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Verizon Ordered To Provide All Customer Data To NSA 609

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-you-hear-what-I-hear dept.
Rick Zeman writes "According to Wired, an order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court '...requires Verizon to give the NSA metadata on all calls within the U.S. and between the U.S. and foreign countries on an "ongoing, daily basis" for three months.' Unlike orders in years past, there's not even the pretense that one of the parties needed to be in a foreign country. It is unknown (but likely) that other carriers are under the same order."
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Verizon Ordered To Provide All Customer Data To NSA

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  • Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tysonedwards (969693) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:29AM (#43921403)
    I don't know about you, but I am shocked! *ONLY* 3 months?
    • Don't worry (Score:5, Funny)

      by pablo_max (626328) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:36AM (#43921435)

      I am sure it will only be for 3 months and certainly they would not ask again. It is only a one time thing, of that you can rest easy, citizen.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You got nothing to hide citizen, right?

          • Apparently DHS can search laptops and phones based on "hunches" as well. [cbslocal.com]

            I'm not a generally paranoid person, but damn it all to hell. You've got the DOJ and it appears members of the Obama administration targeting "enemies" and now you've got them on a run with them being able to do taps because of whatever they feel like. And people called Bush bad? This is right out of "how to create your own dictatorship." What's next? Said enemies start to disappear because they're not toeing the Obama line.

            • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:11AM (#43923357)

              Apparently DHS can search laptops and phones based on "hunches" as well. [cbslocal.com]

              I'm not a generally paranoid person, but damn it all to hell. You've got the DOJ and it appears members of the Obama administration targeting "enemies" and now you've got them on a run with them being able to do taps because of whatever they feel like. And people called Bush bad? This is right out of "how to create your own dictatorship." What's next? Said enemies start to disappear because they're not toeing the Obama line.

              Aided and abetted by resources made available by the Bush Administration.

              This is why rabid partisans - among others - should be careful what they wish for. They may get it, only to discover that it ends up in the hands of the other side.

              But no matter which side holds them, we all lose.

              • by Vermonter (2683811) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:30AM (#43924459)
                I find it hilarious how many people absolutely hated Bush, and now love Obama, despite the fact that Bush and Obama are really pretty similar as power grabbing politicians. But then again, most people vote based on solely R or D, so I guess it's not surprising.
                • by x_t0ken_407 (2716535) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:17AM (#43924995) Homepage
                  It's so funny how people toe the line with their political parties, despite the fact that each party has their faults and, in a lot of cases, do the exact same misdeeds. It's sad that the majority of people seem to never come to the realization that no matter who they vote for of the 2-party system, they get the same thing. As long as their focused on ancillary, unimportant issues, this may never change.
                • And even more amusing is that most people realize that the republicans and democrats are basically the same when it comes to power and control. Only the details change. Yet many will still laugh at the libertarians or the independents. The herd mentality is to strong and I see no hope of the masses voting for anything other than what they know.
                • Remember that in most of the western world Obama would be considered Right of Centre, and Bush Very Right of Centre ...

                  Like most political systems with only a few parties the parties likely to get elected are very similar (and continually go on about where they differ)

                  But the alternative is many parties that differ a lot, but you need a coalition to get anything done and they tend to average out ....

              • by superwiz (655733) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:32AM (#43924485) Journal
                But Bush did it within the law. Obama is breaking laws so fast he needed to pass some big new ones just to have more to break.
              • by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:50AM (#43924693)

                I kept saying just this when Bush supporters called him expanding the powers of the Executive Office "needed" and "the right thing to do." I would always ask two questions:

                1) Would you be ok with someone from the opposing party to be President with those powers? I'd usually use Hillary Clinton in this question because, at the time, she seemed to be the Democratic front runner and the name Clinton is a trigger word for many Republicans.

                2) How could a future President abuse these powers? Even assuming Bush or his successor didn't abuse them, it would only be a matter of time before someone did. That's why we need plenty of checks and balances. To keep one person/branch of government from getting too powerful.

              • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @11:09AM (#43925691) Journal

                Aided and abetted by resources made available by the Bush Administration.

                This is why rabid partisans - among others - should be careful what they wish for. They may get it, only to discover that it ends up in the hands of the other side.

