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Obama Changed Rules Regarding Raw Intelligence, Allowing NSA To Share Raw Data With US's Other 16 Intelligence Agencies (schneier.com) 205

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Schneier on Security: President Obama has changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, allowing the NSA to share raw data with the U.S.'s other 16 intelligence agencies. The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches. The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people. Here are the new procedures. This rule change has been in the works for a while. Here are two blog posts from April discussing the then-proposed changes.
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Obama Changed Rules Regarding Raw Intelligence, Allowing NSA To Share Raw Data With US's Other 16 Intelligence Agencies

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  • I can't believe I'm saying it, believe me!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ever hear of the Strategy of Tension? Operation Gladio? Do you really think this will decrease terror attacks? Has tearing the bill of rights to shreds been decreasing the number of terror attacks so far?

      • Re:Thanks, Obama! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:31PM (#53656477) Journal

        I think the more salient point is whether or not terror attacks represent any significant risk at all. Now I'll admit when someone Jihadi drives a truck into a crowd of people, that certainly creates some casualties, and by consequence creates a significant amount of fear. But what are the real odds of any resident of a Western country dying in a terrorist attack. In reality, the odds are infinitesimal. Now dying from a heart attack or stroke, or hell, even choking or highway fatalities, those represent massive killers, with huge numbers of casualties with huge costs for society. And yet, here we are, with our stupid Savannah ape brains, unable to discern a meaningful and present threat to our person from a threat that's unlikely to harm you or anyone you know even to the second or third degree ever.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And yet, here we are, with our stupid Savannah ape brains, unable to discern a meaningful and present threat to our person from a threat that's unlikely to harm you or anyone you know even to the second or third degree ever.

          It's not just people from Georgia, it's all over the south.

        • I think the more salient point is whether or not terror attacks represent any significant risk at all. Now I'll admit when someone Jihadi drives a truck into a crowd of people, that certainly creates some casualties, and by consequence creates a significant amount of fear. But what are the real odds of any resident of a Western country dying in a terrorist attack. In reality, the odds are infinitesimal. Now dying from a heart attack or stroke, or hell, even choking or highway fatalities, those represent massive killers, with huge numbers of casualties with huge costs for society. And yet, here we are, with our stupid Savannah ape brains, unable to discern a meaningful and present threat to our person from a threat that's unlikely to harm you or anyone you know even to the second or third degree ever.

          I honestly think it takes a Savannah ape brain to be concerned with death by natural causes when you already know that if nothing else kills you, then that will 100% of the time.

        • by e r ( 2847683 )
          I agree with you 100%.

          And, if I may, I'd like to add tyrannical (especially communist or socialist) regimes to your list of massive killers.

          And I hope we all remember the remedy for tyranny and the relative risk of a mass shooting vs. industrialized murder by regime next time a mass shooting occurs and everyone shouts for more gun control (pure virtue signalling).

          Some math to back up my reasoning:
          Cho killed 33.
          Hitler killed 12 million in his death camps (6 million jews + about 6 million others).
          At
        • I think the more salient point is whether or not terror attacks represent any significant risk at all. Now I'll admit when someone Jihadi drives a truck into a crowd of people, that certainly creates some casualties, and by consequence creates a significant amount of fear. But what are the real odds of any resident of a Western country dying in a terrorist attack. In reality, the odds are infinitesimal. Now dying from a heart attack or stroke, or hell, even choking or highway fatalities, those represent massive killers, with huge numbers of casualties with huge costs for society. And yet, here we are, with our stupid Savannah ape brains, unable to discern a meaningful and present threat to our person from a threat that's unlikely to harm you or anyone you know even to the second or third degree ever.

          The fact that surveillance is taking place is itself a deterrent. So, NSA or FBI or agencies know, frequently from emams, which teenagers are susceptible and let the agencies know. No, ISIS is attacking it's own religion, but is effective for kids who grow up religious, wanting sex, wanting passion. You can't have it until after marriage, ergo, it's off to ISIS we go.

      • Re:Thanks, Obama! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:48PM (#53656633)

        Has tearing the bill of rights to shreds been decreasing the number of terror attacks so far?

        The data is too sparse to reach a conclusion. The number of attacks was near zero both before and after 9/11, and the operations you mentioned were not the only variable. We have better security, more public awareness, etc. Either way, terrorism isn't a significant risk, and our government should be diverting resources to finding solutions to far bigger risks, like obesity and dementia.

