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Tragedy provided the momentum to

A new bill has been introduced in the House and Senate dubbed "Aaron's Law", which looks to reform the badly outdated and ambiguous Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (18 USC § 1030).  So who is Aaron and why is a law being named after him?  The answer traces back to a tragic event that occurred early this year.

I. A Tragic Loss Leads to Reform

Aaron Swartz, a Reddit co-founder and co-developer of the RSS standard, committed suicide this January leaving behind a complex legacy of success and controversy.  While amassing enough money to live comfortably following the sale of Reddit to Conde Nast, Mr. Swartz became an ardent activist.  

In 2011 while visiting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he downloaded a 4.8 million scholarly journal articles from JSTOR -- a subscription only distribution service.  The authors made no money off the publication, he figured. It all went to the publishers.  Further, the research was paid for with taxpayer money.  So he boldly offered up the articles online.
JSTOR logos
And he paid for it.  Federal prosecutors, aided by MIT administrators, hit him with numerous CFAA charges with a maximum penalty of $1M USD and 35 years in prison.  As the feds piled on more charges (nine additional counts in Sept. 2012 alone), Mr. Swartz allegedly grew despondent, and ultimately chose to hang himself.  His then-girlfriend found him at their shared Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York apartment.

But his death set off a spark.  At his funeral at Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois, his father Robert Swartz was unequivocal, stating, "[Aaron] was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles."


Aaron Swartz
 
A media storm ensued.  Congress soon took up the issue.  And some feared -- like many Congressional inquiries -- the momentum would eventually die down.

II. "Aaron's Law" Looks to Clean up CFAA Mess

But ultimately two bills have emerged from the tragedy -- the second of which was introduced today.

One man standing firmly behind both bills is Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) -- a man who might have more in common with social libertarians like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) than his Democratic colleagues, when it comes to civil rights.  But the credit for "Aaron's Law" goes primarily to its author, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).

The bill points out that the language of the CFAA "invites abuse" in that it makes it hard to differentiate between law-abiding users and criminals.  For example the CFAA makes it a felony to "access a computer without authorization or exceed authorized access" -- while failing to define exactly what that blob of tech jargon means.

Ethernet Cables
"Aaron's Law" finally clarifies "authorized access" from a technical standpoint.
[Image Source: Boot Click]

That ambiguity has made it the favorite tool of zealous district prosecutors; after all, almost any action using a digital device could be construed as "exceeding the authorized access".  Further the law allows for redundant charges within the bill itself, and allows these charges to be piled atop state statutes -- which was what happened in Mr. Swartz's case.

The proposed bill does the following:
  1. Prevents redundant charges within the bill itself
  2. Prevents federal charges that overlap state charges.
  3. Allows flexibility to downgrade charges to a non-felony.
  4. Explain what "exceeding authorized access" means.
The final amendment is particularly important.  The bill -- at last -- offers a quasi-technical definition of access, writing:

(A) to obtain information on a protected computer;
(B) that the accesser lacks authorization to obtain; and
(C) by knowingly circumventing one or more technological or physical measures that are designed to exclude or prevent unauthorized ndividuals from obtaining that information.

In other words all manner of attacks on systems protected by cryptography would be considered a crime.  But data dumps on open interfaces -- such as imprisoned computer specialist Andrew "weev" Auernheimer's scraping of openly accessible online ID data for Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPads or Mr. Swartz's data dump -- would arguably not qualify.  Of course such actions could still violate state criminal or civil statutes, but at a federal level, at least, a "locked door" analogy would be adopted when it comes to access.

Sen. Wyden and Rep. Lofgren write in a Wired op-ed that critics of the bill are ignorant to the fact that other laws already protect companies and institutions against the unauthorized distribution of proprietary information.  They write:

Other critics may argue that Aaron’s Law reforms remove one specific scenario from CFAA: an authorized individual using their own authorization (such as password credentials) to access and use information in unauthorized ways. Although we do not wish to create any new vulnerabilities, the overbroad approach currently taken by the CFAA potentially criminalizes millions of Americans for common Internet activity. Moreover, numerous laws like Theft of Trade Secrets, the Privacy Act, copyright law, the Stored Communications Act, wire fraud, and HIPAA already criminalize misuse of information.

The pair did say that they were open to suggestions by businesses on that topic of tweaking the language to fairly punish the theft of insider secrets.

Sen. Wyden
The bills have the backing of Sen. Ron Wyden (left). [Image Source: Kevin Krejci]

The cost of inaction is too high, they conclude, writing:

The consequences of inaction are all too clear. We live in an age where people connect globally by simply touching a device in the palm of their hand, empowered by online advances that have enriched the world scientifically, culturally, and economically.

