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The names are stripped so I will not be responsible for breaching privacy.

If you want the names, check with the NSA.

PROFESSOR 2 had STUDENT in his summer 1 terrorism class and speaks highly about STUDENT. PROFESSOR 2 told me an interesting story.  Students in the terrorism class were all required to choose a terrorist group to research and write a paper.  STUDENT chose Hamas.  STUDENT got a call from the FBI wanting to know what STUDENT was doing.

PROFESSOR 2 had a good laugh about it but STUDENT was scared to death!  It makes PROFESSOR 1 more than a little upset.

I'm thinking that, as parents and grandparents and teachers, we need to bring up kids aware that Big Brother is watching.  Some of them will defy Big Brother, as those of us who are veterans of the Civil Rights Movement did.  Others will fall into line.

But we owe them the truth.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Confusing (7+ / 0-)

    since it's not clear where Professor 1 fits in.  In any case, it seems Professor 2 needs a lesson about Big Brother; Student's response to the FBI call was the appropriate one.

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

    by accumbens on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:27:51 AM PDT

    •  I was trying to keep the players straight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I would be Professor 4.  The professor who forwarded the original to me would be Professor 3.

      To the comment about "personal experience":  Not my student, but my email box.  The evidence is what we call in the trade hearsay.  Some hearsay evidence is more reliable than other hearsay evidence but, contrary to popular belief, there is usually some way to get it into court.

      However, I don't really care if people don't believe it's real.  Struthiousness carries its own penalty.  No privacy violation by me would convince the skeptics.

  •  Is this your own personal experience? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If it isn't, it'd be nice to have a link showing the source for the diary.  If it is, you should consider adding more content.  We get a lot of "hypothetical" diaries and snark ones.  If this is an actual experience, that makes a difference.  

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:30:29 AM PDT

    •  I think in this case links should be omitted. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I remember the week after 9/11 seeing notes left in the open on the door of an Iranian teacher from these jokers.


      •  it's clear from other comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that this diarist has first-hand experience with some of these events.  That's all I was asking for - a comment or note to indicate that this wasn't something "found" on the net at a possible unreliable site or a fabricated story.  

        Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

        by Kayakbiker on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:14:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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

          I understand now.  Yes, it's first hand experience in that Professor 3 is my student and Professors 1 and 2 are colleagues who were named in the original, as was the student.

          I'm just saying I didn't go interview the players, so it's hearsay to me.  The players are there to be interviewed if I chose.

  •  My dad was in seminary during the McCarthy era. (11+ / 0-)

    Similarly he was doing research for a report on unions and the dean of the seminary reported him to the dean of the college for being a communist. Parallel is clear. The student is right to be scared. It's not just the collection of data (spying), but the misinterpretation of data that is truly scary.

  •  probably naive question/comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dsb, pdxteacher

    I'm guessing the student got most of his info from his university's library. I wonder if he checked out books or if he read journal articles. Journal articles mostly come from expensive services that university libraries subscribe to. So, at what point in the chain was the fbi tipped off? The library? The services? Or maybe online searches he did... But I hope it wasn't the university library.

  •  Have to admit that the cyber world has made (4+ / 0-)

    the overseers' jobs much easier.  There's no underground here.  We need a new underground, starting with meet-ups, secret handshakes and safehouses.  It just may come to that.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:44:25 AM PDT

  •  "FBI’s Data Mining Needs Scrutiny, Too"... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    young voter, Joieau, SuWho

    Even if the NSA’s controversial program were shut down tomorrow...

    ...another government agency that is busy collecting and retaining personal data would keep humming along...

    True accountability for the government’s surveillance activities should also include an airing of -- and tighter restrictions on -- the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s power to collect and store substantial amounts of innocuous information about Americans.

    Since 2008, for instance, the FBI has had the authority to conduct “assessments” -- investigations that require no suspicion of criminal activity. In service of these low-level investigations, an FBI agent may use various invasive methods, including infiltrating public meetings of groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union or Alcoholics Anonymous, using informants, and even putting the target of the investigation under full-time physical surveillance...

  •  back in the day, it was library cards and magazine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    subscriptions that had the FBI and others scrambling to find subversives.  These days, if your six year old decides to research hummus and misspells the word, you may find yourself explaining things to the Powers that Must Be Obeyed.

  •  Big Brother (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So, am I the only one who remembers that, in the fifties, Big Brother was interested in who subscribed to Mad Magazine?

    Little did we know then that Spy v. Spy was more than an innocent cartoon....

  •  I doubt the accuracy of this part: (0+ / 0-)
    STUDENT got a call from the FBI wanting to know what STUDENT was doing.
    Added surveillance or a visit would be much more believable.
    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You think the FBI has enough agents to personally visit everybody who is researching known terrorist organizations?

      Remember, the Boston Marathon bombers were several notches above that.  They got a document sweep, one personal visit, and a closed file.

      Some people want to trash the FBI for the perfunctory nature of the Boston Marathon bomber inquiry before the bombing based on a complaint from the Russians, but what would we have them do?

      I'm amazed that they did a personal interview.

      Back in the seventies, I stirred up the FBI because of my involvement in a plot to smuggle banned literature into the Republic of South Africa.

      The plot was successful for a while.  It was hatched on the University of Texas campus, and our purpose was to evade the banning orders placed on a black South African ex pat poet.

      In those days, the US sided with the apartheid government.  It was the CIA that turned in Nelson Mandela.  Anti-apartheid activities on US campuses were considered subversive.

      To my knowledge, the only time the fibbies left their office was to copy our application for a post office box and to visit with our faculty advisor, and I can't be sure about the former.

      The whole point of the NSA program is that it makes up for not having the manpower to breathe down the necks off all potential terrorists or subversives.

      •  Well, they probably did have his/her phone number! (0+ / 0-)

        And ip address... shoe size... FB friends... etc.

        Still think a personal visit would have been probable if they were all that interested.

        •  The reason the profs were laughing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indubitably, WakeUpNeo

          was, I think, that we perceived that the FBI was not all that interested.

          Most of my generation has lived though much worse.

          So, in all honesty, there was not a lot of sympathetic hand-holding for the student.  More like "Welcome to the real world.  Deal with it."

          I told you about the FBI shutting down my little international anti-apartheid conspiracy.

          I didn't tell you how the underground newspaper where I cut my journalism teeth, The Rag, lost several printers as a result of personal visits from the FBI questioning the patriotism of anybody who would print a paper wall to wall critical of the government.

          One of the things I love about the Internet is how it has made the underground press obsolete.....

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