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FBI Pressures Internet Providers To Install Surveillance Software 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-piece-of-the-action dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from an article at CNet: "The U.S. government is quietly pressuring telecommunications providers to install eavesdropping technology deep inside companies' internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts. FBI officials have been sparring with carriers, a process that has on occasion included threats of contempt of court, in a bid to deploy government-provided software capable of intercepting and analyzing entire communications streams. The FBI's legal position during these discussions is that the software's real-time interception of metadata is authorized under the Patriot Act. Attempts by the FBI to install what it internally refers to as 'port reader' software, which have not been previously disclosed, were described to CNET in interviews over the last few weeks. One former government official said the software used to be known internally as the 'harvesting program.'"
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FBI Pressures Internet Providers To Install Surveillance Software

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  • ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xystren (522982) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:24AM (#44464809)

    Since I have nothing to hide, YOU have no reason to look!

    How about we pull a reversal and be permitted to monitor the FBI, NSA and CIA own internal network? All in the name of the constitution to ensure they are not overstepping their mandates and/or boundaries.

    I wonder how well that would go over with them?

    • Incompetence (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:33AM (#44464841)

      All this capability and warnings from Russia, and they still could not stop the Boston bombings. They also could not stop the Detroit shoe bomber.

      • Re:Incompetence (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:34AM (#44465079)

        They needed the Boston bombing to justify the surveillance. They probably let it happen just like they let happen the 9/11 attacks. The peasant need to be reminded time to time that they should be afraid of the terrorist and that the government is there to protect them.

        The only way to win is to not play by their rules. Mock them, laugh at the attack, refuse to condemn violence. Be seditionist, corrupt morals, piss on their gods and tell them to fuck off.

        Being compassionate, supportive and patriotic only strengthen them.

        • by anagama (611277)

          They needed the Boston bombing to justify the surveillance. They probably let it happen

          Never ascribe to malice that which can be ascribed to incompetence ... the quote goes something like that. If it isn't obvious, it should be, that searching all the text messages 3 hops out from the guy who's message read "Dude, this IPA is the BOMB" means that resources are wasted and nobody really has time to focus on the guys the Russians explicitely pointed out.

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday August 03, 2013 @12:52PM (#44465707) Homepage Journal

          Be seditionist, corrupt morals, piss on their gods and tell them to fuck off.

          If I piss on their gods all my cash will be wet and stinky.

        • by morcego (260031)

          They needed the Boston bombing to justify the surveillance. They probably let it happen just like they let happen the 9/11 attacks.

          Which is more likely:

          1) They are evil and secretly let these attacks happen, which could costs the lives of people they know and people from their families (something can always go wrong...)
          2) They are stupid and incompetent

          • I honestly have no idea.

          • Neither. 3) Partial panopticians do not work much better than minimal surveillance, and no matter how hard or diligently people work to stop destructive assholes, a few are always going to slip through. Honestly, the effectiveness of even a hypothetical full panopticon is dubious.

            You do not need these hyperbolic, extreme scenarios to explain reality.

            • by morcego (260031)

              Neither. 3) Partial panopticians do not work much better than minimal surveillance, and no matter how hard or diligently people work to stop destructive assholes, a few are always going to slip through. Honestly, the effectiveness of even a hypothetical full panopticon is dubious.

              You do not need these hyperbolic, extreme scenarios to explain reality.

              ^^^^^^^ Stupidity and Incompetence. Your #3 is just an extrapolation of my #2.

              • Re: Incompetence (Score:4, Insightful)

                by StarFace (13336) * on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:38PM (#44465973) Homepage

                I think you are misunderstanding, or perhaps conflating, the limitations in any system designed to monitor information, and being unable to detect all deliberate actors within that system to foil monitoringâ"with "stupidity". Given how vast the data set is (basically all of social, and even to an extent, natural reality) it is nearly trivial to slip undetected through it, and the burden of detecting not only overt threats but clandestine ones is a problem of incredible complexity, since the resources of any monitoring agency cannot exceed the natural throughput of reality. There will always be more information than can be processed, since processing information is also a system generator.

