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Americans fall victim as NSA guns for a yottabyte data haul

The latest revelation regarding the extent of U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spying comes courtesy of The Washington Post, which published a fresh set of documents (as always) from leaker Edward Joseph Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA.  Given his former status as a contractor, he was not allowed to whistleblow no matter what potentially criminal actions he witnessed his coworkers at the NSA doing.  Hence, he fled to Russia -- the only nation willing to defy the U.S. and grant him asylum.
I. Lies the President Told Me
While controversial, the flight has given him the time to continue to drop fresh bombshells, such as the documents revealed on Tuesday about MYSTIC, a secret phone surveillance program.
In a Jan. 17 speech U.S. President Barack Obama (D) claimed:

The United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security... we take their privacy concerns into account.

President Obama claimed to Americans that law-abiding citizens in the U.S. and ally states were not spied upon.  That claims appears to be a lie. [Image Source: AP]

Simply put, the President misled, and we now know that law-abiding citizens are being spied on to an extent so incredible that it stretches the bounds of the imagination.
One of the biggest programs responsible for such violations is dubbed "MYSTIC".


MYSTIC was launched in 2009, but wasn't fully operational until 2011 given technical limitations and its incredibly ambitious aim.  From the start, MYSTIC's goal was simple -- intercept all metadata and audio from phone calls in a target region.  That includes every single call from every single law abiding person in the nations that the program currently targets (yes, it targets more than one, as you'll find out).
The program is currently deployed in at least two target countries.  Documents from the FY2013 Congressional budget suggest allocating an undisclosed amount of taxpayer dollars to provide "complete access to the additional target country".  From this (and the previous documents from 2011) the text suggests that the program is live in at least two target countries.
But apparently that number has grown even bigger.  
II. Five Nations are Currently Under "Complete" Surveillance
While originally justified as a "unique one-off capability" aimed at a specific country, the program now targets several nations.  According to The Washington Post, the redacted, secret Congressional budget states that it allows "comprehensive metadata access and content" (aka: records all communications) in five target countries.  The addition of a sixth target nation is scheduled to wrap up in October.
While it would be tempting to hope that surveillance might be trained against enemy states such as Iran or Russia, past leaks have indicated that some of America's heaviest surveillance has targeted the homeland and wealthy economic rivals such as France and Germany.  Thus while it’s unsurprising to discover a hotbed of terrorism, such as Pakistan was targeted, the NSA's track record would suggest that it would be equally unsurprising to instead discover that America's allies like France and Germany were targeted.
Given past claims by former officials that all American phone calls are being recorded and stored, it's possible the program even targeted America itself.

NSA tracking
Metadata allows the NSA to track millions, possibly even billions of people worldwide.
[Image Source: EFF]

It does appear the The Washington Post knows the identity of at least one of the target nations.  Columnists Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani write:

At the request of U.S. officials, The Washington Post is withholding details that could be used to identify the country where the system is being employed or other countries where its use was envisioned.

Given that the Obama administration has threatened criminal charges against members of the media in the past, it's not surprising to hear the publication's hands were tied (for now) on the topic.  
According to The Guardian the administration of President Obama has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act (18 U.S.C. § 792) offenses as all the previous administrations before him (since the Act was passed in 1917) combined.
III. Agents Comb Through Millions of Recordings of Americans', Foreigners' Phone Calls.
In the case of MYSTIC, we see for the first time the NSA mining literally all the metadata and voice data of at least two countries.  According to documents every single call in the target nations is collected and stored locally for at least 30 days.

Phone calls
The NSA stores every single phone call in the targeted nations for 30 days.
[Image Source: Warner Bros.]

Metadata collection was handled under the FASCIA program -- a program that also is used to reap the metadata of virtually every call made in the U.S., tell the NSA where you were, at what time you were there, and who you were talking to.

Despite technical challneges, FASCIA is storing 5 billion metadata records a day.

