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NSA Surveillance Heat Map: NSA Lied To Congress 385

Posted by timothy
from the hey-dad-what's-up-with-that? dept.
anagama writes "NSA officials have repeatedly denied under oath to Congress that even producing an estimate of the number of Americans caught up in its surveillance is impossible. Leaked screenshots of an NSA application that does exactly that, prove that the NSA flat out lied (surprise). Glenn Greenwald continues his relentless attacks with another bombshell this time exposing Boundless Informant. Interestingly, the NSA spies more on America than China according to the heat map. Representative Wyden had sought amendments to FISA reauthorization bill that would have required the NSA to provide information like this (hence the NSA's lies), but Obama and Feinstein demanded a pure reauthorization of FISA, which they got at the end of 2012." And if you don't mind that you might have your name on yet another special list, you might enjoy this Twitter-based take on the ongoing news.
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NSA Surveillance Heat Map: NSA Lied To Congress

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:32AM (#43951795)

    Absolutely nothing to nobody.

    The United States of Apathy.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:39AM (#43951833) Journal

      The PUTUS lied to the congress

      The congress lied to the people ... and the people ... becomes sheeple

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:27AM (#43952053)

        Yeah, but c'mon guys, he didn't lie about anything IMPORTANT. Like, y'know, whether he fucked or just fingered an intern...

      • No apparent lie (Score:5, Informative)

        by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:44AM (#43952127) Homepage

        Wait-- "NSA officials have repeatedly denied under oath to Congress that even producing an estimate... is impossible. "

        They denied that it's impossible? So, it's possible.

        This may be the worst-written summary ever, since it says exactly the opposite of what the headline says. Could slashdot find some people who understand double negatives?

        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:14AM (#43952243) Homepage

          Could slashdot find some people who understand double negatives?

          I don't doubt it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:50AM (#43951887)

      Interestingly, the NSA spies more on America than China according to the heat map

      I thought my eyes had fooled me, and I ended up re-read that sentence 5 times ...

      What the fuck is going on ?

      Did we elect the WRONG president ?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:04AM (#43951949)

        In this case, as with most cases, there was no right president to elect.

        Most of this sort of thing is no longer under the President's or even Congress' control as you'll find out if enough of Congress actually get together and back a bill to end this. Martial law will certainly be the result. Like most large events in history, they are not recognized in their time but someone will look back at the decade just past and say, "The experiment called American Democracy died here."

        • by tmosley (996283) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:10AM (#43951973)
          Correct. Obama is merely continuing and expanding on Bush's policies (while simultaneously blaming him for the resulting effects). McCain would have done the same, perhaps more, perhaps less. This is a farce unlike any seen on this planet for more than a thousand years.

          Spoiler alert: It ends badly.

          The only way to end without losing everything to hyperinflation and confiscation by the police state is to vote third party. ANY third party. Honestly, even the Socialist Party would be better than this. At least they wouldn't cloak their socialism or national socialism in the guise of capitalism.
          • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:23AM (#43952031) Homepage Journal

            The only way to end without losing everything to hyperinflation and confiscation by the police state is to vote third party

            And because of Duverger's Law [wikipedia.org] the only way for that to happen is to get Approval Voting [indiegogo.com]* implemented.

            But the odds of that happening in time, against the hegemony, are asymptotic to zero. Since the last time it happened the two big parties have spent more than a century and a half ensconcing their rule in law.

            * or more other more-difficult-to-understand-and-implement Condorcet method

          • by superwiz (655733) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:35AM (#43952367) Journal

            Correct. Obama is merely continuing and expanding on Bush's policies

            Bull shit!! Bull shit!!! Bull shiiiiit! Bush hired enough lawyers to make sure he walked just on the line between legal an illegal. He chose to stay within the law and to demand that laws change just so that the head of state of this nation would still be bound by the laws of this nation. Obama does not even pretend to be restricted by such frivolities as the law. The obsequious news media is what does it. No benevolent dictatorship stays benevolent for long.

            • There's no evidence that any of this is illegal. THAT'S what's fucking scary about it.
            • by tmosley (996283)
              Huh? If Bush made it legal, then it's legal. Obama isn't doing anything different from him. These programs started under his administration.

              You remind me of this guy. [youtube.com]

              You need to wake up to the fact that (R) and (D) are just sock puppets of the same (F) party.
              • the only way to make unconstitutional search and seizure legal is to change the constitution. passing a law in congress doesn't work. I don't recall any constitution changes happening in the last 20 years.
            • by Maow (620678)

              Correct. Obama is merely continuing and expanding on Bush's policies

              Bull shit!! Bull shit!!! Bull shiiiiit! Bush hired enough lawyers to make sure he walked just on the line between legal an illegal. He chose to stay within the law and to demand that laws change just so that the head of state of this nation would still be bound by the laws of this nation. Obama does not even pretend to be restricted by such frivolities as the law. The obsequious news media is what does it. No benevolent dictatorship stays benevolent for long.

              Wait, that doesn't sound right.

              Lawyers ok'd the WMD lies and resulting war? Can they be held accountable for that?

              What about the outting of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame?

              And weren't John Yoo's (sp?) so-called Torture Memos highly questionable from the first day they were publicized?

              Wasn't the spying on Americans begun under Bush? If lawyers approved it then, then why isn't it okay now?

              And that record number of ... what are they called when signing a bill into law? Waivers? Bush was famous for enacting la

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            ANY third party. Honestly, even the Socialist Party would be better than this.

            Why vote for a party that isn't on ballots in enough states to win (except as a "none of the above" vote) when the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and Constitution party are on enough ballots? I've said before, if you think the government isn't working and you're Republican, vote Libertarian or Constitution. If you're a Democrat, vote Green. If you're happy with the way government is, keep voting Republicrat.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Interestingly, the NSA spies more on America than China according to the heat map

        I thought my eyes had fooled me, and I ended up re-read that sentence 5 times ...

        What the fuck is going on ?

        The answer to you question on Twitter :

        @PRISM_NSA: He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service

    • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:22AM (#43952025) Homepage

      Absolutely nothing to nobody.

      The United States of Apathy.

      People like to say that, but it helps when the media isn't in the tank with the government. Much like the media today is, and spinning for all it's worth trying to cover up *insert issue* though the last few things like the AP wire tap, and attacks against Fox News by the Obama admin seem to have gotten the press against them. This is followed by the realization of a lot of people that the government was/is/continues to target conservative groups. AKA "Where were the tea party groups in 2010? That's simple, being silenced."

      Well not to forget that the low information voters are simply a curse on everyone. But even they've started to realize exactly what Obama is, worse than Bush. And for many people, that's rather surprising, unless of course you were paying attention and did digging on your own. A lot of people have realized that the current administration is actually worse than Nixon. What are we upto now? 8 or 9 scandals? I'm sure there's at least 3 to 4 more out there, especially now that the Obama admin is targeting whistleblowers.

      • by Wild_dog! (98536) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @11:00AM (#43953059)

        All voters are low information. There simply is not the time to be a high or even medium information voter.

        Btw.... terms like "low information voter" are just more pat phrases invented by the machine to distract and isolate the citizens.
        Easier to control the masses by creating buzzwords that blame everyone but oneself.

    • by Pav (4298) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:09AM (#43952209)
      Today is the day I start slowly cutting my ties with Facebook, learning the ways of secure chat, email etc... Unfortunately Slashdot is most probably part of the problem. Perhaps current governments honestly do think they're serving the greater good, but that's an an awful big carrot sitting there waiting for the next Napoleon, Hitler, lesser psychopath etc... I can make it less enticing in my small and probably largely ineffectual way, but we can only do what we can. I actually already have a Diaspora* account, though Friendica looks interesting. It's way past time I learned about these technologies anyway.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by craigminah (1885846)
        I've distrusted Google since for many years but there's no way to protect yourself on the Internets except to be a law-abiding person.

        There's been a trend on /. where security-related or anti-governmental stories get pushed off the /. front page quickly; hidden by a sudden influx of other stories in an effort to bury them. Presumably, by US governmental /. posters to protect the US government and it's interests.
        • by stanIyb (2945195)

          but there's no way to protect yourself on the Internets except to be a law-abiding person.

          It's difficult to be a law abiding citizen because there are so many laws that it's difficult to not run afoul of at least a few. And really, you also have to hope that the government is made up of perfect angels who would never abuse their powers or make mistakes; otherwise, you may get hurt despite being a law-abiding person...

        • by mi (197448)

          no way to protect yourself on the Internets except to be a law-abiding person.

          Ain't gonna help you... Phone- and video-sex are still legal, for just one example. But, if you've ever any of that, a dedicated law-enforcer may use that as a leverage to blackmail you later in life. Or pass the embarrassing records to some non-government organization. IRS have already done that [propublica.org].All for the Greater Good, of course.

