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DHS Wants To Monitor the Web For Terrorists 285

Posted by kdawson
from the in-most-instances dept.
clustro writes "Under the belief that terrorists are 'increasingly' recruiting US citizens, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says that increased government monitoring of the Internet is necessary to thwart them. It is believed that Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad were inspired by radical Internet postings. Speaking at a meeting of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Napolitano said, 'We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where tradeoffs are inevitable.'"
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DHS Wants To Monitor the Web For Terrorists

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  • hay stack, you don't need more hay. There were so many warnings about the Ft Hood shooter, the idea that more monitoring of the Internet would have prevented the tragedy is simply laughable.
    • by mim (535591) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:17AM (#32631344)
      exactly. all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear" that they already foster and to quote: "without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances." in most instances?? get real.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        [A]ll this will do is make people more paranoid.

        This is going to change anything? The idea that some government agency or another isn't already monitoring the web for terrorist activity is inconceivable.

      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:38AM (#32631430)

        exactly. all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear" that they already foster and to quote: "without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances." in most instances?? get real.

        But they want people scared and paranoid. Scared people are much more willing to trade personal freedoms for "relief" from the fear of the "bad people" out there.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        ...all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear" that they already foster...

        True - but this is a symptom of the hole we've dug ourselves into. Trouble with saying "we don't negotiate with terrorists" is that that cuts out all your options. All that's left is to kill everybody.
      • feature or a bug? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Presto Vivace (882157) <marshall@prestovivace.biz> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:18AM (#32631588) Homepage Journal
        all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear"
      • by linzeal (197905) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:55AM (#32631750) Homepage Journal
        This has little to do with international terrorist groups and more to do with domestic right wing militias and left-wing anarchists. If you think even 50% of the money allocated for investigating terrorism is used for over seas operations and groups, you are sadly mistaken. Even groups like Greenpeace who albeit may stage some rather spectacular displays of non-violent protect by hoisting banners up the sides of buildings have been routinely investigated under the auspices of these new anti-terrorism laws. In fact, I would say these laws, as a tool, are mostly ineffectual against international groups, mostly because of the sheer amount of translation and intelligence analysis that would need to be done to catch a single potential terrorist act is of a vast amount more than abusing these same powers to silence unwanted protest from mostly non-violent protesters. NYC spent millions of dollars tracking, documenting and arresting many of the groups who protested last years RNC convention.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andy1307 (656570)

      There were so many warnings

      I'm sure there are so many warnings about a lot of people who'll never actually do anything. We have the benefit of hindsight in Nidal Hassan's case.

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:37AM (#32631680) Homepage Journal

        Uhhh - how much have you actually read about Hassan? The man made treasonous statements in the presence of other commissioned officers. The only thing that held those officers back, it seems, is the liberal feel-good policies that would have branded them as racists, and/or intolerant religious bigots.

        I wasn't an officer, but I reported less treasonous statements made by a little freak skinhead who worked for me. Nazi, neo-nazi, skinhead, whatever you care to call it, the freak drew swastikas everywhere he could draw them, and praised Hitler and his policies. His attitude toward blacks was disgusting, and his attitude toward our flag was little better. I don't know how the little freak ever got into the service.

        Hassan? Same thing.

        If you've read very much of what I post around here, or elsewhere, I am NOT EVER "politically correct", and I'd have reported Hassan again and again, even if I had to send letters to BuPers, the Pentagon, the White House, and to congress. No man in uniform should ever run at the mouth like Hassan did. Most certainly not a commissioned officer.

        • by db32 (862117) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:44AM (#32632474) Journal

          Oh pft. That only counts when the wrong person is president. When a Dem is president it is apparently perfectly acceptable to go on long anti-government/presidential rants while wearing the uniform. In fact, as far as I can tell that whole "disparaging remarks" bit is completely reversed when a non Republican is in office. Go ahead and try to report someone saying "someone should just shoot him" through a long chain of people who vocally agree.

