Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Jun 2013 15:33 UTC
Legal "The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April. The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an 'ongoing, daily basis' to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries. The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk - regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing." Hey Americans, welcome to the club. And here we were, afraid of Google!
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Just as worrisome? :P
by peejay on Thu 6th Jun 2013 16:08 UTC
peejay
Member since:
2005-06-29

...under a top secret court order, [...] a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian...

Why is the UK spying on our spying? ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Just as worrisome? :P
by MOS6510 on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:46 UTC in reply to "Just as worrisome? :P"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12
RE: Just as worrisome? :P
by vtolkov on Fri 7th Jun 2013 02:23 UTC in reply to "Just as worrisome? :P"
vtolkov Member since:
2006-07-26

Good work, James Bond!

Reply Score: 2

Loving that patriot act
by Phloptical on Thu 6th Jun 2013 16:11 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

I'm so glad they renewed the patriot act. Warrants and habeus corpus so often just get in the way of spying on your own people.


Welcome to the police state, my fellow americans. All in the name of "national security".

Dems and Repubs = two sides of the same coin.

Reply Score: 9

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 6th Jun 2013 16:58 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

This we (now) know, but most we probably don't know.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

MOS6510,

"This we (now) know, but most we probably don't know."

That's the thing, we only hear about the government crimes when someone involved is brave enough to leak them. Consider the sacrifice made by Bradley Manning for having done exactly that. He's destined to live his life out in prison at the hands of those he caught red handed.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning

Edit: I guess it's a bit off topic, but it does illustrate the extent to which the US government will go to lie and cover up it's crimes.

Edited 2013-06-06 17:31 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I'm not sure what to think of him. My belief is that an army personnel should follow orders and not pass personal judgement, because following orders is the force that makes an army function. If everybody started question orders and actions the army would come to an ineffective halt.

Then again, what if the army is evil? What if it's doing bad things, covering them up? What if what you swore upon conflicts what people order you to do in practice?

If we make it really really simple the fact is that someone is convicted for revealing the truth. A nasty one.

While I'm typing this a song about Nelson Mandela comes up. He broke the law, the rules, he went to jail, but we all agree he's as close as you can come to Jesus and that he did the right thing and fought something we considered to be wrong.

The US and more countries have been become so complicated and shady that ordinary people have no chance figuring it out, let alone change or fight it. Manning did and he got locked up.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by bnolsen on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Manning released information that got good people killed or threatened to be killed. Apparentely it was pretty common for governments in high risk countries (with very radical muslim factions) to cooperate some with the US government in secret. Manning information exposure endangered and destabilized some of these governments. And people's lives were involved. Ratting out people in precarious positions and endangering their lives is very different from disobeying an immoral direct order.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by tylerdurden on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Manning released information that got good people killed or threatened to be killed.


[citation needed]

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by The1stImmortal on Thu 6th Jun 2013 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

"Manning released information that got good people killed or threatened to be killed.


[citation needed]
"
http://www.peopleokwithmurderingassange.com/the_list.html
;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by Kochise on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Innoncent people and civilians were killed by US soldiers without any informations were leaked before hand. That's where Manning enters : he shows the world how much USA are not such good surgeons in striking people. Eye for eye...

Manning opened many eyes and many minds.

Kochise

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Thu 6th Jun 2013 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bnolsen,

"Manning released information that got good people killed or threatened to be killed."

I know those are the allegations, but is there a specific incident you are referring to? Didn't wikileaks release most of the information in redacted format?

Shouldn't the government ultimately be responsible for the repercussions of what it's done? It's a contortion of justice that the government would blame Manning for being a whistle-blower than itself for committing crimes in the first place.

Consider this: if it were a civic responsibility for everyone to whistle blow when the government was behaving against public interests, then the government would be forced to change it's stance from "lets hide the facts and prosecute the messenger" to "lets do the right thing in the first place" because the public knows the truth to hold them accountable.

Edited 2013-06-06 19:25 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by VistaUser on Thu 6th Jun 2013 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

He got Osama Bin Laden Killed...

Some leaked documents mentioned a potential go to guy for Osama Bin Laden who was being tracked.

Soon after the leak of the documents, the US swooped in and killed their bogeyman.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Kochise on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Think about Von Braun who made V2s for Hitler, but betrayed him and was hired by USA's defense and helped to launch rockets to the moon.