          It does not even have to be ordered from the top [spectator.org]: recall the Joe the Plumber incident. The man ask

    • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:47AM (#43952463)
      Lie to congress about getting a steroid shot and you'll be slapped with contempt. Lie about spying on Americans and half the country will call you a hero.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:33AM (#43951801)

    This is impossible and I am willing to believe everything the NSA said.
    And if you do not believe the same you are very unpatriotic.

    • ...you are very unpatriotic.

      I'm very patriotic. I'm wearing my government issued microphone shaped lapel pin right now while singing the B-52's Love Shack out of tune and with incorrect lyrics.

      I'ts a little old place where we can buy a sweater, LOVE SHACK BAYAAABEEEEE!

      Uncommon patriotism from a common citizen.

  • Required viewing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Veag-ptUkXI

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The Lives of Others [imdb.com]

      There's a big difference,though.

      Aside being complete fiction, the monitor was directly listening in, empathized with the folks he was spying on, was disillusioned with his cause and leadership and basically burned out with the whole job - IIRC.

      With the NSA, they have mostly automated systems that are listening in on everyone in a mechanical way that doesn't allow for empathy and identification with the vict...subject, you have monitors that believe that they are "protecting" the US from

  • Too Late To Stop It (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:39AM (#43951831)

    It's too late to stop this or even do anything about it. The only actions that can be taken would be to physically destroy the facilities that handle this data gathering and store the harvest.

    It's clear that the US government doesn't care about our laws of Constitution. They lie to the people, to Congress, to judges and even to each other. This crap started late in the GWB's second term and our current administration of "change" has done nothing about it except to expand its reach.

    • by stanIyb (2945195)

      This crap started late in the GWB's second term

      Are you talking about a specific event? If not, well, the government has been violating the constitution in a number of ways for a very long time...

    • by Shavano (2541114)
      Call your Congressperson and demand that he do something... No wait, not the telephone; that's bugged. Send him an emai... dammit!. OK, send him a letter. They still (we think) won't open that without a warrant.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They don't have to open it. They can use infra-red imaging to see the pen marks on the paper inside the envelope than use computer software to unfold the letter inside and read it plain as day.

        Hey, did you see the hyper speed book scanner that the Japanese guy developed? Just riffle the pages under the high speed camera and the computer program unbends the pages to make them flat again.

        captcha: papers (as in show me your _____ , maggot)

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:08AM (#43952205)

      I found this lying around on the internet. It looks like at least some of the people at the NSA know damned well that what they're doing is wrong, but don't seem to care (or didn't understand that what is described in 1984 is bad): I'm making the assumption that this [cypherspace.org] is true.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Adam Back (2946697)
        Yes the link is true, that is I reverse engineered lotus notes back a decade or so ago, and I did see the X509 Organization=MiniTruth and the entity name: DN=Big Brother. And very spooky that was for a surreal moment (fiction blurred to reality orwell's 1984) looking at hex dumps on a green monitor at 1am or something after quite multiple hour reverse engineering stint to find that point! However speculation was those strings were set by a disgruntled IBM / Lotus Notes programmer as I dont think the key i
    • by Pav (4298)
      ...and in the meantime become more security conscious and learn the ways of more secure technologies, and perhaps more secure and fedorated social networking platforms such as Diaspora*, Friendica etc... Duckduckgo for search (although who REALLY knows if these guys are honest). Any more tips for the SaaS (Spying as a Service) refugee?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's clear that the US government doesn't care about our laws of Constitution.

      Well, let me quote Obama on PRISM:

      "I think it's important to recognize you can't have 100 percent security and also 100 percent privacy, and also zero inconvenience. We're going to have to make some choices as a society."

      Sounds good, doesn't it? Except for that "we're going to have to make some choices as a society" bit. Because we already did. It is called "Constitution", and it is not the job of the government to put different choices into place without asking back first. We have made some choices as a society. The government may ask nicely whether we want to change some of those choices. But they are in no position to just ignore them.

      Bush II's excuse to ignore the constitution was

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:29AM (#43952795) Homepage Journal

      They lie to the people, to Congress, to judges and even to each other. This crap started late in the GWB's second term

      Ah, yes, another youth who hasn't read or lived through much history. Look up the McCarthy witch hunts, J.Edgar Hoover's spying on American anti-war protesters and civil rights activists, and the Kent State massacre just for a start. It happened at least as far back as Coolidge with prohibition; here [virginia.edu] is a book about the roaring twenties that was required reading in a general studies history class I took at SIU back in the seventies. It's well written and a good read.