          It isn't some liberal whining policy nonsense that stopped anyone reporting and any attempt to blame that is just more of the same political scapegoating bullshit. What it was is that those people were spineless no integrity clowns just happy to write a shiny review and pass him off to someone else. God forbid they jeopardize their own ability to make disparaging remarks when they don't agree with their leadership or have to actually show an ounce of leadership ability while dealing with problem troops. Honestly, if those people were paying any attention to anything other then their own self absorbed world they probably could have headed off the problem before Mr nutjob went totally bonkers. I am 100% certain that he had to listen to the same crap I have heard for years. Babbling about kill all the muslims, cheering at civilian casualties, other such disgusting behavior. I had a friend take shit for being an "arab" because he was dark skinned... He was a fucking Hawaiian. There is an identical total lack of leadership in dealing with that kind of crap. We have soldiers of arabic descent that have their lives threatened on a daily basis in the field by the very people who are supposed to be serving with them. If your own team is constantly threatening you, what do you think that will do for unit cohesion? Do you think that guy is ever going to believe they won't just leave him to die somewhere? Maybe they will just kill him and cover it up. A total and complete lack of integrity is tearing the military to ribbons, not some liberal agenda.

          Just watch, that kid that supposedly leaked those documents... When it turns out that they include a bunch of dirty dealing of the Big O and Hillary they will be cheering that he is a hero instead of a traitor. However, if it implicates Bush/Cheney then they will still be screaming "off with his head".

        • Nazi, neo-nazi, skinhead, whatever you care to call it,

          Just for future reference, the term skinhead and accompanying style has been co-opted by so many groups of various political leanings as to be practically meaningless other than actually referring to having a shaved head.

          For what it's worth, almost all the skinheads I've met have been members of groups such as the ARA (Anti-Rascist Action), AFA (Anti-Fascist Action), and SHARP (SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851)
      I noticed in the article that they're not specifying what it is that they'd be monitoring. Which quite frankly frightens me more than a little. Depending upon what they're monitoring it could be a reasonable and necessary step or it could be bat shit insane like a lot of the DHS initiatives have been. Monitoring hate speech website is more or less obligatory, I'd assume that somebody's already doing that, tracking people that routinely go to them is probably a reasonable trade off. But tracking everybody th
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:18AM (#32631348)

    We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable.

    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    - Benjamin Franklin [quotationspage.com], Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Let her publish her email/web activity on the web for six months before doing this.

      She's got nothing to hide, right?

      The sooner we encrypt everything, the better. Why aren't we doing it now? Seriously. Is it because the Boys In Black pay regular visits to Microsoft to make sure messenger stays as plain ASCII?

      • The best encryption will slow the NSA down but it wont stop them. PGP's key length is not large enough that it cannot be cracked. It's large enough that it would take weeks to do it. So in general the use of encryption while secure enough to keep them from simply sniffing the data up, it wont stop them from putting a gun to your head and torturing the data out of you.

        So if you use encryption and they suspect you are a terrorist, you'll be kidnapped and tortured, and this could last anywhere from minutes to

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I don't think he is, or at least not for the reason you are eluding to.. A lot of us are not willingly giving it up, but having it forcibly taken from us with no *realistic* recourse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:21AM (#32631356)

    They'll eventually use this law to bust pot smoking Americans who upload themselves hitting the pipe on youtube.

    • by Shark (78448) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @01:32PM (#32633210)

      I think their main concern right now is the people using the Internet to point out their failures. Those are the 'radical terrorists' that truly scare politicians. Typically the real (violent) terrorists are pretty good from a politicians perspective: they're the ultimate excuse provider for any drastic control measure the government wouldn't have gotten away with otherwise.

      Most of the people here calling Janet Napolitano and the government at large on their bullshit are the real threat in their mind, the ones making a rational case of just how wrong they are. A government with genuine concern towards terrorism typically attempts to limit its media exposure, as the US did in the 60s and 70s. Nowadays, terrorism is very useful politically, any little accident has a 'could it be terrorists? news at 5' angle added to it.

      Terrorism is part of any system that has political inequalities (so pretty much any political system). Any control method used to stamp it is much more likely to fuel it in the long run, it makes the controlling force seen as the oppressor, which is the key element in any terrorist cause. If there genuinely is a brewing home-grown terrorism in the US, I'd suggest that it might have something to do with the government starting to oppress its own people. Not really out of malicious intent, but merely out of stupidity incompetence. That is on a systemic level, not individual... The people at the top live in a reality distortion field that would make Steve Jobs jealous, and the people at the bottom, good intentioned as they may be, are simply not in a capacity to do good.

