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Chief NSA Lawyer Hints That NSA May Be Tracking US Citizens 213

itwbennett writes "Responding to questions from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday, Matthew Olsen, the NSA's general counsel, said that the NSA 'may', under 'certain circumstances' have the authority to track U.S. citizens by intercepting location data from cell phones, but it's 'very complicated.' 'There's no need to panic, or start shopping for aluminum-foil headwear,' says blogger Kevin Fogarty, but clearly the NSA has been thinking about it enough 'that the agency's chief lawyer was able to speak intelligently about it off the cuff while interviewing for a different job.'"
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Chief NSA Lawyer Hints That NSA May Be Tracking US Citizens

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  • Re:Very complicated (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @05:00PM (#36888270) Homepage

    "Very complicated", referring of course to the process of determining whether your political leanings are threatening or not to the government in power.

    Possibly, but you have to understand that "the government in power" in this case isn't Obama, or Bush, or Congress, but instead the TLAs and their massive and growing secret activities. It doesn't matter, for instance, that they've knowingly and repeatedly violated the law - both the Attorney General and the federal courts have said, in short, "Regardless of whether the agency broke the law, you can't talk about it in an open courtroom. Case dismissed."

    I'm going to also assume they've acquired dirt on most of Congress as well as the President and most presidential candidates, as a way to prevent their funding from being taken.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @06:29PM (#36889042) Journal

    With a warrant, any cop can do this.

    Why is it either a surprise or a scare that the NSA can, with what is bound to be much higher standards for justification (as long as the Republicans aren't in the White House, in which case justification involves merely setting up plausible deniability)?

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?