      I'd guess it's gone on even longer, and nobody my age is surprised by any of this. Disgusted, but not surprised.

    • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @10:51AM (#43952973)

      It's too late to stop this or even do anything about it. The only actions that can be taken would be to physically destroy the facilities that handle this data gathering and store the harvest.

      I assume you must be either a failing agent provocateur [wikipedia.org] or a nitwit. Congress still controls the purse strings for the government, including NSA, and the other agencies that have become embroiled in scandals, such as the IRS. Congress can cut their funding if it comes down to it. Attempts at violence would only inflame things at this point, not help. I also have little doubt that those facilities might have at least a little protection, don't you think?

      It seems clear that the whole story isn't coming out. Selective leaking that doesn't include the context, full details, FISA court findings, results of the program, and other information, can inflame rather than inform, and could constitute just as much of a lie as people assume of the government leadership. The only ones likely to get something even remotely close to resembling the whole story are the people in Congress. It could be that this is highly valuable, and complies with the constitutional protections overseen by the FISA court. Or maybe something bad is going on, but Congress needs to look at it and perform oversight. It was the Church committee that reigned in the CIA - some would say neutered to the point that it helped set the stage for 9/11. And it was 9/11 that helped drive this, isn't it? Oversight must be done by Congress, carefully, and deliberately. You should probably make sure that you cripple or destroy America's enemies before thoughtlessly crippling NSA and destroying its datacenters.

      Benjamin Franklin said Americans had a republic, if they could keep it.

      This is the time work on keeping it by:
      - Letters to congress put in the post box
      - Voting for a change of representation at the ballot box
      - Some time on the soap box.
      - Some government employees sitting in front of the jury box.

      Suggested topics:
      - IRS suppression of legitimate peaceful political opposition groups
      - IRS suppression of legitimate peaceful religious groups
      - Possible involvement by the FBI, EPA, and OSHA in the above
      - IRS seizure of 60,000,000 medical records they are not entitled to in breach of the 4th Amendment
      - Unprecedented Justice Department investigation of reporters
      - Stonewalling by government officials before congress and refusing to turn over documents
      - Attempts by the administration to disarm the public by outlawing weapons seldom used to commit crimes - semiautomatic rifles
      - The very wide dragnet by the NSA when considered with the above

      Slashdot has had stories on much of that recently. Search for IRS, or AP, etc.

      It is legitimate for the NSA to monitor people in direct communication with terrorist groups, and other terrorists*. And make no mistake, there are terrorists out there [slashdot.org]. But this, considered in light of the above is cause for concern. Congress better be doing some good oversight.

      * Genuine terrorists trying to bomb, shoot, poison or otherwise kill innocent people, typically in large numbers, with a very broad understanding of innocent.

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      Never fear, Rand Paul is going to take the fight to the Supreme Court! [foxnews.com]

      Just as soon as he gets Congress to repeal all the laws they passed to prevent anyone from challenging this shit when Bush was doing it.

  • Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lesincompetent (2836253) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:40AM (#43951843)
    I hope you americans now realize what you let happen.
    Inaction is no worse than active support.
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @07:51AM (#43951893)

      Let happen?! Inaction??? The Hell, my friend, we all but demanded this happen. We have a bad habit of believing liars in America, so long as they have the right party letter after their name. It's long past time we wake up and realize they all, Dems and Reps alike, lie to us for their own profit. We've opened Pandora's Box and it's highly likely it cannot be closed.

    • The question is, what to do about it? Collective action is hard, especially when a good percentage of the people don't care, and another good percentage figure Obama will take care of it.
  • China (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:13AM (#43951989)

    If we're going to go the way of China, could we at least have some of our manufacturing jobs back?

  • "Man bites dog" is news. Please come back when they tell the truth.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:29AM (#43952069) Homepage

    Contact your Representatives and DEMAND that the PATRIOT act be repealed. It is wrong that it ever became permanent and was supposed to only be a temp measure.. IT is being abused and is an abomination to everything that america holds dear.

    Write a LETTER and an email you your representatives now and demand they repeal it. Without the PATRIOT act, Everything crumbles at their feet.

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:34AM (#43952097) Homepage

    Wrong question anyway...

    What is it with the apparent belief that the US Constitution is only supposed to guarantee rights for US citizens?

    This seems to be an implicit assumption in the public reaction to the NSA spying scandals. The Constitution makes no such distinction; it is intended to limit the power of the government, period, regardless of who is affected. If this were not the case, the US government could do anything it wanted to foreigners: search without a warrant, detain them indefinitely without charges, torture them, even murder them.