The NSA complains in leaked documents of the headache of transporting so much data back to the U.S.  A document comments:

SCALAWAG (US­3310BG) has long since reached the point where it was collecting and sending home far more than the bandwidth could handle. Over collecting has significantly increased the latency of pri 1­2 content data. Because SCALAWAG is NSA's #1 provider of actionable SIGINT on [REDACTED COUNTRY NAME], measures had to be taken to alleviate pressure on the bandwidth and decrease latency of priority 1­2 data. In the summer of 2011, in an effort decrease the amount of voice content brought home, SSO deleted a large quantity of priority 4 and below tasking that was bringing content and according to the DOUBLEARROW database had not been "touched".  Additionally, a change of priority 4 tasking to priority 6 was effected, again based on DOUBLEARROW results. As a result, the latency for primarily pri 1­2 had dropped considerably. However, these actions were still falling short because the volume of collection was increasing ....

SCALAWAG is the remote database(s) used to locally store the harvested data.  As the above account states, agents then use filtering tools such as "DOUBLEARROW" (a tool for filtering voice data) to create "cuts" -- snippets of millions of phone calls every month.  While these millions of snippets only account for "a fraction of 1 percent of the calls", it goes on to state that the "absolute numbers are very high".
Agents use a tool called RETRO to inspect and perform the cuts, up to 30 days after the call was placed.  Once they save the data in long-term storage, other tools can be used.
IV. President Obama and the NSA Don't Believe They Need Permission From Congress
Assuming the NSA isn't targeting America directly with MYSTIC, it's almost certain that some Americans' data is scooped up by SCALAWAG.  And it's possible some of it is even saved in long-term storage, against the orders of Congress, and in defiance of the laws that supposedly govern the NSA.

PRISM flow chart
NUCLEON is a final destination for NSA voice content.

The NSA has already effectively acknowledged that it is actively spying on Congress and that it commits serious violations of the law thousands of times a year.  It blames its illegal activity on "human error", such as typos in searches, which happen to expose Americans' sensitive data.
But overseas, the violations may be far worse.  Sources close to the agency indicate to The Washington Post that the NSA feels it has no obligation to avoid spying on Americans whose phone calls it records overseas.  It says such items are "acquired incidentally", but as they are "a result of collection directed against appropriate foreign intelligence targets", no filtering is necessary.

NSA Data
Americans' data is vulnerable to the NSA, both at home and overseas.
[Image Source: ClimateViewer 3D]

An independent panel in December suggested that all data known to belong to Americans "be purged upon detection" by the NSA.  But President Obama and the NSA rejected that provision.
The administration justifies its actions with Executive Order 12333, an order which the Obama administration believes nullifies the authority of Congress and the Justice Department, granting the President unlimited power to conduct spying overseas -- including (in the administration's opinion) on American citizens.

MYSTIC is a critical part of the NSA's PRISM machine.

Timothy H. Edgar, the former director of privacy and civil liberties on Obama’s national security staff, argues that even if Congress rolls back or restricts the controversial amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- e.g. the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006 -- the administration believes it still has plenty of authority to defy Congress and spy on everyone.

Comments Mr. Edgar:

Much of the U.S. government’s intelligence collection is not regulated by any statute passed by Congress.  There’s a lot of focus on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is understandable, but that’s only a slice of what the intelligence community does.  [All data must be for nationals security, but that] still leaves a gap for activities that otherwise basically aren’t regulated by law because they’re not covered by FISA.

In order to inspect and cut down SCALAWAG's harvest, the NSA also employs voice-to-text transcription and smart data mining tools that drop links into conversations. For example, if you say someone's name, a link to their phone number might be added.  The content of the collected call and its relations to other callers of interest determines the call's "priority" level.

