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Government Communications Privacy

Real-Time Gmail Spying a 'Top Priority' For FBI This Year 283

Fnord666 sends this quote from an article at Slate: "Despite the pervasiveness of law enforcement surveillance of digital communication, the FBI still has a difficult time monitoring Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time. But that may change soon, because the bureau says it has made gaining more powers to wiretap all forms of Internet conversation and cloud storage a 'top priority' this year. ... a 1994 surveillance law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act only allows the government to force Internet providers and phone companies to install surveillance equipment within their networks. But it doesn't cover email, cloud services, or online chat providers like Skype. Weissmann said that the FBI wants the power to mandate real-time surveillance of everything from Dropbox and online games ('the chat feature in Scrabble') to Gmail and Google Voice. 'Those communications are being used for criminal conversations,' he said."
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Real-Time Gmail Spying a 'Top Priority' For FBI This Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:16AM (#43288227)

    'Those communications are being used for criminal conversations,' he said.

    So is any mean of communication. Ever heard of the right to be left alone?

  • anonymity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:20AM (#43288247)

    soon it'll be hard to an anonymous coward

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:22AM (#43288255)

    You can have all the power in the world, but I am forced to strive to encrypt more precisely because of this approach. Honor the forth amendment, its words AND intent. Give me the paperwork, get the data. Demand to get the data without a piece of paper, I will blatantly act to encrypt. Pretend you have magic papers that cannot be argued against? Expect to find /no/ data.

    Your paper is secret? So are my IM's/E-Mails/Twittered cock shots to my constituents.

    One of those falls in to the legitimate realm of non warranted data access. Guess which one? This is not a hard problem if you don't have to contort yourself to answer it.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:33AM (#43288283)

    Just like *some* FBI/CIA/DHS/and other 3 letter acronym agents are criminals.

    With that thought process, we should have 24 hour, open, video and audio recordings of every second of every government agent's life open to the public for the "good of the people" since if even ONE agent is a criminal, then they must all be criminals, isn't that the kindergarten mentality the FBI is using for this stunt?

    FBI agents - go to the courts with your "suspicions" get yourself a fucking warrant, then go ask google and others to give you access.

    Until then, keep the fuck out of our privacy. It's expected, and protected by the constitution of the United States - you know, that pesky little document you swore to uphold and defend, not mutilate and destroy.

    Any FBI (CIA or other agency) agent that doesn't go along with this is a constitutional terrorist and should be sent to Gitmo with no chance of parole.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:39AM (#43288317)
    So are regular telephones, and cell phones, and Jitsi, and ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger, and AIM, and Jabber, and Google Talk, and Facetime, and Twitter, and even talking face to face. And let's not forget the U.S. Mail.
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:46AM (#43288343) Homepage Journal
    No matter if you use gmail or your own server, smtp with remote servers usually goes in plain text. What you must do, gmail or not, is encrypt the mail itself (i.e. with pgp)
  • Re:anonymity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:47AM (#43288347)

    Well, you are half right

  • Re:Also talking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:47AM (#43288351)

    Official government recorder? It's called a cell phone.

  • Re:Also talking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:03AM (#43288419)
    I keep repeating: when we are all in a cage, we will all be "safe".
  • Re:Trolls (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angrywhiteshoes ( 2440876 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:17AM (#43288475)
    Trolls??? Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol, Secret Service (USSS), National Operations Center (NOC), Homeland Defense, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Agent, Task Force, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Fusion Center, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Secure Border Initiative (SBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Air Marshal, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Guard, Red Cross, United Nations (UN), Domestic Security, , Assassination, Attack, Domestic security, Drill, Exercise, Cops, Law enforcement, Authorities, Disaster assistance, Disaster management, DNDO (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office), National preparedness, Mitigation, Prevention, Response, Recovery, Dirty Bomb, Domestic nuclear detection, Emergency management, Emergency response, First responder, Homeland security, Maritime domain awareness (MDA), National preparedness initiative, Militia, Shooting, Shots fired, Evacuation, Deaths, Hostage, Explosion (explosive), Police, Disaster medical assistance team (DMAT), Organized crime, Gangs, National security, State of emergency, Security, Breach, Threat, Standoff, SWAT, Screening, Lockdown, Bomb (squad or threat), Crash, Looting, Riot, Emergency Landing, Pipe bomb, Incident, Facility, HAZMAT & Nuclear, , Hazmat, Nuclear, Chemical Spill, Suspicious package/device, Toxic, National laboratory, Nuclear facility, Nuclear threat, Cloud, Plume, Radiation, Radioactive, Leak, Biological infection (or event), Chemical, Chemical burn, Biological, Epidemic, Hazardous, Hazardous material incident, Industrial spill, Infection, Powder (white), Gas, Spillover, Anthrax, Blister agent, Exposure, Burn, Nerve agent, Ricin, Sarin, North Korea, Health Concern + H1N1, , Outbreak, Contamination, Exposure, Virus, Evacuation, Bacteria, Recall, Ebola, Food Poisoning, Foot and Mouth (FMD), H5N1, Avian, Flu, Salmonella, Small Pox, Plague, Human to human, Human to ANIMAL, Influenza, Center for Disease Control (CDC), Drug Administration (FDA), Public Health, Toxic, Agro Terror, Tuberculosis (TB), Agriculture, Listeria, Symptoms, Mutation, Resistant, Antiviral, Wave, Pandemic, Infection, Water/air borne, Sick, Swine, Pork, Strain, Quarantine, H1N1, Vaccine, Tamiflu, Norvo Virus, Epidemic, World Health Organization (WHO and components), Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, E. Coli, Infrastructure Security, , Infrastructure security, Airport, CIKR (Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources), AMTRAK, Collapse, Computer infrastructure, Communications infrastructure, Telecommunications, Critical infrastructure, National infrastructure, Metro, WMATA, Airplane (and derivatives), Chemical fire, Subway, BART, MARTA, Port Authority, NBIC (National Biosurveillance Integration Center), Transportation security, Grid, Power, Smart, Body scanner, Electric, Failure or outage, Black out, Brown out, Port, Dock, Bridge, Canceled, Delays, Service disruption, Power lines, Southwest Border Violence, , Drug cartel, Violence, Gang, Drug, Narcotics, Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin, Border, Mexico, Cartel, Southwest, Juarez, Sinaloa, Tijuana, Torreon, Yuma, Tucson, Decapitated, U.S. Consulate, Consular, El Paso, Fort Hancock, San Diego, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales, Sonora, Colombia, Mara salvatrucha, MS13 or MS-13, Drug war, Mexican army, Methamphetamine, Cartel de Golfo, Gulf Cartel, La Familia, Reynose, Nuevo Leon, Narcos, Narco banners (Spanish equivalents), Los Zetas, Shootout, Execution, Gunfight, Trafficking, Kidnap, Calderon, Reyosa, Bust, Tamaulipas, Meth Lab, Drug trade, Illegal immigrants, Smuggling (smugglers), Matamoros, Michoacana, Guzman, Arellano-Felix, Beltran-Leyva, Barrio Azteca, Artistics Assassins, Mexicles, New Federation, Terrorism, , Terrorism, Al Queda (all spellings), Terror, Attack, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Agro, Environmental terrorist, Eco t
  • Outrage! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:22AM (#43288497)

