It’s hard to keep up with all the NSA revelations but this seems significant:
The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens’ email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian by Edward Snowden.
The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans’ communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing “warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans”.
As Atrios pointed out the other day, it’s not clear at all that this major secret invasion of privacy is doing much to stop terrorism. Now that these agencies are under pressure, they’re trotting out stories about the use of this massive apparatus to “catch terrorists”:
He was a San Diego cab driver who fled Somalia as a teenager, winning asylum in the United States after he was wounded during fighting among warring tribes. Today, Basaaly Moalin, 36, is awaiting sentencing following his conviction on charges that he sent $8,500 to Somalia in support of the terrorist group al-Shabab.
As the story points out, it’s questionable whether NSA intelligence was necessary to break up this massive terror plot. If you think the invasion of privacy is not a major issue, shouldn’t you at least be pissed that the program is looking like a giant boondoggle?
Everything is going to be OK because 0 said so. Please there’s nothing to see here and please go away;)
Everything is on schedule, please move along.
More of the same from The Guardian and Greenwald. It’s the same approach of obfuscating the fact that there is always POTENTIAL for someone to do something nefarious and actual evidence of this behavior:
If you think the NSA is using these technique to spy on Americans because they’re a-holes, then you’re never going to like ANYTHING that the NSA does.
I, on the other hand, happen to believe that the NSA is an agency with genuinely concerned folks who are trying to protect our country.
All that fixing leads to point to a parallel, legal, discovery kinda screws you when your illegal means gets caught out.
In not ONE of these “leaks” by Snowden and Greenwald was there evidence or proof of the NSA abusing these powers.
Each one of these programs is designed to catch terrorists, not peep into your private business.
If you are arguing that the NSA sucks, that’s one thing. But these repetitive releases by The Guardian are showing nothing new.
The NSA’s unbounded search capabilities are being used collaboratively with law enforcement agencies to fraudulently circumvent the 4th Amendment (especially the probable cause threshold). Whenever law enforcement wants to aggressively pursue an NSA-generated lead, they’ve been retroactively confabulating the basis for getting any warrants or supporting any searches or arrests, and presenting any requisite facts as those acquired from a fictitious legal vantage point.
Law enforcement agencies are NOT informing courts of the connection between their acquisition of evidence/search/arrest warrants and the NSA database, but instead are committing outright perjury and obstruction of justice.
Draft Ladar (Independent) for Montana Senator in ’14.
Is WHAT worth it? What are you giving up?
Do you REALLY believe that every Web site you go to is not already collecting your information from cookies and Web logs?
The naivety I’ve witnessed around the “horrors” of electronic data collection is like watching the battle between the enlightened 21st century technologists and those living in the dark ages.
As I read the article, it says that the “backdoor” is that NSA will now be allowed to use U.S. persons’ names and identifiers (like phone numbers) as “queries” in searches, once procedures and protocols have been adopted. I’m not an tech expert, but it seems like that means that, previously, the NSA couldn’t search for for the word “mistermix,” but will now be able to do so. However, the “backdoor” does not eliminate the restriction that the NSA’s database cannot target U.S. persons, but only foreign persons.
Is that correct?
@cmorenc: In other words, if you wish to commit a crime or act of terrorism, just use the Internet because bed-wetters like yourself are happy to have your activity go completely undetected in the name of “privacy”.
@mk3872: So how exactly would you define “abuse”? The very existence of these databases could be considered abusive. This parallel construction bullshit is abusive and likely illegal.
Who are you? Are you sure you’re in the right place? Maybe you took a wrong turn back there somewhere?
@Baud: It’s just classic Greenwald/Guardian. Because Snowden & Greenwald hate the NSA and spying, every program that they see as a “potential” for abuse is reported as an actual abuse. This has been the tactic they’ve been using since starting this Jihad against the NSA. Even the story itself says it provides the “potential” without those protocols being in place.
@me: Web sites already track this data, which is why the NSA wants to use it to look for bad guys. Is that illegal? It has not been proven to be illegal so far.
@Linda Featheringill: I am your worst nightmare
@mk3872: Hush. You’re making sense.
Keep fucking that Chicken Little (“the sky is watching”).
