If you agree that the first two graphs are correct, and that all communication via technology is monitored, the conclusion is inescapable.
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In the World of the High Tech Redneck, the Graybeard is the old guy who earned his gray by making all the mistakes, and tries to keep the young 'uns from repeating them. Silicon Graybeard is my term for an old hardware engineer; a circuit designer. The focus of this blog is on doing things, from radio to home machine shops and making all kinds of things, along with comments from a retired radio engineer running from tech, science or space news to economics; from firearms to world events.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Where the PATRIOT Act and New Technology Inevitably Lead
Posted by SiGraybeard at 8:38 PM
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I'm straddling the fence on this one.ReplyDelete
The intent is that NSA collects telephone numbers called, dates and times. NOT conversations. Your telephone company collects telephone numbers called, dates and times. NSA uses computers to find matches and look for something suspicious. If something is found that should be followed up on the NSA is supposed to get a warrant. So far so good. I am 100% in favor of it. BUT, like everything else government touches someone; politicians, worker bees, technicians, etc. always exceeds their authority. Some of the NSA technicians were checking up on girlfriends/boyfriends and some were just following their favorite movie star. In other words oversight was bad and no one is suprised. I am 100% opposed to these abuses.
The next factor in this arguement is I can assure that foriegn governments unfriendly to us are doing all this and more and will continue to do it even if we were to abolish the NSA tomorrow. To believe that your phone meta-data is "secret" is niave at best.
And last and most important; I will guarantee you that in your lifetime, probably within the next five years, the terrorists will get a nuke and use it on a Western city. Could be NYCity, could be DC, or London, Paris, Tel Aviv. But it will happen. We can choose to do what is physically possible to try to stop it or we can wait until it happens while doing nothing. Understand that once they blow up NYCity or Tel Aviv or whatever EVERYTHING changes forever. Probably (like 1000:1) it means nuclear war. Not necessarily armegeddon but many nukes destroying most of the countries involved in terrorism and killing millions. No way around it. Anyone who thinks that Israel or the U.S. won't go nuclear if a nuke is dropped on thier cities is living in dreamland. So I go back to my prediction: In the next five years or so the terrorists will get nukes and they will use them on a Western city. So if we don't stop it than we will have nuclear war. Simple as that...
So do you really, really care that NSA has your phone number somewhere on a computer and also the numbers you called and that called you???
Why is both the competence and the bona fides of NSA assumed by the first commenter?ReplyDelete
"Why is both the competence and the bona fides of NSA assumed by the first commenter?"ReplyDelete
I think you beg the question. If not NSA then who? I am confident if we publicly excoriate and emasculate the NSA that our federal government will create a secret alphabet agency to do what NSA is doing today. Those in power KNOW that the U.S. mainland WILL be attacked with WMD's. Not "might" be attacked, not some vague future threat. It absolutely will happen. Imagine NYCity being wiped out with a nuke. Maybe 3-4 million killed outright and a couple more million dead within a month or two. Imagine that the terrorists got half a dozen nukes and hit half a dozen American or European cities. This is what they are planning to do. The president(s), the CIA, FBI, and others are trying to prevent this or minimize it. There simply is no alternative to good and timely intelligence information. Without it we are sitting ducks. It would be so easy to sneak a nuke or other WMD into this country that I am honestly amazed it hasn't already happened.
SO the question is if you don't allow the a federal agency to collect phone and internet meta data (which is not unconstitutional) then what would you allow to them to do to protect us?
And again, understand that any nuclear attack on the U.S. or Israel will result in a nuclear war which will affect everyone in the world. It would be impossible for either country to avoid a full scale retalliation and massive death tolls, the pulic would demand it and logic would demand it. So if preventing that outcome doesn't justify the collection of the very same data that the phone companies and Google already collect what in your opinion would???
Our unusually vigorous commenter appears to be convinced that the NSA can stop terrorist attacks on the United States if they are allowed to listen to every phone call, read every email, and hack every server run by people in the United States who aren't interested in attacking themselves.ReplyDelete
That's why there have been no successful terrorist attacks against the United States ever. 9-11 was a bad dream; the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber did not get onto a plane; no one attacked the cartoon contest; the Boston Marathon has never been bombed; a military psychiatrist did not shoot several dozen people while screaming the name of his god.
But we should be scared that all of those things might have happened, if only the NSA was not carefully spying on everyone in order to prevent them from happening.
So all I have to do is give up my privacy and you promise me there'll be no WMD attacks on US soil? Sign me up!ReplyDelete
Trigger You resorted to lying about what I said to disagree with what I said. NOT listening in!!! They collect meta data legally under their mandate voted by congress. Did individuals abuse this and listen in? Yes or probably. But that is not what I'm suggesting congress continue to mandate. I am simply saying that the phone companies used to keep the meta data and allow a court to get this data with a court order. But there is so much meta data that the phone companies are erasing after it is used for billing. The NSA was given the responsibility tostore the data in the event that a court order allowed it to be used in a investigation. THAT is the way it is supposed to work. THAT is what the Patriot act authorized. As I also said I have concerns that the program lends itself tomisuse and abuse.ReplyDelete
In my humble opinion it doesn't really matter. Just as the blacks in Baltimore prefer to castigate the police more than they prefer to be safe I think that is exactly where our country is today concerning terrorism. So I don't think we are smart enough or paying attention enough to prevent the next attack. I think we all prefer our personal biases and thus we are perfect victims. So just like the next 20-30 people who wil be killed in Baltimore this week and the 30-40 who will be killed in Chicago this week WE (the U.S.) will have to absorb a serious terrorist attack before we figure out there is a danger far worse than having our phone meta data stored on a computer somewhere.
To be honest I lean towards strict adherence of the constitution and would be perfectly happy if we eliminated ALL unconstitutional programs. But it seems no one cares to eliminate welfare which is unconatitutional and so harmful it destroys those on it and bankrupts the country. NOOOOOO! They want to eliminate spying on terrorists and collaborater. Fine! That simply brings me back to my position that maybe we as a country are too stupid (as proof I offer that we elected Obama) to survive and we need and must have a nuke set off in Manhattan to wake us up. And yes, I know that there are those individuals who are SO stupid that even then they will be pleased that at least we reversed the Patriot act. Sadly I suspect this will all come to pass and even the intelligent amoung us will have to pay the price because the majority are stupid and suicidal. This is why I choose many years ago to live in a small town outside of the large population centers.
So, Anonymous, you seem to be suggesting that we need to sacrifice a little liberty in favor of greater security?ReplyDelete
I think someone famous coined a saying about that a couple hundred years ago, didn't they?
So, Anonymous, you seem to be suggesting that we need to sacrifice a little liberty in favor of greater security?ReplyDelete
I think someone famous coined a saying about that a couple hundred years ago, didn't they?
To the first commenter, yes, I care. Whatever the information is, I care. The Bill of Rights protects my right to be secure in my person and papers. I don't think it's any of the government's business who you, or I, or anyone else associate with.ReplyDelete
If the U.S. government wants/needs to declare war, they are constitutionally permitted to do so. If the threat is real, then morally they should do so. If stopping the current enemies of the United States requires nuking, bombing, or killing by any other means, those enemies, they should do it. If these religious fanatics are such a threat, let's stop letting them into our country.
What the government should not do and is constitutionally constrained from doing is violating the rights of it's citizens and the proper authorized powers of the States. That's the document we all pledged our lives to defend, it's the document all those politicians promise to uphold.
"you seem to be suggesting that we need to sacrifice a little liberty in favor of greater security?"ReplyDelete
No, but I do understand your point. The mandate for the NSA was to collect phone and internet meta data and store it since the phone company decided to stop doing this. The intent was to allow under a court order for federal law enforcement to use this to identify people connected to known terrorist and terror supporters. That was the intent. It was legal/constitutional since it required a court approval and legitimate suspicion to access it. As I have already stated this was abused. Not by law enforcement (at least as far as we know) but by individuals who looked at the data for their own reasons. Should we store data like this so after identifying a risk it can be used to track down conspiritors? It is legal/constitutional to do so, contrary to what you are implying. The risk is very real. You can argue that it isn't effective in preventing terrorism but I believe there is evidence of this preventing over 20 actual terrorist attacks.
What I expect to happen if NSA is prevented from continuing this program is this: The federal government will get a friendly country like England do do it and give us the data. There will be no controls or limitations because it all falls outside of the constitution (i.e. England is doing it not us). The abuse will be worse because there are no controls. So which do you prefer?
Anonymous: Don't accuse me of lying. I know what you said. I also pay attention to what is really going on. I did the analysis myself to indicate that the NSA was and is accessing the full content of emails. I was around during the Clinton administration and I remember the Clipper chip; again demanding access to full content of telephone calls. I also remember that the NSA was at the time doing exactly what you claimed they will do if authorization is removed -- that is, routing requests through a friendly foreign nation so that our "friends" spy on each other's citizens. If they were doing it already, why should I be scared by a threat they will do it again?ReplyDelete
More importantly, should I not say "No" to a rapist because they will attempt to rape me anyway?
As for the NSA being "given" the responsibility: they TOOK it without authorization -- as a federal appellate court has already ruled -- and used section 215 as a fig leaf.
"It was legal/constitutional since it required a court approval and legitimate suspicion to access it."ReplyDelete
It was not, because it did not.
