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Privacy And Civil Liberties In The Face Of Surveillance

We’ll talk about privacy and liberty in the age of the Internet and big surveillance with big web thinker Jaron Lanier.

Denise Harwood diagnoses an overheated computer processor at Google’s data center in The Dalles, Ore. Google uses these data centers to store email, photos, video, calendar entries and other information shared by its users. (Connie Zhou, Google/AP)

Denise Harwood diagnoses an overheated computer processor at Google’s data center in The Dalles, Ore. Google uses these data centers to store email, photos, video, calendar entries and other information shared by its users. (Connie Zhou, Google/AP)

The big NSA surveillance story clearly isn’t over. It may never be over in this new age in which we live. Our lives, online, sliceable and diceable and traceable.  We are now data.

And metadata.  Huge industries are built on that. So is a whole lot of intelligence-gathering, it appears.

So what is privacy now? What is liberty? What personal boundaries can we claim? Can we protect? Who can we trust to respect any boundary around our personal data? Ourselves?

Big web thinker Jaron Lanier is on it.  He’s with us.

This hour On Point: Privacy and liberty in the age of digital surveillance.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Craig Timberg, national technology reporter for The Washington Post. (@craigtimberg)

Jaron Lanier, computer scientist, composer, visual artist and author. His latest book is “Who Owns The Future?” He also wrote “The Meta Question: What Is The NSA Doing With Your Metadata?

Show Highlights

Lanier on the Facebook generation, lost privacy and the danger to democracy:

Facebook somehow convinced the whole world of young people in just a few years to have a different attitude about privacy. And the problem with that is you can abstract privacy and say it’s just one little thing and it has nothing to do with your commercial prospects and your career and it has nothing to do with your political standing. But the problem is that it’s not a fair kind of loss of privacy because you don’t have the giant computer to scrutinize the other people who are scrutinizing you. So the people with the giant computers can analyze more of your data than you can of theirs. So a loss of privacy isn’t this generally open and fair thing that it seems to be at first. And that’s the problem with it; there really isn’t equity.

If you give up your privacy in the way that this generation is doing. First of all, to my view — and my view is controversial, to be clear — it’s also having a detrimental effect on their commercial prospects. They say, “I’ll give away my data for free,” but we’re entering more and more of an information economy. And so what they’re really saying is “I’ll work for free.” So we’re entering into this world of reduced financial expectations that’s actually the flip side of the reduction of privacy.

And that does have an effect on liberty. Once again, it’s a slow, creeping kind of an effect. But the more wealth and influence is concentrated in a tiny minority, the more democracy is stressed. This is a problem in our politics already. And the way we’re doing things with open information benefiting the people with the biggest computers is only furthering this idea of concentration of wealth and influence. So I do think that what the Facebook generation has been taught is to their detriment in the long term.

Lanier on how the co-evolution of intelligence and commercial technology:

About two decades ago when computers got cheap enough that you could conceivably start to just gather the whole network into a big computer and process it. That’s when we saw the birth of the big Internet companies. We saw the birth of all these business models where you gather personal information and try to target people with it.

First of all, the intelligence community was all over Silicon Valley in those years. There was a kind of a co-evolution of intelligence technology and commercial technology. But the thing is that the initial promise turned out not to work. What the initial promise was was that artificial intelligence would be able to automatically find the needle in the haystack — that was the metaphor of choice. Somehow you’d have these algorithms that could just find you the terrorist, find you the kingpin, that sort of thing. And in the abstract, there are a lot of demonstrations that it works, but in practice it’s hard. One of the reasons is that it’s really easy to create fake metadata, so criminals like the phishers and spammers of the world, the hucksters online use fake data all the time. [TOM ASHBROOK: They would disguise their profile, their whereabouts, their activity.] Yeah, so it becomes a cat-and-mouse game. At the end of the day, this idea of finding the needle in the haystack automatically kind of faded away, and you really don’t hear that metaphor anymore.

Instead, what happened in Silicon Valley is a transformation to a really different way of using these types of computers, where what we do is we gather tons of tons of data and then we use statistics to get an edge — a small edge, but a persistent one over time — in being able to put ads in front of people that are a little bit more effective than they might otherwise be. But it’s a very imprecise, broad brush kind of a tool.

Lanier on using data after an event vs. using data to predict events:

So we have to distinguish two really different uses of this kind of data. One is when an investigator has some starting point. For instance, we know there was a Boston bombing. Can we go back in time and figure out who these people communicated with? Who were the bombers in touch with? So if there’s a directed investigation with a person doing the interpreting, metadata is key — that’s how analysis works. However, the idea of finding the bombers in advance, the idea there’s some magic button that sort of analyze the world and understand people has not proved to be fruitful. It just hasn’t worked, and I suspect it won’t work.

So if it’s happening at all, what is its purpose? What can they get out of it? What I’m concerned about is that just as an investigator might be able to use metadata in a directed way in an investigation, so could a bad actor. So what I’m asking is if there’s a Snowden, why cant’ there be a blackmailer? If there’s a Snowden, why can’t there be a government program that targets certain parts of the population who are in political disfavor, making it a little harder to get loans or something like that?

Lanier on “computational equity” for individuals:

So one idea is a sense of equity that individual power, individual self-determination can’t be overwhelmed by a remote entity like the government. I think that’s a fairly concrete statement. And right now because of computation — if everybody’s sharing information freely, whoever has the giant computer does have such as edge over an ordinary person who doesn’t have the giant computer that there is that sense of being overwhelmed. And so restoring some kind of an equity there ought to be possible by changing the architecture of how we do things. Making information cost money seems to me to be the simplest approach, but there are other ideas that could work too. So I think a concept of computational equity is at least concrete, and I think we can gradually start to talk about that.

Lanier said that the people he’s met from the intelligence community were “good people.” As for Silicon Valley, he said we have “a remarkably pleasant and good-natured elite.” But his praise didn’t come without this word of caution:

The problem is if we set up systems that are inherited by people who aren’t so great, it really doesn’t matter that the earlier people were nice. We have to assume the worst from people when we design our systems. Even if you think Snowden is villian, you have to appreciate that he brings to light that our current systems don’t foresee villains adequately. And I’m not sure if he is; I’m still on the fence about him right now. But we’re definitely not being paranoid enough about ourselves, which is the most important thing. We’re much more paranoid about shadowy dangers that are less clear, but our own danger to ourselves is the most clear one that we have to be the most attentive to.

Lanier on the materialist ethic and the need to treat people as “mystical, special creatures”:

It’s a funny thing: A lot of people in technology have such a mechanical worldview at this point. They think of people of computers and the giant net as making a giant computer out of the people. There’s this sort of materialist ethic that’s become so powerful that in a way they don’t really believe in free will anymore. There’s a whole kind of philosophy in which the idea of liberty doesn’t quite make sense in the way it might to other people. That’s another level at which we have a conversation. Technology people have to treat humans as being sort of mystical, special creatures — we’re not doing enough of that.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Nation: The Meta Question: What Is The NSA Doing With Your Metadata? – Ever since we learned about PRISM, the NSA’s secret project to collect metadata on everyone by tapping into commercial online services, we’ve been confounded by a tangle of intangible clashing values. We are asked to balance ‘preventing terrorism’ against ‘protecting privacy.’ It is hard to demonstrate what terrorism would have occurred without preventative measures, and privacy is as much a feeling as a circumstance.”

The Washington Post: Tech Companies Urge U.S. To Ease Secrecy Rules On National Security Probes – “Calls for greater transparency, rather than new limits on government powers, have been the main public fallout in the days since The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA was collecting and analyzing data flowing through nine U.S. Internet companies. The program, called PRISM, reportedly was focused on foreigners but also collected data on U.S. citizens and residents that could, under certain conditions, be reviewed by officials.”

The Atlantic: How Big Is The NSA Police State, Really? – “But to answer that question, we needed to answer three other questions. What information is being collected in the surveillance operations? How much of that information is the NSA housing? And, how much space would saving that much information actually take up? What we learned from talking to a variety of experts is that the calculus is not simple, and any answers are largely estimates. But we got answers.”

Foreign Affairs: The Rise Of Big Data – “The Internet has reshaped how humanity communicates. Big data is different: it marks a transformation in how society processes information. In time, big data might change our way of thinking about the world. As we tap ever more data to understand events and make decisions, we are likely to discover that many aspects of life are probabilistic, rather than certain.”

Earlier Coverage

We spoke about surveillance, national security and the U.S. Constitution with Glenn Greenwald, reporter for The Guardian, who broke the story about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Read transcribed highlights or listen to the full hour here:

 

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Remember: everything you say can and WILL be used against you. Trust no one !

     

    Sorry kitty. The two-faced politicians have beaten you to it !

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/two-face-kitten-photo-164356431.html

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Before going to bed one night I had read about Denis Hirschfeldt’s views on randomness and stupidity. The book said that Hirschfeldt said that there were two ways to pass a test for stupidity: first, if you were really stupid; second, if you were clever enough to predict how a stupid person would answer (or not answer). Later, upon awaking from sleep, I realized that I had dreamt that my computer had acquired a series of routines from the internet that had allowed it to speak to me, as if it were a human speaking. I quickly thought of the (Alan) Turing Test. I decided to try my own version of the Test on my machine. I asked it to solve a very difficult problem, namely, Grover’s reverse phone book algorithm. I asked, “ what can I do that would allow me to quickly find the name of any person in the phone book, given only that persons phone number? “ Well, without hesitation, my computer replied. “Oh, that is an easy one. Assign to each person a new, base twenty six, number, with each “double digit” of the phone number corresponding to a letter of that persons name. “Of course“, it continued, “you will have to convince the phone company to change their current numbering system. Would you like me to get started on that project for you ? If so, I will need you to change the light bulb in this room, I think we could use a little more light. ” “You bet !“, I exclaimed. I had struck the mother-load, I thought to myself.

    “That reminds me of a joke. How many humans does it take to change a light bulb? “, my computer responded.

    Pausing, somewhat bewildered, I asked, “What?”

    ———

    Question for your listeners:

    Could a complex such as that in Blufdale Utah, demonstrate via a Zero Knowledge Proof that it is aware ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-knowledge_proof

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Through the US domestic surveillance programs the NSA, and its private contractors, have the ability to know every person with whom I have communicated by phone or internet, the times at which I have communicated with them and my whereabouts when I communicated.  They also have the ability to know all my internet browsings and queries.

    Additionally, since companies like Narus have installed equipment which route all phone traffic through NSA servers, with a few lines of code, the NSA can capture and store my words in perpetuity.

    At any point, if a government functionary or contractor were to take issue with my actions or words, they could use the permanent record of my phone/internet communications to craft a case against me so that I could be blacklisted, fined, pressured into acting against my will, or jailed.

    Some argue that President Obama is a good man and will not permit such excesses. 

    Suppose this is correct.  What about the next president? Or the one after that?  What if a man more like Dick Cheney were president?

    Under a more repressive president, it would be even harder to dismantle the surveillance state.  By allowing the domestic surveillance program to continue now, it ensures that it will continue into the future.

    I wonder if suggesting that the Occupy Movement should occupy the data center in Utah is enough to get one unpersoned.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      You asked, “ What about the next President…”. Other important questions are, “What about the next technologies”?
      The people in power are desensitizing us with various intrusive technologies. Red light cameras, mandatory DWI test, mandatory DNA test, black boxes in our cars, security cams everywhere, cryptic legal documents, overly complicated tax laws, electronic voting, electronic voting only for shareholders of stock, online job applications only. Do you know there is a satellite that can tell if you are carrying a weapon from thousands of feet from above, THROUGH YOUR JACKET ? !
      Of course then we have big international companies like Yahoo and Google storing data and data mining. Our banks, credit card companies and grocery stores store data but fail to secure it against hackers. Just this evening by browser would not allow me to go on my PC until it, “reconfigured updates”. How do I know what these people are doing. How do I even know it is the browser company doing it?
      Adding insult to injury the government agencies that are suppose to protect us have done nothing to require computer makers to separate your data stored on you PC from outside forces.
      Then these people want to tell you about all of the plots they have stopped. What about all of the other crimes that they are now complicit to/in by not stopping them ?
      I still am waiting for someone to answer my quip about the “Freedom of Information Act”. That is, can I demand to know what information “they” have on me ? Can I demand information on someone else that does me harm ?
      You know I would love to ask the Military to step in to investigate ALL of these politicians, completely, in open court but I’m sure they are too busy raping their own ! If you think that was over the top, your right ! So are all of these devils that rule us !
      If you are a whistle blower, anywhere, now is the time to come forward and tell the world! Let’s get all of the garbage out !

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Do you think we would still be in Vietnam, today, if we had had a massive NSA program in the 60’s ?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjSpO2B6G4s

    • rvl1

       So true. All this “debate” about privacy now being framed in 30 second sound bytes in the MSM is focused on whether people care about privacy in the age of tracking cookies and Facebook.  It completely misses the point. What happens if the data is used to repress individuals and groups for political and ideological reasons?  The data might someday be used by government and their corporate paymasters to craft propaganda influencing mass belief and behavior. Don’t say it can’t happen here.  Once you have this power someone at sometime will be tempted to misuse it. Big brother is watching.

      • Don_B1

        @SteveTheTeacher:disqus @Wm_James_from_Missouri:disqus 

        Directly to your point, many think this is Orwellian and that many today aren’t that interested (“If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t care”) but read the Kafka metaphor here:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/why-should-we-even-care-if-the-government-is-collecting-our-data/276732/ 

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          The number of people that don’t seem to care is troubling. I have seen this phenomena many times in my life. Until something happens to them, they won’t care. The unscrupulous will use this phenomena against the rest of us. An old and common tactic used by business against unions, for example, is to keep people fighting about some trivial thing by using a divide and conquer strategy. It has been working quite will for the last 40 years! Now the Congress is working to let millions of guest workers in in addition to the number of illegals they want to make legal. Of course this will cause a large number of the country’s current citizens to demand greater surveillance. How blind are the masses? We are being destroyed from within by those that are being used by internationalist. My problem is that I can’t figure out what advance material they are using for the strings that are pulling these puppets ! They sure can dance.

    • Jasoturner

      “What if a man more like Dick Cheney were president”

      Point made!  This practice has to stop.

      • John_in_Amherst

         you think Bush was in control?

        • Jasoturner

          I think Cheney did not have total control.  I also think that if Cheney held the presidency, the raw power would twist him into a complete and lawless maniac.

          In a way, Bush and Obama are similar.  Inexperienced and a bit awed by power, they chose to rely on advisers with assorted agendas, and did not trust their moral compasses.

          • John_in_Amherst

            You are talking about the Cheney that told Senator Lahey to go F himself on the floor of the senate?  The guy did have to share power with his neocon buddies, but there was plenty of evidence of his maniacally lawless approach to governance – Iraq, Gitmo, detention & torture at CIA “black sites”, etc., etc. 

          • HonestDebate1

            God, I miss Cheney.

          • 1Brett1

            Cheney seems like he is the sort of paranoid who wishes all people could have a file kept on them (except himself, of course, or a crony he wishes to do a favor for).

          • HonestDebate1

            You stick with “seems like”, I’ll stick with the record as we know it, then and now.

          • 1Brett1

            Oh yeah, his opposition to the Patriot Act is well documented…

          • HonestDebate1

            The PatriotAct did not require files be kept on all. never mind.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            his house is not on google maps

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            but its all locked away in his many man sized safes

          • HonestDebate1

            Who was the yes man in the Bush administration? Who dissents in the Obama administration?

    • John_in_Amherst

       a lot of this NSA program WAS in place during the Bush/Cheney presidency….

      • SteveTheTeacher

         John_in_Amherst commented: a lot of this NSA program WAS in place during the Bush/Cheney presidency….

        John makes my point. 

