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  (Source: Patriot Post)
Blanket order allows NSA to collect data on any or all of Verizon's 121 million U.S. subscribers

Already under fire on a host of scandals -- including drone death strikes on Americans, unprecedented campaigns spying on reporters, and the targeting of political rivals by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) -- the gap between rhetoric and reality continues to widen for the Obama administration, as an alleged policy document detailing active efforts to spy on millions of Americans has leaked.

I. Obama Administration Feigns Transparency

Consider the Obama administration's current policy "Government Should be Transparent", which states:

Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.

Now consider the fact that the Obama administration had said nothing about a massive program that has allegedly collected the phone records of millions of Americans, most of which had never engaged in the planning of terrorism or criminal activity.  The order includes calls "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls."

Obama administration
The Obama administration has done its best to project a bold image of "transparency".
[Image Modifications: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

The Guardian obtained the order, which was approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).  Past court leaked FISA orders revealed plans to spy on a finite group of individuals or records regarding a specific spying/terrorism suspect.  But this order was unusual allowing "unlimited" spying.

Requested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the order demands America's largest carrier -- Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc.'s (LON:VOD) Verizon Wireless -- hand over "session identifying information", such as "originating and terminating number", the duration of each call, telephone calling card numbers, trunk identifiers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, and "comprehensive communication routing information".  The records were ordered to be handed the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), an agency officially tasked not with spying on Americans, but on spying on foreign communications.

Basically, these records reveal on a "daily basis" who millions of customers are calling, at what time, and from where they're placing the calls.

II. Spying Campaign Scooped Information on Millions of Law-Abiders

Verizon Wireless currently has 121 million customers in the U.S., according to its most recent earnings report -- which include 98.9m wireless customers, 11.7m residential phone lines, and around 10m commercial lines.  The published court order is seen below:

p. 1
p. 2
p. 3
The secret program by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) began in the Presidency of George W. Bush.  Empowered by the Oct. 2001 USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act, the Bush administration repurposed the NSA to its new role of spying on Americans.  Specifically the "business records" (50 U.S.C. § 1861) section of the PATRIOT Act gave the feds the ammo to seize these records from the private sector.

Details of the program first leaked to The New York Times back in 2005.  At the time administration officials speaking confidentially to NYT claimed the program was relatively small -- monitoring the phone calls of around 500 individuals at a time.

Bush and Obama
President Obama and his predecessor President Bush agree on many things, including that the federal government should be granted unregulated spying on its citizens.
[Image Source:]

In 2006, USA Today reported that the program had expanded its data collection, albeit in a less detailed manner.  The new program initiative reportedly collected millions of records of citizens, most of whom were law-abiding.  However, it did not collect details of phone conversations for most calls.

It was undetermined -- until now -- whether the Obama administration had continued such programs of massive surveillance.

III. Big Brother is Watching

Now the world has received strong evidence that Obama is secretly spying on millions of Americans just like his predecessor.

Previously, critics of the Obama administration's spying on both sides of the aisle in Congress, including Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) had alluded to such programs, but were unable to discuss them under the threat of imprisonment under government secrecy laws.  In a 2012 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Sens. Wyden and Udall complain, "We believe that most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted [the PATRIOT Act]."

The report follows the commentary of a former FBI agent who claimed that the government had the ability to access any phone conversation over the past several years, thanks to sophisticated interception technology driven by exabyte storage and advanced dictation software for long-term storage.  Past whistleblower reports from AT&T, Inc. (T) employees have suggested that the nation's second largest wireless carrier may be on the hook for similar surveillance demands.

General Keith Alexander
NSA chief General Keith Alexander has masterminded the massive spying effort.
[Image Source: DefenseTech]

Cumulatively, AT&T and Verizon serve about two-thirds of U.S. phone customers.  The Verizon order alone authorizes the administration to spy on over a third of Americans.

The current court order prohibits Verizon to disclose the request for customer records.  In fact, it prevents Verizon from even mentioning the court order itself.  In exchange for the Orwellian gag provisions, Verizon gets immunity from lawsuits.  The secret order was passed April 15 (2013) and will run through July 19.

IV. Administration: Give up Your Liberties to Protect Yourselves

The administration and its agencies involved in this latest scandal refused to publicly comment on the FISA order.

President Obama
President Obama is yet again angered by critics of his spying. [Image Source: AP]
But in comments to various news agencies unnamed administration officials responded defiantly to the allegations that the programs hurt Americans.  Comments an official to Reuters:

[Spying on Americans is] a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States.  It allows counter terrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States.

In the 1970s, when the NSA was first organized with the official purpose of spying on foreigners, former Sen. Frank Church III (D-Idaho) warned in a speech:

The NSA's capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter.

It appears the late Senator's prediction proved prophetic.

V. Phone Tracking Could Prove Key to Future Hunts of "The Deadliest Game"

A final piece of food for thought: consider that the U.S. is pushing hard to create unmanned fully-autonomous armed drones and has refused to sign robotic warfare treaties that would keep a human soldier "in the loop" for any killing decisions.  At the same time the U.S. is expanding armed drone use over U.S. soils and AG Holder has stated it may be necessary to kill Americans without warrant in some instances.

Predator missile
Phone records could one day be used to feed information for use in drone killings.
[Image Source: Drone Wars UK]

As facial recognition and fully autonomous warfare advances, the issue of phone record grabs may intensify.  As data handling advances we may eventually reach a state where every citizen's phone signal is used to provide government databases with a discrete target location.  And combined with data mining of social networks and other records, autonomous drones may eventually be able to hunt Americans via phone signal and facial appearance (from harvested images), allowing warrantless death-strikes with a mere press of the button.

The technology isn't quite there.  But with programs like these sweeping surveillance efforts and technology in general rapidly advancing, we're not that far off either.

Sources: Guardian UK [1], [2]

Comments     Threshold

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restore the Constitution
By DockScience on 6/6/2013 2:26:37 PM , Rating: 5
Had enough government yet?
Or do you need SOME MORE?

The US Constitution specifically forbids such searches: "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"

RE: restore the Constitution
By BSMonitor on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: restore the Constitution
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 4:21:51 PM , Rating: 4
I read something about liberty and security somewhere. Some Ben Franklin quote that I can't quite remember </sarcasm>

RE: restore the Constitution
By JediJeb on 6/6/2013 4:24:55 PM , Rating: 5
Actually it can be both. The Constitution allows for searches and seizures but it also requires that the law enforcement agent obtain a warrant FIRST, not after the fact or not at all.

There is a difference between targeted surveillance and blanket information capture. The possibilities for misuse of all this data is very great, unless you put full faith and trust in every government agency that may have access to it now or in the future. I wonder if any group within any government agency would ever overstep/misuse their authority.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Stuka on 6/6/2013 10:31:54 PM , Rating: 3
Not to mention, every week there's another FBI, CIA, NSA, or HSA laptop and/or external HDD going missing somewhere in the world.

RE: restore the Constitution
By karimtemple on 6/6/2013 4:29:15 PM , Rating: 5
Give me the attacks. Part of the problem we're seeing here is that people expect perfection, which is automatically and always stupid. There is no possible way for law enforcement to prevent you from being harmed. Prevention [should be] a tertiary law enforcement concern, treated as a best-effort science. Making it a priority has brought about all the nonsense we're now discussing.

I'd rather be shot in the head in a jihad than live in a place where people don't understand virtue and just want to stay alive as long as possible with no regard to the social, ethical, and economic costs.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Invane on 6/6/2013 6:36:55 PM , Rating: 5
Completely agree. However, the government's media propaganda arm has most of the US so scared of some vague 'terror' threat that they're willing to give up their rights.