But ill-conceived computer crime laws can undermine this progress if they entrap more and more people — simply for creative uses of the technology that increasingly mediates our everyday activities and our interactions with the world. This not only fails us today, it can also become an obstacle to the innovations of tomorrow.

The second pending bill was already introduced back in February, dubbed The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR).  Sponsored by Sen. Wyden, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), and Rep. Lofgren (among others), this law is nicknamed "The Other Aaron's Law".  Its primary purpose would be to force taxpayer-funded research to be released to the public .

Sources: Aaron's Law (PDF), The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) [PDF], Sen. Wyden, Rep. Lofgren on Wired



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You boys were pikers...
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/24/2013 9:03:48 AM , Rating: 2
...but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them...you create a nation of lawbreakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system.




RE: You boys were pikers...
By tigz1218 on 6/24/2013 11:17:38 AM , Rating: 1
Who is John Galt?


Simplify and Remove Redundancy
By ralith on 6/24/2013 9:38:13 AM , Rating: 2
This is a start, but now they need to get rid of the unconstitional laws such as the DCMA, and the Patriot Act. Then remove the rest of the redundunt laws. And finally, simplify the laws to the point most folks can understand the laws and their rights without going to law school or having a lawyer explain them to them.

Ah to dream...




Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: Millenials
By tigz1218 on 6/24/2013 10:50:45 AM , Rating: 5
Just because something is a law, doesn't mean that it is right. If no one ever challenged the law, we'd still be living under kings (perhaps we still are, they might have gotten smarter and not announced themselves to the world).

In the case of Edward Snowden, I can't believe you are calling a man dumb for trying to reveal to the world how our government is completely disobeying the 4th amendment. If you are against Snowden you are against liberty and the founding principles of this country and the basic rights of man; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 1:04:12 PM , Rating: 1
Prove to me your civil rights were violated by the NSA data collection methods and i might change my mind.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 1:17:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Prove to me your civil rights were violated by the NSA data collection methods and i might change my mind.

In other words, you insist everything is A-OKAY when it clearly is not.

You have the NSA very blatantly spying on everyone in USA, China, and even major G8/G20 meeting, without due process and warrant. You have a President willing to kill every whistleblower against his regime. You have congressmen claiming to uphold the rule of law, only to sell themselves to the highest bidder and treat the Constitution as a roll of toilet paper.

You are delusional.


RE: Millenials
By conq on 6/24/2013 1:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
All you had to do was quote the 4th amendment to him since he's clearly never read it before:

quote:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


NO NO IT'S FINE THEY'RE PROTECTING YOU. But in all seriousness you have nothing to worry about as long as you're a nobody. If you ever become an activist, rub a politician the wrong way, do anything to peak their interest and put you permanently on their radar, then you have to look out. I have no idea why Aaron gave up on the cause and himself. Every cause demands a martyr but there are much better ways than that.


RE: Millenials
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/24/2013 2:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
...and don't because to successful either. Your competition might have the right senator in their pocket to get a hold of your data you shared via external email, phone calls, text message, etc.


RE: Millenials
By maugrimtr on 6/25/2013 11:00:35 AM , Rating: 2
People rarely just "give up" unless cruel and unusual means are employed or unless they have some mental illness. We should know that torture can break a person and force them to admit or say practically anything to make their suffering stop.

In Aaron's case, he suffered from depression. As do I.

Depression is a horrendous disease that can push a person into some pretty extreme places. You can feel sad, depressed, alone and desperate for absolutely no good reason. Most people with depression manage their issue and live near normal lives. Sometimes, what seems a tolerable experience for most can be too much. Being prosecuted so unfairly would have driven Aaron's depression into overdrive, robbing him of the ability to think clearly about his actions. He was not in his right mind and we shouldn't judge him too harshly for having some challenging genes.

I'm sure the prosecutors could care less.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 4:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
against unreasonable searches and seizures


Prove that what the NSA is doing is unreasonable considering the current state of war this country is in. Prove that this system was abused in a fashion that you are implying.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 4:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
Do you honestly think the NSA should be given unlimited powers to spy on everyone without a shred of accountability and following due legal process?

Do you honestly think the NSA will not abuse its powers against us? Remember, there is no such thing as illegal and running afoul of the law when you work for the NSA.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 4:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you honestly think the NSA should be given unlimited powers to spy on everyone without a shred of accountability and following due legal process?


Where is the proof they have been spying on "Everyone"? Please...

I agree accountability could be better their needs to be a better way of obtaining a warrant when it comes to time sensitive targets. That being said i haven't seen a shred of evidence that this data was abused in any fashion.

quote:
Do you honestly think the NSA will not abuse its powers against us? Remember, there is no such thing as illegal and running afoul of the law when you work for the NSA.


