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Other Agencies Clamor For Data NSA Compiles 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-to-share dept.
schwit1 writes "The National Security Agency's dominant role as the nation's spy warehouse has spurred frequent tensions and turf fights with other federal intelligence agencies that want to use its surveillance tools for their own investigations, officials say. Agencies working to curb drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and even copyright infringement complain that their attempts to exploit the security agency's vast resources have often been turned down because their own investigations are not considered a high enough priority, current and former government officials say. Intelligence officials say they have been careful to limit the use ... for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights."
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Other Agencies Clamor For Data NSA Compiles

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  • No Catfood (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hawkinspeter (831501)
    So, it has come to this.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:08AM (#44475785)
      I remember when paranoid fantasies were just fantasies.
      • Re:No Catfood (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:34AM (#44475893)

        The scary part is that it turned out that the insane conspiracy nutjobs had a more realistic view of the world than you.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Is the new Al Qaeda scare, U.S. still on edge in face of uncovered terror plot [cbsnews.com], just manipulation to scare people into accepting NSA and other "security" agencies doing anything they like?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Is the Pope Catholic?
        • I read in the Wallstreet Journal this morning (which my father-in-law reads) that "Washington Officials say this move is not an indication that there is new intelligence information that has been collected" Meaning: Yes, it absolutely is a manufactured scare tactic.
          • I should clarify that by "the move" in the above quote they mean the move to close 22 embassies in the middle east.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              I should clarify that by "the move" in the above quote they mean the move to close 22 embassies in the middle east.

              (anonymous to preserve mods)

              Yeah, I wondered why that story never made it to slashdot frontpage. Not for-nerds enough, I suppose, but I digress.

              I was particularly piqued by some Senator saying something like "we're seeing chatter much like before 9/11".

              Meaning either (1) we were grotesquely overstepping our mandate even before that, and/or (2) we noticed something special prior to 9/11 but, well, didn't do enough about it.

              • I read the same thing and to me the fact that they are invoking 9/11 is just to instill greater fear throughout the populace. Remember V for Vendetta? The public opinion of the government begins to change so the government tries to remind the populace that it needs the government by planting scary news stories and invoking the St. Mary's virus. This is

                THE

                EXACT

                SAME

                THING

                • by Synerg1y (2169962)

                  In V they put black bags over people's heads and made them disappear, we've had Guantanamo for years. And... remember anthrax?

              • Sorry for totally offtopic, replying to own post... Could it be that posting anonymously does not in fact preserve mods, but just undoes them silently? Cause the posts I moderated show no sign of it now. I just assumed it would work because I see quite often lines like "anon to preserve mods".

                Actually it's probably a good thing. A warning would be nice though, waste of perfectly good modpoints.

              • ...and/or (2) we noticed something special prior to 9/11 but, well, didn't do enough about it.

                They knew all sorts of things [wikipedia.org]. They knew a plot would likely unfold soon, involving massive casualties. They'd been warned about strikes using airplanes, and that Jihadis were in the US, and that four were receiving flight training.

                And precisely nothing was done. They didn't even warn the airlines.

                One way or another, any weirdness surrounding 9/11 is dead and buried at this point. Whether random terrorism, domestic false flag, or some hybrid of the two (a Bush - Saudi - Bin Ladin 'understanding'), ther

                • ...and/or (2) we noticed something special prior to 9/11 but, well, didn't do enough about it.

                  They knew all sorts of things [wikipedia.org]. They knew a plot would likely unfold soon, involving massive casualties. They'd been warned about strikes using airplanes, and that Jihadis were in the US, and that four were receiving flight training.
                  And might I mention the Boston Marathon bombings. The Russian told the U.S. the two brothers were terrorists and the U.S. let them blow the bombs anyway. You don't suppose this was another way to reinforce the position that security is far more important than that Old useless piece of paper that used to keep getting in the way of their power? I'm glad I'm old. I fought to defend this country and it's Constitution and now it seems no one cares that we have torn up that document and replaced it with secret courts and secret spying. This is not the country I was born into. I weep that the "Grand Experiment" is dying.