                But no matter which side holds them, we all lose.

                Actually, no. Frankly, if this were to catch terrorists, as they claim, I don't think I'd have a problem with it. The Bush administration had these powers, and as far as we know, they used them to monitor terrorists. If the Bush administration had been caught abusing federal power to oppress political opponents, he would have never been granted these powers. If he had abused other powers after granting them, they would have been stripped away. There were checks and balances.

                Bush was watched and when he screwed up or even appeared to overstep his bounds, he was hammered. There were those screaming for his impeachment over the Valerie Plame affair, which was merely leaking the name of an operative who had been sitting at a desk in Washington for over five years. The administration didn't even have anything to do with leaking the name! Scooter Libbey went to jail over the matter because he said he couldn't remember a conversation he had that was unrelated to the case. The actual leaker, Richard Armitage faced no jail time. He wasn't even charged. The Bush presidency didn't need to push boundaries to see where the limits were. They were punished for petty crimes they had nothing to do with.

                Compare that with the current administration. The Obama administration has been pushing boundaries since it came into office. Fast and Furious, lies and demonization of opponents of Obamacare, lying over Benghazi, using the IRS to oppress opposing political groups, phone tapping the AP, fake charges to get a warrant of the Fox News reporter AND HIS PARENTS, lying about knowledge of the fake charges over the warrant, and many many other abuses of power. The administration has not been held to account for any of them. The Republicans try, but when the press goes against them, Republicans lose votes and are labeled as racists.

                This administration has been pushing the boundaries from the beginning and has not found the edge yet. They will keep pushing until people go to jail, and even then, as long as it's low level people, they won't care. This is extremely dangerous, and all Obama's supporters can do is continue to blame Bush.

              • Here's the thing, you CANNOT excuse bad behavior by pointing to bad behavior. Too many (D) party people can't see the fact that BHO is GWB on steroids. And excusing it because he "isn't Bush" is silly.

            • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:13AM (#43924957)

              I'm not a generally paranoid person, but damn it all to hell. You've got the DOJ and it appears members of the Obama administration targeting "enemies" and now you've got them on a run with them being able to do taps because of whatever they feel like. And people called Bush bad? This is right out of "how to create your own dictatorship." What's next? Said enemies start to disappear because they're not toeing the Obama line.

              And are the Republicans in Congress busy applying checks and balances to stop this? No. But they are outraged about the IRS thing in Ohio. Outraged, I tell you.

              Did the Democrats set a precedent for reigning in a President when Bush started pushing the surveillance beyond what was legal and Constitutional? Did they challenge the "Unitary Executive" concept? No.

              Are the pure-as-driven-snow Paul boys out there putting their asses on the line to expose and stop this overreach? No.

              I guess Ron Wyden occasionally makes a little peep, but you know, because of "national security" he's not at liberty to divulge what he knows. Bullshit. Oath to uphold the Constitution overrules that. Or not.

              Will voting someone else in as President fix this? No, not if Congress isn't willing to keep them honest. We can't rely on some pinkie-swear by candidate-whoever to safeguard our Constitutional principles and not exceed their authority once they realize there's no penalty if they do. The division of government was supposed to prevent this kind of thing, because each branch would jealously guard their powers from the other two. This got broken.

              The President -- and by that I mean whoever's in the office -- doesn't have "Enemies" in Congress to go after. They're all in on it. It's got more bi-partisan support than baseball and apple pie.

    • Re:Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:36AM (#43921437)
      It repeats every 3 months. It'd be illegal if it were longer, but an indefinately repeating 3 month order is not indefinite. So say the people who extend copyright 50 years every 49 years for a new, longer "limited" time.
      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @04:59AM (#43922669)
        It's illegal anyway. There is no way in Hell -- or anywhere else -- that this is constitutional.
        • Re:Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Dr. Tom (23206) <tomh@nih.gov> on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:18AM (#43923387) Homepage

          Verizon already collects all this data. Is that unconstitutional? Verizon is probably only upset about this because they normally SELL this data and the gov't is forcing them to hand it over for free. That's the real outrage here. The NSA should pay for it just like everyone else.

          • by Jawnn (445279)

            Verizon already collects all this data. Is that unconstitutional? Verizon is probably only upset about this because they normally SELL this data and the gov't is forcing them to hand it over for free. That's the real outrage here. The NSA should pay for it just like everyone else.