Rumors and hearsay about the NSA but no concrete evidence yet. All i have seen from netziens is the knee jerk NSA = Governemnt = BAD! Having some personal experience with this topic the answer is no.


RE: Millenials
By maugrimtr on 6/26/2013 7:00:34 AM , Rating: 2
You should pay more attention to history. It is rife with examples of those with power abusing it. It's such a common theme that there's even a phrase for it.

"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

We don't require proof of NSA abuses. We just need to recognize that the capacity for abuse exists and put in place controls to prevent it. This perfectly normal and expected.

In this case, however, one essential control happens to be a secret court with secret rulings and unknown case law that coincidentally approves >99% of all requests.


RE: Millenials
By anactoraaron on 6/24/2013 4:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Prove that what the NSA is doing is unreasonable considering the current state of war this country is in


I never realized our government was at war with all of its citizens.


RE: Millenials
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2013 4:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Prove that what the NSA is doing is unreasonable considering the current state of war this country is in. Prove that this system was abused in a fashion that you are implying.


The NSA was founded with the expressed written mandate that their intelligence apparatus would "never" be turned on U.S citizens. The NSA has no legal authority to spy on American citizens or interests.

Does that help "proving" things to you a bit? And please, if you ask me to "prove" what I just said to you, instead of researching things yourself, I'm going Taken on your stupid ass. I will find you, and I will kill you.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 5:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
let me ask you a couple questions:

Do illegal aliens or green card carriers use mobile phones on America cell phone networks?

Do naturalized American citizens receive calls from countries hostile to our nation?

The answer is yes in case you are wondering and until they start issuing special government phones to said individuals it appears that the collection methods of the NSA are spot on. There is not a shred of evidence that US Citizens have been "Spied upon" by the NSA none nada zip.

quote:
I will find you, and I will kill you.


Lol save your threats for your enemies Patrick.


RE: Millenials
By djkrypplephite on 6/24/2013 2:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
A well done Youtube video on what metadata is is called "Meta my Data." Watch it. If you don't feel your rights were violated, you probably don't know what the NSA has been collecting on you.


RE: Millenials
By dgingerich on 6/24/2013 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
There are many laws today that are flat out wrong, and used by bullies in the law enforcement community (from cops to prosecutors) to intimidate younger people. Have some done wrong? Yes, certainly. Do they deserve 35 years in prison, or even the threat of that, for some stupid non-profit academic journals? Certainly not!

Yet, at the same time, there are people getting away with identity theft, fraud, and extortion (fake anti-virus programs) that can't be prosecuted because our stupid lawmakers can't even come up with a method to prosecute them. It's pathetic.

Our government needs an enema.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 1:31:25 PM , Rating: 1
So we don't enforce the laws we don't like? cough..immigration. The point is this is our government our legislators we created this monstrosity if you don't like it change it. Try voting smarter next time. If that doesn't work perhaps we need to be the ones giving the high colonic to the government.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 1:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
Voting smarter? You're already well past the point where your vote makes any difference at the scoreboard. Corporations have the Congress, Senate and White House in their pockets.

If you want proper change in your own government, you have to start spilling blood. Don't say I didn't warn you beforehand.


RE: Millenials
By ven1ger on 6/24/2013 3:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
So are you just making noise, or are you going to start spilling blood?

Would be interesting to see DT taken down as inciting insurrection and blood shed.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 4:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, let's just ban internet forums and comments altogether. These things only lead to more violence and bloodshed.

Oh wait.


RE: Millenials
By ebakke on 6/24/2013 11:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
Do you know the man personally?

How do you have any claim, whatsoever, to his thought process? Without knowing him you have absolutely no idea if Snowden felt he could act without repercussions, if he carefully weighed his options and their consequences before acting, or if it was somewhere in between. None of us know, but there's a very real possibility he made a conscious decision that the prosecution (or attempted prosecution anyway) was a worthwhile tradeoff to him. Claiming that couldn't be the case due to his age, is asinine.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 1:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
So i have to know him personally in order to make an observation on his behavior <rolls eyes>. I know his type very well and thanks to his own words its easy to tell why he did what he did...attention just like Bradley Manning just like Julian Assange they are narcissists every one.

I have yet to see the government abuse derived from possessing this information. You trust a bank with your money but you don't trust the duly elected Government(by the people for the people) with your phone conversations? If i overhear a conversation from the window of your house with someone am i violating your 4th amendment rights? Do you have a reasonable expectation to privacy on a cell phone call? email? chats? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.

In short people need to get over themselves! unless you are calling Afghanistan the NSA can give a rats ass about you! you are not special despite what you have been taught.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 1:38:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
In short people need to get over themselves! unless you are calling Afghanistan the NSA can give a rats ass about you! you are not special despite what you have been taught.