And to be clear, the Guardian story has to do with the NSA’s program for surveilling foreign targets, while the Atrios story is about the collection of telephone metadata. It does seem like the benefits of the metadata collection are trumped up. I haven’t seen what, if anything, the NSA has said with regard to the benefits of the first program.
@mk3872: I never said collecting the info was illegal just could be considered abusive. Parallel construction is illegal:
“Court decisions going back decades hold that prosecutors in the United States have a responsibility to turn over to a defendant any information that they or police have that is material to establishing the defendant’s guilt or innocence. The responsibility is known as the government’s Brady obligations, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1963 ruling in the case of Brady v. Maryland.”
I don’t mind the debate and would like to see reforms, but I like to be as precise as possible, and it doesn’t seem like these stories about the NSA are very precise. And, to be fair, I also do think the NSA probably overhypes the benefits of these programs (esp. the metadata collection), so I don’t take their spin at face value either.
Villago Delenda Est
If the NSA were using these techniques against the powerful, against guys like the Kochs and bankster thief Jamie Dimon, we might see some Village outrage.
But they’ll only be used against Muslim cab drivers, so no big whoop.
I also think the use of the term “backdoor” when the writer means legal “loophole” is inaccurate and misleading. While I generally support Wyden’s efforts, he didn’t help with clarity when he said this:
Not sure if this was mentioned anywhere before, but it looks like the US government is starting to shut down e-mail services that allow PGP-encrypted mailing:
Lavabit Shut Down
Also, another such service, Silent Circle, shut itself down as well.
If you want well-encrypted e-mail, roll your own PGP before it’s too late, folks! Yeah, it’s a pain, and you need anybody you’re mailing to to implement the same. But, it is much more secure and pretty much uncrackable unless they spend an inordinate amount of resources trying to crack it.
If you want privacy, it’s pretty much the last option.
One software option to implement this is GnuPG:
GNU Privacy Guard
The more people who do this, the more the US gov is ineffective at its spying.
Down with Big Brother!
Did you read the document? My god, it is vague. It also forbids the use of this vaguely defined power to use ‘certain’ US person names as searches. There is no mention that this is allowed without a warrant, but since this is part of the overseas information search system warrants might not be required anyway.
This is very possible, and is classic bureaucratic behavior. The intelligence community (all the three-letter agencies) isn’t a scarily smooth well-oiled machine: it acts a lot more like a bunch of five year olds fighting over toys in a sandbox, and stupid turf wars and empire building are pretty much par for the course.
The control over this is supposed to be the House Intelligence Committee. Despite what a lot of lefties seem to assume, the fact that the House of Representatives is under the control of a bunch of nihilistic ideologues is not some annoying little detail. I’d like to see the laws completely overhauled to something like the EU system, but the chances of any sane reform happening with this congress are zip to none.
I also hear that many police departments also have armaments and practices that would allow them to potentially be a threat to the federal government. Running around yelling “There may be wolves! There may be wolves! Wolves exist!” is getting a little old and grating and counterproductive. And that’s to someone that actually cares about the issues and is rather traditionally fond of the Guard.
My worst nightmare is waking up in a nursing home where they don’t pay attention to my needs and not being able to remember how the hell I got there.
Should we panic now?
C’mon. If you want to say that U.S. actions caused Lavabit to shut itself down, fine. But what you said is just false.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, given the current state of the House, this name is poorly chosen. Because anyone with an R behind their name isn’t intelligent, by definition.
What it all comes down to is that Brazil Boy objects to the creation of any technical system that could ever be used to learn information even AFTER a criminal event because Freedom and information taking wings, unless it is criminals talking, then it is sacrosanct. Then, like the sniveling, cowardly, destructive asshole he is, would sit on a chaise lounge slurping a caipirinha while getting a massage from the pool boy while chuckling over the destruction his policy desires wreaked on men, women and children.
Fuck that racist, incompetent, nihilist cocksucker with a rusty chainsaw.
Villago Delenda Est
ZOMG! That Zucker shitstain is posting here!
Would this qualify as a “giant boondoggle?”
