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(Tech Dirt)   NSA: We try to only spy on foreign targets, but get the occasional US citizen. Latest Leak: We tap into about 75% of US internet traffic and set our own filters with no oversight to worry about   (techdirt.com) divider line 322
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4201 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2013 at 2:41 PM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-21 03:46:25 PM
Let's see if I understand what they are saying:

We aren't supposed to spy on Americans at all, but as a result of messages (internet, text, telephone, fax, etc.) that you send overseas, we get to read 75% of everything produced in America by Americans.

We already have a legal excuse to spy on 75% of your purely domestic communications. The other 25% might require a wiretap authorization. Oh, bother! Thanks for arguing with that jerk in Tokyo last night! We got some primo pron when you switched to one-hand typing an hour or two later.

Did Auntie Tilda get that cherry bomb that I sent her in Sweden?

Key words logged: bomb, Sweden, Tilda, cherry, Auntie

Recommend: Send to next level


Do you understand how many bytes of data a super computer can process in one second?

If you say anything that might seem suspicious to Microsoft Word's spelling checker, let alone about something illegal or questionable, it can be logged and subjected to triage along with the data from hundreds of thousands of other telephone calls, computers, fax machines, etc. -- in seconds.

My first computer had 2 gigabytes of RAM (second hand).
My first iPod has 4 gigabytes of RAM  .
My second iPod has 120 gigabytes of RAM  .
My third iPod is practically a smart-phone. It lacks only one function: a phone.
My first computer (I paid for) had 180 gigabytes of RAM.
My new computer has 1 terabyte of RAM.
My lap top has 500 Gigabytes of RAM.
My netbook has, say, 250 Gigabytes of RAM.

The days when the Government had to have somebody tape what you say on a telephone while listening to you, taking notes, are long gone. That was the Sixties, man!

The tapes went into computers even in the Sixties.

They were replaced by computers in the 1970s.

The computers started shrinking to the size of terminals by the 1980s, but they kept building bigger and bigger supercomputers. Where IBM once thought they'd sell five room sized computers, they now have one in every university, every corporation, every government building of any size. Banks of servers, each more powerful that the flimsy little 256-equivalent that sent three men to the Moon.

In a world where most legal and medical questions can be solved by expert software without going to your sister the nurse, you can bet that most activities that might draw the bemused interest of a cop, PR wonk, politician or spy chief can be throughly analysed for information you can't even imagine.

Do you shop at Walmart or Target?
Do you read The Atlantic Monthly, Chatelaine or The Advocate?
Did you watch MIB II, The Bourne Conspiracy or Teletubbies?
Are you a Bronie, a Furry or a sheep-sticker?
What did you rent on cable last night?

Your credit card might identify the payment for that hooker you rented in Washington, DC without any specific information on the services provided, where, when, or by whom, but combine credit card information with GPS information and you were in a whorehouse or the Watergate, 15th floor. Combine with your bank account info and it is clear your wife's name is not anywhere on the account debited. Combine with GPS data from your car and you cruised a certain shady street frequented between dusk and dawn by boy prostitutes. Combined with your political donations and you are a target for blackmail who can turn in your Commie friends, your gun nut neighbours or your drug dealer and his sister's father-in-law. Or perhaps a certain election will go to the Republicans rather than the Democrats or an Independent this year.

Datamining is a thousand times more powerful than mere spying. But you still need the brains and intuitions of professionals. They may not have to be spies any more. An IT guy or a marketing man might be more useful. You can not only gather information together, you can scatter information in ways which allow you to outsource the analysis to China if you want. Let the Red Chinese process the data you've collected on Libertarians with militia acquaintances and allies. They'll never even know what they are helping you to do if you split the job into harmless-looking sub-steps, something computers can do better than humans, like coding data for further analysis.
 
2013-08-21 03:47:15 PM

mediablitz: Kit Fister: PJ-: My personal favorite one is 'well if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be worried about'. So if i'm doing nothing wrong, I should have no problem with being treated like a criminal?

Gee, people who are against gun registration, arbitrary gun bans, and many other of the proposals floated for gun control say the same damn thing and are called paranoid.

NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?!

I bet you think that made sense.

Cuz it didn't.