                To put it simply: one can be extremely intelligent and capable, and even whole groups of like people can gather together and be effective as a unit, and still be utterly awash in the vastness that is the background noise of societal information. It is actually amazing, and a testament to their diligence, that they can get anything done at all.

                But oh no, go on and spout your narrow minded and simplistic essays on how things must be This or That.

                • by raymorris (2726007) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @02:48PM (#44466281)
                  you are correct they cannot effectively monitor all communication. Yet, they attempted to do just that rather than expending the resources monitoring threats they had been warned about repeatedly.

                  Pretend you are responsible for reducing terrorism. You're giving a hundred million dollar budget, a list of 50 people who appear to be threats, and the phone numbers of major internet providers. Do you:
                  a) use that money to closely monitor the 50 suspects
                  Or
                  b) make logs of every email and phone call of every law abiding citizen, so you have more data than you can possibly look at.

                  Choosing B is stupid.
          • (1) is more likely, because there's a profit motive. You can't get your billions in "protection" money if the marks are not afraid.

          • Read up on Operation Northwoods. They are not only evil enough to stand by and let them happen, the US government has been evil enough to plan their own terrorist attacks on US soil to try to get Americans to support going to war.
      • Re:Incompetence (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @11:21AM (#44465289) Homepage Journal
        Those are not the target of this surveillance. Their target is the people that could throw out them from power: the citizens.
        • Re:Incompetence (Score:5, Insightful)

          by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @11:42AM (#44465383)

          If you look at history the biggest threat to the citizens of a country is always their own government. No one is more likely to enslave or kill you. The founding father's realized this hence the protections built into the Constitution. Unfortunately the population is too easily manipulated into breaking the chains that keep the monster under control.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            The founding father's realized this

            I'd like a dozen tomatoes, please... [blogspot.com]

          • Re:Incompetence (Score:4, Insightful)

            by dryeo (100693) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:18PM (#44465883)

            That's only true for the larger more powerful countries. For smaller (population or area) countries with large neighbors the largest threat is usually the neighbor.
            Almost all my life I've considered the largest threat to my freedom (and even my life) to be the United States of America, a country that seems to believe rights only belong to citizens so it's fine to abuse other countries. A country with a long history of oath breaking who can't even follow their own constitution.
            My country was actually created in response to that powerful neighbor at a time when they'd killed millions(?) of their own citizens over a power structure between the individual States and the Federal government.

      • Re:Incompetence (Score:5, Insightful)

        by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @11:39AM (#44465367)

        It's because they look at everything. When you have too broad a search you can't find what you are looking for. The real threats get lost in all the noise.

    • Re:ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:37AM (#44464865)

      Wow! That's the best response I've heard so far in this whole debate. Let us monitor those that monitor us. Great idea! Seriously...this is not sarcasm. And if they try and use encryption to hide what they are doing we pay them a SWAT team visit. ;-)

    • Re:ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:38AM (#44464867)

      Probably not at all. People by definition assume others are like they are, and when they themselves are crooks and lying bastards who wouldn't allow them to exist if they had a choice, they assume that others are just like that. Combine that with the psychological need to overcompensate and you're set.

      That works for governments as well as it does for superiors in the work place. The more he assumes that you're a slacker, the more likely he is one himself. The more he wants to "measure" your progress, the more likely he himself has nothing to show.

      And the more a politician goes on about the importance of "family values" and "morals", the more likely he's cheating on his wife with some 12 year old boy.