  • Go To Hell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:21AM (#32631360)

    We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable

    First, you're full of crap.

    Secondly, there are NO SITUATIONS in which that trade-off is acceptable. NONE. There is no such thing as, "We will abuse the rights of some, just a little bit, but it will work out net positive".

    It's absolutely negative, fuck you, and get out of my country. You don't deserve to be here, YOU are a greater threat to my "American Way of Life" than that Fort Hood terrorist ever was, or could have been.

    Ohhh, and Mrs... if you are reading this.. seriously fuck you. That's the most asinine and offensive statement towards my rights and liberties by a public official that I have heard in a long time.

    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:32AM (#32631404)
      Why do you hate America so much?
      • Re:Go To Hell (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flajann (658201) <flajann@lEULERin ... m minus math_god> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:27AM (#32631614) Homepage Journal
        Why is it that anyone critical of the US Government is labeled as "hating America?" The two are completely different.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by oodaloop (1229816)
          I was kind of going for funny, not troll. Oh well.
    • Re:Go To Hell (Score:5, Interesting)

      by joe_frisch (1366229) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:07AM (#32631540)

      Though I might have put it more politely, I agree to some extent. How many deaths a year do we have from terrorism? Is that number really big enough to justify giving up some of our rights?

      On the other hand, we already consider rights to be a trade off against security. Most people support allowing some forms of surveillance with a court order. Laws haven't kept up with improving technology, so there isn't really a black and white "this violates our rights and that does not".

      I don't have serious objections to collecting information to stop terrorism. what I object to is using that information to stop other crimes. We already accept the idea that our military is given different tools than our police: We don't give the police attack helicopters, grenade launchers and nukes. By the same sort of argument, I don't mind the military having extensive surveillance technology to stop international terrorism, but I DO object to that technology or information obtained from it being used to stop other crimes like copyright violations.

      • Re:Go To Hell (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:48AM (#32631726) Homepage Journal

        I'm pretty certain that even in 2001, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists was a rather small fraction of the number of Americans killed on our highways. Sometimes, it's hard to put things in perspective, but it's worth the effort.

      • Re:Go To Hell (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jafac (1449) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:57PM (#32632974) Homepage

        Well, the sick thing about all this. . . is the whole POINT of terrorism, is to TERRORIZE the target population, and cause them to react in this way (limit freedoms, increase fear, racial xenophobia, escalate conflict, provoke war, draw attention, etc.). And the US played right into it.

        These arguments were made in the wake of 9/11 - of course. But were immediately drowned-out among the "OMG! brown people blowing up stuff on our soil!" (because there was nowhere near the national concern, of course, over the threat posed by Tim McVeigh or various domestic militia movements - who hate our liberal democracy just as much as Osama bin Laden. And for the same ideological reasons).

        I *do* have a problem with allowing terrorists to succeed, in their goal, of shutting down 4th amendment and 1st amendment protections. (and 6th and 8th). Out of fear. Via the tried and true mechanism that gives this method of warfare it's name. They (the terrorists) spent far less money than the RIAA did lobbying to violate our 1st and 4th amendment rights. (Probably, both the terrorist groups, and the RIAA/MPAA spent less money on provoking the fear that gets our rights violated, than WE spend, as taxpayers, on the national infrastructure of lawyers and police to violate our own rights.)

        That's the sick thing.

        We pay tax money, to FORCE our citizens to become educated - we learn in history, and civics classes, about our rights, our constitution, and what terrorism is (at least we did in the 1980s and 1970s when I went to school) - but then, apparently, we get into the voting booth, and we've forgotten all about that, and we're wetting our pants in fear over what our President's business-partner's rogue son is doing in 'stan, "Oh Please, big brother! please take our rights away! We're so terrified of what we're seeing on FoxNews! OMG! SCARY! We'll pay ANY PRICE to feel safe! Please save us!!!"

    • From the article

      As terrorists increasingly recruit U.S. citizens, the government needs to constantly balance Americans' civil rights and privacy with the need to keep people safe, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

      But finding that balance has become more complex as homegrown terrorists have used the Internet to reach out to extremists abroad for inspiration and training.

