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Slide from PRISM presentation showing all the information NSA has access to from nine Internet Services
One tech company tried in secret court to fight the NSA's demand that it turn over information on foreign users, arguing that the broad requests from the NSA were unconstitutional. The secret court disagreed, so Yahoo was forced to participate.
Like almost all the actions of the secret court, which operates under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the details of its disagreement with Yahoo were never made public beyond a heavily redacted court order, one of the few public documents ever to emerge from the court. The name of the company had not been revealed until now. Yahoo’s involvement was confirmed by two people with knowledge of the proceedings. Yahoo declined to comment.

But the decision has had lasting repercussions for the dozens of companies that store troves of their users’ personal information and receive these national security requests—it puts them on notice that they need not even try to test their legality. And despite the murky details, the case offers a glimpse of the push and pull among tech companies and the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that try to tap into the reams of personal data stored on their servers. [...]

Lawyers who handle national security requests for tech companies say they rarely fight in court, but frequently push back privately by negotiating with the government, even if they ultimately have to comply. In addition to Yahoo, which fought disclosures under FISA, other companies, including Google, Twitter, smaller communications providers and a group of librarians, have fought in court elements of National Security Letters, which the F.B.I. uses to secretly collect information about Americans. Last year, the government issued more than 1,850 FISA requests and 15,000 National Security Letters.

In the last four years the FISA court denied just two of 8,591 applications by the government, requesting surveillance that could be as broad as monitoring call information for an entire country, the Times reports. The FISA requests and the NSLs are secret and the recipients (companies like Yahoo) can't even say that they've received the requests. But a handful of cases do demonstrate resistance.

One unnamed communications company in San Francisco has a pending case now under appeal by the government in federal court. It won its original complaint in March, when a Federal District Court judge ruled the government's request unconstitutional. Google and Microsoft won a small concession from the Justice Department, and now can say that they've received between 0 and 999 letters.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (49+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:49:03 AM PDT

  •  Marcy Wheller: (22+ / 0-)
    According to a more precise description contained in a classified NSA inspector general’s report, also obtained by The Post, PRISM allows “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” rather than directly to company servers. The companies cannot see the queries that are sent from the NSA to the systems installed on their premises, according to sources familiar with the PRISM process. (my emphasis)
    - See more at:

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:05:10 AM PDT

    •  Senator Feingold was concerned... (13+ / 0-)

      Press Release of Senator Feingold

      Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on The Decision by the FISA Court of Review

      Friday, January 16, 2009

      “The recently declassified decision by the FISA Court of Review (pdf) in no way validates or bolsters the president’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program.  The decision, which only addressed surveillance authorized by the Protect America Act (PAA) enacted in August 2007, did not support the President’s claim of constitutional authority to violate the law.  Nor did the decision uphold the constitutionality of the PAA in all cases, but rather it upheld only the Act’s application in this particular case.  Finally, it is my view that the Court’s analysis would have been fundamentally altered if the company that brought the case had been aware of, and thus able to raise, problems related to the government’s implementation of the law, about which I have repeatedly raised concerns in classified settings.”

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:08:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I keep saying this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's the 'search' in and of itself and not the returned results that makes it all illegal.

      You don't just search stuff belonging to the person in the warrant..or for a magic 51% likelihood of a 'relevant' search everybody.

      Lanza's mom ar-15...Glock 20...Sig 9mm...nine full 30 round ammo mom has..cookies

      by Arrow on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:40:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  yahoo clearly (10+ / 0-)

    hates america. or made it all up. i wonder if yahoo has a girlfriend.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

  •  I've Been Meaning To Write Something Up On PRISM (13+ / 0-)

    cause at another time in my life I worked as a business/marketing consultant for some of the largest data security and hardware companies in the world. As one firm's tagline said, "we make the things that make communications work." I worked for the divisions that sold products to the DoD and federal government. It was a pretty open rumor that the government expected this companies to give them a "backdoor" into their products. The government was very fearful a company like Checkpoint or Lucent might build something they couldn't hack/crack.