                  And precisely nothing was done. They didn't even warn the airlines.

                  One way or another, any weirdness surrounding 9/11 is dead and buried at this point. Whether random terrorism, domestic false flag, or some hybrid of the two (a Bush - Saudi - Bin Ladin 'understanding'), there is likely no remaining information that will ever be dislodged to 'resolve' the issue for anyone who remains unconvinced one way or another. What we do know, with absolute certainty, was that 9/11 was a godsend for US imperialism. Writing in 2000 on the subject of revitalizing the US military to put it back on a war footing, with a focus on a 'two-war capability' (i.e., the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously), the Project for the New American Century report Rebuilding America's Defenses [newamericancentury.org] notes that: (pp. 51)

                  ... the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.

                  A range of high level members of the Bush administration were members or signatories of the PNAC.

                  So regardless of the extent to which (1) is true in the parent posting, (2) is definitely the case. And if you are willing to look for causality or intention in that stubborn inaction, you do not have to look far – though you should be prepared for an onslaught of "omg lolz conspiracy theory!" declamations to put closure on any honest discussion of the incentives, invested parties, and policy outcomes.

      • I predicted we would arrive here from nearly the first time I got on the internet with my modem way back. Even back then, I knew this free, open, powerful network was too good to be true - and It will become a threat to a lot of people and organizations and governments. I was laughed at; told the sky is not falling and there is no need for tinfoil hats.. "Nobody cares what us geeks do!" I was told. My friend always chided me for reading slashdot. He called slashdot a web page full of chicken littles and I
    • Surely they won't abuse it after this!
  • Fine (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:12AM (#44475799)
    Give them all the data they want, with the single condition that any and all wrongdoing found must be prosecuted. Part of me just wants to watch the chaos.
    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Sort of a sheep guarding the hen house problem there don't you think? You really thing "internal affairs" is all that objective at any of these three letters?

      Do the IA guys get the clearances to look at the information needed to do a truly effective audit of anyone working sensitive case?

      Assuming you want more than IA, are you going to give the GAO guys all the clearances they need.

      Tough to keep secrets when so many get access.

    • Re:Fine (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bfandreas (603438) on Monday August 05, 2013 @09:03AM (#44476609)
      If they do insist on gathering this data they should
      a) make all gathered data available by request for each individual citizen
      b) disclose who made use of that data and also discolse the reason for it

      This level of transparency would be required to make this anywhere near OK. But their underhanded tactics they use make this very unlikely. They don't spy on US citizens(except by accident) but they do get data from the Brits who it turns out have the legal framework to spy on everyone. NSA financed the GCHQ site in Bude and has lots of staff "liaising" with the GCHQ. Which all is perfectly legal.

      I wonder why there is no bigger outcry in the UK that the main selling point of the GCHQ to the NSA is the relatively lax legal framework in the UK. It is perfeclty legal, yes. But if questions have been asked about if the laws powering this festering dungheap are ok I have totally missed that. And I'm subscribed to The Guardian which would totally pick this one up.

      It seems that the main discussion is happening in Germany and the US. While the biggest culprit, namely the GCHQ, has very little to fear. As always with these leaks, the US reputation isn't as damaged as everybody else's. And I totally buy into the NSA not sharing any data. But I do not buy that FISA courts are actually doing their jobs as this would require blind trust. How should I trust the integrity of secret courts? Their mere existence is a travesty in a democracy.

      This is all so wrong on so many levels...

      Alas, the geeks in the cubicles of the NSA/GCHQ propably don't even understand this outrage. And when you think about it, it is no mean technological feat. They managed to acquire lots of data, store it and search it. On a massive scale. That's cool and scary at the same time.
  • by Coward Anonymous (110649) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:12AM (#44475801)

    It's only natural.

  • 2 points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrLogic17 (233498) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:14AM (#44475813) Journal

    1) " for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights"
    The act of spying & collecting this data didn't already pass this threashold?