Nucleon phone recording

Higher priority calls are chopped up and offloaded to long-term storage in NUCLEON, which reportedly houses data for at least 15 years. Meanwhile FASCIA allows virtually all of the metadata -- a substantially leaner information format -- to be hauled back to the U.S. and placed in long-term storage.
V. NSA Once More Claims it Needs to Spy to Defeat Phantom Foes
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council -- a group which represents both the NSA and other agencies -- defended the program in a general sense, stating:

New or emerging threats [are] often hidden within the large and complex system of modern global communications, and the United States must consequently collect signals intelligence in bulk in certain circumstances in order to identify these threats.

watching eyes
[Image Source: PC World]

NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines takes things a step further, blasting those members of the press bold enough to report on this surveillance.  She writes The Washington Post:

Continuous and selective reporting of specific techniques and tools used for legitimate U.S. foreign intelligence activities is highly detrimental to the national security of the United States and of our allies, and places at risk those we are sworn to protect.

The NSA has finally admitted for all its years of spying it has -- at most -- assisted in investigating one or two terrorist plots.  But these plots may have been overseas in Iraq.  Indeed, it's very probable that the NSA data mining has never been able to help foil a U.S. terror scheme.
But again, the agency is asserting that it needs to spy on everyone to offer indeterminate protection from indeterminate threats.  
Peter Swire, a member of the President's review panel, asserts:

It's important to have institutional protections so that advanced capabilities used overseas don't get turned against our democracy at home.

But the reality is that the President rejected that argument and has shown no signs of slowing down.  Currently the campaign covers six regions.
VI. A Dark Future
To the administration it has unchecked legal power.  Thus the primary obstacle to recording every word spoken into a phone by Americans or our allies is merely technical limitations.  
And the administration is working tirelessly to wipe out those limitations. It's currently in the process of building a state of the art storage center in Utah to provide deep, long-term storage.  Vaguely resembling a jelly bean, the facility is believed to have gone online last October.
NSA data center
The NSA's new Utah data center has an estimated 1 yottabyte of storage.
[Image Source: Silicon Angle]

But the NSA is also building an even bigger follow-up facility in Baltimore, spending $792M USD in taxpayer money, or over $2 dollars per U.S. taxpayer.
At this point the main thing holding the NSA back isn't even storage, but simple bandwidth.  But as global high-speed data conduits continue to grow, the NSA will acquire new routes to funnel its massive hoards of data.  
Civil liberties advocates say that unless something is done quickly, it may be too late to stop the police state's universal tax and spy campaign.  Comments Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):

Over the next couple of years they will expand to more countries, retain data longer and expand the secondary uses.

In other words, the glimpse that leaker Edward Snowden has given us is just the tip of the ever enlarging iceberg.  

Yes We Scan
[Image Source: Patheos]

The NSA didn't stop at complete surveillance of one nation.  It didn't stop at complete surveillance of two nations.  It didn't stop at complete surveillance of a half dozen nations.  And it likely won't stop until American taxpayers and Congress find a way to wrest power from it, or it achieves its goal of ubiquitous, loosely regulated surveillance.

Sources: The Washington Post [1], [2], [3]

Comments     Threshold

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You have guns
By Peter-B on 3/19/2014 4:28:55 AM , Rating: 4
Don't you americans have guns exactly for these kind of situations: overthrow a government which violates your civil and human rights?

RE: You have guns
By Vertigo2000 on 3/19/2014 10:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking something similar.

I don't normally advocate violence against anyone, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts about that.

When the system fails it's people, what are the people to do?

RE: You have guns
By gamerk2 on 3/19/2014 1:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
Vote in people who will do a better job?

Basically, if you argue that government have failed, you also argue that Democracy has failed. Fact is, THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED. You voted for the people who pushed for this, so you are responsible for the consequences. Its really that simple: YOU are the problem.

And maybe if enough people start reminding the voters they are the ones ultimately responsible, they'll start being more judicious in who they vote for.

RE: You have guns
By syslog2000 on 3/19/2014 2:14:32 PM , Rating: 1
Who to vote for is the problem. Crazy right wingers and corporate shills (Republicans) or crazy left wingers and spymasters?

Next election I will vote for third party candidates, regardless of their prospect of winning or losing.

RE: You have guns
By tng on 3/19/2014 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Who to vote for is the problem. Crazy right wingers and corporate shills (Republicans) or crazy left wingers and spymasters?
Doesn't matter who you vote for.