The number of actual terrorist attacks is very low already. Your annual probability of dieing in a car accident is 1 in 19000. Your annual probablity of drowning in your own bathtub is 1 in 800000. Assuming that ALL known prevented terrorist plots since 2001 were successful, and that they had each killed 100 Americans (extremely unlikely), your odds of dieing to a terrorist attack would STILL be 1 in 1.7 million annually. []

The number of attacks you prevent by forcing more and more authoritarian methodologies will be miniscule compared to the rights you will be surrendering. The government is doing far more with this information than trying to prevent terrorist attacks. Your government should scare you far more than middle eastern bogeymen.

RE: restore the Constitution
By seamonkey79 on 6/6/2013 7:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
But... I feel safer.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 10:20:18 AM , Rating: 2

The War on terror is a farce used to take away rights. You will never be 100% safe.

They could easily track known terrorist numbers and if they end up calling someone in America then get the info on that number and that number alone. This "we need them all" is total BS.

If you give up your freedom for, supposed, safety then the terrorist have already won.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Kiffberet on 6/7/2013 8:33:51 AM , Rating: 2

RE: restore the Constitution
By Motoman on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: restore the Constitution
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 7:08:51 PM , Rating: 4
Well, if the guy we used to hate did it, I don't see why the guy we currently hate can't do it to.

I mean lets be honest, if I were a Left Wing president I would do WAY worse to you people then this guy is doing. Mostly because you'd be stupid enough to let me do it. Look at all of you here advocating that your privacy be violated for no reason that's been proven to you. And what's worse, you justify it because someone you hate did something similar. You people are RIPE for a tyranny or a dictator. What's worse you would cheer me and THANK me for subjugating you.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Motoman on 6/7/2013 11:55:02 AM , Rating: 1
Well, if the guy we used to hate did it, I don't see why the guy we currently hate can't do it to.

This is the point I'm making. And look how the Republitards reacted to my post. And by the way, if you identify as a Democrat, then you're a Demotard.

If you are stupid enough to simply adhere to one political party or another, you don't deserve any respect at all. The party system has destroyed any possibility of Americans getting a good, virtuous government. The best possible case in all possible universes would be to ban political parties, and require all candidates to run based on their own merits and their own platforms - and thereby requiring voters to actually pay attention to WTF is going on and make an informed decision about each vote they cast.

RE: restore the Constitution
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 1:44:52 PM , Rating: 1
Common sense does not apply to many people lol.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/7/2013 2:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
Common sense does not apply to many people lol.
Oh the irony...

RE: restore the Constitution
By Cerin218 on 6/7/2013 6:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
You actively advocate the loss of your own freedoms and have the balls to say someone else lacks common sense?

RE: restore the Constitution
By Cerin218 on 6/7/2013 11:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
We have a two party system. PERIOD. Nothing is going to change that. Personally I lean Objectivist but that isn't the point. The Right wing sucks, but just SLIGHTLY less than the Left. There will be no destruction done to this country than the left has done since FDR. There will be no banning of party's simple because the people are too stupid and lazy to do that. Anyone that did a half hearted attempt to study Obama prior to the first election KNEW this was going to happen. Obama is the liberal Reagan. They haven't had ANYONE that has advanced their cause this way since LBJ. Most collectivists don't understand the stupidty of their own cult. What worse is there are people here actually DEFENDING the governments ability to expand tyranny. Then claim the HATE Bush while excusing the current person hosing them WORSE!!

RE: restore the Constitution
By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2013 11:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Your "point" was false. There is NOTHING in the Patriot Act, or any bill or act signed by Bush, that gives the Government the authority to gather tens of millions of people's phone "metadata" records in one massive swoop. What this Administration is doing is unprecedented and quite illegal. And despite their claims, this is not business as usual.

The best possible case in all possible universes would be to ban political parties,

Sounds like tyranny to me. Perhaps you're unaware of this thing called the Constitution? Pretty sure "banning" political parties would go against the First Amendment and several others.

You want to throw the baby out with the bathwater because it's not going the way you think it should.

and thereby requiring voters to actually pay attention to WTF is going on and make an informed decision about each vote they cast.

And it's political parties fault they don't do this now and haven't for quite a while? I don't see how your plan is going to cure voter apathy and ignorance.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Nfarce on 6/6/2013 10:33:39 PM , Rating: 1
Likewise, what I love about you PMSNBC/DNCNN left wingnut liberal nutjobs (like some people here on DT) seem not not acknowledge:

Your hero Obama has taken MANY of the Bush programs and EXPANDED them. Yeah that's right, from warrantless wiretapping you people used to wet your beds over under Bush to Gitmo to absolute cronyism and abuse of power. You people say NOTHING about your hero Obama doing all of ^^that now. Oh, and let's not go there with 75% of all Afghanistan US troop deaths falling under Obama's regime too that you people use do froth at the mouth over when they were dying under Bush. NOT A PEEP NOW.

Of course, on the flip side, you mealy-mouthed Dems LOVE to give Obama all the praise for things positive that were BUSH policies, like the Iraq withdrawal timetable and US auto bailouts. Sit down and drink a tall glass of STFup, Demwit liberal. But I will give you credit for one thing: while you did trot out the typical mindless Faux News zinger, you at least didn't call those pesky right wingers "racist." Congratulations.

See, I can name call too! Makes me feel so smart and all... like one of you acid-tongued liberals.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Motoman on 6/7/2013 2:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
You'd make some sense, maybe, if I was a fan of Obama...and/or a Democrat.

I'm neither. Because I have a brain. You should look into getting one.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Dorkyman on 6/7/2013 10:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. Brilliant response. You are one smart guy.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 10:52:02 AM , Rating: 2
To indicate that people that voted for Obama or are Democrats have no brains shows yours isn't working correctly.

"ME REPUBLICAIN" "ME SMART!" You and your train of thought are part of the problem.

To correct this country it’s going to take all sides/citizens coming together, against BOTH parties that are selling us down the drain.

Get off you high horse and "my party is better and smarter than yours" mentality, or nothing will ever change.

Have you ever heard these words?
Divided We Fall

RE: restore the Constitution
By Skywalker123 on 6/9/2013 2:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
We'll have to take your claim of having a brain on faith as you have provided us with no evidence

RE: restore the Constitution
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 10:41:46 AM , Rating: 2
I have question for you. How do you know that the people you hear complaining aren’t' the very people you claim aren't saying a PEEP?

You seem to be making an assumption you can' backup with facts.

I can tell you I am disappointed with Obama that ran on the primise he would either do away with or severly limit the,so called, Patroit Act.

Why the heck to you think we consider Obama "my hero" Was Bush your Hero?

What you totally seem to be missing is that BOTH PARTIES ARE TAG TEAMING US! They and their media arms are pitting us against each other, You are proof its working, so that we are too busy to fight them.

Now what are YOU going to do about it? Call Democrats names? Good job "their" plan is working perfectly!

RE: restore the Constitution
By Asetha on 6/7/2013 12:01:12 PM , Rating: 1
Warrantless wiretapping was used about the same number of times as your IQ.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/7/2013 12:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
And you know this how? Please enlighten us to the inside knowledge you seem to have.

RE: restore the Constitution
By Skywalker123 on 6/9/2013 2:56:45 AM , Rating: 1
Wah! Mommy, Bush did it first!

Breaking news, this just in, Obama has been president for the last five years and is responsible for all his actions!

RE: restore the Constitution
By Reclaimer77 on 6/6/2013 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 4
This is exactly the Obama we feared if given a second term, an Obama not concerned with needing a reelection, free to do whatever he wants. The people be damned.

