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US Senators Concerned With Surveillance Bill "Loophole" 128

zer0point writes "The law lets U.S. agencies monitor the communications of foreigners outside the U.S. But two senators are questioning whether a loophole allows the storage and search of messages from Americans that are picked up inadvertently while foreigners are being monitored. The intelligence community has repeatedly said it takes steps to minimize the data collected on Americans. Among the senators’ concerns: that the administration hasn’t been able to estimate how many people in the U.S. have had their information reviewed under the program."
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US Senators Concerned With Surveillance Bill "Loophole"

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @06:32PM (#40289777)

    I suspect the truth is "hasn't been willing to".

    People have been willing to ignore these sorts of things since they can at least pretend it's probably doesn't involve their own information. If the truth came out, and the government admitted it was electronically sifting through virtually all internal US communications... I suspect people would start to get riled up over it.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:01PM (#40290021)
    I don't really think it's apathy or lack of intelligence. There are plenty of people that are incredibly intelligent that do not have degrees or high paying salaried jobs. Have you ever operated heavy equipment like an excavator? I know guys that are nearly savants with those things. Not a one of them cares about politics. They chose to apply their wisdom and wits to something tangible, something they can change directly. I can understand that. So much of politics is slight of hand, trickery, lies and deceit that many people just refuse to participate any longer. I can understand that as well.
  • NSA Response: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:03PM (#40290033) Homepage Journal
    "Nothing to see here Senator Likes-to-be-spanked-by-nuns-while-wearing-diapers and Senator Visits-livegoatporn.com-every-fifteen-minutes. No personally-identifying information is being collected and certainly wouldn't get out unless completely by accident."
  • I hate to do it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:07PM (#40290059)
    I hate to do it, but someone has to.
    How many people have been killed by international terrorists on US soil in all of history?
    How much have we spend on counter-terrorism efforts in the past 10 years?
    Do some math... and we're spending billions per civilian life to stop terrorist attacks.
    Lets just stop for a while and see what happens.

    Now you're going to jump up and yell "That's cold! It's horrible! How could you?!?!"
    Well, yea... fine, I'll accept that. But what if we instead spent all those billions on cancer research?
    Not only would we save far more lives, over a much longer term, but dieing from cancer is plain and simple a worse way to die that having your plane blown up or crashed.
    Counter terrorism is an excuse to maintain our cold-war levels of military readiness that simply are not needed any longer. We need to stop, and think before we spend and bomb.
  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:09PM (#40290065) Journal

    She pointed out that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has repeatedly found that the collection program is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution

    Secret court decides that its reason to exist is legal..... news at 11:00

  • Re:Ron Wyden (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:18PM (#40290127)

    There is a reason why despite my being single-mindedly pro-life

    i.e. a moron.

  • by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:48PM (#40290379)
    The left yells you the right is trying to take away your rights. The right tells you the left is trying to take away your rights. They both tell you the other side is wrecking tgr economy. Unless you are paying VERY close attention, it's hard to sort out fact from paranoid fantasy.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:17AM (#40292165)

    Before 9/11, the government already had a law in place allowing them to place wiretaps FIRST and then request a warrant up two two weeks after the fact. Post 9/11, after the Bush administration got caught systematically placing and maintaining wiretaps without a warrant, they asked for legal approval for US security agencies to use their own discretion on placing wiretaps without need of a warrant, ever. They argued the current law, requiring the eventual issue of a warrant after the fact, to be unworkable because of the sheer volume of communications they wanted to monitor.

    At that point, a lot of people who don't normally buy into conspiracy theories came to the conclusion the government intended to data-mine all telecommunications traffic in some manner. Now, we have an NSA facility being constructed in Utah - slated for completion next year, I believe - that has the openly stated purpose of doing just this.

    So, yeah - I think it's safe to assume the government is monitoring me, you, and every other US citizen.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.