Fact is that there are 10s of thousands of people out there who are not elected by anybody that don't want to see any of this go away. Their jobs depend on it, or their business does, or they just believe that they are doing the right thing and you can't vote them out.

When your neighbors speaks out and disappears in the middle of the night never to return, then people will finally take notice. Of course the only recourse then is violent revolution and as more and more gun rights here are taken away...

RE: You have guns
By ppardee on 3/19/2014 5:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
You are under the impression that we have free and fair elections. Who is on our ballots is decided by a handful of corporations, the chief two are the Republican and Democratic parties.

And when people dare to vote for someone outside of these boundaries, the fourth estate tells us that we're throwing our votes away. Free thinkers can see what's going on, unfortunately the vast majority of voters aren't free thinkers.

Yes, the uninformed voter is the problem, but they wouldn't be an insurmountable problem absent a two party system and the media who ignores viable candidates their master haven't approved.

RE: You have guns
By tamalero on 3/24/2014 1:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure the NSA is already you on "target" for being a "possible domestic terrorist".
I wouldn't be surprised if they start using drones to eliminate people who want to stop the NSA from growing further into something you'd see from the V of Vendetta movie.

RE: You have guns
By tamalero on 3/24/2014 1:07:13 AM , Rating: 1
errare humanum est.

I mean "the NSA already as YOU as a target".

RE: You have guns
By Spookster on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
RE: You have guns
By Schrag4 on 3/19/2014 1:44:29 PM , Rating: 1
Oh you mean like Aaron Alexis who targeted the naval yard, or Chris Dorner who took on the LAPD? Both liberal democrat Obama supporters. Are those the NRA types you're referring to?

RE: You have guns
By retrospooty on 3/19/2014 1:58:43 PM , Rating: 1
LOL... I think alot of people get confused as to who runs things in the USA... It's not the Dems or the Reps, its the Dems AND the Reps in DC. All part of the same BS power structure. Ever hear the phrase "Divide and conquer" - that is what DC has masterfully done to the public. - Lets keep em' fighting about guns, abortion and gay marriage while we work together to rob them blind. They aren't bright enough to even notice...

RE: You have guns
By Spookster on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
RE: You have guns
By Schrag4 on 3/19/2014 4:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
You have very specific fantasies about the killing of people who you don't agree with. You should seek help.

RE: You have guns
By Spookster on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
RE: You have guns
By coburn_c on 3/19/2014 4:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
Whew, disturbing that an apparent armed services employee would have so little knowledge or respect of the Posse Comitatus Act. No different than any other American power structure these days I suppose. These people do deserve to be deposed.

RE: You have guns
By Spookster on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
RE: You have guns
By Ammohunt on 3/19/2014 6:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
Generalize much? Surrender monkey product of pacifist must be Canadian.

RE: You have guns
By tamalero on 3/24/2014 1:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, talk about being a moron. insulting Canada for something that has nothing to do with them.

RE: You have guns
By Spookster on 3/20/14, Rating: 0
RE: You have guns
By Farfignewton on 3/21/2014 6:14:24 AM , Rating: 2
You're questioning the intelligence of others while suggesting those angry with politicians and the NSA will attack police stations and military bases. And they're the 'tards? You mock yourself, troll.

RE: You have guns
By KCjoker on 3/19/2014 7:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
After reading your posts in this thread it's're ignorant

RE: You have guns
By faster on 3/20/2014 7:23:55 AM , Rating: 2
Our CIA and NSA have been fomenting revolution around the world and calling it the Arab Spring. These revolutions are manufactured by our government. We did it in the Ukraine too. That one was a long time in the planning. We would never let that happen here. The very suggestion of an Arab Spring for the US would result in the rapid arrest and prosecution of all participants, likely for other manufactured charges other than revolution. I am running a great risk just posting this information. All of our communications are monitored.

Our guns are worthless in the face of our covert government operations.

