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Government Privacy United States Your Rights Online

Electronic Surveillance By US Law Enforcement Agencies Rising Steeply 105

hypnosec writes "According to data obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), surveillance of emails and other forms of Internet communications without warrants has increased substantially over the last two years. Documents, obtained by the ACLU, reveal that there has been a 361% increase in 'pen register' and 'trap-and-trace' orders between 2009 and 2011. The ACLU has appealed to Congress to bring in more judicial oversight in these warrantless orders."
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Electronic Surveillance By US Law Enforcement Agencies Rising Steeply

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  • Re:My two cents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @08:38AM (#41486759)
    It's always (sadly) amusing to me how the Constitution thumpers are all about the Founders Intent and Strict Interpretations and all that - right up until it's time to dispense with all that shit so we can have Yet More authoritarian "law enforcement".
  • useless number (Score:4, Insightful)

    by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @08:38AM (#41486765)
    The summary should have posted the raw number instead. Increasing by 361% doesn't really mean much. 100 to 461 isn't impressive, compared to, say, 100000 to 461000.
  • Re:Get used to it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @08:40AM (#41486781) Journal

    Let's face it: we now live in a surveillance society.

    Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

    Get used to it, because there's nothing you can do about it.

    Ah, learned helplessness... The door is open yet nobody steps through.

  • Re:Get used to it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by usuallylost ( 2468686 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @08:43AM (#41486801)
    I agree that, at least in the near term, there is nothing we can do about it. Though I think we still have to try. We still need to complain, sue, protest, put up candidates who are against this etc. If only to slow the spread of this stuff. My problem with the whole "if you're doing doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" bit is that what is defined as wrong has a habit of changing with the political winds. Historically when Government's made unreasonable demands people would find ways to work around it. That is becoming harder and harder to do as we get closer and closer to continuous surveillance of the population. All it takes is for us to elect one real bad player and all of these tools we aren't worrying about become an electronic leash around our necks.
  • Re:My two cents (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @09:11AM (#41486999) Journal

    I think you forgot "Why do you care more about criminals' rights than victims' rights?"

  • Re:Get used to it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mhajicek ( 1582795 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @09:23AM (#41487119)
    Unfortunately, omnipresent surveillance is an inevitability. As technology continues to develop it will only get easier and cheaper. The only upside I see is that if it does become so trivial, maybe the watchers can also be watched. And whether you're religious or not, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is good advice. Societal standards will need to change significantly if we're going to get through this.
  • Re:Get used to it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @09:46AM (#41487397)

    Get used to it, because there's nothing you can do about it.

    Precisely. Give in, give up, don't give a single f*ck. That's how we got where we are -- half the the population just said "ah, f*uck it. Nothing I can do about it, so BOHICA"

    "Fighting back" against problem legislation is arduous. For most Americans, they don't want to put in the effort to contact their representatives and voice their opinion. They think someone else will do it. Well, not enough people do and pretty soon we have stuff like military drones in the sky, and some really bat-shit crazy corporate sponsored law makers in office.

    How do you think SOPA/PIPA got beat? Lot's of regular people raising hell about it. Making a big enough deal out of it that the media covered it and it was impossible to pass now because the lawmakers couldn't keep it some clandestine piece of legislation that would get passed quietly.

    Let's face it: There's more everyone could be doing to keep crap like this off the law books.

  • Re:You got it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @09:52AM (#41487461) Journal
    That's a cute way to ignore that the surveillance is completely bipartisan. This is neither strictly Obama's fault nor any meaningful change from the last administration. Were McCain elected, we would not be any better off in this regard. Should Romney be elected, we will be no better off. Both parties want this desperately, because it is a springboard to consolidating even more power in their hands.
  • Re:My two cents (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @01:45PM (#41490595)

    That's the problem with a 2 party system. Everyone wants to assume that they picked the right side, when in reality an individual in their own regime can easily perform an action they don't agree with. So to somehow explain away the action they begin looking for a way to pass the blame to the other side.

    When in reality, the 2 party system is the dumbest idea ever contrived. By limiting our potions the system has essentially created a method for us to somehow feel like were in control when in reality we don't have any control. Politics is a system for idiots, no matter how good or bad you are at your job you will be like by some and hated by others, have every aspect of your life examined under a microscope, and the only protection you have is the "friends" you acquire on your way up. Even an village idiot can take the role, the only talent you need is the ability to spend an hour saying nothing while mentioning all the topics that everyone cares about.

    It's time for change stop supporting the 2 parties, and stop buying foods from company's that support them. Then actually spend a few hours investigating the background of the individual you are voting for. Check who is paying for their campaign (Remember the comment that the MPAA made "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake", as this is generally true for all of industry.) Then check how they votes and the comments they made in the past. In all likely-hood they will be nearly identical the the standpoints they make in the future, as these are the comments and viewpoints that got them to where they are. Don't sit here and blame a party, or the president. Until all of us actually stand up and do something it's only going to get worse. We won once against SOPA/PIPA. however, even now the government is hard at work to derail efforts to stop like bills from receiving similar attention. Because these bills are in the interest of their investors. No matter which side you take, just look where the money is coming from. We need to take a larger stand, and give the government some real oversight, place people who actually know what they are doing (and not just giving a good pubic face) in charge.

  • Re:Get used to it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ibsteve2u ( 1184603 ) on Friday September 28, 2012 @02:13PM (#41491077)

    Let's face it: we now live in a surveillance society.

    Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

    Do not mistake apathy for intent. We have insufficient data to suggest that people want it this way. They just don't care enough [...]

    I would dispute that, too. My belief is the evolving totalitarian state isn't a matter of voter desire or voter apathy; it is simply misplaced trust; too many Americans project themselves and their own behavior onto their elected officials. I.e., they wouldn't sell their friends and neighbors out, so they cannot envision a scenario wherein their elected officials would, either. Even though it keeps happening.

    On top of which you have to add a lack of awareness of the scope of the systems that are already in place and, further, a lack of the imagination required to conceptualize how those systems might be used to first curtail and then crush individual liberty...which again comes back to the American people's provincialism: They've never seen just how bad it can get...they're not aware of just how far so-called "conservatives"/totalitarians are not just willing but eager to go.

    Ignorance isn't anyone who has ever seen a cow contentedly chewing its cud as it walks up the ramp to the slaughterhouse may already have concluded.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.