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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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4202 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2013 at 2:41 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-21 04:36:43 PM

Urbn: 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.


They are not and they have no way of doing so.

Report: NSA doesn't know the extent of Snowden damage

The National Security Agency (NSA) doesn't know how much information leaker Edward Snowden was able to obtain because of an underdeveloped capacity to audit its own data, according to a NBC News report released late Tuesday.
 
2013-08-21 04:37:15 PM

machoprogrammer: No but Obama is quite fine with it. He's defended it many times


He's also moved to expand it over and over.

Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches

and

The Obama administration is urging Congress not to adopt legislation that would impose constitutional safeguards on Americans' e-mail stored in the cloud.

and

The Obama administration told a federal court Tuesday that the public has no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in cellphone location data, and hence the authorities may obtain documents detailing a person's movements from wireless carriers without a probable-cause warrant.

and

The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects' vehicles to track their every move.

and

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order

and

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens

Not only has Obama constantly worked to expand warrantless spying, he has also constantly worked to shut down any lawsuits challenging his secret actions.

Remember way back under Bush when whistle blowers stepped forward to say that AT&T's fiber optic lines had been tapped and provided proof?

Guess what happened to the lawsuit over that.

Obama shut it down.

The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to halt a legal challenge weighing the constitutionality of a once-secret warrantless surveillance program targeting Americans' communications

Just as he has been seeking to shut down the current lawsuits over Snowden's whistle blowing.

The Obama administration for the first time responded to a Spygate lawsuit, telling a federal judge the wholesale vacuuming up of all phone-call metadata in the United States is in the "public interest," does not breach the constitutional rights of Americans and cannot be challenged in a court of law.
 
2013-08-21 04:37:46 PM

EngineerBob: 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.


They're always hiring to some extent.  Suck the kiddies in now before they realize just how much farking money they can make in the private sector (It's trivial to break the government pay scale within 5 years of leaving school), and they'll be on the teat forever.  The big problem for the NSA is that you have to have a clearance.  And since a clearance takes over a year to get, they can only hire people who not only are looking for a job today, but don't have a job a year from now.  (In other words, if you want to work at the NSA, start looking in sophomore year of college).

/And if you want to know why the TSA is so absolutely farking incompetent, take that and add "Is willing to work for $10/hour in Northern VA".
 
2013-08-21 04:39:55 PM

elchupacabra: 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.


Which leads me to:

5.  The most strident conspiracy supporters won't be satisfied with basic fixes.  It's a Tautology to them that the system is rotten to the core.  The government could come out and say tomorrow, "We are shutting down NSA operations and all employees are under arrest" and there's still going to be "oh, we didn't catch the REAL conspirators!"
 
2013-08-21 04:40:50 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.


The US presidency is like the role of James Bond.  Sometimes different actors, but all playing a ROLE that is written for them.  The important thing is continuity.

Notice Obama never went after Bush for anything.  He said "Let's look forward not back."

GITMO stays open, whistleblowers are aggressively prosecuted, surveillance increases, and everything stays status quo.

I guarantee the next President will say those same words.
 
2013-08-21 04:41:02 PM
If you don't want them spying on you, build your own communications system.

Crying?  You didn't built that!
 
2013-08-21 04:42:10 PM

elchupacabra: 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.


Shivering in terror at the thought of the yellow menace and dismissing any pessimism about the NSA's intent as paranoia are bother legitimate points of view. I mean, they're totally wrong, but they make a certain sort of internal sense and merit rebuttal. Its holding both those thoughts at the same time that makes you laughable.

Also, y2k is a strange thing to be put of "conspiracies" by, since it was pretty much real. Its was just easily fixable and we had a decade of warning.
 
2013-08-21 04:44:10 PM

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

"the governement is incapable of that sort of efficiency"
/I guess they've been training


The fact that the agencies appear to be pretty, pretty good at tracking does not prove that govt usually does things efficiently. It is the nature of the technology that makes it so effective. With those tools, budget, and access, combined with legal/prosecutorial authority that is broad, vague and easily circumvented, even a bloated and incompetent group of agencies could help the executive branch rule the people, because the people all live in glass rooms.

The supporters in Congress, who are in the majority in both chambers, will try to tinker with domestic surveillance to make it seem less offensive. They will propose special exemptions for people like judges, legislators, law enforcement and certain other officials. They will propose cosmetic improvements in transparency such as limited access to some FISA court opinions in redacted form. They may propose having a people's privacy advocate weigh in before the FISA court on its decisions, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how that could work. They may go in the direction of a white-list similar to the various trusted traveler programs that were supposed to help get you past the TSA.