    2) Every government agency takes the permitted rules and pushes them to the limit & a bit beyond. In no time at all, the Smallville dog catcher's dept will have access to NSA data. "Think of the children - we need to know which houses have mean dogs, and which ones have small children! For their own good!"
    This should be no surprise.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In spite of all the news, everybody I've worked with at the NSA has been very concerned about privacy and focused on preserving privacy, and generally unhappy about a legislative change that put drug trafficers in the list of people they were allowed to collect against, breaking that (to them) sacred bubble aroudn American citizens.

      • That seems rather odd, given the NSA's actions (even before the drug trafficker nonsense). I think this is more of a case of people pretending they care about individual liberties.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        I don't necessarily care about how honest the people in the offices are *today*. Ask yourself just how great is the potential for abuse, and just how appealing a target will that make for the corrupt? Whether they pursue the position for access to the power, or simply corrupt existing officials via bribes, blackmail, etc. doesn't matter - just imagine the success the "New Tyranny Party" could have with access to that kind of information about all their political rivals (how many politicians do you suppose

    • Re:2 points (Score:5, Insightful)

      by boorack (1345877) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:29AM (#44475871)
      So, they don't use this data to curb drug trafficking, money laundering, cyberattacks. And it turned out that only one terrorist plot was POSSIBLY curbed with all this giant spying operation. This is enough to convince me that governments, banksters and corporations around it are using this surveillance to keep themselves in power and control US population regardless of how much fraud and outright crimes will the government do. From the beginning this had nothing to do with safety of ordinary americans and has everything to do with protecting corrupt, criminal US elites from US population. They don't give a crap about our safety or well being - should they care, they wouldn't defund and dismantle local police and fire departments just to ensure their fellow banksters have bigger profits (thanks to bailouts). They built this monster for the same exact reason STASI built its apparatus. Everything this surveillance would do to benefit citizens is regarded as unnecessary cost and we know what corporate aparatchics and their government cronies do with such "excess costs".
      • Can't tell if troll, or you forgot to take your pills this month.

      • As much as I'd like to see the bad guys punished and justice served, there is no justice when you run roughshod over half of the Bill of Rights. The NSA data, IMHO, was not theirs to take in the first place. The use of it by other agencies not only compounds the damages, perhaps exponentiating the damage, but also sets the precedent that we're not protected from the boorishness of illegal search.

        Soon the shakedowns will start. The big campaign contributors, already in control of the legislatures, will help

      • Re:2 points (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bradmont (513167) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:55AM (#44476059)
        The "It hasn't actually caught any terrorists!" argument (also applied to the TSA), while tempting, is an error on the part of anti-spying advocates. This is a mistake for two reasons:

        1. It puts the emphasis on the incidental situation, and not the actual violation of rights. So it makes it easy for the opposition to straw-man the civil liberties point of view, for example, that they're arguing based on a waste of money.
        2. The technology may well advance to the point where it does work. If our argument is frequently presented as "it doesn't work," when that changes, the civil liberties cause will take a massive hit to its credibility.

        So, it's better to stick to the real issue, which is that these programs are a violation of peoples rights.
        • Plus there's the "even a broken clock is right twice a day" situation. If you argue that the TSA is bad because they don't catch terrorists, what happens when they catch one? It's bound to happen eventually just due to pure luck (or incompetence on the part of the terrorist). If your only argument is "TSA is bad because they don't catch terrorists" your argument is severely weakened thanks to one lucky snag.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So, they don't use this data to curb drug trafficking, money laundering, cyberattacks. And it turned out that only one terrorist plot was POSSIBLY curbed with all this giant spying operation. This is enough to convince me that governments, banksters and corporations around it are using this surveillance to keep themselves in power and control US population regardless of how much fraud and outright crimes will the government do. From the beginning this had nothing to do with safety of ordinary americans and has everything to do with protecting corrupt, criminal US elites from US population. They don't give a crap about our safety or well being - should they care, they wouldn't defund and dismantle local police and fire departments just to ensure their fellow banksters have bigger profits (thanks to bailouts). They built this monster for the same exact reason STASI built its apparatus. Everything this surveillance would do to benefit citizens is regarded as unnecessary cost and we know what corporate aparatchics and their government cronies do with such "excess costs".