      This should not be a difficult balance to find as it is spelled out in the constitution that this woman swore to uphold

    • by mpe (36238)
      Secondly, there are NO SITUATIONS in which that trade-off is acceptable. NONE. There is no such thing as, "We will abuse the rights of some, just a little bit, but it will work out net positive".

      AFAIK there's no historical example of this ever having happened.
      On top of this you often get "anti-terrorism" laws used against people who are self evidently not terrorists, not used against actual terrorists, even turn out to be useless/redundant when it actually comes to dealing with terrorism.
  • "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
      - Benjamin Franklin

    Also: If we outlaw the visiting of radical websites, only outlaws will visit radical websites?

    At this rate it wont be long before we have a convictions based on "pre-crime" behavior ala Minority Report.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

      According to the DHS, the liberties you will give up are not essential and the safety you will gain will be permenant, so the quote does not apply.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by silentsteel (1116795)
        Why is this modded troll? This is actually, very likely the answer you would receive from the nuts at DHS if you brought this quote up to them. At the very least it should be modded funny, in a sick twisted sort of way.
  • by Voulnet (1630793) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:31AM (#32631398)
    This is what they call theatrical security: No real outcome, no real benefit, just a stage to let people gradually abandon their rights of privacy. Nothing to see here, move along people... Reminds me of when people used to write all sorts of fake alerting messages on the internet to distort intelligence scanners and fill them with false positives. Like this: bomb terrorist Osama George Bush Saddam nuclear improvised explosive devices infidels
    • As an example, she noted the struggle to use full-body scanners at airports caused worries that they would invade people's privacy.

      The scanners are useful in identifying explosives or other nonmetal weapons that ordinary metal-detectors might miss — such as the explosives that authorities said were successfully brought on board the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

      First, they do invade privacy it's just that folks have given up in arguing with the Government or there's the folks who are stupid enough to believe that it's important - I know a couple of them.

      Secondly, that Nigerian boarded the aircraft IN NIGERIA! How many of these scanners do you think are going to be in piss poor third world countries?! NONE. And that's were most of the threat is coming from.

      In the meantime, our stupid Government is scanning us: me, you, them, the 99.9999999999999999999999999999999%

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fluffy99 (870997)

        First, they do invade privacy it's just that folks have given up in arguing with the Government or there's the folks who are stupid enough to believe that it's important - I know a couple of them.

        Secondly, that Nigerian boarded the aircraft IN NIGERIA! How many of these scanners do you think are going to be in piss poor third world countries?!

        Didn't he go through security again in Amsterdam before boarding the NW flight 253? I don't really care about the body scans myself even though I do consider them to be an invasion of my privacy. I'd much rather keep the janitorial staff from rummaging through my luggage. Bomb sniffing dogs are cheaper in the long run.

        Even if we actually manage to secure the airports without making it painful for the average citizen to fly, the terrorists will simply focus on something else. There are potentially thousa

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695)

      Nothing to see here, move along people...

      I disagree, there is a LOT to see here, and we should be fighting this nonsense, not just "moving along". Apathy is just as bad as 'its for the kids' when it comes to losing our rights and freedoms.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rolando2424 (1096299)

      For those of you who use Emacs, you can use M-x spook when composing email

      (Or you can use it with twitter [nmt.edu])

      Example: terrorist Ft. Meade strategic supercomputer $400 million in gold bullion quiche Honduras BATF colonel Treasury domestic disruption SEAL Team 6 class struggle smuggle

  • who's to blame? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by muckracer (1204794) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:36AM (#32631424)

    When the fox is guarding the hen house, is he really to blame for taking more and more liberties (pun intended)?

    Or those who:

    a) put the fox in the hen house in the first place

    b) leave the fox there even after knowing it ain't no good

    c) fail consistently to adequately protect themselves from the fox and his intrusive methods despite having the tools to do so?

  • Disturbing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Protoslo (752870) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:45AM (#32631448)

    Apparently the speech focused on one of those situations where "tradeoffs are inevitable." If Hassan and Shahzad were "inspired" by radical internet posts, I cannot conceive of any further investigative tradeoff that could have been made while still maintaining constitutionality. Even if they had made radical internet posts, they would have to be inciting imminent lawless action [cornell.edu] or alluding to their participation in criminal plots/conspiracies/etc. to justify a search warrant. The FBI is already on the lookout for people who post such things on public online forums.