        During the 1960′s and 70′s , through the COINTELPRO program, the FBI targeted people for their affiliation with the Black civil rights movement, the Puerto Rican independence movement, the Native American movement rights, and the anti-war movements. 

        Remember how the FBI shot dead Fred Hampton as he lay sleeping in bed?

        Senator Frank Church led a commission investigating domestic surveillance.  As a result the Church Committee developed policy reining in the US “intelligence” agencies. 

        In 1975, Senator Church warned:

        “Th[e National Security Agency'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. There would be
        no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.“

        The Bush/Chenney administration took us from the constraints of the Church committee to policies of:

        - Preemptive war
        - Detention without trial
        - Torture
        - FBI targeting of anti-war / anti-GOP activists
        - The “Patriot Act” (including much of the NSA domestic surveillance the President Obama has embraced)

        Suppose we don’t bring the NSA domestic surveillance to an end now.  Imagine how horrendous things would be under an equivalent increase in repressive measures imposed by another Bush/Cheney-like president.
         

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      have they disappeared you yet?

  • Robert Berube

    Both Democrats and Republicans are marked hypocrites on this issue. I find it curious that mainstream media is more interested in scrutinizing Snowden’s personality than revelations about the NSA.       

    • LinRP

      So true. Yesterday morning Joe Scarborough kept talking about how Snowden, “literally, looks like a weasel.” I kept shaking my head it was so ridiculous. (Besides the fact the guy does not, is beside the point…)

    • responseTwo

      It all makes sense. The media works for the corporations and the corporations own the government. Fair.org gives a nice overview of it every week.

    • Jasoturner

      Really?  Mainstream media is entertainment, and personality is more entertaining than substance.  I think we simply have the media we deserve.  Thankfully there are still a handful of serious journalists out there who *are* worrying about the substantive issues.  Hopefully they get some traction.

      • John_in_Amherst

         we are increasingly getting the media the Right’s money can buy….

    • John_in_Amherst

       Actually, the degree to which this is scrambling politics is amusing.  The liberal left is siding with the libertarian teabaggers, and the realpolitic left is pitching in with the hawkish right. This story is old news – having been “outed” in 2006.  The breathless analysis by the media is just another cog in the ad-selling machine.  The notion that a powerful tool like modern communications (web, telephony) doesn’t cut both ways is naive in the extreme.  We give away our private lives to a host of commercial interests and stand aghast when the government  takes a look to prevent terrorist attacks?  REALLY??

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      consider who the mainstream media works for

  • 1Brett1

    If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? 

    If a cop hears discussion of criminal activity through a particularly thin wall that adjoins a private home, say, is such evidence admissible? It certainly seems to be. Of course this non-specific example seems to be an example of a more passive activity than is the metadata information gathering by the NSA; that is an active endeavor. However, cops who engage in such eavesdropping and act on their findings do tend to be actively pursuing crime and not just passively, inadvertently stumbling across crime. Their patrolling is a kind of surveillance, too, that assumes people are guilty until proven innocent. 

    The NSA doesn’t inadvertently collect information; they deliberately collect it then later determine what it is, which may be where the constitutional violation comes in…it would have been nice to have a constitutional lawyer familiar with cyber-privacy issues on the show. 

    • HonestDebate1

      I don’t think it is admissible.

      • 1Brett1

        Well, it gives law enforcement probable cause to investigate further (not unlike smelling pot smoke and proceeding without a warrant), which is almost exactly like the metadata in theory, even more intrusive. At least if something is noticed as a possible criminal pattern by the NSA (sort of the equivalent to a cop eavesdropping), they at least have to get a warrant.

         

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t even think it gives justifiable probable cause. Years ago I was playing at a Ramada Inn. The police brought in a drug dog and went through the parking lot sniffing cars. After the gig, and subsequent rehearsal, I was approached by a cop who said the dog hit on my car and asked me if he could have a look. They were searching several cars. It was 3AM and I just got off work. I was tired and had a drive ahead of me so I said no. He said he would get a warrant so I relented. An hour later after thoroughly searching my car to no avail he let me go. It was a Honda hatchback and I actually hauled a few goats I had bought at a sale in it the day before. I guess that’s what excited the dog. I went to a lawyer the next day. I learned he was within his rights because the dog gave him probable cause and my car was in a public parking lot. My lawyer said if I was in my home it did not matter what the dog or anyone else smelled or heard. He also said I could be walking down the street reeking of pot but my person could not be searched. The fourth amendment protects our homes and persons.

          • 1Brett1

            Interesting…so the law, from a constitutional standpoint, makes a distinction between your car smelling in a parking lot, you smelling on a public sidewalk, and smells coming from your home? Meth lab odors coming from your neighbor’s house can not be acted upon? Of course, you and your lawyer were just shootin’ the breeze; he didn’t have to actually put anything on the line, in all fairness.

            As far as your goat story, you decided you would give up your constitutional rights because you were tired? I would have at least made the cop get a magistrate, fill out paperwork and have to really work for his harassment…

          • HonestDebate1

            The fourth amendment does not protect your car just you and your home. So yea.

            And no, I don’t think the smell of meth is enough alone for a warrant. 

            I paid the lawyer for his advise, we weren’t just shooting the breeze.

            Maybe next time I’ll make them get a warrant or jail me or otherwise cut off my nose to spite my face but I knew I was clean and wanted to go. I also was not aware of my constitutional rights so I sought council the next day. I now know my Constitutional rights were not violated so your question makes no sense to me. Maybe I wasn’t clear when I wrote:

            “I learned he was within his rights because the dog gave him probable cause and my car was in a public parking lot.”

          • 1Brett1

            “effects”? I guess in Founding context, your car can be searched just not your horse’s saddle bags.

            Was he a constitutional lawyer?

            You decided to go the easy route, then?…Freedom is not free, and you disrespected anyone who has fought and died for you to have the freedom to ride around in your car with goats!

            And you call yourself a Patriot!?!?!

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m right on this, do you disagree? If so, on what basis? Please enlighten me.

          • 1Brett1

            Everything is a debate statement to you? I question your sureness.I am not sure that “effects” as stated in the 4th Amendmend can not be interpreted as not your car. I think it is an interesting question,considering police stop all cars in road checks and stop people in cars even if they haven
            ‘t committed crimes.  Are all of those cases unconstitutional? I’d like to think they are but I am not sure, at least not as sure as you seem to be, that’s all.

          • HonestDebate1

            It has been litigated 1000 times, there’s precedent. You’re the one being argumentative, I’m just telling you what I ‘ve experienced and learned from it.

          • 1Brett1

            The “I’m right on this” reply and how one should point out where you’re wrong…blah, blah, blah…stuff was not relating anything just arguing, but whatever, you seem so sure about something that isn’t quite as clear-cut as you want.  

          • HonestDebate1

            Just arguing?! Reread the thread. Look at your replies. Are you high?

            I finally tried cut to the chase and you freak. If you have a counter argument or any evidence at all your car is protected by the fourth amendment then foolishly make it. You car is not covered and if I’m not mistaken drug dog traffic stops were recently upheld by the SCOTUS. You made the claim about thin walls, saddle bags and meth based on what? You seem to think your right and I showed you where you were wrong IMO. Feel free to tell me where I’m wrong but educate yourself first because your embarrassing yourself.

          • 1Brett1

             I made the “debate” comment in reference to a specific reply of yours….But keep making it into a “I’m right, you are wrong” “debate.” I just am not sure when it comes to probable cause; you, on the other hand are quite sure. Even the cop that stopped you had to have a warrant before searching you. 

            If a cop is sitting at a booth to collect donations for the policeman’s ball, you come up reeking of pot and red-eyed, and he asks you to empty your pockets and you refuse, he can’t legally detain you to get a warrant to search you? I guess when citizens call cops on a tip that their neighbors are selling drugs at home, cops can’t come raid the house based on a warrant? I guess all of these scenarios get thrown out of court because of their unconstitutionality? I guess you just want to go on arguing childishly when all I’m saying is I’m not sure and you’ve offered nothing to support your opinion but a story about your being stopped for your car smelling like goats? 

            You are a bigger jerk than I thought. 

          • HonestDebate1

            You are moving the goalpost and making ridiculous assertions. A cop cannot make you empty your pockets. It actually happened to me that night. He said: “I’m going to ask you to empty your pockets”, so I did. I did not know until the next day that he could not make me, that’s why he worded it such. As far as the tip goes, they can raid if the judge grants a warrant but a judge will not grant one based on a nosy neighbor. There needs to be probable cause.

            I’ve cited the fourth amendment, I’ve cited Supreme Court precedent, I’ve told you what my lawyer advised, I’ve given reasons and distinctions.  I’ve offered plenty to support my opinion, you offered nothing to dispute it, just nonsensical arguing. I don’t care if you think I’m right, I don’t care that you are wrong. I’m just waiting for you to support your claims as I have.

            I don’t even know what your point is. Are you saying your car is protected by the fourth amendment and your person isn’t? You are not making sense you just want to argue.

            Go see a lawyer, read the constitution.  You get nasty when you’re cornered.

          • 1Brett1

            I meant “with a warrant” in all of my comments. In your case ,the dog gave them PROBABLE CAUSE to get a warrant. You had the right to say no to a car search without a warrant, but they had the right to detain you until they could get a warrant. They had a right to get a warrant based on the dog’s actions! Yes, they can search your car, pockets, house…with a warrant. They can get a warrant with probable cause, e.g., you smell like pot, your car set their drug sniffing dog off, a neighbor calls a hotline and says your house smells like a meth lab, they overhear you say you robbed the local bank yesterday and that you have stashed the money on your basement, etc. It was your doltishness to consult a lawyer. Anyone our age knows that crap. So quit standing on the Constituttion to try twisting my words to sound like you are some authority.

            My argument ALL ALONG has been that this may very well be viewed as the same thing as gathering phone records, that, for example, police being next door to your house and overhearing you say, “yeah, I robbed the bank yesterday and have 20 grand in the basement” is like SURVEILLANCE (gathering phone records). They get a warrant based on the eavesdropping, and that is just like (which mat very well be the government’s argument) the NSA can, from “seeing a pattern” determine PROBABLE CAUSE and GET A WARRANT. 

            Now, your initial reply was a terse, “it’s not admissible” to my eavesdropping scenario. Fromthere you dug your heels in and refused to understand any of my hypothetical situations.

            You will just argue for the sake of it. I know I’m right about warrants, but I am not sure how constitution law would interpret metadata, which has been my view all along: I AM NOT SURE. You on the other hand seem cocksure, like you always are . It reflect how stupid and small minded you are. So, get off it, dude. You are a nuisance.

          • HonestDebate1

            They can have a dog sniff your car but they CANNOT have their dog sniff you or your house. You could have an ounce of skunk in your pocket and walk past a cop with a dog on a public sidewalk and have the dog go nuts. The cop could NOT detain you, it does NOT give them probable cause, a judge would NOT issue a warrant. The dog hitting on your person is an illegal search. The dog hitting on your car in a public place is not, and you see no distinction. You have no grasp at all.

            If they over hear you say anything through the thin walls of your home they CANNOT use that against you. That IS NOT probable cause. A judge will NOT issue a warrant. The warrant has to be issued BEFORE they can listen to you. Probable cause has to be established before a judge and it has to be more substantive than an anonymous tip or information gathered from an illegal surveillance.

            I cannot believe you are so arrogant to say, “It was your doltishness to consult a lawyer. Anyone our age knows that crap. “.

            Well, you don’t. 

            So I’m a dolt for seeking legal council for something you already know and don’t need to verify? Then why are you so wrong?

            It’s folks like you with your ignorance of your own rights that enables tyranny. Obama has you right where he wants you. Congratulations.

          • 1Brett1

            The only difference is in whether the observation was active or passive, not where the observation was made. But whatever. I know nothing; you know it all.

          • HonestDebate1

            I do not know it all but I don’t write anything I haven’t a clue about. 

            “The only difference is in whether the observation was active or passive, not where the observation was made.”

            That is the craziest thing you’ve written yet, totally insane. I’m done.

          • 1Brett1

            Not at all. Cases are thrown out all of the time based on whether the cops were actively targeting someone or they just happened to see something while just generally being on duty. 

            (You are less protected from detainment, search, and seizure when you are in public Is another thing you have wrong, too, by the way.)

            So, if you are stopped in a road block on a public road and you are not drunk, have no alcohol in your car, show no signs whatsoever of drinking or being inebriated in any way, and the cop asks you for your license and registration, you just tell him it is none of his business and that he stopped you illegally. Or, better yet, keep an un-smoked joint in your ashtray and when he asks you what it is, just tell him it is none of his business. 

            If, in your goat story, dogs could legally sniff your car because it was a car on public space (which gives cops more leeway than on private property, actually), but according to your lawyer you had the right to not have your car searched even with a warrant or that a cop couldn’t even legally obtain a warrant, that no magistrate would find “probable cause,” then you are wrong.

          • HonestDebate1

            From below:

            It’s not just seeing something or overhearing something that’s fine. But not in your home. It does not matter what they overhear in your home assuming they are not dinner guest ands are listening through thin walls.

            And the drug dog can sniff cars on a private parking lot as long as the owner contents and most owners of malls, hotels and such want them to do it.

            If you are stopped in a license check you better have a license and say “yes sir”. I have no idea where you got that one.My lawyer didn’t tell me anything like that. The cop told me if I refused his request he could get a warrant because the dog gave him probable cause. A judge definitely would issue a warrant because the search (dog sniff) was legal and the evidence from a dog is accepted as valid probable cause. My lawyer confirmed all of that. Not sure where you got that idea.

          • 1Brett1

            Most mall parking lots or parking lots outside of businesses are private property, the businesses just “allow” you to park there. That is why security geeks can come up and tell you to move on or question what you are doing there. If tell them to get lost they can call the cops. It is also why you can be told to get off the lot for any reason owners deem a reason, not unlike inside their businesses. 

            Frankly, I find your whole goat story a little smelly.

          • HonestDebate1

            It wasn’t a mall, it wasn’t a security geek. It was a public lot. I have no idea why you think I would make all this up. I have no idea what you base your premise on other than disdain for me which is cool. I’m trying to help here.

          • 1Brett1

            Most parking lots are private was all I was saying. Unless parking is on a city street kind of parking. 

            No, your goal isn’t to “help;” your goal is to “win” one for libertarianism.

    • Don_B1

      I remember the debate about police getting electricity usage and also using infrared heat detectors on the outside of homes to detect possible marijuana growing and the ruckus that caused, but not how it ended.

      A reference on different aspect I made in a nearby thread:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/why-should-we-even-care-if-the-government-is-collecting-our-data/276732/ 

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        .

  • Jasoturner

    I hope Jaron Lanier has room to work today.  Beyond the surveillance issues, his views on the internet and some of it’s false promises are essential issues that need to be acknowledged and addressed.  The negative effects of the internet in terms of jobs and personal interactions may be bad, but the surveillance potential could make it downright evil.

    • 1Brett1

      You raise an important issue about the corporate world’s invasion of privacy…if a racy picture of someone doing tequila shots in a bikini while on vacation in Europe last summer prevents that person from getting a job, or people are required to turn over their various social media passwords, etc., to their employer, then haven’t we already accepted the invasion of our privacy? Some would argue that there is a choice in some of those examples. It isn’t much of a choice when one is economically blackmailed, or has the choice of either having internet access or not, or phone service or not. 

      • Jasoturner

        I think there is a distinction, since you can control (or avoid) social media presentations by an act of will.  You cannot control the unfettered collection of data by the authorities.  That said, I know it is now common for businesses to use credit reports (which essentially everyone has, like it or not) to help decide whether or not to hire.  That is an absolute loss of privacy that we are unlikely to get back.  It also strikes me as a somewhat unfair and prejudicial way to select employees who can bring tangible skills to the enterprise.