You're an idiot.

Think about what you just said on a different level. Currently you see things in black and white. What if it isn't? Because this NSA spying scandal is anything but ordinary.
quote:
First they came for the communists, and I didn't care because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't care because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the homosexuals, and I didn't care because I wasn't gay.
Then they came for me, and there is nobody willing to help me.

It's easy to say you are free when you don't have your freedom forcibly taken away from you.

Your government is busy chipping away your freedoms under the excuse of "national security". What have you ever received in return? Nothing.

You reap what you sow, kid.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 3:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're an idiot.


Nice debate skills there son. Shades of grey..learn something then get back to me.

quote:
Think about what you just said on a different level. Currently you see things in black and white. What if it isn't? Because this NSA spying scandal is anything but ordinary.


Never once did i say there was nothing of concern with what the NSA was doing. What i did imply was that they have done nothing illegal based on the Government we elected into place that created the NSA prism project. You among others are two faced by standing on the side lines and complaining about something you willfully participated in creating! It was all indirectly derived from us and our choices in government.

Gathering intelligence in order to determine potential threats does not fall under unreasonable search and seizure of personal effects. The obvious reason for such seizures was the protection of the republic and its people; the motivations were and are just.

Since we cannot racially profile like other countries do perhaps you have a better way of securing this republic? by all means please speak up and offer a replacement to the Patriot act which survived two administrations and even enhanced by the second one. Why is that? nefarious evil government wanting to enslave millions of armed Americans...listen to yourself. You are among the same type of people that think the Rosenbergs were heroes too.

quote:
It's easy to say you are free when you don't have your freedom forcibly taken away from you.


I have a gun cabinet full of reasons why my freedom will never be forcibly taken away from me; that you can bank on.

quote:
Your government is busy chipping away your freedoms under the excuse of "national security". What have you ever received in return? Nothing.


Has their been another 911 style attack? somethings working wonder what it is.


RE: Millenials
By ven1ger on 6/24/2013 3:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
So, in that respect if the Government was to ban guns, then you'd respectably give up your guns, right? I mean you are a law-abiding citizen and if the duly elected government officials voted to ban guns, then you'd have to give them up.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 3:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
You attempting an argument? *Hint: The point of debate is the word unreasonable in the 4th amendment. Their is no such interpretation in the second amendment. Hence you are arguing apples and oranges try harder!


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 4:35:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Shades of grey..learn something then get back to me.

You're not learning what you preach. Shades of grey? You're viewing things in black and white. Epic fail.
quote:
What i did imply was that they have done nothing illegal based on the Government we elected into place that created the NSA prism project.

You just described tyranny right there.

The USG isn't interested in protecting you from harm. In fact, the USG doesn't give a rat's ass if you die tomorrow as long as it knows you agree that this warrantless spying is legal, even if it's ethically and morally wrong.
quote:
Gathering intelligence in order to determine potential threats does not fall under unreasonable search and seizure of personal effects.

Yep, and look what happened to the hours before the Boston Marathon Bombing. They knew it's going to happen. The Russians even warned them about it. They did nothing. They just let the whole thing blow up and clean the mess afterwards.

Gathering intelligence on potential threats? Bullsh1t. What potential threats? Every attempt of chipping away our freedoms and liberties were done under the excuse of "national security", dumbass. You accuse us for being blind and oblivious to the reality, when you're the one with your head stuffed up your ass.
quote:
Since we cannot racially profile like other countries do perhaps you have a better way of securing this republic?

Then start racial profiling. What's racist about it? The MSM is clearly underreporting black on white violence and self-censoring themselves over them because doing so will make them look like racists.

"Land of the Free" ceased to exist the moment Patriot Act was signed into law, that's your answer.
quote:
I have a gun cabinet full of reasons why my freedom will never be forcibly taken away from me; that you can bank on.

You're not actively using them to protect your freedoms and liberties from being taken away, bit by bit, by the government and its power-thirsty cronies. Yep, a toothless tiger.

What the NSA and the Obama Administration were doing is illegal. You're too dense and ignorant to see the treachery of the folks you elected into office. The congressman you voted in? He represents the interests of corporations, not you. Get a hint.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 5:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yep, and look what happened to the hours before the Boston Marathon Bombing. They knew it's going to happen. The Russians even warned them about it. They did nothing. They just let the whole thing blow up and clean the mess afterwards.


Wow! tin foil hat much? come on man get a grip.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 6:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
You personally claim the NSA is not doing anything illegal because you believe they will never abuse the wide-ranging powers they have received over the past decade.

So unwise.

They'll go after you and not even your own firearms vault will save you from death at the hands of your government "friends".