    • Re:ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kheldan (1460303) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:05AM (#44464965) Journal
      The word we're looking for here, I think, is "oversight"
      This is still supposed to be government "by the people, for the people" so there should be direct citizen oversight of the NSA, CIA, FBI, military intelligence, and any other alphabet-soup agencies within the government, preferably standing there with a big, heavy hardwood yardstick, ready to smack down hard on the knuckles of anyone of these goddamned spooks getting too nosy into what other honest, hardworking, tax-paying citizens are up to in their normal, everyday, absolutely non-terrorist lives. Of course the problem with that, is that the people involved in the oversight are going to be human beings, full of the same flaws that all other human beings are full of, and that's quite a powerful position to be in. No, I think maybe the best solution here is to have citizen oversight into the complete and total dismantlement of these surveillance networks, and make them go back to the good old days of actually doing "police work" to track down so-called "terrorists" and other wrong-doers, instead of using "protecting America" as an excuse for their blatant spying on everyone. The United States of America is not supposed to be a goddamned prison for it's citizens, where we're under armed guard 24 hours a day/365 days a year by those that are supposed to be serving us, and if these intelligence community jackasses don't like it, then they can all go to hell.
    • Re:ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Black LED (1957016) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:13AM (#44465003)
      I have a lot to hide. That doesn't mean any of it is illegal.
      • Re:ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:5, Informative)

        by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @11:23AM (#44465293)
        And even if most/all of what you have to hide is illegal, GET A WARRANT!
        • Re:ENOUGH ALREADY! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:57PM (#44466061)

          And even if most/all of what you have to hide is illegal, GET A WARRANT!

          USGOV: "We DID get warrants! We made up an extra-Constitutional, secret-decoder-ring-court out of whole cloth, and it gave us warrants for everything, everyone, and everywhere at any time. See? All "legal"!"

          Off-topic, but just out of curiosity, I wonder how many government/TLA big-wigs and/or their families drive "remotely-hackable" cars that could be made to "Michael Hastings" someone? Might be worth looking into.

          TLAs and other nosy government types need to remember that this shiny tech they abuse is double-edged. We citizens can maliciously hack and do drones, too...and on a scale that's orders-of-magnitude larger.

          Strat

      • by Teun (17872)
        See my sig:)
    • We have a mechanism in place that's supposed to be monitoring these organizations, its called CONGRESS. Of course, its easily distracted.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Seumas (6865)

      Oh, for fuck's sake. It's not like the entire government is out to get people. It's only the FBI, CIA, NSA, Pentagon, Police/SWAT, and the Executive office.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      I wonder how well that would go over with them?

      You know the answer to that, and that answer is why you post meaningless rhetoric from the safety of your basement. Set up an ISP, get backbone access through a peering agreement, figure out how to isolate TLA activity, and go do it. Have your door kicked in, your pets killed, and be thrown in jail for massive breaches of wire tapping and whatever other laws they can find to overwhelm your legal team. And rot in jail for forever.

      You would be a martyr for the

    • Since I have nothing to hide, YOU have no reason to look!

      Unfortunately the theory states the opposite: You'll do less that needs hiding since you don't know when they're looking, and they don't have to look as much just convince you they could be...

      Welcome to the Panopticon. [wikipedia.org]

      The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without their being able to tell whethe

  • I wonder when.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:27AM (#44464819)

    I wonder when this whole top heavy mess in washington will come crashing down.. They don't need to worry about 'terrorists', foreign or 'home grown'. Their own self destructive behavior will do them all in first...and drag the rest of us citizens down with them.

    • Re:I wonder when.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekymachoman (1261484) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:41AM (#44464875)

      What self destruction ? It seems to me 'they' have a plan for a long time now and it's working out quite well, even with negative publicity.

      What's gonna change ? The president. .. ? So what ... the president is a spokesman for somebody, and this ain't tin foil shit, it's obvious to everybody but naive.
      Especially if you're looking at America from outside.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        There is no "plan" only greed. once you have the power to do something letting go of that power is the hardest thing to do ever.

        That is why George Washington is truly the only great president. After 8 years in office he stepped aside so someone else could take over. No term limit, no force other than his own will to do so.

        Now a days we have to force such good behavior on politicians. Look at Spitzer and Wiener. They are the lowest scum of people to their wives, kids, friends. yet they are trying agai

      • by jbolden (176878)

        the president is a spokesman for somebody, and this ain't tin foil shit, it's obvious to everybody but naive.