It's possible but unlikely that further revelations could tip the scales of public outrage enough to force real change through the Congress and current administration. Barring that, real change is likely to come only from the Supreme Court.  Justice Scalia has sided with privacy advocates on some important 4th Amendment cases, but it is not certain how he will rule or which case will get there first.
 
2013-08-21 04:44:19 PM
Learn the clowered and pivin strategy and just add all these key words to emails, and throw in a few small town names from Afghanistan and flood their system. If we all do this we render NSA worthless. Basically, make them chase their own tails.
For example:
FBI, AK-47, pressure cooker, powder, Kandahar, AQIM

You get the idea, just overwhelm them render their system useless.
(Though I just probably made the top of the list!). See my point?
 
2013-08-21 04:45:41 PM

Nutsac_Jim: If you don't want them spying on you, build your own communications system.


My company has, actually.  We figured issues like this were going to be a problem at some point.  Also makes security far easier when you're not out on the public 'net.
 
2013-08-21 04:46:00 PM
Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.
 
2013-08-21 04:49:08 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.


What will be even more interesting if/when the power changes is seeing how many people change their feelings from complete dismissal to thinking this is the worst thing ever.
 
2013-08-21 04:50:54 PM

Lando Lincoln: 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

That's hardly the point. See, what happens is, people with good intentions create powerful tools, and then later on people with bad intentions take those tools and use them for nefarious purposes.

Could this tool be used to identify US citizens that are talking about doing something against the government, because the government is ignoring certain parts of the Constitution? Then this is a tool that could really do some serious harm to our society.


Yeah but nothing is going to stop the technology so as much as it might suck, we have to get used to the idea of our privacy quotient inherently aproaching zero.
 
2013-08-21 04:52:34 PM

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.


Without patriots you'd be a slave. Careful not to slander people willing to fight for what you are losing.
 
2013-08-21 04:53:00 PM
CrazyCracka420:
It really comes down to two or three camps:
"are you a nationalist who supports the government 100% and thinks people who criticize it are unpatriotic?"
"Are you a person who believes government will overstep it's bounds and the citizens need to keep them in check"
"Are you the cynical type who doesn't think it's important or that the government cares what they personally are doing"


How about the camp of "Government will always abuse secretive powers but if I try to do anything about it, I'll become a martyr, so I'll live with it."?
 
2013-08-21 04:53:56 PM

FourPetesake: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.

Without patriots you'd be a slave. Careful not to slander people willing to fight for what you are losing.


*dismissive jerking motion*
 
2013-08-21 04:55:07 PM

Pocket Ninja: Clearly, the semantic difference between the headline's words and the article's words mean there is nothing here about which anyone should be concerned. As all patriots know, we should never fear the government's ability to do something. This is why so many people who are fine with NSA spying programs completely support gun registration.


media.tumblr.com
 
2013-08-21 04:55:36 PM

mediablitz: nmrsnr: Voiceofreason01: lying to congress is a crime

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.

I'm embarrassed whenever anyone trots out the "Clapper lied!!!" silliness. His response is online, in PDF form. He misunderstood a question. He's really old. He clarified as soon as he realized he misunderstood.


You do know he had the question in hand, in writing, the day before the hearing, right? If he really is that incompetent, he needs to be replaced immediately.
 
2013-08-21 04:56:12 PM

midigod: 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.


I don't think that private companies are informing their customers when those violations occur.

The simplest way around reporting this information is to have no real safeguards against the wrong people accessing the information. Most hospitals operate in this way - the cost of a doctor not being able to access your drug allergy information or comorbid condition is too high to put much of a barrier around your data. Yes, if someone brings a violation to their attention, they report it, but they really don't have the capability to catch that sort of thing. If Dr. X or nurse Y or clerk Z accesses your information, how is the database security guy going to figure out whether they actually needed that information, or whether they were just being nosy?

With the FISA court, the NSA has more of an internal investigation process (weak as it is) than most private organizations with access to private information have.
 
2013-08-21 04:56:31 PM

vpb: Pocket Ninja: Clearly, the semantic difference between the headline's words and the article's words mean there is nothing here about which anyone should be concerned. As all patriots know, we should never fear the government's ability to do something. This is why so many people who are fine with NSA spying programs completely support gun registration.

So if you say something that isn't true, it's just a "semantic difference", sort of like being "economical with the truth"?  Or is this one of your trolls?