First, the "access" happens when the government collects the data, about *everyone* mind you. That is a general warrant, not one based on probable cause about a specific person.
Second, google LOVEINT. Then explain how you get a court order for it. (Answer: You don't. You fill in a form with justification, which can be bullshit, and if you lie about your justification, maybe eventually you will be caught in an audit ... but probably only if you stalk your girlfriend and she complains).
Third, the FISA "court" is a one-sided rubber stamp, not a court.
"As I have already stated this was abused. Not by law enforcement (at least as far as we know) but by individuals who looked at the data for their own reasons."
We know DEA has similar programs and has abused those programs by lying about how they identified a particular suspect IN COURT.
"Should we store data like this so after identifying a risk it can be used to track down conspiritors?"
No, you should identify a risk, GET A WARRANT, ask for data about that specific individual, accept the fact that old data may no longer be kept (and in today's data-mining world, I call bullshit on that too), and if necessary, go back to court for more warrants concerning that person's associates. Like, you know, the Constitution says.
"It is legal/constitutional to do so, contrary to what you are implying."
Courts have already ruled against it. The decision is currently stayed to see if Congress renews authorization for the program and imposes restrictions.
"The risk is very real. You can argue that it isn't effective in preventing terrorism but I believe there is evidence of this preventing over 20 actual terrorist attacks."
Which you can't name, of course.
So tell me.
How much is the NSA paying you to engage in this debate? Because they have programs to do that, too.
Trigger. Your exact quote was: "Our unusually vigorous commenter appears to be convinced that the NSA can stop terrorist attacks on the United States if they are allowed to listen to every phone call, read every email, and hack every server run by people in the United States who aren't interested in attacking themselves."ReplyDelete
You lied!!! Simple as that. I did not say that. Sorry that it hurts to be caught lying but then to bold faced deny lying doesn't make any sense either.
I said you appeared to be convinced of that. I stand by that opinion. You still seem to be convinced of that. Please note the lack of quotation marks around my comments. I was not claiming you said those exact words.ReplyDelete
I note your lack of response to my other points.
NO! You set up a straw man so that you would have something to attack. You know it and I know it.
If you were less confrontational perhaps someone might be interested in responding to your other points.
No, I rejected your attempt to claim only metadata was being intercepted because that claim is false.ReplyDelete
As for your article, they claim 50 foiled attacks but can only actually describe two. Which, BTW, I predicted just a few comments back ("Which you can't name, of course"). Of the two attacks they describe, one concerns emails exchanged with a "terrorist in Pakistan" for whom a warrant could easily have been obtained individually. The second is a claim to have provided an additional, unknown telephone number for a known terrorist and associate of another known terrorist. Again, there is no indication this information could not have been obtained using ordinary warrant process.
I do not object to the NSA conducting surveillance of known terrorists overseas or, with a warrant, within the United States. I object to the idea that they should be able to listen to everyone else without a specific, individual warrant. And I also object to the idea that a plot discovered by listening to a known terrorist overseas justifies listening to non-terrorists in the United States.
"The mandate for the NSA was to collect phone and internet meta data and store it since the phone company decided to stop doing this. The intent was to allow under a court order for federal law enforcement to use this to identify people connected to known terrorist and terror supporters."ReplyDelete
IF that is an actual problem*, then the proper remedy is for the FCC to mandate that the phone companies keep this data for a certain amount of time. The FBI/CIA/NSA can then access the data the proper way by getting a search warrant through the courts.
* I doubt it is. I have been involved in court cases where the metadata you speak of was obtained going several months back, using a simple subpoena. What they don't keep is the content of text and voice messages. But that's not what you claim the NSA is keeping either, is it?
Thank you Jake. My point was that the law allowed the NSA to collect the metadata and to make it available to law enforcement after a court order. I concided that there were abuses. My point was that as written the law ws constitutional and that is what we should allow and adhere to.ReplyDelete
Trigger, after reading more of what you have written I would guess you are angry with what has happened and not just with NSA but with the federal government in general AND that you were taking out that anger on a handy target. I agree that the federal government has badly mismanged our country and has more often than not exceeded their constitutional authority. BUT I am not ready, as some are, to go to war or have a revolution. What I am hoping for and believe is the only rational possibility is that we elect statesmen not politicians in congress, elect a true conservative as president and rebuild and repair our military. My fear is that we will elect the criminal and incompetent Hillary simply because women voters have been brainwashed to believe a woman should be president even if she is unqualified (not to different from the reason why Obama was elected). Than of course Hillary would appoint woman with a pro-feminine agenda to all cabinet positions (not too different from Obama) and instead of taking care of business our federalgovernment would become a giant pandering organization to give free stuff to women and totally ignore the citizens, the world and the very real threat we face. As a country in a very dangerous world we are in deep shit. We desperately need a real leader and there isn't a single one in the running today. We desperately need statesmen in congress who will put the country first and there are literally none either in congress or running for congress. Time is running out...