Here’s Wyden quoted at the end of the article (it’s always at the end):
Wyden told the Guardian that he raised concerns about the loophole with President Obama during an August 1 meeting with legislators about the NSA’s surveillance powers.
“I believe that Congress should reform Section 702 to provide better protections for Americans’ privacy, and that this could be done without losing the value that this collection provides,” he said.
Doesn’t sound especially alarmist to me.
I’ve got one for the hysteria crowd: Snowden claimed that he could read the communications of anyone for whom he had an email address — anyone, judges, even the “president himself”. Instead of revealing Powerpoint presos and miscellaneous documents, why didn’t he just hack a supreme court justice’s email with his unsupervised, warrantless NSA powers, copy some harmless communications that clearly reveals the justice’s identity, and publish those with a “See what I could do in 15 minutes with Justice Scalia’s email? Think what I and thousands of NSA analysts could do with your data.”
But of course he didn’t do that.
That’s just plain gay, and not in the good way.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, it’s a boondoggle, but the champion boondoggle is still the total waste of time and treasure known as SDI.
I said in a thread last night that one reason I didn’t support the Amash amendment was because it was an appropriations rider. Those aren’t permanent fixes. They have to be renewed every year, and my guess is they would stop getting renewed once President Christie is sworn in.
You have to assume NSA and law enforcement are doing the worst things imaginable with this info. We know NSA is sharing data illegally with other agencies. But what’s the worst thing they can do? They’re doing it, I just can’t imagine what it is.
And I have to assume that you’re a moron.
No, but it sure as Hell qualifies as shitty reporting. It’s the person visited who claims this is done all the time, not the government. The search wasn’t done by the NSA, it was done by the local police because the company he works for thought the web searches on their computers by an employee who travels overseas a lot were suspicious. That company reported him. But nine tenths of the article is speculation about how this is actually NSA’s web searching protocols.
EDIT – Oh, and the scary photograph is of course from an entirely different event.
Alright, regardless of the topic on any thread this is profoundly stupid “I am your worst nightmare”. mkwhatever is a jerk. But most readers knew this…I just felt the need to note this.
Ahhaaahhaaaahaaaa!!!! Why don’t you head on over to ArsTechnica and see what REAL 21st century technologists think about the US gov’s actions. They’d tear you a new one! These guys are the real thing. I encourage everyone to go over there and look at the comments on any of the front-page stories regarding this stuff!
The question (as you sure as hell know) is not that a little bit of information is transferred when you visit a frickin’ website. It’s the mass collection of such information, your e-mails, your phone calls, your cell phone location data, etc., into GOVERNMENT facilities, with no probable cause that you’ve committed a crime. That is illegal according to the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. That Amendment deals with what the GOVERNMENT can do–not what companies can do–and you are purposefully trying to equate the situations, and thereby are misdirecting folks.
But, go ahead and wipe the Constitution with your arse, you treasonous bastard (assuming you live in the USA).
Nobody else should even listen to this guy. He doesn’t value your constitutional rights and is trying to steer you away from them.
They’re using it to select victims for Obama’s death panels?
Really. Under what theory?
Asberger’s afflicted libertarians who vote for Ron Paul, shun human contact and are fearful that real eyes will tumble onto their hentai porno collection?
pretty exhaustive diary from kos:
This stuck out for me: ” I am still not convinced that there was no government involvement in this case either because I think it’s odd for an employer to be monitoring its employees for Homeland Security red flag search terms.”
@Villago Delenda Est:
You keep trotting out this canard, and you haven’t yet provided a comprehensible case for a single violation of any currently applicable Federal criminal statute by either of the Messrs. Koch or Mr. Dimon.
I call. PUOSU.
I wonder if the “oh, no, DRONEZ” crowd would be unhappy there are probably more than a few drones looking for a presumably kidnapped 16 year old in the Idaho wilderness.
Point being: Any technology can be abused; been that way since Urg saw a sharpened stick can be used not only to collect food, but to off Org for ogling his woman. Complaints about could possibly be done with any technology is little more than being a Luddite.
That’s just an out-and-out lie. Both Lavabit and Silent Circle voluntarily ceased operations. Silent Circle ceased operations in response to an entirely hypothetical threat that may never materialize.