    Americans at least should be outraged by this, as well as all of the other wiretapping bullshit that has gone on since the Patriot act. While I would guess that most Americans have no idea what 'mens rea' is, they should all understand the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    There is no reason for all of these Government agencies to have unlimited access to your personal life without a warrant. None what so ever. If you believe the propaganda and rhetoric, shame on you for being ignorant. Just think, in 7 months the new NSA super computers will be cracking away at your encryption as well, so even that won't be safe.

    Combine the FBI, CIA, DHS, ATF, and FEMA resources and you have an army big enough to take on the US Military and more intelligence for a domestic war. Speaking of which, the DHS this year purchased 1.2 billion hollow point bullets (add in other Government agencies and you have over 2 billion rounds of killing bullets, not target bullets). Hmmm, still you find nothing odd with them snooping into _everything_ you do? How about the 1,300 armored vehicles they purchased last year by DHS? Still nothing? Anyone remember the 2011 defense spending bill with the clauses allowing indefinite detention of US citizens without warrant, trial, etc...? How about NSA, DHS, FBI, and CIA drone programs operating domestically? How about the lack of transparency in all of these agencies we were promised over 4 years ago by the then candidate now President, and before that by GWB? Anyone else know about why FEMA has been building dozens of "Relocation Camps" in the US? There is footage of one at least, but of course all of them are denied.

    Look at all of that shit, then combine with the fact that the main stream media has become pure propaganda. Suddeny those conspiracy theories really don't seem so whacky do they? It's well passed the time when we should be waking up the neighbors, protesting for change, and voting in new leadership based on Socrates' principles and not politicians!

  • by x_t0ken_407 ( 2716535 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:40AM (#43288557) Homepage
    "You have nothing to fear if you're not doing anything wrong." Sad how many people believe somehow justify the erosion of our rights with idiotic, short-sighted mantras such as the above.
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:40AM (#43288559)

    You overestimate the American public.

    The majority of people would respond: "Well, if they say it'll make us safer, then that's what we have to do. We all have to do our part and sacrifice just a little bit if we want to be safe from terrorists".

  • I think the premise would be OK if it wasn't for the fact that a library full of statutes of actions that could put you on the wrong side of the law exists. In terms of the law, are all transgressors - all it takes is a little time, to find the charge to level at you.
  • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @08:07AM (#43290227) Homepage

    First rule of networking: assume that any and all conversations that take place over an electronic medium are recorded, and played back to a room filled with prosecutors / investigators hell-bent on finding something to charge you with.

    Second rule of networking: assume this does not apply only to electronic mediums.

    See, in a better world, your rights will be upheld. Good triumphs over evil through no sleight of the hand, but simply because it is the preferable course that nature should take. In reality, there is always one group of people out there that wants you to believe something as a constant, so they can work around it. Your belief in a right to privacy is the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden to these types, and they covet eating it above all other things; eating it, and never telling you that it was eaten. It's simply too tempting a target! A blind spot, right there, for the taking. With everyone fooled into believing they have some rights to privacy, well, they'll never see the prosecution coming. And trial by ambush, while frowned upon in civilized courts, is sadly still a common occurrence in unenlightened areas of existence.

    All that matters, in this life, at the end of the day, is that you die. That's the singular goal everyone is working towards. Widget A fits into Socket B, which creates Component C. On a higher dimension, you are, no doubt, moving in a straight line, to your finish.

    One need only visit a traffic court, after receiving a traffic ticket, to understand the streamlining and efficiency of what, no doubt, goes on 'upstairs.' You are guilty from the moment you are charged, and only evidence of the highest objectivity will overturn that sealed conviction. And even then...some judges will refuse to look at the evidence! Mind you, the part about selling kids into modern day slavery, in my own current state of PA, has forced a closer look at some of these shenanigans...still, the way is hard, and long.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.