lawsuit (.pdf), the first of its kind to seek damages against government officials under FISA, the Wiretap Act and other statutes, arising out of Bush's NSA program. But the Obama DOJ demanded dismissal of the entire lawsuit based on (1) its Bush-mimicking claim that the "state secrets" privilege bars any lawsuits against the Bush administration for illegal spying, and (2) a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim of breathtaking scope - never before advanced even by the Bush administration - that the Patriot Act bars any lawsuits of any kind for illegal government surveillance unless there is "willful disclosure" of the illegally intercepted communications.

In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad "state secrets" privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and - even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal - you are barred from suing them unless they "willfully disclose" to the public what they have learned.

Just as he has claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was created to have oversight on the CIA, was not allowed to know what secret law he felt allowed him to order the murder of American citizens without due process.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has sent an extraordinary letter to top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA. The letter poses questions about executive power, like "How much evidence does the President need to determine that a ...


Neither of those points are claiming that the Judicial branch doesn't have oversight.  Which was your original claim.
 
2013-07-25 08:59:29 AM

dittybopper: The head of the NSA under Obama testified to Congress that the NSA doesn't collect the metadata from everyone in the US. This was proven to be a lie by the documents that Edward Snowden leaked.


While interesting and significant, that isn't really what BullBearMS and I were discussing.
 
2013-07-25 09:00:46 AM

Skleenar: Neither of those points are claiming that the Judicial branch doesn't have oversight.


Politics Tab Obama shill denies reality!

Film at eleven.
 
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