Coming from an admitted trolLOL, that's rich. You got spanked. Live with it, or address the point raised in Ninja's last sentence.
 
2013-08-21 04:57:48 PM

GanjSmokr: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.

What will be even more interesting if/when the power changes is seeing how many people change their feelings from complete dismissal to thinking this is the worst thing ever.


I think even more interesting will be the folks who ignore improtant things like how the information is used when they're discussing the issue during the next administration.

"Jeb Bush's administration is using NSA gathered intelligence to single out people who fought for abortion rights!"

"So what. Where was all this outrage when Obama did it?!?!?"
 
2013-08-21 04:59:34 PM

GanjSmokr: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.

What will be even more interesting if/when the power changes is seeing how many people change their feelings from complete dismissal to thinking this is the worst thing ever.


I've noticed a few right wingers's on Fark still defending warrantless spying, but not many.

The actual Republican party leadership, on the other hand, has been nothing but supportive of Obama on this. That's easy to understand since Obama has totally adopted their position after he gained power

Let's remind ourselves of what Senator Obama claimed to stand for:

As a senator, Obama wanted to limit bulk records collection.

As a senator, Obama wanted to require government analysts to get court approval before accessing incidentally collected American data.

As a senator, Obama wanted the executive branch to report to Congress how many American communications had been swept up during surveillance.

As a senator, Obama wanted to restrict the use of gag orders related to surveillance court orders.

As a senator, Obama wanted to give the accused a chance to challenge government surveillance.
 
2013-08-21 05:00:24 PM

BullBearMS: GanjSmokr: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Don't worry, eventually a Republican will be President again, and all you "Patriots" can go back to not caring about this sort of thing.

What will be even more interesting if/when the power changes is seeing how many people change their feelings from complete dismissal to thinking this is the worst thing ever.

I've noticed a few right wingers's on Fark still defending warrantless spying, but not many.

The actual Republican party leadership, on the other hand, has been nothing but supportive of Obama on this. That's easy to understand since Obama has totally adopted their position after he gained power

Let's remind ourselves of what Senator Obama claimed to stand for:

As a senator, Obama wanted to limit bulk records collection.

As a senator, Obama wanted to require government analysts to get court approval before accessing incidentally collected American data.

As a senator, Obama wanted the executive branch to report to Congress how many American communications had been swept up during surveillance.

As a senator, Obama wanted to restrict the use of gag orders related to surveillance court orders.

As a senator, Obama wanted to give the accused a chance to challenge government surveillance.


Impeach!
 
2013-08-21 05:00:32 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: cameroncrazy1984: vpb: Headline: We tap into 75% of US internet traffic.

TFA: The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic

Having the capacity to do something is not the same thing as doing it.  We have the capacity to nuke Chicago, but that doesn't mean that we have already done it.

This sort of straw man is typical of these NSA "spying" stories.

I came in here to say this. Jesus christ, you people are tech-illiterate.

Why would they create a system that they have no intention of using? Why would a guy with 1984 in his name not be worried about the possibilities?


two words: LAN PARTY

The most awesome Deathmatch Evar!
 
2013-08-21 05:01:33 PM

elchupacabra: 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.


Who's talking about rising up and slaying our corporate overlords?  I'm certainly not.  You know you can effect change by spreading information to your family friends and neighbors.  Using that information to be more informed come election time, and trying to change the system using existing non-violent methods.

I'm not advocating a complete overthrowing of the government because the NSA is domestically spying and collecting data on it's citizens (and sharing this information with local law enforcement agencies). 

But we should be upset about it, and we should be spreading the word about it (as well as holding those in power accountable).
 
2013-08-21 05:01:57 PM

Ned Stark: 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.


US citizens need someone to access the intelligence. We also need someone to know how the sewers work, how air traffic control works, etc. Most individual citizens do not need to have this information.

We (US citizens) need the NSA to gather intelligence. We also need the gathered information to be kept secret. Yes, that includes being kept secret from most citizens (I might cynically include most members of Congress as well).

I'm still not clear on where your argument is going. Do you dispute these statements, or are you saying that the NSA is ignoring the intelligence they're supposed to be gathering to pursue other goals, or ?
 