    When I saw this story break this was the first time I thought of.

  •  Great. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, shaharazade, Lujane, JML9999

    I have a yahoo account. They're coming after me.

    I'll be under my bed if you need me, with my dogs, of course, as loyal protection.  

    Well, until they get hungry.


    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:12:41 AM PDT

    •  I An A Tech Nerd And A Lot Of The Folks (11+ / 0-)

      I follow on Twitter are the folks that make the products we all use on a daily basis. Honestly many of them are freaking out. They are talking about going "old school" and running their own email client. Pulling everything out of the "cloud." Or as one person said, at least make the government try a little harder to collect and read their information.

      •  Well, that's one thing. I'm tech un-savvy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, Catte Nappe, shaharazade

        Enough (and unorganied enough) that I don't have clouds.

        It's always worked for me. So I just figured if it ain't broke, why fix it?

        I have a hotmail and a yahoo account. Yahoo gets my junk mail. Hotmail gets stuff like "your electric bill is due."

        If the NSA wants to pay my electric bill, I'd appreciate it, especially as we head into air conditioning season.

         I still make phone calls, which I realize is increasingly rare. I have a digital landline via Comcast cable which I presume has metadata too, or at least is easily obtainable.  

        Does anyone know if old school "ma bell" land lines are similarly traceable? It used to be that local calls weren't. Maybe we need to go seriously old school.

        Carrier pigeons?

        Oh wait, stool pigeons...

        Never mind.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:35:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Got Issues With The Government Doing This (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, ybruti, kurious

          on many different levels, but what I never hea said is how ineffective this is. I use Twitter as an example. I'd love to follow Markos or Keith Olbermann, but I can't cause they send out too many tweets. They "pollute" my stream and I might miss something important.

          It is the same with what the government is doing on a scale like a million times higher. They are grabbing everything, so they don't miss anything. But the key is how they find what they need to find in billions and billions of files.

          Honestly they can't.

          •  Seriously. (7+ / 0-)

            I have a folder just for my Amazon purchase emails. I recently purchased 3 bags of dog food and a couple cases of canned food to be sent to a shelter. All from Amazon itself, right? (Third party vendors increase the number of emails)

            1. Auto reply. Thanks for your order.
            2. Your bagged dog food has been shipped.
            3. Your canned dog food is delayed 3 days. Let us know if you want to cancel.
            4,5,6 here are the tracking numbers for the bagged dog food shipments.
            7. Here's the tracking number for the canned.
            8,9,10,11. Your items (tracking numbers) were delivered.
            12. did you want to review the canned dog food?

            Now, Amazon's system auto generates these. So it's losing virtually nothing by communicating with me. And I like (well enough) knowing whats going on with gift purchases).

            But you can imagine how many thousand of these emails I Have sitting in my hotmail Amazon folders.

            Yes, I prefer the government doesn't know everything I buy there. But if they want to sort through all the dog food and deodorant emails just to see what books I buy (dog training books mostly) then wow, how much time did they just take away from investigating tips from Russian intelligence?  Tips and investigations that could have saved lives.

            It's all very ridiculous. What's the old saying? Like trying to drink from a fire hose?

            © grover

            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:41:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, but if you change flavors of dog food (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              smiley7, DRo, shaharazade

              or if you want a different brand...this COULD be a covert signal to unleash the hounds of hell...  How does one know?'s imperative that the gummint know your every move.  Why, just a strange inflection in your voice could mean the unthinkable.  

              What if you discussed having really bad flatulence?  Could be you were having that last meal of chicken-fried camel hump and steamed eel before strapping that package of cherry-bombs to your wazoo and heading for the ever crowded walmart service desk.