And quoting the Constitution to Obama? You might as well be speaking Klingon or using a "Jedi mind meld". Remember his views on it?

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society…. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution … that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf , and that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change…. I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through courts… The Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day … The Framers had that same blind spot … the fundamental flaw of this country. "

Translation? Our President who, ironically, swore to uphold the Constitution believes it's a flawed document. He has no respect for it.

This is a man who, by his own admission, regards America’s foundational premise as fundamentally flawed.

RE: restore the Constitution
By karimtemple on 6/7/2013 8:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
The Framers thought it was flawed. That's why they wrote Article 5. That's why we've successfully invoked it 27 times. I've written more than one essay about the flaws of the Constitution, and this is coming from someone who thinks of himself as a constitutionalist. Saying "he has no respect for it" is meaningless. Maybe he does or maybe he doesn't, I'm not omniscient, but if he doesn't it sure as hell isn't because he said the Constitution is "remarkable and flawed." Any intellectual would say the same thing.

RE: restore the Constitution
By catavalon21 on 6/7/2013 5:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's okay for him to think it's flawed...but c'mon, wasn't that him with one hand on the Bible, the other in the air, saing "I will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God"?

RE: restore the Constitution
By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2013 6:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly aren't getting me, or are being deliberately obtuse.

Yes the document may have "flaws", however what Obama means is that he objects to the entire premise and mission statement that is the Constitution. He, like all Liberals, believe the founding of the country itself was flawed.

Look at this statement about "negative rights". Who would actually say this who respects what the Constitution is all about. He's lamenting that the Constitution didn't empower the Federal Government more, and lay out more specific powers they had over the people. Hello Obama, know about this thing called the Tenth Amendment?

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

RE: restore the Constitution
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 10:58:52 AM , Rating: 1
"He, like all Liberals, believe the founding of the country itself was flawed."

1. How the hell did you come up with that Bullshit?

2. "ALL" Really?

3. I hope you only use your Super Powers for good, but from this post it doens't look like you are.

By Dribble on 6/6/2013 11:50:09 AM , Rating: 5
What does that tell you about the freedom of the press in the US?

By retrospooty on 6/6/2013 12:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
We do have freedom of press... Anyone can start up a press agency can print what they want... The issue is all the major press agencies are following the same "narratives". Gicen out by ... whatever agency.

By Schrag4 on 6/6/2013 2:14:26 PM , Rating: 4
While I don't disagree with what you're saying, I think you missed the point of the OP. The recent AP wiretaps sent a chilling message to anyone who may consider leaking anything to the press. They may have gone to a UK newspaper because they were afraid the US news corporations are being listened in on by the DoJ.

By wookie1 on 6/7/2013 3:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Just don't do any reporting, or you might be prosecuted. Oh, and make sure that you're not critical of the president or his staff or you might get phone/e-mail snooped so that your sources can be heckled and scared away. Other than that, you're in the clear...oh, unless you say something that is more supportive of another party, you might get a friendly audit from the IRS. Other than that, though, the government gives you permission to have freedom of the press! Bonus points for writing stories against the opposition (at least until the opposition is the one in office).

By DockScience on 6/6/2013 2:28:18 PM , Rating: 5
Taking it to the NY Times or DC Post would be the same as taking it to an Obama Fan Club meeting.

By deeznuts on 6/6/2013 8:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
Hey what about PRISM, the newly disclosed secret program by the NSA where all the major players are involved.

The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Dropbox , the cloud storage and synchronization service, is described as “coming soon.”

By Spookster on 6/7/2013 10:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind.

The first of it's kind? LOL Great investigative reporting. The FBI and NSA have been using systems like this for the last 16 years (Carnivore and NarusInsight).

And we are not all in prison camps yet. This is shocking. I could really make you nutjobs freak out if I told you about some of the hand me down equipment we got from the NSA to use in my old job.

By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 11:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
If we tell them even 5% of what the government agencies do, they would all lose their minds. Their mentality is that any power the government holds will be abused. They don't realize the vast majority of people in these critical positions actually have integrity and doing it for a purpose other than themselves.

They search the internet everyday for news like this and blow it out of proportion. Then reference busted corrupt people that was caught to justify their claims. I find it funny that while there are millions that work for the government but only a handful did bad deeds, people can still say the government is out to get them.

By Cerin218 on 6/7/2013 6:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
Their mentality is that any power the government holds will be abused.

You are SURELY brain dead. Study WHY the people that left England came here. TO AVOID TYRANNY!!! Know why the Constitution was written with WEAK Federal powers and STRONG state and people powers? TO AVOID TYRANNY. Yet you and the Spookster useful idiots are actually ADVOCATING for tyranny. How STUPID are the two of you?

I don't search the internet everyday for this stuff, but when a LARGE NUMBER of these things come to light I see it's not coincidence.

By Dorkyman on 6/7/2013 10:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. What concerns me is where else in the world can one now move to? What other country has principles similar to what the US once had?

By Spookster on 6/7/2013 11:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
What tyranny? LOL You are so far gone from the real world of today there is no medication that can help you. You must live a sad life thinking that around every corner awaits a government agent coming to take you away. You can't even comprehend that culture and society change over the course of hundreds of years and that the rules that govern our society will inevitably have to adapt with it. While the rest of society wants to move forward you insist on living in the past. You've allowed paranoia to overcome any possibility for rational thought.

I'm beginning to believe mental illness in this country is becoming more widespread because I keep encountering more and more people like you.

By Cheesew1z69 on 6/8/2013 8:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm beginning to believe mental illness in this country is becoming more widespread because I keep encountering more and more people like you. just don't want to see it...

By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 9:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
Been arguing most of the day with the people on here that believe tyranny is good and that the government is here to help you.

From Left Wing Yahoo none the less.

Grow up kids, your government hates you.

By Piiman on 6/8/2013 11:15:51 AM , Rating: 2
So a story that basically everyone, that is supposedly, involved denies it is supposed to mean what? Am I supposed to believe it? If so I think it will take a little more evidence than "some guys says".

But if you think about it, if Google can mine data from the Internet then why couldn't the Government do the same, even without "Back Doors" or direct access to the servers?

By BRB29 on 6/8/2013 11:25:44 AM , Rating: 2
because if they believe real facts and have common sense then there's no conspiracy to to be made.

To forget is to
By Scootie on 6/10/2013 12:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
The whole world forgets one tiny important thing and specially the americans. Why is the USA besieged by terorism?
Because they tried to mettle in the affairs of other countrys. This was the starting point of everything, of why americans loose their rights in the country they were born in ...and it will get even worse.
If you think politicians will ever let go of their power just go watch Star Wars Episode III(I know it's not best example but the main idea it's hidden in that movie).

I hope Europe will learn from and will never become another USA.

RE: To forget is to
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 1:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
Really? there's a ton more countries having way worse time against terrorism from the same groups of people. They must be meddling with the world too? The US is actually one of the least affected by terrorism.

You probably watched too much Star Wars.

By KOOLTIME on 6/6/2013 12:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
This is why cloud computing is so dangerous for individuals.

the future of computing = " ALL YOUR DATA BELONGS TO US".

Anything you do gets cache clouded even if you don't think its happening. basically means other people have your stuff, even if they claim its secured and/or encrypted, well its not.

The acts of a few bad people, disrupt how the rest of us safe and sane world live today, that's typically how history has proven itself to be.

By 2bdetermine on 6/6/2013 4:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's more like automate data mining.

By enlil242 on 6/6/2013 6:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
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A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By max_payne on 6/6/2013 11:40:32 AM , Rating: 3
How do you know who's "investigated" or not ?
Here I say "BOMB" and now I will be investigated by echelon (gov.) ...