    Napolitano's comments suggest an effort by the Obama administration to reach out to its more liberal, Democratic constituencies to assuage fears that terrorist worries will lead to the erosion of civil rights.

    I would hate to think that anyone liberal on civil rights would find these statements comforting...

    "Her speech is sign of the maturing of the administration on this issue," said Stewart Baker, former undersecretary for policy with the Department of Homeland Security. "They now appreciate the risks and the trade-offs much more clearly than when they first arrived, and to their credit, they've adjusted their preconceptions."

    Yes, I'm sure "liberals" will be relieved that Stewart Baker, former Assistant Secretary [dhs.gov] (nice research, AP) of the DHS for George W. Bush, approves of the Obama Administration's "security" policies. When Republican hawks talk about "mature" security policies, they mean the ones that Dick Cheney dreams about at night, the ones that Bush was trying to step back from in his final two years; they mean Obama's current policies.

    • Actually, Hassan and Shahzad are quite different cases. Hassan had a history of making treasonous remarks, and going off on seemingly irrational tangents. He was a known loose cannon, subject to military scrutiny and discipline. He really should have been dealt with very early in his career, and firmly.

      Shahzad, on the other hand, is basically an unkown nobody, who could easily have evaded everyone's radar, if he were world-wise. No commission, no military background at all, no real education, not a publ

  • by indytx (825419) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:46AM (#32631452)
    This is all fine and good if it actually makes us safer, but it won't. Maj. Hasan was investigated by the FBI for his contacts with radical clerics well before he went on a shooting rampage, but he was still allowed to buy a gun because this information or even a flag was never placed into the instant background check database, and the terrorism task force that was watching him didn't receive notice that he bought a gun and a bunch of ammo. Here's an idea, make it so the FBI knows when a terrorist it's investigating is buying a bunch of guns and ammo. Why don't we start there?
  • And here it is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davmoo (63521) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:48AM (#32631470)

    If nothing else, this proves that a Democrat administration is no more concerned about individual rights than the previous Republican administration was.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    • And you only found out about this now?

      Damn, do you even know that what we nowadays call “lobbying” and “donations” used to be called highly illegal treason, and punished like murder? And with good reason!

      Nowadays, if someone still believes the parties are anything buy bought sock puppets, he does not deserve to vote or stay in the country! Seriously. How fuckin delusional must one be, to still believe that you live in a democracy?
      That’s like the Soviet Union people believing th

      • Ooops, a bug fix:

        3. The definition of “rule over” in rule 1, and of “life-form“, “right&” and “wrong”, is relative, and hence completely individual for every life-form.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Hurricane78 (562437)

          Dammit! A typo. I should not create rules for a state after having woken up in the afternoon with a hangover. ;)

          On the other hand, that could also be the famous words uttered by big leaders when founding most new states. )

      • by Draek (916851)

        Your state would be the functional equivalent of an anarchy, and would degenerate into one in short order. Most importantly is the fact that killing another being isn't 'ruling over' them, and that you didn't define the manner in which differences could be 'resolved' nor a particular protocol for doing so. Not that it'd be practical to do so, considering pretty much everything we eat constitutes some form of life-form but still.

  • That is the point. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by n00btastic (1489741) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:50AM (#32631476)
    Free speech sometimes encourages behaviour against the institution.

    When I entered high school the internet exposed me to anti-Christian propaganda. This led me to think about my belief system in a more analytical way. I am sure there are some people in Utah who would like to have removed my access to all dissenting religious thought for the same reason.

    People who want to limit your access to information are trying to control how you think and how you act. People should do what they feel is right, and most importantly their actions should be the result of a well informed thought process.

    Surely Nadal's actions were not efficient. He did not change anything, but he made his choice. Now he's dead. But you can hardly say he was a child who was indoctrinated by some internet posting.

    Flame me if you will.
  • What a facist (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:53AM (#32631490) Journal

    Quote:
    "Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation's homeland security chief said Friday."