              All this important.  That's why the NSA MUST spend gazillions...and KNOW everything.  I a type this on my enigma keyboard to a paper tape reader to a digitally encoded etch-a-sketch...prefer my privacy.


              The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

              by Persiflage on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:09:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's what data mining is for (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril, smiley7, k9disc, chuckvw, ybruti

              Individual spooks don't look through your data. Computers do. The spooks don't get involved until the data mining algorithms find something "interesting".

              Expect lots of false positives, however "sophisticated" the algorithms become. Hence this is a jobs program for snoops -- and data miners. Homeland Security is destined to be the biggest growth industry in the US.

              •  THIS really ought to be the kicker for us! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                smiley7, atana

                This is not just a growing industry. It's the growing industry. Both the State and Corporate have huge profits just waiting for them here...

                Watching the TSA staff in airports grow exponentially to wave test strips over water bottles and to check our shoes, and not to mention the giant machines and the acceptance of the national security state has been hard.

                Your comment here really puts an exclamation point on it for me. This isn't just going on, it's HUGE business! The profit potential and potential for power is just incalculable.

                Great comment.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:45:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  NSA is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 I cook my dog food (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xxdr zombiexx

              in a PRESSURE COOKER.

              comment now being streamed to the hot file

              Btw, today I drove by the 1,000,000 sq foot NSA center being built here in Utah.  No windows and I think most of it must be underground.  It has its own windturbines, water treatement center, 60 mW power station (or something like this) and is adjacent to a large National Guard base with multiple black helicoptors that fly over head all day and night.

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:09:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I want to buy my wife a small rice (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                War on Error

                PRESSURE COOKER. Apparently they are better rice cookers than our $35 panasonic rice cooker.

                I knew a guy in college who grew psychedlic mushrooms and used a PRESSURE COOKER to cook the bulgar wheat he  inoculated with spores. That was 1982. All the psilosiben is gone, as is the PRESSURE COOKER.

              •  my local hardware store (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                War on Error

                used to have PRESSURE COOKERS. I was interested in buying a PRESSURE COOKER for canning foods as well as for cooking. Now I think if I want to buy a PRESSURE COOKER I'll have to buy it on-line.

                (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

                by PJEvans on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:27:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well, if you're going to serve your dogs (0+ / 0-)

                cooked bones, you have to pressure cook them to avoid all attendant risks (broken teeth, splintering, etc).

                I trust that NSA has cooked dog food experts on staff? Or do they just cross reference pressure cooker purchases with our cookbook (canine and human) purchases?

                © grover

                So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                by grover on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:43:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Well ... (7+ / 0-)

            Putting aside the 4th amendment rights (which I personnally believe are the issue) ... I think "they" would say that they have algorithms that can search the data for patterns and connections.  

            However, I'm not convinced they've really EVER been successful in spotting a potential "terrorist" before they've acted.  

            Should they want to look up the data for a single individual or group of individuals, I'm sure they can do that very effectively.  I'm pretty sure anyone who is 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon away from Snowden or Greenwald has already had their data pulled.

            So, to sum it up ... I believe

            - The programs are unconstitutional (and yes, illegal)
            - They are ineffective
            - They are crazy expense  (but heh ... military contractors gotta live too, right?)

            •  Yeah, that searching for patterns stuff (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Says to me that my stuff is being evaluated.

              I think of it this way. You go into the parking lot where you know you parked your car. You're not "seeing" any other cars because you're looking for yours and you're in a rush. You get in and drive away.

              Then a yellow mustang pulls up to you at a light, and you think, that car was just in the parking lot.

              You didn't see it. But you did.

              Now imagine what systems designed to look for stuff (and programmed not to overlook anything) can do.

              And I'm not so concerned about me. My "book store" purchases are things like dog food for animal shelters. That's how exciting I am. But I know people with middle eastern roots and Islamic names.  They're bright red Ferraris and Lamborghinis in that parking lot.

              And as persons (whether or not  citizens) they have Constitutional rights.