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 7:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
Please enlighten me of the crimes the NSA has commited and are currently under indictment for?


RE: Millenials
By 3DoubleD on 6/24/2013 4:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Has their been another 911 style attack? somethings working wonder what it is.


Two things about that statement.

1) You have absolutely zero proof that anything the NSA did or anything that the US government has done since 9/11 has prevented a repeat occurrence on a similar scale.

To answer this question you would need to answer the following questions: has anyone planned such an attack? Has anyone been capable of executing such an attack? How close to executing the attack did they come? What prevented them from executing the attack? Was it prevented by the NSA program?

I'm sure you'd have a damn hard time answer those questions for the time between 2001 and 2013, since almost all intelligence activity is classified.

The idea of "it's for your protection" is a terrible excuse when they keep what they are protecting American's from as top secret. In some regards the whole thing reminds me of 1984 where they are constantly at war, but the war is just an unwinnable facade to maintain control - an overused, but chilling parallel.

If you think about it in that regard, the entire fight against terrorism has been preposterous. This is about as silly as a guy walking into a village and saying he's a wizard and will protect the inhabitants from evil spirits (you could also replace wizard with priest if you'd like). Either way, if you choose to believe that A) there are evil spirits and B) he can defend against them with absolutely no proof and fund him to to it, you would be exercising poor judgement.

Under the guise of it being top secret, this whole thing is ridiculous. If the fight against terrorism is to be anything but a farce, it would need to be a hell of a lot more transparent and when that is not possible be subject to way more oversight.

2) Regardless if they are actually protecting you or not, it is still wrong and against the 4th amendment. It also highlights the complete lack of legitimate oversight and exposes the untrustworthiness of these agencies.

Now, since you claim that they are protecting American lives, let's just look at whether this is a good way for the government to do so:

32,367 people died in road accidents in the US in 2011. That works out to 100 deaths in 1 million. Deaths due to terrorism in the US since 1985 works out to 0.44 deaths in 1 million. To emphasize, road deaths are per year and terrorism deaths are since 1985.

If they had spent TRILLIONS of dollars on automated car technology instead of: unnecessary wars; killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people; violating human rights; pissing on due process and the American Constitution; building yottobyte scale infrastructure to analyze and spy on data that includes Americans and their allies; and in general creating more animosity towards Americans than ever before... then we would have save up to 30,000 innocent lives per year in the US alone! (not including the lives of those people that were bombed or shot to hell for no reason in the aforementioned useless conflicts)

We also would no longer have to drive, get where we want to go faster, not have to park, never sit in traffic.......

Alternatively, that money could have been spent a number of other ways... such as education, infrastructure development, healthcare, research (pick your favorite topic) - all both at home and in developing countries. All would have increased the quality and longevity of peoples lives, creating goodwill towards the US, which in turn would have decreased the number of people who hate it enough to go to the trouble of terrorising it. Perhaps over simplistic and/or optimistic, but certainly 100% better than the way "war against terror" money has been spent thus far.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 5:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To answer this question you would need to answer the following questions: has anyone planned such an attack? Has anyone been capable of executing such an attack? How close to executing the attack did they come? What prevented them from executing the attack? Was it prevented by the NSA program? I'm sure you'd have a damn hard time answer those questions for the time between 2001 and 2013, since almost all intelligence activity is classified.


And i am glad of it! because in order to find out that information you have to give away methods and capability to any potential enemy!

Frankly if you want those answers for your own piece of mind suit up get your clearance and go work for the NSA! hey you can be an evil civilian to back up evil government programs(its obvious to me that the civilians are the weakest link here).

On a side note ask yourself why else would they collect this information? if they were truly evil do ya think the NSA would need legislation to spy on you? so far i have heard because they (the evil government) wants to create an Orwellian surveillance state...to what ends? Soviet Era citizen spying was unique to the culture and the paranoid government at the time it was used to suppress overall discontent with the state and is part and parcel to authoritarian rule. You think the soviets waited for the approval of the proletariat to start surveillance programs analogous to the NSA with the patriot act?

Seriously people need to think rather than just emote the meme of the day.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 6:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And i am glad of it! because in order to find out that information you have to give away methods and capability to any potential enemy!

Frankly if you want those answers for your own piece of mind suit up get your clearance and go work for the NSA! hey you can be an evil civilian to back up evil government programs(its obvious to me that the civilians are the weakest link here).

On a side note ask yourself why else would they collect this information? if they were truly evil do ya think the NSA would need legislation to spy on you? so far i have heard because they (the evil government) wants to create an Orwellian surveillance state...to what ends? Soviet Era citizen spying was unique to the culture and the paranoid government at the time it was used to suppress overall discontent with the state and is part and parcel to authoritarian rule. You think the soviets waited for the approval of the proletariat to start surveillance programs analogous to the NSA with the patriot act?