            You don't think that there weren't some lucrative, no-bid contracts offered up as compensation for playing ball? Come on. "Our" government does what it's told to do by those holding the reigns of power. The whole "hunting teh terrorists" thing is just part of the bread and circuses for the masses.

        • Re:Shocking! (Score:5, Informative)

          by compro01 (777531) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:54AM (#43925451)

          Nope. This battle was lost more than 30 years ago in Smith v. Maryland. Metadata (number called, time, etc.) on calls, collected and stored by phone companies in the normal course of business, has no 4th amendment protection and the acquisition of it does not require a warrant.

          • by HiThere (15173)

            This doesn't mean that I accept the decision. I consider it a corrupt and abusive decision that ignores the constitution.

            I refuse to accept any government that acts in such a way as a just government. There are many judicial decisions that corrupt and inspire disregard for the law. This is one of them. It those charged with upholding the law won't obey it, why should they expect anyone else to, except out of fear? And that's the society we've ended up with. Nobody respects the law, though many fear it

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @01:40AM (#43921765)

      http://epic.org/privacy/wiretap/stats/fisa_stats.html

      Since 2004, when they started spying on Americans, there have been 143,364 FISA warrants, similar to this one, applying to Americans.

      This is one warrant among 143364 similar warrants. 0.0006975% of the warrants.

    • Re:Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @02:01AM (#43921879)

      The only real surprise is that the NSA needs Verison to give it to them.

      • I'm also surprised that we found out about it. It came with the NSL-standard 'Don't tell anyone we asked, not even your lawyer, or we'll throw you in jail' clause. Someone must have had either the ideological conviction or reckless stupidity to defy the gag order and leak it.

        Someone will be losing their job for that, and probably never working in the communications industry again. Hopefully McDonald's is hiring.

        • Re:Shocking! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Vintermann (400722) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:03AM (#43923317) Homepage

          Lose their job? If Obama's attitude to leaks - uncontrolled leaks, that is - is anything to go by, they're probably going to round up and execute every 10th Verizon employee or something. And loudly proclaim that it's constitutional and necessary for national security reasons which you can't be trusted to hear.

          "I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable." -- Barack Obama, May 23, 2013

      • Re:Shocking! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dr. Tom (23206) <tomh@nih.gov> on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:22AM (#43923405) Homepage

        Normally Verizon sells this data, so the only thing the gov't is doing here is forcing them to hand it over for free. The NSA can't pay for it like everyone else because of the sequester.

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      Well, because of the sequester, they didn't have enough budget to extend the real-time continuous interception they are doing for the internet traffic.
      Unpleasant, but only transient situation, I assure you.
    • Re:Shocking! (Score:5, Informative)

      by gtall (79522) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:58AM (#43923005)

      It appears to have been started in 2006, and has been renewed every three months ever since. This is the meta-data they are collecting, not voice or data call messages. Apparently, they use it to develop network maps that is supposed to help them track terrorist networks into, out of, and within the U.S.

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:34AM (#43921427)

    Although Verizon is not required to hand over caller subscriber information under the order, this doesn’t mean the NSA can’t identify the owners of phone numbers on its own. Intelligence and data collected from other sources can help match the names of accountholders to the numbers collected in the sweep.

    This is a puzzle. What magic line would they cross by demanding names as well, when the amount of information they already require is enough to determine the individuals involved in a call and then some. This smells of a careful exclusion crafted by the AG or some such to skirt a law.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:47AM (#43921495)

      Although Verizon is not required to hand over caller subscriber information under the order, this doesnâ(TM)t mean the NSA canâ(TM)t identify the owners of phone numbers on its own. Intelligence and data collected from other sources can help match the names of accountholders to the numbers collected in the sweep.

      This is a puzzle. What magic line would they cross by demanding names as well, when the amount of information they already require is enough to determine the individuals involved in a call and then some. This smells of a careful exclusion crafted by the AG or some such to skirt a law.