        I guess the premise of your answer just melted ;)

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/dea-surveillance-cover-up_n_3706207.html

        Next stop: IP / Copyright enforcement. Oh wait, you can ask Kim DotCom about how that went.

        Turns out criminals aren't the only people who thinks doing it the illegal way is an easier way to get the job done / get rich.

    • by richlv (778496)

      well, they do gain a minor credit for turning down "counterfeiting and even copyright infringement" requests :)

      • Or they just considered that if retroactive phone taps start appearing in drug trials, someone is eventually going to notice and start asking where this evidence is coming from.

        • Or they just considered that if retroactive phone taps start appearing in drug trials, someone is eventually going to notice and start asking where this evidence is coming from.

          "No Knock" warrants to "Preserve Evidence" has taken us quite a ways down that slippery slope already. Add to that how DNA databases are being worked, where a request for a certain profile is broadcast and the holder of a matching profile make themselves known so a search warrant can be sent; now it's easy to envision law enforcement send a near endless stream of requests for retro-active wire taps, and being able to get them. Up to now the NSA could always say whether or not we have than opperational capac

      • by click2005 (921437) *

        The copyright industry just weren't offering to pay enough for the data.

    • Re:2 points (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rich0 (548339) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:38AM (#44475927) Homepage

      The act of spying & collecting this data didn't already pass this threshold?

      While I tend to agree, I can at least commend the NSA for trying to limit the use of this data where there isn't an overriding purpose.

      The problem is that once databases like these are compiled there will be constant pressure to expand their use. First national security letters are used to find out who is reading bomb-making books at the local library. Later national security letters are used to find out who is reading communist/cryptography/whatever books at the library.

      The next problem is that these are secret databases whose existence isn't generally admitted to in the first place. How do these other agencies even know (prior to Snowden) that this data is out there to begin with? If they were obtaining data from these databases, how would we even find out about it?

      Better to not collect this kind of data in the first place, unless it is in reaction to a specific threat (and if there is a specific threat, you should be able to obtain a warrant which makes it completely legal). When this kind of data is collected, it should only be used for the original intended purpose.

      • While I tend to agree, I can at least commend the NSA for trying to limit the use of this data where there isn't an overriding purpose.

        1) we only have hearsay to attest to that. Since every part of this program is handled in secret, we have no idea exactly what purposes are being allowed.

        2) Given past governmental behavior, at all levels from local to national, isn't it just a matter of time before congress passes new laws allowing new "targeted" accesses to this data for, say, copyright violations? After all, they're the ones who passed the laws allowing this program to happen in the first place.

      • by jittles (1613415)

        The act of spying & collecting this data didn't already pass this threshold?

        While I tend to agree, I can at least commend the NSA for trying to limit the use of this data where there isn't an overriding purpose.

        I suspect the real reason they don not want to release this information to law enforcement agencies is to prevent it from being used in a court of law. It will be very difficult to raise the domestic spying issue as a violation of the 4th amendment if there is no one who can claim standing in a civil or criminal procedure. So I definitely think you misunderstand the NSA's motive in this.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          suspect the real reason they don not want to release this information to law enforcement agencies is to prevent it from being used in a court of law. It will be very difficult to raise the domestic spying issue as a violation of the 4th amendment if there is no one who can claim standing in a civil or criminal procedure. So I definitely think you misunderstand the NSA's motive in this.

          Fair enough, but at least the constitution is providing us a little protection either way. Industries that police themselves usually are only doing so to prevent being subject to expensive regulation, but the end result is that at least some kind of policing is taking place.

    • How about, if it ever was misused in those ways, will we even know...oh right, that's number 1.
    • 1) " for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights" The act of spying & collecting this data didn't already pass this threashold?