2013-08-21 05:02:07 PM
Starting about five years ago, my hometown newspaper started regularly publishing stories of large drug busts along I-80 in Henry County, Illinois. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as the cases started to go to court and the evidence came out, there was a common thread that connected all of the busts. The drivers were being pulled over for the most minor of traffic infractions. One was pulled over for having a hat on his dashboard, which technically "obstructed his view." Another was pulled over for going three mph over the speed limit (68 in a 65) and for having a registration sticker on his vehicle that was starting to peel. Case after case where the flimsiest of excuses led to vehicle stops. The news obviously uncritically reported the drug busts and loudly advertised that Henry County, Illinois lead the nation in 2008 for drug busts.

Now I definitely didn't think this was NSA-related at the time, but I definitely knew that the police were not being candid. I have friends on some of the various police forces and I know that profiling not only occurs, but is tacitly allowed, so I thought that this was simply a derivative of that behavior, as the local drug taskforce MEG which eventually coordinates the busts with the Illinois State Troopers is populated by the various community police forces. In this case, my conservative assumption was that they actively profiled suspicious-looking vehicles with California plates. But the more I think about it now, the more I believe that they were being tipped to pull over specific vehicles and that these tips were illegally obtained.
 
2013-08-21 05:02:26 PM

acohn: CrazyCracka420:
It really comes down to two or three camps:
"are you a nationalist who supports the government 100% and thinks people who criticize it are unpatriotic?"
"Are you a person who believes government will overstep it's bounds and the citizens need to keep them in check"
"Are you the cynical type who doesn't think it's important or that the government cares what they personally are doing"

How about the camp of "Government will always abuse secretive powers but if I try to do anything about it, I'll become a martyr, so I'll live with it."?


That would be a subsection of the cynical type (couldn't cover all the cynicisms)
 
2013-08-21 05:02:26 PM

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


Yeah, I do. Don't collect the data. And stop giving a terrorists a reason to hate us. Imagine all of the money and lives we'd save if we stopped spying on everyone AND pulled our troops out of the middle east. We'd be rolling in the dough.
 
2013-08-21 05:02:59 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.


This has more to do with our ever-increasing fear of "terrorism" and xenophobia. The problem isn't the government, it's the people who demand "safety" at any and all expense.

As someone who has seen firsthand what Big Data can do, what this article talks about and what the NSA does... is trivial. It's easy. They've probably been doing it for a long time. And they'll continue to do it, and get better at it.
If you think the technological advancements do no exist for this type of a program, you're way behind and very wrong.
 
2013-08-21 05:04:30 PM

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


When you're talking to Congress and you lie, that's called "lying to Congress." Even if your intended target for the lie was the American people instead of Congress, it's still technically lying to Congress.
 
2013-08-21 05:04:44 PM

nmrsnr: Voiceofreason01: lying to congress is a crime

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.


WAT? If I know my kid broke a lamp and he says he didn't, is that telling the truth?!
 
2013-08-21 05:06:45 PM

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

Yeah, I do. Don't collect the data. And stop giving a terrorists a reason to hate us. Imagine all of the money and lives we'd save if we stopped spying on everyone AND pulled our troops out of the middle east. We'd be rolling in the dough.


So much this. It's pretty obvious they don't hate us for our Freedoms(tm). They hate us for doing what America has done for 70+ years.
 
2013-08-21 05:06:51 PM

Mugato: Yeah but nothing is going to stop the technology so as much as it might suck, we have to get used to the idea of our privacy quotient inherently aproaching zero.


I don't know about that. Technology gives us tools to spy on people and it also gives us tools to stop people from spying on us.
 
2013-08-21 05:08:12 PM

justinguarini4ever: Starting about five years ago, my hometown newspaper started regularly publishing stories of large drug busts along I-80 in Henry County, Illinois. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as the cases started to go to court and the evidence came out, there was a common thread that connected all of the busts. The drivers were being pulled over for the most minor of traffic infractions. One was pulled over for having a hat on his dashboard, which technically "obstructed his view." Another was pulled over for going three mph over the speed limit (68 in a 65) and for having a registration sticker on his vehicle that was starting to peel. Case after case where the flimsiest of excuses led to vehicle stops. The news obviously uncritically reported the drug busts and loudly advertised that Henry County, Illinois lead the nation in 2008 for drug busts.

Now I definitely didn't think this was NSA-related at the time, but I definitely knew that the police were not being candid. I have friends on some of the various police forces and I know that profiling not only occurs, but is tacitly allowed, so I thought that this was simply a derivative of that behavior, as the local drug taskforce MEG which eventually coordinates the busts with the Illinois State Troopers is populated by the various community police forces. In this case, my conservative assumption was that they actively profiled suspicious-looking vehicles with California plates. But the more I think about it now, the more I believe that they were being tipped to pull over specific vehicles and that these tips were illegally obtained.


Then your assumption would be correct.  I also have friends in law enforcement (sheriff's deputies, local police departments, and other government entities), and they have confirmed this as well.  There were stories about the NSA tipping off local law enforcement (mainly regarding drugs, go figure war on drugs) about grow operations and other drug dealings.

neversubmit: Urbn: 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.

They are not and they have no way of doing so.

Report: NSA doesn't know the extent of Snowden damage

The National Security Agency (NSA) doesn't know how much information leaker Edward Snowden was able to obtain because of an underdeveloped capacity to audit its own data, according to a NBC News report released late Tuesday.


And that's just one more thing (that I didn't even consider) that we should be concerned with.  It's not necessarily some big wigs behind the scenes using the information for political gain, if someone like Snowden can get this information, I wonder what other personal vendettas people are getting information about to use in their personal/business lives...

These apologists are the worst kind of Americans.
 
2013-08-21 05:08:26 PM

Evil High Priest: mediablitz: nmrsnr: Voiceofreason01: lying to congress is a crime

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.

I'm embarrassed whenever anyone trots out the "Clapper lied!!!" silliness. His response is online, in PDF form. He misunderstood a question. He's really old. He clarified as soon as he realized he misunderstood.

You do know he had the question in hand, in writing, the day before the hearing, right? If he really is that incompetent, he needs to be replaced immediately.


Shhhh... Don't interrupt the lies about the lies.

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wyden had been briefed on the top-secret-plus programs that we now all know about. That is, he knew that he was putting Clapper in a box; He knew that the true answer to his question was "Yes," but he also knew that Clapper would have a hard time saying so without making headlines.

Nor was this a spontaneous lie or a lie he regretted making. Wyden revealed in a statement today that he'd given Clapper advance notice that he would ask the question and that, after the hearing, he offered Clapper a chance to revise his answer. Clapper didn't take the offer.
 
2013-08-21 05:09:26 PM

draypresct: Ned Stark: 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.

US citizens need someone to access the intelligence. We also need someone to know how the sewers work, how air traffic control works, etc. Most individual citizens do not need to have this information.

We (US citizens) need the NSA to gather intelligence. We also need the gathered information to be kept secret. Yes, that includes being kept secret from most citizens (I might cynically include most members of Congress as well).

I'm still not clear on where your argument is going. Do you dispute these statements, or are you saying that the NSA is ignoring the intelligence they're supposed to be gathering to pursue other goals, or ?


For the Nthe time, yes I dispute thode statements. "All information anyone on the internet generates" is not nessecary information.
 
2013-08-21 05:09:55 PM

Lando Lincoln: Technology gives us tools to spy on people and it also gives us tools to stop people from spying on us.


Do you really thing the latter will ever outweigh the former?
 
2013-08-21 05:10:41 PM

midigod: 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.


I agree, with one quibble. The NSA isn't (or shouldn't) really be trying to fight domestic crime.

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.


I think that the data they need is a pretty big point. I won't say they need their data to fight the nebulous "war on terror", but I will say that they need to gather information detect threats to us and our allies. This information must be kept secret.

We really wouldn't want them to have a big, obvious hole in their surveillance, so they have to have the capability to monitor domestic traffic. This isn't a constitutional violation if done right (like wiretapping). They should be very careful about when and how they do so, and they should answer to internal audits about this. Heck, put all their employees through regular lie detector tests and financial audits, if you like. But I just don't think public oversight is a reasonable solution given the kind of data we're asking them to gather. And, no matter what internal audits we put in place, there will be violations.
 
2013-08-21 05:11:43 PM

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

When you're talking to Congress and you lie, that's called "lying to Congress." Even if your intended target for the lie was the American people instead of Congress, it's still technically lying to Congress.


He didn't just lie.

He lied under oath.

This is a felony, and he wasn't even fired, much less prosecuted.
 
2013-08-21 05:18:59 PM

Outrageous Muff: Lando Lincoln: It's not like they were illegally doing this years ago and once they were found out to be doing it, just changed the laws to make it legal.

No, no, our government would never do anything like that.

Guess what. Governments have been spying on each other since the one cave found another cave and wanted to know what they were up too.  Your complete lack of understanding is this basic realm of international relations is stunning, but not unexpected.


Ah, the old "It's always been this way, so it's OK" argument.  Usually the weapon of six-year-olds, right after they realize that "Because everybody else is doing it" isn't a legitimate argument, either.