      What did you expect when laws are made by lawyers, a profession whose sole job description is to find technicalities and loopholes that either excuse behavior that citizens would find abhorrent, or criminalize behavior that citizens find acceptable. What we used to call "torture" and "eavesdropping" are now legal because they're not technically torture or eavesdropping. Videotaping a cop beating a citizen is technically eavesdropping in many states, however, and after you've dealt with the criminal charge, if the cop was singing "Stop Resisting" to the tune of "Happy Birthday", you're still civilly liable for copyright infringement.

      "Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying. They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible."
      - Meringuoid, http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=169254&cid=14107454 [slashdot.org]

      It's almost like these technicalities were intended to be abused from the day they were introduced to the House floor.

  • Second amandment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:35AM (#43921433)

    If you ever argued that the second amandment is here to ensure you can protect yourself from opressive goverment, it is about time to stack up on ammo. I'd say its going to go down soon, but in case you haven't noticed, it all already went down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:37AM (#43921439)

    The full story, with link to the court order, is at The Guardian -- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

  • Tip of the iceberg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:48AM (#43921503)

    The Verizon data is the tip of the iceberg, this is a tiny leak, it only covers an FBI request, it doesn't cover the full data grab. Congressmen, Ron Wyden, Mark Udall etc., ex CIA, everyone keeps hinting at the extent of the data grab and people go into denial about it.

    Other data being grabbed:
    1. URLs visited, times and ip addresses (sniffed from the network intercepts put in in post 2001)
    2. Email headers (right there in the pipe)
    3. Linkage data, you sent the email from that iPad/Android tablet? Theres the link between IP address and email address (right there in the pipe).
    4. Search data, https is no obstacle to a FISA warrant.
    5. Billing records of the phone, the identity of the user of the phone, data linking to their email address etc.
    6. Visa/Mastercard/Credit Card/Paypal/WesternUnion, ATM data,.....
    7. Bank transactions, (and not just the SWIFT data the EU handed them), handed over under excuse of 'laundering'
    8. Facebook, all visible data and all deleted data
    9. What you said on slashdot, even as AC, including drafts
    10. What you said on every public website on every blog, on everything linked to your ip address and in turn linked to your real id.
    11. Every public'ly buyable database
    12. Your voting preference (already well analysed for political parties)
    13. Your IRS data
    14. The contents of all email older than 6 months.
    15. Add that to the Verizon data (where you are, who you called, when)

    It's a zoo, you're in a cage and those creepy guys outside staring at you, they're your zoo keepers.

    Be careful what you say, to whom, who you're with when you say it, re-read you emails with a jaundice eye, can it be misconstrued by a malicious actor?
    Are you outside the USA? Do you think you're immune?! Have they got any lever on your elected politicians? Is he a puppet now?

    Could you, or have you ever upset anyone with access to that surveillance data?
    Have you ever expressed views that might cause you to be targetted by anyone with access to that surveillance data?

    Have you expressed pro-gun views? Do you imagine every creep with access to your private data is pro-gun?
    Have you expressed anti-gun views? Do you imagine every creep with access to your private data is anti-gun?
    Have you expressed strong Republican views? Do you imagine every creep with access to your private data is Republican?
    Have you expressed strong Democrat views? Do you imagine every creep with access to your private data is a Democrat?

    The only safe views to hold in a surveillance state are bland views. Be grey, keep your head down, express no strong views. Do nothing of note have friends who do nothing of note.

    Don't think, that just because you're doing nothing illegal, that you're safe.
    Having an affair is not illegal, yet General Patraeus was outed by on FBI agent Fred Humphries as a favor to a friend!
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/holly-petraeus-scott-broadwell-silent-petraeus-scandal/story?id=17718793

    And in retaliation his supporters outed General Allen for having an affair with the FBI agents friend, and leaked photos (taken from surveillance of his friend) of a picture of him shirtless he sent her.

    Do you really think you've done nothing wrong? That you have nothing to hide?
    I'm pretty sure your data contains enough to lose you your job, end your marriage, lose custody of your children.

    • What you said on slashdot, even as AC, including drafts

      I'm fucked aren't I?

    • by Dr. Tom (23206)

      I think this is great! Imagine the cool graph theory information they'll be able to compute! Network sizes, social graph small-worldness, hubs, power-laws of node degree, entropy, percolation, mutual information, the list goes on and on. I am happily awaiting the science articles that will come out of all the analysis. As the technology improves they'll be able to handle even more nodes in the graph.

