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So if I understand it, we are supposed to be all worked up that NSA is mining every.single.detail.of.our.lives and storing that data in Utah, while listening to every single conversation that takes place on the planet.

And, yet, they missed that an individual that works in their offices in Hawaii just happened to print out or copy highly classified documents, book a flight to Hong Kong, and chat up the Guardian.

Might it just possibly be that the explanation of Mr. Clapper is accurate, that there ISN'T a big database in the sky watching the innocent (and not so innocent) actions of every single American?

Here is a guy that had given up his right to avoid scrutiny by accepting a security clearance, and HE wasn't even being watched, maybe it really is that only the bad guys are being watched.

Or maybe the President has a TV where he can tune into any particular American and watch them in real time.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Total Information Awareness is a crock. (6+ / 0-)

    You can gather up all the information, but you can't possibly analyze it usefully.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 06:48:35 PM PDT

  •  Lame analysis. NSA has an ineffective approach. (13+ / 0-)

    Because they take in too much useless crap they can't find the important stuff.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 06:56:09 PM PDT

    •  So we are supposed to be worried about all the (0+ / 0-)

      data, but they can't do anything with it?

    •  The documents released yesterday (6+ / 0-)

      were about surveillance from March of 2013 - few people commented on or picked up on the fact that that was the month before the Boston attack. Don't ignore the fact that the Russians had flagged the older brother who wasn't a citizen and was calling overseas.  Basically undercuts the notion that this dragnet they've put in place is so totally helpful in securing the safety of the American populace.

      The fact that the Russians gave the intelligence services information that should have led to preventing Boston should be really embarrassing in and of itself - but even more so now that we know that they had the capability to be "totally aware" given the secret systems they have in place.

      They say they've prevented one attack, but they did not prevent the other which did happen.  WTF?

      •  yet most people I suggested this to were very (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, leonard145b

        unhappy to hear it put this way.
           Personally, I was ill and spent more than a week on the couch watching the teevee as things changed from day to day. Seemed like they went an awful long time asking for the public's help and then the whole Watertown search every house thing was out-of-bounds as far as I could see.
           If they are NOT using the multi-billion $ programs they are spending our tax dollars on to stop stuff like that, why should we believe them when they tell us it's so great because they stopped others? "They" knew an awful lot about those brothers quite aside from the public identifying them. It all seemed like an exercise in how far can we push civil liberties violations. Meanwhile, I hope the New York Post gets sued into the ground for their improper headline & picture.

  •  The dog & pony show is mildly amusing. (7+ / 0-)

    Frankly, the whistle that was blown isn't very new, innovative, or particularly complicated.
    Not much here that wasn't known by anyone paying attention.

    •  I can agree with this (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, yojimbo, BusyinCA, Egalitare, Truza

      There is/was nothing new that hasn't been known to anyone who has been paying attention for the past 10 years or so.

      The difference this time is that people with a public pulpit (and access to some excellent first amendment lawyers) such as AP and FoxNews had their ox gored.

      "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

      by Richard Cranium on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:47:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't he claim he had total access to the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lost and Found, greengemini, jayden

    databases? If true, he would be uniquely positioned to hide his own tracks long enough.

  •  What Part Of This Level Of Surveillance Violates, (7+ / 0-)

    the act under which it claims authority, don't you understand?

    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the Republican author of the Patriot Act, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that says he is “extremely disturbed” by reports that the National Security Agency collected phone records from Verizon customers and insists it violates the law...

    Sensenbrenner, who chaired the Judiciary Committee, cited testimony from the Department of Justice from 2011, in which an assistant attorney general said they obtain so-called business records fewer than 40 times each year.

    “I do not believe the released FISA order is consistent with the requirement of the Patriot Act,” Sensenbrenner wrote. “How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation as required by the Act?


    Source

    Emphasis, mine.

    •  Mr. Sensenbrenner's opinion is interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal

      However, he's not charged with implementing the law, funny how that works.

      So he wasn't upset when the Bush Admin was doing this, and more, without any supervision, but now that the Obama Admin puts it into a regular process its a problem.

  •  This post TOTALLY misses the point... (4+ / 0-)

    of the threat involved in overbroad data mining by the State.

    Would the diarist prefer that EVERYONE be scrutinized as a "bad" guy?

  •  There's Also the Well Known Phenomenon of (6+ / 0-)

    authoritarian organizations being sometimes unable to doubt that one of "their own" is or could be a threat. We've had some pretty spectacular spies and turncoats from government agency ranks after all, some operating for years.

    If he hadn't given any indication in calls, emails, blogging etc. of opposition to his agency's mission, if he didn't do any planning online about the pending data release, crap he could've bought the ticket to Hong Kong using his credit card if it looked like a vacation.

    Somebodies caught intended protesters planning to picket at a Republican National Convention and arrested them in their houses before they had done any public act or even gone out the door. So there is definitely some capability in some hands when people do their activism where it can be seen.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:06:38 PM PDT

  •  This misses the point about data (10+ / 0-)

    and how the illegal use has engulfed our lives.

    NYT headline now is Leaker's Employer Became Wealthy by Maintaining Government Secrets

    “The national security apparatus has been more and more privatized and turned over to contractors,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group that studies federal government contracting. “This is something the public is largely unaware of, how more than a million private contractors are cleared to handle highly sensitive matters.”
    [...]
    The company has also had at least one previous highly publicized problem maintaining data security. In 2011, files maintained by Booz Allen were acquired by the online activist group Anonymous, which claimed to have stolen tens of thousands of encrypted military passwords.
    There a number of issues here, not withstanding the 4th.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:10:58 PM PDT

    •  Thanks. Great article. Too many people here are (10+ / 0-)

      just not grasping that domestic surveillance and security is a private/governmental project. It's very big business. Enabled by the revolving door between government depts and officials and private contractors.