It's not because the USA call themselves a democracy, like some african countries or China, that it prevent them to operate in the shadow like a dictatorship and promote "protection through verification".

And if people gets too much liberty seeking, let's call them publicly commies, or terrorists. Found some "antrax" somewhere to legitimate a permanent state of war against everything.

And in the process, don't forget to censor those people with too much will for freedom, let's introduce the Patriot Act, because every citizen is a potential terrorist.

But not politics, they are... pure !

/rant off

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

History Repeating
by Alfman on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:07 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

"The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI's request for its customers' records, or the court order itself."

This is what has me extremely concerned. The government is actively hiding the fact that they're collecting this information. Democracy does not work under such circumstances and I'm getting really tired of having a government which thinks it's entitled to act outside of public scrutiny and impose itself against our will. They're supposed to be working for the taxpayers, not overseeing us. Most of us know this is wrong, and yet we don't have the power to stop it democratically. The legendary founding fathers would be terribly disappointed in what has become of their "land of the free".

Reply Score: 5

RE: History Repeating
by The1stImmortal on Thu 6th Jun 2013 21:41 UTC in reply to "History Repeating"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

"The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI's request for its customers' records, or the court order itself."

This is what has me extremely concerned. The government is actively hiding the fact that they're collecting this information. Democracy does not work under such circumstances and I'm getting really tired of having a government which thinks it's entitled to act outside of public scrutiny and impose itself against our will. They're supposed to be working for the taxpayers, not overseeing us. Most of us know this is wrong, and yet we don't have the power to stop it democratically. The legendary founding fathers would be terribly disappointed in what has become of their "land of the free".

I've always wondered how strongly you can hint at something before violating these kinds of orders. A random out of the blue press release along the lines of
"The US Federal Government has the power to summarily order the ongoing disclosure of the call records of all citizens by a carrier without recourse or appeal. We cannot confirm nor deny whether this kind of request has ever been received by this company.
Additionally, we wish to advise customers that we will be upgrading our billing and call recording systems to allow us to assist law enforcement in the event that they need access to such information.
Finally, we wish to remind customers to always conduct only legal business over our phone network, to remain in compliance with various communications laws."

Would something like that be in violation or not? It rather obviously tells people what's happened without telling people what's happened...

Reply Score: 2

RE: History Repeating
by umccullough on Thu 6th Jun 2013 21:43 UTC in reply to "History Repeating"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The government is actively hiding the fact that they're collecting this information.


It's in the name of "National Security"... which basically boils down to, "if our nation found out all the shit we're doing, we'd have a revolution".

At this point, I expect that my government is trying as hard as possible to protect large corporations and financial institutions while raping my civil/constitutional rights, and trying their hardest to keep it a secret while the money is stuffed in their back pockets.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: History Repeating
by Soulbender on Fri 7th Jun 2013 02:54 UTC in reply to "RE: History Repeating"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So, basically, it's a thinly disguised banana republic?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: History Repeating
by Kochise on Fri 7th Jun 2013 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: History Repeating"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

As much as the F word still being censored in a country that promote freedom of speech as their utter most important amendment. Paradox or hypocrisy ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE: History Repeating
by benali72 on Fri 7th Jun 2013 03:58 UTC in reply to "History Repeating"
benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

The US and the UK make an interesting contrast. Both are democratic societies that have chosen to massively surveil their citizens. But the UK has done so as part of the public party platform of both Labour and then Conservatives, while the US has done it in secrecy without public knowledge, input, or approval.

Reply Score: 3

RE: History Repeating
by zima on Tue 11th Jun 2013 18:08 UTC in reply to "History Repeating"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The legendary founding fathers would be terribly disappointed in what has become of their "land of the free".

"Legendary" is a good word - that's their whole ~function for some time now, I think, the stuff of legends and myths.

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by jared_wilkes
by jared_wilkes on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:32 UTC
RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by MOS6510 on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Google probably has to do with this story too.

It's the world largest collector of personal data. If Verizon got a visit from the men in black I'm pretty sure Google did too.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by zima on Tue 11th Jun 2013 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jared_wilkes"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's the world largest collector of personal data.

Wouldn't that be Facebook? (as in really personal)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by MOS6510 on Tue 11th Jun 2013 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I guess Facebook beats Google on personal data when personal means just you as a person. Google has more data what you do as a person.

