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  (Source: media.salon.com)
France wants answers

France is concerned about the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) spy programs and its intentions when it comes to the involvement of French citizens, and now, the country is demanding answers.

France summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday after French newspaper Le Monde detailed the NSA's actions in spying on French citizens. It turns out the amount and depth of the NSA's spying on France is more than the country was aware of, and it plans to get detailed justification. 

"We have extremely useful cooperation with the United States in the struggle against terrorism, but this cooperation does not justify everything," said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. "So we've asked the United States to provide clarifications, explanations and justifications extremely quickly."

According to the U.S. embassy in Paris, Ambassador Charles Rivkin promised Fabius's chief of staff that he would tell Washington about France's NSA worries. 

Le Monde said the NSA recorded 70.3 million bits of French telephone data between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. The NSA also collected tens of thousands of French phone records.

While the NSA says it targets those suspected of terrorism activity or involvement, those part of French business or politics were also spied on through the NSA's surveillance programs. 

Back in July, Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary inquiry into the NSA's Prism program after The Guardian in Britain and Der Spiegel in Germany uncovered a more widespread spying effort by the NSA. 

The NSA has been under the microscope ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden uncovered the spying methods used by U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this year, which included collecting data from phones. This was used to fight terrorist attacks, but the public feared for their privacy after such revelations.

In August, reports said that the NSA admitted to touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale. 

Days later, an internal audit showed that the NSA broke the law nearly 3,000 times from 2011 to 2012. More specifically, the May 2012 audit revealed that the NSA had abused its power to either accidentally or intentionally spy on Americans and green card holders 2,997 times in that time period. 

Just last week, The Washington Post revealed that the NSA seized the email and IM contacts lists of 700,000+ accounts daily in 2012.

Source: Le Monde



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RE: just wondering...
By retrospooty on 10/21/2013 6:44:04 PM , Rating: 4
"...damn ruskies..."

I think the key point to take away here is that the US govt. is spying on the entire world. Not only its own citizens, but foreign citizens as well. Absolutely crazy.


RE: just wondering...
By vol7ron on 10/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: just wondering...
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/21/2013 7:06:50 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
That's not news. That's the only real way to protect against anti-terrorism. You don't just ask someone if they're planning something, you have to spy and gather intel.
Name one instance where spying on Americans stopped an attack. The Obama administration has had ample time to provide such an example. It has not, and can not.

Attacks -- such as the Boston attacks -- have occurred despite this Orwellian effort.
quote:
What I think we should all care about is if the US govt is abusing this power, or if they have any plans to abuse it.
Immaterial. If they have a system that invites abuse whether they're abusing it now or plan to does not preclude future abuse.
quote:
Are their systems susceptible to thievery?
By the nature of their existence, yes.

All systems are vulnerable to data loss if they are accessible by humans. No system is "hack-proof".
quote:
We care about respective privacy, but still require protection from the abuse of the current system and foreign powers that may become privy to this information.
It is illegal for the NSA to monitor Americans. That's the law, and it's the bottom line. No if(s), and(s), or but(s).

Even the NSA acknowledges this.

It admits in audits to breaking the law thousands of times a year.

It is play a silly game of semantics, saying it "assumes" Americans' digital data (which sometimes travels overseas) is not an American, hence it can seize it. This is blatantly illegal as far as I can see.

If Congress meant for that to be legal, it would pass a new law, changing the role of the NSA. Currently the NSA spying on Americans is illegal and the NSA is breaking the law.


RE: just wondering...
By Souka on 10/21/2013 7:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
and how come the spying by other contries on our citizens aren't news?

Oh yeah... because its not as interesting to the layman


RE: just wondering...
By MechanicalTechie on 10/21/2013 8:48:26 PM , Rating: 5
Explain to me how bugging EU offices, surveillance of embassies, monitoring of Latin America and now spying of businesses and officials in France has anything to do with terrorism?

