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View Diary: Contrary to WaPo, NSA Massive Domestic Spying Predates 2005 (149 comments)

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  •  As I've noted in multiple posts in the past few... (37+ / 0-)

    ...months, the domestic "war against terrorism" is now officially morphing into a "war on crime." This has been stated numerous times by officials in NYC, in particular; but, we're seeing/hearing this across the country, too.  Gotta' attempt to justify put all that technology and personnel to use, ya' know!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:04:32 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  My theory is that it goes beyond that. (18+ / 0-)

      I think that what would justify the massive expenditures would be an economic purpose to the data collection. We already know that the digital companies like Facebook and Google make their money by selling customer data to people for various marketing purposes. I think that the government is likely taking that to a new level.

      •  Of course it is/has; I've reported upon that... (16+ / 0-) well, quite extensively in the past few months (and, even well before that).

        Additionally, Marc Ambinder has reported (and so has Marcy Wheeler), that it's not just "9" or "11" companies participating in PRISM. It's about MORE THAN 50 private firms, and that's as far as PRISM and other programs are concerned.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:16:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry Bob - didn't see this. . . (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CroneWit, kharma, Kombema, bobswern, aliasalias

          Commented above on the financial windfall for the tech companies - I didn't see these comments down below. Typical me, so pissed off I don't even wait to scroll down to see where else it is addressed.

          Sooooo much of what I see our federal government doing nowadays is nothing more than a giant wealth transferring entity - snowplowing money to the gigantic corporations (not all American btw) while legislating away food money.

          Scoreboard Asses!

          That is what I imagine all those execs saying as they collect their corporate welfare.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

          by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:02:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Someday-and I believe it to be inevitable.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            -the masses will rise up against the machine, but the machine will know all.  It will know the revolution is coming.  The most odious of us will be made  examples of--what better weapon to use against your enemy than public shame?  It will be a simple task to pull up a browsing history, comment history, email messages and show that so-and-so browses porn, had an affair with his subordinate, buys synthetic urine to pass a urinalysis, etc, etc.  

        •  We're in a constitutional twilight zone now (17+ / 0-)

          While (like most MOC's who voted for it) I never read the Patriot Act, what constitutional basis exists for such data collection?  Before we get into such trivia as the 4th Amend (4A), we must first ask, in a gov't of enumerated powers, what authority Uncle Sam has to engage in collect such a broad array of data.    Congress has the power to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare," but, unless every American is a potential terrorist, such a massive sweep can't remotely be considered to be a defensive measure.

          Assuming Congress acted w/i its constitutional authority, then the 4A must be addressed.  I have little to add to what others who are more conversant w/ that area of jurisprudence have already said here.  I will note that, since we don't know what's actually being gathered here or the processes that lead to the legal authorization of the data-gathering, the 4A has essentially become a nullity.  It's hard to defend a constitutional protection when you don't know how, by whom, or on what basis it's being infringed.

          Finally, we have a 2d Amendment that's now interpreted by 5 "state's rights" justices as conferring an individual right against state and local laws and a 1st Amendment that gives corporations free rein in political expenditures.  Meanwhile, the 4A has essentially been tossed out the window.  Our founding document has been twisted beyond all recognition at this point.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:10:04 AM PDT

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          •  Binney says there are ways to collect data (10+ / 0-)

            consistant with 4th Amendment protection.

            Binney also says that there is a cheap and easy technological fix for the government’s massive illegal spying program. Specifically, Binney says that he set up the NSA’s system so that all of the information would automatically be encrypted, so that the government had to obtain a search warrant based upon probably cause before a particular suspect’s communications could be decrypted.

            But the NSA now collects all data in an unencrypted form, so that no probable cause is needed to view any citizen’s information. He says that it is actually cheaper and easier to store the data in an encrypted format: so the government’s current system is being done for political – not practical – purposes.

            and use narrow focusing:
            Binney: Two basic principles you have to use. … One is what I call the two-degree principle. If you have a terrorist talking to somebody in the United States — that’s the first degree away from the terrorist. And that could apply to any country in the world. And then the second degree would be who that person in the United States talked to. So that becomes your zone of suspicion.

            And the other one (principle) is you watch all the jihadi sites on the Web and who’s visiting those jihadi sites, who has an interest in the philosophy being expressed there. And then you add those to your zone of suspicion.

            Everybody else is innocent — I mean, you know, of terrorism, anyway.

            Wiebe: Until they’re somehow connected to this activity.

            Binney: You pull in all the contents involving (that) zone of suspicion and you throw all the rest of it away. You can keep the attributes of all the communicants in the other parts of the world, the rest of the 7 billion people, right? And you can then encrypt it so that nobody can interrogate that base randomly.

            •  Tim Shorrock at the Nation - link in diary (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobswern, aliasalias, midwesterner, KenBee

              Shorrock's article contains a basic description of the earlier NSA collection program, ThinThread,that Binney worked on.  It actually generated useful anti-terrorist data while protecting 4th Amendment rights -- and it was vastly less expensive.  Alos lots of juicy history of the players involved, and the malfeasance re: contracting, for the system NSA uses now.

    •  If by crime, you mean citizens who speak up. (8+ / 0-)

      Crime is the excuse to collect and store data for future reference. I guess technically we should call it Pre-Crime.

    •  "War on crime" is just a cover as was the (11+ / 0-)

      "War on Terror". The real war is a class war between the ruling oligarchs and the ordinary people. You only need to look at the focus and make-up of NSA, Homeland Security and the Fusion centers.

      This war is global in scope as we have observed with the protests in many countries around the world. The common denominator is the ordinary person pitted against neoliberal capitalism. Look at OWS, the UK, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia, etc.  It transcends race and religion.

      Unfettered capitalism, which amounts to mercantilism, is no longer viable. The only reason capitalism was/is profitable is because it externalizes it's true environmental and social costs. We are now beginning to pay the environmental cost of the industrial revolution just as our grandchildren will pay today's cost.

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