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Sens. Wyden and Mark Udall introduce the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act

Have a cell phone/ Chances are the NSA knows where you are, and a lot more.
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.

The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result. [...]

In scale, scope and potential impact on privacy, the efforts to collect and analyze location data may be unsurpassed among the NSA surveillance programs that have been disclosed since June. Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among individuals using them. [...]

Some documents in the Snowden archive suggest that acquisition of U.S. location data is routine enough to be cited as an example in training materials. In an October 2012 white paper on analytic techniques, for example, the NSA’s counterterrorism analysis unit cites two U.S.-based carriers to illustrate the challenge of correlating the travels of phone users on different mobile networks. Asked about that, a U.S. intelligence official said the example was poorly chosen and did not represent the program’s foreign focus.

Five billion records a day. What's different about location data, as the ACLU's Chris Soghoian points out in the story, is that you can't protect that information. Email can be encrypted and identities can be concealed online, but "the only way to hide your location is to disconnect from our modern communication system and live in a cave." If you have and use a cell phone, you can't avoid having your location transmitted.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been warning about location tracking for months, and back in September directly asked NSA Director Keith Alexander whether this information was being collected, and Alexander said no, not  under "the current program," referring to  Section 215 of the Patriot Act. When Wyden pushed to determine whether the NSA had ever or planned to collect this information under any legal authority, Alexander wouldn't answer.

Wyden, along with Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) have an amendment to the defense authorization bill currently on the Senate floor that would force the U.S. intelligence agencies to disclose whether they have ever collected or developed plans to locate collection data for U.S. persons not connected to terrorist or suspicious activity.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Koscadia, PDX Metro, Colorado COmmunity, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We know where you were, and who you were with. /nt (10+ / 0-)

    It is only a matter of time before these records are used in legal proceedings.

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:23:18 PM PST

    •  Who says it's not already? (6+ / 0-)

      What with the DEA et al instructing local law enforcement about parallel investigations to cover up giving them data collected from Americans' cell phones, how do we know location data hasn't been used to investigate, arrest and convict people of crimes already?

      You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” --George Bernard Shaw, JFK, RFK

      by CenPhx on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:28:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There was a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, PeterHug, CenPhx, stevemb, RenMin

      where Calvin here's the words to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

      "...he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake..."

      And says, "Santa Claus, Kindly old elf or CIA stooge"

      Anyone who got their phones from "Santa" has their answer -- Stooge.

      There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:34:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ALL METADATA collection includes location data... (10+ / 0-)

      ...as far as cellphone usage is concerned. In other words, since the data dragnet continues as you read this, the location data of virtually everyone in the U.S. is collected, and may be held for up to five (or six, depending upon which Presidential and DoJ records--currently in effect--you accept as the current reality) years. And, that's based upon Att'y Gen'l Holder's publicized directives in March of 2012, which were published approximately 6-7 weeks after the NSA's, five-page "Collect-it-all" (i.e.: Total Information Awareness) memo was published and accepted by the White House, on down, as standard operating procedure for the NSA, going forward (to this day).

      This is part of the "the current state of play" of domestic surveillance that exists in the U.S.

      Nothing to see here, move along!

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

      by bobswern on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:35:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kos. Stop placing my information into your (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Four of Nine

      online petitions.  It's a boundary violation, just totally offensive.  Besides, they just add my name to fundraising lists.  Just stop it.  This is a real piss off, Buddy.

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 08:24:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Barbara Mikulski's getting involved? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi

    That's great news---last I heard she was getting in twitter fights whilst appearing to cover for the NSA. Is she evolvin'?

    •  she gets my full support for this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dclawyer06

      ... there is a lot of stuff that is so annoying and scary for someone who doesn't know how all this stuff works. From yesterday to today my son had all off the sudden his telephone number and email address in his cellphone from all people on his facebook contact list. He didn't ask for it. Why did this happen? Now everybody has his number and email as well. I mean all this is shit. May be we are too lazy and dumb to configure the stuff correctly, but everything is so interconnected that all you want is to disconnect everything.

