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First, as I written many times before, I don't have a problem with the NSA data-mining program because everyone on the internet already "owns" all of my business.  I'm on Facebook and Twitter and have multiple email accounts. I bank, shop and pay bills on-line.  My identity was stolen at Target and tracking cookies monitor my every move.

The White Pages has my name, complete household address, phone number and even my age. found me in 2008 and Organizing for America tracked me in 2012.  My college always finds me and Nielsen is tracking what I watch on TV. Google has a picture of my house, street view and even gives directions to my front door... without permission.

Every time I visit a store, bank or city facility, my every movement is recorded--I feel like a celebrity. So when I heard that the NSA was collecting data, I honestly didn't and don't care.

Just imagine what would happen to progressives if we finally found the ideal candidate.  Let's say our beloved Elizabeth Warren was sitting in the big chair and received daily briefings about all the folks who wants to harm us and she looked the other way.

Then, when we are attacked, the whole world would dub her and the progressive party as soft on terror.  We've carried that moniker for decades and have had great men like Carter, Dukakis and Kerry destroyed by that depiction.

Folks, the NSA will be here forever because NO progressive democrat will ever take the political risk to end the program. That includes Barack, Hillary, Howard and Elizabeth.

The NSA is here to stay so we should pursue strategies to limit and control it's scope rather than lamenting its continued existence. I applaud Obama's attempt to do just that.

While I know my perspective on this issue is not popular, I appreciate you reading my thoughts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes and No (7+ / 0-)

    I am on your side on this matter, but for slightly different  reasons.

    Metadata collection is not the same as looking at e-mails and listening in on phone conversations.

    The 4th Amendment is a prescription against UNREASONABLE searches.

    Metadata is not an unreasonable search.

    That is my opinion and I know that many progressives here disagree.

    So that's why President Obama sent it back to Congress - to hopefully locate a common ground that can become new law.

    This is not an easy problem to solve.

    We all want to be as safe as possible, but we certainly do not want to give up our freedom and liberty.

    Benjamin Franklin said it best, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    I am not convinced that collecting metadata violates this notion, but plenty of people here will certainly disagree.

    As I mentioned, the solution is not easy.

    •  if you believe (6+ / 0-)

      metadata is harmless, you're wrong. Not to mention that we only have their word that that's all they're collecting.

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

      by PJEvans on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:41:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I get the problem..... (0+ / 0-)

        The link states, basically, at the conclusion:

        "We would not need to know what was being whispered between individuals, only that they were connected in various ways. The analytical engine would do the rest! I daresay the shape of the real structure of social relations would emerge from our calculations gradually, first in outline only, but eventually with ever-increasing clarity and, at last, in beautiful detail—like a great, silent ship coming out of the gray New England fog."

        Thank you, you've basically proved my point.

        As the link you provided effectively outlines - Metadata is a tool to show linkage, not listen in on individual conversations.

        So, for instance, three phone numbers calling one another in the U.S., but only one calling a known terrorist in Yemen.

        Would it make sense to investigate all three people in the U.S. as possible terrorists?

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        Given that the people referenced in that example were revolutionaries planning on waging war against the legitimate government, wouldn't that be an example of the system working?

        Or is the point that the right of the citizens to conspire against the government should be protected?

        Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

        by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:52:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The NSA of course does all of this as well . .. .. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Odysseus, out of left field
      Metadata collection is not the same as looking at e-mails and listening in on phone conversations.
      with the "out" being that as the POTUS says "no one is reading your emails" - no they're not; they're being recorded electronically and analyzed by computer algorithms.

      so no, no one is reading or listening (most of the time) but that's a rather silly distinction to make considering what actually really is taking place.

  •  What you seem to missing here is that (17+ / 0-)

    Facebook can't really sent you to Gitmo but the NSA can.

    Seriously, being bombarded with boutique ads is in a totally different realm than being arrested (even if the Gitmo exile ultimately doesn't take place . .. . ).

  •  You bring up some good points (6+ / 0-)

    regarding the scope of privacy intrusions outside of government.