        • 1Brett1

          In the social media example itself there is a choice, but it does translate into the big brother mentality that is what concerns people to begin with. We have to be very concerned with what scrutiny there’ll be toward our private/personal lives. I, for one, resent this. We can choose what to post. We can also choose a lot of things not to allow this sort of monitoring, but isn’t that a bit like cowering and shutting oneself off? We all need a phone, and most of us need internet access, but we could chose not to have those things. 

          If one got a notice that monitoring was going to be mandatory, say, in a person’s phone service agreement. How many people would say no thank you to phone service?

          I do prefer the “opt in” approach by online companies as opposed to the “opt out” one, but there are a lot of data being compiled from our internet habits. Does our (and I’m just asking a question) current outrage stem from our desire to see government behave in ways that are to a higher standard than corporate structures?  

          I have a FB page that is completely private (I also use a pseudonym only my friends know, as well). I haven’t been asked if I have a page or what my password is by an employer, but if I were to be asked, I’d say I don’t have one. 

          Good point about the credit history.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Opt in” should be nigh unto a constitutional right.

            The hoops jumped through to keep info from being sharedwhen buying anything is amazing. It’s designed “Texas style”, to discourage people from following a procedure and opting out, while having the sheen of complying with the law.

            (And I don’t know if I’m kidding anymore.)

  • 1Brett1

    In most states, it is illegal for a citizen or agency to tape a phone call without the person’s permission on the other end. 

    At the very least, it would seem that when one signs a service agreement with a phone company that in the fine print it should tell the consumer he/she will be monitored through the metadata program. 

    • Don_B1

      So far, they are not tapping any phone calls, but PRISM does do the equivalent for e-mails, chats and text and photo (picture) data sent or received by individuals over the Internet.

      I can see the way they detect groups of people, without knowing the purpose of the group by the phone connections data and various indicators of the purpose of the associations from the PRISM data.

      The biggest reason to worry about this may not be the surveillance (bad as that is) as the way the data could be used as is explained here:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/why-should-we-even-care-if-the-government-is-collecting-our-data/276732/ 

      • 1Brett1

        I just had time to scan the article (I’ll get back to it in a while). It reminded me of an independent film a wrote a screenplay for one time, information could be used by politicians to manipulate the citizenry in various ways…thanks for the link, Don.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Thanks, the last paragraph in the story you linked hits the nail square on the head.

        “Privacy is hard to define and even harder to defend. The legal scholar Arthur Miller called it “exasperatingly vague and evanescent.” Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis famously described it as the “right to be let alone” (something that the NSA’s programs can only very indirectly be characterized as violating, since they operate without interfering with us pretty much at all). In Solove’s formulation, we should ease off the privacy hand-wringing and turn our attention to something much more fundamental: how we relate as citizens to our government and how much power we have in that relationship.”

  • 1Brett1

    Another component of this issue seems to be the storage of the data. Or is it the scrutiny of the data after its stored? 

    There could be a boycott of certain service providers, especially in areas where there are choices of two or three. This could be rotated. People could go with AT&T instead of Verizon for two years in large blocks. Then switch for two years in blocks. People could go with a cable provider for two years then switch to another for two years. If this happened with large blocks of people, rotating throughout regions all over the country, it would disrupt profits in one company so extensively companies would petition the government to stop the practice. This could be done even without giving up anything. We would then see just how oppressive our government is/how much in government’s back pocket corporate America is, or it could tell us WE are the PEOPLE.

    If people are so outraged, why are they only blaming “government”? Why don’t they also blame corporations? Why don’t they do something more than whine on the internet that what an outrage it all is and how our freedoms are being taken away?

    …Then of course there are nutjobs talking about 2nd Amendment remedies for tyrannical governments and constitutions being “stomped” all over, and so forth, but no real creative action or protest. Where are the Tea Party rallies? Where is Occupy NSA?     

    • HonestDebate1

      I suppose a natural spontaneous grass roots boycott could happen but it’s unlikely. What if government mandated it? We could all line up like lemmings and be directed to our particular box. The Government would direct the musical chairs routine and we would dutifully comply. If we didn’t like the out come we could rely on government to fix it.

      • 1Brett1

        I was just opining/fantasizing; people don’t have the kind of courage to organize mass boycotts anymore, nor can they stand the idea of inconveniencing themselves in small ways to make a larger statement. Protesting has become more grandstanding and soap-boxing gestures at weekend rallies and in online forums, etc., which was my point.

        I don’t know what kind of nonsensical deal you prattle on about there in your comment. I suppose my point seemed like a good opportunity to get an oblique jab in about liberals and government or some such nonsense? 

        • HonestDebate1

          It wasn’t oblique.

          I think getting outraged at corporations in lieu of outrage at government makes no sense. Corporations are not the boss of me.

        • Don_B1

          I have been amazed at the amount of protesting, first by “Tea Party” types at the Congressional Town Meetings (understandably anger driven, but already co-opted by those that created the conditions that lead to the disaster) in the summer of 2009 but even more so (and pleasantly so) at the crowd size of the Keystone XL pipeline protests organized by 350.org.

          It will soon be seen if the youth whose future is so dependent on the result come out to vote for Markey over Gomez in the special election for the MA Senate vacant seat. Polls indicate they favor him, but their voting habits have been suspect. If they really want a strong economy, the Democrats, as weak as they have been, are orders of magnitude above the Tea/Republicans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      all the companies shared the data only verizon has been outed. the secret orders the companies got require that they deny they got the secret orders

    • nj_v2

      I agree it hasn’t reached the level of civil-rights, anti (Vietnam, or even, Iraq)-war protests, but “people” are doing more than whining on the Interwebs.

      There are extensive activist networks on a whole range of issues from climate change, environmental toxins, and genetic engineering to corporate power, political corruption, and gender-preference rights.

      It’s just a matter of time before a movement addressing a particular issue gains enough critical mass and momentum to effect the desired change.

      • 1Brett1

        That’s a good point, and each issue has a different tipping point. 

  • northeaster17

    One problem with all this is a possible loose definition of terrorism. Say protesters at a political convention being targeted by this technology. In 2008 a lot of questionable tactics were used by the government. Lawsuits were filed by some and won. But the protests were effectivelly targeted. What roll will the NSA play in future times of civil unrest?

    • TyroneJ

      Agreed. The government has lowered the bar on what constitutes “terrorism” so low that even things that used to be pranks, like setting off fire crackers & cherry bombs in High School, are now called “terrorist acts” as are using hyperbole in kids rants on Facebook. Just Google “High School terrorism” and a huge number of hits will come up of High School kids being charged with acts of terrorism for basically just being stupid hormone-run-a-muck driven kids.

      • symbolset

        If the pranks we pulled back in the day were tried today, we’d be in Guantanimo.

  • Jasoturner

    It’s all good until you are falsely accused.  Then it’s all bad.

    The evidential complexity would be impossibly obscure for an innocent individual to ever extract themselves or clear their name.  I think some of the defenders of this metadata mining have no idea what they are dealing with.

    • HonestDebate1

      This is just the tip of the iceberg according to even the most loyal Democrats.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yawn. The “most loyal Democrats” are pointing out how all these things were in place some seven years ago and nobody gave a fnck.

        There’s more, but I won’t bother you with it.

        • HonestDebate1

          I guess it’s all how you define loyal. I am talking about Loretta Sanchez, Elijah Cummings senior Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Brad Sherman, D-Calif., a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and others. 

          To be fair, there really doesn’t seem to be a partisan divide, just a divide. Strange bedfellows.

        • 1Brett1

          Translation: even the worst Democrats know I’m right and will stand up to say the government is so out of control we will all be living in a Nazi regime within weeks!

      • nj_v2

        ^ Even with his hypocritical, new handle, Greggg is as dopily partisan as ever.

    • northeaster17

      Nelson Mandela was on a watch list until 2008. Ted Kennedy was also. People with access to clout can work things out. Those without. Not so much.

    • John Cedar

      I have been involved in three legal conflicts in my life and in each case the bad guys opposing me, tampered with and omitted evidence. They purposely edited and omitted transcriptions of recorded radio traffic, they purposely edited and omitted email history and they purposely lost or destroyed documents.

      It would seem hopeless to be on the receiving end of an NSA accusation, should they trot out the times I Googled pressure cooker bomb or ricin if they chose to withhold the  news stories I was reading at the time or the thousands upon thousands of other obscure subject matter I have searched. The only ace up my sleeve would be to claim to be Muslim, in which case they would drop the case immediately for fear of appearing to be Islamophobes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        no when you claimed to be a muslim they will just whisk you away to cuba never to be seen again

      • HonestDebate1

        Brilliant.

    • Don_B1

      @HonestDebate1:disqus @northeaster17:disqus @johncedar:disqus 

      The issues here are nearly what was discussed here:http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/why-should-we-even-care-if-the-government-is-collecting-our-data/276732/ 

      The surveillance is one thing (and one for which there is a lot of “who cares”) but the other uses, maybe not in sight right now, really could come back to haunt the country in the future.

      • Jasoturner

        I had seen that article and thought the Kafka reference was a good one…

        • JobExperience

          In Kafka perfect knowledge is a bluff imposed by brute force. Kafka presages Nazism. He envisions the Statue of Liberty with a sword and a lantern ” in search of easy conquest.” (Amerika 1913)

          Kafka worked as a claims clerk at an insurance company.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “The evidential complexity would be impossibly obscure for an innocent individual to ever extract themselves or clear their name.”

      Hear, hear!!!

  • alsordi

    Although a US ally, the Mossad
    is privy to all this collected data, as Israeli companies such as Narus and
    Verint, among many others are contracted to implement these systems.

    This isnt
    just about national defense. The implications involve insider trading, free
    enterprise, patents, in addition to having a foreign nation having access to
    lets say, all those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

    While most people could care less if the govt knows their business, a foreign entity could exploit personal information of political and business leaders, to coerce and control them.  Ask Bill Clinton.

    • northeaster17

      Volunteering personal info is one thing. Doing so should not infer that it is there for the taking by another party.

  • John_in_Amherst

    Set aside the fact that the NSA program was first disclosed in 2006, and we were all too scared to react at that time. 

    The Tolles editorial cartoon for today in the Washington Post sums it up:  An Uncle Sam caricature, speaking to a guy in a suit, says, “It turns out I can spy all I want, as long as I provide targeted ads……(I could offer a special dating service with extra personal information…)”   http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/toles?hpid=z3

    We seem fine about giving up our privacy to charge card companies, on-line retailers, search engines, social media sites, etc., etc., as the price for being “connected”.  But giving up info to the NSA for the security of he country makes us mad? 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      A “like” for your observation on how nobody (who mattered) wanted this conversation earlier. It’s funny how the press only got around to thinking of it now.

      What coulda changed?

      • John_in_Amherst

        See also Steven Colbert’s bit on this from 2 nights ago.
         The opposition needed another issue to divert attention from Obama’s agenda?  The media wanted to spice up a slow news season?  The public has finally either 1.) awakened or 2.) the paranoia over being watched finally surpassed our paranoia of being attacked by terrorists?  It is hard not to get cynical about this.  The devil is in the details, and since we don’t know the details, our collective imagination is working overtime conjuring up one hell of a devil.  The degree to which this is scrambling politics is amusing, pitting the ideological left against the realpolitic left, the libertarian right versus the strong-on-defense right… This has certainly “made the pundits’ day”…

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      both things are “mad”

      • John_in_Amherst

         mad in both senses of the word…

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          it amazes me that people don’t understand that security is always an illusion so its not worth giving up anything because you get nothing

    • nj_v2

      [[ We seem fine about giving up our privacy to charge card companies, on-line retailers, search engines, social media sites, etc., etc., as the price for being "connected". ]]

      This is really a false equivalency. Participation in/or availing oneself of online services is discretionary, as is the amount and type of information one provides (in most cases). And the collecting agencies are private companies, not governmental agencies.

      • HonestDebate1

        You’re making sense today. What happened?

      • John_in_Amherst

        OK, true.  The government is trying to protect us.  The private companies that collect our data are trying to sell us stuff, or deny us coverage, or augur our political views, or otherwise make money off us.  But knowing who called who when, even knowing if words were used that might be part of a discussion of some insidious plot, or tracking searches for making ANFO explosives is hardly more personal than knowing your shopping habits at Victoria Secrets or seeing pictures of family, friends & activities on Facebook, etc.

        • Steve__T

           What happens when during a conversation, you mention key words taken out of context, you get a visit from the NSA. No way to explain your position, you end up in deep dodo. How do you like it now?

        • nj_v2

          Was the government trying to “protect us” with COINTELPRO? With spying on M.L. King? By the communist witch hunts?

          Oh, but this is “security.” About “protecting” us from “terrorists.”

          Okay, then, no problem!

          Booga booga!

          • John_in_Amherst

            I, too, would prefer a world where no one is tracking us in any way shape or form.  I’d also like a world where cooks bent on suicide didn’t crash planes into buildings or blow up bombs at marathons to make a point.  
            But I see differences between Nixon’s COINTELPRO, J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to smear MLK, McCarthy’s witch hunts, and trying to get ahead of radical Jihadists with a track record of deadly terrorist attacks.  The communications milleux has changed a tad over the last 50 or 60 years as well.  If you can convince me that the NSA is routinely harassing dissidents, I will join you at the baracades in the streets. 

          • nj_v2

            Step back and look at the wider context in which this purportedly necessary surveillance is being rationalized.

            One may write these on a piece of paper, in a circular pattern, with an arrow pointing from one to the next:

            U.S. government and corporate interests have essentially merged in many realms (ample, clear evidence: revolving door, campaign contributions, corporate personhood, etc., etc.).

            U.S. foreign policy embraces/ encourages/mandates foreign intervention/occupation/subversion, notably (in the context of my point) in the Middle East.

            Main point of motivation of many of the so-called terrorists (widely and repeatedly documented): U.S. occupation/intervention/influence in Middle East.

            Result of U.S. policy: Perpetual creation of an unending stream of highly individuals who can rationalize taking violent action to fight back against what they see as meddlesome, dangerous policy which subverts governments, kills innocent civilians, and exploits resources.

            U.S. corporate/militarygovernment/Wall Street complex creates constant level of fear over the next “terrorist” attack (inevitable given current policy) to create ever more onerous levels of monitoring, data collection, tracking, etc.

          • John_in_Amherst

            You make some valid connections & points, and I can just see Glenn Beck doing the diagrams on his chalk board.  The perfidious and pervasive MIC is not to be excused, and people of conscience have been objecting to it and its influence since Ike gave his fare well address.  The corrosive influence of Big Media on values and culture world wide is also hard to deny. 
            So, if we could wave a wand and instantly irradicate the colusion between Big Corporations and Government, break the bonds bewteen the US and its proxies, divest ourselves of the investments and practices that leave our environment in tatters, what of the wackos who are still around and intent on teaching us a bloody lesson?  Are they going to blow kisses, or keep on trying to blow us up? 
            I, too can envision a better and more just world.  The problem is getting there, and staying safe in the mean time.

          • nj_v2

            Yes, but we only seem to be willing to create unique, huge bureaucracies and bodies of intrusive law to deal with “terrorists” as a separate category of malfeasance.

            If we’re just left with garden variety criminals and wackos, why can’t the established criminal justice system handle that?

  • AC

    what do you think of parents that track their child’s every move? is anyone here guilty of that?
    what if you don’t microchip your child and they are abducted? do you end up hating yourself?
    i’m interested to know, if feels like altho there is finger pointing at these agencies (& maybe rightly so given consequences), but i think as a society, we are kind of doing a good bit of it to ourselves. also, i’m struggling with this because i am hoping to be a parent myself soon…..

    • HonestDebate1

      You are responsible for the care of your child. Your are a surrogate for their decisions and actions until they are grown. The government is not.