      (Imagine when they get to 80 billion nodes with degree 1e4 or so; they'll be able to track all the connection

  • by pablo_max (626328) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:48AM (#43921507)

    After many years of travel and living in other countries, my political views shifted from right to left and I felt myself to a "liberal" democrat.
    Like so many others, I was caught up in the whole "hope" for change with Mr. Obama.
    One could say that regarding the police state, he is worse than nearly all who came before him, but I think that is missing the point. Democrat, Republican, I have come to the realization that it makes not difference at all. The system is simply designed to abuse.
    The alphabet soup agencies do not care who is the present. After all, they will still be there after the President is long gone and the next fellow seeking ever greater powers replaces him.
    So, does it really matter who you vote for?
    I really doubt it. The folks who have enough cash to even register with voters are all part of the same socioeconomic class. Classes look out for their own, not for other classes.
    I suspect things will get much, much worse before they ever get better. At least if history is any indication of the future.
    Good luck citizens.

    • by Elbereth (58257)

      The United States doesn't really have a left-wing party. There's the Green Party and the Socialist Party, but neither of them is relevant in any meaningful way. I suggest that you vote with the Greens or Socialists, if you're truly interested in left-wing politics, even if they are irrelevant. It may not accomplish much, but you'll be able to sleep better at night. If you're more of a centrist or right winger, then I suggest the Libertarian Party, which are at least supportive of freedom, even if they a

      • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @01:17AM (#43921661) Homepage Journal

        Indeed. I vote Green whenever there is a Green candidate. It's not so much that I adore their politics as it is I abhor the Republicans and Democrats. It may be a lost cause but I refuse to support what is going on.

      • by yoshi_mon (172895) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @01:48AM (#43921803)

        There will be no real party other than the money party until we get money of out of the system.

        http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html [ted.com]

        There are some very real and good ways we can get the money out of our system. And of course money will always be a part of any system but it will not be the same as since:

        Buckley v. Valeo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckley_v._Valeo [wikipedia.org]

        And then we let the floodgates open with:

        Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission [wikipedia.org]

        We are not in any way shape or form a democracy if a small percentage of people are allowed to vote with their dollars as well as their individual vote.

        • by Specter (11099) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:50AM (#43925397) Journal

          Money has nothing to do with it. Money is the symptom. Power is the problem, specifically consolidation of power at the national level. Money follows power. We've allowed way too much power to be consolidated at the national level. Every single problem we're talking about here can be traced to that.

          In theory we could ameliorate the problem by returning to the original intent of a federal government of limited and enumerated powers. In practice, I see no way for that to happen since ALL of the political actors involved want further consolidation not less. For special interests, it's way more efficient to lobby the federal government rather than 50 state governments. For federal politicians, consolidating power increases their ability to sell their power off to the special interests. Rank-and-file members of team red and team blue both want more power consolidated at the federal level to better push their respective ideological agendas (both of which are rooted in the idea that the hoi polloi can't be trusted to know what's good for them).

          You can continue to rail against money in politics but until you address the disease instead of the symptom you're wasting our time and your breath.

        • by moeinvt (851793) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:56AM (#43925515)

          Your argument boils down to:

          > The government is completely corrupt and owned by wealthy special interests.

          > Therefore, we need to give the government additional powers so that they will be less corrupt.

          That makes no sense. You can't eliminate corruption by expanding the power of the corrupt entity. You need to take power AWAY from that entity so that regardless of their corruption, the harm that they can inflict on the people is limited. The Founders understood this. If you have a small, decentralized government with a set of strictly limited powers, then even the WORST people you put in office can't do much damage.

          For example, suppose the federal government was strictly limited to spending 10% of GDP. Could Bush have started 2 wars? Could the government have spent $1T bailing out Wall St. banks? Too much government power in too few hands is what enables the worst abuses.

  • by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @12:52AM (#43921529) Homepage Journal
    Funny how there's such a huge passionate uproar about supposed loss of second amendement rights, but comparitively little concern about actual loss of fourth amendment rights...
    • by Starteck81 (917280) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @01:16AM (#43921653)

      Funny how there's such a huge passionate uproar about supposed loss of second amendement rights, but comparitively little concern about actual loss of fourth amendment rights...