By deltaend on 3/19/2014 2:07:05 AM , Rating: 3
Nixon was (going to be) impeached for wiretapping, bullying opponents with the FBI, CIA, and IRS, and now we have a president who has tapped the phone calls of 5 nations including (likely) our own, used (using?) the NSA to control the media and the IRS to target an entire party of political rivals? Nixon was a fraction as crazy as our current administration and yet, where is our impeachment of Obama? Why are we so obsessed about the dog off the leash, pooping in the neighbor's yard (NSA) when we should be punishing the owner instead (Obama)?

And yes, I know that Bush was involved in this in the beginning, but he isn't in office now and furthermore, these programs have been massively expanded during peacetime by Obama.

RE: Nixon
By Aloonatic on 3/19/2014 3:45:42 AM , Rating: 2
It's game over already. There are no "free" states any more.

I'm just wondering what you guys will change the words in your national anthem too?

The land of the ...., and the home of the ....

But at least we can now rest, knowing that the minuscule threat of "terrorism" has now been slightly reduced (but the bombs still go off) and the price of this slight reduction in the "terror" is the way that states (not just the USA, if you think the USA are the only ones who've through of this???) will soon be tracking your every movement as well as your every word, of they aren't already.

RE: Nixon
By superstition on 3/19/2014 7:02:29 AM , Rating: 3
There are no "free" states any more.

There never were.

The difference now, though, is that monitoring is easier.

RE: Nixon
By kattanna on 3/19/2014 12:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
where is our impeachment of Obama

as soon as someone gives him a blowjob..

RE: Nixon
By ritualm on 3/20/2014 2:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Bill Clinton wasn't impeached for his sex adventures though - he was impeached for lying under oath.

RE: Nixon
By DT_Reader on 3/19/2014 12:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
Nixon wasn't going to be impeached for that. He was going to be impeached for lying about it. Same reason Clinton was impeached. The American public will forgive just about any misdeed, but they won't forgive lying about it.

So far, I've not seen any confession from the Obama or former Bush administrations about their misdeeds, only lies that they didn't occur. The real harm from that is now we don't know what to believe, so when they're not lying their opponents claims to the contrary (which are lies) have the benefit of the doubt in the public's mind. And visa-versa. The only safe position is to assume they're all liars.

So if Nixon was almost impeached, and Clinton was impeached, for lying, then why hasn't Obama been impeached by a Congress that clearly hates him to their very core? My guess is they're afraid of Biden.

They don't need permission, thanks to Congress
By tayb on 3/19/2014 9:28:03 AM , Rating: 2
President Obama is correct. He does not need permission from Congress. Congress passed the "Patriot" Act, extended it multiple times, and passed and extended multiple surveillance and counter-terrorism bills. At this point he is violating the US constitution but not US law.

It's a real shame. We have sacrificed our freedom and liberty to fight an enemy whose only goal was to destroy our freedom and liberty. How ironic.

Only the lame-duck Congress can rein in domestic spying. Unfortunately they can't seem to agree on anything except restricting freedom on the internet.

RE: They don't need permission, thanks to Congress
By BSMonitor on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
By retrospooty on 3/19/2014 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 3
"How many Boston's can we endure and still feel safe enough to live our normal lives without the constant fear of mass death"

People like you make me ill. You are such a huge pus$y I cant even begin to comprehend what it must be like in your world. You are willing to sacrifice all your freedoms because you live in fear? Here is a better solution for you, DONT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE.

Life is dangerous and always has been, it is FAR less dangerous today than it has been throughout any time in human history.

Your acceptance of unconstitutional monitoring by big brother in the name of "Fear of the boogyman" is EXACTLY what Osama Bin Laden and his psycho's wanted. They wanted to put the fear in you and they succeeded. Grow a pair, man up and stop being such a freegin coward.


RE: They don't need permission, thanks to Congress
By Schrag4 on 3/19/2014 1:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
Great points. The dilemma is risk management. How many Boston's can we endure and still feel safe enough to live our normal lives without the constant fear of mass death.