Of course it's me guessing, but the NSA doesn't have to guess or pick: they have both.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by BeamishBoy on Thu 6th Jun 2013 17:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

"And here we were, afraid of Google!"

Jesus, you can't resist kissing Google's ass even in a story that has nothing to do with them.


What's ironic about your comment is that your first language is probably English. Thom's isn't.

And yet you're the one who managed to read his comment precisely ass-backwards.

Reply Score: 5

secret police anyone?
by bnolsen on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:34 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Seems the US government is now more interested in protecting itself from its citizens than protecting its own citizens. I wonder when they'll rename the DHS the KGB and be done with it. Way back when I worked on black hat projects the NSA had a strict executive order about not being able to operate within the US. I guess not anymore. So the US secret police now consists of the NSA, IRS and also the DHS, that we know of. Whatever happened to the "limited government" described by the founders?

Reply Score: 2

RE: secret police anyone?
by tylerdurden on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:53 UTC in reply to "secret police anyone?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Way back when I worked on black hat projects the NSA had a strict executive order about not being able to operate within the US.


That's the CIA not the NSA. Also people who have actually worked on "black hat" projects do not disclose so in public forums.

Reply Score: 3

Just Verizon?
by re_re on Thu 6th Jun 2013 18:45 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

While this was the only court order that was leaked I think it would be naive to believe this only applies to Verizon. I would be willing to bet that all of the other major American service providers (US Cellular, AT&T, Sprint, T-mobile) have received similar court orders. Sounds like 1984 to me.

Reply Score: 3

Well, I'm Boned...
by drcoldfoot on Thu 6th Jun 2013 19:24 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

I'm a Verizon Customer. :-(

But I believe this is with ALL forms of communication in the US. It's inescapable. The only remedy to this situation is to basically unplug and go into the darkages... Which doesn't sound too bad at this moment.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Well, I'm Boned...
by umccullough on Thu 6th Jun 2013 21:41 UTC in reply to "Well, I'm Boned..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

But I believe this is with ALL forms of communication in the US. It's inescapable.


Indeed, it has been alleged years ago that AT&T has secret rooms with "black boxes" that all their connections run through and process for the NSA.

Basically, if you use a phone, especially a cell phone, expect that you're being spied on. Cell phones are even more egregious since they can track your physical location movements at any given time.

They use the guise of "metadata" - and I suspect they use the same guise to collect IP connection logs and HTTP headers.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Well, I'm Boned...
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 6th Jun 2013 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Well, I'm Boned..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Standard house phones have their numbers attached to the exact address of the service, so it's not like cell phones are much worse. Neither way gives you privacy. The main difference is that with a house phone the address tied to the service is always where calls are made to and from, while if you're using a cell phone the government can find out if you left your house at some point and that you made a stop at Burger King to take a shit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Well, I'm Boned...
by umccullough on Thu 6th Jun 2013 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well, I'm Boned..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Standard house phones have their numbers attached to the exact address of the service, so it's not like cell phones are much worse.


Right, but even if you're not actually using a cell phone, the phone company still records your location at any given time.

Receiving a text, for example, will be recorded along with the location you were at when you received it. And I assure you, the NSA is collecting information on text messages that are sent/received as well, even if they're not collecting the actual content of the message.

I hate cell phones.

Edit: also, there are ways to forward a home number to another number entirely - or use it over the internet via telephony

Edited 2013-06-06 23:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Well, I'm Boned...
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 7th Jun 2013 04:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well, I'm Boned..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Right, but even if you're not actually using a cell phone, the phone company still records your location at any given time.

I am pretty sure that doesn't matter, at least not in this case... it seems pretty clear to me that the only data that's being sent in to the government is directly related to each individual communication. I see nothing indicating that they are both logging all location data at all times every day and sending it out too. Only when you make or receive a call or whatever.

Also, if you're paranoid about cell phones tracking your location, disable GPS so it can only get a more obscure result based on the nearest cell towers' locations in relation to your phone. Or put your phone in airplane mode (or turn it off) when not using it; you'll lose the benefits of having a cell phone to receive calls at all times, but at least you can still make calls whenever you need to (with the benefit of longer batter life). And if you only use it around home and not all over the place, it effectively is no different than a house phone. Of course, the alternative is to just not even use a cell phone in the first place.