*sigh*

Look. Lawful gun owners (not gun nuts, no one listens to them) don't want to be treated like criminals because they want to own guns and don't want to have all kinds of extra licensing and crap just to exercise their rights -- in short, they don't want to be treated like criminals.

Likewise, people like PJ- who want the government not to spy on their e-mails and phone calls preemptively because HEY LOOK 4TH AMENDMENT, don't want to be treated like criminals.

Of course, when it's gun owners, the answer is "ZOMG WELL REGULATED AND YOU SHOULD ACCEPT SOME CRAP FROM THE GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS, AND THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH CAN BE LIMITED TOO!"

But, when it's the NSA, only the bad guys say that, and the "Good guys" say "Well, no, the government should have a reason to invade my privacy and needs a warrant and my right trumps their paranoia."

So which farking is it? Not so great when the shoe is on the other foot, now is it?
 
2013-08-21 03:48:02 PM
My take:

Liberals:  "This is an outrage!, Spying on Americans? This can't be allowed to...  Oh, Obama is president...uh, it's not that bad....I mean...we safer now..."

Conservatives: "This is needed...we need to be safe...9/11!!!....Oh, Obama is president...this has to stop...I think...unless we really need it...Obama sucks anyway..."

End result: crickets......while the NSA clearly oversteps it's authority, the Constitution, and presiding law...
 
2013-08-21 03:48:44 PM
Strawmen, slippery slope, baseless (and sourceless accusations), concern trolling.

This thread delivers.
 
2013-08-21 03:48:57 PM

Apik0r0s: The real danger in all of this unprecedented spying is that those running the machine use it to dig up dirt on Supreme Court Justices, Attorneys General, Senators, etc etc.

This is how J Edgar Hoover maintained his power for so long, by holding dirt on everyone. Don't play ball? Forget Lewinsky, we have a new method now, the Spitzer - where we leak wiretap info to the NYT and let them out you as using an escort service - can't have you digging into all the dirty money that is Wall Street.

Compromised emails and internet use would explain why Congress and SCOTUS went completely insane about the same time the new NSA toys came online.

Only question is, who is actually in charge now?


I've mentioned this (in much less detail) a couple times already in this thread.  It's amazing the amount of ignorance our countrymen/women display about our country's past.
 
2013-08-21 03:49:03 PM

jshine: At some point, somebody at the NSA (actually it must have been a lot of people) sat down and decided that they needed to build a massive domestic spying infrastructure.  If that mentality doesn't concern you, then either you're directly benefiting from the NSA's actions or -- more likely -- have little knowledge of the history of abusive governments.


I figure the apologists have very low critical thinking skills to actually realise how oppressive and dangerous it is.  Or they are so lazy that if they DID disagree they might have to do something.

And most have no clue who the STASI were, and would gladly become a "neighborhood informant".
 
2013-08-21 03:49:56 PM
NSA NSA NSA NSA NSA NSA NSA MDMA NSA NSA NSA NSA

*be back there is a knock at the door
 
2013-08-21 03:50:21 PM

ApeShaft: Some dude printed a bunch of these signs....

[i.imgur.com image 850x680]
Just how far are people willing to bend over?


That's one of the questions that they hope the research will answer.
 
2013-08-21 03:51:09 PM

4tehsnowflakes: Your posts over the past weeks on this topic all echo the "nothing new here, not to worry, the good adults are in charge" line.  It is time to retake the test you display on your profile, where you characterize yourself as a left-leaning libertarian.  If your posts represent your views then truer answers and/or a better test would likely peg you as more authoritarian.


Two things: 1) 10 question tests on the Internet do not entirely accurately encapsulate a humans ideology, who knew? 2) There is a very large distinction between what the government has the legal authority to do, and what I would like the government to have the authority to do. I dislike the Patriot Act, but I don't yell "scandal!" and "it's illegal!" every time it's implemented, because it is neither of those things. We gave our government the authority to listen for communications between non-US citizens, under government oversight of a secret court, and the US has been using that authority. But everybody who says "they're reading my E-mail" either misunderstands or is deliberately misrepresenting what the government has authority to do, and what it has been shown to actually be doing. They do not have the authority to read your E-mail, they do not have the authority to listen to your phone calls. The article linked above with data of the number of times the authority has been misused is what is of real concern here. The fact that that happens with some regularity and that it is not reported to congress is disturbing. The mere existence of the program, however, is neither news nor shocking.

