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View Diary: ACLU sues White House over 'dragnet' data collection (113 comments)

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  •  Well, it's all being done in secret so we don't (0+ / 0-)

    really know that they aren't looking at the content of communications.  In fact, Snowden has said that he did.  

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:14:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  snowden was a bit unclear about that (0+ / 0-)

      i didn't see him adequately distinguishing technical capacity from policy.  whenever he turns up, he should be asked about the specific basis for his knowledge.  Obviously, how the NSA is run is a critical question, but a narrower one.  it's not for Snowden to decide himself, but a function of political leadership and oversight.  

      but the court can't really rule on anything that's not the lawsuit that's before them.  a lawsuit saying the policy is unconstitutional is different from saying a program lacks adequate controls, and would still not really solve the standing problem -- it still looks like a political objection more than a particularized legal one.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:53:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is with a system such as the one we (0+ / 0-)

        apparently have is that employees such as Snowden do seem to have the power to decide themselves.  Technologically, I would suspect that they can access the content of our e-mail and phone calls.  Now we learn that hundreds of thousands of people employed by private security contractors have top security clearance.  I'd say there's a significant risk that all this can easily spiral out of control and our privacy can be violated, even if no one intended it.

        The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

        by helfenburg on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:01:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's a fair point, (0+ / 0-)

          but not this lawsuit.  i'm still not into relying entirely on disgruntled ex employees for gospel facts without some corroboration.  I'm sure a hacker could do the same thing, outside the NSA.

          The contractor point is a good one - who's he accountable to? (to whom is he accountable?)

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:30:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Problem is, will we ever know the facts? (0+ / 0-)

            The NSA will be able to declassify what it wants communicated publicly and deep-six what it wants to hide.  I wonder if Snowden is ever brought to trial whether it will be a public one.  I suspect we'll see a lot of the Issa move - making parts of the interview transcripts public and keeping the rest secret - that's how the govt. can play it when you allow them to operate in secret.  You may be right about the technicalities of the ACLU lawsuit  -- not my area of expertise, but there are larger considerations at issue here as well.  Larger issues of how we want our government to function.  

            The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

            by helfenburg on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:28:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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