I'm trying to find a good SIP service and Android program... that could be a pretty decent alternative in some cases. Problem is, I don't think I'll ever have much use for it because no one I know would 1) know what to do with it, 2) have a compatible phone, 3) be willing to give it a try. People generally seem stuck on traditional services, because they just work and are so deeply ingrained.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Well, I'm Boned...
by Alfman on Fri 7th Jun 2013 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Well, I'm Boned..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

UltraZelda64,

"I'm trying to find a good SIP service and Android program... that could be a pretty decent alternative in some cases."

You don't really need a SIP service unless you are going to get a true phone number. First of all, you can easily self host an asterisk/freeswitch PBX. Secondly, most SIP clients I've used allow direct IP dialing or even dyna-dns dialing without the need to register anywhere. Even the ATA I use to connect the dial tone house phone supports IP dialing. Alas, I don't have any friends whom I can call directly over SIP, so the benefit is mute.

I am happy with vitelity for SIP<->POTS service in the US. When I travel between states I still place/receive calls from my "home" number. My parents were even able to use my service to place US calls from Europe at my local rate.


My gripe with SIP technology is how it uses a wide range of ports which often need to be pre-configured in the router and conflicts with other SIP instances sharing IPs. These problems are why some services adopt the less standard IAX protocol instead, which is better for home networks but not popular enough to be very useful.

Reply Score: 2

It gets worse
by BeamishBoy on Thu 6th Jun 2013 23:44 UTC
BeamishBoy
Member since:
2010-10-27

If the story in tomorrow's edition of the Guardian is true, things are a whole lot worse than previously suspected. They have access to user data from Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

If this turns out to be true, it's one hell of a story.

Edited 2013-06-06 23:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: It gets worse
by gfg233 on Fri 7th Jun 2013 00:46 UTC in reply to "It gets worse"
gfg233 Member since:
2013-06-07

It's 1984 30 years late. It's the biggest technology story of the year, if not the decade.

What it will likely do is start a software revolution outside the US, given the now zero level of trust in data held by US companies. Open source will play a big part including in non-proprietary mobile platforms. Expect US software companies to take a big hit for this.

The funny thing from all of it is Apple, coming last to the party (apart from Twitter who aren't part of it at all somehow). Apple somehow managed to hold out 5 years and only after Steve Jobs' death. Microsoft signed up right away. Maybe Steve Jobs wasn't so bad after all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It gets worse
by darknexus on Fri 7th Jun 2013 05:28 UTC in reply to "RE: It gets worse"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Open source software is not going to help here. Even if *you* use open source software, you're going to have contact with some of these services. Do you search with Google? Do any of your friends or family have Gmail addresses? Do you ever watch YouTube, use any social networks, mainstream IM services, etc? Do you ever make phone calls? Hell, do you even use the internet at all?
If you answer yes to any one of these, you're screwed whether you use open source or not, because any monitoring can be done on the network and server end of the system. They don't need a back door into your operating system, and wouldn't care about it if they had it. They want what you share, what you say, and to whom it is said and they can get any of that through any of these major networks you brush against. Bothering with your individual computer would just be a pain in their ass especially when it's not necessary.
It's time for techies to readjust their thinking. The platform war plays no part in this struggle; it's now a battle of services and privacy. Whether your devices run open source or not is irrelevant; it's the servers that count.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: It gets worse
by gfg233 on Fri 7th Jun 2013 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It gets worse"
gfg233 Member since:
2013-06-07

You're right it is mostly about services. I'm talking about open source services or otherwise but most importantly hosted outside the US by non US companies, perhaps outside any government zone. There will be a proliferation of new service providers, particularly with increasing demand to get out of using spied on gmail/hotmail email providers.

Separately, I do think given this will also be an opportunity for a company like Mozilla to gain some market share in mobile technology since no one will trust anything Google or Apple do anymore.

Edited 2013-06-07 09:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: It gets worse
by darknexus on Fri 7th Jun 2013 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It gets worse"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Even if tservices are open source, your ISP isn't. And as I said, are you going to refuse to have contact with your family based on the services they use? It doesn't matter how open your platform is, if it communicates with others that are not. Even if you develop a fully open source email service right now that anyone can use for free, the instant anyone sends a message to a service that is being monitored, they then have a record of it. And, are you going to look through every line of code that is running on said service if you aren't the developer? Open source can have just as many back doors put into it if no one bothers to give the code a quality audit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: It gets worse
by leech on Fri 7th Jun 2013 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It gets worse"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Even if tservices are open source, your ISP isn't. And as I said, are you going to refuse to have contact with your family based on the services they use? It doesn't matter how open your platform is, if it communicates with others that are not. Even if you develop a fully open source email service right now that anyone can use for free, the instant anyone sends a message to a service that is being monitored, they then have a record of it. And, are you going to look through every line of code that is running on said service if you aren't the developer? Open source can have just as many back doors put into it if no one bothers to give the code a quality audit.