Having law enforcement and security services use effective tools.
See, as government agencies, they’re supposed to be incompetent. Take away the technical means because they might be abused, then it can all be privatized after an attack happens and government is shown to be unable to learn anything.
There’s profit to be made under constimatooshinal libertarianism, if you just know how to apply it.
Don’t you mean “wipe your ass with the Constitution”?
Your way sounds difficult.
Seems to me the problem isn’t so much what they say they’re doing with the data as what we worry they might do with the data.
When you get right down to it, I don’t much care if the police partner with the Feds to go after Big Bads, whether the Big Bads are terrorists (domestic or foreign), drug lords, or financial robber barons.
I do care if they use the data to go after dissidents, refugees, people hiding from abusers, or political opponents.
But here’s the thing: the kind of government that would do that, would do that regardless of legality or safeguards. I was furious when Homeland Security was set up, when the first word of the NSA surveillance got out, and when it was clear the Bush Administration ignored the law whenever it wished because the Bush Administration was a rogue regime from the start.
I’m not an Obot, but I do trust the Obama Administration whole galaxies more than I trusted the Bush Administration. I know the Obama Administration isn’t going to criminalize dissent, or send in secret police to round up the usual suspects, or use surveillance information to instill a Soviet-style reign of fear.
I don’t necessarily trust a theoretical future Administration that much, and certainly not any Republican Administration. (Rather, I “trust” that a Republican Administration will abuse that power.)
But: they will anyway.
Doesn’t matter what the law says.
The technological capacity exists. The ability to use it secretly exists. A government bent on creating an authoritarian or totalitarian state will use the technology, regardless of what the law says. The only way to prevent that is to destroy the tech that enables it… which will happen just as soon as people stop using cell phones and the internet.
You can’t possibly be for real. And that’s not an especially good parody of the tinfoil-hat crowd.
Good thing for Filner that Urg doesn’t live in San Diego.
Any one in the security field want to chime in on vulnerabilities, controls, and risk management?
Tbogg has outdone himself on Filner stories. It’s a shame that New York doesn’t have a tbogg to rake over Weiner.
I assume that you can brief this point with ample references to actual court decisions that are on point and actually hold what you say they hold.
Understanding the distinction between what the law is and what you wish it were is a fundamental part of the toolkit for discussions like this. Doesn’t seem like you get that.
Villago Delenda Est
Did I mention any criminal investigations, of any sort?
Or you just reflexively defend the parasitical garbage that constitutes your clientele?
@Baud: I saw on the news last night that Filner’s out of rehab, guess he’s CURED.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
“ If you think the invasion of privacy is not a major issue, shouldn’t you at least be pissed that the program is looking like a giant boondoggle?”
Me and my NSA monitor were debating that very issue this morning.
@Villago Delenda Est:
You talking to him or me? Because those sound like several of my current clients.
I really need a vacation.
Any security experts want to weigh in here? For example, if the service provider that held your company’s valuable information had a perceived weakness, and had a businesses need for that information, what do you do?
@burnspbesq: This is an agency collecting data in secret based on secret interpretations of secret laws by secret courts. You don’t wonder what they’re up to? Why [email protected]burnspbesq:
@Botsplainer: I need some sleep.
@burnspbesq: Under the theory that the database will and has been used illegally. Which I pointed out but you ignored because it contradicts your firmly held belief.
It was a two week course and he left one week early! He’s like the Doogie Howser of sexual harassment.
Until he sees a woman bend down to tie her shoes, then he’s on her like a chihuahua on a throw pillow.
@Baud: I’m on board with privacy concerns. But the hype for a lot of these new leaks is just getting to me.
I think the average person will read this headline as saying that (a) warrantless searches are now allowed and (b) warrantless searches are now being carried out. And then in the body of the article we read,
I guess this wouldn’t be a good headline: Possible search of U.S. citizens’ data by NSA: Adequate oversight?.
@CaseyL: I basically agree with what you have said here, but isn’t it kind of equivalent to saying there’s no point having a Constitution in the first place?