Lando Lincoln: That doesn't negate a lie. If you saw me smack somebody and then you asked me if I just smacked somebody and I said, "No, I didn't," that doesn't mean I was not lying.


I didn't say it negated the lie. If you want to prosecute Clapper for lying, have fun, but the NSA's official documents which were the official responses to the official requests by congress were all accurate, so the organization was not attempting to deceive congress, regardless of what their director happened to do on a specific day.
 
2013-08-21 03:51:57 PM

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: My take:

Liberals:  "This is an outrage!, Spying on Americans? This can't be allowed to...  Oh, Obama is president...uh, it's not that bad....I mean...we safer now..."


Your take is dumb.
 
2013-08-21 03:52:01 PM

draypresct: Ned Stark: Just out of curiosity - can anyone in this thread think of a solution? One where we collect all the intelligence we need? I don't think public oversight is realistic in this context - this stuff needs to be kept secret.

"All the intelligence [the NSA] need[s]" is definitely under dispute as well. That was a pretty neat little verbal trick you tried to take it off the table with though.

I'm sorry - I don't understand what you are saying. Are you trying to imply that we (the United States as a country and we as citizens of this country) don't need intelligence (i.e. information)?

I really don't get what you're saying. I meant no "verbal trick" in my post.


You obviously never meant the citizens of the united states needed intelligence. Your post explicitly excludes them. "This stuff needs to be kept secret".

And you did in fact, frame you question around preventing employees from inappropriately accessing data and simply took it as gospel that the NSA needed the data in the first place.
 
2013-08-21 03:52:37 PM

vpb: Mugato: I'm not an expert on This but I know a little and while they're not looking at everyones shiat just assume that they are. But most likely you Are not that interesting

I do think that the idea of being interesting enough to watch is a part of what attracts people to these sort of conspiracy theories.



"Theories"?

LOL!
 
2013-08-21 03:52:38 PM

elchupacabra: Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary proof.


Here's the chief technology officer of the CIA saying they collect everything on everyone and hold on to it indefinitely in case they need it in the future. Among other things.

/it won't even matter
//a news anchor on TV will tell you different and you'll believe them
 
2013-08-21 03:53:08 PM
My phone calls itself my "life companion"
 
2013-08-21 03:53:49 PM
There are two types of people, those that can extrapolate...
 
2013-08-21 03:55:12 PM

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: My take:

Liberals:  "This is an outrage!, Spying on Americans? This can't be allowed to...  Oh, Obama is president...uh, it's not that bad....I mean...we safer now..."

Conservatives: "This is needed...we need to be safe...9/11!!!....Oh, Obama is president...this has to stop...I think...unless we really need it...Obama sucks anyway..."

End result: crickets......while the NSA clearly oversteps it's authority, the Constitution, and presiding law...


There are some of both of those types.  But there's the liberals like me who care more about our freedoms than the promise of safety by taking them away.   I don't think  I can imagine many liberals defending the program who actually have the full story of what's going on, and understand the history of the American spying apparatus. 

For conservatives, you do have the fearful boot lickers who will give up freedoms for the promise of safety at the drop of a hat.  But you also have the conspiracy type conservatives who are very leery of big government, and they feel this is a massive intrusion (and expansion) by the government.
 
2013-08-21 03:55:37 PM

nmrsnr: I didn't say it negated the lie. If you want to prosecute Clapper for lying, have fun, but the NSA's official documents which were the official responses to the official requests by congress were all accurate, so the organization was not attempting to deceive congress, regardless of what their director happened to do on a specific day.


Clapper wasn't trying to deceive Congress. Clapper was trying to deceive the general public. Clapper didn't want to give the media a sound bite of "Yes, we're totally spying on you guys."
 
2013-08-21 03:56:58 PM

Kit Fister: (not gun nuts, no one listens to them)

I've got an entity known as the United States House of Representatives that says otherwise.

 
2013-08-21 03:57:39 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-21 03:58:36 PM

draypresct: midigod: The NSA themselves acknowledge thousands of those abuses.

From your link: "The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure. The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorized use of data about more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders."

I hate to tell you this, but if you look at any situation where people are collecting confidential data on you (hospitals, credit card companies, ISPs), you're going to see large numbers of violations. Any time you employ human beings to manage confidential data, there are going to be violations.