        If it is so obviously maybe you'll name this somebody and give examples of this somebody's policies that contradicted those of the American people and the presidents on the way in.

        • Re:I wonder when.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by meta-monkey (321000) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @02:25PM (#44466169) Journal

          It's the small group of people who write checks with seven or eight zeros to the left of the decimal place to both parties. You don't write checks that size to buy common sense. That shit's free.

          Examples: the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which states:

          SEC. 322. HYDRAULIC FRACTURING.
          Paragraph (1) of section 1421(d) of the Safe Drinking Water
          Act (42 U.S.C. 300h(d)) is amended to read as follows:
          ‘‘(1) UNDERGROUND INJECTION .—The term ‘underground injection’—
          ‘‘(A) means the subsurface emplacement of fluids by
          well injection; and
          ‘‘(B) excludes—
          ‘‘(i) the underground injection of natural gas for
          purposes of storage; and
          ‘‘(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping
          agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic
          fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal
          production activities.’’
          .(emphasis added)

          Energy companies make billions pumping natural gas, but those pesky things like the Clean Water Act get in the way of injecting hydraulic chemicals into the ground. It sure is good Congess employed common sense to pass legislation exempting "underground injection of fluids" from laws regulating "underground injection." Wait, that's not common sense...why else would they...?

          Example 2: H-1B visas to "solve" the phony STEM shortage so the most profitable companies in America can drive down wages for tech workers. That is not in the interests of the American people.

          • by jbolden (176878)

            OK the donors who are often major players in the parties. Exxon and the other drilling companies are major players for the Republicans. The president is most certainly not a spokesperson for Exxon though Speaker Boehner certainly is. Which is to say the Republican speaker of the house represents Republican interests.

            Tech companies and H1B has been major contributors to both parties but leaning democrat. And the President is a spokesperson for the interests of tech companies. Tech workers are all over t

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      I wonder when this whole top heavy mess in washington will come crashing down.. They don't need to worry about 'terrorists', foreign or 'home grown'. Their own self destructive behavior will do them all in first...and drag the rest of us citizens down with them.

      We have met the enemy and they are us.

    • Re:I wonder when.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:48AM (#44464905)

      Hmm... considering that Bin Laden's goal was (allegedly) the destabilization of the USA along with its bankruptcy... Damn that guy was a strategy genius. And one in psychological warfare, too.

      That bastard really accomplished all his goals for this war. He read his enemies like an open book and played them like a violin.

      That, ladies and gentlemen, is genius. I don't like him or the development any more than any other sane person, but you have to admire that, whether you like it or not. He knew the weak spot of the US is the combination of greedy leaders and fearful followers, mixed with an industry ready, willing and able to exploit both, and he knew how to use that to his own goals.

      Brilliant. But why does brilliance in leaders always come packaged with being a complete asshole?

      • by Coditor (2849497)
        Plus we still have no actual proof that he was killed. He might have already been dead long ago, or maybe he showed up at his funeral in a wig.
        • Yeah...kind of funny how the "killing of Bin Laden" went down...no proof whatsoever he's actually dead.
          • Re:I wonder when.. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @12:21PM (#44465559)

            God dammit, you retarded sack of monkey shit. If there was any possibility of bin Laden being other than dead, it would destabilize the entire US of A to the point of people actually revolting.

            The amount of outrage people felt for him was enough to give up civil liberties continuously for a decade, and feel good about it. If, 20 years from now, bin Laden poked his head out from under a rock and gave an interview, or said a word, or farted, the American people would riot in the streets. The coverage of his killing (alleged, for your sake) was so complete and his death was so final that any variation from the truth would be more outrageous than failure to capture him.

            There is only one thing at this time that would unite the American people to overthrow the government, and that is bin Laden being alive. Nothing threatens the life of a soccer mom - financial crises, food chain shortages, coastal real estate being lost - nothing that she would give up the SUV and life of relative luxury, other than bin Laden being alive.