I'm glad you brought up Boston. What's scary about Boston was the fact that the Russians warned us about the Tsanraev brothers and we still couldn't stop them. Does that seem a little strange to anyone? Even scarier to anyone with half a brain was the aftermath - an entire city where the consitution no longer applied. They performed house-to-houe searches and citizens were not allowed to say no, even though there were no warrants to search each house. Did those searches result in the capture of the surviving brother? No, some dude saw him in his boat and called the cops.

To the drum beaters, please point to the round ups of American citizens being witch hunted by these programs??? No?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Fine, the current administration may be totally innocent and have no plans whatsoever to target anyone other than genuine terrorists. Can you say that about the next adminstration? Or the one after that? Once the system is in place, it's too easy to abuse. IMO, if you're talking risk management, it's not worth stopping a few bombings, saving a few thousand lives, if it means the entire country might fall to a dictator 10 years from now using the NSA (and other alphabet agencies) that has been expanded drastically during the last 10 years.

By retrospooty on 3/19/2014 2:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
"Can you say that about the next adminstration? Or the one after that? Once the system is in place, it's too easy to abuse. IMO, if you're talking risk management, it's not worth stopping a few bombings, saving a few thousand lives, if it means the entire country might fall to a dictator 10 years from now using the NSA"

That is exactly right. Even with ALL of the surveillance AND a direct warning about the Tsanraev's we couldnt stop it... If someone wants to do damage in a free society, they can. They may hurt a few people and make a big noise, but the society prevails. Ask Osama Bin Laden how good he felt about 9/11 when he was living on the run for 10 years and then got his head blown off. He didn't stop us, and no-one like him ever could unless we do as BSMonitor wants and give up all our liberties in the name of safety... And even then "safety" isnt even remotely possible.

By DocScience on 3/19/2014 8:32:49 PM , Rating: 2
The Patriot Act only authorized monitoring of calls leaving or entering the country.

The monitoring of US internal calls is NOT in the Patriot Act and is an invention of THIS administration.

RE: They don't need permission, thanks to Congress
By ebakke on 3/20/2014 12:52:24 AM , Rating: 2
At this point he is violating the US constitution but not US law.
Was that a typo? Or do you not see the amazingly large contradiction in that sentence?

By Firebat5 on 3/21/2014 4:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
While I can't read the poster's mind, there is no contradiction in the statement. The President may be doing something that isn't specifically forbidden by US law, but this very act would most likely be a violation of his Constitutional powers. He is allowed to EXECUTE federal law, and a very narrow set of other Constitutional directives (Article IV, Sects. 2,3). Anything else is extra-constitutional and dictatorial.

By GulWestfale on 3/18/2014 10:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
that's your tax dollars at work!

RE: well,
By wordsworm on 3/19/14, Rating: -1
RE: well,
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 7:40:32 AM , Rating: 2 To either of them.

And I'm not sure if you're saying either Zuckerberg or Hillary should be. Or if he isn't, then we'd end up with Hillary. Because if it is the former and you think Hillary would be any better, I'll be laughing really hard.

RE: well,
By wordsworm on 3/19/2014 11:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Hillary is your country's best option by the looks of things for the next election. I think Zuckerberg could probably beat her and anyone else for that matter. He's the master of social media. Why wouldn't he win? I know he wouldn't run, but it's fun to think about.

RE: well,
By eagle470 on 3/19/2014 3:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
Zuckerberg isn't old enough

RE: well,
By senecarr on 3/19/2014 8:55:56 AM , Rating: 4
Much as I dislike the man, I'll channel some Rush Limbaugh. If I'm paying for all this, I want something out of it. I want them to put the best phone sex calls online for everyone to listen to.

There is a way
By blueaurora on 3/19/2014 8:07:33 AM , Rating: 2
The only way out of this quagmire is by going backwards. Vote 3rd party every time you go to the ballot box.

Voted for Ron Paul every chance I got my only regret is that more people cant for see anything beyond rhetoric and think critically for themselves. Damn shame.

RE: There is a way
By superstition on 3/19/2014 11:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
You're wasting your time. Voting has been mostly a theatrical exercise since the ballot box with stuffed with forged votes in ancient Athens.

