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Big Brother spies on Americans

Civil Liberties 2013 NSA Domestic Spying Obama Administration

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#1 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:40 PM

http://www.foxnews.c...tion-excessive/


I figured even a left leaning board such as this one would've at least started a thread about Obama's spying on Americans. If for no other reason than to try and defend the indefenseable. Imagine my surprise on finding no such thread...LOL

So much for transparency, huh? Guess that one went right out the window, probably right after the 4th Amendment.

What really surprises me is this though: Congress passed a law back in 2008, protecting these companies from lawsuits, for being a arm of Big Brother. But there is no law saying people have to use Verizon. Why haven't the millions of Verizon customers just cancelled their accounts and taken their business elsewhere?
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#2 ShotenStar

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 07:38 AM

Why haven't Verizon customers canceled?  Where would they go?  This arrangement is not limited to Verizon.

And this type of data mining / traffic analysis is not limited to the government.  Why is it that no one freaks out when very interest specific advertizing shows up on their screens or in their mail boxes, yet has a cow at the thought of the government doing the same thing to identify terrorist threats?  And these would be the same people who scream 'failure' and 'incompetence' when a terrorist attack does happen.

People need to re-think their definitions of 'personal' and 'private' information.  'Personal' information is that which is unique to me ... my credit card numbers, my phone numbers, my address.  None of these is 'private' because they are all readily available to those who need them or who look for them.  Indeed, I need to share this Personal information on a daily basis in order to conduct my life.  That includes call routing data.   'Private' information is what I do behind closed doors or the actual words spoken during a call.  Notice that NSA is not going after that with the data mining orders.  In order to target a specific caller and collect the actual conversation, additional warrants are needed.

*star*
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams

#3 Cait

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:15 AM

Great Editorial here...

http://www.esquire.c...iberties-060713



Quote


The blog doesn't like to get all civics class on your ass that often, but there's one trope zipping around out there at the moment in connection with the current storm over phone records and data mining that makes me a little bit crazy -- and that is the discussion of whether or not the American people will "trade off" civil liberties for what is really merely a sense of security. (You know what, folks? Don't tell me about all the terror plots you've foiled if you're not going to give me details. There is no reason to believe you. Either don't mention them at all, or convince me. There's no third alternative.) The terms of the transaction are obviously incorrect. The American people are not being asked to "trade" their civil liberties. They are being asked to surrender them, for all practical purposes, permanently.


Civil liberties are not something you get to "trade," not least because they don't all belong to you. They belong to me, too, and to the woman at the next table here at the Commonwealth Avenue Starbucks -- Oh, c'mon, you knew where I was anyway, NSA guys. -- and to the four people who just walked down the street past the big plate-glass window. You give yours away, you're giving mine away, too, whether I want you to do so or not. Therefore, we all surrender those civil liberties. We do not trade them because we don't get anything back. And it's not like we can cut another deal later to get them back.


We at least should be honest about this. We aren't making a square deal with an equal partner here. We are committing ourselves to be less free. [...]




Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#4 Cait

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:33 PM

And here is another great read on the same topic..

http://www.theatlant...d-obama/276635/

Quote


Let's assume that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, their staffers, and every member of Congress for the last dozen years has always acted with pure motives in the realm of national security. Say they've used the power they've claimed, the technology they've developed, and the precedents they've established exclusively to fight al-Qaeda terrorists intent on killing us, that they've succeeded in disrupting what would've been successful attacks, and that Americans are lucky to have had men and women so moral, prudent, and incorruptible in charge.


Few Americans believe all of that to be so. Combining the people who didn't trust Bush and the ones who don't trust Obama adds up to a sizable part of the citizenry. But even if all the critics were proved wrong, even if the CIA, NSA, FBI, and every other branch of the federal government had been improbably filled, top to bottom, with incorruptible patriots constitutionally incapable of wrongdoing, this would still be so: The American people have no idea who the president will be in 2017. Nor do we know who'll sit on key Senate oversight committees, who will head the various national-security agencies, or whether the moral character of the people doing so, individually or in aggregate, will more closely resemble George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, John Yoo, or Vladimir Putin.


What we know is that the people in charge will possess the capacity to be tyrants -- to use power oppressively and unjustly -- to a degree that Americans in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, or 2000 could've scarcely imagined. To an increasing degree, we're counting on having angels in office and making ourselves vulnerable to devils. Bush and Obama have built infrastructure any devil would lust after. Behold the items on an aspiring tyrant's checklist that they've provided their successors:


Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#5 offworlder

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:14 PM

I don't see our president's job as, to be top cop

when did we get to the point that some of us, either citizens, or pols, or staffs, or whoever is pushing for these spy and data changes, see our president as the guy to be smack in the middle of the spying (I mean _really_ , the drone program with photographing and rockets and killing in the baileywick of the CIA?!) and targeting, hunting and homicide - how many death certs now say for the cause, 'homicide by president'