Nothing more than decite and lies.. where is the honour and the respect?

Why does the world hate America... gee i have no idea!


RE: just wondering...
By YearOfTheDingo on 10/21/2013 11:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of market-moving information passed through government offices. Foreknowledge on decisions by top key officials can greatly enhance our ability to combat terrorism. During the euro zone debt crisis, for instance, the failure to accurately predict German intention led to the collapse of MF Global. Billions of dollars were lost. The event has also become a rallying point for numerous domestic terrorist groups.


RE: just wondering...
By MechanicalTechie on 10/22/2013 12:14:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Foreknowledge on decisions by top key officials can greatly enhance our ability to combat terrorism

What fuckn drugs are you on? America is going to wait and see if another government is going to do anything before acting on terrorism?? Is that what you think?? Look at Pakistan and North Africa, the US is breaking international and sovereign law!! Plus which allied governments wouldnt pass on reliant information????
quote:
During the euro zone debt crisis, for instance, the failure to accurately predict German intention led to the collapse of MF Global. Billions of dollars were lost. The event has also become a rallying point for numerous domestic terrorist groups.

Numerous domestic terrorist?? Where are you getting this crap from? So because of the euro debt crisis all these terror cells are being formed? Where you dropped at birth or something... and bugging trade negotiations and the UN is for what extactly?? For christ sake man is nothing more than a deplorable act of self interest above all and shows utter lack of respect.

How can any country accept another when it behaves like this? Hang your head in shame for defending such practises!


RE: just wondering...
By michael67 on 10/22/2013 1:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
Actually countries would not have a problem whit the US spying on it citizens if it was only to prevent terrorism, but the problem is that the US is not trusted to do only that, but also use non terror related data that should be trashed will be used for personal (US) economic gain.

And who would blame them they see people like president candidate Mitt Romney. o_0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mb_owhIjeo

People in other parts in the world see Washington as just one corrupt cesspool of lobbyists.

quote:
The event has also become a rallying point for numerous domestic terrorist groups.


Whit the whit imho properly justified paranoia about US government corporate interaction, is it strange other countries are getting upset about the scale of the spying the NSA is doing, as to most 70m intercepted calls is beyond justifiable reason.

A lot of people condemn what Snowden has done, as many see it, that he betrayed his country, and his oath to protect it.

But what if one oath conflicts whit a other, you swear to keep the secrets you have access to have bin obtained illegally, and is conflicting with a other oath you have taken, to uphold the law (the constitution).

And i am not talking about accidental or incidental breaches because of real life or dead tread's.

But systematic disregard of the law by the people that are sworn to protect and uphold it, and start spying on everyone, whit two things to justify it:
1. We protecting you from terrorism!
2. If you done noting wrong you you have noting to hide/fear ... right? (the Stasi said the same thing)

I for one would also have problems if my government was doing the same, and would possibly reveal that type of information.

Before 9/11 there ware actually to many safeguards in place to prevent the government on spying on it citizens, but there ware no people like Manning or Snowden, because the government followed the law/constitution.

now its the other way around, the government thinks that the law/constitution are less important then so called war on terror, and acts like the cause justifies all the actions, and finds it strange that there are still people around that have real principals, that think you can bend the law a bid if necessary, but not just disregard it totally, and Snowden leaks have shown that the US government was just pissing on its own constitution.

If America really wants to be safer, then it should ease up on the war on terror, and start talking to the other side, and make some apology's to wards country's ware the US have done wrong things in the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_Guatemalan_coup_...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ajax#U.S._r...

Operation Ajax is the sole reason why the Iranian students ware occupying the US embassy in Tehran, out of fear that the US would meddle again in its internal affairs, and put the shah back in power again.

Actions like these, and there are many more like them over the last 6 decades, made the world distrust, the west that only followed there self interest, over the heads of local people, and mainly the US and UK, most people in west don't know what there governments have done in there name, but the people how ware on the short end of the stick, they still remember, and they made sure there children and grand children also knew, not to trust the US.