I get confused by this whole issue, which seems to me a sequence of claims made by Snowden that all turn out on analysis to be exaggerated. The worst bit seems to be the claim that the NSA’s been feeding clues to the DEA, which they then falsify when they get before a judge. That seems to be exactly the sort of abuse that this technology enables, and to me, the fact that they’re concealing the chain of evidence from the courts means they know they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.
No, cause I knows the troof. It’s FEMA camps and Death Panels.
@mk3872: greeenwald didn’t write the fucking article you foaming at the mouth dimwitted fascist.
I’m assuming the worst since I have no reason to assume otherwise. Total secrecy of FISA Court rulings? Non-adversarial FISA Court hearings? Senators who I respect saying things aren’t completely aboveboard? Senators whose motives I question blowing it off? The Director of national intelligence lying to Congress about it?
I’m all for national security but never, ever should our rights privacy be abridged without a damn good reason and quite frankly I don’t see any reason near that magnitude.
This is a boondoggle of epic proportions, billions and billions being tossed into a pot so that every security agency in Washington can amass power that they shouldn’t have.
For the life of me I cannot understand why so many liberals support the idea that unchecked government surveillance is OK. Where did that come from?
@John Cole: Seem to be an infestation of those today.
Now that’s the right question. I’m not sure it is either. I think PRISM is, because from what I understand that’s being used by other law enforcement as well. So the Amber Alert we had the other day looking for a 16 year old girl likely would have resulted in a warrant by the FBI to monitor her Facebook/etc. to see where/if she checks in. That’s not a FISA warrant but one from a federal judge that won’t be classified. That’s worth having, but that’s very specific. This broad metadata collection has some value, but damn, it must be expensive as all get-out to do and they must be passing over a huge volume of stuff they feel they should look at but is simply impossible to get to. At best it provides them leads. The evidence comes from the specific stuff, and all of the foiled plots that I’ve heard of have been from specific intel – and as much of that from intel on the ground, not even from communications.
So, while I think it’s legal, I don’t think it’s worth it.
Davis X. Machina
Exciting though. Gotta admit that.
@Botsplainer: you too. Try to spend some time learning what a byline is.
Too young to be a student protestor during the 60s, and too old to be an Asberger’s afflicted techie Ron Paul voter living in the basement and worried about somebody coming across a suspicious hentai collection with Sailor Moon pornos.
In other words, I live in the real world, unlike those bozos.
@Davis X. Machina: Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
The obfuscation of the details of security laws like The Patriot Act and the FISA courts secret expansion of unfettered spying on everybody is what is pissing some folk off. Me I kind of figured that is what they had been doing all along and never liked it. While there may be a need for a high security court/legal system we expect that to maintain the ‘norms’ of our supposably free & open society. The FISA courts with the help of the AMUF & The Patriot Act essentially gutted our 4th Amendment.
Not a happy camper. Yea no doubt Obama is better than Romney would have been. That’s a Cheney v Obama comparison & I’ll choose Obama any day. I just wish there would have been more distance between the two. Such is the life of a liberal.
The NSA isn’t interfering with my day-to-day life.
I have only so outrage to burn worrying about global warming, Republican obstructionism on everything, income inequality and lord knows what else I need to be outraged about (drones?) that this isn’t high on my outrage meter right now.
Congress passed a bunch of intrusive laws 10 years ago.
The laws suck, but so do a lot of other laws on the books that probably have more impact on my day-to-day life, such as the lack of action from the U.S. government on labeling GMO foods or our screwed up agriculture subsidies that cause fruits and vegetables to be so damn expensive versus wheat and corn based processed foods.
John, the Guardian has basically gone all in on their effort to shore up Greenwald’s hyperbole and incompetence. They hired the idiot so they’re stuck with his wild conflation – what do you expect them to do? Run a correction? Apologize for him being a babbling, abrasive idiot?
No, they’re going to manipulate it for all its worth, try to get down the road. Problem is, he keeps flogging the tinned horsemeat, keeping it alive and causing the Guardian to have to come up with even stranger conjecture.
That’s kind of how I feel. I’m glad this issue is on the radar screen and I hope it leads to reforms, but I’m not enamored with the hyperbole that surrounds it or the amount of media and blogospheric oxygen it’s taking up in relation to other important issues.
In short, Greenwald portrays himself as Howard Roark, but he’s really Ellsworth Toohey.