Seriously people need to think rather than just emote the meme of the day.

Pray tell what intelligence gathering done by the NSA of late had anything to do with the War on Terror?

"why else would they collect this information?" If you won't answer this question yourself, why bother asking the rest of us what our answers were so you can call us insane? Fact: your country refuses to come clean over this scandal, and you cling onto this supposed belief that anyone who leaks details over domestic warrantless surveillance deserves to be prosecuted.

In other words, you believe the rest of the world is conspiring against you. And they are, because you see nothing wrong in actively breaching their trust when it's most politically convenient. Now the wolf's coming home to the roost and there is nothing you can do about it.
quote:
Originally posted by Fern (Anandtech forums super moderator):

We just got caught spying on the entire world - and I'm referring here to spying on regular citizens (ethically if not legally violating their right to privacy) - and going into full 'bully mode' makes us look even worse.

Russia? We don't even have an extradition treaty with Russia. We didn't want one and I think that's the right call. Trying to bully Putin just reveals our impotence. Probably gives him a good giggle too. We need to drop the 'bully crap' with them, it makes us look stupid.

I also think there are many out there who, based on current evidence, are getting downright hysterical in there claims that Snowden is some kind of major spy, a traitor about to give up all kinds of damaging info on the US. Some are borderline apocalyptic in their predictions etc. How about chilling on that crap? Even it was true we look absolutely desperate etc. And maybe we shouldn't be alienating Snowden so much. It validates his fear of the US govt, and I think, makes him more sympathetic to people.

And our intelligence service looks not only malevolent and stupid, but utterly incompetent. One low level who doesn't even work for the US govt bring down multi billion $ intel infrastructure?

Your evangelical support of the US government against Snowden is thoroughly disgusting and devoid of YOUR own morals and values. Don't try to lecture us over how you are right and we are wrong, kid, because you're shouting at us from inside an elephant and that elephant is bleeding to death.


RE: Millenials
By conq on 6/24/2013 1:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If i overhear a conversation from the window of your house with someone am i violating your 4th amendment rights? Do you have a reasonable expectation to privacy on a cell phone call? email? chats? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.


Oh is that all the NSA does? They just buy a house next to you and try to overhear your call from their window? Yes, I do have a reasonable expectation that "Ammohunt" would not able to track, monitor, and record my calls without a warrant. You'd get yourself into a little trouble for getting caught doing that.

As you readily admit, you're failing to see why people's panties are all up in a twist over this. It's unfortunate people like yourself will not care about their rights until they're taken away. My family grew up in the Soviet Union where there were few to begin with. In such an environment you're perfectly safe as long as you're not a person of interest. Which as the story points out, Mr. Swartz was. So one could make the argument the US is beginning to treat along that path.

So why don't you try to understand people's idealism before writing it off as another yippie/generational trend?


RE: Millenials
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2013 4:53:14 PM , Rating: 1
Man you're a goddamn retard Ammo...

quote:
You trust a bank with your money but you don't trust the duly elected Government(by the people for the people) with your phone conversations?


???

Did you really just fucking say that? Really?

Last time I checked I chose to do business with my bank, out of dozens of possible banks, I picked one right for me.

The Government didn't give anyone a choice. The only possible way your fucktard analogy makes sense is if my bank just grabbed my money without my knowledge, and was holding it for me secretly.

quote:
If i overhear a conversation from the window of your house with someone am i violating your 4th amendment rights?


Well no.

However, idiot, if you place a microphone in that persons house, then you've violated their 4'th Amendment rights.

Do you even KNOW what the 4'th Amendment is?

quote:
Do you have a reasonable expectation to privacy on a cell phone call? email? chats? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.


Oh we have asked ourselves these questions, and the answers are yes. Are you fucking stupid?

quote:
unless you are calling Afghanistan the NSA can give a rats ass about you!


Umm I'm pretty damn sure half of the country is NOT placing calls to Afghanistan. So why exactly is our Government collecting call data and other info for such a huge number of people?

You know what, you're just the worst. You're scum. You should be banned and vilified everywhere you go from here until you die. Which I hope is soon.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 5:44:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The Government didn't give anyone a choice. The only possible way your fucktard analogy makes sense is if my bank just grabbed my money without my knowledge, and was holding it for me secretly.


Read much? know what happened in Cypus? Dolt!

quote:
Oh we have asked ourselves these questions, and the answers are yes.


Don't know much about technology i see

quote:
Are you fucking stupid?


If you are whats considered smart i guess so.

quote:
Umm I'm pretty damn sure half of the country is NOT placing calls to Afghanistan. So why exactly is our Government collecting call data and other info for such a huge number of people?