    Oh, right...

    Sorry for the cynicism, but the point should be obvious: This is clearly not the intent of the Constitution. The US government is out of control, but too many Americans excuse this by saying "well, it's mostly them foreigners, so it's ok". It is not ok. Anyway, it is now beyond obvious that the US government routinely violates the rights of everyone including US citizens.

    • The point is that most Americans don't care if it's not them. But now we see that it IS them. That's the point of this leak... Even YOU are being targeted by your government now... what are YOU going to do? And voting wont help... Both parties were in on this. What are you going to do when your entire government is a corrupt mess that has more of your population in prison than any other government in history, manipulates your elections in such an efficient way most people feel like they're actually making a

    • by Livius (318358)

      The US government violates the rights of everyone, without discrimination based on citizenship. Other forms of discrimination, yes, but not citizenship.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:48AM (#43952141)

    "She [NSA spokesperson] added: "The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs.""

    Oh. Oh really? Well, that's really a shame, given that you should have conducted a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs BEFORE implementing them!

    People might even be okay with these programs depending upon the nature of what's being done and the rationale for it. People already accept things such as the need for police to conduct wiretaps if the case is good enough for a judge to issue a warrant. But we're in a democracy. If you don't even talk to the people about this kind of widespread sweep, and get feedback on whether it is acceptable to them or not, then of course they're fricking angry when they find out how far you've gone without consulting them. This thing has long been suspected by plenty of people. It's not a big surprise. But why the hell are you surprised that it's a freaking mess to try to sort things out after the fact becomes official? I mean, I know the "act first, ask for forgiveness later" approach might be deeply engrained in the intelligence community, but you're talking about wholesale monitoring of people's communications. Of course there is going to to a be a lot of misinformation and confusion when you don't provide any information yourself about it. Deal with it. Properly. Please. Correct the inaccuracies.

    This is one of those situations where if you don't get out in front of the thing with some factual and specific information promptly, then nobody is going to believe you even if you do tell the truth.

    How can public relations people working for an intelligence agency be so clued out about how to handle this? Oh, there's misinformation? No kidding? And you think not saying how the program actually works will cure the problem? Bizarre.

  • A lot of pessimistic posters are saying how nothing will change and people don't care. I wonder if this is just a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you're one of these people, have you done ALL of the following?

    1. Donate to the ACLU and EFF
    2. Stop supporting BOTH Democrats and Republicans and start supporting a third party
    3. Write all of your representatives in Congress and the Senate

    If the answer is no, then YOU are the problem.

  • ..way back in the 90's for a while it was "a thing" to attach fake "false positive" sentences and words to online posts and e-mails to "gum up" the data collected by echelon. How come American's haven't immediately started that up again? I haven't even heard the idea mentioned. You'd think Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would think of and be on board with something like that.

    They could call it "talk like a terrorist" month.

  • Can anyone explain to me why all this shits coming out now? All at once? From several different agencies? This can't be a coincidence. Is the NSA stuff getting leaked on purpose to get the media off the IRS story? I really don't get this. I could see all the NSA stuff coming from one source. But the other stories? Clearly we're being manipulated, but by whom and for what purpose?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's call dumping. An administration "leaks" all the stories they don't want to come out during an election cycle. By the time the next election comes around, nobody cares and it all seems like old news.

    • by gtall (79522)

      I knew it, A Conspiracy!!! I'll bet the NSA is behind it.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @09:28AM (#43952333)

    Urm, we're supposed to live in a democracy, right?
    If there are real threats, (and seems to be plenty of them), that this technology can efficiently and effectively combat, then explain it to the people who vote and also pay for the damn thing.
    Don't give me BS about how that will somehow "compromise" the security of the system; specific facts (like the names of agents) compromise security, not generic information about what information you are gathering, on whom.

    These people lie to avoid oversight, is all. That way leads to tyranny.
    If they cannot explain why this is in our interests, then it's not.

  • Now that the western governments are getting at a point where resisting them can be perceived by the public as a freedom fight instead of terrorism. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
  • This means YOU, United States techie boyz & girlz. This thing is playing out just as I sketched it out here on Slashdot a couple days ago [slashdot.org].

    NSA is orchestrating a limited hangout [wikipedia.org] to try and focus and tie off the entire surveillance issue into a neat little package of FISA and a 'manageable' number of transactional transgressions. Not surprisingly the New York Times gobbled up the bait [nytimes.com], fronting the idea that this whole rasmatazz is about a few digital drop boxes where companies dropped users' data upon

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