Some civics, history, and critical thinking courses would do you good.
 
2013-08-21 05:21:00 PM

Ned Stark: For the Nthe time, yes I dispute thode statements. "All information anyone on the internet generates" is not nessecary information.


Who was saying that the NSA should have "all information anyone on the internet generates?" I believe the article stated that they have the capability to access 75% of the information on the internet.

If the NSA did not have the capability to access information on the internet, that would be a pretty big hole in their surveillance. I'm hoping that no-one's arguing that they shouldn't have the capability.

I believe that the NSA should have the capability to look for intelligence on the internet if they have reason to believe that it might lead to detection of a threat against us or our allies. I suspect that "75% of the internet" means "everything that is completely public", in which case I'm even more in favor of them having the capability to look.
 
2013-08-21 05:21:51 PM

BullBearMS: [Excellent links to coverage of Obama's BS]


Just want to say thanks for bringing good information to these threads. You're farkied in green.

/ran a link aggregation site of Bush administration abuses in the 2000s
//thinking about firing it up again for Obama
 
2013-08-21 05:24:13 PM

robbiex0r: Lando Lincoln: draypresct: Just out of curiosity - can anyone in this thread think of a solution? One where we collect all the intelligence we need?

Yeah, I do. Don't collect the data. And stop giving a terrorists a reason to hate us. Imagine all of the money and lives we'd save if we stopped spying on everyone AND pulled our troops out of the middle east. We'd be rolling in the dough.

So much this. It's pretty obvious they don't hate us for our Freedoms(tm). They hate us for doing what America has done for 70+ years.


i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-21 05:24:16 PM

BullBearMS: Lando Lincoln: nmrsnr: "Lying to Congress" is the crime, "lying to the American people" isn't, that's called politics.

When you're talking to Congress and you lie, that's called "lying to Congress." Even if your intended target for the lie was the American people instead of Congress, it's still technically lying to Congress.

He didn't just lie.

He lied under oath.

This is a felony, and he wasn't even fired, much less prosecuted.


True, he committed a felony. He was given the choice between lying under oath or revealing confidential information. Either way, he'd be committing a felony.
 
2013-08-21 05:25:14 PM

Mugato: Lando Lincoln: Technology gives us tools to spy on people and it also gives us tools to stop people from spying on us.

Do you really thing the latter will ever outweigh the former?


Outweigh? No. But it doesn't need to.
 
2013-08-21 05:25:46 PM

Evil High Priest: mediablitz: nmrsnr: Voiceofreason01: lying to congress is a crime

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.

I'm embarrassed whenever anyone trots out the "Clapper lied!!!" silliness. His response is online, in PDF form. He misunderstood a question. He's really old. He clarified as soon as he realized he misunderstood.

You do know he had the question in hand, in writing, the day before the hearing, right? If he really is that incompetent, he needs to be replaced immediately.


It wouldn't matter how well in advance he had the question if he thought the question was about something else entirely.
 
2013-08-21 05:26:22 PM

brantgoose: Let's see if I understand what they are saying:
{lots of stuff}


1> your premise is sound
2> you know very little about computers... it's not RAM but Hard/Flash drive space you meant to say - two different animals
3> The computer that sent the men to the moon was actually compared in power to a Commodore 64 (an 8bit computer not a 16bit computer like the 286) and only ran at 1MhZ (aprox).
4> Enemy of the State was a great movie.
 
2013-08-21 05:28:12 PM

draypresct: True, he committed a felony. He was given the choice between lying under oath or revealing confidential information. Either way, he'd be committing a felony.


I'm thinking that telling the truth is the better of the two options. But he chose the worse one. He wouldn't have revealed confidential information. He would have confirmed it.
 
2013-08-21 05:28:47 PM

robbiex0r: Lando Lincoln: draypresct: Just out of curiosity - can anyone in this thread think of a solution? One where we collect all the intelligence we need?

Yeah, I do. Don't collect the data. And stop giving a terrorists a reason to hate us. Imagine all of the money and lives we'd save if we stopped spying on everyone AND pulled our troops out of the middle east. We'd be rolling in the dough.

So much this. It's pretty obvious they don't hate us for our Freedoms(tm). They hate us for doing what America has done for 70+ years.


Do you think you can put together a list of things we can do that would make everyone with the capability to attack us stop hating us? Even in countries that like us, where most of the citizens have a favorable view of us, there are groups that hate us.

I can't even think of how we'd be able to get everyone _inside_ the US to approve of our government and society, let alone everyone in the world.
 
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