    She goes on to say that the TSA procedure to not retain copies of the pictures taken by airport scanners is "protecting our rights". If the argument is going to be made that not making copies is "good enough" let's ask Rolando Negrin, the TSA employee who was arrested and fired after beating the snot out of one of his co-workers for their cracks about the size of his genitals.

    http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/TSA-Fracas-After-Body-Scanner-Reveals-TMI-92971929.html [nbcmiami.com]

    So, if someone only "publicly" derides your appearance, reading habits or porn preferences then your rights are violated. If the government gives unfettered access to the fine details of your private life to a select group it is a good thing?

    The process is supposed to be based upon reasonable cause and suspicion. Evidence is to be presented to a judge who would issue a search warrant to give the government the temporary permission to snoop into the details of your private life to collect evidence of a crime. Homeland Security is quick to jump onto any opportunity to treat every American as a criminal "who just hasn't been caught yet".

  • by hoggoth (414195)

    Goodbye 4chan, it was fun while it lasted *sniff*

    "Class of 2010 you are charged with insensitivity, cruelty towards animals, cruelty towards the handicapped, beastiality, crimes against nature, child pornography, anti-government ranting, promotion of drug use, homosexuality, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, and a host of other charges we will come up with before your trials."

  • Well of course they are... :(

  • "Trade-offs are inevitable?" Doublespeak for "we're going to screw your rights in the name of 'terrorism'".

    Considering that the issue of "terrorism" -- in the US, at least -- is no where near a level you could possibly consider epidemic, this is just a poor excuse for the government to spy on ALL its citizens.

    And if the government doesn't like what you're doing, you'll wind up being labeled a "terrorist", and they will swoop down on you, kick your doors in, confiscate all of your computers and smartphones, and CDs/DVDs and anything else where you might be hiding "terrorist activities".

    And where is Obama in opposing all of this crass nonsense? Hell, I bet he supports it!

    Welcome to the new boss! Same as the old boss!

  • by Entropius (188861) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:09AM (#32631550)

    If by "monitoring" they mean "reading publically-available websites", then I have no civil-liberties problem with this. It might not be a good use of law enforcement resources (they'd benefit me, the taxpayer, more by finding the people who steal cars and break into houses), but there's nothing wrong with the DHS using publically-available information to do their job.

    This, of course, is contingent upon them only using that information in an ethical way. If they want to subpoena my ISP and send the police to hassle me because I said "Fuck the police", then that's a problem. But that isn't directly related to the DHS' monitoring of the web.

    Monitoring of private communication (email, IM, which websites I read) is a whole different ball game. Ethical arguments aside it is simply not practical -- the real "bad guys" can hide so deep behind cryptography and steganography that the only people turned up by this monitoring will be people who are a little too ardent (for their tastes) in saying "Fuck the police".

    I'm visiting Italy, and they really do make it hard to get an internet connection that they can't investigate. I had to give my passport information to the hotel before they'd give me a damn wifi account (and they have accounts, on an authentication server that's always grossly overloaded, where in the US there'd just be a public AP). But of course anybody really up to no good would do their dirty work over Tor or through an anonymising proxy, while these sorts of "security" measures instead just make it hard for a bunch of scientists [www.infn.it] to check their experiments.

    We can have all the discussions we want about whether there is a fundamental right to private anonymous communication, but the technological reality is that anyone who wants it enough will have it regardless. Monitoring etc. is just going to make /b/ load slowly because everyone has to load it over Tor.

  • I thought they already did this.

  • Rights must win, every time.
    Freedom vs. safety,,, freedom... we are not guaranteed safety, we are guaranteed freedom.

    Quote: Napalitano said it is wrong to believe that if security is embraced, liberty is sacrificed.
    HER version of security, no; history of mankind, no...
    This is not dogma, it's truth and history: Every time security is embraced, liberty IS sacrificed.

    Every time someone tells you "we are under threat, you need to not do X"
    That's when you need to say "NO. We are going to ignore you and double X.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      This is not dogma, it's truth and history: Every time security is embraced, liberty IS sacrificed.

      No no no, this is all wrong. Liberty IS security. Every bit of liberty we lose decreases our security against tyrannical goverment.

  • We have a voice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I keep hearing on policies that are winding us down toward a Totalitarian Government. In response to these policies, I hear complaints, but never action.