      •  I hope she does the right thing... (0+ / 0-)

        We're living in a digital age and we're all vulnerable to bad faith actors. We need to know our rights or the seeming benefits of technology will become a trap--who has access to our information and for what purposes?

        I hope your son is alright.

  •  What's next? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, maryabein

    Remote self-destruct?

  •  "Chances are"? Really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drocedus, Hey338Too, Bronxist

    There are about 6 billion active mobile phones in the world. Each mobile phone passively transmits some kind of location information potentially hundreds of times a day, just as a function of how cell phones work. So out of several hundreds of billions of location records being generated every day, the NSA is collecting about 5 billion, while intentionally trying to avoid domestic handsets. So I'd say that "chances are" pretty small that the NSA is seeing anything my phone is doing.

    If your point is worth making, it is worth making without alarmist embellishments.

    •  How do you figure? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, dclawyer06, Victor Ward

      The NSA could touch almost everybody's phone once a day.

      •  Well, that would be stupid, wouldn't it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too

        Why touch 80 percent of the active cell phones in the world just once a day? For the hell of it? You can't really learn much from one coordinate pair a day, other than that most people stick close to home most of the time. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to collect a much larger amount of location information each day from a much smaller number of people, making it possible to, you know, track them?

        •  Oh, I'd think you'd know a shitpile (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dclawyer06, Victor Ward, Pluto

          if you knew where everybody with a mobile phone was once a day.  And the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next...

          •  there is nothing in the text of the article (0+ / 0-)

            to indicate that they're getting only one location per 24 hrs. phenry's own map from downthread demonstrates that the carriers are recording substantially more than that. And since the NSA is getting its data directly from those carriers....

            Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

            by nota bene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:35:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There isn't a lot in the article (0+ / 0-)

              that would guarantee that they are not perusing a few trillion "coordinate pairs" per day and only keeping a few billion.

              "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

              by jestbill on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:06:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  it's all "incidental" (7+ / 0-)
      The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.

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

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:36:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you have a counterargument (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure we'd all love to hear it.

        •  Ya, my counterargument is quite simple. (14+ / 0-)

          At every step of this debate the NSA has lied to cover up the scope and breadth of its spying. It has lied to the American people and to members of Congress under oath.

          Lie after lie, at every step.
          So before you wander in here with your overly-credulous, nonchalant b/s you need a new tact. I saw that schtick 6 months ago and it's worn pretty fucking thin.

          As far ast his post goes---I want to hear every bit of info I can get my hands on wrt NSA. I want to know what my government is doing----and I'm happy it's being written about thoughtfully on Dkos.

          If you don't care, bounce.

          •  It's nice to have things to count on in life (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too

            such as the certainty that Snowden/Greenwald fans will respond to any challenge to their beliefs with personal attacks and insults.

            Thanks for playing.

          •  You're only going to hear the things that sell ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            phenry

            ... newspapers and generate clicks on websites.  According to Maddow last night, only around 1% of the documents Snowden stole are going to be released to the public.  

            The WaPo reporting on this issue is based on some phone calls to NSA guys, a set of top secret slides, and a white paper.  The slides and the white paper are not available for download.  We haven't been told if there are any warrants required to actually access the data (as in xKeyScore), or if there is any other oversight of the program.

            To me, the most incendiary part of the WaPo article is:

            “Many shared databases, such as those used for roaming, are available in their complete form to any carrier who requires access to any part of it,” said Matt Blaze, an associate professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania. “This ‘flat’ trust model means that a surprisingly large number of entities have access to data about customers that they never actually do business with, and an intelligence agency — hostile or friendly — can get ‘one stop shopping’ to an expansive range of subscriber data just by compromising a few carriers.”
            I'll bet you dollars to donuts that the rules for NSA access to the metadata are much more stringent than anything those businesses have in place.  Or to put it another way - those companies not only know what's in your wallet, they also know exactly where your wallet is.

            Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

            by Hey338Too on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:24:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've seen this uid before... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeadHead, stevemb, 4kedtongue

              Hi, Hey.

              •  What a coincidence, dc... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dclawyer06, stevemb, 4kedtongue

                So have I.

                Always very prepared.

                From the beginning, always "challenging" these NSA stories.