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By JasonMick on 6/6/2013 12:17:30 PM , Rating: 5
Be real, investigations do not start because you sent a text or said something in a call. They are started from what they already know and somehow you are connected to it from multiple sources. Then they look at your phone records to get more clues and evidence.
No you are the one exaggerating and living in some kind of wonderfully naive dream world:

Bush administration spies on pacifist peace groups:

Obama administration's IRS audits political rivals, Jewish groups, etc.:

Note that's the wonderful thing about unchecked power and ambiguity. If I have it, I can call anyone a "terrorist" or a "tax dodger" and investigate them. It's all sealed behind close doors so unless someone snitches the government/mafia rolls on.

But, yes, let us live in fear. Let us give up our freedoms and privacy to fight the war on our ambiguous enemies. That seems such a wise sacrifice, right?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/6/2013 1:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
I live in reality
Yea, no.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spookster on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By KentState on 6/6/2013 1:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
So lets hide our head in the sand until they are fully capable of digesting all this intel? Sounds like it would be too late at that point.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By JasonMick on 6/6/2013 1:34:17 PM , Rating: 5
The tin foil hat club is out in full force. You can't argue with those who suffer from paranoid delusions. They even enjoy it I think.
And would consider George Orwell a tinfoil hat wearer?

Is it easy to exaggerate potential abuses for lack of solid details (which is wholly the fault of our wonderful federal government)? Certainly.

Is it prudent to "hope" that unchecked powers, erosion of civil liberties, and ubiquitous surveillance of law-abiding citizens are not abused? Absolutely not.

My friend, there is a massive difference between fabricating false claims of abuse and recognizing the potential for abuse. Likewise there is a massive difference between failing to recognize the nation's need to defend itself against REAL terrorism and the recognition that a government with unchecked power can grow to terrorize the people as well.

Threats to our freedom exist both from outside and from within. They always have an always will.

I think of the words of Douglas MacArthur:
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation."

If you think the federal government is beyond reproach and beyond answering to the citizens it supposedly serves you are sadly misguided.

Your attempt to use insults to squash the people's legitimate cries for transparency is shameful.
Having been in the Intel field in the Marine Corps for many years myself I have a pretty good idea of what our government agencies are or aren't capable of as well.
Your past experiences (which you provide no factual documentation of) in a military agency qualifies you to speak on the greater body of current surveillance by the intelligence community?

I think if you did serve your commanding officers would be ashamed at you making such claims of false knowledge and authority.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 1:47:56 PM , Rating: 3
Jason you are right along with everyone else here. You guys have no access to information, no experience in the field or knowledge of what is possible. Everybody who has clearances and knows what's going on is just saying "what are you talking about?" because they don't know better.

You've made a great home here. You guys gather here to whine and complain about every conspiracy while offering no solutions or any action to rectify a single matter you complained about. Things are going to stay the same and head the same direction regardless of how much you complain. It's good that way because this nation is made for motivated people to get ahead because they got off their seat and did something.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By karimtemple on 6/6/2013 1:57:01 PM , Rating: 5
Sometimes the solution is simply to say "no." You're making excuses for behaviors that really have no excuse. And it comes across as argumentative, as there's clearly no tangible benefit to you for the government to overextend its reach and create toxic potentials for abuse of power. That's what everyone is on about here, not The Conspiracy, not even directly the noble concepts of privacy and liberty, but the fact that the government should never be put in a situation where it's even possible for it to abuse its powers.

That was the whole point of the Constitution and the Three Branches, the checks and balances, the absence of a king, the explicitly enumerated powers, everything. Corruption isn't a scary mask that you put on or a set of devil horns, it's an omnipresent potential force residing in all things that has to be minded, respected, and policed at all times.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By karimtemple on 6/6/2013 2:24:53 PM , Rating: 3
You're not even responding to anything I've said. At no point did I blame Obama or THE ADMINISTRATION™ (cue ominous music). In my other post I used phrases like "idiot constituents" and "uncultured populace."

But the fact remains that you're missing the point: the government cannot be allowed to even be hospitable to the cancers of corruption and abuse. It just can't. See the U.S. Constitution for more details.

I'd like to have more to say, but this really is that simple.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 3:04:42 PM , Rating: 3
People can accept a wire tap or phone record query from a warrant for PDs

On SPECIFIC PERSONS suspected. Not 121 MILLION POSSIBLE suspects.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 3:08:00 PM , Rating: 1
121 million is the number of VZ users retard. It doesn't mean they are suspects. The PDs can say the same number.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/6/2013 3:32:22 PM , Rating: 3
Oh the irony...

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 4:31:45 PM , Rating: 3
Why would you need the records of 121 MILLION people that may or may not be doing something that you want to investigate? The PD's can say the same number and the the judge will say WHY? Because you have probable cause they 121 MILLION people might have information specific to the reason you asked for the warrant?

Yet you call me the retard? See any hypocrisy in that? Of course not as you have AMPLY shown yourself a sheep. Government is only kind and benevolent. They would NEVER test LSD on the population. Or do medical experiments on them. They are only there to help you.

By the way,

In political jargon, useful idiot is a pejorative term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

The term has been used to refer to Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. The implication was that, although the people in question naïvely thought of themselves as an ally of the Soviet Union, they were actually held in contempt and were being cynically used. The use of the term in political discourse has since been extended to other propagandists, especially those who are seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause which they naïvely believe to be a force for good

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Schrag4 on 6/6/2013 3:29:03 PM , Rating: 3
You were talking about abuse of power. It's not, it's the same concept as getting a warrant from a judge. People can accept a wire tap or phone record query from a warrant for PDs but they lose their mind when the FBI is asking for the thing. This is the equivalent as the warrant on the federal level. The only difference being the Director instead of a Judge so they cannot call it a warrant.

I'm sorry, why can't they just get a warrant?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 8:42:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, why can't they just get a warrant?

because you don't understand the difference between federal and state jurisdictions, what they can and cannot do.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By karimtemple on 6/6/2013 3:30:43 PM , Rating: 3
The only thing preventing corruption is morals and values.
I think this is the part that's confusing you. Preventing corruption is a structural opportunity; see the U.S. Constitution for details.

You design the organizational structure to mitigate the potential for corruption and the effects of corruption. You can't tell individuals what values to hold (unless you want a stupid America that deserves to go straight to Hell) and you can't do business with them crossing your fingers that they'll behave.

Corruption can only be properly addressed on a structural level, for example refusing to grant an agency the permission to violate obvious ethical paradigms and, by most interpretations, Constitutional law.
You were talking about abuse of power.
I was talking about the potential for abuse. I used variants of that phrase multiple times. So did Mick.
it's the same concept as getting a warrant from a judge.
Once again, it's not even close to being the same. It would be the same if you never had to get a warrant from a judge and could simply get one from your commissioner.
Abuse of power is present everywhere including the government.
This is specifically the reason against your defense of the things in question, not for. This is specifically why avenues for these abuses have to be avoided at every opportunity. Granting the federal government more and more powers and hoping and praying nothing goes wrong is not only braindead, but asinine given the fact that granting the extra powers was probably an inferior solution in the first place.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spuke on 6/6/2013 8:06:32 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing preventing corruption is morals and values. Believe in people to do the right thing and hold them accountable. The government may run the country and provide the laws. People forget that they are supposed to supervise the government. Because people are ignorant to their own rights and power, the government became more powerful. If you are afraid of the government then you are a fool. The people made the government in the first place.

I take back all the stuff I said about you in that other thread.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 11:36:30 AM , Rating: 1
"People can accept a wire tap or phone record query from a warrant for PDs but they lose their mind when the FBI is asking for the thing."