              © grover

              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:57:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  there is also the abuse of the power (7+ / 0-)


                When you construct a massive surveillance apparatus, history tells us that it will be brought to bear not just on, quote, "the enemy" but on the people who threaten society's power structure. On whoever exists at the political margins, whether it's Martin Luther King Jr. or some Occupy Boston protesters. It's not some Orwellian abstraction. It's America's history --- and America's recent history ---and left unchecked I fear for America 's future.

                Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                by greenbastard on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:01:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's a simple concept really. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shaharazade, stvnjon, dadadata

                  In dog training, we tell people, you never trust a puppy or dog with more than he has been been proven himself reliable with. So a puppy doesn't get to play freely on the carpet until he proves he won't just piddle right there on the floor. A dog isn't given free reign of the house until he proves he won't get into anything dangerous or destroy stuff. Dogs aren't let off leash at the park until they have proven they will reliably come every single time when called.  

                  It's the same thing with the powerful and the military/intelligence complex in this country.

                  They have proven themselves incredibly unreliable over the years. Truman did it. Kennedy did it. They've all done it.

                  Carter was probably the most honorable of the bunch. But there's not a lot of evidence that the machinations of power didn't continue while he was in office.

                  So why we would trust organizations and people who have proven themselves so untrustworthy over the years is beyond me. This is a system that pees in the middle of the floor, tears up the house, then bolts as soon as you open the front door, biting the neighbor's  kid as it runs down the street out of control.

                   But many folks are saying, yes, but it's a nice dog, it makes me feel safe.

                  ( Meanwhile two Chechen-Americans thugs are planning to break in the back door).

                  This is simply NOT about Snowden nor even President Obama really.

                  The three branches of government are fine with the status quo. The beltway media defends it vociferously.

                  And here we are. And as you say, we will be there in the future...

                  © grover

                  So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                  by grover on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:51:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  But.... are communications crimes? (0+ / 0-)

                Can't we pretty much say anything, well not yell fire in the theater...

                Doesn't the outcome of NSA's searching for the needles in the infinite haystacks still require shoe leather and eyes to see a crime and then catch the criminal.

                As broad as the NSA program is, so is the definition of terrorist.  And this broad definition of terrorist is as big a concern to me as the broad scope of NSA's capabilities.

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:02:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  "With its new Utah Data Center, the NSA will... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            at last have the technical capability... (emphasis mine)

   store, and rummage through, all those stolen secrets. The question, of course, is how the agency defines who is, and who is not, “a potential adversary....”

            ...There is still one technology preventing untrammeled government access to private digital data: strong encryption...Breaking into those complex mathematical shells like the AES is one of the key reasons for the construction going on in Bluffdale...

            So the agency had one major ingredient—a massive data storage facility—under way. Meanwhile, across the country in Tennessee, the government was working in utmost secrecy on the other vital element: the most powerful computer the world has ever known...Dubbed the High Productivity Computing Systems program, its goal was to advance computer speed a thousandfold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second...

            It's probable that the NSA won't be bothering with most of this info, but, as their budget keeps increasing and their technical capabilities and employees (feds and especially contractors) keep increasing, the troubling thing is that even though they probably won't--at some point, they probably could.  

            ...By 2010, the overall intelligence budget had grown by 250 percent since 2000. Nowhere was the growth larger than at the NSA. The budget there doubled, as did the physical infrastructure...

            Never before have so many U.S. intelligence workers been hired so quickly, or been given access to secret government information...

      •  So if our business (0+ / 0-)

        has it's own e-mail that runs off our web site providers are we out of the cloud? Our business is all nothing but digital data services.  Just curious as we have always kept our business e-mails with clients separate from our email accounts on AOL or Yahoo. This cloud stuff is way beyond my pay grade or comprehension.

        •  Well, they will just get the traffic from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the senders and receivers outside your company...or by sniffing traffic from your ISP...and it they want stuff from you badly enough, they will simply come and get it.