Tell me Einstein since you seem to have some super powers capable of collating all relative intelligence information from individual phone calls to and from the country(or some other secret method) how else would you do it?

quote:
You know what, you're just the worst. You're scum. You should be banned and vilified everywhere you go from here until you die. Which I hope is soon.


Quit trying to project your miserable existence on others. I suggest while in your little one dimensional, myopic world you you take the time to consider the reason why you are free to say whatever you like its because of people like me along with many others that took an oath to protect the constitution and unfortunately twits like you.

I hope you live till 150.


RE: Millenials
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2013 5:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I suggest while in your little one dimensional, myopic world you you take the time to consider the reason why you are free to say whatever you like its because of people like me along with many others that took an oath to protect the constitution and unfortunately twits like you.


This scares me more than anything. The idea that someone like you is "protecting" me...

*shudder*

Seriously, 100% serious no trolling, that just sent cold chills up my spine.

Maybe before you take an oath on something, you should read it first? Brother, you can't even spell Constitution much less uphold it's ideals!

quote:
Tell me Einstein since you seem to have some super powers capable of collating all relative intelligence information from individual phone calls to and from the country(or some other secret method) how else would you do it?


Uhh the way it's always worked?

Step 1. Find suspect and gather evidence
Step 2. Obtain legal warrant to surveillance/wiretap suspect by whatever means.
Step 3. Profit

You're sitting here telling me that to protect us, the Government needs to scoop up every single call record and other personal data for the entire freaking country. And you seriously wonder why we have a problem with that?

quote:
Read much? know what happened in Cypus? Dolt!


Hmmm I guess I'm really stupid after all. So where in the United States is this Cypu- OH WAIT, it's NOT you goddamn idiot! Did you really think you had point with that?

You know what, there's a lot of Liberals on Daily Tech. There's also a lot of Conservatives and Libertarians. And there's everything in between. The fact that not a single person is agreeing with you is amazing. You're views are universally vilified across the entire spectrum, bravo!


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 7:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
Riiight because I post on Dailytech for acceptance!

What can I say people are sheep whatever is echoed across the interwebs gets echoed here. All I am saying is people need to think and not just emote other peoples paranoid delusions.


RE: Millenials
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2013 9:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All I am saying is people need to think and not just emote other peoples paranoid delusions.


And you're the only one who's doing any "thinking". LOL, how convenient...

Yup it's not you, it's everyone else that's the problem. Good self-reinforcement skills.


RE: Millenials
By conq on 6/26/2013 9:31:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
All I am saying is people need to think and not just emote other peoples paranoid delusions. Text

Paranoid? It's widely being reported that all of your communications are being tracked, everyday, with some of them being listened to and/or recorded if it meets certain criteria. For example encrypted messages, like the service I use for instant messaging for the past decade, meets the criteria for being recorded for future keepsake under the clause of "well if it's encrypted it has to be suspicious". I'm afraid you're one calling them paranoid delusions, everyone else is calling them facts.

quote:
In the context of a cryptanalytic effort, maintenance of technical data bases requires retention of all communications that are enciphered or reasonably believed to contain secret meaning, and sufficient duration may consist of any period of time during which encrypted material is subject to, or of use in, cryptanalysis.


RE: Millenials
By ebakke on 6/24/2013 11:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
... the reason why you are free to say whatever you like its because of people like me along with many others that took an oath to protect the constitution and unfortunately twits like you.
I mean this with absolute sincerity and with as much respect as possible: You are failing.

Your arguments here today serve to protect the state at the expense of the Constitution you've sworn to protect. It's saddening and equally terrifying that you and others like you line up to vigorously defend those who strip us of our liberty. It's even more frightful that those who have volunteered to fight against it, are now fighting for it.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/25/2013 2:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
Fighting to protect a government designed by the people for the people? Don't get it do you? there is no they! only us this is our government.


RE: Millenials
By ebakke on 6/25/2013 3:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
You're fighting to protect the government, yes. That government isn't by the people, and for the people in the sense that it's by 100% of the people for 100% of the people as you're implying.

It's made of only those who have the means (financial, personality, and otherwise) to run for office. Those people are elected by merely 50% + 1 of the people who show up to vote. And those people do not represent the entire nation. They represent the people who brought them to power. So, at best, our government is designed by 50%+1 of the people, for 50%+1 of the people. The rest of us get whatever the majority deems fitting for us. I didn't vote for any of this, or for the people who put it in place. I also don't want it. Are you telling me this government is still designed by me, for me?