        • our government should be diverting resources to finding solutions to far bigger risks, like obesity

          Problem is the "solutions" they'll come up with to fixing that will also take away my rights.....like my right to eat a Big Mac*, or not having to go for a jog today.

          What, you don't think that'll happen? Then how is it that we're having this conversation?

          *with moderation

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:22PM (#53656433)

    Most open and transparent president ever, just with your data, not his.

    • I'm thinking about hitting you in the head with a baseball bat for saying that causing severe bodily harm to your person (I was sincerely afraid of typing, in the privacy of my home and my phone, that I will actually do that. Quite chilling, being afraid to write). I'd also like to mention that according to the document this post will now be retained and shared across the world and analyzed.

      2. (U) When the communication contains evidence of a crime or a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person, or anomalies that reveal a potential vulnerability to U.S. communications security, the recipient IC element will notify NSA's OGC, which will review it according to the applicable NSA procedures and policies.

      So yea, we are now part of the daily routine of some Eagles fan, sipping his coffee, contemplating whether he/she w

  • Encryption (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:27PM (#53656453)
    Now more important that ever. Encrypt everything, no matter how mundane. The government is in a not-so-subtle war against the populace.
    • not technical. Both wars are probably already lost.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:30PM (#53656471)

    Convenient, they don't even need to go to the trouble of parallel construction anymore! And the old argument of "don't be so paranoid, the NSA doesn't care about you" goes right out the door. Now your local Sheriff gets to find out when you text your buddy about smoking a bowl, and unlike the NSA, he does care and might have decide to pay you a visit.

    As if it wasn't time to encrypt every communication already, it's definitely time to start now.

    • Now your local Sheriff gets to find out when you text your buddy about smoking a bowl, and unlike the NSA, he does care and might have decide to pay you a visit.

      A bowl of what? Cheerios? You mean pot? If my local Sheriff wants a hit, I'll tell him to go buy his own. No, he can't have any of mine.

  • Very Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hackel ( 10452 )

    This will continue to push people toward using technologies that protect their privacy and are not vulnerable to this kind of surveillance. If people want privacy, then they must demand it, and utilise software that ensures it. No one should have any expectation of privacy making e.g. an unencrypted call over the public phone network. It's just crazy anyone would ever think that was private in the first place. At least this will help in capturing the more inept criminals and terrorists.

    • Re:Very Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by green1 ( 322787 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:47PM (#53656625)

      Phone conversations USED to be private and the authorities couldn't listen in, of course that was when people still thought the constitution meant something, so it's no surprise nobody still believes in such quaint ideas.

      Enjoy your encryption while it lasts, I figure we only have a few years left before anyone using encryption that isn't intentionally backdoored will be labelled a criminal and arrested.

      • Phone conversations USED to be private

        Phone conversations used to be analogue and unencrypted. Phone conversations used to require someone to manually patch through cables and them not listening in was somewhat based on trust. Phone conversations used to be shared between multiple houses so you could hear what your neighbours were chatting about.

        Privacy came a long time after phone conversations did.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The most wrong thing to do is accept the loss of human rights to serve the insane psychopathic greed of corporations. Privacy is a right and people should have the expectation that their right to their privacy will be respected by law. It is the duty of citizens to ensure their rights are protected including their right to privacy. There is no doubt that criminal penalties need to be applied to privacy invasive and abuse corporations.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      re "vulnerable to this kind of surveillance"
      The other fun part of this will be that people without the skill of the NSA will be looking at raw data.
      Given so many agencies, contractors and staff report to the executive branch they will find the party political results required.
      No need to set up an Office of Special Plans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] .
      Just feed raw NSA data to all the agencies and find the one that reports back with best party political result.
      What the NSA might give "moderate confi
  • NOT FAIR! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:32PM (#53656483) Journal

    Nowadays, you can't even have a couple of Romanian prostitutes piss on you in a Moscow hotel without people finding out and pretending it's a big deal. Sad!

    • Did he get charged an extra cleaning fee?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Here's what I love about the Russians, folks, they don't charge cleaning fees. They did my hotel laundering for free, they did my money laundering for free, they even financed my campaign. VERY SMART!
    • I want to apologize to all the Trump supporters for that. I'm just mad because unlike the President-Elect, I'm so poor I can only afford to pee on myself.

    • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @05:57PM (#53657149) Journal

      What's he difference between a lentil and a chickpea?
      Trump won't pay $1000 to have a lentil on his face.

      I'd carry on, but that'd be taking the piss.

      But you're still reading, so I guess urine for the long haul.

    • by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @05:59PM (#53657163) Journal

      That's especially funny.

      Because I believe I explained how this kind of nonsense works in my comment [slashdot.org] from just under a week ago, quoted in relevant part:

      I have secret evidence that your secret evidence is completely bogus. This same secret evidence also indicates that you secretly wet the bed last night. And 20 organizations have signed off on it.

      People who watch the "news" are like 50 shades behind everything going on. You guys have no idea how hilarious this is while waiting for you to catch up. But the real joke here is that there are people who actually think that CNN & BuzzFeed's "raw intelligence" of Trump pissing on Obama's bed is real. Corroborating evidence? We have a video of someone who gave Trump a golden shower in 2011 [youtube.com]! (quasi-SFW, despite what you might think)

      Just don't read this guy's [twitter.com] explanation of how it was sourced from nonsense they fabricated based on this old TIL on Reddit [reddit.com] (amazing how history repeats itself...). But yes, someone can then feel free to link me to BuzzFeed & others "debunking" that one on the basis that the 4chan post laughing about their first victim is newer than the document they wrote during the primaries.

      And then we can laugh at how they don't totally "debunk" the dossier based on the fact that they can't corroborate anything worth a damn in it, save maybe that it was created by someone doing an opposition report on Trump who got paid more the longer it was. That way we can all ignore all the more mundane items in the report that were proven to be nonsense. Anyhow, there are far more interesting things to research while everyone else is still wading through the "leaks" and yellow journalism. Feel free to keep wading through the stream, hoping to uncover nuggets of truth. I don't know about you, but after that sort of filth, I need a shower.

      • by Jahoda ( 2715225 )
        So let me see if I've got this correct:

        just don't read this guy's [twitter.com] explanation of how it was sourced from nonsense they fabricated based on this old TIL on Reddit [reddit.com] (amazing how history repeats itself...).

        You've just linked to some dude's twitter account and a reddit post about Sukarno as evidence of how "fake" this news is, while ranting about how everyone in the world is a stupid sheep listening to "fake news" (except you, of course). Buddy, the only hilarious joke here
        • The fact that they've laundered a bad opposition report that has people on the wrong side of the planet in a country they've never visited into "British intelligence" pretty well sums up the modern media and their complete lack of credibility.

          But you do have one thing right: I don't listen to the news at all. I pull the actual verifiable facts (if any) out of the news and do my own research.

          That can be done really quickly with some sites. You end up with a short list looking like: anonymous sources, ano

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2017 @04:34PM (#53656511)

    So, remember how the FISA court is essentially a rubberstamp for surveillance warrants?
    As in they have only refused 0.03% of warrant requests? [motherjones.com]

    Well, guess what warrant the FISA court did refuse?

    The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts [theguardian.com]

    WTF?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like a time bomb. With more people on the case it is increasingly difficult to vet them all making a fiasco like Snowden ever more likely.

  • Obama just announced his legacy. Just in time for a trump presidency too!

  • by LTIfox ( 4701003 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @06:06PM (#53657219)
    That would undoubtedly compromise intelligence gathering methods. Plus it would be only a matter of time before one of the recipients got hacked and all the data dumped.
  • From a purely practical perspective it makes sense since the NSA didn't have their shit together enough to even see the Arab Spring coming why not share their stuff with people able to make sense of the information?
    Personally I think they should be disbanded and replaced with real military instead of the current kids that never grew up playing at being James Bond.
    Real military folks have rules of engagement instead of the totally amoral spook shit we've seen a lot of lately.
  • Who else read this as... "Obama OK's 16 more agencies to engage in domestic spying, in addition to the NSA, which already engaged in the practice"?

  • ... rigged the election.

    President Obama has changed the rules regarding raw intelligence ...

  • by zedaroca ( 3630525 ) on Thursday January 12, 2017 @11:20PM (#53658871)

    He just needed to get out of office.

    Obama made the most pro-transparency move of his office time. By greatly increasing access to secret information, the odds of us knowing the lies and crimes of the future administration are also increased. Let's hope for new troves.

A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms. -- George Wald

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