          "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

          by davewill on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:32:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  they would hate to lose all their (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    racist customers.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:30:02 AM PDT

  •  There's another story out today (10+ / 0-)

    that the tech companies may not be the helpless victims that they claim to be.  

    U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms  

    There is a lot more about all of this that needs to be revealed.

    •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm beginning to wonder whether it's really the case that tech companies "have a libertarian streak ingrained in their corporate cultures that resists sharing that data with the government," or whether they're really just interested in protecting the proprietary data collection that's central to their business model.

      Maybe both, of course. But it'd be important to know, I think.

      Are they Fourth Amendment privacy heroes? Or just bottom-line motivated Fifth Amendment "takings" plaintiffs in disguise?

  •  And yet amazing levels of denial. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, blueoasis, chuckvw, DeadHead


  •  Proof FISC abandoned the Constitution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, wayoutinthestix, native
    The Yahoo ruling, from 2008, shows the company argued that the order violated its users’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court called that worry “overblown.”

    “Notwithstanding the parade of horribles trotted out by the petitioner, it has presented no evidence of any actual harm, any egregious risk of error, or any broad potential for abuse,” the court said, adding that the government’s “efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts.”

    Fuck you, "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court" "judges."
    Amendment 4

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:57:48 AM PDT

    •  Oh, my (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, Garrett

      That doesn't sound terribly....judicious

      the parade of horribles trotted out by the petitioner

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:39:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  why would you expect those hacks to be judicious (0+ / 0-)

        FISA court consists of 11 members all selected by the CJ of the Supreme Court; ie. corporate suckpuppet Roberts.

        of the judges sitting on the FISA Court

        5 of the judges were appointed by W
        4 appointed by Ronnie Raygun
        1 appointed by Clinton
        1 by the HW Bush

        Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

        by No Exit on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:02:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  IMO a "Secret Court" is no Court at all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What the hell good is a Court if nobody is allowed know who's on it or what it's deciding? That's not a Court, it's a... well I don't know what it is, but it's not a Court.

  •  Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, xxdr zombiexx, native

    1) Use Tor
    2) Use 256-bit AES encryption on all VoIP communications.
    3) Don't use the cell phone network (a smartphone is capable of doing encrypted VoIP).
    4) Don't use the Cloud.
    5) Assume anything you put on social websites such as Facebook will be read by spooks (paid from your taxes).
    6) If it really matters, use face-to-face meetings in obscure locations -- just like citizens of the former German Democratic Republic used to do to evade the Stasi.

    And remember -- all this spying is necessary to keep you safe from terrorists. Suckers.

    •  I want to talk to the poor schmucks who are assign (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, kenlac

      ed to follow me.

      God, that's gotta be dull. Aside from MARIJUANA SMOKING I don't do anything wrong, OTHER than want to see the republican party fail, Bush in Jail, and I dream of pissing on Dick Cheney's grave.

      I mean, I am a dull and boring guy. This week I have worked on tree limbs and the yard.

      My wife speaks to Viet Nam a couple times a week, an hour and a half on Saturdays. Record every word!

      I hope they contemplate sticking bamboo skewers in their eyes.

  •  the hits just keep coming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, xxdr zombiexx

    how much can the constitution take

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:57:11 PM PDT

  •  While I do not dispute that the Times (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mtndew00, plooto, Garrett

    article is important and damning.  It does not prove that PRISM specifically exists.  The subpoenas that Yahoo challenged could have come from any number of other named secret programs.