      Well I think it really illustrates something that the NSA believes that this data can't be provided to anyone else, because *then* it would be a violation of privacy. You know, like the ATF asks for access to the data, and the NSA goes, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. We can't let anyone see this information. It's private information on US citizens. Having access to a store of this information is a fourth amendment violation waiting to happen!" It kind of kills the argument that it's ok for the NSA to have it, unle

      • Well if anybody know what kind of assholes those other guys are, I suppose it would be the NSA because the seem to have the shit on everybody; I've heard they've been survailing Obama since before he was a Senator.

  • by Ckwop (707653) <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:14AM (#44475815) Homepage

    Right across the free world we're told this these giant databases are there to keep us safe.

    The question is more who is being kept safe who. Is the purpose of these databases to protect me or protect the politicians? Is to protect me or big business? Is it to protect my right to process or restrict it?

    In my own country, William Hague said that it was unthinkable that GCHQ would be operating outside of the law. The problem is I don't believe you!

    Practically every time the government has secrecy it abuses that power to its own ends. This is just the nature of power held in secret with a lack of transparency. The entire span of human history shows that kind of power is hugely destructive.

    The cure is worse than the disease here. Honestly, I'd rather have more terrorist attacks that having my privacy systematically shredded for the greater good. All terrorists can ever do is kill people. It takes a government to kill a society.

    • Who is being kept safe? Politicians and their thugs. That's who.
      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        Who is being kept safe? Politicians and their thugs. That's who.

        Politicians are puppets. Well paid puppets, but puppets after all.

        Politicians are being watched too; probably even more than simple citizens. You wouldn't want your puppets to act under no surveillance.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          The establishment needs to be out in front of any issues with a new gov, the celebrities, press with sources, inventors with disruptive technology, arms dealers talking to the press, diplomatic blackmail (both sides), dissidents, protesters, disarmament/peace protesters near bases, police corruption stories, local elections, trade unions - anything and anyone that could get traction in the press.
          Add in the classics - generational wealth protection, arms dealers who can keep "freedom fighters" in weapons an
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      Right across the free world we're told this these giant databases are there to keep us safe.

      The question is more who is being kept safe

      Sadly, your view is optimistic. It's not "who" that's being kept safe, but "what". And the answer is "Capital".

      There has never been a working economic system that had the general populace as its priority. Capitalism is most certainly not an exception.

      The simple truth is that the mentioned information has a large cost, and agencies (at least theoretically) oriented to the protection of the citizens are not a good investment.

      Citizens are simply not valuable enough to spend the high cost of these surveillance

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Totenglocke (1291680)
        Wow, that was one of the least intelligent comments I've read. So how does your "evil capitalist" theory work when you look at the domestic spying of China, North Korea, the USSR, etc?
        • by Anonymous Coward

          What is protected is the power apparatus. In the USofA, it is the militaro-industrial complex. In China, it is the "communist" party. And so on.

        • I don't see how the GP's post contradicts the similar use of surveillance of civilian populations by more totalitarian regimes.

          That Manichean worldview is not useful, because it sets up false choices.
        • by AHuxley (892839)
          RE: What could China, North Korea, the USSR vs the NSA?
          Float a few really good quality spy ships off the coast of the USA, UK?
          Some great trackable satellites passing over the US/UK and friends?
          Dedicate a few embassy floors to signals? Build a huge complex in Cuba to listen in?
          The Soviets went for weak people in the US/UK in areas that where interesting or shaped liked minded peoples careers very long term.
          East Germany tried to put young agents into West German firms hoping some might get to middl
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's an interesting thing. When Coretta Scott King passed away recently they had a memorial where they refreshed people's minds about Martin Luther King, and the idea of non-violence. And now in America you're suddenly seeing war movies again on TV - they never showed war movies until recently - and how great it is to be patriotic. It's wrong. The day and age we live in now, it's all full of fear and frightening feelings. It's the opposite of Roosevelt saying, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    • by Type44Q (1233630) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:59AM (#44476079)

      Practically every time the government has secrecy it abuses that power to its own ends.