            Take every violation of the constitution, put it in one place, and soccer mom says "if it helps keep the terrorists away, I'm all for it." Do you know what the opposite of that is? Literally the one thing that is the complete antithesis to every justification anyone anywhere has put forth for anything done since 2001?

            Keeping the terrorists not only the opposite of "away", but alive. Lying about having killed him, and having him turn up somewhere on a video with a newspaper dated today. The SINGLE thing that could turn America into a rioting cesspool of VERY angry people, and you think that somehow the government thought it would be a good idea to lie about THAT?

            If he turned up somewhere, it would defeat every justification, every court decision, every individual's belief that the government is doing things for the people. Not just that they lied - that happens all the time and no one bats an eye. But they lied about the number one terrorist in the world - the one person who can scare every average person just by appearing on TV - being killed. Not by some random ass clown in a desert, but by America's most elite using America's latest technology. A fucking stealth-coptor dropped out of the sky and put an end to America's long national nightmare.

            And you think not just a few people but every person on record so far would be stupid enough to lie about it? I am all for caution, and have repeatedly posted such. But this is completely, unforgivably ignorant to even mention.

            I can go with you on the long thought train to thermite and faked moon landings and the grassy knoll and whatever other lunacy you want to repeat. But this is simply knee-jerk contrarianism.

            "What if it were true"? What if 9/11 was an inside job? Patriot act. What if there was more than a lone gunman? Plenty. What if the moon was faked? We beat Russia. What if everything Snowden leaked was true? Assumptions confirmed.

            What if bin Laden were alive? What purpose would that serve? A political boost for Obama, to give him an easy ride to a second term? We can eliminate every Republican ever, and every closeted racist as beneficiaries. Who has anything at all to gain? No one has ever justified anything by saying "It helped us get bin Laden". No secret court, spy program, political organization has ever seen benefit. There is nothing to gain, and everything to lose. Americans had forgotten about him nearly completely, and if he disappeared into the sunset few would have noticed other than Bush haters who liked to point out the shift from "number one priority" to "not a priority".

            Do you still think it is even a possibility that this did not happen?

        • by jbolden (176878)

          The US government, Al Qaeda and the government of Pakistan all confirmed the kill. I'd say that's rather good evidence.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        But why does brilliance in leaders always come packaged with being a complete asshole?

        Because talented nice guys often can't get past institutional barriers. Being an asshole is another word for being willing to do what it takes.

      • by istartedi (132515)

        I used to say Bin Laden was the mouse that made the Elephants panic and stumble. Damned if he didn't stampede the Donkeys too.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        Hmm... considering that Bin Laden's goal was (allegedly) the destabilization of the USA along with its bankruptcy... Damn that guy was a strategy genius.

        That's a bunch of after-the-fact bullshit.

      • You give him way too much credit. Bin Laden was an Islamic fanatic who viewed himself as a lion taking on another powerful creature. By poking at the 800lb gorilla, you garner support even if you fail taking down that gorilla. You got his attention, and that's all that mattered.

        Bin Laden is dead. I'm pleased. I only hope that fucker gets ass-raped in hell. Right alongside with Adolf Hitler as a cell mate. Anyways, he's dead and gone. Let's now focus on our other problem in this country. Problem that have be

      • by arth1 (260657)

        Hmm... considering that Bin Laden's goal was (allegedly) the destabilization of the USA along with its bankruptcy... Damn that guy was a strategy genius. And one in psychological warfare, too.

        That bastard really accomplished all his goals for this war. He read his enemies like an open book and played them like a violin.

        That, ladies and gentlemen, is genius.

        I'm sorry, but it doesn't take genius to predict how USA will react. Goad a pig, and it'll savage its own young.
        If anything, USA is more predictable than any other country.

