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FBI May Get Easier Access To Internet Activity 276

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
olsmeister writes "It appears the White House would like to make it easier for the FBI to obtain records of a person's internet activities without a court order to do so, via the use of an NSL. While they have been able to do this for a long time, it may expand the type of information able to be gathered without a court order to include things like web browsing histories."
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FBI May Get Easier Access To Internet Activity

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  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:03AM (#33068456) Homepage
    It seems like on civil liberties issues Obama is being almost as bad as Bush. There's something deeply wrong with my country when I read a headline and my first thought is "Well, at least this President isn't having people tortured."
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:05AM (#33068482) Homepage

    Always treat every single thing you do online as if anyone could see what you are doing. If you don't want people to know you are visiting certain sites, then don't visit them. If you don't want people to know your opinion about something, don't write it on Facebook.

    Treat everything you do online as if you have zero privacy. That way, in case something goes screwy, you have no surprises waiting for you.

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:06AM (#33068502)

    I'm sorry but I have a sense of Privacy in my life and the thought of some bureaucrat being able to snoop on my traffic or anything they want without a warrant is to damn Orwellian for my taste.

    We have laws to protect our rights, among those are the rights to Privacy. Why the hell then do we allow the Executive Branch of government trounce on those rights because of National Security? Just because
    I use technology to communicate doesn't mean I subrogate my rights to keeping those communications confidential unless I decide to make them public. Yes, the Internet is public but what I have on my computer
    is private. If they have a suspicion of illegal activity, get a warrant, make the case in front of a judge and then and only then can they do these things.

    Frankly, I think I'll be like Johnny Depp and get my own Fuck Off Island if these damn so-called security experts keep pushing our Privacy into the trash.

  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:06AM (#33068504)

    I'm a liberal, but I have to agree. Why do they constantly feel the need to bypass the current warrant system? They can get these after the fact, yet they continue to push for ways to simply bypass them altogether. I realize it's a dangerous world, but if the end result turns the U.S. into something just as bad as that which we are trying to protect ourselves from, what's the use?

    The end does not justify the means...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:10AM (#33068554)

    Power cannot and will not be compartmentalized. A government that has the ability to give you everything you ever wanted also, by the simple reality of power, has the ability to take everything you ever had.

    Do not ignore the big picture. A government should not only be measured by individual laws and mandates, but as a single entity in reference to its power over the people. In other words, the reason the FBI is able to enact this form of oppression is because government is big enough.

  • by alexo (9335) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:12AM (#33068580) Journal

    Things that can be abused, will be abused.

    This is especially true when people working for law enforcement agencies have a sense of entitlement and no real accountability for their actions. There's a reason for warrants.

  • by realsilly (186931) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:12AM (#33068584)

    .... but this, along with a lot of changes made with the last few adminstrations is getting ridiculous. Why must those of us who are law abiding put up with our civil liberties being stripped away piece by layered piece until we are truly in Orwell's "1984". I know that the reason that is being touted is to help the FBI and other agencies catch those would mean to cause harm upon us, but this is not the right way to go about this.

    To counter the arguement "If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide", I have done nothing wrong and I simply would like to continue to have my privacy that is part of my civil liberties. Just because someone does no wrong doesn't mean they wish to be an open book.

    I prefer my habits via driving, phoning, texting, or web surfing to be my business, not yours or anyone else's.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:19AM (#33068662) Homepage

    ...not vile corporations. They have your best interests at heart. The infallible, incorruptible regulators must have information to do their job of protecting you from the evil businessmen (and, of course, from yourself). Just cooperate and no one will get hurt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:20AM (#33068672)

    Had you instead written "It seems like on civil liberties issues Obama is worse than Bush" -- IOW, the truth -- you would've been modded "Troll," not "Insightful," for sure.

    Damn right I'm posting this A.C.!

  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:24AM (#33068716)

    This is why I am so against some of the deep packet inspection coupled with Ads some ISP's have been looking at. When charter was looking at it, you could get a cookie that would prevent the targeted ads from displaying in your browser, however, they are still tracking your every move, just don't show you the ads. (its easier to scan everything than scan selectively).

    Some people are okay with that, but a few years later, and now, without a warrant, the FBI can see what you were looking at.

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:26AM (#33068766)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:29AM (#33068806)

    Politicians say whatever it takes to get into power, then they do what they wanted to do all along - until 6 months before the next election when they change tune just long enough to get a forgetful electorate to vote them in for another four years. And you fall for it every time. Sucker.

    It doesn't matter whether you vote Republican, Democrat, Labour or Conservative (in the UK), you will get much the same thing.

    If you want change, vote for another party or become a politician yourself. Failing that, you are wasting your time.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:34AM (#33068870) Homepage Journal

    Why do they constantly feel the need to bypass the current warrant system? They can get these after the fact, yet they continue to push for ways to simply bypass them altogether.

    Because it's not a matter of conservative vs liberal, or or Democrat vs Republican, or of right vs left. It's a matter of courage vs cowardice, and the people at the top are cowards regardless of politics or at the top to begin with.

    Only the power-hungry obtain power, and only the money-hungry obtain great wealth.

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:36AM (#33068918)

    The opposite of sheep, I'd say. This sounds like sound advice for the intelligent and careful.

  • by Bodhammer (559311) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:37AM (#33068934)
    Terrorism is the pointy end of fascism.
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin.
  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:38AM (#33068950)

    We need to vote in the opposite of lawmakers... we need people who seek to remove laws and return control to the people. We need politicians who don't really want the job.

    You realize that these same folks you vote in tomorrow will become the same people you despise in a few years? Your solution doesn't address root cause, it only sticks a band-aid on the problem.

    The only way to accomplish your goals is with term limits, public funding, and no money allowed by any public interest to be funneled to a politician. It should not take money to get an idea into congress. That's why we have representatives.

    Take away the fundraising drives, "donations", and institute term limits and you remove the things that allow so much corruption and the drive to go into politics just to make money. Force them into public funding, where every candidate gets equal air time to express their beliefs, and leave money out of the equation. Do all of those things, and the only folks willing to become public servants will be those that are truly interested in doing the public good, rather than serving their own pockets.

  • by lwriemen (763666) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:38AM (#33068956)

    Trouble is the small-government cheerleaders voted some of the worst oppressors of civil liberties, Reagan and Bush2, into office.

  • FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@gmail. c o m> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:40AM (#33068964)
    From the NSA link:

    In the post 9/11 world, the National Security Letter is an indispensable tool and building block of an investigation that contributes significantly to the FBI’s ability to carry out its national security responsibilities by directly supporting the furtherance of the counterterrorism, counterintelligence and intelligence missions.

    Don't you just love that "In the post 9/11 world" bit? They use that qualifier for everything that infringes on privacy. Its the "Think of the children" of the Military Industrial Complex. Yes there are bad people. Yes there are folks that want to do bad things. But again, trading privacy, and hence freedom, for security, well you know the rest.

  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:46AM (#33069050) Homepage

    It seems like on civil liberties issues Obama is being almost as bad as Bush

    Almost as bad? Try worse and just continuing what was done by Dems under Clinton. You didn't really think Dems have less love of power and ability to intrude and control than those big bad Republicans did you? Maybe by 2012 you won't be so naive and eat the sugar coated campaign slogans.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:46AM (#33069052) Homepage Journal

    "Well, at least this President isn't having people tortured."

    You think the CIA isn't doing that in black camps across Eurasia? Was there an executive order to that effect?

    To top it off, Obama has ordered the execution of Americans overseas suspected of participating in terrorism, without even a trial.

  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:51AM (#33069138) Homepage
    You are a fool if you think those can protect you from the three letter agencies. Hope this [networkworld.com] doesn't spoil your day.
  • by MrTripps (1306469) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:56AM (#33069234)
    Stuff like this is why I joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/ [eff.org]
  • Re:FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by autocracy (192714) <slashdot2007 AT storyinmemo DOT com> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:00AM (#33069272) Homepage

    In this post-Reichstag world... (Soviet Russia secures YOU?)

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:03AM (#33069328) Journal

    It isn't the "only" way. Another alternative is to have no government, except the bare minimum. "It is only to protect our rights, that we have any government at all." - Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democrat Party. Let's return to a government that only exercises the powers granted to it by the Constitution, and all other powers be reserved to the Citizens.

    We had one of those [wikipedia.org] but the banksters found that it limited their access to OPM too much so it was scrapped in favor of the current government.

  • Re:No torture? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:42AM (#33069876)

    false, the reason we don't torture has absolutely nothing to do with non-expectation of reciprocity. we should not torture because it is evil.

    besides, who is the real "cultural enemy", who has mass-murdered the most innocents in this fake "war on terror". It isn't any muslim nation, and the "Taliban" being fought now is not the one that hosted bin Laden. We of the U.S. are creating more "Taliban" (disgruntled Afghans who resent foreign occupier and who are thus taking up arms). This "War on Terror" is about money and and having a rallying point for an ideology and an excuse to remove our liberties. It is not in any way about fighting those who attacked us nor is it making us more secure. It is a lie, a treason committed against We the People.

  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:43AM (#33069900)

    It's called Bureaucracy. An organisation that works to keep itself up, not for the ends it was created for.

    I guess all organisations, given enough time and money, will eventually evolve into bureaucracies.

  • by ubrgeek (679399) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:44AM (#33069916)
    > no money allowed by any public interest to be funneled to a politician

    I'm OK with them getting money from special interest groups. With the caveat that like NASCAR drivers the elected officials have to wear sponsorship stickers on their suits so we know who has paid them off.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:54AM (#33070102)

    "If you don't want people to know you are visiting certain sites, then don't visit them"

    That's the problem with privacy invasions - it stops being about privacy and turns into a limiting of freedom.

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:16AM (#33070566)

    He hasn't repealed the gross violations implemented by the previous administration.
    But the violations he has implemented are much less horrific in comparison to what Bush/Cheney put into effect.
    To put it in perspective, things are still going down hill, but we are not jumping off another cliff at the moment.

    So, what you're saying is that He is not making things better, but that he's not making them worse as quickly as he might?

    Does the phrase "damn him with faint praise" mean anything to you?

  • Re:No torture? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morgauxo (974071) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:30AM (#33070802)
    Why would you believe any information obtained through torture? If you are innocent and someone is torturing you won't you eventually confess and even make up false accomplices? And if you are a terrorist who believes in whatever cause wouldn't you still make up false accomplices to make the torture stop while still protecting your buddies so they can continue their causes? I don't see how torture can be useful for anything except maybe to eventually force someone into admitting something you already knew... or... thought you knew. How do we know there aren't innocent people rotting in Gittmo today b/c someone (maybe a terrorist, maybe not) just didn't want to drown and shouted out their name?
  • by Schadrach (1042952) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:39AM (#33070960)

    I've said part of that for a long, long time now (as in, back into high school). Anyone who wants a political position should never ever be allowed to hold one. Honestly, working it like jury duty might even be a better choice.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:48AM (#33071116) Journal

    Yeah I've verified these quotes. I also maintain a list of quotes that are often attributed to the Founders, but were actually said by other people, in order to correct mis-attributed quotes.

  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @12:47PM (#33072448)

    Well, you have to admit, Obama did promise more openness and transparancy. You just didn't realize he meant yours.

  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:15PM (#33073048) Journal
    Freedom of speech in an election should be limited to those able to vote - natural people, not corporations, PACs, trusts, or unions.

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