The GOP had no intention of counting the votes for Paul's presidential candidacy:

Hang on
By Ammohunt on 3/19/2014 8:51:24 AM , Rating: 1
How does this leak from the "Hero" Edward Snowden have anything to do with Domestic spying? Fascinating how it was timed with the Crimean announcements by Russia. Maybe because your hero is a dyed in the wool traitor? So easily duped.

RE: Hang on
By Ahnilated on 3/19/2014 9:33:36 AM , Rating: 1
Really, President Obama is a traitor and should be tried just like one. He is doing everything against the constitution and breaking every law and nothing is done to him.

RE: Hang on
By Ammohunt on 3/19/2014 6:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
So you are saying Traitors love company?

Misled? Really?
By bitmover461 on 3/19/2014 1:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting that the word "misled" was used when the appropriate word is "lied". We are being lied to day in and day out and the sheep keep lapping up the lies. And now we know the real reason for Obama-phones. Absolutely frightening.

RE: Misled? Really?
By Piiman on 3/22/2014 1:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
"And now we know the real reason for Obama-phones. Absolutely frightening. "

What frightening is that you think they want to spy on people that are on public aid. Oh and these so called "Obama Phones" were being issued long before Obama got into office and you don't seem to know that.

By mik123 on 3/19/2014 4:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yottabyte of storage is 10^24 bytes, or 1 trillion of 1TB hard drives, or 100 billion of 10TB hard drives (not even on the market yet). Assuming one 10TB drive costs $100, one yottabyte of storage costs $10T, ten trillion dollars.

This is just not realistic. Even thousand times less data, 1ZB, in a single datacenter, is not realistic any time soon.

Also, how do you record *all* phone calls in a country? Vast majority of calls are local, they are not likely to traverse any major backbone links. Therefore you would need to place your taps at or close to every local phone station. How can you possibly do that in a country such as Russia or Germany, without being noticed?

RE: Yottabytes?
By Spookster on 3/19/2014 4:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
You are trying to introduce facts in a conspiracy nut jobs personal blog who has nothing better to do than to encourage other conspiracy nutjobs to believe his delusional nonsense? lol That would be an effort in futility.

We have all known
By BSMonitor on 3/19/2014 9:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
to an extent so incredible that it stretches the bounds of the imagination

.. how liimited the imagination and intelligence of Jason Mick truly is.

What a ridiculous paranoia and propaganda rant.


DDoS heh?
By XZerg on 3/19/2014 1:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Let the bubble blow up with garbage beyond its capacity and watch it falter faster than this political whackos can shake their bum bum for $$$$$$$$$$$.

Hint: overload.

Personally this big brother scenario has done more damage to its citizens' mental capacity than to prevent it. The only backers of this I can see are idiots political correct wannabees or kiddie gloves handlers of each situations and corporates/workers racking in billions and politicians picking up kickbacks.

I have a saying that ought to set this right:
Whatever goes around comes around with interest.

So those backers will only find their arses handed to them royally.

By villageidiotintern on 3/19/2014 6:36:50 PM , Rating: 2
¡Si escaneamos! La esperanza y el cambio.

By DocScience on 3/19/2014 8:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
The Obama admin says that it hasn't REALLY stolen your private calls and data because it hasn't gotten around to reading and listening to them yet.

Like a shoplifter running from Macy's with a coat claiming she hasn't REALLY taken it until she wears it.

Restore the Constitution. There is no alternative.

By retrospooty on 3/18/2014 10:26:59 PM , Rating: 1
The "yes we scan" image on the bottom. Holarious, but scary and sickening.

By SuckRaven on 3/20/2014 3:57:06 AM , Rating: 1
If I disappear because of what I write, you guys know why. Taxes. Taxes is exactly 1 of the problems. The other, as many have pointed out here, is that any more, it does not matter one iota who you "vote" for. The office of the president is merely that of a talking head. A puppet. There is a whole corrupt power structure in place, that is one huge honking juggernaut of a ship whose course will not easily be corrected any time soon, (if ever).

