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NSA Officers Sometimes Spy On Love Interests 384

Jah-Wren Ryel writes "The latest twist in the NSA coverage sounds like something out of a dime-store romance novel — NSA agents eavesdropping on their current and former girlfriends. Official categories of spying have included SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence) and now the NSA has added a new category to the lexicon — LOVEINT — which is surely destined to be a popular hashtag now."
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NSA Officers Sometimes Spy On Love Interests

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  • by mickwd ( 196449 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @10:48AM (#44663743)

    Check out the this article [] and search for the section on Geoffrey Prime and read what he got up to.

    And remember his "data collection" was done on pieces of card, and was before the days that most adults/parents carry mobile tracking devices around with them so their locations could be known at most times.

  • by Tippler ( 3027557 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:23AM (#44663973)
    "administrative action or termination." ...OR termination? Every single one of them should have been fired at the least. If I looked up an ex girlfriend on the electronic medical record system I'm logged into right now, I would be subject to a $50,000 dollar fine and a year in prison even after being fired ( AMA HIPAA penalties page []). This kind of abuse of access to privileged information similar to a HIPAA violation, except double illegal since most of the surveillance has no legal basis either.
  • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:32AM (#44664047)

    This isn't a "latest twist in the NSA saga". It's a transparent PR fluff piece.

    Obviously the PR division at the NSA figured out a plan to trivialize the revelations. John DeLong at his press conference comes out with "Oh yes, once or twice in the past decade we have broken the rules, but it's been for lighthearded laughable trivial matters like LOVEINT. Ha ha ha, what a joke. My bad. We're all good now, right?"

    Of course the media will lap this up. And it distracts attention from the real systematic unconstitutional behavior of the NSA, and the fact that the NSA's overseers themselves believe their oversight to be inadequate.

  • Re:Humans (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:33AM (#44664055) Homepage

    This is something we should all understand: There's effectively no difference between "actual abuse" and "a system that enables abuse with no accountability". If you have a system that enables abuse without the proper safeguards against abuse, then it's only a matter of time before people start taking advantage of the situation.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:38AM (#44664083) Journal

    Still just a distraction from STOCKINT. Follow the money. The first time I considered such massive surveillance, front-running market events was what came to mind. This is just like anything else in politics. Get people thinking about sex to distract them from the real crimes.

  • by mc6809e ( 214243 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:44AM (#44664109)

    If Obama can arrange to have his dog Bo airlifted to Martha's Vineyard [] , he can arrange to visit with the NSA to make sure they're following the rules.

    C'mon, Mr Prez!

  • by smpoole7 ( 1467717 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:52AM (#44664163) Homepage

    > Really is anyone surprised?

    No, and I'm afraid that endless surveillance is going to become the "New Normal."

    If something can be done, it WILL be done, regardless of any laws passed to stop it. People are curious, people want power, people want control. For better or worse, the Digital Age is upon us, and all the laws in the world are not going to stop a determined person from digging into your data if he/she wants to. They'll just find better ways to hide what they're doing.

    Think about it. The government's approach to this has been to punish the LEAKERS who've brought attention to the surveillance. Not to make any meaningful changes in the surveillance itself. That, right there, proves my point.

  • Re:More evidence (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jpublic ( 3023069 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @11:59AM (#44664213)

    They need security software that cannot be bypassed that logs everything in incorruptible logs for future review, and auto-stored at multiple sites without delete communication (someone at any given site cannot send out a signal to alter or delete logs at other sites.)

    No. We need to get rid of the entire organization and get rid of the system they have in place to wiretap to begin with.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 24, 2013 @01:11PM (#44664615)

    Here we have a standard black propaganda psy-op, dressed as a humiliating 'revelation' to the sheeple. The ploy is an ages old one. Trivialise an issue (even while actually confirming the scale and scope of the abuses) so everything takes on a 'tabloid' flavour, and can be soon forgotten as 'tabloid' coverage soon gets bored and moves on to the next 'scandal'. It is straight from the Edward Bernays' playbook (and if you don't know who Bernays was, you should be pretty ashamed of yourself).

    The NSA does FULL surveillance, and grabs every piece of communication currently possible. ALL emails. ALL phonecalls. Shills try to mislead by asking you what possible use such data could have. However, 'use' is very much a secondary issue- and is the focus of constant data-mining R+D. The experts that examine the data (the people you NEVER see discussed in these NSA stories) are very much interested in societal trends- both current and historical. They wish to deliver revelations to their masters about how ordinary people, en masse, think and respond.

    NSA full surveillance spying allows the following:
    1) reading the current mindset of the general population, or defined subsets, to allow the maximum effectiveness of propaganda campaigns, especially those that run in the mainstream media (eg., the anti-secular Syria, pro-extremist radical terrorist one we see playing out today)

    2) the identification of emerging grass-roots ('bottom-up') activism, groups and potential leaders, for either co-opting or extermination (take out people/groups when they are just beginning to act, and there is little chance of wider public back-lash). And to counter the usual shills here, 'extermination' almost never means murder, but bringing the full weight of state harassment on the people, family and friends involved. Most people simply back-down under such pressure.

    3) collecting blackmail material for use against those that may find themselves in positions of power or influence. A single identified act of infidelity, for instance, allows the NSA to provide information to their masters that can be used to win the 'support' from the individual involved for some political cause or other.

    The NSA is about accumulation of power. Think of it like an electronic mega-fortress that your masters build for themselves, and then perpetually rule you from, safe from attack from either the sheeple, or other different forces that might also seek to rule over the sheeple.

    The only counter would be 21st Century additions to the US Constitution, specifically criminalising all forms of full surveillance activities by the State, regardless of excuse. This isn't going to happen, because the US. like other great nations, is actually ruled by 'non-partisan' (hoho) star chambers that exist under the excuse of 'continuity' and 'consensus'. These star chambers adore the power provided by the growing NSA full surveillance projects. The star chambers operate above the visible government and court system (although, of course, senior members from both participate in various star chambers). And above the star chambers themselves are the people really working to pull the strings of Human History. Those that are planning to set in motion the great conflict between the US, Russia and China. Why do you think the US is becoming an ever more vicious warmongering nation day-by-day?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 24, 2013 @02:45PM (#44665123)

    Although I will say it is a compliment to the levels of opportunities attained in the US, that racism is now rare enough, that it is being redefined such that racism now must include prejudice, just to be able to continue to complain about it.

    Fuck you. I live in the south and racism is alive and good. So, fuck you, with rare enough. Rare enough for an uncaring white fuck like you maybe. The state of Texas is fighting to keep Hispanics from voting. They've been unable to show in court any valid reason (no fraud) for voter ID, but they're fighting hard for it, because they know how it will affect. Florida's been caught many times doing similar things (felons list only listing hispanics, etc). If you go to rural areas in the south people still call black people nigger. In public, without any shame, so fuck you. Fuck you to hell.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb