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(Washington Post)   NSA can record every single call from a foreign nation -- and has   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 45
    More: PSA, NSA, phone calls, public switched telephone network, Christopher Soghoian, u.s. national, surveillance programs, address book, Mystic  
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1597 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Mar 2014 at 2:21 PM (19 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-03-18 12:58:39 PM
Glad I invested in one of these:

i59.tinypic.com

Since there aren't any full-time dittyboppers left, the chances of them being able to figure out what I'm saying are minimal, and if I use NVIS techniques, the chances they can locate me via HF/DF are minimal also:

https://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm24-18.pdf

/Only half-kidding.
//Radio like that is actually more secure than any phone or computer, if combined with strong manual encryption.
///And the brains to "talk and scoot".
 
2014-03-18 01:00:45 PM

dittybopper: Since there aren't any full-time dittyboppers left, the chances of them being able to figure out what I'm saying are minimal, and if I use NVIS techniques, the chances they can locate me via HF/DF are minimal also:


Now if only you had someone to talk to ;)
 
2014-03-18 01:04:17 PM
The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009

It's just a coincidence that the NSA busted the Nixon campaign trying to cut a deal with the North Vietnamese back in 1968 by - wait for it - recording all their phone calls.
 
2014-03-18 01:51:01 PM

Marcus Aurelius: dittybopper: Since there aren't any full-time dittyboppers left, the chances of them being able to figure out what I'm saying are minimal, and if I use NVIS techniques, the chances they can locate me via HF/DF are minimal also:

Now if only you had someone to talk to ;)


Well, I've filled out a full page and a half of my logbook with that radio in the week and a half that I've had it, so I'm thinking that finding people to talk to won't be all that hard.

In fact, because my antenna setup at home is pretty much an NVIS antenna on 40 and 80 meters, I've been making plenty of "local" contacts, like VE2PID in Sherbrooke, QC and W1AW/8 in Ohio.

Since you are so interested, though, here are the times that automated ham radio stations have copied my signal with that radio:


FREQUENCY MODE CALL   RXGRID  DATE      ZTIME   TX CALL      TXGRID
14.062600, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140312, 123200, dittybopper, FN33
14.051700, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140312, 124655, dittybopper, FN33
14.061700, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140312, 200000, dittybopper, FN33
 3.549100, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140313, 024701, dittybopper, FN33
 3.526400, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140313, 030816, dittybopper, FN33
 7.052000, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140313, 165132, dittybopper, FN33
14.060700, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140313, 183200, dittybopper, FN33
14.060600, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140313, 184800, dittybopper, FN33
 7.056700, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140313, 185000, dittybopper, FN33
 7.056800, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140313, 190340, dittybopper, FN33
 7.054700, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140313, 200656, dittybopper, FN33
 7.055500, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140315, 184501, dittybopper, FN33
 7.051800, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140315, 205358, dittybopper, FN33
 3.561500, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 012817, dittybopper, FN33
 3.561000, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 023646, dittybopper, FN33
 3.552900, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 030940, dittybopper, FN33
 3.553000, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140316, 031100, dittybopper, FN33
14.039700, CW, KJ4SPG,FM05dm, 20140316, 145508, dittybopper, FN33
 7.055900, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 150213, dittybopper, FN33
 7.062000, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 170923, dittybopper, FN33
14.037700, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140316, 173200, dittybopper, FN33
 3.531500, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 232026, dittybopper, FN33
 3.566100, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 234047, dittybopper, FN33
 3.527600, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140316, 235618, dittybopper, FN33
 7.051000, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140317, 021000, dittybopper, FN33
 7.050800, CW, KK1D  ,FN31vi, 20140317, 021051, dittybopper, FN33
 7.051000, CW, W4DJW ,EM84ux, 20140317, 022000, dittybopper, FN33


I've replaced my actual callsign with "dittybopper" and I truncated my grid square.  I also took out a whole bunch of repetitive info like country, etc.
 
2014-03-18 02:46:57 PM
Anyone else a fan of Person of Interest?

Finch and Reese just had a big fight over the machine on how he should have never built it. It made more problems than it solved, Reese thought.

Not exactly the easiest thing to figure out.
 
2014-03-18 03:10:08 PM
But they wouldn't use it within our borders, of course.
 
2014-03-18 03:12:16 PM
So what country?
 
2014-03-18 03:13:02 PM
Most Transparent Administration Evar!!
 