Considering your very first post in this thread contains a blatant falsehood, I am somewhat skeptical of your ability to discern ‘the real thing’.
Ahh, yes. The Show me the court cases! defense. Actually, there are a lot of them, if you’d bother to look. Many are contradictory, and thus far the US Supreme Court has not made any firm decisions on the matter (all those secret laws and secret court rulings kind of by-pass the real court system, dontcha know!).
United States vs. Warshak (2010), the Sixth Circuit Court found that e-mail users have a reasonable expectation of privacy and government needs a warrant to view them.
United States vs. Warshak
Considering there was even probable cause in this case, the NSA spying on all Americans (and pretty much everyone worldwide) without probable cause (even if they technically have sweeping warrants granted by the rubber stamp FISA courts, like in the case of Verizon), should undoubtedly be unconstitutional. The fact that the US government gave retroactive immunity to the telecoms, just goes to show how stacked the deck is against the Constitution.
I think you missed the part where analysts were told they were forbidden to do those searches until guidelines were in place that were approved by the DoJ and the office of the director of intelligence.
Now, I’d be curious to see if those guidelines were ever devised and what they’d entailed, but it’s jumping the gun to declare that NSA analysts could search through the communications of Americans mistakenly caught in the dragnet without any warrants or oversight.
It’s hard to keep up with the hyperbole about the NSA “revelations”. What is of absolutely NO surprise to me is that ball juice idiots like mistermix actually believe them.
I also liked the ‘I’m questioning your US citizenship while using British slang’ gambit.
Where is the part in this where the NSA is viewing Americans’ emails without a warrant? The documents say the NSA with a warrant can pick people to track who they’re emailing, not what’s in the emails. That does not conflict with the ruling you just mentioned.
Warshak is not inconsistent with existing law or the program, you fucking moron.
Except that the government lies about everything, therefore they’re actually monitoring how often we flush our toilets.
I see Cole is stuffing his face and getting drunk and then posting about it to feel sorry for himself again.
Not as boring than posts about his g0d dam cat I guess.
People miss that we were mad about Bush because he BROKE THE LAW with his wiretapping system, while BREAKING THE LAW to politicize the Justice department, while engaging in a massive campaign of lies to start a war. That gives one reason to be concerned about abuse of power. This? Yes, our spies spy. Wake me up when you have reason to believe they’re doing it wrong, or we live in a world where we can do without spies.
I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, that John Cole is awake by noon.
We were mad because we wanted Congress to exercise their check against that power and do it fairly. We still want that. We’re mad because the process is broken because Congress is broken. It mostly comes down to that in the end.
That too, absolutely. I still do not understand why the ENTIRE congress cheered Bush on. They don’t agree about jack shit except this. Not even the defense budget.
“The dimwitted fascist,” excuse me, Linda Featheringill’s “worst nightmare” sidestepped that little nicety by conflating the Guardian and Greenwald in his typing. That James Ball and Spencer Ackerman were the authors of the linked article makes no difference once the news organization itself is a co-conspirator.
Responding to those who peddle such delusions is sorta like watching CNN.
He was the Commander Guy. Please stop with your Pre911 mentality.
Warrants need probable cause. Blanket warrants (even those just to track metadata) are illegal.
Also, I pity whoever thinks the NSA does not have access to e-mail or phone call content. You’re the morons.
Really. I was going to score him a little, but I looked at the level of last night’s bourbon bottle on the counter and decided I got nothing to talk about.
My wife’s travel schedule away isn’t doing me good. Two weeks to Australia in April, three weeks in the Med in July, Las Vegas this week and two weeks in Australia again in September are making me cranky, because somebody (me) has to stay and keep this thing afloat.
For who, everyone or just ‘persons of interest’?
And the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other alphabet soup intelligence agencies would never, ever, do anything illegal.
‘Have access to’? Of course they ‘have access to’. They can get a warrant just like the police can. Where is the support for your belief that they don’t have probable cause? The documents released say they ask for warrants to track the metadata of specific people. That’s not blanket. The system could theoretically be illegally used to make broad searches, but the power of martial law could theoretically be illegally used for FEMA to round up all of Obama’s political enemies into concentration camps. It ain’t happening.