For the record, there are already plenty of open source email services (I run one myself). Besides, the 'open source vs closed source' has nothing to do with how secure email is. If you think that doing any sort of communication through email (whether being spied upon by Gov or not) is secure, then you don't know how email works. All you need is either a POP account set to save email on the server, or an IMAP account, and the email administrators can read your email. Hopefully you can trust your email providers to not read your emails.

But same can be said of pretty much any communication platform on the internet. I'm sure most forums don't encrypt their private messages, and Twitter and Facebook most certainly don't do much besides use SSL to encrypt it from one end to the other, but more than likely they're unencrypted on their servers.

The big story of this isn't "We store your DATA!" it's "We let our storage of DATA be searched through by the NSA!"

Only search engine I trust anymore is DuckDuckGo. But just because they say they don't store anything, doesn't mean they don't. There would have to be security auditor teams checking in on that. I actually used Google today for the first time in many months (had to look up a ranking for a customer) and it is seriously horrible. Can't understand how I ever liked it. Well, it was the best at the time.

DuckDuckGo is simply awesome!

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: It gets worse
by zima on Tue 11th Jun 2013 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It gets worse"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Too bad DuckDuckGo only really works for some subset of EN web.

Edited 2013-06-11 18:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It gets worse
by Darkmage on Fri 7th Jun 2013 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE: It gets worse"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

"What it will likely do is start a software revolution outside the US, given the now zero level of trust in data held by US companies." - This is the angle I'm taking on it.

The NSA is known to have interfered in Boeing/Airbus negotiations in the Mid 90s costing Airbus upto $6 Billion. There's absolutely no reason to believe they're not doing the same thing with this information. I could not in good conscience recommend any clients host their data in any of the major US tech companies that includes Gmail e-mail hosting after this. There's no guarantee they're not stealing business ideas and selling them to US companies.

We know that they are already abusing tapped records of US soldier's private communications data even after the soldiers have proven to be loyal to America. Why would they treat a foreign business any different to their own people?

Edited 2013-06-07 14:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: It gets worse
by Alfman on Fri 7th Jun 2013 03:07 UTC in reply to "It gets worse"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BeamishBoy,

It's mind boggling how this could possibly be true, anyways +1 for that link. The next bombshell will be when osnews gets added to that list (j/k).

Reply Score: 2

To what end?
by Gullible Jones on Fri 7th Jun 2013 02:36 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

No really, how could that much noise be considered useful to any intelligence agency? Wasn't infoglut one of the factors behind the government's failure to prevent 9/11?

Isn't this kind of "intelligence" a complete waste of time, or am I just stupid?

Edit: MIT Tech Review recently had an article on the hazards of reducing everything to data - or, more to the point, reducing things to the wrong data. Very relevant here I think. Perhaps someone needs to be reminded that psychohistory is science fiction, not science.

Edited 2013-06-07 02:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: To what end?
by Alfman on Fri 7th Jun 2013 02:57 UTC in reply to "To what end? "
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Gullible Jones,

"No really, how could that much noise be considered useful to any intelligence agency?"

I don't suspect they care that 99.9% of the data collected is useless (for law enforcement), as long as the dragnet is big enough to catch what they do actually care about. They're surely using the database to build a network of all interactions between all people to build leads. It's a means of identifying new persons of interest by honing in on our private associations.

Edited 2013-06-07 02:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Wtf
by Soulbender on Fri 7th Jun 2013 03:01 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Thom,
Are you sure you live in Holland and not North Korea?
That's some fubar'd stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wtf
by shmerl on Fri 7th Jun 2013 03:58 UTC in reply to "Wtf"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Yeah, that description is approaching 1984.

Reply Score: 2

shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

They will just switch to using tools such as
- Encrypted VOIP routed via something like TOR,
- carrier pigeon or
- semaphore flags.