1st, taxes. Yes. Our tax dollars are paying for all these shady surveillance programs, and probably tons of other shit that normal people would not willingly contribute money to. Unfortunately because of the IRS mafia, it's not really up to anyone to individually decide what causes and programs they want their tax dollars to support. Gee. Wouldn't that be nice. I could say...ok I oxe x % of my income in taxes, and I'd like to contribute to infrastructure (roads, etc.), education, and good healthcare, all the shit normal people would want.

But you can't. The gub'mint, and the IRS mafia simply take your money, and do whatever the hell they want with it. Care to go up against the IRS? No? Didn't think so. Because all your base are belong to them. You live in fear, because they can ruin you. So, you're stuck. And happily, your tax dollars (and everyone else's) continue to go towards increasing the size of asshat programs like the NSA and the like, that are now bored with all the unlimited money they sit on, so they do whatever the f*ck hey want with unfettered freedom. Can you "vote" with your dollar and say "I don't support these blatant violations of our personal freedoms." ? No, because these agencies do it under the guise order to catch the bad guys, we have to monitor everyone. Which would be fine if they just stopped with the bad guys. But they don't. They have googolplex bytes of data on everyone. Does the data eventually fall off and expire and get purged? LOL. Anyways, you get the idea. This is not a losing battle, but a battle that has been lost. No wonder everyday someone sells out, because they probably give in to the idea..."If you can't beat them, join them."

It's not like with company X Z Y making water filters or something where I can vote with my dollar and say...I am giving company Y my hard earned dollars because they have a product that I like, meets my needs, and is superior to the products from company X and Z. I wish that was the case.

So yeah...taxes.

Secondly, voting is bullshit. The intentions and "platforms" of the candidates are bullshit. Everyone will lie out their ass and say whatever the hell it takes to get elected, but even if they are the most trustworthy, upstanding, honorable person, they are entering a cesspool of corruption, lobbyists, corporations, special interest groups, bribes, kickbacks, collusion, closed door deals, and generally a system that they will never change. Not by words, and with democratic diplomacy.

The past few administrations, Democrat or Republican had this well figured out a long time ago, and basically decided to take a huge pile of teaming shit all over the constitution, and completely disregard any laws, because afterall....who is really going to do what.? Exactly. No one will do anything to oppose or really challenge them, so they can now pretty much do whatever they want. They own the army, they own the money, (and have more continuously coming in because you can't even say where you want to spend your tax dollars) they pwn the telecom infrastructure, so go ahead....challenge them peacefully with rallies, and strikes and protests. The media even....if they say anything are threatened with arrest, and everyone is being charged left and right with espionage. Drones wipe you off the face of the planet without you even seeing your assailant. But yeah...let's write to our senator or congressman and tell them how we feel. LOL. The naivite and idiocy in this country is scary, or at the very least and unwillingness to really accept the truth. The reality of the shitty prison/police state we all now live in daily. It took some guy like Snowden to lift the veil of deception off the whole mess. Is he a traitor? I think he is a hero. Is he a coward for fleeing to Russia? No. He is just smart. Do you honestly think we'd even know his name if he "blew the whistle" from here, or someplace that the US could get to him easily?

I mean I know 'Bama wants his ass...But luckily, in this international chess game, if we actually went an got him by force, to silence him (which I'm sure the admin would like nothing better), it would cause such a shitstorm, that it would be one more massive blow to the way the rest of the world sees the U.S. already, and would simply prove all of Snowden's points. So is he a coward? I think self preservation in order to expose a corrupt government to help your fellow citizens is heroic.

But yeah...we're pretty much f*cked. Big governmnet getting bigger, and doing whatever it needs to to ensure its survival has always been the problem. Now, it's irreversible by peaceful means.

How true the following words:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...

we did it with England...but that was before an army such as the US has at its disposal to squash any attempt at toppling the status quo. Good luck.

Anyone care to propose a way out of this? =)

It's 2:56 a.m. please excuse the insane rant.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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