@Botsplainer: Guilt by association. By this logic Krugman must be tainted because he writes for the same paper as Brooks.
oh nooo!!!! Matt Damon is a racist!!! He doesnt agree with Dear Leader’s Obama’s policies!!! he hates black men!!! He allowed Bush to proliferate NSA’s eavesdropping but when Obama does it he is not ok with it!!!!
I imagine that we’ll discover sooner or later that in this latest “revelation” Greenwald and Snowden conveniently forgot to mention little details like warrants being required. That’s certainly the pattern throughout these revelations: Glenn hypes things up as much as possible, buries unhelpful details as deeply as possible and collects his money and admiring notices from the gullible as quickly as possible.
Now, now, Glenn ‘Oops, did I forget to mention that a federal judge approved this according to established constitutional law’ Greenwald doesn’t seem to be involved here. Snowden released it and the Guardian drew their own wild conclusions.
@RSA: Good catch:
“Allows” is a slippery word that can mean something more like “authorizes” or something more like “makes possible.” These stories _keep doing this_. At some point you have to conclude that it’s deliberate.
And isn’t this another version of the same thing we’ve been over a bunch? There are powerful tools that could be misused and can’t be un-invented. Some people flip that into a discussion of how to regulate them to curb the possibility for misuse. Some people do… something else, I dunno, involving a lot of untargeted angst.
This is the big rub for me. We just don’t know. There is this huge blanket of secrecy around the NSA and the FISA court that makes this totally obscure. This is where Congress needs to step in and reform the FISA court and NSA rules. But since it doesn’t overturn Obamacare it ain’t getting voted on any time soon.
Are you sure about the encrypted email suppression?
And is the government (most of the worlds governments) actually advocating that all email communications be in postcard mode, where any intermediary can read the postcards? There are bad actors in the world other than terrorists and other enemies of the state, e.g. ordinary criminals, who might be interested in extracting interesting monetizable information from emails, and there are criminals who have other motivations than money. Also, corporate espionage is real.
The Moar You Know
@Jasmine Bleach: Please. The heavy hitters in tech are as likely to be found posting at Ars as Barack Obama is to be posting at DKos. It’s lightweight tech news written for non-tech readers. However, they’re great for one thing – they’re my go-to source when I want to know what the Paultard crowd is thinking.
It’s also a pretty good site for good rundowns of what features are on the latest cellphones.
Well, if even the Prophet Greenwald hasn’t enshrined these “revelations” in the sacred canon of scriptures that may not be questioned…….
@BillinGlendaleCA: Given the splitter boxes at the ISPs, there is no technical reason why it could not be anyone. Their problem, though, is they are trying to drink from a firehose, and so only get the ones with keyword hits. As someone familiar with Starfleet regulations (“no unencoded transmissions on an open channel in battle”), I assume that this approach is only going to catch the dumb ones.
@Baud: i have two dogs and a Steve.
LOL. I understand completely.
@Botsplainer: What a prize worthy post ya got there. I doubt there was any more room for additional slimey insults.
Facts, please. If you’ve got them. And do keep in mind that there is a difference between an unsubstantiated allegation and a fact.
I’m always happy when people like you reveal themselves to be ignorant, lying charlatans. So hell yes, I’m happy. I’m deliriously overjoyed!
@burnspbesq: I already did but clearly no facts would be good enough for you. Hell, undeniable fucking facts that probably aren’t even good enough.
I think the real issue here is that NSA is, at BEST, a jobs program for computer nerds. They have given us no “intelligence” over the years that is the least bit valuable. Billion were spent on intelligence during the 1980s. Billions! And did ONE person predict the fall of the Berlin Wall? Did anyone question the big lie that the Warsaw Pact countries were growing at 3+% a year?
The problem with NSA (CIA, etc.) is that they are institutionally incapable of asking meaningful questions. Anyone interesting enough to ask those questions has been deemed a security risk and run off. So really, it doesn’t matter how much data they collect.
OOOhh, noooooes, President Obama lost Matt Damon as a supporter. I guess he’ll have to settle with just George Clooney.
LOL, fuck that emo bitch Damon.