      Actually I make a very big deal about the second amendment because I care so much about the other amendments. The second is the last line of defense in the protection of the others. It is the only amendment that gives the people a physical recourse should the three branches of government fail to up hold the Constitution.

      While were on the topic, the people that said they didn't want universal background checks because they feared a national registry could be constructed seem less like silly now, don't they?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Black Parrot (19622)

        Actually I make a very big deal about the second amendment because I care so much about the other amendments. The second is the last line of defense in the protection of the others. It is the only amendment that gives the people a physical recourse should the three branches of government fail to up hold the Constitution.

        I suspect that that's what the Founders had in mind when they wrote that amendment (though apparently nothing in the Federalist papers supports that notion).

        Be that as it may, thinking that your buddies and your machineguns are going to overthrow the most powerful nation in the world is just delusional.

        Presumably if you got enough people to participate, some "friendly" countries would offer to help you out with SAMs and RPGs, but that's just going to result in the unending-violence-for-naught that has becom

        • The true delusion (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @03:07AM (#43922123)

          thinking that your buddies and your machineguns are going to overthrow the most powerful nation in the world is just delusional.

          Thinking that the professional military will be the ones trying to stop you when things become bad enough that the average U.S. citizen even considerings the attempt - that is the truest delusion.

          We have a professional military made up of independent thinkers from all over the U.S. They are not robots, they are not trained to obey without question. If you ask them to start firing on home towns they are going to want to have a pretty clear reason why.

          Citizens being armed just keeps everyone honest and is basically just like using a seat belt. You'll probably never need it, but if you need it you REALLY need it.

          • by CAIMLAS (41445)

            We have a professional military made up of independent thinkers from all over the U.S. They are not robots, they are not trained to obey without question. If you ask them to start firing on home towns they are going to want to have a pretty clear reason why.

            You've got a pretty short memory.

            Remember a couple months ago, when Boston was under martial law and the police forces were performing warrantless door-to-door searches, at threat of force? Now imagine that scenario with active resistance: it's the scenario you describe.

            You're assuming a lack of indoctrination and the presence of a moral conscience in the majority. "Free thinking" is largely an illusion and most people, despite claiming to be able to hold an opinion, often just toe the line and follow order

        • Be that as it may, thinking that your buddies and your machineguns are going to overthrow the most powerful nation in the world is just delusional.

          You're assuming that some of the military will not take the side of those fighting for their freedom. Also look how well insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan have done before you write off a gorilla force with just small arms and IEDs.

    • by whoever57 (658626)

      Funny how there's such a huge passionate uproar about supposed loss of second amendement rights, but comparitively little concern about actual loss of fourth amendment rights...

      That's because the "uproar" is, in reality a tool of (and funded by) people like the Koch brothers. Its intent is to distract large number of voters (tea party, etc.) from the real issues (who controls the government) into distractions like the 2nd amendment.

  • by ams-maverick (2916157) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @01:00AM (#43921571)
    if I voted for Romney. And they were right.
  • by Camael (1048726) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @02:13AM (#43921941)

    ...I remember thinking that no sane citizens of any democratic country would ever allow the the state to amass such abusive and intrusive powers.

    And then, I read today's Slashdot article.

    So, given that it was bad under Bush, and is now worse under Obama, it is readily apparent that regardless of whichever political party you choose to vote for, all roads lead to the same end. The system will prevail. Is anarchy the only solution then?

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @03:15AM (#43922157)

      it is readily apparent that regardless of whichever political party you choose to vote for, all roads lead to the same end. The system will prevail.

      Not if you consistently vote in people who aim for reduced spending and smaller government.

      As you say, all roads lead to the same place. But a smaller government with a smaller budget can simply only do so much. The smaller the amount of money the government gets the less money there is to track everyone, store data on everyone, or funnel money back out of government to private citizens who helped elect people.

      It truly is the ONLY way to limit the reduction of potential harm from the system.

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        Not if you consistently vote in people who aim for reduced spending and smaller government.
        As you say, all roads lead to the same place. But a smaller government with a smaller budget can simply only do so much

        Oh, that may be true, but wherever can I find people who aim for reduced spending and smaller government?