The problem is they asked for "ALL" I think there is a small difference.

And the whole "Secret Court" thing is also BS. If that doesn't sound scary to you I don't know what will.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Skywalker123 on 6/9/2013 3:07:01 AM , Rating: 1
With all your vast "knowledge" i guess you never heard of J.Edgar Hoover

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 2:45:08 PM , Rating: 1
Yet you KNOW everything the government can and can't do while insulting the doubters. Know how most Leftist governments got started, people like you.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spookster on 6/6/2013 3:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
Wow you are king of the nutjobs here I see. I didn't realize I was in the presence of royalty.

So I need to prove to you I was in the Marine Corps? Really? Shall I fax you a copy of my DD-214 and a copy of my SRB?

Just a tidbit of info as a Marine with an MOS in the 2600 field we often work very closely with these government agencies such as the NSA you are certain are out kill us all with drone strikes or lock us all up in prison camps after looking at our phone records or recording our every move on traffic cams. Although who would then pay the taxes that employ them. Quite a conundrum.

You seem to presume I am against any oversight of our government because I don't share the same delusional and extremely exaggerated views you have of what you think our government is currently or attempting to do.

When you make ridiculous speculative implications such as:
Phone records could one day be used to feed information for use in drone killings.

then it's hard to take your articles seriously. Watch out folks here in the U.S., you will be killed with drones if you use your phone now. lol

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 5:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
"then it's hard to take your articles seriously. Watch out folks here in the U.S., you will be killed with drones if you use your phone now. lol"

You say joke. Get back to me when it's happened. But why would it? It's not like the government has approved drone use to kill American citizens. Oh wait...

It's not like the government has approved drone use over the American continent. Oh wait...

It's not like the government can get a hold of cell phone imformation upon request. Oh wait...

See what I did there? All of a sudden it's doesn't seem so impossible.

Maybe you should check some history and see WHY this country was founded and what the people that left England left if for. Sheep.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spookster on 6/6/2013 5:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
Get back to you when it's happened? Ok, but don't hold your breath waiting.

It's not like you failed to read and comprehend the details of the drone bill. Oh wait...

It's not like you failed to read and comprehend the details of the cell phone record request order. Oh wait...

See what I did there? All of a sudden you just look ignorant of facts and delusional about reality.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 5:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike the stupid sheep like you I DON'T WANT TO WAIT TILL IT HAPPENS. By then it will be too late.

The framework is already being put in place but the stupid like you couldn't possibly imagine it happening because you're a useful idiot. You'd happily wave at Obama from the window of the gas chamber he just stuffed you into. Yeah, see the drone bill says it CAN'T happen. Jut like the government CAN'T hold you against your will without Due Process. Oh wait, that is a law.

Your response was stupid. Just like your original post.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spookster on 6/6/2013 7:24:15 PM , Rating: 1
LOL Here you go nutjobs. Above me here is your poster child.

You'd happily wave at Obama from the window of the gas chamber he just stuffed you into.

They do have medications that can help you with your mental condition.

<whisper>Shhh...nobody tell him though that the government will switch out his meds for mind control drugs, oh wait maybe they secretly have me under mind control...oh no another conundrum</whisper>

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 9:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
How do you walk without falling down more?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 9:54:40 PM , Rating: 1

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spookster on 6/7/2013 10:28:53 AM , Rating: 2
Let me really blow your paranoia out of control. The FBI started using a similar system they called Carnivore 16 years ago. And yet we are not all living in prison camps. I know this must be shocking to you. I bet Carnivore has been gathering all kinds of data on you.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 11:48:17 AM , Rating: 2
Why is everyone a sheep unless you're their sheepherder?

It seems to me you are no different you just a different sheepherder? Or do you really think you thought this all up yourself? Are you really the "Lone Wolf" you think you are?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 1:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
lol posting stuff like that will get you voted down here.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By ebakke on 6/6/2013 1:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
Dude. Chill.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/6/2013 1:56:56 PM , Rating: 1
Um, I am chill...

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 2:42:44 PM , Rating: 1
You know what's possible and what's not?

You are the EXACT sheeple that the government wants. You THINK you know what they can and can't do. You think you are "safe" in your "knowledge".

The government can do WHATEVER THEY WANT TO YOU. To think they can't makes you an incredible MORON.

This is what we KNOW about. You are brain dead if you think everything the government does is being brought to light by some faceless "good guys".

Google the term "Useful Idiot" and understand how you fit into the definition.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By WW102 on 6/6/2013 2:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
The same thing happened during the cold war. Look up Joseph McCarthy. If you got in his way, he would publicly call you a communist and you were then put under investigation.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 2:13:09 PM , Rating: 1
You're right, the government hasn't changed for decades. All those japanese that were imprisoned during WW2 are still in prison.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spookster on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 3:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, the government hasn't changed for decades. All those japanese that were imprisoned during WW2 are still in prison.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 5:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
One would question why American citizens were imprisoned at ALL . But oh, I forgot, the innocent American citizens were imprisoned by the government FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY right? Not because the government BELIEVED they were a threat simply because they were of Japanese heritage? Funny how you LOVE to make arguments against yourself. But the government would NEVER abuse it's citizens right?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 8:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
because the government is ran by people during a time of war that gives irrational fear after Pearl harbor. The same irrational fear you have now against the government.

Did people forget all government employees are people? the same people like you and me.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/7/2013 6:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Irrational fear of the government is GOOD. It's our JOB as citizens to question our government. I'm not a sheep like yo apparently are.

Yeah Obama is "same as you and me".

Why are you this adamant at being a tool?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Piiman on 6/8/2013 11:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
My God man get off the SHEEP thing. It makes you sound like a sheep!

Now tell us all your plan for taking back the governemt and making sure it does no evil. If you think posting on a tech blog will do anything I have news for you.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Dribble on 6/6/2013 11:46:18 AM , Rating: 5
So it's fine that the government has all your phone records?

It's fine that drones can kill whoever they like with no accountability (no one cared till they killed the odd American).

It's fine that the government is handing out secret orders that no one can talk about to allow them to do whatever they want.

It's fine they can set up prisons where they can do basically whatever they want to suspects without trial.

It's fine that the US is slowly turning into all the things it fought to prevent in WW2/cold war.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By retrospooty on 6/6/2013 11:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
"the US is slowly turning into all the things it fought to prevent in WW2/cold war."

Exactly... That sums it up right there. They take our freedoms a little tiny bit at a time in the name of [insert casue that will be justified at the time]. In today's case its the big bad "terrorism".


I mean, I get if they have cause to suspect someone and want to pull that someones records, I am OK with that. There is a warrant process... But not pull everyones records.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By DiscoWade on 6/6/2013 12:07:23 PM , Rating: 3
"And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timbered oak."
- Shakespeare

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 12:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
The Federal Investigations can only handle certain topics and jurisdictions. If you actual know the difference then you would have a different opinion.

The FBI cannot pick on you and say you're a terrorist to spy on you. It is usually handed from the State PDs up to the FBI or if you are found connected to a known terrorist group.

They can't even investigate all the cases handed to them because of manpower. I don't even see how people can say they are spying on Americans when they don't have the time to spy on known suspects.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By retrospooty on 6/6/2013 2:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
Then why do they want all the records? Just for fun?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By retrospooty on 6/6/2013 2:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, I agree they dont have time to go through all records, it would take an army of people. But they arent asking for it to sit on it and do nothing. We have a process in this country that has always worked and now it is being circumvented, and they are using "terrorism" as a bat.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By karimtemple on 6/6/2013 2:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
they dont have time to go through all records, it would take an army of people
...or a moderately-equipped server room.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 3:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
What part of they cannot access this data without an order?
They cannot get an order without an actual legit investigation requiring that data.
They cannot have an investigation without enough evidence to suspect an individual with.