                Probably just playing Devil's Advocate, I bet.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:23:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Always bored by the latest revelations... (5+ / 0-)

                  Which makes me wonder, if he always thinks the NSA story-of-the-moment is irrelevant and of no consequence, then why is he always there stressing that irrelevance?

                  Call me crazeh!
                  Of course, to be fair, he's taking a different approach today---painting NSA reportage as clickbaiting for $. But he's still here, our constant companion.

                  Heh.

                  •  Exactly... (5+ / 0-)

                    What he doesn't seem to realize is that many of us, or at least enough of us, have pretty decent memories, and are able to retain little things like usernames. Even six months later!

                    He also doesn't realize that with every new development in this NSA saga, the attempts at "yawning" it away become more difficult to pull off.

                    What he might've had at least some minor success with five months months ago gets laughed the fuck out of town, nowadays. lol.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 06:07:12 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Awww shucks... I've missed ya'll too... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... after all this time it's nice to know that you're still letting the media do all of your thinking for you, and that ya'll "still got it" with regard to the predictable knee jerk responses aimed at anyone who doesn't swallow the narrative hook, line and sinker.  Thanks for the memories.  

                      Hey, I have an idea, for old times sake can one of you throw out ye olde GG/Snowden kos quote?  PPPLLLLEEEEAAAASSSEEE?  It wouldn't be a reunion without it.

                      Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

                      by Hey338Too on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:05:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  oh, right.... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dclawyer06, stevemb, RenMin

              I'm sure the NSA/Snowden stuff is selling truckloads of newspapers....exposing the American security state, its collaboration with private enterprise, and its concomitant effects on the 4th Amendment just screams ratings gold, doesn't it?

              Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

              by nota bene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:00:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'll Take That Bet (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              I can do a lot more Christmas shopping with your dollars than with my donuts.

              On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

              by stevemb on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:03:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but at least for now (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              stevemb, Pablo Bocanegra

              private companies don't have the power to arrest me or put me in Guantanamo if they don't like my opinions.

              "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

              by RenMin on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:41:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Give me dollars. (0+ / 0-)

              Your donuts are ready for delivery. ;-p

      •  it's more of a lullaby, I think.... n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dclawyer06

        Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

        by nota bene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:01:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  phenry has a long record of defending the NSA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dclawyer06

        Deny, scoff, minimize or say "we've known this for years where have you been?"

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 09:44:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  .... (7+ / 0-)

      For starters, the article says "nearly 5B" records per day. It does not say that each individual record consists of one location per phone per 24 hours. Now, I suppose that could be construed as ambigious (if one were predisposed to routinely downplaying NSA stories), but given the specificity of the rest of the article, I'm going to just assume they're taking more than one location report per phone per day.

      Second, you must have missed the parts in the article about scooping up US phones. To wit:

      The number of Americans whose locations are tracked as part of the NSA’s collection of data overseas is impossible to determine from the Snowden documents alone, and senior intelligence officials declined to offer an estimate.

      “It’s awkward for us to try to provide any specific numbers,” one intelligence official said in a telephone interview. An NSA spokeswoman who took part in the call cut in to say the agency has no way to calculate such a figure.

      An intelligence lawyer, speaking with his agency’s permission, said location data are obtained by methods “tuned to be looking outside the United States,” a formulation he repeated three times. When U.S. cellphone data are collected, he said, the data are not covered by the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures.

      .....

      Some documents in the Snowden archive suggest that acquisition of U.S. location data is routine enough to be cited as an example in training materials. In an October 2012 white paper on analytic techniques, for example, the NSA’s counterterrorism analysis unit cites two U.S.-based carriers to illustrate the challenge of correlating the travels of phone users on different mobile networks.

      [emph mine]

      I don't know how a reasonable person could read that and think the NSA couldn't put together their movements for, say, the last five years. And the point is that they are not supposed to be able to collect this information (let alone keep it in perpetuity) for persons not suspected of criminal activity.

      Why have they been allowed to develop this capability?

      Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

      by nota bene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:01:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your point being ... (6+ / 0-)

      Americans have sort-of rights but foreigners have none. Got it.

      That's a great position to stake on human rights by the world's global military hegemon, particularly one backed by drones frequently demonstrated.