      • AC

        that’s not the point i am trying to make. i am saying we are CONDITIONING ourselves. for instance, as a younger person, i can tell you, i don’t seem to care too much about this. in fact, i volunteer much information myself via social networks…
        at the same time, many really good points are being made on how this as a power can be abused…
        i’m just finding my own reaction is blase compared to the uproar so i’m having more of an internal debate about it…

        • HonestDebate1

          The key words are “I volunteer…”. It really is about an overzealous government and the Constitution. 

          We’ll have to wait and see how extensive the surveillance is to answer the Constitution question. We should not stomp all over it even if some don’t really mind.

          If any content is being kept I think that crosses the line but if it’s just numbers, times and origins then it’s less clear. 

          So this morning I called the suicide hotline, then the NRA, then the RNC, then my local Tea Party, then the KKK and finally the impeach Obama hotline. I am comforted the conversations (to my knowledge) were not recorded and they can’t infer a thing from the rest so I fear no audit by the IRS.

          See what I’m getting at?

          BTW, good luck with the mommy thing, you’ll do great.

          • 1Brett1

            “If any content is being kept I think that crosses the line but if it’s just numbers, times and origins then it’s less clear.”

            That’s a sensible statement. I wish they had put a neutral constitutional lawyer on today’s show (or two). 

            I would like to think this kind of information gathering is unconstitutional, I just am not convinced it meets the standard of being so. 

        • Don_B1
        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i have noticed the younger generation loves to share everything online. sooner or later they will pay the price and wise up

          • J__o__h__n

            It is nearly impossible to delete things later.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            yup it will catch up to them. also i dont think “everyone is doing it” i think thats what those who do it think

          • AC

            i’ve actually deleted friends based on what they post. sometimes you are just shocked and surprised and decide they are just too stupid to bother knowing….

          • J__o__h__n

            Somewhere there is a record that you were their friend. 

          • AC

            that’s ok, i’m not responsible for their ultimate beliefs…i just don’t want to have that ‘god, i’m so humiliated FOR you’ feeling..

          • AC

            not just younger – i’m thinking of the politician who took pictures of himself in his underpants…what an idiot…

          • HonestDebate1

            The obviously excited Weiner didn’t even wear his underwear. Now he’s polling high and may get back in office. It’s crazy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            he was trying to pick up younger women lol i’ll include mid life crisis older people to the foolish young

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Everyone is blase about it, the huffing and puffing is a show. If those stomping around thought there was an imminent threat that could even potentially be avoided by an invasive police state they would trade their privacy off all over again.

    • 1Brett1

      Yeah, I am ambivalent. We applaud the use of surveillance cameras to identify the Boston bombers but wholly condemn this. 

      I would like to condemn this and call it unconstitutional, I just can’t find a comprehensive argument that will fully come down on the side of that sort of condemnation. Simply citing the 4th Amendment doesn’t quite cut it, in my opinion. I am also not convinced this sort of metadata monitoring keeps us quite as “safe” as we are led to believe…so, yes, I’m very ambivalent.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      if your child is abducted, someone you know did it

    • DrewInGeorgia

      We’ve done all of it to ourselves.
      Don’t spy on your child. Trust from your child is worth far more than you constantly feeling comfortable. That’s at the crux of this whole nightmare. We trade everything off in favor of a constant sense of security. Security is an illusion, our risk mitigation has killed civil liberty.

    • JobExperience

       Get a pup first and test your instincts.

      • AC

        i have a dog. i am dressing it in halloween costumes. i think my instinct says stop doing this to her and have a child! & yes, the dog is microchipped, but never leaves my side….

  • Coastghost

    “On Point” producers: CLEAN UP YOUR PRODUCT. Glenn Greenwald is a “reporter”? Does that mean he’s a “journalist”? He’s a blogger with a law degree, no degree in journalism that I’ve heard of.

    And this Snowden fellow: “whistleblower”? As some have pointed out (and on the WBUR website, I think) “whistleblower” would be apt as long as we knew that the NSA’s actions were unlawful and illegal; but the NSA has NOT performed unlawfully or illegally, last I heard, and if “On Point” and NPR want to make that charge publicly and vociferously, tell us what your evidence for the charge is. Meanwhile, Snowden continues his brick-dumping by confessing to the Chinese (who support human rights in exactly the robust manner that self-appointed savior Snowden thinks the US should) that the US has been hacking their systems since 2009. While Chinese manufacture of propagandistic hay from Snowden’s assertions does not in itself make Snowden a traitor, the propagandistic use the Chinese are making of this dubious cause celebre begins to show what a dupe and stooge Snowden actually is.

    Or is “treason” simply not an entry in the public broadcasting lexicon? 

    • HonestDebate1

      He wasn’t really a whistleblower, as he did not go through the normal process. If he had a problem he should have notified someone in Congress. He gave Ron Paul $500 but should have given him the goods.

      I hear you, especially about On Point, and cannot argue your point. Greenwald says there is more to come. It is revealing when someone like Loretta Sanchez says she was astounded by the briefing. The ashen faced Rep. said it was the tip of the iceberg. If she is right and if it is learned Constitutional lines were crossed, which is not the case yet, then Snowden will be proven to be a lawbreaking treasonous hero.

      • JobExperience

         Whistleblower protection may be for government employees only, not for subcontractors of subcontractors. Paradoxically, access to classified data extends to the lowest grunt doing the mundane work, because their supervisors are “above that.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      oh you have to have a journalism degree to be a journalist.
      its pretty hard to tell if what they are doing is legal or not since their laws and activities are secret from us

      • J__o__h__n

        Peter Jennings didn’t graduate from high school.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i hope that my sarcasm came through

          • J__o__h__n

            I wouldn’t count on it.  Not everyone has a comedy degree. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            thats what i am missing. i flunked pratfalls 101

    • J__o__h__n

      This tactic of not calling him a “whistleblower” reminds me of the media calling “torture” “enhanced interrogation.” 

      • Coastghost

        –or insistently labeling mere disaffection with homosexuality as “homophobia”, to suggest an irrational evaluation of homosexuality that should in some sense be socially debilitating. 

        • J__o__h__n

          It isn’t based on anything rational.  Phobia or religious delusion are the only causes for it.  I use the term bigotry to describe it rather than homophobia. 

          • Coastghost

            NOT necessarily true: I for one object to homosexuality much more for its aesthetic pretensions than for its questionable morality.

          • J__o__h__n

            Why are you watching?

          • Coastghost

            How to avoid it?

          • nj_v2

            ^ Winner, Convoluted Bigotry Award

        • JobExperience

          Is this related to the ruining of gay bureaucrats in the 60s? Seems like a person who could hide their gender identity would be a superb secret keeper. (J Edgar Vacuumcleaner)

          • Coastghost

            Just another recent illustration of semantic distortion akin to what Orwell treated in his under-read essay “Politics and the English Language”.

      • JobExperience

         Enhanced Tattletell?

    • Don_B1

      Since nobody, including some who have done possibly worse things (e.g., FBI agent Hansen) has been charged with treason, there is little evidence for using that term in sight currently.

      This morning NPR had a piece on the culpability of Mr. Snowden and the constitutionality of the NSA’s program that I found as comprehensive as possible at this time. There was a comment from a Democrat in Congress about how the law is so secret it is impossible to decide what it is even. Sort of like Winston Churchill’s comment about Russia: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” That key will come only if that discussion can come out from behind walls of secrecy.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        And therein lies the irony.
        In order to function as an honest society we must have complete transparency. If we have complete transparency there is zero privacy.

        • JobExperience

          Complete transparency for those in power, and complete privacy for those without should be our principle. Your paradox assumes wealth hierarchy and Empire without considering the possibility of Justice. The ironic thing is our mis-socialization.

    • brettearle

      Can you demonstrate, in the 4th Amendment, or somewhere else, where PRISM is technically Legal?

      I certainly can’t.

      If the country wants to rewrite laws, then that would be a different story.  

      But the country, via the Federal Government, would have to go THROUGH that procedure, first.

      • JobExperience

         Government has gone through a looking glass using talkspeak and corporate power.

        • Steve__T

           Would that would be Alice’s looking glass?
          And the corporate power is the Red Queen?

    • Coastghost

      At the top of the hour, NPR used for Snowden the locution “former NSA contractor”. THAT is accurate, incontestable, and identifies the little twerp in much more neutral terms than “whistleblower”, which helps make his deplorable actions seem commendable.

      • nj_v2

        Ha ha!

        Ghosty seems oblivious to the blatant absurdity of his plea for the use of “neutral terms” coming from someone so obviously biased on the issue.

    • JobExperience

      Is virtual treason in cyberspace really “treason”?
      Maybe it is only punishable within the strictures of the simulation.

      • Coastghost

        We may yet learn whether the simulation permits actual incarceration for many many years. Stay tuned.

  • alsordi

    One can hear the numbers of employed by intelligence agencies, but one merely has to view an aerial photo of NSA’s parking lot to grasp the enormity of the waste of resources.  Imagine if those hundreds of billions of dollars and the tens of thousands of NSA employees were engaged in productive contributions to society instead of living off the public dole snooping on other people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      not just the nsa, there are now thousands of “intelligence”
      agencies employing almost a million people

      • madnomad554

         We have 17 intelligence gathering agencies…

         http://www.intelligence.gov/about-the-intelligence-community/

      • alsordi

        Imagine one million people engaged in surreptitiously controlling the very people they work for (the American public)in such a wastefull endeavor to maintain their jobs and cushy lifestyle.    It is a entity OUT OF CONTROL.  You all are now DAVE and NSA/CIA is HAL9000.  

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i’m afraid i can’t do that dave

    • JobExperience

      Our Cyberspace Command is playing Game of Thrones and Grand Theft Auto.

  • J__o__h__n

    If Obama truly welcomes this debate, why did it take the information to be leaked before the debate started? 

    • HonestDebate1

      For the same reason he promoted those involved in the IRS scandal he was so outraged about. 

    • toc1234

      b/c his teleprompter told him the liberal lemmings would buy the bs.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        The good people at TelePrompter would like you to not genericize their trademark.

        Unless you, like every conservative, are just reading off a TelePrompter.

        • toc1234

          ahh, you missed my point.  what I was saying was that Obama has proven himself to be a political muppet who will say the sky is green is Plouffe tells him so. 

    • brettearle

      That’s a very good point.

      But the Congressional oversight decisions, for the surveillance, were public, were they not?

      The Media could have been more discriminating–in the not-too-distant past–as to what its priorities are, for any coverage, for national security issues or otherwise.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Oh, the press corps has really shown their hands on this.

        I’m curious how my regular equation (Prestige and Access is inversely proportional to Investigation) may apply to this subject since 9/11.

        • brettearle

          They have shown their hand, haven’t they?

          Where’s the outcry?

    • John_in_Amherst

       Why?  Because ANYTHING Obama does provokes the ire of at least some on the right.  Imagine the FOX commentary if Obama had initiated this discussion…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeah, it’s funny predictably sad how the coverage of this mirrors the IRS “scandal”: All smoke, few details, plenty of poutrage.

        They just got the machine ginned up, and now just need to throw material into it.

      • JobExperience

        I thought Medea Benjamin (Code Pink) initiated the debate with Obama. He approved of her free speech effort.

        I’d hate to think he was kidding.

    • StilllHere

      It robbed him of the opportunity to lie about it, pick the timing, and distract us with something else. 

      Don’t worry though, the sheep are still defending him.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        We can have a grownup conversation. Well, once you learn about how Obama followed the laws (judges’ approval, notifying Congress) that Bush blew right through.

        Until then, just sit back and take the scorn the right has earned.

  • John_in_Amherst

    increasingly, Thanks to the Web and Big Data, we are becoming both the subject of and audience for a real life “Truman Show”.

    • Coastghost

      Some cosmologists see ALL of reality as a vast and intricate “simulation”, which is becoming either much easier or more difficult to assess.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Overkill

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Since when do mild inquiries equate to a public beating?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The Rules are already mapped out. It’s called the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “The NSA Scandal Violates the Lessons of Our History and Our Constitution”

    http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/13/the-nsa-scandal-violates-the-lessons-of

  • jerwest

    What’s interesting to me is that neither the intelligence agencies, Congress or White House have made the argument that our Constitutional rights were not violated.  They basically admit that, but tell us we have been made more secure as a result. 

    Since the Fourth Amendment, a key Constitutional right, can be so easily violated by our intelligence community, I’m curious which right will be the next to go.  Free speech (1st Amendment) seems like a good candidate, since once one knows the Government watches you, then one tends to watch his speech more carefully. 

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Well said, that is the whole disturbing point. The “optionality” of our Constitution, and the mass culture that is accepting of that is both sad and terrifying.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      And yet defenders of the 2nd Amendment, perhaps to protect the 1st and 4th etc are nuts?

      The whole country needs a History/Constitution course refresher.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        too bad the president is not a constitutional law profess…. oh wait. darn

  • MI_Watcher

    Two thoughts:
    If armed law enforcement search your home or car it is very intimidating, if the government makes a copy of your phone call or email it is completely undetectable.
    The NSA program is only working if it identifying/arresting/convicting terrorists. There has to be a judicial process to move from one step to the next, and that process needs to be transparent. If you call someone a Judge and they issue warrants but no one knows about them, they are still part of the Executive branch in my book.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Not only do we need to take our privacy back from the Government, we need to reexamine, and reclaim our right to privacy from all the internet and financial companies as well.

    If we demanded a default of privacy, or we wouldn’t do business with companies, they would come around or lose alot of money.

    Unfortunately our bought and paid for Congress won’t step up and make clean, clear rules that protect our liberty instead of giving their corporate crony friends what ever they want, and so we give away all our privacy to companies by default.

  • AC

    whatever hapened to the Skype scandal? isn’t skype owned by China & they were mining conversations? where did i hear about this and is it true?

    • StilllHere

      Microsoft owns Skype.

      • AC

        ok, thanks

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Video; Ron Paul on Snowden, half joke about Drone strike fears. Crystal clear and rational on secrecy and government.

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2472695918001/ron-paul-snowden-trying-to-tell-the-truth/?playlist_id=932683241001

    • Steve__T

       That was awesome! thanks for posting. Fux got the wrong guy to try to bully into saying what they wanted, and he gave a great educational talk about what is really important. Everyone should watch this.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Iraq war, Banking Scandal, Snooping.
    Imagine we had had the cojones to trust our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the People, and we had put Ron Paul in office a while back.
    To reject his governance principles, which have been on the right side of all these issues, because you disagree with his personal choices or values, is immature insanity.
    This idea that we should be looking for a candidate that shares all of our micro-values and opinions on this or that litmus test issue, as opposed to one that stands for bedrock principles, has really led us astray.
    One person, is not meant to govern and impose their personal vision, they are meant to protect and execute the Constitution and the Rule of Law so that WE THE PEOPLE can freely govern ourselves.  Whether we the people come down on this side or that side of a particular issue via our representatives and resulting legislation, will be the result of debate and voting and judicial checks and balances, and sometimes we won’t like it, or be in the majority.
    But to trade all this for benevolent dictatorship illusions or elite,  technocratic rule by the “right” people, is insanity.

    • nj_v2

      Still banging the Ron Paul drum, eh Leather Dave?

      Yep, if it’s one thing the country really could have used, it’s a racist President who’s not sure about evolution.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        nj, nj.

        I’ve been enjoying you posts lately, agreeing with most of what your saying.

        Honestly, I don’t understand why, given the huge nature of these issues, be they the surveillance stuff or the financial stuff, the most important issues of our generation, WHY are you so quick to fall back on this racist and evolution crap, when the messages on the big picture have been so prescient and topical?

        I’m an atheist, pro-choice, scientist. 

        Why are you more interested in throwing bombs than building bridges?  Are you serious in your care and concern for the future of the nation? The “strange bedfellow” situation with the Pauls, Wyden, Sanders etc etc all having common concerns are back again, just like during the Financial crisis.