Each investigation cost 10s of thousands of dollars to millions depending on size and time. Their budget and manpower cannot even investigate all known terrorists. Don't let Hollywood put irrational fears into your head.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Schrag4 on 6/6/2013 3:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
What part of they cannot access this data without an order?
They cannot get an order without an actual legit investigation requiring that data.
They cannot have an investigation without enough evidence to suspect an individual with.

Do you mean cannot or promise not to?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 8:47:26 AM , Rating: 2
Do you mean cannot or promise not to?

you mean the same promise your local and state police give?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Schrag4 on 6/7/2013 9:11:24 AM , Rating: 2
Whose abuses are easier to curb? A local police officer or someone 1500 miles away whose face I will never see and whose name I may never know? I understand that local police forces abuse their powers too often but at least the citizens in those communities have some chance of dealing with the problem. At the very least they can vote the mayor out if he or she won't address the issue. What possible impact could you or I have on the policies at the FBI or NSA?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 11:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
Local = less eyes, more controls, know people personally and easier to collaborate without leaving trace, easier to hide and suppress.

National = more eyes, less control, harder to hide, more than likely to make national news.

You can't possibly things that happen at a national level is easier to hide than local.

The federal government agencies work under clearances where their activities are tracked electronically. Their agency can actually track where their agents are and what they're doing at any moment of the day. They just don't do it because it causes morale, privacy and ethical reasons. You can be sure if any agent was reported, they have the power to track their activities at will.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By wookie1 on 6/6/2013 5:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
These court orders don't seem to hard to get. Keep in mind that they don't know who they're killing in 25% of the drone strikes, and if those people actually have any affiliation with terrorist networks.

They don't need to bother with an investigation, they've got the drones! Investigations and trials are messy. That's why we had Guantanamo, but that got politically ugly, so now we just rain down missiles from above to avoid the backlash from detention camps.

BTW, to plaigarise Glenn Reynolds, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 8:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
lol this is as irrational as they come. The US used drone strikes so therefore you absolutely sure they are listening to your conversation.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By wookie1 on 6/7/2013 3:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what they're doing. Presumeably, they're creating networks of contacts. Since you're only 6 handshakes or less away from anyone, it wouldn't be hard to be part of some bad guy's network. Maybe he works at a company you call frequently, or someone that e-mailed you, or a website that you visited on accident or got re-directed to.

The point is, it's just so easy for the commander-in-chief to order up a drone strike. Much easier than an investigation and trial, along with detaining the person. They've said that they can drone bomb anyone, even US citizens on US soil, and tell us that they have "procedures" in place to make sure that the person is a bad guy but refuse to outline any of these procedures. Maybe the first dog, Bo, looks at a photo and if he barks then fire the missiles. Who knows.

In a free society, there is due process both for the invasions of privacy and the execution of citizens (and non-citizens for that matter).

Due process means that you can face your accuser, have your case heard in court in a speedy trial, be judged by a jury of your peers, and have the right to appeal. None of these are possible with the secret courts (you can't appeal a secret order that you don't know about), or with the drone strikes.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 9:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Last i checked, the commander-in-chief doesn't have the authority to order a drone strike. The only thing he gets is the power to authorize one after review of an entire board.

All citizens have the rights to trial unless they are proven to be a terrorist which then you are tried in military court. Proving someone being a terrorist is extremely difficult. You need some very substantial evidence that must go before a board to mark someone as terrorist because they are taking away their citizenship. They basically need videos and pictures of their terrorist activities and connection with known organizations.

People like to throw around words like "tyranny, obama, etc..." to blame but the truth is this is 2013. The enemy is no longer conventional. They hide within the masses and knows our laws. Every President since the 80s have had the same difficulty in facing a balance between fighting terrorism and privacy rights. That's always a losing battle because unpopular decisions are being made every day. If you lean towards more privacy rights then you will get more events like Boston. If you want to keep incidents like Boston to a minimum then you have more outrage. The President and every general, director, commanders are forced to choose between a dead citizen or a disgruntled one. I would choose a disgruntled one any day of the week. Why? because if you get a few more Bostons then everyone will be disgruntled and many will be dead.

If the government wants to save its image, then the best route would be to let a few happen. Then use it as Americans are out for blood once again like after 9/11. The majority of the people will give up some privacy to eliminate terrorism. However, that is not only inhumane and unethical, it is no different than murder.

You can't have it both ways. You've lived for decades with these privacy laws. It hasn't changed much. Nobody cared to spy on you unless you gave them good reasons to. Like I said before, my friends do not wake up every day to spy on people. They don't care to or think it's worth their time. The consequences are also severe. It is another set of tools that helps them catch the terrorists/criminals before they complete their plans.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By JediJeb on 6/6/2013 6:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
Then why waste the money gathering the data in the first place? And then waste more storing the data, it takes electricity to keep that data stored somewhere on a server, not like they are going to use a warehouse full of USB drives to put it on, and if they did they would still have to spend the money to buy them and for a place to store them.

Wait until you have a suspect, then gather the data you need and make the arrest, after getting a proper warrant that is.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 8:30:52 AM , Rating: 2
the data is gathered and stored by the telecom company. It is not accessed until there is a NEED for it during an INVESTIGATION. Holy crap, why is that so hard to comprehend. Read the actual paper instead of the article.

If data wasn't stored, then how would you be able to find it? it wouldn't exist by that time.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By wookie1 on 6/6/2013 5:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
"The FBI cannot pick on you and say you're a terrorist to spy on you."

I think that they are limited to spying on the Tea Party members or something.

But seriously, how can anyone know what topics or jurisdictions they might limit themselves to? Is that based on Eric Holders promises? Since all this is secret, and the rationale is secret, who will know what they're doing? I'm not comforted by the fact that there is probably too much information for them to pore over. That makes the whole effort even more worthless.

Your point fully illustrates that we get no additional protection from this intrusion on our privacy.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BSMonitor on 6/6/2013 4:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
"I mean, I get if they have cause to suspect someone and want to pull that someones records, I am OK with that. There is a warrant process... But not pull everyones records. "

And in a nation of 350 Million. And a world with 7 billion. Where would this suspicion come from?? Send out millions of agents to "see or hear" possible terrorist behavior in the public domain??!?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By V-Money on 6/6/2013 12:51:38 PM , Rating: 4
It takes a lot of people, time and resources to investigate one person. How the hell do you think the government can spy on everyone? Even an easy investigation like a secret clearance take 2 months with all information given to them. They FBI and NSA combined cannot even sufficiently spy on .01% of Americans, not to mention 1/3(121mil) of the population.

Very insightful post and completely correct, if only there was some way to use technology to monitor/analyze conversations and text messages to make the process more efficient and to increase the number of people they could spy on...if only... (This is sarcasm if you can't tell)

Here is a parallel to show the flaw in your way of thinking. Police could easily use thermal recognition to scan every house while out on patrol and use this information to enter peoples houses when it looks like there is illegal activity going on. They wouldn't be entering every house and no one would know that they were doing it, and arguably you could say the same thing that you are for this argument, that it would lower crime so it would be worth it for the good of society. There is a reason they don't do this though, because it is ILLEGAL, it is against the constitution which you obviously don't care about, and there is no basis for it.

Because you are obviously a douche and will try to call me stupid, look up the case of DANNY LEE KYLLO v. UNITED STATES where police who suspected he was performing illegal activity used thermal imaging to see how much heat was emanating from the house. The Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional based on 4th amendment rights (again, that pesky constitution).