The question is what the institution is doing about it, and what other solutions are available.

Just out of curiosity - can anyone in this thread think of a solution? One where we collect all the intelligence we need? I don't think public oversight is realistic in this context - this stuff needs to be kept secret.


Wow you saved me a post. But no one else will reply to this, because it absolutely destroys their paranoia.
 
2013-08-21 03:58:43 PM
I won't lie... I support NSA cybersurveillance for all the people in this thread that use "it's" when they should use "its"
 
2013-08-21 03:58:52 PM

sheep snorter: Due to the invention of Google toilet Internet, cameras have been placed to observe your shiatty data uploads to prevent piracy.
[i.imgur.com image 523x490]


Considering that phone number is for the CoS in Las Vegas... I'm gonna call bullshiat.
 
2013-08-21 04:00:30 PM

Kentucky Fried Children: sheep snorter: Due to the invention of Google toilet Internet, cameras have been placed to observe your shiatty data uploads to prevent piracy.
[i.imgur.com image 523x490]

Considering that phone number is for the CoS in Las Vegas... I'm gonna call bullshiat.


That's the only thing that tipped you off?
 
2013-08-21 04:00:43 PM
History

The predecessor of the National Security Agency was the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), created on May 20, 1949.

Employees

The number of NSA employees is officially classified[3] but in 2012, the NSA said more than 30,000 employees work at Ft. Meade and other facilities.[1] In 2012 John C. Inglis, the deputy director, said that the total number of NSA employees is "somewhere between 37,000 and one billion" as a joke,[3] and stated that the agency is "probably the biggest employer of introverts."[3] In 2013 Der Spiegel stated that the NSA had 40,000 employees.[4] More widely, it has been described as the world's largest single employer of mathematicians.[78] Some NSA employees form part of the workforce of the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that provides the NSA with satellite signals intelligence. It is the owner of the single largest group of supercomputers.[79]

^ Risen, James; Nick Wingfield (June 19, 2013). "Web's Reach Binds N.S.A. and Silicon Valley Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013. "The sums the N.S.A. spends in Silicon Valley are classified, as is the agency's total budget, which independent analysts say is $8 billion to $10 billion a year."


Let's just pretend they're not sitting around playing parcheesi.  You have no privacy.

Of course any police officer can run your plate or phone number whenever they want, but that's OK... right?
 
2013-08-21 04:02:54 PM
QFTA:

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence


Subby needs to remove his stealthy horse-head mask and read the farking article...

/where were all these anti-government people when Bush/Cheney encouraged people to volunteer for military service to hunt down and kill OBL. Then Bush/Cheney sent them for a oil war in Iraq. BTW, BP and the China National Petroleum Company are now running the huge oil fields in Iraq--the ones that were going to pay for our war in Iraq.
 
2013-08-21 04:03:04 PM
If they are going to insist on doing what they are doing, I can't help wonder what they have on Benghazi, Fast and Furious, or several other points of interest.

Not that I would want to be involved in anything unconstitutional.
 
2013-08-21 04:03:14 PM

Lando Lincoln: Clapper wasn't trying to deceive Congress. Clapper was trying to deceive the general public. Clapper didn't want to give the media a sound bite of "Yes, we're totally spying on you guys."


"Lying to Congress" is the crime, "lying to the American people" isn't, that's called politics.

instantwin: [i.imgur.com image 316x1500]


Now that's funny.
 
2013-08-21 04:03:51 PM

Outrageous Muff: However regulations say that all NSA collected data can not be used against a US citizen and that all dealings with citizens are handed over to the FBI who does get warrants.


We should also let the cops search our houses and vehicles so they can decide if they need to get a warrant to search for the things that they just searched for. I can't see how this could possibly go wrong.
 
2013-08-21 04:07:01 PM
Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.
 
2013-08-21 04:10:12 PM

draypresct: Just out of curiosity - can anyone in this thread think of a solution? One where we collect all the intelligence we need?


There is no solution where the NSA can legally and Constitutionally collect all the data they need to prevent terrorism, or crime in general.  To do that, they need all data.  The data they need isn't the point.  We should be looking at whether the data they are collecting infringes on Constitutional rights.  If it does, they need to stop collecting that data, and come up with another method of crime-fighting, or not fight those crimes until they are actually committed.