I see our president as the guy who should be in the middle of making sure our economy gets better, our infrastructure better, our medicare type things better, regulations to protect citizens from runaway corp stuff better, and oversee, just oversee and supervise and a tiny bit of suggestions of advice, our security within our borders; and Oh Yeah, borders: improve our border situation, tighten that up, improve our immigration and smuggled people situation, with a very limited amnesty and path to citizenship thing

other guys, with job titles different than president, can do the spying, and hunting , and killing, far away- and the president just watches, and steps in once in a while, and says Hey Wait, Look at that again, We are really in the job of _____ , not this _____ I'm Seeing, type things
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#6 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:37 AM

Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said "the buck stops here".  No our President isn't top cop but the job comes with the fact of life that he gets to take credit AND blame when the country f*cks up.  That's the deal.  Doesn't mean that he personally has been spying on me or that he personally remote controlled drones that killed civilians or that he personally targeted ultra conservative groups.  But he IS the President and he doesn't just get remain all pristine when something that reflects badly on the country happens.  That's what it means to be the leader.
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#7 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:42 AM

See, this is what happens when people react (i.e., forcing through the Patriot Act) in FEAR.   It's a little late to be squawking about the fox in the henhouse after we sent it the invitation, laid out a red carpet, held the door open for it and served it the hens on golden platters.
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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:44 AM

And LOTS.  Am I allowed to count out the number of civilians who died in Iraq during Bush Jr.'s tenure and then say "Bush Jr. killed "x" number of civilians?"

Huh????  Can I???????  Please???????????????????????/   :rolleyes:
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#9 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:12 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on 09 June 2013 - 12:42 AM, said:

See, this is what happens when people react (i.e., forcing through the Patriot Act) in FEAR.   It's a little late to be squawking about the fox in the henhouse after we sent it the invitation, laid out a red carpet, held the door open for it and served it the hens on golden platters.

Amen.  I remember trying to tell people where this would lead, and here we are.  What did people think would happen?  People went along with the Patriot Act.  People let their representatives re-authorize the Patriot Act, and what?  They thought no one would use the powers that frelling law gave them?

Here's a great answer from Glen Greenwald of the Guardian about this... and his involvement in uncovering how extensive this really is.

Quote

"Have you been contacted by the FBI or any law enforcement official yet?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"No. And any time they would like to speak to me, I would be more than happy to speak to them, and I will tell them that there is this thing called the Constitution, and the very first amendment of which guarantees a free press," Greenwald said. "As an American citizen, I have every right and even the obligation as a journalist to tell my fellow citizens and our readers what it is that the government is doing, that they don't want people in the United States to know about, and I'm happy to talk to them at any time, and the attempt to intimidate journalists and sources with these constant threats of investigation aren't going to work."

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#10 ShotenStar

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 01:19 PM

The last time I checked, Title 18 of the US Code was still in effect.  'Freedom of the Press' does not trump Espionage Laws in my book.

And I ask again: why is this activity of data mining OK when private industry does it and not OK when the government does?

*star*
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams

#11 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:21 PM

View PostShotenStar, on 09 June 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

The last time I checked, Title 18 of the US Code was still in effect.  'Freedom of the Press' does not trump Espionage Laws in my book.

And I ask again: why is this activity of data mining OK when private industry does it and not OK when the government does?

*star*

Well, simply put it's not all that different.  Except for the fact that a corporation doesn't have the power the government has.  There's that of course.   Last time I looked, Google didn't have a standing army that could march into my home without a warrant.

Seriously, there is a difference, but in my opinion, really not much of one.  But to discuss the power of capitalism in our culture we'd have to get all up in the discussion of power and money and class, and do we really want to do that in this thread?

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#12 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:31 PM

http://www.huffingto..._n_3412245.html

Quote

The Guardian published the identity of the whistleblower on Sunday responsible for providing the paper with top-secret documents that revealed the National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs. The paper wrote that it was revealing Edward Snowden's identity at his request:

[...]

Quote


The Guardian compared Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant and current employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, to Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. "Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA," Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras wrote.

Snowden, however, said there were differences. "I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest," he told The Guardian. "There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is."


Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#13 scherzo

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:39 PM

Quote

Well, simply put it's not all that different.  Except for the fact that a corporation doesn't have the power the government has.  There's that of course.   Last time I looked, Google didn't have a standing army that could march into my home without a warrant.
This sums it up pretty well. The consumer profiling may annoy and unnerve but it's not exactly threatening when it's from people who just want to sell me something. Government spying on Americans who aren't even suspected of criminal behavior is way beyond the pale. And for this administration...par for the course.
"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
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#14 ShotenStar

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 04:29 PM

View Postscherzo, on 09 June 2013 - 03:39 PM, said:

Quote

Well, simply put it's not all that different.  Except for the fact that a corporation doesn't have the power the government has.  There's that of course.   Last time I looked, Google didn't have a standing army that could march into my home without a warrant.
This sums it up pretty well. The consumer profiling may annoy and unnerve but it's not exactly threatening when it's from people who just want to sell me something. Government spying on Americans who aren't even suspected of criminal behavior is way beyond the pale. And for this administration...par for the course.