2014-03-18 03:23:34 PM
The clever bastard angle would be to set something akin to Watson on the audio and look for business information that could be used to make options on stock and commodity movements. There will be a hundred times as many market moves predictable from this information than terrorists, who have learned a goodly amount of paranoia.
 
2014-03-18 03:45:08 PM

Dinki: So what country?


Total Informational Awareness. Total.
 
2014-03-18 03:47:04 PM
Again, why is this surprising to some people?
 
2014-03-18 03:47:43 PM
While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)
 
2014-03-18 03:48:44 PM
A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine


With helpful picture of the wizard they presumably hired for time-travel consulting.


www.washingtonpost.com
 
2014-03-18 03:52:15 PM

Best Princess Celestia: Again, why is this surprising to some people?


They are not info junkies like me, maybe? I've had people tell me the internet won't lead to revolution and I say to them have you ever heard of the printing press or know anything about its history. They reply "What has that got to do with anything?" Can you believe that!?!
 
2014-03-18 03:53:41 PM

neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)


For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.
 
2014-03-18 04:27:50 PM

dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.


My brother is currently in the USAF as a Russian linguist who translates the Russian comms and a bunch of other stuff he can't talk about, and he's currently based in MD, and is working closely with the guys at Fort Meade. With the current tensions, I'm sure he has a lot of stuff on his plate right now.

One thing to keep in mind with things like this is that in some ways it keeps the world more peaceful. When other nations are a big black box and no one on our side knows what is going on, generals get paranoid and trigger fingers get twitchy because you assume the worst. Being able to gather enough intel to get a fairly good idea if what the other side is thinking and doing goes a long way toward easing tensions and keeping things from getting out of hand. Hopefully, a lot of intelligence work will keep the Ukraine situation from escalating to something far worse.
 
2014-03-18 04:49:00 PM

dittybopper: I've replaced my actual callsign with "dittybopper" and I truncated my grid square. I also took out a whole bunch of repetitive info like country, etc.


I almost only worked CW when I was an active HAM but I have to tell you, after the initial excitement of making DX contacts with a sub 5watt HF rig (mostly 10m, often mobile CW from parking lots), I got bored really fast.

Maybe things have changed in the last 10 years but I'm guessing it's the same old dudes wanting to give me a quick signal report, weather report, and health report.

Admittedly, it's a little tricky having a meaningful conversation via CW.

As to your Boobies, we had machines that copied code very well back in the 80s. I'm sure that tech has advanced by leaps and bounds.  And HFDF was always laughably shiatty. Still, given time it's easy enough to track down any radiating signal and the FCC has proved this repeatedly.
 
2014-03-18 04:53:29 PM

dittybopper: Glad I invested in one of these:

[i59.tinypic.com image 630x600]

Since there aren't any full-time dittyboppers left, the chances of them being able to figure out what I'm saying are minimal, and if I use NVIS techniques, the chances they can locate me via HF/DF are minimal also:

https://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm24-18.pdf

/Only half-kidding.
//Radio like that is actually more secure than any phone or computer, if combined with strong manual encryption.
///And the brains to "talk and scoot".



TRIPPY!

i built one of those and still have it.  Kewl!   2 watts of CW Power!
 
2014-03-18 04:55:22 PM
It's North Korea. And they recorded both of the cell phone calls.
 
2014-03-18 04:56:15 PM

James Rieper: But they wouldn't use it within our borders, of course.


Hey now, according to the NSA defenders, they would never be able to listen to all of our calls and we are boring, so why should we care?
 
2014-03-18 04:58:30 PM

cman: Anyone else a fan of Person of Interest?

Finch and Reese just had a big fight over the machine on how he should have never built it. It made more problems than it solved, Reese thought.

Not exactly the easiest thing to figure out.


Certainly one of the more clever shows out there. It's my don't miss show.

Spouse watches The Good Wife, whose writers haven't seen a technology oriented topic it hasn't repurposed for the show. Sure, more fantasy oriented solutions on that one, but all the same addressing the issues on NSA spying I've been shouting about for years. The NSA subplot on there now is a little too much God in the machine for my tastes, but at least they're taking a whack at it.
 
2014-03-18 05:05:31 PM

machoprogrammer: James Rieper: But they wouldn't use it within our borders, of course.

Hey now, according to the NSA defenders, they would never be able to listen to all of our calls and we are boring, so why should we care?


Because they cant

The call buffer opens a door "into the past," the summary says, enabling users to "retrieve audio of interest that was not tasked at the time of the original call." Analysts listen to only a fraction of 1 percent of the calls, but the absolute numbers are high. Each month, they send millions of voice clippings, or "cuts," for processing and long-term storage.