No one will dispute that crimes can be prevented using this, and other, information.  It's a question of whether we want to allow so much power to be reigned over to secret parties, with no oversight as to its use or abise, or even what type of data is being collected.  We only know about the current collection because the extent of it has been leaked.  That's a long way away from actual oversight.
 
2013-08-21 04:10:58 PM

mediablitz: Thunderpipes: Only 10% of the prison population is innocent, so it is all good, right? Rights? What the hell are those?

Gobama, go sheeple. You guys cried bloody murder because under Bush there were rumors if you took out bomb making books in a library for might be reported. Not a single incident I can remember hearing about. Obama? Record everyone's telephone and Internet traffic, no problem. Sick the IRS and EPA on your political enemies, no problem. Americans killed overseas because of screw ups? Who cares....

Hippiecrits man, big time.

I guess you don't notice all the liberals saying this is wrong. Why would that be? Doesn't fit your need for confirmation bias?

And for the last time, OBAMA DIDN'T AUTHORIZE THIS! Congress passed the law. Obama isn't a dictator.

Keep on with your "I'm SO above it all" bullshiat if you like. You just look childish.


No but Obama is quite fine with it. He's defended it many times
 
2013-08-21 04:14:20 PM

umad: We should also let the cops search our houses and vehicles so they can decide if they need to get a warrant to search for the things that they just searched for. I can't see how this could possibly go wrong.


You apparently missed the thread/article about the DEA basically taking dirt on someone and then retconning the circumstances when obtaining a warrant to act on it.

So, they know you did something wrong, so they make up the circumstances by which they came by the knowledge and probable cause in order to generate a warrant.
 
2013-08-21 04:14:27 PM

brantgoose: My new computer has 1 terabyte of RAM.


No, no it doesnt.  You're confusing memory and hard drive space.

Your point is very valid though.
 
2013-08-21 04:15:22 PM

Ned Stark: Kentucky Fried Children: sheep snorter: Due to the invention of Google toilet Internet, cameras have been placed to observe your shiatty data uploads to prevent piracy.
[i.imgur.com image 523x490]

Considering that phone number is for the CoS in Las Vegas... I'm gonna call bullshiat.

That's the only thing that tipped you off?


Nope, but its the most blatantly obvious feature.  Unless the CoS is into that kinda thing...

/giggity?
 
2013-08-21 04:15:40 PM
Another question to be asking is about what involvement foreign companies and governments have in all of this spying.

Fox News once ran a 4 part piece (Carl Cameron) about Israeli spying in the US. One of the main thrusts of the report was to make it clear just how all encompassing Israeli compromise of our phone networks was. 25 US phone companies had contracted out to AMDOCS and other Israeli companies. We ran them out, supposedly, but Amdocs is still alive, well and growing, in Alpharetta GA.

I wonder what AMDOCS does for us now.

The (since scrubbed of course) Fox report:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWpWc_suPWo

I feel sorry for any of our leaders who would try to push Israel towards peace, they will have their shiat smeared all over Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room before you can say foreign entanglement.
 
2013-08-21 04:15:45 PM

draypresct: I hate to tell you this, but if you look at any situation where people are collecting confidential data on you (hospitals, credit card companies, ISPs), you're going to see large numbers of violations. Any time you employ human beings to manage confidential data, there are going to be violations.

The question is what the institution is doing about it,


Having worked in institutions that deal with confidential data (not Government, though) for the last 20 years, I can tell you that those organizations are required by law to inform their customers when those violations occur.  The fact that the NSA doesn't have to tell anyone, doesn't have to be accountable, and doesn't get charged with violation of any law, is absolutely not acceptable.  What they're doing about it is having an internal audit, and not telling anyone.  They should be required to go to either the FISA court, or another legal entity separated from themselves for the reporting, so that the external party can decide the best course of action/penalty/disclosure.  That's what all private companies have to do, and our government should be held to at least that standard.
 
2013-08-21 04:16:30 PM
Btw, you people talking about Obama and taking this as a political issue are completely missing the point. This has nothing to do with Obama. The NSA's power is going to continue to grow, and its abilities will be even greater with the next administration, which very well could be republican. Republican, Democrat, back and fourth from one set of four years to the next, this power will continue to grow, and it's something we all should be concerned with no matter what side of the aisle we're on.
 
