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NSA Head Asks How To Spy Without Collecting Metadata 509

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-and-your-connected-dots-can-shove-off dept.
jfruh writes "NSA Director Keith Alexander, testifying before the Senate this week, got weirdly petulant, asking his critics how he was supposed to do his job without collecting metadata on American communications. 'If we can come up with a better way, we ought to put it on the table and argue our way through it,' he said. 'There is no other way that we know of to connect the dots.' He also implied that major U.S. tech companies might have greater capacities than his organizations, and that they should help him out with new ideas."
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NSA Head Asks How To Spy Without Collecting Metadata

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  • Re:duh (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @12:13PM (#45680805)

    They aren't actually breaking the law now with metadata collection. The courts have ruled on that. You might wish they were, but they aren't.

  • Re:Then Fire Him (Score:4, Informative)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Friday December 13, 2013 @01:00PM (#45681393)

    Old fashioned detective work? Surely you jest. (Stop calling me shirley). You actually expect that we can do real detective work when we can't profile people? The PC crowd keeps poking at us when we look at a given group, say, arab men ages 18 to 40. So in order to show how "fair" we are, we need to look at everyone's metadata. After the have the data, we can filter it as we see fit and no one will know we're profiling. Oddly enough, when looking for a needle in a haystack, you need more hay.

    Profiling is just another form of indiscriminate metadata.

    To do a really effective job, pay attention to the people, not the groups. Not every Muslim out there is "Death to America". Not every Anglo-Saxon granny is "Apple Pie". Tim McVeigh was as white-bread USA as anyone, but if the proper people had been listening to him, he would have had a lot more trouble doing what he did. Otherwise you're just playing the odds.

  • Re:Then Fire Him (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @01:05PM (#45681487)

    And if anything is posted online, emailed, or talked over on a cell phone, or in person, then you get sent to Gitmo as a "terrorist collaborator"... It makes revolt or any meaningful action too risky. Even if you start talking to other people about the problem, then it will turn out those people you talk to are undercover agents trying to entrap you.

  • by drnb (2434720) on Friday December 13, 2013 @01:39PM (#45681963)

    Are gun owners required to be in the militia? Is the State free to draft gun owners?

    According to U.S. Federal Law all U.S. able bodied adult males up to a certain age are in the "inactive" Federal Militia. "Inactive" means that there is no requirement to gather or train. Many states have similar laws regarding the state militias. The federal law also makes it clear that the militia is not the National Guard since that upper age limit is increased if a person had ever served in the "active" military forces. The National Guard is an "active" force since it meets and trains regularly and its training is dictated by the U.S. Army.

    Automatically being in the Federal Militia is part of the legal basis for the draft. In a technical sense you are being "transferred" from the inactive militia to the active duty reserve (IIRC) force.

    Also note that there is an inactive reserve, meaning after you leave the military you no longer have to meet or train but the military still owns your butt for some time frame. They can immediately return you to active duty in the event of a pressing need.

    In general the U.S. military has the following components according the federal law (IIRC):
    Regular Forces
    Active Reserve Forces
    Inactive Reserve Forces
    National Guard (normally under command of state, can be transferred to federal authority, training dictated by feds)
    Active Militia
    Inactive Militia (all able bodied males of a certain age range automatically belong)

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