So they can store data for a month, and only actually listen to a fraction of 1%.

It is also just for a specific country, so yeah, you're still wrong and every non-insane person still right.
 
2014-03-18 05:13:47 PM
No


Strings


Attached
 
2014-03-18 05:15:10 PM
static5.businessinsider.com
 
2014-03-18 05:19:29 PM

Linux_Yes: [static5.businessinsider.com image 850x455]


Think there's a firewall between the two middle buildings?

A Chinese firewall, perhaps?
 
2014-03-18 05:28:54 PM
As long as they aren't seeing what I see in my Skype video calls, I'm OK with that.
 
2014-03-18 05:28:55 PM

Marcus Aurelius: The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009

It's just a coincidence that the NSA busted the Nixon campaign trying to cut a deal with the North Vietnamese back in 1968 by - wait for it - recording all their phone calls.


So the NSA caused a pointless war to continue on for 6 more years?

Sounds like nothing has changed.
 
2014-03-18 06:03:37 PM

lostcat: As long as they aren't seeing what I see in my Skype video calls, I'm OK with that.


The ones I saw weren't that impressive.
 
2014-03-18 06:05:19 PM
yo, can we turn this into entertainment? i'd pay $5 a month for middle-east subscriber package 4.

wait, scratch that.

hot swedes babes lines package 5.
 
2014-03-18 06:31:53 PM
The NSA has been trying to Hoover any and all signals going through the airwaves since at least the 1960's, it wasn't until the 21st Century that they had all the technology in place to make the effort practical and worthwhile.
 
2014-03-18 07:51:26 PM

dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.


I did the exact same thing, except in the AF. 87-94.
 
2014-03-18 07:55:16 PM

andyofne: dittybopper: I've replaced my actual callsign with "dittybopper" and I truncated my grid square. I also took out a whole bunch of repetitive info like country, etc.

I almost only worked CW when I was an active HAM but I have to tell you, after the initial excitement of making DX contacts with a sub 5watt HF rig (mostly 10m, often mobile CW from parking lots), I got bored really fast.

Maybe things have changed in the last 10 years but I'm guessing it's the same old dudes wanting to give me a quick signal report, weather report, and health report.

Admittedly, it's a little tricky having a meaningful conversation via CW.


Well, it's not *THAT* hard.  Yesterday on the way home from work I had a nice, long 45 minute ragchew with a guy in Waco, TX.   While I was driving.

And you have to remember that many countries have pretty strict regulations on what hams can communicate, combined with everyone wanting to talk to them, and often language issues, and you can see why the contacts might be somewhat limited.

But I think you are looking at it the wrong way:  The medium *IS* the message.

As to your Boobies, we had machines that copied code very well back in the 80s. I'm sure that tech has advanced by leaps and bounds.  And HFDF was always laughably shiatty. Still, given time it's easy enough to track down any radiating signal and the FCC has proved this repeatedly.

Actually, I was in the SIGINT business in the 1980's, and it was my specific job to copy Morse code, and I had the best technology available from the US government to copy Morse, and the automated OOK (On-Off Keying) modem was unmitigated *shiat*.  It could copy a really strong signal that was steady (ie., automated stations), and that was about it.  Anything that was hand-keyed would really throw it for a loop.

Now, today, we do have much better stuff.  Heck, look at that list of times I was heard by *AUTOMATED* ham radio stations.  And I was doing QRP.  Now, they know where I was based upon my callsign, so them reporting a 6 digit Maidenhead grid square for me is no big deal, they pull it from the FCC database.  But if I weren't using my callsign, it would be worthless.  Also, if I purposely 'slurred' my code and changed speed up and down,  I'm pretty sure that I could still befuddle an automated system, but it would still be readable, if annoying, to a competent CW op.

Also, it's easy to track down a stationary signal.  It's much, much harder to track down one that changes position all the time, and that doesn't transmit on a regular schedule.

Plus, you can't DF a signal that isn't there.  Unlike with a cell phone, a radio transceiver doesn't give away its position when it's not being used to transmit.  Well, you *COULD* listen for the VFO, but that's something you won't hear very far with even the most sensitive equipment.  And you have no way of knowing, in an urban environment, which signal is the right one.
 
2014-03-18 07:58:01 PM

SBinRR: dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.

I did the exact same thing, except in the AF. 87-94.


I was in from 85 to 89.  You didn't happen to be stationed in Hawaii, did you?
 
2014-03-18 08:00:38 PM

dittybopper: SBinRR: dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.

I did the exact same thing, except in the AF. 87-94.

I was in from 85 to 89.  You didn't happen to be stationed in Hawaii, did you?


Elmendorf AK the entire time.
 
2014-03-18 08:09:35 PM

SBinRR: dittybopper: SBinRR: dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.

I did the exact same thing, except in the AF. 87-94.

I was in from 85 to 89.  You didn't happen to be stationed in Hawaii, did you?

Elmendorf AK the entire time.


Ah, OK.  I worked at Field Station Kunia, and we had Zoomies, Squids, and Jarheads in addition to us Army guys, which is why I asked.

/Didadidit, to Hell with it.
 
2014-03-18 08:13:06 PM

Linux_Yes: dittybopper: Glad I invested in one of these:

[i59.tinypic.com image 630x600]

Since there aren't any full-time dittyboppers left, the chances of them being able to figure out what I'm saying are minimal, and if I use NVIS techniques, the chances they can locate me via HF/DF are minimal also:

https://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm24-18.pdf

/Only half-kidding.
//Radio like that is actually more secure than any phone or computer, if combined with strong manual encryption.
///And the brains to "talk and scoot".


TRIPPY!

i built one of those and still have it.  Kewl!   2 watts of CW Power!



Are you still licensed?  I favorite ham Farkers because some day we're going to have another Fark QSO Party.  Probably Real Soon Now.
 
2014-03-18 08:38:49 PM

dittybopper: SBinRR: dittybopper: SBinRR: dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.

I did the exact same thing, except in the AF. 87-94.

I was in from 85 to 89.  You didn't happen to be stationed in Hawaii, did you?

Elmendorf AK the entire time.

Ah, OK.  I worked at Field Station Kunia, and we had Zoomies, Squids, and Jarheads in addition to us Army guys, which is why I asked.

/Didadidit, to Hell with it.


Ah yes.  I did go through Tech School at the combined school in Fort Devens.  I was in the first wave of AF students that went there.

Copying code was the best job I ever had.  Too bad it was fading away quickly even back then.
 
2014-03-18 08:39:46 PM

Mad_Radhu: dittybopper: neversubmit: While you're not my kind of nerd dittybopper you are my kind of people.  :)

For extra juiced-in goodness:  I used to work in the SIGINT business for the NSA (indirectly).  My job in the Army was to copy the Morse code radio transmissions of foreign nations.  Every single dit and dah that passed through my headphones and out my fingertips went to Ft. Meade.

My brother is currently in the USAF as a Russian linguist who translates the Russian comms and a bunch of other stuff he can't talk about, and he's currently based in MD, and is working closely with the guys at Fort Meade. With the current tensions, I'm sure he has a lot of stuff on his plate right now.

One thing to keep in mind with things like this is that in some ways it keeps the world more peaceful. When other nations are a big black box and no one on our side knows what is going on, generals get paranoid and trigger fingers get twitchy because you assume the worst. Being able to gather enough intel to get a fairly good idea if what the other side is thinking and doing goes a long way toward easing tensions and keeping things from getting out of hand. Hopefully, a lot of intelligence work will keep the Ukraine situation from escalating to something far worse.


Absolutely.  Gentlemen do indeed read each other's mail, if they can.
 
2014-03-18 09:09:53 PM
Since I'm enjoying this friendly chatter between morse-code SIGINT wonks, I feel it somewhat awkward to bring up subby's point, which doesn't seem to have been well-addressed.

Specifically, that the NSA archives every telephone call between the US and another country. I'm not sure what subby wanted to highlight -- I mean, that specific activity is a well-known and long-relied-upon part of the NSA's charter. Is there some scandal to be uncovered here? Or is subby just stirring the pot, maybe?

I'm totally OK with NSA doing what we pay them to do. The other stuff, not so much. But in any case I think subby might wanna just just switch off the Coast To Coast twaddle.
 
2014-03-18 10:09:15 PM

KerwoodDerby: Since I'm enjoying this friendly chatter between morse-code SIGINT wonks, I feel it somewhat awkward to bring up subby's point, which doesn't seem to have been well-addressed.

Specifically, that the NSA archives every telephone call between the US and another country. I'm not sure what subby wanted to highlight -- I mean, that specific activity is a well-known and long-relied-upon part of the NSA's charter. Is there some scandal to be uncovered here? Or is subby just stirring the pot, maybe?