    I admit, this is really a distinction without a difference, nor do I doubt that PRISM exists.  Just saying that this story does not prove that PRISM exists.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:34:22 PM PDT

    •  Agreed. I think we should avoid getting into (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, native, Garrett

      the ins and outs of whether or not we can prove PRISM exists and whether any particular NSA program is part of PRISM or whatever.  I would prefer we just put it all under the umbrella term of "NSA domestic spying/surveillance", because otherwise we risk tying the controversy over NSA domestic spying to the particulars of PRISM, which is (at most) a subset of the rather extensive spying program that the NSA is involved in. We know there exist a whole lot of NSA practices that are not above board and it is entirely possible that some of them fall under some mysterious program called PRISM about which we have minimal details, but if the NSA acknowledged the existence of PRISM tomorrow and promised to end it asap, it wouldn't end all the various concerning surveillance practices such as warrantless collection of phone call data and wiretapping. Basically, we have evidence but no proof that PRISM exists, even if it does exist we have only confusing and conflicting reports on what it actually is, and there is no indication that this particular case (objectionable as it may be) is specifically related to PRISM in any way. This is a story of its own right regardless of how it relates to PRISM.

    •  From the heavily-redacted decision (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, native, plooto
      The FISC's decision was docketed on [redacted text]. Six business days later, the petitioner filed a petition for review. The next day, it moved for a stay pending appeal. The FISC refused to grant the stay. On [redacted text], the petitioner began compliance under threat of civil contempt.
      The last redacted text says 3/12/2008.

      That, or Yahoo was forced into participation into two secret programs in early 2008.

      I'm not going with the lightning strikes twice theory, myself.

  •  Having perused Yahoo's message-boards (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, xxdr zombiexx

    ..a time or three.. I could almost be ambivalent if the "gummint" was watching the nut-cases if I didn't believe in the innate human-right to free-dumb, and the free expression thereof.

    Precedent is everything. "First they came for the dumb-asses - and I did nothing.." Etcetera.

    We've got to get organized! -Jonathon Winters, The Russians are Coming

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:36:44 PM PDT

  •  But "Unitary Executives" are so cool! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, JML9999

    Benevolent Dictators. It's our only hope.

    And President Obama is nothing if he isn't "cool."

    We've got to get organized! -Jonathon Winters, The Russians are Coming

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:38:59 PM PDT

  •  I left Dell a poison pill. Are you all serious? (0+ / 0-)

    This stuff has been around for more than decade. Many of us walked away for it. We've said it over and over, that the use of these clusters of servers to spy on each other rather than to teach our kids or heal our loved ones is stupid. And yes, i left dell a poison pill, on how they book their servers.

  •  Good for Yahoo (0+ / 0-)

    For fighting this. I didn't know they had it in them.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:42:22 PM PDT

    •  It is good. (0+ / 0-)

      But collecting data on their customers' online movements is their bread and butter. I'm not entirely sure whether they're protecting civil liberties, or just their most important product.

      Well, in the best possible scenario, those interests align, I guess.

  •  am I correct in remembering that National Security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Letters do not require a warrant or judge's order?

  •  good god (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    now they have a secret court?

    maybe there are secret underground cities too. and tiny little one inch secret people.

    mind blowing

    I don't care what they say about me as long as it isn't true -katharine hepburn

    by Krush on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:54:18 PM PDT

  •  We can't accomplish jack shit (0+ / 0-)

    but, goddammit, we can store your emails.

    No, it doesn't keep anybody safe, but it is one helluva gravytrain.

    Let's hope Snowden doesn't derail the gravytrain for the rest of those who bilk the system pretending to care  about the security of this country.

  •  Tim Cook's Arrogance about taxes now makes sense (0+ / 0-)

    Of course he'd stand in-your-face in front of Congress defending Apple's many years of tax avoidance.  

    They are doing cyber dirty work for the US Intelligence Community. That includes offering plausible deny ability for bureaucrats under oath. They earned their free ride!

  •  Mozilla, ACLU backing "Stop Watching Us"... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush, xxdr zombiexx, solesse413, native


    In response to the recent revelations of massive, secret surveillance programs conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA), organizations, businesses, and activists across the country are taking action.