    I believe we need to band together and work toward informing the general public of what is going on. From that, we need to show our representatives that if they wish to stay in office, they need to start opposing these sort of laws.

    I am not calling for any form of violent action. I ask of from all of you, these things.
    1. Do some searching on the internet. T

  • by captain_dope_pants (842414) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @10:17AM (#32631866)
    The youngest ocelets climb low up the yellow hitech house. Will they trudge ton to Sama binded or laden with sand? Some to the r southern astygmatics lambbast ardsley want to offer help. We can canvass ass in a teflon pan. They govern mentalists with an iron hand.

    ** Waits for the Feebs **
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Just need to drip out a feed day in day out :
      Summercon keebler GEODSS FIS Rewson, SAFE, Waihopai, INFOSEC, ASPIC, NSA/CSS, CDC, DOE, SAAM, FMS, HPCC, NTIS, SEL, USCODE, CISE, SIRC, CIM, ISN
  • Government (Score:3, Insightful)

    by darjen (879890) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @10:27AM (#32631930)

    We should be more concerned about monitoring the DHS for internal threats against our own lives and property.

  • Seriously... 15 years ago when I came to the USA I felt that I was moving to the land of the free. I'm now looking at all the stuff the government is doing and seriously considering moving back to my country of origin so that I can give my son a better upbringing than I feel he can get here with the laughable "Security Theater" we have here. I have watched just about every freedom that Americans have had for hundreds of years basically vanish in 10 years. At the rate things are going I wonder if Mexico are

  • ...when their detector’s alarm goes off, and in big red letters displays the IP addresses of their own network as the main terror threat to the nation. ;)

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest terrorist in the world?
    Dang! I just shattered like that... [radiantempire.com] ;)

  • If this were not a frightening abuse of liberty it would actually be hilariously funny as it is coming from the most left wingEEEEE progressive democratic administration this country has seen.

    How is this any different than a cop or FBI agent showing up at a meeting of some group and pretending to be a member or just standing quietly in the corner listening to everything that is said with no court order allowing it?

  • Little Brother (Score:3, Interesting)

    by supersloshy (1273442) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:33AM (#32632374)

    This is slightly off-topic, but is anyone here familiar with Cory Doctorow? He wrote a book I just finished called Little Brother where this same thing happened (except a little more localized and extreme) and he shows how pointless it really is. The book can be found here for download [craphound.com] and it's under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. If I was in Marcus's position right now (the book's main character), I'd be scared and facepalming at the same time. I wouldn't be scared of terrorists; I'd be scared of my own government! And to think we always shoot down the very ideas of some foreign governments that "don't respect freedom" when we're doing the very things we hate. It just doesn't make sense.

  • Every western nation already monitors the net. So, does the NRO, NSA, CIA, and DOD. DHS just wants to repeat what everybody does. FBI will soon say that they want to as well. Oh Wait.... They already do.
  • It's really quite simple, just follow these simple steps:

    1. <insert creepy government entity> wants to <insert generalized ability of impossible complexity>
    2. Oh noze!

    Here are some examples:

    -The Pentagon wants to monitor your sweat glands
    -DARPA wants to grow future armies from lunch meat
    -Joe Lieberman wants to quarantine fat people
  • Just remove their reasons for being which will have the side effect of destroying their ability to gain followers.

    We can start here with What the World Wants [unesco.org]
    The trick is to get the waring mindset addicted into rehab. so we can use the resources to do this, to remove terrorist reasons for being.

    Amazing how much psychological power Terrorist have over the waring mindset addicted in using their self supported dependencies effectively.

  • Did you know (Score:3, Informative)

    by AlgorithMan (937244) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @12:41PM (#32632864) Homepage
    Did you know that the "enabling act" (which gave Hitler total power over germany in 1933) was a misbalanced anti-terror law?
  • Janet Napalitano was the one who turned on the 1st statewide speed camera system on state highways. She thought nothing of any privacy issues or anything else, other than the "$90,000,000 in annual revenue the system would generate." (Luckily for us, our current governor Jan Brewer - yes, the one that signed the illegal immigration bill everyone thinks of when you say "Arizona" anymore - is going to allow the camera program to expire...

    When Janet the Carpetbagger left us high and dry in AZ for a post in DC

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