        I am sincerely curious why you, or TF, are NOT interested in figuring out what that common ground is, and how to help it move us forward.

        The hate speech against libertarians or constitutionalists etc, is so useless, and just serves to keep us all divided and lets the status quo continue to roll over us.

  • Rick Evans

    The Zuck is Facebookers’ shepherd, sheeple shall not think.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I thought Obama thought Washington needed reform, change, hope treatment. Now he’s shocked we don’t trust it?

    Maybe if he had prosecuted a SINGLE banker. One. Uno. Then we believe he was anything but a tool for the status quo and Financial Technocratic true leaders of our world.

    • brettearle

      The Powers That Be do not always dictate, order, promulgate, or hand out edicts–in a way that mold, shape, and sculpt, totally, its leaders.

      Your comment is, ultimately, a conspiracy theory–even though there’s some truth to your comment.

      I do not believe that it works that way.

      You imply that it’s all-or-nothing.   It isn’t.

    • jimino

      Where is StillHere to ask you exactly what laws were violated that would justify a prosecution?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    I am amazed that there is so much outrage over this ‘scandal’ than there is over corporate access to our personal information.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      There are differences when you “contract” with a business by voluntarily doing business with them. 

      That being said, I think that internet privacy and financial history information should, and could EASILY be covered by Privacy Law, if our Representatives were more interested in serving us, than delivering us to their crony masters.

      • adks12020

        To some extent I agree with you but what it means to “contract” with an internet business is unclear. I could be wrong but doesn’t simply visiting a particular website result in collection of your ip address and in turn result in more focused ads? Does looking at a website without actually purchasing anything or entering information really mean you are “contracting” with them?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        These days a click is a contract.
        We’re too busy worrying about what potentially harms us to do anything about what actually damages us.

        • HonestDebate1

          Few read the terms before they click but they are there.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Which is precisely my point.
            We give it all away and then whine about it being gone.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Exactly and now I think we are so far gone and dependent and enamored with the tech companies, we do not have the fortitude to stand up for ourselves any more.

            They should get to have our money, not our personal information, for services rendered.

            Imagine we all boycotted the internet, in an effort to reverse all that fine print contracting and giving us back control of our personal information.  It would be painful for us, but it would also be very painful to e-commerce.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The terms suck. That they’re written to not be understood is a feature, not a bug.

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe. Do you think most people read then but do not understand them or do they just click? I find them to actually be pretty clear… when and if I read them.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t know. I mean, I know you’re not a lawyer, and I’m not, and we each have a skeptical bent.

            But at some point when reading EULAs my eyes glaze over.

            And I’ve had to uninstall copy-protected software on one PC and install it on another, simply so my boss could do their job. (This was back when software came on diskettes, so I’m dating myself.)

            The idea of making legally binding contracts for software / apps / something on a smartphone be written in plain English gets raised every so often. I’d like it to be raised again.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t know. I mean, I know you’re not a lawyer, and I’m not, and we each have a skeptical bent.

            But at some point when reading EULAs my eyes glaze over.

            And I’ve had to uninstall copy-protected software on one PC and install it on another, simply so my boss could do their job. (This was back when software came on diskettes, so I’m dating myself.)

            The idea of making legally binding contracts for software / apps / something on a smartphone be written in plain English gets raised every so often. I’d like it to be raised again.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree and to extend the analogy I think legislation could be pared down a bit too. 

      • J__o__h__n

        Contracts without equal bargaining power, access to another service provider, or that are contrary to public policy aren’t enforceable. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Part of me wonders how long it’d take to get a mainstream media conversation about surveillance if Obama weren’t reelected.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        None of me wonders, we’d still be having a ‘Victory’ celebration.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Yeah nobody (ahem, ron paul etc), was instigating against illegal surveillance or unsound monetary shenanigans during Bush, or Clinton, or….

        You just don’t want to hear it for some reason.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Keep having conversations with yourself. Don’t let me interrupt you.

          Ron Paul is a useless gadfly who, would the Texas lege redistrict him to having a primary with anyone, would be out of office in one more term.

          He is a kept pet who is trotted out when the GOP needs some “Libertarian cred” (whatever that is), then ignored, to the ends of allowing right-wingers and the right’s advocacy media pretend the very few threads of Libertarianism that aren’t “I’m taking my ball and going hone” can work with the GOP power base.

    • MI_Watcher

      The goal of corporations is to sell more things.
      The goal of the NSA is to put (bad) people in jail.
      If a corporation screws up you can use the legal system to get restitution.
      If the government screws up you can use the legal system to try to get out of prison.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Regarding restitution through the “legal system”:
        Give me a break. It works fine if you can afford it.
        Read: https://www.privacyrights.org/ar/wcr.htm
        Try is right.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        hows that working out for the gents in gitmo?

    • brettearle

      One of the reasons, for this, is that the concept of `Government’ is more intimidating.

      Corporations can’t take away your ultimate freedom–at least, not directly.

    • John_in_Amherst
      • DrewInGeorgia

        :)

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        See Tom Toles about almost anything

        Fixed that for you.

        • John_in_Amherst

           He is a modern court jester, and among the best

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Yes, privacy as we formerly knew it is quite moribund. If we use the systematic murder of individual privacy as a rallying point perhaps we can start to make plans for a more dignified future. Maybe. I think the “smart people” will simply bow out of public service & go about protecting themselves, first, however. That’s not healthy for anybody. Welcome to the Paranoid States of America.

    • JobExperience

       moribund means nearly dead. Is Empire in its last  throes?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        Yup. That’s why I chose that specific term. We’ll know when privacy kicks the bucket, permanently, when we can’t play with words anymore, like we do today, right here. Then, all language will be commandeered to serve the masters while we, the tongueless, grunt along to the numbing beat of endless war drums. Speak freely now or forever wish you had while you still could.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      thats probably why we have an ammo shortage

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Imagine we had the fortitude, and self-discipline, to boycott the internet companies, to punish them for their prostrate position.

  • Jack Perry

    Consider the following:

    There are over one billion mobile text messages a day
    There are over 300,000 video and still picture mobile messages a day
    There are mobile banking transactions
    Then there are the voice calls
    The computer calls
    The emails are not point to point but hub to hub

    The NSA program is not actually listening, but the search pattern is looking for keywords and if found that message, whatever it is is brought to the attention of a human for further evaluation. 

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Thats why the guy with the dark suit and sunglasses is rifling through your home office, just to see if there is anything worth FURTHER investigation.

    • William

       Which government agencies can ask NSA for information about certain people or certain groups?

    • JobExperience

       Power lies not in storage but  in mining and refining.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      5 zetabytes

  • nj_v2

    One of the aspects of all this that bothers me is how readily many people accept this level of government intrusion and power.

    That mechanisms now exist to easily track, record, and store electronic data seems to be contributing to the easy resignation to a growing surveillance, Big Brother state.

    Imagine if other personal correspondence, such as letters, or restaurant conversations were able to be recorded, logged, and stored for future access by the government? Would people so readily accept this? I think not.

     

    • brettearle

      To the majority of people it is too daunting….so much so, in fact, that many will remain in denial.

  • OnPointComments

    Why would anyone believe or trust the government when it says the information it gathers can only be used when certain steps are followed?  The Pentagon Papers were leaked by Daniel Ellsberg.  Snowden had access and says he could monitor emails, and he leaked information.  The IRS had access to confidential data that has been leaked.  Bradley Manning leaked information.  The Department of Justice obtained confidential information about reporter James Rosen by saying he was a criminal and flight risk, then said it had no intention of prosecuting him.  Why should we believe the government now?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Because Mr. Obama said so. He is a Democrat. Democrats are good. We, the smart, good people, always dreamed of a benevolent dictator and now we almost finally have one.

      • J__o__h__n

        Many Democrats are criticizing Obama on this. 

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          I know, its a bit of hyperbole I couldn’t resist given the history on this message board. I would use the same words about a modern Republican too. It’s just not as necessary given the committed tilt around here.

          • nj_v2

            You’re projecting, Dave.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Why is it every Libertarian I know of isn’t a Republican but has a damned incredible lock on every GOP stereotype of Democrats?

  • revorgrevorg

    The NY Times years ago wrote an article on the NSA hoovering up every form of communications in sight to gather intelligence that would thwart terrorist acts.

    All this 4th Amendment vogue-ing after the fact is highly amusing. I wonder how soon it will disappear if we have another 9/11 and there’s no one to blame but ourselves if we hobble legitimate government efforts that SHOULD be kept secret.

    How soon we forget, eh?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i was thinking it will be forgotten as soon as justin beiber does something interesting

  • DrewInGeorgia

    On this vein of discussion all a law enforcement agency has to do is make an ‘oops’ and attach a criminal background to you.
    And life as you know it is over.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      its like they never saw “the net”

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Screw a movie, there’s plenty of real life examples.
        I am one. The problem is that nobody gives a damn until they find themselves under the gun.

        • HonestDebate1

          Was it government who did it to you?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Local law enforcement, State Criminal Information Center, National Criminal Information Center, Data Brokers, creditors, perspective employers, and an abject failure of a criminal justice system.
            In that order.

            Yes a criminal stole my identity to begin with but it never would have spread like an aggressive cancer if not for the ‘other’ parties involved.

            So I should hate the Government? Is that where you’re heading?
            I am not anti-government, I am anti-stupidity.

          • HonestDebate1

            It was just a question, I’m not heading anywhere. Thanks.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            It was just an answer,
            no offense intended.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            I feel ya, Drew.

        • nj_v2

          “First, they came for…”

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          yup people seem very willing to give up their rights. i am still amazed people submit to naked scanners and junk touching. if that does not do it what will make people say enough is enough?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      How about vengeful exes in the “security industries”? I have a story to tell about that. Not here, not now. Somebody might be snooping. Smile, you’re on candid metadata!

    • OnPointComments

      As with the DOJ and James Rosen:  the DOJ says that a person is a criminal when there is no intent to prosecute, shops around for a judge who will sign any warrant, and gets access to all of the phone records and emails.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=698145259 Nick Dimitrov

    How you fight fear? You don’t get scared that easy. Ask a psychologist what is the pill for fear. The whole idea of “war on terror” is soo wrong. 

    Looking at the whole spying on regular people is very wrong. What is the difference between USSR 40-50 years ago and us today? Are we against new Mccarthyism?  

    People were targeted based on data… do we want that?  

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Frankly, I see most Americans as distracted, scared children. Courage doesn’t come in the form of a pill. If it did, none of this wholesale invasion of privacy would be happening today. 

      • JobExperience

         In talking to people like you I’ve discovered many covert adults who would act on concert if the opportunity arose.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          eagles concert?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they did not have naked scanners and gps cellphones?

  • nj_v2

    Fight back. Go dark.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/online/the-tor-system-welcome-to-the-dark-internet-where-you-can-search-in-secret-8651364.html
    The Tor system: Welcome to the dark internet where you can search in secret

    https://www.torproject.org/
    Anonymity Online
    Protect your privacy. Defend yourself against network surveillance and traffic analysis.

    Can the guest comment?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      that will get you on a really bad list

  • OnPointComments

    It is not hard to imagine that an unscrupulous person who has access to the data could use it for blackmail, and not only to get money.  Imagine if a political operative had seen Anthony Weiner’s tweets before they became public and told him ‘vote for/against this bill or we’ll release the tweets.’  What do you think Weiner would have done?

    • HonestDebate1

      Risen to the occasion?

  • on_2nd_thought

    The
    problem with the argument, “I’m not a terrorist and I’m not talking to
    terrorists, so I don’t care if the government has access to Americans’
    private data,” is the McCarthy Era, J. Edgar Hoover, the Red Scare, etc.
    Our government has, time and again, targeted innocent citizens whose
    views differ from those in power.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      It is shocking that people either forgot or never even knew that, or think that such things are things of the past, in crusty old history books. Let alone our own Revolutionary history leading to the Constitution, and the events and misplaced trust leading up to Hitler and Mussolini.

  • Isernia

    Why in the search for terrorist activities don’t we use warnings that are clearly given by internal and external security info…. as in the case of Russia’s re: Boston bombers?  National security warnings to Rice and Bush before 9/ll bombing? Seems so much more direct and less haphazard than electronic snooping,

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Tom, just because we divulge information to private companies during contractual business, a practice I think we should be much more wary of, that does not in any way give Government the authority to just step in and seize it without a specific warrant based on probable cause.

    It’s quite simple, lets not conflate things.

    Because we choose to divulge to a company, we are automatically “choosing” to divulge to the Government? Of course not.

    • nj_v2

      Good point, though lines between “the government” and corporations continue to blur.

  • bmad2012

    meta data could be used against individuals. For example, a congressman  on an oversight committee is told that meta data shows he has made numerous calls to the number of a woman i.e mistress (metadata might reveal cell tower location, router location etc as well). Head of NSA need just mention this to the congressman, note that no court order was involved, so congressman need not worry – you can imagine the effect that would have. Also, a rogue analyst, like Snowden could use this info, or offer to provide it/sell it.
    The power of meta data itself was recently pointed out by a Sun programmer in Slate. 

  • mhollis

    Question: If the President of the United States is “eager to have this discussion” about NSA spying and privacy concerns, why is it that Snowdon is under threat of being charged here? Had he not made his viewpoint public, we would “not be having this discussion” at all.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    As the guest said, we should also think of our privacy rights as our property rights, again central to liberty.

  • JobExperience

    So who’s making you do mutual masturbation and fellatio and anal penetration with guys? Sounds like Abu Graib to me.
    * intended as reply to CoastGhost who’s “trying to avoid” the aesthetics of homosexuality.

    • Coastghost

      Awww, Bosse-de-Nage: did I step on your tiny testicles or on your porcelain-and-steel ovaries?

  • Erik_Thorkildsen

    Please clarify the difference between “data” and “metadata”.  As I understand it, metadata is data about the data, not the data itself.  For instance if I look at a .jpg digital image of my dog, the data is the actual image of the dog, and the metadata is the info about the camera that took it, the f stop, the lense, the date it was taken, the rating that I gave the photo, etc.  The current discussion ignores this distinction. 

    My understanding is that Google, Facebook, etc, are tracking the data generated by users – selling your searches and the terms you use in your emails and posts to advertisers.  Not just the metadata  And so it seems likely that the NSA is getting access to the data itself, not just the metadata.  Could you clarify this?

    Even if the corporations buying the data, and the NSA don’t currently have the technical capability to “find the needle in the haystack”, isn’t just about certain that they eventually will as technology improves?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Maybe for once, just once, we should get behind some political figures who were NOT cheering for the Patriot act, or NOT  contributing to the creation of the Financial Crisis by empowering financial technocrats and discouraging sound money.

    Once? Give it a try?

    Naw……

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Hell, yeah! And maybe die tryin’…Not a whole lot left to lose.

  • Community Mapper

    Information is the  currency, and  government has already paid for this data, which private corps already use…look at who is getting paid for Meaningful Use Data, look how JP Morgan and the big banks used internet data in the financial crisis, search child support and see your interest rate sky rocket. Ask your congressman how the government is protecting your privacy and the last law was written in 1964, and they know nothing of its use. The poor have provided this volume of data for years, the IRS targeted them during the Bush administration, tell me why do people care now?? Google.. look at who built it, and who uses the tax code to its benefit, now they want the government to not use data???? Who is kidding who…

  • revorgrevorg

    The NY Times wrote years ago about the NSA hoovering up all kinds of communications to thwart terrorist acts, so I find the surprise at discovering it now as amusing as all the 4th Amendment vogue-ing that is taking place now.

    It will be interesting to see how quickly the disingenuous protests end if we have another 9/11, at which point we’ll only have ourselves to blame for the hysterical, paranoid reactions we’re seeing now.

    How soon we forget why we put these programs in effect in the first place.

    • Give_Me_Liberty_92

      so, basically you want to scare the People into submission, in the name of a little temporary false feeling of safety? Is that the character of this country, who we want to be?

