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Spooky: How NSA's Surveillance Algorithms See Into Your Life 211

SmartAboutThings writes "A quite scary talk show with former NSA employees — now whistle blowers — Thomas Drake, Kirk Wiebe, and William Binney reveals that the NSA has algorithms that go through data gathered about us and they can basically 'see into our lives.' And this seems to be going on especially since the Patriot Act has removed the statutory requirement that the government prove a surveillance target under FISA is a non-U.S. citizen and agent of a foreign power." Binney's HOPE keynote has more detail on how the NSA watches people.
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Spooky: How NSA's Surveillance Algorithms See Into Your Life

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  • by BMOC ( 2478408 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:20AM (#40749109)

    ...but didn't think it worthy of revealing their abilities by spending time trying to arrest him. This is the inherent problem with government surveillance, it will ultimately just serve the government, not it's people.

    no, I don't wear a tinfoil hat, and no I do not believe 9/11 was an inside job.

  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:39AM (#40749459)

    It is prohibited to collect, store, analyze, or disseminate the contents of communications of US Persons anywhere on the globe without an individual, properly adjudicated warrant. This is as clear as it can possibly be spelled out.

    NSA may, however, target the communications of NON-US Persons, even on equipment and systems within the United States, without a warrant. Foreign intelligence surveillance has never required a warrant. The Constitution of the United States does not apply to non-US Persons.

    Foreign communications that used to be targeted via a remote listening post, on a Navy ship sitting off of a foreign coast, or via risky foreign wiretaps, now travel through networks and systems that sometimes exist within the United States.

    Tell me: how can NSA discern and identify targeted foreign traffic in the sea of all communications, including that of US Persons, traveling through US assets without being able to examine the metadata of said traffic? Therein likes the problem.

    Here is where some also say that the US sidesteps the law by "buying" data from commercial providers, or by getting it from allies. Sorry, both of those activities are prohibited: the content of communications of US Persons may not be collected, stored, analyzed, or disseminated without a warrant.

    Some people, apparently unaware of history or any semblance of reality, also can't accept that the United States has a legitimate interest in foreign intelligence, and that we need to conduct that mission. Why does NSA have the largest number of foreign linguists anywhere? To spy on Americans illegally?

    Does all of this mean the government has never done anything wrong, that there has never been any abuse, that citizens shouldn't be watchful? No. Even the decisions made after 9/11 resulted in the warrantless wiretapping of individuals in the hundreds, thought to have direct ties to terrorism, was justified under the guise of the President's Article II authority under the AUMF, and briefed to Congress every 45 days. Now someone who hasn't been at NSA in over a decade claims that there is a "dossier" on every American, with no proof...and completely ignores the primary function of NSA, which is foreign signals intelligence, and you swallow it as unvarnished fact?

    This is puzzling to me.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @10:52AM (#40749677) Homepage Journal

    The fact that Paul is against environmental regulations shows that he is in fact a corporate tool -- he's old enough to know how incredibly BAD the environment was before the EPA he wants to abolish came along. Who benefits from pollution? Corporations, to the detriment of everyone else. A true libertarian would be FOR environmental regs, because "your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins".

    And yes, Gore is a hypocrite too, preaching the dangers of global warming while having a personal carbon footprint bigger than a hundred 99%ers. If he'd get rid of the mansions and jet planes he'd have a lot more credibility, but as it is, he has none.

  • Re:Oh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @11:01AM (#40749803) Journal

    Did anyone think this wasn't happening?

  • by EnergyScholar ( 801915 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @12:07PM (#40750877)
    If you take a quick look at The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies [cryptome.org] you can observe that Technique #1, Forum Sliding, was just used on the Slashdot front page to obscure this NSA-related discussion thread. Note how lots and lots of semi-bogus new stories quickly appeared, causing this [mildly objectionable] story to slide off the front page.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @01:09PM (#40752035)

    I'm not debating whether or not abortion is right or wrong, but I will ask this question. I am not trying to troll, and I am truly interested in an answer.

    If some sects of Judaism believe that you are not considered a person until you are born, and the definition of human "life" essentially boils down to what each individual believes, then what do you as a self-identified Libertarian think the governments' role in abortion should be? Is it more important to override some peoples' First Amendment rights to force everybody to conform to what you (and people like you believe)? And how do you justify that against your Libertarian ideology?

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