I'm totally OK with NSA doing what we pay them to do. The other stuff, not so much. But in any case I think subby might wanna just just switch off the Coast To Coast twaddle.


That's not how I read it.  As I understood the article, they recorded every phone call in, to, and from a foreign country.  The United States wasn't necessarily in any way involved in any of those calls.  While I get that a citizen of another country isn't protected by our right to privacy, with no filters on this collection, it's possible that non-targeted American citizens were in fact spied on by it.  Whether that happened or not, or whether a human ever actually listened to an American's call without a warrant is beside the point.  The capability is clearly there and it's going much too far for far too little.
 
2014-03-18 10:30:18 PM
 
2014-03-18 11:57:33 PM

BullBearMS: Even more interesting to me, today the former Speaker of the House admitted to being afraid of the CIA:;

"I salute Sen. Feinstein," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference of the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I'll tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you're a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly. Not without evidence, and when I say evidence, documentation of what it is that she is putting forth."

Pelosi added that she has always fought for checks and balances on CIA activity and its interactions with Congress: "You don't fight it without a price because they come after you and they don't always tell the truth.

It's past time to admit the three letter agencies are out of control and need a very large budget cut.


On the other hand I can't wait to read these Congress stooges skeletons that are about to come out.
 
2014-03-19 12:05:45 AM

Intrepid00: BullBearMS: Even more interesting to me, today the former Speaker of the House admitted to being afraid of the CIA:;

"I salute Sen. Feinstein," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference of the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I'll tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you're a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly. Not without evidence, and when I say evidence, documentation of what it is that she is putting forth."

Pelosi added that she has always fought for checks and balances on CIA activity and its interactions with Congress: "You don't fight it without a price because they come after you and they don't always tell the truth.

It's past time to admit the three letter agencies are out of control and need a very large budget cut.

On the other hand I can't wait to read these Congress stooges skeletons that are about to come out.


If we didn't already know they are willing to lie to Congress under oath, so they are not the least bit believable?
 
2014-03-19 07:53:49 AM

Arumat: That's not how I read it.  As I understood the article, they recorded every phone call in, to, and from a foreign country.  The United States wasn't necessarily in any way involved in any of those calls.  While I get that a citizen of another country isn't protected by our right to privacy, with no filters on this collection, it's possible that non-targeted American citizens were in fact spied on by it.  Whether that happened or not, or whether a human ever actually listened to an American's call without a warrant is beside the point.  The capability is clearly there and it's going much too far for far too little.


That's true:  United States Persons *COULD* be intercepted, but even back when I was in that wasn't a block.  Back when I was in the assumption was that any communication between two entities outside the United States weren't United States Persons, unless you could prove otherwise.

So say you are listening to a phone conversation in, say, German, with one end in Germany and in one, say, Austria.  You wouldn't assume that either entities involved was a US Person until you heard some evidence that showed they were a US Person.  Maybe one of them mentions they have to contact the US Embassy to renew their passport.   Then you've got good evidence that the person is a US Person, and you have to stop monitoring, unless, of course, it is decided that monitoring should continue, in which a FISA warrant would be applied for.

But unless something like that happens, you can't just assume that every phone call in a foreign country involves a protected US Person.   And today, when you can simply go pick up a phone for cash and start using it without a name or physical address associated with the number, it's nigh on impossible to figure out who might be a US Person overseas unless there is some specific evidence.

I think that's actually fairly reasonable, and it can even be considered analogous to the "border exception" to the Fourth Amendment right against search and seizure.
 
2014-03-19 03:06:28 PM

dittybopper: I think that's actually fairly reasonable, and it can even be considered analogous to the "border exception" to the Fourth Amendment right against search and seizure.


I think we'll have to disagree on that.  It's still a constitutional violation, and if you didn't have any expectation of privacy during a phone call there would be no reason for wiretapping laws.

I don't think the border exception is reasonable either.  If they can't articulate a good enough reason for a judge to issue a warrant, they have no business searching your vehicle, person, or other possessions.   It'snot as though FISA places a very high standard on it anyway.  Just roll the border searches under their umbrella and have a judge or two on standby with a fax machine to send the document over.  There has to be a paper trail of some sort generated that can be used as evidence when the inevitable abuses occur, otherwise average citizens won't have much to protect themselves with.

I've said this before, too, but unless they authorized the NSA to try it I don't see how the country this was done in wouldn't consider it an act of war or at least play it that way in the media.
 
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