All of that said, your continued argument that all of this is fine and acceptable because it was put in place and run by duly elected people only holds under one condition: the public has 100% of the information. Without information on what is happening, by whom, and for what reasons the populace is making choices with partial (or false) information. How could you possibly claim a politician is duly elected when the whole premise of what they know, what they're doing, and how they're serving us is a farse?

And that's the crux of the problem - this entire thing is being done in secret. The court is secret. Its rulings are secret. The requests are secret. The "suspects" are secret. The methodologies are secret. The information being collected is secret. The companies being forced to give up information as well as the politicians charged with overseeing these programs are both prevented by threat of imprisonment from sharing any of this information. So if a Congressman sees a blatant abuse of power, he can't even tell his constituents about it! The best he can say is, "You'd be shocked!" That wouldn't even get him 30 seconds of news coverage. And certainly a person running for office couldn't get access to what's happening and make a case to those in his district that "I'm a better guy for the job, because that guy's allowing _____".

We've given a group of people near unlimited power. They've gagged themselves and everyone else, and then told us to just "trust them" while they store the electronic history of the entire country (world?).


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/26/2013 8:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
So what you are saying is that their should be no national secrets and no one can be trusted as the custodian of those secrets? Having held a clearance I can tell you that is a total nonsense and inane argument. There are things that absolutely need to be kept secret!


RE: Millenials
By ebakke on 6/27/2013 3:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
If we're waving credentials around, I too have held clearances before. I've been entrusted with a subset of the nation's secrets, but nothing I was privy to included spying on US citizens without any due process.

Yes, we should have national secrets. If we're at war with Germany, and have cracked the Enigma, we should be able to keep that hidden. But this is entirely different and you know it. We have no declaration of war, and these activities don't just involve foreign individuals. It's spying on American citizens - and no matter how many times you want to stomp your foot and yell NATIONAL SECURITY!!! it still doesn't change the fact that doing so without probable cause and warrant is directly in contradiction with the 4th Amendment and is therefore illegal.


RE: Millenials
By Ammohunt on 6/28/2013 1:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
The congress authorized this program via legislation these are the same guys that have the power to suspend your Constitutional rights at anytime simply by declaring marshal law. Whats constitutional is determined by the judicial branch. This is a Republic we elected the people that created this program and we are culpable. i.e. we created this not they the government.


RE: Millenials
By ebakke on 6/28/2013 3:27:00 PM , Rating: 2
You may have created it, but I certainly didn't.


RE: Millenials
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 1:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This guy like Edward Snowden don't feel the law applies to them. They grew up without learning consequences for their actions and feel they can do anything without repercussions. Smart millennials can learn from these guys..you will be prosecuted for your dumb actions.

You can say the exact same thing re: President Barack Obama. Make a mess on everyone else's bed and have the gall to force them all to clean up the mess HE made.

Five years ago, I thought all the Republicans who threatened to secede from the Union were delusional. Now, I'm not so sure. Your favorite beacon of "Change" and "Hope" turned out to be the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, sending Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden towards martyrdom.

By the way, you are allowed to live only because the US government deems you to be of use to them. When they start seeing you as a burden - or worse, a liability - that is when you should really be scared of your personal safety. If you think this is too far-fetched a reality to happen in your lifetime, just look at Snowden right now... and give it a few more years.

You reap what you sow, kid.


RE: Millenials
By talikarni on 6/24/2013 4:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
So Snowden is treasonous because he exposed the treason within the government?
Exposing the truth of the corruption within the government is not treason, if the very acts they expose are treason themselves.

As more and more gets purposely hidden and buried within the system, and they refuse to release the truth through the Freedom of Information Act (thus failing to abide by the very laws they or their predecessors passed), it then becomes legal and lawful for people like Snowden to expose the treason and corruption.

TREASON, noun:
Offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one's country or of assisting its enemies in war. In the U.S., the framers of the Constitution defined treason narrowly—as the levying of war against the U.S. or the giving of aid and comfort to its enemies—in order to lessen the possibility that those in power might falsely or loosely charge their political opponents with treason.

As we see the liberals continue to be allowed to fund enemy terrorists, to send our enemy terrorists guns in Syria and so on down the line, we find that Snowden is not treasonous, but a patriots and upholding the very laws he swore to uphold.

When lies become truth, the real truth becomes less believable and claimed to be lies.


RE: Millenials
By Samus on 6/25/2013 1:24:43 AM , Rating: 2
Ammohunt, you can't be serious?

Aaron Schwartz was being overly pursued and punished for a very amateur crime, and Edward Snowden has whistle-blower laws that protect him fromjust about everything he leaked.

Neither should be heralded as hero's, but both are being punished to ridiculous extremes.

But I guess you think anybody who smokes pot, jaywalks or speeds on the expressway should serve time in jail, too?


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