Only following your self interest can gain you huge benefits in the short run, but in the long run, people start to distrust you, and be wary of you, and even wane get back at you, and we all know one of the results of that and what happened on 9/11.


RE: just wondering...
By StevoLincolnite on 10/22/2013 1:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually countries would not have a problem whit the US spying on it citizens if it was only to prevent terrorism, but the problem is that the US is not trusted to do only that, but also use non terror related data that should be trashed will be used for personal (US) economic gain.


I don't trust my own government, let alone an overseas one that I didn't even vote for.

I actually have the right to my privacy, so the question begs, do I have any legal course of action to prevent the Americans from spying on me?


RE: just wondering...
By vol7ron on 10/31/2013 11:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad you threw two continents into caring about you, but I assure you Americans (Mexicans, Canadians, United Statians, Brazilians, Argentinians, et al) don't really care about you. And don't be upset, they don't care about me either, especially United Statians - who have their own lives to worry about.


RE: just wondering...
By purerice on 10/22/2013 2:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
First and foremost, MF Global was a private entity not legally entitled to any market-moving information. The only way your example works would be if the government gave specific firms insider information.

Secondly, MF Global failed because they over-levered and doubled down on investments that were losing value. IF MF Global had not overly leveraged its investment in securities with falling values, then they would have been fine. They got away with leverage for a while because they lied about it.

Pray ye, name one single example of MF Global's bungles as a rallying point for one single terrorist group. PLEASE!


RE: just wondering...
By Stosh68 on 10/22/2013 12:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
Don't be so naive. If you think France or any other country isn't doing the same thing to the US you're delusional. Not only are these counties spying on the US government, but these counties are also behind state sponsored efforts to steal trade secrets and intellectual property of US businesses. That's the way of the world, and any foreign politician publicly complaining about US spying is just putting on a show for the "voters". Search industrial espionage on Wikipedia and see what France has been targeting in the US in the past.


RE: just wondering...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/22/2013 4:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
How to Spy on America:

Step 1: Turn on the news
Step 2: ????
Step 3: Profit!


RE: just wondering...
By kmmatney on 10/22/2013 2:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
"Name one instance where spying on Americans stopped an attack."

Well, there have been several instances where terrorist attacks have been thwarted, and Im going to have to assume there was spying going on. A few years back here in Denver they arrested a few people who were planning suicide attacks on the NY subway system. They pleaded guilty. I going to assume they were spying on them as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Najibullah_Zazi


RE: just wondering...
By Strunf on 10/23/2013 7:48:32 AM , Rating: 2
The problem in your example is that Zazi went to Afghanistan to fight against the US, and it's normal that his doings would be under scrutiny and not just by the NSA, no one argues that we should spy on terrorists, on thing is to spy on suspected terrorist another is to spy everyone.


RE: just wondering...
By vol7ron on 10/31/2013 11:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Name one instance where spying on Americans stopped an attack. The Obama administration has had ample time to provide such an example. It has not, and can not.


Are you serious? Do you know how many threats and planned attacks the government and institutions receive daily? - both foreign and domestic. An intel officer told me once and I was astonished - post 9/11 they talk about it on the news every once-in-a-while. Recently, there have been a number of planned attacks, car bombings, subway bombings, et al. that have occurred (primarily in NYC, DC, Boston, and LA) over the years. Do you not recall the FBI working with Paypal to do analysis on consumer purchases and discovering groups as a result? Jason, please don't claim ignorance on this one.

quote:
Immaterial. If they have a system that invites abuse whether they're abusing it now or plan to does not preclude future abuse.