Explain to me how reading the call routing data (the 'externals' of the call set-up) in order to look for patterns of behavior is "spying" on citizens?  How is this any different than traffic cameras watching the movement of cars on highways, or looking at the number of letters delivered to post office boxes, or watching how people select which emergency room to go to?  Government does all of these things in order to build and improve roads, decide what Postal routes to change, and where to approve the building of new hospitals.  I haven't heard anyone fussing about that data collection.

"Traffic Analysis" or "pattern analysis" or "metadata analysis" is a fundamental tool for handling large volumes of data.  It is statistical analysis on steroids, and like all large scale statistical analysis tools, the end results tell you little-to-nothing about A Particular Piece of Data (an individual citizen).  In order to get to the details on one piece of the underlying data, you have to dig much, much deeper -- and in the case of NSA and the FBI, get a warrant for that specific phone number.

And I will say again: people have a major mental confusion about "private" versus "personal" data.  Much of what is collected and analyzed in today's world, by governments or marketeers, is "personal" data -- data that relates to you as an individual.  It is data that you share every day in a thousand different way because it is part of living in a connected world.  This data is not "private" ... "private" is what happens behind your closed curtains and doors, or what you say in your phone call.  Getting "private" data requires a warrant -- always has / still does.  Getting "personal" data does not ...

*star*
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams

#15 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:12 PM

I think you are confusing the issues in this case, but I'm working right now and can't spend the time to sort it all out here.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#16 Dev F

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:23 PM

View Postscherzo, on 09 June 2013 - 03:39 PM, said:

Government spying on Americans who aren't even suspected of criminal behavior is way beyond the pale. And for this administration...par for the course.
It's funny how many of the right wingers who are now screaming about Obama's outrageous behavior weren't at all concerned when Congress passed the Patriot Act and these surveillance programs were initiated under the Bush administration. I believe that was a point many who were opposed to such measures made at the time -- that you shouldn't support overly broad laws just because you happen to trust the president currently in charge of implementing them, since presidents change and eventually the implementation will fall to someone you don't happen to support politically.

Edited by Dev F, 09 June 2013 - 06:24 PM.


#17 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 07:04 PM

View PostDev F, on 09 June 2013 - 06:23 PM, said:

  I believe that was a point many who were opposed to such measures made at the time -- that you shouldn't support overly broad laws just because you happen to trust the president currently in charge of implementing them, since presidents change and eventually the implementation will fall to someone you don't happen to support politically.

That was exactly the point then.  And, I would remind those that are OK with surveillance because they believe in Obama, that in 2016 there will be an as yet unknown President elected who will have all the power that BOTH Bush and Obama have put in place.  This is no longer a "program"  This is an infrastructure of constant surveillance that every subsequent President and NSA [etc] will use.  What will partisans think if Hillary is elected?  Or Christie?  Or Allen West?  Or Al Franken?  Michelle Bachman?  Think outside the partisan box.  Please.

I will repeat this.  This is not a partisan issue.  You cannot talk about this without looking at both Bush and Obama.  It does not matter "who started it".  Each subsequent President will take up where the last one left off, AND ADD TO THE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.  So unless you can guarantee that each and every future Administration will be benevolent, wise, capable, and not seduced by power, I'd advise everyone to get off the partisan train and help grab some of our rights back.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#18 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:12 PM

http://www.guardian....er-surveillance

Here is an interview with Edward Snowden.

Quote

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

"All my options are bad," he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

"Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said.

"We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. "I am not afraid," he said calmly, "because this is the choice I've made."

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#19 Cait

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:22 PM

As luck or fate might have it, "All the President's Men" was on tonight. I was appropriate for this day and this Administration. I suggest everyone watch it again to brush up on Watergate particulars.  Also to remember why we absolutely need a Free Press.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#20 scherzo

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:42 PM

Leave it to the Religious Left to spin Orwellian overreach by the 0bama Crime Syndicate, into an attack on conservatives.

View PostDev F, on 09 June 2013 - 06:23 PM, said:

View Postscherzo, on 09 June 2013 - 03:39 PM, said:

Government spying on Americans who aren't even suspected of criminal behavior is way beyond the pale. And for this administration...par for the course.
It's funny how many of the right wingers who are now screaming about Obama's outrageous behavior weren't at all concerned when Congress passed the Patriot Act and these surveillance programs were initiated under the Bush administration.
And not a single word against your Master's abusive spying policy Dev? I would think a finger wagging lament about political hypocrisy, would at least PRETEND not to be just another defense of your King. It really is true love I guess. While the loyalty to your hero is heartwarming, maybe you should have read the link at the top of this thread before popping off. The guy who wrote the Patriot Act says it doesn't allow for hoarding civilian information at this level. And no one in his right mind would have supported it if it did.

btw...if you were sitting around in your pajamas just dying for an excuse to confront me, you should have at least looked for something contradictory I've said on this subject, before launching that pitiful ad hom. Putting words in MY mouth, just so you can stick your foot in YOURS...is just plain weird son.

Edited by scherzo, 09 June 2013 - 11:42 PM.

"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
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