Just because the agents aren't fully investigating each and every Verizon customer doesn't mean that they are spying on everyone. Accessing the information and monitoring it (even using automated means or cursory analysis) is still spying, if you think differently you are very foolish. All this means is that they are violating everybody's rights but they are especially violating the rights of those that they decide to pay special attention to.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 1:04:02 PM , Rating: 1
That's completely different.

Did you not see that the FBI cannot access that data unless they have a signed and approved letter by the Director?
They can only do that for investigation purposes.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By karimtemple on 6/6/2013 1:31:37 PM , Rating: 3
Continuing with the police analogy, your response is the same as saying "but the police can't scan houses like that without a signed letter by the chief of police!!" Doesn't sound "completely different" at all.

We're quickly reaching a point with all of this stuff where the conspiracy theory nutjob crazies are starting to gain validity with the general public. You know something's wrong when the government's law enforcement behavior across multiple incidents is sparking a 'revival' of ethics debate.

None of that stuff is good stuff. You don't want to be known as the one who made tinfoil hats seem fashionably appealing and 'got people talking again' in general and respected circles about the looming threat of a future Police State.

What you're looking at is, at its core, raw unfettered laziness. That's it: laziness. Law enforcement agents whining about how hard it is to catch criminals because civilized society has nooks and crannies they can hide in. And their leaders start whining right along with them because their idiot constituents think a President is a king and are always asking their senators "what are you doing to keep us safe!" This isn't just a federal phenomenon; state and local agencies do this stuff too.

So when they go to bed at night they start having dreams about all law enforcement being done by six dudes in a room on laptops, and when they wake up in the morning they go make deals and pass laws to grab everyone's data willy-nilly and blow people up with their computers.

It isn't really a thing where THE GOVERNMENT is a big bad who's hiding under your bed, and this situation is no more sinister than it is to simply be a lazy dickhead. The situation is caused by having an uncultured populace (and government) that has no real concept of the value of privacy and the ethics surrounding it. So I guess in the end we get what we deserve, but man! It's so irritating!

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 1:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
Law enforcement is carried out by the state. People voted those nutjobs there. Anybody can be voted in since the requirements are fairly low. Just about anybody can be a Senator or Representative also.

People like to blame the government when they voted the corrupt people in because they had more fliers. Whose fault is that? You can keep blaming the government and nothing will change.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 3:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
So simply because I am given the opportunity to be corrupt I should be corrupt?

Most people don't know WHY they vote for who they do. They don't know what that person stands for or quite often what the issues even are. They trust. They trust that the person they elected will serve them honestly and benevolently. The more trust someone puts in you, the easier it is to come to abuse that trust. Especially when there ISN'T anyone else to protect them BUT the government they trust. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were put in place in theory to guard against the abuse of power and trust. The Constitution tells the government what it CAN do, the Bill of Rights tells the government what they CAN'T do. The government has a monopoly on force. They use laws to give them the justification to control you using that force. In other countries people disappear for talking bad about the government. That's why people from countries like communist Russia shake their head. They KNOW the evil that can happen. We started this country to AVOID those evils. Yet more and more people are allowing those evils. Freedoms of this country are WASTED it's people as you are amply demonstrating. If the government suspects someone, they need to target that someone. Not a possible 121 MILLION someones.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/2013 3:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
Then make sure they do what they promised and let people know. Something people never do. They just want to hear sweet nothings and hold them accountable for nothing.

If you don't know. Electing an official is like hiring one. It's your job as the supervisor to monitor their work. If you don't do it, blame yourself when the meltdown happens.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 5:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
And if we DON'T know what they are doing or WHY?

That is the whole point of our discussion and one that you seem to be missing. We ARE questioning. WHY do you need access to 121 MILLION peoples phone records? What will you do with the? What are you looking for? Why is it necessary to invade the privacy of that many people?

You are on here advocating that they are absolutely trustworthy in this instance and that we should just accept they have a need and there is a legitimate reason for what they are doing. And yet you call us conspiracy theorists because we already don't trust an administration that has proven themselves quite untrustworthy.

You also ASSUME that people never hold their representatives accountable. We do. But exactly what can many of us do if your government officials determine that they are going to follow the path of tyranny? Many of our points here is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. DON'T allow the government the opportunity to oppress you and they won't.

Your stance is we should ignore what they are doing in this instance simply because you don't feel there is risk for abuse.

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean the government isn't out to get me. They've shown massive abuses in the past and will do so again. Think of ALL the nasty bad governments you wouldn't want to live under and then study how they go that way. Hitler was nothing but an artist once... How many people died because of him? If only someone would have questioned and stopped him.

Never underestimate the stupidity of large groups of people. What would I know, I only took an oath to defend this country against enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. I always questioned what a domestic enemy was..

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 9:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
So you think the FBI, CIA, NSA etc... should publicize everything they're doing?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/7/2013 6:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
My first question is WHY do we need the FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS... Just today Obama said we trade freedom for security.

Seriously dude, stupid collectivism and Leftist governments. This is how it all starts. Until next thing you know you are Communist Russia and your resident disappear for question government. It happened recently after and uprising in Iran.

Freedom is wasted on people like you. You terrify me because you have no respect for yourself and are willing to happily submit to this type of treatment.

And YES we should know what these groups are doing.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By TSS on 6/6/2013 11:14:25 PM , Rating: 1
This looks like a good place to jump in. About those resources:

I first mentioned that somewhere early 2012 and no fucks where given. Now it doesn't seem so crazy, no?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By JasonMick on 6/6/2013 12:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Truly, your comments are astounding and frightfully naive.
The real numbers of people that actually got their communications data revealed to the governments are less than .01 of that 121 million.
You have no more evidence to support this claim than someone claiming "100 percent of that 121 million" are spied upon. The public has no access to hard facts on the program. Your hypothesis is factless speculation.
What liberties are you giving up? What privacy are you losing? The only time is when you are being investigated and they found you suspicious enough.
Google "Fifth Amendment" and educate yourself. I'm not sure if you're an American, but here in the U.S. those that aren't suspected of committing a crime have Constitutional protections against tracking (searches).

And who's to say who is "suspicious"? Obama's IRS considers his political rivals "suspicious" and has targeted them.

An old idiom famously states "A fool and his money are soon parted."

I say "A fool and their liberty are soon parted."

If your investigation make it that high then you are almost certainly doing something extremely illegal.
Again, speculative rubbish. Evidence suggest small scale abuses frequently occur.

A 2007 audit of FISA warrantless information grabs:

...reports numerous mistakes and abuses among the 200,000 security letter data grabs issued between 2003 and 2006. while no macroscopic abuses (akin to the IRS scandal were reported, human nature and these smaller scale offenses suggest such abuses will likely someday occur if such unlimited, unconstitutional federal authority is preserved.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By Schrag4 on 6/6/2013 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
So much fail but let me just point out a couple of things:

Speculation? please enlighten me on how the FBI or NSA can possibly even investigate or just spy on .1% of the population with their current manpower and resources. It's not a speculation that it's impossible. It is simply not possible unless 1/4 of the country works for the FBI/NSA.

Of course there aren't actual people listening to every single conversation. Everyone knows that computers scrub through the conversations looking for key words or phrases. The ones that are flagged get additional scrutiny. More than likely, it has been traditionally used to find conversations about violent terrorist activity, but what's to stop them from opening up the criteria a bit to include phrases that might be used by some far right-leaning or left-leaning group, in an effort to shut down political opponents?

Why can't people focus on the matter at hand? We need more transparency without compromising mission success. For the first time in American history, the government is actually broadcasting what it's doing without giving away classified materials. Yet you are nitpicking on old crap you didn't before.