      The company[Booz Allen] employs about 25,000 people, almost half of whom hold top secret security clearances, providing “access to information that would cause ‘exceptionally grave damage’ to national security if disclosed to the public,” according to a company securities filing.
      We pay for this.
      This is fascism at work.

      -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

      by pat bunny on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:42:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, that's an important piece. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      Concerns about this were raised during the Bush years, if I remember correctly, and of course, immediately shot down.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:10:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are no non-stop flights (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic

    between Honolulu and Hong Kong and that choice of destination still makes me scratch my head. If you have to change planes anyways go where you want to go, he said Iceland a place he was interested in. Why Hong Kong, that still doesn't make sense to me.

    Hong Kong isn't exactly the freest or cheapest place to hang your hat.  It would be interesting to see what he told the Hong Kong folks what the nature of his visit was and how long he planned on staying there.

    How long has he been out of the country?

  •  so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, badger

    this means there's really no such thing as data analytic software after all?

    My, goodness, the things you learn on a self-policed blog...

    "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

    by lunachickie on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 07:46:50 PM PDT

  •  Why would you expect them to catch him? (5+ / 0-)
    So if I understand it, we are supposed to be all worked up that NSA is mining every.single.detail.of.our.lives and storing that data in Utah, while listening to every single conversation that takes place on the planet.
    Correct on the first point (mining all of our data) but wrong on the second. Assuming the system described in the powerpoint he leaked exists, it doesn't "listen in" - it collects and saves our data and then after the fact searches through that data for suspicious keywords and connections.

    Now, considering he took this action entirely on his own, and assuming he didn't send an email to his friend saying, "hey BTW, I plan to leak some highly classified documents tomorrow," why on Earth would you expect him to get caught?

    •  Data mining and collecting meta data is not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, gramofsam1

      effective in finding or stopping individuals who are acting on their own. It's effectiveness comes into play when the government wants to know who is part of a group. Determining who the leaders and organizers of events such as OWS protests are would be very easy to discover with this data.

      It appears that as long as this data remains within a computer and is not actually read by a human, it is not an invasion of privacy. If a computer algorithm crunching this data signals possible foul play, a court order can be obtained and the information on the parties and their connections will be immediately available - including retroactively. This would save weeks and months of detective work than if the authorities had to start from scratch.

      •  Algorithms of this sort are... (2+ / 0-)

        ...not exactly objective, right? Some subjective presumptions are inherent in developing. Certain activities can be viewed as more suspect or subversive than others. And on a normal day in America, missing a couple of parent teacher conferences can be "more wrong" than most everything else, especially if you already fit a "negative" social profile.

        I agree that amassing data not actually read is essentially harmless. It's what happens when a J. Edgar type looks at the "file room" and wanders over to the "negroes emulating Gandhi section"....

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:34:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many police 'algorithms' used in day to day (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Egalitare

          policing are currently highly subjective and 'legal'.

          BTW, what I was doing was playing devil's advocate. It appears that the government is using this sort of reasoning to legitimize it's data collection in the name of public safety.

          It will only end when we have our DNA taken and an RFI chip installed in our asses at birth. This too shall come to pass in the name of a public good.

  •  I see...so incompetence or ineffectiveness is... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ukit, jayden, wonmug, Dogs are fuzzy, pgm 01

    ...an excuse for invasion of privacy and trampling our rights...gotchya.

    Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

    by Love Me Slender on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:15:09 PM PDT

  •  How Is This Working Out For Glenn Greenwald? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfm, Onomastic, BusyinCA, FiredUpInCA

    How long have these two been working together to expose the NSA?  Seems as if the NSA would have had
    a glimmer, a hint, a suspicion, some chatter about this.....especially since they are privy to every move
    we make.

    How did Snowden slip thru their 24 hour dragnet?  

  •  Skepticism of government surveillance is a must. (5+ / 0-)

    BUT it has to actually be skepticism, not Alex Jonesian full-TILT black helicopter limbic overload.  We must demand to know what they're doing and demand that strict constitutional accountability occur.  But filling information voids with our fears actually just helps real miscreants in the mil/intel sphere get away with real fuckery.  

    Some of these scumbags are undoubtedly - undoubtedly - spying on their ex-wives and using national security infrastructure to bet on stocks, and they're getting away with it because we're indulging in Paulite fantasies of Gubmint hiding in our breakfast cereal.

    Nothing makes a Republican angrier than a smile on a poor child's face.

    by Troubadour on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:40:03 PM PDT

  •  Lol! Good one! (0+ / 0-)

    All that Snowden could do and get away with...including the short assignment in Hawaii which put him on a safe route to Hong Kong. And he discovers his conscience only a short time after being hired by Booz Allen H. BTW, how many GED degrees Booz Allen hire with those high payscales they are known with?

    Hmmmm...interesting stuff....Hong Kong? Very interesting.

    Dear Dailykos kneejerkers, stay tuned for another revelation of how we all have been hoodwinked....

    Lol...

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 09:13:38 PM PDT

  •  Prevention vs. response (2+ / 0-)

    If, hypothetically, authorities were someday to abuse their power, they would not actually need to anticipate protests. They could simply wait until someone begins organizing against them, then go to the mountain of data and search it until they found something that could be used to cause damage.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 10:46:56 PM PDT

  •  How do you know the NSA didn't know he was in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b

    Hong Kong?

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