It's not immaterial. You're reconfirming my statement... we should care if they are abusing or have plans to. We need to protect ourselves, without crippling our defenses. The world isn't the same as it was in the 50s. I don't understand how you can quote me, then say something similar, and call it "immaterial". It's not immaterial. You're assuming they're going to abuse this power, I'm saying that we won't know unless we protect/prepare ourselves -- I suppose I'm more conservative than you and not as naive. I don't think "just because I don't hear about it, it's not happening", instead, I think... it could be happening, I want to ensure it isn't.

quote:
All systems are vulnerable to data loss if they are accessible by humans. No system is "hack-proof".

It was a rhetorical question, reinforcing the fact that we should care.

_______________

I don't understand why my original comment was down voted. I am not for being spied on, but I'm not so ignorant that I can't understand that there are malevolent-natured people in this country. Whether here illegally, or actual "Americans", there are those amongst us that try to enact plans of terrorism or some vigilante agenda. Look at 9/11, they were terrorists who trained themselves on our soil. I don't know about you, but I'd like to prevent that from happening. I'd like to protect the innocent, not endanger them.

My main question is how can we better prevent terrorist schemes this day in age, without gathering information and doing analysis on it? My belief is that homeland security is the government's primary objective - to protect its citizens, especially those that cannot protect themselves; women and children first. If there is no other way for the government to do this, than gathering lots of data and running analytical engines, then we should make sure to protect ourselves (our rights) from it being abused.


RE: just wondering...
By ritualm on 10/21/2013 7:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's the only real way to protect against anti-terrorism. You don't just ask someone if they're planning something, you have to spy and gather intel.

The various LEAs (FBI, DEA, NSA, CIA, etc.) and armed services could have talked to each other and actively shared information.

The agencies could have acted upon intel supplied by foreign intel groups.

They could have bothered to connect the dots.

Nope. They did none of the above. All of that egregious violation of our rights couldn't stop the Boston Marathon bombing from taking place. Yet here you're claiming how we need to live in a police state in order to be safe.

Tried... and failed?


RE: just wondering...
By vol7ron on 11/2/2013 4:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and no.

What happened with the Boston Marathon was a bunch of failures. I think the criminals were actually brought into the Pentagon for questioning at some point because of their activity, which probably would not have happened without some surveillance.

More data and better analytical engines would help detect, would it not? It's understood that you can't prevent everything, but you can't try -- can't you? The alternative is keeping the status quo, which as technology improves, makes it increasingly difficult to protect yourself against evildoers who much better understand how to game and find holes in defense systems.

Police state is a little harsher than I would use, but so you know, we have kind of already been in such a state for the last 50+ years. What's changed is what the public has come to know and the degree to which the government has increased their surveillance/monitoring.


RE: just wondering...
By Paj on 10/23/2013 7:59:23 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's the only real way to protect against anti-terrorism.


I think you mean terrorism there...

Regardless, the best way of protecting against terrorism is to stop having a belligerent foreign policy and trying to achieve military superiority. Switzerland is never a target for terrorists because they don't instigate coups, or invade other countries.


RE: just wondering...
By theapparition on 10/22/2013 9:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
What's crazy is your reply. The very definition of spying is gathering intelligence from foreign sources. That is not illegal, but other countries may have issues with it and getting caught with foreign secrets in another country will gat you put in their jail. Espionage is a game and every country does it.

What is illegal is spying on your own citizens in the US. That is forbidden, yet our administration has conveniently disregarded the law.

France is just upset now, not because of the US monitoring their citizens, just that the US went further than it initially allowed. By allowing the us to gather intel on their own citizens, it absolves them of spying on their own. It was a win-win for France, except now that its public, they have to save some face.


RE: just wondering...
By kingmotley on 10/22/2013 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
The whole point of the NSA *IS* to spy on foreign citizens. Are you suggesting that the NSA should just sit in a small room and watch TV all day and wait for some terrorist group to announce themselves, and only then should they go an spy on that one guy? Somehow I don't think that works too well.

Now besides terrorism, the NSA is responsible for the security of the United States. That includes protecting us from known, and unknown foreign issues, including ones from France. This news is a non-story. Might of just titled the story... "NSA does their job, France cries like a little girl again"


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