      Fortunately for the feudal aristocracy, the serfs tend to have very short attention spans...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rich0 (548339)

      Not a surprise at all. This is the problem with the nation of a bazillion laws that we live in. Selective enforcement of laws that everybody violates can be used to easily justify any raid/seizure/etc.

      Suppose a police vehicle uses listening equipment without a warrant to listen in on random houses to find evidence of drug manufacture. Any data they collect would be thrown out of court, as well as any follow-on evidence (fruit of the poisonous tree and all that). So, when the police find a home engaged i

  • by MTEK (2826397)

    for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights.

    But..but.. the people asking are professionally trained law enforcement officials. What's the problem?

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:35AM (#44475899) Journal

    The DEA is getting the data [yahoo.com] and then falsifying the source of the data. And not telling the court or anyone about it. To protect national security is one thing, but to conduct non-national security operations using the data seems to me to be a blatant violation of the constitution.

    • by Xest (935314)

      This doesn't surprise me. In the last decade we've had numerous stories of people's houses being raided or arrested or charged because of something they've said on Twitter and it's always made me a bit suspicious that these people got caught given they had only a handful of followers they knew closely.

      Take the Doncaster airport guy in the UK who made a joke about blowing it up if the delays weren't sorted in 7 days or whatever - the chance of one of those few tens of people he had following him taking it se

      • I think it's more likely you've fallen victim to the phenomenon of unrealistic view of probabilities, like people who fear terrorism but drive like idiots, which is much more likely to kill them.

        Imagine all the millions of asshats who use Twitter every day. They probably generate tens of thousands of tweets similar to the UK example you cited, but you don't read about tens of thousands of similar arrests every day, do you?

        So, you think the odds are "probably about zero", so let's say *only* ten thousand
    • If we allow that the CIA is part of the national security apparatus, rather than a bunch of sociopaths who go around the world screwing everything up for narrow political and corporate interests, then the DEA is absolutely an essential part of the national security apparatus too, as it promotes the high prices that gets the CIA its off-books funding [youtube.com]. See also the wrist-slap HSBC got for laundering trillions of dollars of drug money.

      Oh, but Nancy Reagan said, "just say no", so none of that can be true. How

    • It's, but whats' worse is hiding the source of the info from the courts. It's indefensible, and completely unconstitutional. Watch for thousands of requests from defense attorneys to come rolling in now. A lot of people just got their get out of jail free cards.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The problem for the DEA is the CIA and US mil trains all of South America.
      To avoid the Cubans, Russians. Nationalists leftists... all wanting to escape the bad national loans....
      People know what a cell signal is, voice prints, calls made to the USA, tracking of everything entering US airspace...
      Strange that it all works, the bank accounts stay open and shipments arrive... year after year after year, flight after flight, ship after ship... trucks... small subs...
    • by LF11 (18760)

      Thank you for this link.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday August 05, 2013 @09:33AM (#44476891) Homepage

      To protect national security is one thing, but to conduct non-national security operations using the data seems to me to be a blatant violation of the constitution.

      Except that part of the reason for the Bill of Rights is specifically to protect the citizens from having the government infringe on their rights for "national security" reasons. Saying it's for "national security" doesn't make it better, really.

      What the founders feared, what the Bill of Rights was intended to be a protection against, was an oppressive government using its power to subdue people who opposed the government. So the First Amendment is not saying, "You have the freedom to express yourself artistically," so much as, "You have the freedom to speak out *against the government*." The Second Amendment is not saying, "You're allowed to have guns for hunting purposes," as much as, "You have the right to have military weapons *to protect yourself from the government*." And the 4th Amendment was not really focused on preventing overzealous police officers as much as it was about preventing the government from going after dissidents, rifling through their lives, looking for a pretext to arrest them.

      It's really all about protecting people from the danger of a government using "national security" as a pretext for shutting down dissent. This NSA stuff is *exactly* what the founding fathers were worried about.

    • by sgt_doom (655561)
      Exactly, scorp1us, exactly, thus making a lie of this bullcrap post, unfortunately! This is simply more political theater of the absurd.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Intelligence officials say they have been careful to limit the use ... for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights

    The irony in this statement is just mindboggling.

  • I'm only here cuz I the article mentioned a squirrel.

    First it's for national security, then it's revealed the DEA has it's own methods to spy on Americans sans warrant. The Constitution was put in place to limit the government...politicians can do whatever they want but they absolutely cannot decide not to comply with the Constitution. Don't they swear to uphold and defend it when they take office or are their fingers crossed?
  • by arth1 (260657) on Monday August 05, 2013 @07:49AM (#44476011) Homepage Journal

    ... for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights.

    As opposed to misused in ways that doesn't violate Americans' privacy rights?

  • Previously they might have been loath to allow access to their systems as their very existence was not "public" knowledge. Thanks to leaks that is no longer a hindrance...
    • by spacepimp (664856)

      You are missing the larger point that this illegal practice was occurring prior to the Snowden leaks. It is only visible/under public scrutiny as a result of the public awareness. There is nothing ironic about ignorance/bliss.

  • The governments of the entire world need to unify and rise up against this illegal intrusion into the private lives of their citizens, which violates the Charter of Rights here in Canada and equivalent legislation around the globe. Contrary to their self-righteous beliefs, the US is not the world police.

    Furthermore, we need to hold our own governments to task for allowing our intelligence agencies to use information collected by the US as a means of bypassing the rights legislation that is supposed to p

    • your assuming that there are governments that are not actively taking part or have their own versions of the same thing.

      Iceland maybe has a clean government any other suggestions?

  • "We need to know who downloaded copies of 'The conjuring'. It's rated R, so imagine the horrors if a child were to download this! Do you hate children?!? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!" -- RIAA

  • The founding fathers didn't write the fourth amendment to protect us from intrusion in our personal information unless the agencies claimed they wouldn't abuse it.

    They wrote the fourth amendment because they knew that if the power weren't prohibited, the information would be abused.

  • by CaptainOfSpray (1229754) on Monday August 05, 2013 @08:48AM (#44476475)
    "careful to limit the use ... for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights."

    Nonsense. The NSA restrict access for exactly the same reason as access to Ultra was restricted in Wrld War II. "If the enemy [the US public] knew we are reading their signals, they would take steps to prevent us continuing".
  • We at the NSA mock the idea of tension and turf-fights with our sister agencies. There is not, and never has been any rivalry between us and the other three letter entities, who by the way can keep their damned dirty ape paws off of our databases.

  • "Agencies working to curb drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and even copyright infringement complain that their attempts to exploit the security agency's vast resources have often been turned down because their own investigations are not considered a high enough priority..."

    Excooooose meeeee, but is everyone freaking ignorant about the reason behind the recent firing of the acting head of the IRS?

    About eight days or less, prior to his termination, the IRS announced, at t
  • by fazey (2806709)
    I'm sure this wasn't just some bullshit to try and make Americans trust the NSA... "ohhh they are at least protecting our data from other agencies that want to farm it". No one is falling for it. Move along...
  • Would completely avoid the internet now. Even this has been recorded. Next government might not like me saying this and use this to come after me. You just never know what it might be even your political view.
  • "Agencies working to curb drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and even copyright infringement complain that their attempts to exploit the security agency's vast resources have often been turned down because their own investigations are not considered a high enough priority"

    I would suspect that anyone engaged in any of the above activities don't use the public Intertubes for communication. Besides which, where you do have such activity there's usually some nation state behind
  • by hicksw (716194)

    How can we poison the well? Is there a non-defeatable way to spoof enough false metadata to make the fedgov harvesting a broken exercise?

    If they cannot trust their own data theft or "probable cause" can be denied, we might have a short-term win.

    Can we DDOS the spies?
    --
    then I went back to sleep and had the same nightmare again

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