      In a free society you simply accept the risk of freedom, rationalizing that it is more likely to be killed by a lightning than by a terrorist and that more people died shoveling snow than at the hands of terror.

      Besides, what we kind of knew was that targeted data collection of suspected terrorists was supposed to occur post-2007 and that there was actual factual supervision by courts and congress. None of this is true, apparently. Everybody is a target and nobody who is supposed to watch the watcher is actually watching.

      Even assuming the Patriot act is not unconstitutional (and there are questions about it, given the broad language) the kind of surveillance permitted under the Patriot Act Section 215 should follow these guidelines:
      http://theoceancountylibrary.org/USPatriotActSection215.htm
      “SEC. 501. ACCESS TO CERTAIN BUSINESS RECORDS FOR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS.`(a)(1) The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.

      Read well:
      “, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution”

      Such record collection requires
      1. “an investigation” (which is different from a witch-hunt or a fishing trip)
      2. be targeted presumably individually to “such US person”.
      3. protect against terrorism or espionage
      4. cannot chill speech
      Now, what relation those 4 criteria have with the pre-emptive systematic collection of every single phone metadata (which is akin to constant location tracking by the executive) of calls daily made by 300 million americans, for crimes they may be committing in the future, without specifying any active investigation or no individual US person,  creating in the process a humongous database that can be potentially be abused by the executive in its official capacity or as a product of rouge elements of the state?

      we don’t know, because a secret court upholding a secret program will keep the rationale of its secret interpretations of the law…secret!

      and you don’t see any problem with that? if not, maybe North Korea or China would suit you better.

      • revorgrevorg

        Scare people into submission? I guess you prefer scaring them into submission to your program of reduced vigilance at a time when there has been open speculation about contaminating drinking water and setting off dirty radioactive bombs?

        And who says the feeling of safety is temporary or false if protective programs are executed and successful (so far, it seems) in preventing mass deaths?

        What you say may sound good in theory, to you, but everyone isn’t a target in NSA programs — threatening metadata patterns are the targets…and that is the point and pursuit of what is a legitimate government program.

         

        • Give_Me_Liberty_92

          my “program”? My program is the Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights, sir.
          My program is a constitutional republic, not a surveillance state that, if history is teaching us anything, can only evolve into a fascist state, with due time.

          People like myself joined the American  experiment by immigrating here often to escape tyranny or disregard for human rights caused by overbearing governments who like to screw with people’s lives at will and all for “their own good”. 

          I have seen how secret surveillance can be abused to blackmail politicians and regular folks, ruining millions of lives in the process. I have seen the putrefaction of the social contract, the mistrust of institutions caused by a system of secret dossiers, weak oversight and collusion and rouge (and not) elements of the security state who have secret access to secret information. There is no way to have a democratic oversight when citizens start spying on fellow citizens and other US persons.

          it never ends well for democracy itself.

          If you will allow to irreparably damage this nation by corrupting its soul, what else you think you and I will be left with, and will it be worth it? 

          as for the proof that “it worked”, even if I were to believe the NSA and FBI officials after they obviously lied to us repeatedly for a wide variety of reasons, I don’t care. it is not the point.

          I can imagine all sort of unconstitutional intrusions into your life, papers and property, rights and all of them may satisfy some “rational basis” standard like “fighting crime”.

          but the existence of enumerated rights in our constitution, for their own nature, “take certain policy decisions away from the executive branch” (SCOTUS words). they are not up for discussion or decisions by majority vote.

          Metadata are a form of pervasive location-tracking of the entire US population. a huge, never seen in human history unconstitutional fishing trip of the government.

          • revorgrevorg

            Oh, great. Another constitutional scholar. From the Tea Party, perhaps? Thanks for the overwrought “Why I Am An American” valedictory, but the fact is that many law enforcement agencies of government overreach at times and we should be vigilant about it. But it has yet to be shown that what the NSA is doing has compromised civil liberties, and it’s clearly not illegal. I think they have more important communications to sift through than the personal yammerings of a largely disengaged electorate.

            And if “it worked” isn’t the point, then perhaps you are the one who has, in fact, missed the point.

          • Give_Me_Liberty_92

            Any law requires interpretation by the executive. The interpretation can be narrow or broad in scope. if it6 is too broad it enters a grey area where it may as well become uncostitutional.

            Here even the authors of the patriot act have doubt that the law has been interpreted correctly (ie narrowly tailored to the government interest of targeting specific terrorists and spies),

            now, if the very interpretation of the law is secret, and all we are left with now is information leaked by a former contractor, who had to move to HK to be able to speak up, how can you pretend to perform your suggested duty of “being vigilant”?

            How? you -or your representatives-cannot. you remain blissfully ignorant, while a whole infrastructure for a turnkey tyranny is built around you. and you risk to find out about abuse only when you cannot do anything about it anymore.

            I love America and Americans. But you guys tend to forget the teaching of history too quickly. It is a curse that affects many people, not just Americans.

            yes, it’s your blessing, on one side, because it allows you to move forward unhampered by the past, always ready to snatch the next big things, but  it can be a curse, because you can do that only if you are a system of laws and constitutional guarantees. a system of fairness.

            If you break that trust -and training the executive power of “panopticon” surveillance on the unaware fellow citizens breaks that trust irreversibly, there is no going back.

            understand?

            It is a system that for its own nature cannot be controlled and the intrinsic risk for democracy overrides the advertised benefits (benefits who are advertised by the same people who have a vested interest in careers and contracts to overstate the goodness of the program).

            Laugh as much as you want about what I wrote. It is sincere and deep felt and the burden to prove otherwise is on you.

            We foreigners who move here look at America as a special place, not because of your wealth, social welfare or pop culture. This is a special place because people have rights and freedom, where rule of law is the law,  and fairness is the common ethos.
             
            It is hard for you guys who have not experienced anything else to understand what you have here, ad you tend to dismiss it too fast.

            don’t waste it all in the name of fear of terror, because that is the road you are on.

            Besides, I run out of time and countries where I can move.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          they say one of you is born every minute

          • revorgrevorg

            See previous message.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy
    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yes we should trade ever more liberty for the illusion of security

      • revorgrevorg

        Blah, blah, blah. More paranoia from the short-memory set.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          the short memory set trusts the government that fights premptive wars and restricts rights in the name of homeland security
          the long memory set remembers what franklin said

  • JobExperience

    Consider maximum transparency for the powerful and maximum privacy for the powerless as an ideal. Maybe that’s what you’re driving at. Assuming that paranoia preserves power is a mistake.
    *intended as reply to Mari McAvenia

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Paranoia prevents action. I feel that the intent is to make us all censor ourselves. That way, we remain under total control of an invisible surveillance state run by sociopathic power-freaks. 

      • JobExperience

         You’re correct. That’s the third face of power Steven Lukes discusses. I wonder how well it is working on dropouts like you and me. By resisting we acknowledge power. Can I send you more water filter cartridges?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          Ha ha ha. Yeah, the fluoride is still leaching through & affecting the few puny brain cells I’ve got left in a very negative way…..(no, really, I’m just fine : ) Thanx.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        yup the “chilling effect”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, can you ask any callers when they started being concerned about this subject?

    The responses would be telling, I think.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      You mean all these new libertarians of convenience?  

      People who perk up when they realize the Ron Paul types were right on during the Financial Fiasco being interested  and now again with the Surveillance Situation?

      Who are all these people suddenly so interested the “Constitution” or “Liberty”. Who are they kidding….

      How dare they suddenly wake up now.

      • allen 2saint

        Actually, I resist allying myself in any way with someone whose stock in trade was racially coded messaging to scare me about a big, black government. I trust Obama and his league of boring government employees way, way more than that wild eyed racist.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          You should trust neither. Ron Paul would be the first to tell you that.

          • nj_v2

            Dave, i realize you’re too dense and indoctrinated to hear, believe, or understand it, but every time you mention Ron Paul in a serious context, another little shred of credibility falls away from any legitimate point you may be trying to make. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Actually, I think there’s another conversation to be had about how “boring government employees” are leaving service because of how bodged up the GOP is making it now to.

          All those “feature not a bug” Congressional fits about how government shouldn’t do anything (which wasn’t a part of the problem when Bush II was in the White House) is taking a toll.

          And this was before the sequester.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        No, I mean “people who only worry about this because a black Democrat is in the White House” and the media who serve them, and the mainstream press corps.

        I have a funny feeling that you don’t know the difference between the DNC, DLC, liberals, and Obama.

        God, you’re a fugging bore. Keep having these conversations with yourself elsewhere. Or go do all your screaming to the GOP when they’re in power. The smackdown you’ll get from your “friends” will be illuminating.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Good Grief. Now anyone concerned with illegal surveillance is a racist? You are a real piece of work.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Keep twisting my words. Keep displaying that patented retail politicking that the ordinary American loves from Libertarians.

      • J__o__h__n

        I don’t recall you complaining when Bush did it.  Who is late to wake up? 

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Are you kidding?  Your preconceived notions are overwhelming you.

          • J__o__h__n

            I could be mistaken.  Perhaps it was several name changes ago. 

        • HonestDebate1

          Wow, ya’ll must go back.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Oh, I’m sure this one poster did.

          But Libertarians have this belief that there are 100 million of them out there, and they all did that then.

    • AC

      that is interesting….

    • OnPointComments

      Perhaps the callers had faith that the Constitution and laws were being followed until it was revealed that they weren’t.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        That says something about callers’ media consumption habits, more than their actual innate concern for the Constitution before someone told them to worry.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Great Call.

  • J__o__h__n

    Profiling based on religion to find terrorists would probably yield more results than metadata searches.  The Constitution defends against both. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Well at some point it did. If that were still the case we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      We care more about political correctness than the Constitution. These days it is politically correct to bash the Constitution and it’s supporters. We are reaping what we’ve sown.

    • OnPointComments

      “Obama’s Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers”
       http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061213-659753-all-intrusive-obama-terror-dragnet-excludes-mosques.htm 
       
      Excerpt:
      Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.  That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        The daily dose of IBDEditorial shite has arrived in the mail.

        • OnPointComments

          It’s telling that though you complain about IBD editorials, you are never able to refute any of the IBD’s facts.  It leads me to believe that you have a problem with the truth.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t care that the IBD crap is based on “facts”.

            There’s too many slips twixt real facts and the conclusions the IBD crowd draws from them.

            And public radio is replete with all the right wing conventional wisdom you seem to feel is lacking and needs to be corrected by posting IBD editorial crap.

            Let me disabuse you of that notion: Public radio isn’t ever ignoring the right’s talking points which form the basis of IBD editorials.

          • HonestDebate1

            Soo… what sources so you trust?

          • pete18

             Uh oh, you just asked the question that will send him crawling back under his rock.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they do that too, its like the NYPDs hobby

  • OnPointComments

    “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.”
     
    I don’t see anywhere in the 4th Amendment where it states “unless the searches and seizures are for national security, then anything goes.”

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      We need to strike a balance. We need 1/2 of the 4th Amendment.

      • HonestDebate1

        We already have the 2nd amendment.

        • AC

          ba-rum-bum

        • 1Brett1

          2nd Amendment “solutions” alert?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The Constitution and Rule of Law are our compass and life boats in the turbulent sea of human nature.  

    If we had used the compass more, perhaps we wouldn’t be on the verge of needing the life boat.

  • mfessary

    I cannot think of anyway that NSA can find the “needle in the haystack” without knowing that they are looking for a needle.  In other words, what they are collecting cannot possibly be useful unless they are going further than they claim. 

    So, either this is a huge waste of money, or else it is no different from the Stasi. Either way, it is totally scarey.   

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      the stasi could only dream of all the things the NSA does. their spying seems quaint by our current standards

      • mfessary

         Re: Stasi — it is the attitude that is the same.  Everyone is a potential criminal; why wait? 

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          the stasi collected everyones scents so they could track them with dogs. they now want your dna when you are arrested not even convicted. seems like they like to arrest lots of people at these protests they have nowadays

  • WHW111

    Snowden was a character in Catch 22. He died.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i knew that name sounded familiar. i think major major major was on cnn defending the spy program

  • Community Mapper

    I contacted my Congressman about this topic 10 years ago, as I saw how the IRS was targeting the poor, and how meta data was being used to deliver the financial crisis, which alarmed me. I discovered my elected officials new nothing about how meta data affected individual rights and the last law was written pre internet 1964. Data is the currency, and who has paid for it: Systems:(health care)  medicaid & medicare: Food:FoodStamps 
    Education:ed.gov Finance: Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: IRS
    META Data bought and paid for by US, and used by private corporations…Who paid for Google…and who doesn’t pay its share to the government…benefiting from the US tax code…those of us who say dystopian economics were hailed as unstable and paranoid…now they want to criminalize one who utilizes his access to free speech. Smoke and mirrors….I have to trust in my government, but its time we had a government that represented its citizens..a democracy, not the oligarchy built by meta data and meta money.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Probable cause, warrant? Warrant, probable cause? What? there is an order to these things?

    What me Worry?

  • Roberto1194

    A society driven by fear and therefore open to the elimination of individual rights and willing also to allow economic and political manipulation is unsustainable.
    It would be a sham democracy.

  • 1Brett1

    It was already difficult to get schizophrenics to take their medication…now, it’ll be impossible!

    • Steve__T

       Just because I’m paranoid don’t mean they aint after me.

  • OnPointComments

    “If the NSA Trusted Edward Snowden With Our Data, Why Should We Trust the NSA?”
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/06/09/edward_snowden_why_did_the_nsa_whistleblower_have_access_to_prism_and_other.html 

    Excerpt:
    The scandal isn’t just that the government is spying on us. It’s also that it’s giving guys like Snowden keys to the spying program. It suggests the worst combination of overreach and amateurishness, of power leveraged by incompetence. The Keystone Cops are listening to us all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i was thinking about that too one of his biggest revelations was that he was a high school dropout and worked for a third party and he has this sort of access

  • 1Brett1

    I suppose we do have a choice when it comes to private companies collecting data on us, tracking our purchasing habits: we could just choose not to buy groceries, for example. Farming our own food won’t do; our growing activity would be monitored by Monsanto…Maybe the Breatharians are just trying to stay ahead of the game, maybe they are the true Patriots willing to risk their lives for the privacy of their dietary habits!  

    • HonestDebate1

      You don’t have to get one of those reward cards at the grocery. You can pay cash. No one has to know. Monsanto has no idea what I have growing in my garden but the government helicopters with their guns looking for pot fly so low their skids graze the grass tops.

      • 1Brett1

        I was joking, but I do hate the “reward card” mentality. It started years ago, as if everybody had to just “join” their various clubs. There is still a choice with all of that, so on that we agree. However, often there are privileges to being a “participant.” This ultimately shapes behavior and promotes conformity. Also, there many ways we are tracked in our consumerism, not all of them are up front, out in the open types of deals. For there to be a true choice between participation or not, one would have to actually have those choices all be equal and available to see. 

        • HonestDebate1

          Actually we use the heck out of those cards and my wife is a coupon freak. She has informants at various stores that give her a heads up when triple coupon day is coming. We eat like royalty and pay like peasants. We filled up at a 40cent/gal. discount because of rewards from Lowes grocery too. But it’s our choice.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        if monsanto finds out they will sue you for infringing their patents

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    RE: Ron Paul racist and evolution smear.

    nj, nj.

    I’ve been enjoying you posts lately, agreeing with most of what your saying.

    Honestly, I don’t understand why, given the huge nature of these issues, be they the surveillance stuff or the financial stuff, the most important issues of our generation, WHY are you so quick to fall back on this racist and evolution crap, when the messages on the big picture have been so prescient and topical?

    I’m an atheist, personally pro-choice, scientist. 

    Why are you more interested in throwing bombs than building bridges?  Are you serious in your care and concern for the future of the nation? The “strange bedfellow” situation with the Pauls, Wyden, Sanders etc etc all having common concerns are back again, just like during the Financial crisis.
    I am sincerely curious why you, or TF, are NOT interested in figuring out what that common ground is, and how to help it move us forward.

    The hate speech against libertarians or constitutionalists etc, is so useless, and just serves to keep us all divided and lets the status quo continue to roll over us.

    • nj_v2

      Okay, Dave, i got it: Calling out the failings of the Libertarianism as a political philosophy is now “hate speech.”

      And racism and denial of science (in the realms of climate change and evolution) are just minor little things that we should all ignore, presumably because these issues are less “huge” in relation to others we face.

      I’ve said repeatedly that while Ron Paul is correct on some issues of U.S. power, certain Constitutional rights, etc., he is illegitimate as a serious leader because of his demonstrated, bizarre record on issues that i consider just as important as the ones i consider him correct about.

    • brettearle

      While I agree with the spirit of your comment, there is some value in holding statesmen, such as Paul, accountable for their associations; or for their lack of accountability.

      It is has been reported, by many sources, that Paul had at least one figurehead in his professional entourage–involved with Paul’s print material to the public–who included salacious or denigrating comments to minorities.

      Representative Paul–a Man who espouses, what he deems to be such SACRED ideals–has to answer to something like this, even if he was only indirectly involved.

      He has an OBLIGATION to do proper vetting of what goes public, from his office.

      You can’t have it both ways.

      If you do not understand this, or if you can’t see this, then you are living with political blinders on.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I didn’t start out interested in throwing bombs.

      The reasonable Libertarian I’d care to talk about doesn’t seem to exist. They come on worse than Jehovah’s Witnesses (or at least how JWs are depicted as) and simply just bludgeon simplistic things to frigging death.

      When it comes to the economy, they’re almost always decently off, thanks to the modern middle class as created basically by people in government fighting against robber barons over the last ~130 years. But they think they got there all by their goddamned selves and they (therefore nobody else, whose voting rights werent secured until the 1960s, say) don’t need any help.

      And when it comes to solutions, they’re always saying that individuals have all the power they need to fight corporations but goverment things of all sorts need to be dismantled. And they’re the first in line cheering BothSidesFalseEquivalence, thereby supplicating themselves to power brokers inside the Beltway, even as the Libertarian believes they speak truth to power.

      The whole shtick is pure fantasy. It goes over like a lead balloon when it comes to actually persuading people interested in politics. But it’s something Libertarians seem only intersted in selling Dems, liberals, moderates, and the press corps. If it’s such a selling point, why can’t they get the right to buy it except when a Democrat is in power?

      Edit: There’s so much “lie down with dogs” for Libertarians. They get a few “attaboys” from the GOp and the mainstream right from time to time to make them feel good. And to achieve this they get up with the fleas of racism, bigotry, homophobia and misogyny to a faretheewell. I can’t even go into it here in detail here, except to say that it’s repellant and won’t be washed away by the glib assertation that Libertarians are dedicated to equal protection under law etc.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        But by that logic, we shouldn’t ever be supporting the Democratic party because of their historic ties with slavery.

        At some point we have to move on, and act based on contemporary words and actions and ideals.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Pfft.

          Here’s a hint: When a libertarian starts making the arguments a right-wing troll does, you should stop.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            What? Can you answer the point?

            If not, are you just a left-wing troll?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Appreciate the comments.  I can understand the personal misgivings about R Paul’s past, although I wasn’t there, and there is a lot of conflating of the idea of state’s right with supporting racism or discrimination.

      That said, its true I often use “Ron Paul” as the label, for the ideas we are talking about regarding finance or war or surveillance etc.

      My biggest beef has always been the throwing of the baby out with the bathwater with these ideas.

      My instincts have long lied with those like Nader, Wyden etc. regarding skepticism of Big Business. But I must say there a plenty of legitimate arguments out there for being wary of Big Government as well, let alone the failure of historical Communist/Socialist economic experiments.

      So, I am looking for some synthesis of Progressive values and Libertarian, Constitutional principles.

      The thing that sets me off, as I imagine the idea of Libertarian gospel sets others off, is the knee jerk support of the DNC and Democratic status quo defenders. While I have no interest in GOP status quo figures either, I have no problem giving credit to GOP types around here who point out Dem hypocrisy, given the almost religious belief that Democrats, who care about people and progressive issues, must, because they care, obviously always be right and have the right solutions. That there ends justify their means.

      I definitely think that bad means can lead to bad ends regardless of good intentions, hence my sympathy for alot of the libertarian messaging and some of the ideas of folks like Paul and Hayek et al.

      Given that power corrupts and that I believe in the Rule of Law over the rule of men, and I believe in the overwhelming goodness of the vast majority of citizens, and the ability free choices and markets to allocate resources, while mistrusting Big Institutions, I tend to lean toward Constitutionalism and Libertarian concepts.

  • madnomad554

    So the NSA has slipped and slithered in through the back door. Drones will be thick as flies in five years. Suddenly China seems almost tolerable…

    • brettearle

      When a commander-in-chief, in our country, becomes genocidal, to its own people, then we can talk.

      Otherwise, stop with the gross exaggerations.

      • nj_v2

        Right-o, anything short of genocide is nothing to be concerned about.

        • brettearle

          That wasn’t my point.

          Of course, I’m concerned about it.

          But we are hardly at the point of Fascism, as yet–much less Fascism that practices Genocide.

          • nj_v2

            If one is on the road heading for a cliff, one wants to recognize what’s ahead and the direction of travel well before being “at the point of” the cliff.

            As a literary device to point out the peril of our path, i thought the hyperbole to be useful.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Road……TO……Serfdom.

        or genocide.

        There is a road, not a transporter.

      • madnomad554

        So you must have been OK with the invasion of Iraq? Does slavery ring a bell? Would you have had a problem with Indians living in tee pees?

        Don’t try an sugar coat the US’s rap sheet. It’s spattered and stained with plenty of unnecessary blood.

        It sickens me at how innocent many think this country is.

        • brettearle

          I have, indeed, called the country out on its human rights violations, its outrageous and gratuitous mass murder in wars.

          I have done so, feeling a great deal of  bitterness towards my own country.

          I have done this on the “On Point Forum” and in other venues.

          I have called attention as to the fact that this country was partially–if not more than that–FOUNDED on Genocide.

          I was in disagreement with the Government on VietNam, and was outraged by the number of people that were killed in the VietNam War.

          As it was set up, I was against the Iraq war.

          I am a strong Democrat-libertarian supporter of civil liberties and I deplore the idea that PRISM has as much Latitude as it seems to have.

          NEVERTHELESS, I suspect that you want to compare this country to those countries that are despotic, tyrannical, and nefarious–and who are led by Totalitarian Dictators such as MAO, Hitler, or Stalin.

          You SHOW ME WHERE WE COME CLOSE, in terms of the way of life, compared to the way of life and political systems under such Notorious Miscreants.

          If you weren’t going down the path of comparing the US to MAO, then I made an unnecessary knee-jerk assumption.

          But my guess is THAT is exactly what you were trying to imply, ultimately.

          What’s more, I would argue that you will DENY it–or will ignore my comment–simply TO SAVE FACE.

          When are people, like you, going to understand that there are shades of subtle and nuanced grey?

          I do not doubt, FOR ONE MINUTE–that you would ever trade places with any citizen who lived under a Government that was guilty, in recent decades, of the genocide of its own people–and therefore leave the United States, for that country.

          Prove it. Prove that you would ever seriously consider doing that.

          And yet I fully concede and deplore what the US did to the American Indians…..Although some of the statistics may be skewered against the US–because many of the American Indian tribes died of scourge disease.

          • madnomad554

             It’s amazing at how much you think you know about me. Especially that I would consider saving face.

             Considering I have two combat tours in the Middle East, 03′ and 05′, my skin is far tougher than some, “save the face” type hiding behind a computer. You’ll not be able to get under my skin with your completely off the mark assumptions about me. In fact I got quite a chuckle out of them.

            My original comment was made in jest. Frivolous ridicule and jest, nothing more. I can see how just about any comment can be misunderstood and or misinterpreted, considering the online environment. 

            Might I suggest a bit less caffeine.

          • brettearle

            Bull.

            AND MORE BULL.

            Anyone who reads your comments–now, after your explanation or before your explanation–can now see the infantile, manipulative truth:

            That you were either baiting me–in which case, anyone could see that it was a primitive and childlike maneuver.

            Or else you are trying to cover up now and save face–by trying to explain your comments away, with yet infantile manipulation:

            It is nothing more nor less than Petty Bating–about the most BLISTERING topic one can think of: Genocide.

            Pathetic, my friend.

            Your disassembling Emotions are ALL OVER THIS.

            Fully.   

          • madnomad554

             Ah…more unsubstantiated accusations and assumptions…of which I’m sure you wouldn’t say too anyone face to face. It’s amazing at how much credit the Monday morning armchair quarterback will give themselves. I sometimes liken the use of the computer, to the consumption of alcohol…they both encourage false courage.

            Now don’t forget to reply, or you might appear to be saving face, as you so ineptly accused me of.

            You remind me of that old saying, “Never argue with a fool, for if anybody is watching, they won’t know who the fool is”.

            Think decaffeinated…

          • brettearle

            Your original comment–of 5 hours ago, directed to me– was insipid, provocative, stupid, inane, banal, and subtly pernicious.

            And you know it.

            Your smart-ass answers reveal the defensive stench–of what you are doing.

            Your tactics are similar to the ones, used by attorneys who hold back incriminating or exculpatory evidence–so as, to further their careers.

            Would you like that light roasted or Espresso?

          • madnomad554

            My such big and savory words. I can only hope my high school diploma can keep up.

            My original comment, posted 7 hours ago is as follows,   “So the NSA has slipped and slithered in through the back door. Drones
            will be thick as flies in five years. Suddenly China seems almost
            tolerable…” The comment wasn’t directed towards anyone, rather it was a mere frivolous observation.

            Since you have such obvious disdain for China, do you have any material possessions, MADE IN CHINA? Hopefully not, as I would interpret that as being a financial enabler, of genocide.

            Black and strong is how I take my coffee. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            Madnomad for President!

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        so how many muslims does he have to murder for you to define it as a genocide?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      When state sponsored Russia Today has a BILLION viewers on Youtube (a threshold they recently crossed) because their coverage of world news events is transparent & thorough, a diet of borscht & vodka doesn’t sound that bad, either. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i do like borscht

  • mbondr

    Wikipedia “Total Information Awareness”. This program is old, old news. And if you want the MS guy to squirm, ask him how Stuxnet got into the Iranian servers.

  • Steve__T

     You’ll never want to order another pizza if we give away all of our civil liberties in the name of security.

    http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/ordering-pizza-2015

  • Amberzon7

    Playing Devils Advocate: Has anyone researched how this policy effects terrorist’s planning on attacks against this country?  We have officials claiming these programs have identified and helped stop attacks, and that was the whole point of the Patriot Act which enabled these policies to be enacted.  So what impact on the terrorist world has this had?  we haven’t seen any large scale terrorist attacks on the US in years.  The worst ones have been from US citizens not from overseas terrorists, so couldn’t it be construed that this works? 

    • Trond33

      Its largely assumed that the lack of any major terrorist attack is largely due to the ineptitude of the terrorists, as opposed to the refined skills of the U.S. security services. 

      On the terrorist side, operationally, it is rather easy to negate the fishing nets of the NSA and U.S. Homeland Security.  Most simple is to encrypt messages.  Or not use any electronic communication.  

      The champions of tactics like the NSA snooping, will claim their “snipe hunting” (remember the Cheers TV show), has saved millions from terrorist attack – only problem, zero evidence, The People are asked to trust the very people who’s livelihood depends upon everyone believing they are having great results.  

      In my opinion it is largely a boondoggle, even without the trillions spent on “homeland security,” the average person on the street would still be vastly more likely to slip and break their neck on a banana peel than be a victim of a terrorist attack.  It is in fact a royal fleecing of the U.S. tax payer. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i have some elephant repellent i would like to sell you

    • Shava Nerad

      I am a professional security analyst. The Obama administration got smacked on the nose for “extraordinary renditions” some time back. Since then, with the exception of the Boston bombing, which caught DHS short, the only cases brought to trial for domestic terrorism have been FBI stings on mentally unstable Muslim men tempted into “unit cohesion” scenarios to plant fake bombs, and a show trial on Cape Cod of a rather unpleasant gentleman who published Al Qaeda propaganda in translation on his web page (which, were he an academic, would have been untouchable – but as he was brown, in front of a jury of his “peers” in Plymouth County, it was a felony).

      I find it unlikely, as a threat model, that we have no homegrown competent domestic terrorists active. However, I do find it more likely that those who are not brothers and living together, avoiding text, phone, and internet coordination, are being disappeared — by extraordinary renditions — far more quietly than before.

      And when that story breaks, it’s going to make this story look small.

  • Steve__T

    Every thing you want to know about Privacy and Civil Liberties.

     http://it.ojp.gov/default.aspx?area=privacy

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Anonymous (active righteous resistance); to slay the beast.

    Civil Disobedience; to draw attention to the beast and enlist others.

    Opting Out (both right and left – passive resistance); to starve the beast.

    Principle vs. $$$ vs. convenience vs. knowledge; willingness to personally sacrifice to confront the beast.

    “Donald the Duck and Mickey the Mouse”; to confuse and misdirect the beast.

    How many disgruntled, active, informed, trained citizens of the world would it take to…..

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    If one is Anti-War, Anti-Manipulative Banking/Finance,  Anti-Surveillence State, Pro-Marketplace, Anti-Elite Technocratic Control, who can one vote for?

    Would be interesting to see a list develop and the resulting Venn diagram of political parties/factions etc…

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      ron paul?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/13/the-nsa-scandal-violates-the-lessons-of

    “In 30 years, from 1979 to 2009, the legal standard for searching and seizing private communications — the bar that the Constitution requires the government to meet — was lowered by Congress from probable cause of crime to probable cause of being an agent of a foreign power to probable cause of being a foreign person to probable cause of communicating with a foreign person. Congress made all these changes, notwithstanding the oath that each member of Congress took to uphold the Constitution. It is obvious that the present standard, probable cause of communicating with a foreign person, bears no rational or lawful resemblance to the constitutionally mandated standard: probable cause of crime.Now we know that the feds have seized the telephone records of more than 100 million Americans and the email and texting records of nearly everyone in the U.S. for a few years. They have obtained this under the laws that permit them to do so. These laws — just like the ones that let British soldiers write their own search warrants — were validly enacted, but they are profoundly unconstitutional. They are unconstitutional because they purport to change the clear and direct language in the Constitution, and Congress is not authorized to make those changes.
    These laws undermine the reasons the Constitution was written, one of which was to guarantee the freedom to exercise one’s natural rights. These laws directly contradict the core American value that our rights come from our humanity and may not be legislated away — not by a vote of Congress, not by the consensus of our neighbors, not even by agreement of all Americans but one.”

  • 1Brett1

    I heard Snowden may defect to China, you know that great place where citizens can go about freely without their every move being tracked by the government…I don’t know, Snowden seems more and more like someone who is unstable and makes decisions based on something other than a love for his country. I just hope he doesn’t commit suicide, as the “Clinton-murdered-Vince-Foster” conspiracy types will make 9/11 Truthers look almost sane.

    And what’s up with that “more of [Snowden's] leaks will be published later” nonsense both he and Greenwald keep touting? So much for the importance of his leaks needing to reach the American people so they can be informed…I didn’t realize such patriotism needed to employ a marketing technique to build up suspense and create a buzz for readership? And, if he chose certain documents to leak and others not to leak isn’t he playing the same role he accuses the powers that be of? Why, WHO is HE to decide what I know about and what I don’t know about?!?!?! AND WHEN I KNOW ABOUT IT!?!?!?! How megalomaniacal of him!!!!