    •  I agree ... (0+ / 0-)

      I work with Telecoms .... 5 Billion records is a piddly small amount. I'm aghast that my tax dollars are buying so little. That's what's wrong with the Govt ... complete and utter lack of ambition!

    •  Awwww! (0+ / 0-)

      You mean that if I'm kidnapped they can claim (with plausible deniability)  that they can't find me?

      Obviously I need more guns!

      "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

      by jestbill on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:03:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  as i've previously noted (5+ / 0-)

    it's only the metadata of where and with whom we've been. right?

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:34:10 PM PST

  •  I've been busy.... (6+ / 0-)

    and haven't been particpating much the last couple months. Are there lots of yawners still around to tell us this isn't a big deal, ha ha, spies spy, go back to sleep, and anyhow Greenwald & Snowden are crypto-Republicans so we should just ignore them?

    The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.

    ...

    The NSA has no reason to suspect that the movements of the overwhelming majority of cellphone users would be relevant to national security. Rather, it collects locations in bulk because its most powerful analytic tools — known collectively as CO-TRAVELER — allow it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.

    Okay then. What's one more nail in the coffin of the 4th Amendment, I guess....

    Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

    by nota bene on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:46:16 PM PST

  •  If they took 1 second to look at each of the 5B (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb

    it would only take 32ish years .
    If they took 1 second each to look at 1 years worth , 12,000ish years .
    One cool thing might be , someday via a foia I could maybe make a map of all my travels over time , day by day , hour by hour . If I am ever hauled into court , I wonder if my cell phone location records will help me prove I was never near the crime scene .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 03:48:26 PM PST

  •  Well, of course! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, stevemb

    There are 5 billion threats to...um,...something or other every day aren't there? What else can they do?

  •  My cellphone will let me turn the GPS off (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Bluefin, stevemb

    It's a simple Samsung flip phone, but deep in the setup menu is a paower-saver feature that allows me to turn off the constant GPS locator function.   Now, that function only activates when I dial 911.  Explore your setup menu.  I'll bet you have the same feature.  
    Of course, the system knows which cell tower I'm closest to in case I initiate or receive a call, but it doe not triangulate to my exact position.  

    •  All phones allow you to turn GPS off. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Flyswatterbanjo, stevemb

      However, using cell towers will also allow one to trace your location although it's much less accurate.

    •  You are mistaken (4+ / 0-)

      Mapping cells does not depend exclusively on GPS positioning (it helps) but can triangulate between adjacent towers, which is how they make handoffs as you travel between them.

      The greater the density of towers, the more accurate. GPS is generally accurate to about 10 meters at the moment of transmission (factoring the delay in 3G about 20 meters), tower triangulation is less accurate and relative to tower proximity but accurate enough to map.

      You should not take a false sense of security switching off GPS.

      •  In fact, your phone may be trackable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shenderson, koNko

        even when turned off. It seems you have to remove the battery to stay out of the grasp of the NSA.

        http://www.techdirt.com/...

        If reality clashes with your belief, then the problem clearly is reality.--God

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:54:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for mentioning this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        The data being routinely collected is which cell is a given phone in, which is part of the info related to any cellphone call. AFAIK, the phone companies do this on their own, and it has nothing to do with the GPS info.   So NSA merely has to tap into data the phone cos already have.

        Look on your bill,  the itemization of each call.  My bill shows where my phone was when it made/received each call.  It doesn't give me a cell location,  just the nearest town.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:30:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Look, I'm certain they'll never use it... (5+ / 0-)

    to do nefarious things that violate your privacy.

    After all, you  NEVER go to the home of a known drug dealer, so you'd have no problem if they tracked THOSE people.

    And you'd NEVER engage in terrorism, so you know, you should have no problem with them checking those folks who are in the same location with those suspected of doing so.

    And you'd NEVER protest against corporate America, so you'd never worry about it when certain numbers that show up to protest are added to a threat database.

    After all, if you have nothing to hide...

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:11:35 PM PST

  •  How can the administration (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, stevemb, RenMin, Evoculture

    prosecute whistle-blowers and let this asshole get away with lying to Congress?

    Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

    by psychodrew on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:12:26 PM PST

  •  They see you when you're sleeping (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nota bene, stevemb, koNko

    They know when you're awake

    They know if you've been bad or good

    So be good, for goodness sake!

    nsa photo: NSA nsa.jpg

  •  "foreseeable but not deliberate result" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb, Evoculture

    Justification for taking it all.

    Then there's this:

    Alexander allowed that a broader collection of such data “may be something that is a future requirement for the country, but it is not right now.”
    and this:
    When U.S. cellphone data are collected, he said, the data are not covered by the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures.
    But not to worry, they have bigger computers on the way.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:17:06 PM PST

  •  Jeebus, I gots to move around a lot more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenMin
    NSA collecting 5 billion cell phone locations a day

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:37:26 PM PST

  •  Can't you take out the battery? (0+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:53:40 PM PST

  •  Technical question (0+ / 0-)

    Can they track if the cellphone is turned off?

    If there is no battery?  (See comment above.)

    I always turn my cellphone off unless I expect to use it.  Does that protect me?

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:27:35 AM PST

    •  Resistance is futile (0+ / 0-)

      What a hassle to take your battery out every time.  I would assume if you power it down with the software it probably doesn't transmit.  However, if it just goes to sleep and the screen goes dim, I'm sure it's still transmitting.

      In any case, everybody was supposed to get over this 10 or 15 years ago.  It is too late.  The borg is here.  You might get flagged for turning it off!

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 11:47:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo! (0+ / 0-)

        Give that user an extra issue of gruel!

        I'm always amused when someone talks about "going off grid."  Like their absence doesn't register anywhere.

        All you can do not to be noticed is blend in and hide in the crowd.
        It would be in everyone's interest if the crowd were a little more diverse and active.

        "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

        by jestbill on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:29:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No place to hide (0+ / 0-)

    The majority of the public is not very concerned about this. They should be. Their indifference is based on the assumption that "it can't happen here". Well it can, and in fact it already has for certain groups and in certain times in our history. When tyranny comes, and I think we can hear its approach better all the time, this data will be used to destroy us. Do you imagine Germans thought, 85 years ago, when my grandmother was a teenager living it up in Berlin, that their country would become a pariah state and modern history's exemplar of evil? I think not. Do you imagine that my grandmother intended to become a resistance spy and assassin? She did not. This data dredging is being done for a reason and the reason is not to identify terrorists. Check out this TED talk to see the political ramifications of living in a big brother state.

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

    by Evoculture on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 08:49:01 AM PST

  •  If it's going to remain legal (0+ / 0-)

    If our leadership is going to continue to allow this kind of tracking, then the information they collect should be made available to criminal defendants to alibi their locations during the commission of an alleged crime. I could see how such data could keep many innocent people out of jail.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 06:23:52 PM PST

  •  Now, now, it's not that bad (0+ / 0-)

    They're just looking at your phone. 83 billion times a day.

  •  Whether they have ever collected or developed (0+ / 0-)

    plans to locate collection data for U.S. persons not connected to terrorist or suspicious activity? First off, that should be "collect location data", not "locate collection data", but that aside, out of 5 billion cell phone locations a day one would think that some of those would have to be “not connected to terrorist or suspicious activity.”
    I sure hope Wyden can pull this one off.

  •  Just amazing there are funds to build a system (0+ / 0-)

    that can track every cell phone call made but not enough to produce a high-performance health care exchange site.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell, 1984

    by Ammo Hauler on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 08:02:28 PM PST

    •  Wouldn’t that be hilarious (0+ / 0-)

      If the NSA had been tasked with building the system – as part of its “public outreach efforts”, and to document its technical prowess.

      However, I’m sure the NSA would have been even more interested in taking on responsibility for another timely project: digitizing the health records of all Americans.

      “The meaning of life is to find it.”

      by ArcticStones on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:49:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not phone location (0+ / 0-)

    but the location of the cell tower through which the call went.

    That info is in every cell phone record.

    Everyone reporting this story ought to clarify what 'location' truly means.

  •  All part of preserving, protecting & defending (0+ / 0-)

    the Constitution of the United States.

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