    • Not when the media ignores the scandals and chicanery that goes on and continues to whistle as they pass the graveyard.
  • by allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:29AM (#44464831) Homepage Journal
    This has been A LONG time coming. Decades of mission creep, no one complains. But now that it's come back to bite us in the Gluteus maximus, we're all surprised? Personally, I love the idea that it's happening. Sure, I'll probably be one of the ones tortured and jailed for no other reason than "suspicious activity". And I'm not looking forward to that bit at all. But people have been screaming at us that this was going to happen. And no one listened. You reap what you sew, etc. As it was stated in the past, When they start coming for you, it's too late to change things.
  • Interesting if it is after https goes back to plain text at the server or search engine or search engine proxy service on any .com (US) provider?
  • The harvest (Score:4, Funny)

    by puddingebola (2036796) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:31AM (#44464837) Journal
    The "harvesting program" brought in a bumper crop of civil liberties this year.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:34AM (#44464845) Homepage Journal

    Let me know who's declining to install warantless taps and I'll put them on my list of businesses to engage for projects.

    For those wondering, Democracy Now carried the Senate hearing a day or two ago with Senator Lahey grilling the Deputy Director of the NSA, who revealed that of all the S.215 intercepts that have happened since 9/11, he could point to only one terrorist plot that maybe (just maybe) would have happened 'but for' the NSA spying. This is the purported benefit of sacrificing the privacy of three hundred million people.

    I haven't seen this make the mainstream news yet, at least from the links on the aggregators I read. Oh, but since the spying justification is falling apart, there's going to be a terrorist attack on Sunday. :P

    • In other words, come Sunday we get the proof that the whole security theater is pointless and we can go back to having a private life?

    • by DrLang21 (900992)

      If they fail to stop it, I will definitely not be convinced.

    • by instagib (879544)

      I haven't seen this make the mainstream news yet

      Well, the mainstream media won't help with spreading the news on this one. Currently, as you can see, they are busy drumming up the new batch of Al Qaeda warnings, and take care to repeatedly state that it is the NSA saving the world here.

      As expected, the two countries deepest into the US' digestive body parts - UK and Ger - already help with the security theatre effort by closing embassies. It all plays out like in a bad spy movie.

      • As far as I understand it the European position has always been pro-policing anti-warfare. They aren't being hypocrites they wanted the USA to have a deeper surveillance system and said so openly for many years.

    • by Aighearach (97333)

      I'm against most of the Patriot Act provisions, as written, but I do have to point out that this sort of program, when effective at stopping crime, isn't targeted at discovering and stopping late-stage plots that are about to happen so that they can point to a foiled plan. The goal is to be able to sweep a bunch of terrorists in after they catch 1. It is more effective to identify their operatives and put a bunch of heat on their associates and get them blackballed, than to wait around and let them advance

  • by boorack (1345877) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @09:35AM (#44464851)
    With latest revelations going mainstream, we're transitioning from stealth surveillance and oppresive state to overtly oppresive corporate fascist state. How long will it take for government opressions to become mainstream ? US police and security apparatus is already quite oppresive and corrupt (propably the worst in the developed world with the biggest prisoner population in the whole world), yet people tend to ignore this. Opressions from corporate fascist state will become part of everyday life sooner than people expect.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    to either blow up the patriot act to bits or loose their jobs. Are they for or against the people ? That should be the only matter on the next election agenda.
    looks to me like they're against the people they are " supposed " to serve. If that's not true , how is this a democracy ? Or is it just tyranny under the disguise of democracy ? I mean .. i don't know what's less frustrating. Is it knowing you're screwed like in Russia or living with one's pants down pretending we're not getting screwed ?

    • by PPH (736903)

      Time for politicians to either blow up the patriot act to bits or loose their jobs.

      A nice thought in theory. But how do you propose organizing support for this initiative. You don't think the NSA is watching for attempts to undermine their operating charter just as earnestly (if not more so) than backpacks and pressure cookers?

