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View Diary: Everything you don't want to know about the NSA & didn't ask (208 comments)

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  •  If you buy a computer with cash (5+ / 0-)
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    native, jabney, koNko, deep info, JVolvo

    and do not give the store any personal information, then (as far I can see) the track of all those numbered parts in your computer stops at the store.  If you never connect that computer to the internet, and use it only for non-internet work, then (based on my current level of understanding of the still-limited info available), then the info on that computer would not be on the NSA'a system.  (or so it seems to me; any hardware people out there?)  But this is just my best guess, I have no specialized knowledge in this area.

    But I can't see why this 'non-internet-computer' issue matters in this discussion.  (Don't mean to be rude, just puzzled.)  The issue is (as I see it) NSA capture of all electronic 'SIGINT'.  It seems self-evident to me that a government surveillance program that is based on the capture of electronic signals from fiber-optics cables would not capture info from devices that never connected to a Telcom connection.

    So if that's your question, you'd be better off (imo) taking it to a hardware person with specialized knowledge, or reading some of the tech-type mags linked or mentioned in this diary/thread. (On a different computer, or course! :-) ).

    I've been reading your comments (before I found your comment above) thinking that you were somehow thinking that if you kept some items in a non-internet computer, that those items would not be captured by NSA and you would be 'off the grid' relative to those items, and your Fourth Amendment rights would protect the information in that computer.  As far as I know now, it looks to me as though that would be the case.

    But even a person who has never gone online in his/her life would still have online records in the NSA database; see the list at --

    And the NSA is all about finding 'networks'.  So let's imagine that you don't have a phone (no no call records) and you have somehow miraculously managed to never do anything that's on that (public) list of actions that NSA tracks.  But let's say that your neighbor has is has a 'normal' online life (I'll even throw in that she doesn't do 'social media').  Her printed is broken, and she asks you if you could printout out some fliers about the XL Pipeline protest she's helping organize (and yes, such citizens qualify as track-worthy potential 'eco-terrorists').  You say yeah, and print them out.  You neighbor emails the committee chair to make arrangements about their plans, and she mentions how grateful she is for your help, mentioning 'her neighbor Bob'.  Her email enters the NSA system and is tagged and analyzed by the software as 'potential eco-terror'.  Even if you don't have a phone or bank records, you have educational records somewhere.  The NSA now has a record of you assisting a flagged group, and could potentially be investigated for assisting that group, which could lead to an FBI agent entering your home to download your non-internet computer's hard drive.

    I don't do social media, and I'm well past forty.  The Federal Government has been capturing, analyzing, and storing my communications for years, and I'm appalled.

    •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
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      You're making this way too complicated. I'm talking about internet-connected devices like PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, etc., (which most such devices are these days), on which some data is stored but never transmitted beyond one's phone, because it doesn't need to be, or you don't want it to be.

      E.g. scans of old family photos, personal diary entries, software you're developing for personal use, etc., that you don't back up to the "cloud".

      The ONLY way for the NSA to get such data is to hack into your device, either electronically, via spyware and such--or perhaps inductive taps and such--or physically, by getting physical access to your device and copying this data. Otherwise, they can't get it, because it never leaves that device.

      And I see a big difference between both methods of data acquisition, even if both might be unconstitutional. One is unconstitutional acquisition, while the other is unconstitutional breaking and/or intruding AND acquisition.

      It's like the difference between secretly recording a confidential conversation you have in a cafe via a ceiling-mounted mic-equipped security camera, and installing a bug in your home to record your private conversations. We've somehow become nonplussed about the former, but the latter, I suspect, would still upset most people.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:50:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you already knew the answer, (1+ / 0-)
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        why did you ask the question?  And your 'one question I'm asking' keeps changing in different comments (which can happen, I know).  Then, whatever answer you get, you say 'that's not the question I'm asking, my real question is . . ..'

        Several other people, beside myself are apparently answering questions you haven't asked.  But that's to the community's advantage, because each reply to you contains good information, and more links, for the rest of us can continue to learn.

        •  But I DON'T know the answer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deep info, koNko

          I'm just speculating on what it might be. I ask because I genuinely want to know if there's been any credible reporting that this is happening. To my knowledge there has not, but I'm hardly able to scan the entire internet.

          I'm not the NSA, you know. :-)

          And I believe I've asked the same question, and it hasn't changed, except in wording. I think that some may simply not have understood it, perhaps not realizing that there is a difference between one's data and the internet.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 02:15:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  sorry, but technically it could be (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney, blueoasis, koNko, JVolvo

      your computer actually broadcasts even if it is not connected to the internet.  

      Once this was demonstrated to the government, several decades ago, secure computers were required to the meet the standards of TEMPEST, which can be expensive.

      NSA decided it was cheaper to TEMPEST their building, which is why the new structure going up has copper mesh in the walls and copper wires/mesh in in the windows.

      It would not be an efficient way of gathering information, but in theory it used to be possible to watch what someone was typing on a computer in a word processing document with the computer not connected to the outside.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 04:30:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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