It is a very sad day for those now living in the land of the not so free.

So far there has been no comment here about their violation of the 1st ammendment. Not being a US Citizen the situation is not that clear at the moment.

Reply Score: 2

Not surprised about Verizon
by bitwelder on Fri 7th Jun 2013 09:12 UTC
bitwelder
Member since:
2010-04-27

Look at what's the *only* company that didn't get a single quality 'star' in the "Who has Your Back - 2013" report from EFF.org:
https://www.eff.org/sites/default/files/who-has-your-back-2013-repor...

Reply Score: 2

"And here we were, afraid of Google"
by M.Onty on Fri 7th Jun 2013 10:28 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

Update from the Grauniad, which seems to have tapped into a pretty fertile seam of US intelligence stories:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

Edited 2013-06-07 10:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Fri 7th Jun 2013 14:25 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

http://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/191-press-rele...

The program does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s phone calls. The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the identity of any subscriber. The only type of information acquired under the Court’s order is telephony metadata, such as telephone numbers dialed and length of calls.

//snip

There is a robust legal regime in place governing all activities conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which ensures that those activities comply with the Constitution and laws and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties. The program at issue here is conducted under authority granted by Congress and is authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). By statute, the Court is empowered to determine the legality of the program.

By order of the FISC, the Government is prohibited from indiscriminately sifting through the telephony metadata acquired under the program. All information that is acquired under this program is subject to strict, court-imposed restrictions on review and handling. The court only allows the data to be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization. Only specially cleared counterterrorism personnel specifically trained in the Court-approved procedures may even access the records.

All information that is acquired under this order is subject to strict restrictions on handling and is overseen by the Department of Justice and the FISA Court. Only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed because the vast majority of the data is not responsive to any terrorism-related query.


Now whether you believe that is another thing.

Edited 2013-06-07 14:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Alfman on Fri 7th Jun 2013 15:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lucas_maximus,


"The court only allows the data to be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization."


It's my opinion (carrying no legal weight whatsoever) that it shouldn't matter whether the NSA "looks" at our data or not, it should still be illegal for them to take possession of the data until they establish reasonable cause. They should not be automatically entitled to take all our data simply by promising not to look at it.

And if this logic is allowed to stand, then where do we draw the line? If the government grants itself the legal right to collect data off private servers on the basis that they don't query it, then the same logic might as well be used to give themselves the legal right to add backdoors for recording our personal computer activity and promising not to look at it. Of course it would be in the name of national security.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The point being is that it works exactly like warrant does. Believe it or not they probably have to data-mine that information to get decent results.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Alfman on Sat 8th Jun 2013 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lucas_maximus,

"The point being is that it works exactly like warrant does. Believe it or not they probably have to data-mine that information to get decent results."

It's not like a warrant. With a normal warrant the police need to get the warrant documenting probable cause BEFORE taking personal evidence from suspects. If a defendant can prove that this sequence of events was out of order, then he can make the court throw out the evidence. I'm sure you can understand why it's not technically the same thing.

Of course this legal process is all irrelevant in our war on terror since apparently the government can detain suspects indefinitely without disclosing any evidence whatsoever much less proving that the evidence was collected lawfully. And as you indicated earlier, what they say might not honestly reflect what they do.

Edited 2013-06-08 01:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

They can't look at the data unless they have similar to warrant, it is analogous.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Alfman on Sat 8th Jun 2013 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lucas maximus,

"They can't look at the data unless they have similar to warrant, it is analogous."

You think I didn't consider that? No it's definitely still not analogous for at least these reasons:

This switch to taking possession of evidence without a warrant first means that now the government can collect a private data continuously prior to having any suspicion of a crime in anticipation of one. This is a significant growth in scope.

Now there's no way to know whether NSA is following any sort of due process because the data is in their possession where as with a real warrant there would be proof that they had served a legal warrant to the private companies holding the data. This is a tangible difference because it changes the NSA's accountability.

Consider if police declared their right to conduct video surveillance of private enclosed properties of residents on the basis that they promise not to look at it until a crime occurs. It's like recording the entirety of our private lives before any crime has happened. Most rational residents would be rightfully upset over it precisely because it's definitely NOT the same thing. I'm pretty sure that you are smart enough to understand that there is a difference at heart, even if you don't want to admit it here.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Except it isn't in your house, so it isn't comparable.

Reply Score: 2