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NSA Claims It Would Violate Americans' Privacy To Say How Many of Us It Spied On 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
colinneagle writes "Would you believe the Inspector General from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it would violate the privacy of Americans for the IG office to tell us how many people in the United States had their privacy violated via the NSA warrantless wiretap powers which were granted under the FISA Amendment Act of 2008? The Act is up for a five-year extension, but Senator Ron Wyden said he'd block FAA renewal until Congress received an answer from the NSA about how many 'people in the United States have their communications reviewed by the government' under FAA powers."
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NSA Claims It Would Violate Americans' Privacy To Say How Many of Us It Spied On

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @03:20PM (#40374275)

    Seriously? If I say 200 or 2000 people had been investigated under warrantless wiretap powers, how exactly does that violate anybody's privacy?

    Fine, if they can't give us an exact count, how about an order of magnitude? Or would that also violate privacy and/or security?

    Come on. It's got to be between 1 person and 310 million or so. At least narrow it down a little.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @03:41PM (#40374671)

    The 3.1 million would be the upper 1% (of 310 million) of the population that get treated as citizens with rights, etc. I didn't do the math, but I'm guessing the other number is (310 million - 3.1 million) * 3/5th because the other 99% of the population is treated as slaves.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @03:43PM (#40374697)

    The 3.1 million are the one percenters who have the real political sway. The rest of us are basically 'niggers' in their eyes.

  • by stox (131684) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @03:46PM (#40374769) Homepage

    The Old AT&T, aka Ma Bell, did that on many occasions. The new AT&T, aka SBC, would sell it's mother for a nickel.

  • And, also, please realize that organizations like the NSA aren't free to discuss their techniques in a public forum... so they can't publicly tell Sen. Wyden why they don't have the capability to answer his questions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @03:54PM (#40374905)

    You make me wish I had an account so I could mod you up. The privacy data the NSA has is a Schrödinger's cat. In order to know who's privacy they've "violated" they would actually have to analyze the data, thus actually violating it.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @04:05PM (#40375093)
    If you read the letter from the IG, all he says is that he can't answer the question in an *unclassified* letter. He then goes on to point the senators to classified reports that contain most of what they're looking for; basically that sometimes they collect information and learn afterwards that the person wasn't where they thought (inside the US, so the data shouldn't have been collected). Of course if you choose not to believe anything he says then there's no reason to RTFA anyway.
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @04:05PM (#40375101)

    Come on. It's got to be between 1 person and 310 million or so. At least narrow it down a little.

    Are you sure about that? I was just catching up with the Colbert Report on my DVR, and apparently in New York they've frisked more young black males under the "stop and frisk" policy than are actually living in the city. Maybe the NSA has multiple investigations/wire taps going on for each person, maybe they're investigating people who are just visiting the country (not sure if that's legal, but it's not like that would stop them anyways.)

  • Re:Wyden (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @04:08PM (#40375159)

    Ron Wyden is my senator, too. We agree on very much, and today he's even more my hero than usual.

  • by dan828 (753380) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @04:11PM (#40375209)
    You do realize that the the 3/5s clause was to reign in the political power of the slave holders, don't you? Not a judgement on the worth of slaves as human beings? The slave states were attempting to have slaves classified as people, only under the census, so that they would benefit politically by having greater representation, while the free states argued that they shouldn't be counted at all because they weren't citizens and wouldn't be the ones to benefit from that representation in the government.

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