    On Tuesday, Mozilla announced that it has assembled a broad coalition of almost 100 groups and individuals aimed at pressuring Congress to take action address the issue of domestic spying.

    The American Civil Liberties Union, on the other hand, is taking a more combative approach, having filed a lawsuit against the involved agencies in federal court.

    The Mozilla campaign, appropriately named StopWatching.Us,  posted an open letter to Congress on Tuesday that has already garnered more than 27,000 signatures.

    The letter condemns both the NSA programs revealed last week, including the mass monitoring of phone conversations and the so-called PRISM initiative...

  •  The term, "secret court," by itself is an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    abomination.  It invokes such things as the secret police, summary executions, the disappeared.  It doesn't  fit with a country that's supposedly a democracy with freedoms enumerated in its constitution.  It's better associated with dictatorships and oppressive/repressive governments.  Kafka is now writing American contemporary history.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:00:11 PM PDT

  •  Not proof of Prism's existence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are a number of bad programs we've known about since Bush was President, but the reporting from the WP and the Guardian has been shoddy and wrong. They should be embarrassed.

    And Dkos should be embarrassed by ridiculous diaries like this. The diarist should either stop writing about this topic or learn more about technology and computers.

    •  Just write a diary clearly explaining (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadadata, native, PJEvans

      what you know about it and why you believe there is no such thing that everybody;s taking about.

      Should be pretty easy: sounds like you have it figured out.

      And it's a popular topic: rec-list for sure...

      •  It will not matter because people want the worst (0+ / 0-) be true. No facts counter to preconceived notions will ever be accepted as valid.

        But since you asked, Vanity Fair has a well sourced explanation. There are others as well.

        The more likely people keep repeating falsehood the less likely we are to get reform. I would bet they double down on secrecy and attempts to regulate the internet due to "national security".

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:26:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  4th Amendment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    I assume we are talking about papers and effects as it pertains to the 4th amendment, right?

    The internet is not a right, people.  I know that's hard to understand but let me clarify.

    NO ISP, phone company or domain can be forced to allow you to use their service.  Matter of fact they can ban, block or disable you from using their service.

    Paper mail on the other hand can not be banned, blocked or disable.  Prisoners have a right to send and receive mail.  They do NOT have the right to send and receive email, tweets, facebook, myspace, aol, paltalk, etc etc etc.

    The internet is not a right under the 4th amendment.

  •  If you give your information to a stranger... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there is no expectation of privacy UNLESS its a lawyer.

    I've never heard of yahoo/client privilege.  Or Google/client privilege.

    I've heard of attorney/client privilege.  Doctor/patient privilege.  Priest/parishioner privilege.

    I have NEVER heard of Domain/user privilege.

  •  This is not about PRISM (0+ / 0-)

    Secret courts and national security letters are seriously concerning and this story is worth promoting, but the title is seriously a stretch. Secret courts and national security letters (and companies fighting them) have been around for a while, and none of this is directly about PRISM.

    Read the linked article.

    this signature is intentionally self-referential

    by mtndew00 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:27:41 PM PDT

  •  OK. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Remind me again who's claiming that PRISM doesn't exist at all?

    Non futuis apud Boston

    by kenlac on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:08:37 PM PDT

  •  FISA has too much unchecked power (0+ / 0-)
    It has been described as a "kangaroo court with a rubber stamp."

    All this terrorizing of U.S. Citizens under the guise of terror protection is terrifying.

    Problem: So much unchecked power that can easily be turned against them for persecution on any trumped up accusations or misidentification is what I thought we were fighting AGAINST?

    Where's the free democracy innocent before guilty without fear of persecution in this game plan?

    Why were all the people who protested against Wall Street identified?  Why?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:10:01 PM PDT

  •  Please define the term "rubber stamp". (0+ / 0-)
    In the last four years the FISA court denied just two of 8,591 applications....
    Does this [=99.9767%] qualify?  

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:27:12 PM PDT

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