"My point was that the law allowed the NSA to collect the metadata and to make it available to law enforcement after a court order. I concided[sic] that there were abuses. My point was that as written the law ws[sic] constitutional and that is what we should allow and adhere to."ReplyDelete
Anonymous, you continue to make this false claim.
"BUT I am not ready, as some are, to go to war or have a revolution."
If I had paraphrased you in such an inflammatory way, you would have called me a liar. No, wait, that's not hypothetical; it just happened yesterday right here in these comments.
I am ignoring the rest of your comment as completely irrelevant to the subject at hand.
What you are saying with your link is that NSA thought they were mandated to collect phone meta data but the court just recently decided that they were not. That changes nothing. What I said was that the NSA was only collecting meta data and that is constitutional. The fact is regardless of what the court decided retoractively the NSA was in fact collecting meta data (which I said) and it is constitutional (the court only said that they interpreted the law to not have authorized it not that it was unconstitutional. Period!ReplyDelete
My point that "BUT I am not ready, as some are, to go to war or have a revolution." Was not directed at you. Most people who express very strong anti-federal government opinions are indeed pushing to start a revolution. I was merely stating that I think that is a mistake and even though our future looks dark it is not an option. Simple as that. Nothing inflammatory unless that is your nature to be inflammed easily.
"What you are saying with your link is that NSA thought they were mandated to collect phone meta data but the court just recently decided that they were not. That changes nothing. What I said was that the NSA was only collecting meta data and that is constitutional."ReplyDelete
My point was that the NSA's program was not authorized by law and thus illegal. Whether the law is constitutional or not remains an open question, but the legality of the NSA activity has a court ruling on the matter. Until the Supreme Court takes the issue up or a conflicting ruling in another circuit appears, the NSA program is illegal.
"The fact is regardless of what the court decided retoractively the NSA was in fact collecting meta data"
I've already demonstrated that the NSA is collecting the full content of email messages and can trivially retrieve the full content of web pages accessed. Jake made the same point a slightly different way. It's not just metadata.
"and it is constitutional (the court only said that they interpreted the law to not have authorized it not that it was unconstitutional. Period!"
You do understand that the court's ruling is not saying that the NSA's program is OK, right? The court is saying it can't even get to the matter of whether the program is unconstitutional or not because the program is flatly illegal. Congress did not authorize it. Rogue agency.
If Congress passes a law that does authorize a similar NSA program, then perhaps the courts will decide whether the program and the law authorizing it is constitutional or not.
"Was not directed at you."
You put my name at the top of the whole paragraph, and your goal with that line was to claim by implication that I favored such a course of action and that you were counseling prudence. I had made no such claim.
"Most people who express very strong anti-federal government opinions are indeed pushing to start a revolution."
You know what they call the guy at the local shooting range who keeps calling for armed revolution against the federal government?
They call him the FBI informant.
I'm not sure you get it. I'm not sure you ever will. C'est la vie.ReplyDelete
I still think the risk is real. That we must do something to protect ourselves. That collectingphone and internet meta data and storing it without a human having seen it is legal. And that we probably will not do anything effective and thus be "treated" to another 9/11 at the hands of somevery dangerous people.
You disagree. C'est la vie.
The risk of terrorist attack is certainly real. More real than most Americans prefer to think about. The answer to that risk, however, has nothing to do with treating everyone in America as a terrorist. The Panopticon is a distraction. Identify the terrorists and deal with them individually. That's the only way you *can* deal with them.ReplyDelete
What's amusing is that anyone would actually believe the NSA/DHS et.alReplyDelete
would stop collecting intel on anyone and everyone to the fullest extent technically possible if they were so ordered by a court.
The government does not obey the law and has not for a very long time.
What the government MAY do is pretend to go along, act as if they were
obeying but continue with business as usual. The value of SIGINT is simply to great for them to give it up. Therefore they will never give it up, merely hide, obfuscate and lie. I mean what will actually happen to them when they get caught.....nothing.
The rule of law, morality, right, wrong, the Consitution.....all of these are irrelevant to people in power who have no morals. The ends justify the means and if you don't get caught you did nothing wrong...and if you DO get caught so what, who is in a position to punish you. Evil cares not for anything but power. It exists to wield power and it will only respect and yield to power. And by power I specifically mean naked force, violent actions. Evil seeks out power and will never relinquish power voluntarily. It must ALWAYS be removed by the shedding of blood. As long as humans have existed and probably for as long as we continue to exist that is the nature of power.
+1 for DanReplyDelete