  • by Guru80 (1579277) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:15AM (#44465015)
    It's a bogus name given to bogus laws that flies right in the face of everything patriotic. Whenever that damn name is invoked (Patriot Act) it means we are having something taken from us be it rights or privacy.
    • I f the term "Department of Homeland Security" doesn't send shivers up your spine, you haven't read enough.

      Unfortunately it seems that american citizens value their safety more than their freedoms: A decades of cowardice is throwing away the liberties won by centuries of heroism.

      There may be nothing to be done - this may be the result of the democratic process. Just because *I* don't like the results, that doesn't mean that the majority of people agree with me.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        I f the term "Department of Homeland Security" doesn't send shivers up your spine, you haven't read enough.

        On the surface, there's nothing wrong with it, as a response to 4 planes being hijacked and 3 of them successfully flown into high-profile buildings.

        The "Patriot Act", on the other hand, is disgustingly named. Good "patriots" give up their freedom! Please. But it's not surprising or unusual in terms of government propaganda.

  • by Kohath (38547) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:16AM (#44465021)

    They told me if I voted for John McCain we would see this kind of escalating government abuse. And they were right! [pjmedia.com]

  • One can only hope that they will find what they are looking for. ;-)

    A Springtime Harvest is always welcome.

  • I wish (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fullback (968784) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:30AM (#44465067)

    I could move to another planet. I don't like this one anymore. It's too polluted with asshole politicians.

  • We Never Learn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:46AM (#44465139)

    People often look back at datelines where fascists thrived (Germany, Cambodia, Spain, etc.) and think, "Wow! How couldthey just sit back and let that happen!"

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is how.

    • by instagib (879544)

      The populations of your examples were poor, naive, badly educated, living in restricted militarized societies, with very few news sources which were easily manipulated for propaganda purposes.

      Compare them to the people of today living in relative luxury, with free speech and history education, thousands of news sources and a dozen media alternatives.

      It can't happen again. Or can it?

  • Undernet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GrBear (63712) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @10:57AM (#44465191)

    I wonder how long hacks and other enthusiasts get tired of being monitored up the ass before an alternative Internet gets created. Piggy backed on the Internet, but offering true end to end encryption and complete anonymity. I'm not talking TOR with it's limited exit nodes, I'm talking where every person on the 'network' is an exit node. Visiting a website with say a page of 10 images results in a server log of 11 different IP addresses.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Why go to that much trouble? Point to point encryption would already do quite a number on surveillance. Throw in even one layer of anonymizer and the system becomes overwhelmingly complex to monitor. You are already going to see people start walking away from US providers over this.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @11:30AM (#44465331) Homepage Journal

    When the target of snooping were foreing citizens all was OK, no reason to complain. Then they started watching "suspicious people", but it was for national security, just a few, is justified. Now is on everyone, specially US citizens, your time to complain has passed already.

    Now wait for the same sequence with drones. Just try to avoid the wrong neighbourhoods [policymic.com]

  • What goes around... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I find it amusing and disturbing that the normal ideals of "what goes around, comes around" strictly does not apply here. If Bradley Manning leaks information, if Edward Snowden tells of systems used for spying (not even the details, just that the programs exist), or if Julian Assange stands behind the information being revealed, then the US government goes all ballistic on them, they are criminals, and enemies, and must be stopped, tortured, killed, sent to a kangaroo court with a secret trial, secret evi

  • There's only one way to get our privacy back (and it's a long shot). Use what Constitutional power we have to change the law. Proposed 28th Amendment: No person, group, or agency, public or private, foreign or domestic, may collect, record, transmit, or disclose any private information beyond that defined in the United States Census about any individual without express written permission of the individual or court order specific to an active criminal investigation. Private information includes, but is not
  • ...want to spy on so many people?

    Seems they have some psychological handicap as an organization. But since corporation can be considered persons, where is the Psychological institute to provide therapy to such a "person" named the FBI so they may recover from their illness.

    But actually what is going on is a government controlled feedback loop and the spying is only a part of the loop. The other part is the controlled medai. So we have the media conditioning the masses and the spying to determine direction o

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