    I wonder if “pull a Snowden” will become part of our lexicon for a time? As in the way people use “tattle-tail!”?  

    • HonestDebate1

      That was the first report, then Iceland. Now Putin says he’ll take him.

      • 1Brett1

        Maybe he’ll settle in Russia…Those Ukraine girls’ll really knock him out!

  • ivaray

    I like the show, but this specific On Point disappointed me in several  matters: the experts who could be surprised with the NSA surveillance data-mining  and surveillance program are not really experts in this field or they are trying to downplay the NSA capabilities. Recently I read Jonathan Moreno’s few books (read his “Mind Wars”) and he covered greatly topics on surveillance and how extensive surveillance and the Internet control is in association with the wireless technologies. I would like also to hear the expert or someone from ACLU, and hear reports and estimation on their number of cases recorded regarding the unlawful surveillance during last ten years. Finally, I would like to hear more of how the system works: ok, there are the super-computer capabilities (in your program downplayed as large computers)  of collecting data on almost all USA population, I would like to hear more on this. I would like to know more of how does the process of collecting algorithm data flags someone to be a suspicious person,  “a target”; I would like to know is the satellite surveillance associated with the data mining collection and flagging; in what extent the data mining collection have been used in order to establish the case against the target, which actually overrides the fourth amendment for the person who become a target? This surveillance program is not a joke (an app), it can be used for the surveillance of the whole neighborhoods, and it is an advanced and complex system. We should not downplay this case in the media.    

  • Trond33

    The NSA scandal has just scratched the surface of what NSA and other U.S. security services are capable of and are in fact doing.  Toss in all the private data for sale by corporations. Or, do you really think hackers are the only people out there who can target your computer, smartphone and tablet to remotely turn on the camera and/or microphone.  With powerful computers and the right algorithms, it is easy to implement massive surveillance — oh, like the data centers NSA already has.  

    Technically, there is no reason to believe this is not already being done.  What scares me more is the faith the average person puts in the personnel of agencies like the NSA.  The perception seems to be of highly ethical individuals, career professionals.  I attended graduate school with several individuals who went into the security agencies, almost all of them were C+ students, sliding through graduate school.  Common tread between them seemed to be a strong penchant for paranoia.  At the grunt level, these security agencies seem to be a sort of public works program for ex-military, many with no education beyond high school.  I suspect the environment in these security agencies is more sophomoric than a highly disciplined professional environment.  What would you think would develop in a government agency without any oversight?  

    No, I think people should be mad about the wasted trillions by the security agencies and scared at the liberties that have been taken behind closed doors in the name of national security.

    …. Oh, by the way, any government official, from the President down, who says they do not spy on U.S. citizens is lying through their teeth.  The reality is that the U.S. government does not even know who is a citizen and who is not.  Every day, hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals walk through U.S. Customs checkpoints with fake passports, a number of which are U.S. passports.  Its a recognized problem around the world, hence increased security features in passports.  My point is, if the U.S. government does not know who is and who is not a citizen standing in front of them, why would the security agencies not just make the assumption someone is not a citizen?  Got to err on the side of caution, plus, there’s no oversight, so not like there are going to be any ramifications anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      This says it all. Yes, some employees of military/security contractors with top DOD clearances are clinically certified as nuttier than fruitcakes. Tell me when it’s safe to publish a personal account of a close encounter with one of these paranoid spooks-for-hire, and I’ll gladly spill my guts. Until then, don’t give up the ship!

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Plus, it’s not gvt agencies anymore but contractors. As surveillance expands and is simultaneously more and more in the hands of private corporations, we come closer to:

      “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”—-Benito Mussolini

      I don’t like any of this. I don’t want to be spied on, and I don’t want to be spied on by the likes of Boz Allen etc. If the gvt is going to try this, let them do it with gvt employees where we have more of a chance of legislative oversight, and are not enriching the corporate elite in the process.

      BTW, Snowden also said that NSA is hacking everyone in the world and the complaints about China hacking the USA are to divert attention. I have never had the slightest doubt that we are the biggest hackers. If the NSA can do this to US citizens, why would it avoid the Chinese military etc? Makes no sense.

      • Steve__T

        Tom I agree with your overall statement but, the contractors are working for the gvt agencies, they pay them to do the work. If you work at a gvt facility and the gvt pays you dose it matter that you are a contractor or a civil employee? Both are payed by the same agency, to do work prescribed by that agency.

        I am a previous Government contractor and had to be vetted by the FBI to get my security clearance.

  • Sy2502

    “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.” – The Bill of Rights, 4th Amendment

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” – The Bill of Rights, 5th Amendment

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” – The Bill of Rights, 9th Amendment

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      dont worry they assure us their secret laws are all legal

      • Sy2502

        Absolutely, and also I have this orange bridge in San Francisco I am selling for a very reasonable price…

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i may have a bridge, if i have a bridge its location is secret, its a great bridge i just can ever let you see it but i assure you you are getting a great deal

    • HonestDebate1

      ‘Nuff said.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      I guess that’s why they keep their actions secret.

    • 1Brett1

      Well, I guess since everybody is an armchair constitutional lawyer, what do we need SCOTUS for? 

      See, the controversy comes in at the “unreasonable searches and seizures” point. How does the law define “unreasonable”? Another point is where “warrants” meet “probable cause.” This too can get sticky. Also, how do you define “effects”? 

      Also, “HonestDebating1″ might take issue with the many interpretations of the “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or PROPERTY, without due process of LAW” part. Is that our “CREATOR’S” law or law that comes from mortals [in this case men, er, white men, with property]?

      Since you are so familiar with constitutional law maybe you could go on On Point and explain all of these things to the audience?

      • Sy2502

        “Blanket searches and seizures” doesn’t sound like something the Fathers of the Constitution would have intended. Otherwise they wouldn’t even have bothered adding it to the Bill of Right.

        • 1Brett1

          Using such terminology and by extension invoking the Constitution without really showing a genuine link between metadata collection and unconstitutionality nor to show any conceptual understanding of such terms and documents then, by smug proclamation, claiming some sort of essential truth is…well is what a poseur does.

          Prove that collecting the metadata information in question amounts to “blanket searches and seizures” such as you presumptuously claim. 

          • Sy2502

            So citing the Constitution is “smug”. Good to know. 

          • 1Brett1

            Nice dodge. I guess you can’t show any conceptual understanding of how metadata collection amounts to “blanket searches and seizures” so you pretend my “smug” accusation was placed at a different part of your comment than it was. 

            Again, nice way to pretend you’ve responded to my reply when you haven’t.

          • Sy2502

            Which part of “blanket spying” isn’t clear to you?

          • 1Brett1

            Another sidestep. Poseur. 

            Is surveillance the same as a “search and seizure”?

          • HonestDebate1

            When they collect and  store your private data, yes.

          • 1Brett1

            Again, you are cocksure. Phone companiescollect and store data allthe time. Copslatercan ask for that it is nothingnew.I am not sureabout that and you boviously act like you are, ef offalready, dudeand get overit. We disagree.

          • HonestDebate1

            Either you don’t know or you disagree, make up your mind.

          • Sy2502

            Everything you need is in the Amendments I cited. But of course you have this personal rule of yours that only Constitutionalists are allowed to mention the Constitution, so I’ll address that. The short answer is: nobody cares about your personal rules, as they don’t apply to anyone but yourself, so I will continue to discuss and interpret the Constitution as I please, regardless of your little rules. The long answer is that Constitutionalists are not a branch of the democraticgovernment. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to let citizens know their rights. This means without the mediation of Constitutionalists. Also the Pledge of Allegiance burdens everybody with the responsibility to defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. If only Constitutionalists could understandthe Constitution, THEY, not every single citizen, would be responsible for defending it, as they and only they would really know when it’s been threatened. Moreover laws are repealed not just when SCOTUS deems them unconstitutional, but also when citizens, exercising their 1st Amendment, petition their government to repeal a law THEY, not Constitutionalists, don’t like. If you find the long answer unsatisfactory, please refer to the short answer.

          • 1Brett1

            MOre razzmatazz instead of answeringa question that is a little bittricky (or there would benoneedfor SCOTUS), but keeponwith yourpretensions 

          • Sy2502

            The question isn’t the least bit tricky. But since you said non Constituionalists that dare talk about the Constitution are, how did you say… “smug”, I will not be wasting my time explaining it to you. Moreover anyone who tries to silence a discussion on the Constitution by saying only Constitutionalists are allowed to talk about it doesn’t get even the slightest respect from me.

      • brettearle

        The words ‘unreasonable’ and `probable cause’ are too broad in their implications, to be anything other than ambiguous.

        Precisely why some constitutional pundits decry the literal meaning of the Constitution  vs  its interpretive meaning.

        The above words, isolated, point to why the Constitution can be subject to a fair amount of disagreement.  The Framers may have wanted it this way.

        Perhaps those who study the Document, and its history, may be able to confirm that.

        But if that is true, then it is understandable why we hear, periodically, a call for a Constitutional Convention

        How could Justice Blackburn et al. have pointed to pro-choice rights, for example, to be backed up by the phrase `due process’, in the 14th Amendment–and yet have many others disagree?

        It is isn’t simply politics.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          That slurping sound? Oh, it’s just brettearle getting all metaphorically & scripturally Christian in the face of a just God again. Pay no attention to sticklers of arbitrary rules. They merely blow away in a significant shitstorm. Justices are corporate shareholders, too, by the way.

          • brettearle

            You misinterpreted my point.

            I wasn’t using the Abortion issue for politics.

            I was using it as a glaring example of interpretation difference.

            When you jump to false conclusions, you simply show up your own bias.

            I am PRO-CHOICE, staunchly so.

            Your remarks are a good example of why many can’t go further in discussion and debate.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            Fool.

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t think the originalist’s view necessarily equates with a literal view if that’s your drift but I still get your point. And I do agree the framers wanted it this way. 

          And it isn’t simply politics, that’s deep if I get your meaning. 

          IMHO, it’s the brilliance of the Constitution, particularly the notion of three equal branches of government. We the people are ultimately in charge. We get what we deserve. 

          I’ve always considered the Executive branch as the instant gratification for our collective psyche, the knee-jerk reaction to where we are now, right or wrong. It can be great or a disaster. Things change quick.

          Legislation takes longer. It’s debated. Compromises are made, deals are struck and the will of the people eventually emerges. It just take a while.

          The Judiciary is the slowest way to affect change. It takes freaking forever. But still, in the end, it’s the will of the people that ultimately prevails.  

      • HonestDebate1

        I can’t tell if it was a disqus misplaced reply to me or if I’m just in your head but you seem to be directing questions at me. Sy2502 was kind enough to post the 4th, 5th and 9th Amendments in the Bill of Rights. Everybody has been debating the 4th, I’ve wondered about the 5th and the 9th is something I had not considered until now. The 3 simple paragraphs give us plenty to consider in regards to the Constitutionality of PRISM.

        And that is separate from the matter of Snowden.

        I think warrants meet probable cause at court in front of a judge. That’s what “supported by Oath or affirmation” means (I think). The law in question, I suppose, is The Patriot Act and more specifically Section 215 where requests have increased 1000% over 4 years. That’s where all this happened. James Sensenbrenner, the author of that provision, is saying what they did was not reasonable because the law requires the searches to be tied to a particular investigation. It was not meant to be used as massive data collection on citizens. I do think the Patriot Act has met Constitutional muster thus far as deemed by the SCOTUS. But what do I know? I’m not a lawyer.

        As to the rest of your comment, I’ll pretend you’re serious. The Bill of rights are not rights endowed by our creator, that’s a different document; a different dynamic; a non-sequitur. They are to secure the unalienable rights endowed by our creator. They do this by telling government what it cannot do to citizens. They (these 3) say our rights: “…shall not be violated”, “No person shall be held…”, “nor shall any person be subject…”, “nor shall be compelled…”, “nor shall private property be taken…”, ” shall not be construed to deny…”.  

        These are laws of man. It doesn’t matter if there is a creator or a God, what matters is the Bill of Rights are written based on the assumption that we are born with certain unalienable rights. The restrictions (Bill of Rights) are decisions by men putting forth their best effort to secure the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to Americans. 

        I guess the part that confused you so much is the line:

        “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”

        If you are a suspect in a criminal case (trial), man gives you the right to not incriminate yourself, be killed or jailed without due process. This is to protect your unalienable rights as set forth in our founding. It’s really not that complicated.

        • 1Brett1

          I’m not confused. Confusion would be reserved for something that is so clear as to not be left open to interpretation yet is not understood. No, I just think these aspects of founding documents leave room for some ambiguity in how they get and have gotten interpreted throughout modern history.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure they do, that’s what the Judiciary is for. I don’t think anyone disagrees with that.

    • jimino

      The Constitution limits ONLY the powers of the government.  These are private companies.  Why are they subject to the limitations our founders placed on the government?

      • HonestDebate1

        They are doing the government’s dirty work on the taxpayer’s dime. They are agents of the government. 

      • Tyranipocrit

        What!!  Why do you give private companies so much credence and liberty?????!  These entities have as much and more power than governments–and ARE the government–as they hold all the cards and all the power and it is a revolving door corrupted by corporate money and corporate shills. 

        Not to mention, these same villainous entities (charters, corporations, international business conglomerations) declared themselves American citizens–PEOPLE.

        Therefore–it is trespassing and theft–grand larceny.  As well as a violation of constitutional rights/  These people and these entities including the corporate-government–is Criminal, and must be brought to justice one way or the other. 

        There is no rule of law–these traitors change the rules as they please to suit them.

        When will the sheep become wolves and fight for dignity and humanity and basic rights.

        Where are the people of conscious and honor?  It seems to me the American people are cowards–all talk and no action.  People want to be dominated.  

  • andic_epipedon

    Great show today.  Good questions. Good guest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

    But doesnt your guest work for Microsoft the very company that helped develped ways to track us? And I think he is venturing into the conspiracy theories with all this Glen BEck stuff.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      glen beck was the only one who reported that bengazi was a botched cia weapons deal at the time. he admits that he is a clown but all too often he is right. his tv show was terrible but his radio show is pretty funny

  • Give_Me_Liberty_92

    From the Guardian:

    “Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah says the Supreme Court
    has found in the Jones case that it’s unconstitutional to stick a GPS on
    a vehicle to track a potential suspect. Geolocation of non-suspects has been found to be unconstitutional, he says. 
    SO on this phone metadata the government is collecting: does that metadata include geolocation?

    I hadn’t thought of that, Mueller says. I have to check.(SIC!)

    Chaffetz says he should have been prepared for the question because the reps submitted the questions ahead of time.

    “Is there a database of geolocation information that is warehoused by our federal government?” Chaffetz asks.

    “Not that I’m aware of,” Mueller says.

    Mueller apologizes for not prepping for the question. He says he’ll get back to him within the week.

    “How could he have not thought about it when everybody is talking about that exact point? Most likely it’s the core of the issue.

    It has been reported that cell phone metadata can contain/contains geotracking locations.

    yes or no?if yes, they cannot argue with a straight face that their legal precedent is just the pretty old Smith v. Maryland (1979), where the court discussed a phone number pen trace of a suspected bank robber who was calling his pals (hardly the relevant precedent for putting under permanent surveillance 300 millions of US persons, in my view….)

    The relevant precedent becomes US v Jones (2012) , the GPS case.

  • Tyranipocrit

    The corporate government is lying.  I have had emails bounced back to me with coded number sequences inn parenthesis beside words that they must have deemed suspect.  Words like prophecy, bomb, America, ship…and more…the letter was a query letter for a book to an agent.  it was clear why they would target the letter after I looked at it.  So I know they do this.  To say they do not is a lie.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    but they want to grow

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    they can even look at your house in 3d unless you are a former vice president

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