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View Diary: Press, polls wrongly conflate Bush and Obama NSA surveillance (189 comments)

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  •  I think this is a complete false dichotomy. (11+ / 0-)

    There's plenty of room between (1) wanting to "tear down the entire government" and (2) not wanting to live with a secret government program that logs every call we send/receive.

    I want the government to provide for a social safety net, and education, and clean air/water, universal health care, etc.

    I don't want the government to engage in wholesale clandestine spying on its citizens without even a hint of individualized probable cause.

    There is no cognitive dissonance between these two positions.

    •  You think the government is engaging in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, SaintC, WinSmith, hardart

      wholesale spying on its citizens with no probable cause? You really think this is happening?

      •  This is from the ACLU (7+ / 0-)

        Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief:

        In response to information published by the media, the government has acknowledged that it is relying on Section 215 to collect “metadata” about every phone call made or received by residents of the United States. The practice is akin to snatching every American’s address book—with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where. It gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious, and intimate associations.
        •  Well, that's inaccurate for several reasons. (5+ / 0-)

          But let's concentrate on the most obvious. Snowden revealed that the NSA requested all records from Verizon for the last three months. Now ask yourself the following:

          1. Do all Americans use Verizon?
          2. Did every American make a phone call through Verizon in the last three months?

          If you answered those correctly, you should be able to infer that the NSA couldn't possibly have procured the phone metadata of "every phone call made or received by residents of the United States."

          Remember, what you cited is a legal argument. There is no room for ambiguity of meaning.

          •  you really think (3+ / 0-)

            they only asked Verizon?

            •  More to the point (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wasatch, dream weaver

              even assuming arguendo that the NSA only collected Verizon data, can you straight-facedly claim there was probable cause to seize the records of every Verizon user (plus those called by a Verizon user)?

            •  No. I don't think that. (0+ / 0-)

              But that's the basis of their law suit. They're claiming they have standing to sue because they're Verizon customers, and that's the evidence upon which they're basing their claim.

              But none of that matters, because it's highly unlikely that every Verizon customer made a phone call in the past three months. Or every unique customer of every other telecom they asked.

              •  When's the last time you went 3 months... (0+ / 0-)

                ...without making a telephone call?

                I suspect that I would just cancel my phone service if I didn't plan on using it for 3 months.

                Stop the NRA and the NSA
                Repeal the Patriot Act and the 2nd Amendment

                by dream weaver on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 01:37:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Look. (0+ / 0-)

                  If Verizon hands over phone records of calls that were made over a three month period, you don't even know that all those calls were made by Americans.

                  How many of those calls were made by foreigners? Just because they were made in America doesn't mean they were made by Americans.

                  How many of those calls were made by people to whom the phone numbers were assigned?

                  How many of those calls were made by people other than those to whom the phone number was assigned?

                  Suppose your significant other called the psychic hotline for hours at a time on your phone. It may look as if you're having an affair with Dionne Warwick, when you're not at all.

                  This is why the collection of metadata, in and of itself, is not an invasion of privacy. Other forms of data have to corroborate a) your identity and b) the fact that you made the call. The government has to obtain a warrant in order to corroborate that data.

          •  From the next paragraph of the above- (0+ / 0-)

            referenced ACLU Complaint:

            The government has confirmed the authenticity of an order issued six weeks ago by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) requiring Verizon Business Network Services Inc. (“VBNS”) to turn over, every day, metadata about the calls made by each of its subscribers over the three-month period ending on July 19, 2013. Government officials have indicated that the VBNS order is part of a program that has been in place for seven years and that collects records of all telephone communications of every customer of a major phone company, including Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
            Are you saying that the ACLU is knowingly filing an inaccurate Complaint?

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