2013-08-21 04:17:30 PM

justoneznot: Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.


They deeply identify with the united states. Being a good patriot is part of their self image and they see the nation itself as a sort of extended family. Hence the use of we in place of the actual actors. The NSA can't be bad because they are good* and the NSA is an extension of themselves.

*by their terms. Everyone is the hero of their own story.
 
2013-08-21 04:18:35 PM

justoneznot: Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.


1. The whole "Crying Wolf" of conspiracy theories -- many people are sick of being told bullshiat stories about Kennedy Assassinations, 9/11, et al, especially when you see that everything becomes a conspiracy (come on, Boston Bombers?  REALLY?).
2. The expectation that there is genuine need for the NSA, coupled with the implied suggestion that fixing the alleged problem would actually require gutting our Intelligence Services and making us genuinely insecure.  Not so much anti-terrorism as preparing for an expansionist China, especially when that's definitely a country that would be dangerous in cyberwar terms.
3.  Political Fatigue -- on a personal level, there's not a time in my life that I was not told "If we don't do X Y Z, our country is finished and you're living the rest of your life as a slave or murdering loved ones over a crust of bread.  If you even have a 'rest of your life.'"  Quite frankly, we're tired of being told we're doomed.

I'm sure there's more, but I gotta make this short.
 
2013-08-21 04:19:03 PM

Outrageous Muff: Face it, you all think the government is lying to you. So no matter what they tell you, you will dismiss it as a lie.

Basically:
[static.someecards.com image 420x294]


Ric Romero here, reporting that people tend to disbelieve claims made by pathological liars. Up next is Connie with the weather...
 
2013-08-21 04:21:07 PM

Lando Lincoln: nmrsnr: Oh, you talking about Clapper? If you want to go after him, be my guest, the NSA, however, didn't lie to Congress, since they already knew the answer when they asked him the question.

That doesn't negate a lie. If you saw me smack somebody and then you asked me if I just smacked somebody and I said, "No, I didn't," that doesn't mean I was not lying.


He thought the question was about something else; this was clarified pretty quickly. There isn't some vast government conspiracy to protect Clapper from perjury charges because there was no "lie" in the first place.
 
2013-08-21 04:21:58 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: Al_Ed: Rand's lacy underwear: Now imagine what we haven't heard about.

As someone who used to be in this line of work, this was the first thing outta my mouth when the story originally broke.

I don't want to be THAT guy, but I remember in all of the "Truther" threads when people like me suggested that maybe the Bush administration knew more or even were complicit, the argument against it was, "the governement is incapable of that sort of efficiency".


/I guess they've been training


There is a difference, the people that did 9/11 didn't want to be heard. They were keeping as low a profile as they could. We got bits and pieces but never put it together. So with 20/20 hindsight it became obvious.

The difference with the NSA is that as Americans we don't think we need to hide anything because the idea is that no one is looking. We give full and complete stories because we aren't trying to live underground. Track someone's browser history, credit cards, and facebook posts for a few weeks and you'll know a lot about them. There is no puzzle to put together when you have that kind of data.

/Track their Fark posts and you'll know what time they start drinking.
 
2013-08-21 04:24:15 PM

elchupacabra: justoneznot: Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.

1. The whole "Crying Wolf" of conspiracy theories -- many people are sick of being told bullshiat stories about Kennedy Assassinations, 9/11, et al, especially when you see that everything becomes a conspiracy (come on, Boston Bombers?  REALLY?).
2. The expectation that there is genuine need for the NSA, coupled with the implied suggestion that fixing the alleged problem would actually require gutting our Intelligence Services and making us genuinely insecure.  Not so much anti-terrorism as preparing for an expansionist China, especially when that's definitely a country that would be dangerous in cyberwar terms.
3.  Political Fatigue -- on a personal level, there's not a time in my life that I was not told "If we don't do X Y Z, our country is finished and you're living the rest of your life as a slave or murdering loved ones over a crust of bread.  If you even have a 'rest of your life.'"  Quite frankly, we're tired of being told we're doomed.

I'm sure there's more, but I gotta make this short.


"OH MY GOD THE RED CHINESR ARE GONNA SKIN OUR BABIES TO MAKE COATS ZOMG WHY WOT YOU SAVE US NSA!?!!"
"Oh, and stop telling us were doomed no one cares about your fearmongering."

lol dude, and I do mean LOL.
 
2013-08-21 04:25:47 PM

elchupacabra: justoneznot: Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.

[snip]

I'm sure there's more, but I gotta make this short.


Oh:

4.  Questioning the motives of the most vocal proponents -- seems like most are some "Wouldn't the world be Utopia if we could just.... " Go isolationist/communist/christian/racialpuritan, whatever.  Not too many that don't eventually go some crackpot route to a long term solution.
 
2013-08-21 04:27:28 PM

justoneznot: Btw, you people talking about Obama and taking this as a political issue are completely missing the point. This has nothing to do with Obama. The NSA's power is going to continue to grow, and its abilities will be even greater with the next administration, which very well could be republican. Republican, Democrat, back and fourth from one set of four years to the next, this power will continue to grow, and it's something we all should be concerned with no matter what side of the aisle we're on.


I'm no republican, but Obama has explicitly stated his position: (paraphrasing) you can't have 100% freedom and 100% security at the same time.
Not exactly a smoking gun, but Obama is doing nothing to put a stop to it.

That said, in my mind, his silence is consent approach is the result of one thing:  The Republican/Democrat game of wonderball.  No party wants to hold office of President of the United States when the next major "successful" terror attack occurs.  I'm guessing presidents from here on will accept illegal surveillance as a calculated violation/unpopular act, so as to not fall victim to something much worse and much more unpopular (ie devastating to their political party).
 
2013-08-21 04:28:20 PM
A little sidebar here.
Is the NSA hireing?
Because if the NSA is monitoring 75% of all Internet traffic, and if 94% of that is porn, I may finally be qualified for a Government job.
 
2013-08-21 04:28:59 PM

justoneznot: Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.


The NSA didn't spring up yesterday. It's not going to go away tomorrow, either. People going all apeshiat over it, each trying to out-do the last with their indignation, is silly and, from what i've seen so far, entirely pointless.

Why should i care?

Because we could be having an informed discussion regarding the past, present and future of the internet instead
 
2013-08-21 04:30:00 PM
Ned Stark:

"OH MY GOD THE RED CHINESR ARE GONNA SKIN OUR BABIES TO MAKE COATS ZOMG WHY WOT YOU SAVE US NSA!?!!"

I phrased my statement in a mature fashion.  Why don't you give it a try: convince people that there's NO threat from other nations in a NSA-free world.

"Oh, and stop telling us were doomed no one cares about your fearmongering."


It's a valid assertion.  Boy cries Wolf enough, people get tired of it.  As an aside, I believed these conspiracies until about the time the Y2K thing happened.  Now, I see them all as "Bullshiat until proven otherwise".

lol dude, and I do mean LOL.

Ah, you win the argument by laughing at me.  That's it, off to go start a civil war that will lead to millions dead because surely laughing at me means you're right and we must rise up and slay our masters.

Try not being retarded.
 
2013-08-21 04:31:10 PM
Quite honestly, my big concern is how are they identifying individual users of their tools who might be using it for their own personal or malicious purposes?

Such as, a contractor with access gets bribed by a politician's aides to dig up something on a political opponent

Or an employee with access uses it to get back at a neighbor they hate

I doubt they are tracking access all that well after you see things like Manning and Snowden, people who weren't high level analysts that had access to all kinds of data they probably didn't really need access to. And no one noticed until they went public on their own.
 
2013-08-21 04:34:22 PM

21-7-b: justoneznot: Who are these people bending over backwards to defend the NSA in online forums and threads like this one? I could understand being naive or in denial, but being naive isn't usually accompanied by such a strong desire to let everyone know about it. I find it strange the amount of time these people spend into making it seem like the NSA is no big deal and they're not really spying on anyone. What's the motivation? I get the argument that we shouldn't be concerned about it, but you seem to be strongly engaged in the topic yourself for someone advocating a lack of concern.

The NSA didn't spring up yesterday. It's not going to go away tomorrow, either. People going all apeshiat over it, each trying to out-do the last with their indignation, is silly and, from what i've seen so far, entirely pointless.

Why should i care?

Because we could be having an informed discussion regarding the past, present and future of the internet instead


This is better -- let's actually define some limits here we'd prefer they operate under.
 
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