Do you actually believe that this administration is, as it claims, a transparent administration? Are you unfamiliar with the administration using executive privilege to shut down the investigation into Fast and Furious, or do you just believe them when they say they have nothing to hide but they won't release any more documents? What about Susan Rice being told to go on 5 sunday morning shows and claim the violence in Benghazi was just a protest about a video that got out of hand, when everyone knew that it was an organized terrorist attack from the very beginning? Have you been living under a rock?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 4:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
I also like how you want to dig something all the way back to 2007 and then bashing Obama in the same comment. Bush did all this without people knowing for years and then when it blows up everyone wants to blame the current guy.

BUSH DID IT! So why can't Obama. Yet you people whined like an air raid siren how BAD Bush was and how he ABUSED his powers, yet when the guy you elected was supposed to be different and better with all this transparency and government working for you does WORSE than the last guy, all you can do is justify it by saying he's allowed to because the guy you hated got to do it.

Obama is a WORSE Bush. Seriously people. I know you want to live in your hypocritical fantasy world, but you were deceived, but you aren't even intelligent enough to admit it to yourselves.

What Bush did ISN'T RIGHT. Neither is what Obama is doing. The Left truly is a zombie apocalypse.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By drycrust3 on 6/6/2013 6:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
It has to be signed and approved by the Director or his delegate.

You need to read the court order:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, the Custodian of Records shall produce to the National Security Agency (NSA) upon service of this Order, and continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this Order, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, an electronic copy of the following tangible things: all call detail records or "telephony metadata" created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls. ...

What this is saying is that all details about the establishment of every phone call made in America must be forwarded to the American NSA. There is no requirement here that the FBI director or the NSA director or whoever has to make any subsequent approval for someone to use this data. This data can be used anyway the NSA decides. They could, for example, post the data online if they wanted.
There are several points to note here:
1) This isn't actually a "wire tap" as we understand it (i.e. no one is actually recording the words spoken). It is only the existence of a phone call that is recorded. For example, say you rang your local bookie to place a bet with your mobile phone, the NSA will know (possibly the next day) that a phone call was made, but they won't know which horse (if any) that you placed a bet on.
2) Text messages seem to be excluded from this order. If you sent a text message to your local bookie they wouldn't know about this.
3) There is no requirement that the information be delivered "in real time", only that it be provided "on a daily basis".
4) The requirement to provide trunking information is interesting, it seems to me as hugely unnecessary for calls within the Verizon's own network, although it might be useful if the call was sent to or from an internet based provider (e.g. Skype), or "call forwarding" was involved. Again, the NSA will know your call to your bookie was diverted to the Philippines, but they still don't know which horse you put your money on.
5) What is "trunking information"? Do they want every single detail or just the access points into and out of the switch? My recollection of what we had in New Zealand (where I live) is that this information can be quite long, maybe several pages at the most detailed level, and the accesses in and out of the switch have inconsistent designations. A trunk has a name given to it at the human level, but that it has a different name inside the switch, in fact it may even have have several names inside the switch.
6) There is one clause that does protects people's indentity:
Telephony metadata does not include the substantive content of any communication, ... or the name, address, or financial information of a subscriber or customer.

but the NSA probably can get that information by other means.
7) There isn't any requirement to provide any voice mailbox information at all. Again, if you left a voice mailbox message for you bookie then the NSA won't know what it is.
8) This order only applies to calls that are actually made involving American phone numbers, international calls that transit America, e.g. say it was between Osama bin Laden and Fidel Castro, aren't included.

All in all, this seems to be a bit of a strange court order. Overall, there is information they could have requested but haven't, e.g. the names, account numbers, and addresses of who the calling and called parties are. In addition, the information they are getting may not be easily usable. It could well have different formats depending on the nature of the call and the nature of the switches involved.
What I'm guess here, and this is just a guess, is that in some national emergency (e.g. the 9/11 events) one or more mobile phone network wasn't willing or able to provide the information the NSA needed in a timely fashion, so they got a court order asking for the information to be provided continuously.
Again, I'm guessing here, but it wouldn't surprise me if most of this information is just stored for a few days and then discarded. The reason I'm saying this is because this could easily be an astronomical amount of data, and most of it wouldn't be of any use to the NSA.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Schrag4 on 6/6/2013 12:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
What liberties are you giving up? What privacy are you losing? The only time is when you are being investigated and they found you suspicious enough to warrant the attention of the Director. If your investigation make it that high then you are almost certainly doing something extremely illegal.

In light of the recent IRS targeting of conservative groups, do you still not understand that the fear that most of us law-abiding citizens have about these programs is that those in power might decide to use these programs to give more intense scrutiny to their political enemies? I suppose you'll say that those were isolated incendents that were cooked up by low-level IRS employees. That's what you've heard on MSNBC so it must be true, right?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Schrag4 on 6/6/2013 1:02:13 PM , Rating: 3
I should add - what do you consider "extremely illegal?" I'm sure you'll say something like planning a terrorist activity. That's a no brainer because those people are generally trying to kill innocent people. What about people exercising their 2nd Amendment rights in jurisdictions that trample on those rights? By and large they're only trying to protect themselves and otherwise are law-abiding citizens but the penalty for violating gun laws are very strict. Does the attached penalty define for you how extreme the illegal activity is? Or do you just use your emotion to decide how extreme it is, and so it's OK to go after people you don't like? Do you see where I'm going with this?

RE: A bit exaggerated
By BRB29 on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: A bit exaggerated
By ebakke on 6/6/2013 2:08:41 PM , Rating: 1
People have this crazy fear of the government. The reality is the federal government is more afraid of you.

Good one.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Spuke on 6/6/2013 8:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's true, they are.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By kleinma on 6/6/2013 2:33:19 PM , Rating: 1
What about when computing power is so (it actually already is now) that they could compile lists of "minor illegal" actions, and send those lists to local authorities for further investigation as local authorities see fit, possibly even using this provided information to legally obtain search warrants. The FBI doesn't waste much man power, but provide local agencies with fodder to go after tax paying citizens because they did whatever it is you consider to be "minor illegal stuff"

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 6:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on what the definition of "is" is.

RE: A bit exaggerated
By Skywalker123 on 6/9/2013 3:11:57 AM , Rating: 1
Yeh, like the big changes they made in sexual assault rates in the military. I know of some people who had an armory of guns and live ammo(all legal)who were burned to death by your beloved FBI

MORE Jason Mick BS
By BSMonitor on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: MORE Jason Mick BS
By ComputerJuice on 6/6/2013 4:26:28 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not going to do the digging, but i do recall there being a biased article written by one j.mick when that was signed. Why flame a guy when you don't even know what he did do?

RE: MORE Jason Mick BS
By Cerin218 on 6/6/2013 4:52:10 PM , Rating: 1
ALMOST as much outrage as when Obama not only extended but STRENGTHENED it. AND THEN if that wasn't good enough, he made a law that American citizens can be held without Due Process.

Stop justifying everything Obama does by saying Bush did it. Obama was SUPPOSED to be different, not WORSE. You people must feel REALLY stupid for voting Bush III.

RE: MORE Jason Mick BS
By KCjoker on 6/6/2013 6:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
I hated it then as I do now. BTW Obama voted for it then as a Senator and renewed it was POTUS. The problem is all the lunatic lefties that bashed Bush yet make excuses for Obama on these same issues. Funny how the MSM AFTER the election will speak out about this stuff.

And this is Tech how?
By mcnabney on 6/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: And this is Tech how?
By Cerin218 on 6/7/2013 6:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Right Wingers, when are you going to get with the rest of us and start telling the emperor how much you like his new clothes?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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