        Surely, you don't mean Republicans, do you? Because they remember about the noble goal of smaller budget/smaller government only while Democrats are in power. And who's idea was it to keep wars in Afganistan and Iraq off the budget (as "emergency supplemental appropriations bills")? Brilliant strategy to keep a low "budget"

      • by Legion303 (97901) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:12AM (#43924269) Homepage

        "Not if you consistently vote in people who aim for reduced spending and smaller government."

        I've seen a lot of mouthy political bullshit along these lines, but no actual politicians who are interested in implementing it (lots and lots of politicians who want to reduce spending in areas they don't like, while increasing it for areas they do, however).

      • by pjpII (191291)

        Sorry, but while that argument is appealing, it's bullshit because you're not specifying WHAT functions you eliminate with the meaningless statement, "reduced spending and smaller government." Where are you reducing the spending? What functions does this "smaller government" fulfill, and which functions does it not fulfill? Unless you specify exactly what to cut, this is just empty rhetoric with very little meaning - like saying, "We need to get rid of regulations" - which ones? Why? What is the cost-benefi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @02:22AM (#43921995)

    NSA spying on all electronic communication is (very) old news. Microsoft's Xbox One (increasingly known as the XBone) has been designed from the ground up to massively increase the surveillance abilities of the NSA.

    The new console has 8 CPU cores and 8GB of memory. It actually runs as two distinct computers, with two CPU cores and up to 3GB of RAM forming a special 'Kinect' computer system that has its own OS, and is continuously processing the input from the Kinect sensor systems, regardless of what the user is currently using the console for (including AAA games that appear to NOT use the Kinect sensors in any way).

    The Kinect computer is constantly generating snapshots of data from the camera and microphone array, and stores these snapshots as encrypted files in a dedicated area of the enclosed HDD. These snapshots include full face photographs of each new person who enters the room. The Kinect computer is designed to compare sound and video/image data with a signature list (that can be changed and updated remotely), so that full video and sound recording can be triggered if the signature patterns are matched. This data can be either stored on the HDD (again, as encrypted streams) or immediately streamed to a remote server over the Internet if the console is currently online.

    Signature triggers can include things like gunshots or sounds of explosions, people talking in a given language (say Arabic), or a man shouting at a woman.

    Signatures can also (thanks to the body movement recognition ability of Kinect) represent given physical actions by people (for instance, two people engaging in love-making). Yes, you read that correctly- the Xbox One can be set to start streaming video to any remote server on the Internet if it detects people having sex in front of the camera.

    Most 'signatures' are quite small pieces of data, and the console can have many thousands of signatures active at any time. Usually triggering a signature will allow an actual Human to remotely inspect some of the snapshot data being constantly generated to determine whether to activate full streaming. This practice is similar to that used by the NSA for decades when spying on ALL phonecalls- phonecalls are also routed through signature systems, and those that trigger on any signature are flagged for immediate inspection (although ALL phonecalls are actually recorded and later subject to much deeper mining).

    The NSA (and other security services around the globe) have long dreamed of placing their spying equipment into the homes of every citizen. Mobile phones have gone some way to achieving this (the NSA collects, where practical, all the image data captured on mobile phones, but this is obviously severely limited by the bandwidth issues). The Xbox One puts a dream spy system into the living rooms of millions of people, together with massive amounts of mains powered computing resources to pre-process the data captured.

    Microsoft demands that ALL applications and games have some Kinect functionality to encourage owners to keep the Kinect bar fully 'calibrated'. The Kinect system CANNOT ever be deactivated. If the Kinect sensors report any failure, the console refuses to run games/applications. If the sensors detect any problem with visibility (like tape over the cameras, or Kinect turned to face a wall), the console pesters the user to recalibrate the system. One can start a game, and then block the cameras in some sense, but research by Microsoft and the NSA has determined that people willing to buy the Xbox One, even if they are aware of the worst stories about invasion of privacy, will cease taking any measures to protect their privacy after only a couple of weeks of ownership.

    Conversely, those who are prepared to ALWAYS block the cameras when not using a 'Kinect' game, or those who forego Kinect functionality altogether and permanently 'blind' the sensors will prove to be the tiniest minority, and can be safely considered to be no different from those who refuse to buy the console in the first plac

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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