    But much of that data you talk about is being held by disparate entities.

    However, the feds having all of your data in a single repository, should frighten each and every citizen.

    Let's take the IRS scandal, for instance.  Whether it was a manufactured "scandal" or not, it highlights what CAN happen if a political entity seeks to abuse data.

    The potential for mischief is too great.  And, it is all too easy to plant a political operative into a position to obtain whatever data is needed to destroy opponents.

    It is too dangerous to leave this power in the hands of any political party.

  •  Oopsie (4+ / 0-)
    I don't have a problem with the NSA data-mining program because everyone on the internet already "owns" all of my business.  I'm on Facebook and Twitter and have multiple email accounts. I bank, shop and pay bills on-line.  My identity was stolen at Target
    You probably should have put a United Way update or something between those two statements.

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

    by stevemb on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:15:50 AM PST

  •  If you want to live in fear, fine... (7+ / 0-)

    But I don't think we should just dump our rights so we can look "tough on terror".

    Now, the kernel of truth in what you say may be that genie CAN'T be put back in the bottle. That legal or not, they will collect and data mine and there's nothing short of dismantling our telephone and internet infrastructure that will prevent it.

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

    by davewill on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:18:04 AM PST

  •  some of us (9+ / 0-)

    avoid facebook like the plague and have subscribed to services that scrub some of our data from teh intertoobz.  

    But be all that as it may, having a government agency storing and able read the emails of congresscritters, lovers, and anyone else is prone to abuse.

  •  progressives are wrong because 9/11 and fear (17+ / 0-)

    thanks for the opinion. I'll continue to fight for civil liberties.

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

    by greenbastard on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:27:22 AM PST

    •  I'll fight for civil liberties with you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie, Sylv, gulfgal98

      I think the discussion is too narrow, too anti-government (support your right wingers) and far to short on solutions.

      •  More Precisely... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the right wing has done a better job of scoring points on this issue because of repeated unforced errors on our side.

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

        by stevemb on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 01:14:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I will continue to fight for (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, stevemb, lotlizard, Odysseus

      our Constitution which guarantees those civil liberties.  Allowing an individual or a company to have data on me is not the same as the government collecting such data without my permission and using it in a way that could harm my personal life and liberty.  It is only two hops which is just one hop better than three, but considering that we are all only 4.5 hops from one another in this world, it is damn scary to be presumed guilty and potentially be droned or rendered due to two hops.

      "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

      by gulfgal98 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 12:00:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are plenty of progressives ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, NedSparks

    ... who want to strike the right balance between security and privacy. That's what Government is all about.

    Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting. On biblical prophesy: If you play the bible backwards, it says, "Paul is dead."

    by Tortmaster on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:42:25 AM PST

  •  Companies tracking you and the goverment (12+ / 0-)

    tracking you are two different things.

    One wants to sell you stuff you might like, the other can put you in jail.

    Winter grey, pouring rain. We'll see summer come again.
    Darkness falls, seasons change. Same old friends, the wind and rain.

    by DeadHead on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:42:56 AM PST

  •  The President is doing a good a job as can be (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, merrywidow, joelgp, Hawkjt, Tortmaster

    done, outside of shutting down the NSA entirely. Most Progressives, many of the ones who voted for this President and still support him in numbers upwards of 80 percent, and more, understand that he is making every effort to balance privacy rights versus national security.

    Many of the individuals we encounter in this community are primarily critics of the President on every single issue since he entered office. They are against almost anything he is for. And you can see this through the more than five years of commentary that they have recorded here since he entered office.

    The majority of people in this country want to be safe and want the President to keep us safe while observing privacy rights. That is a sensible desire. Many of the critics here pretend that there are no security concerns. Some of them even laugh at the idea that terrorism exists.

  •  Sucking up to the police state (8+ / 0-)

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:54:50 AM PST

  •  you lost me at the title (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PJEvans, stevemb, Roadbed Guy

    I wondered what you thought "progressives" were wrong about. As far as I can see, the best clue is this:

    The NSA is here to stay so we should pursue strategies to limit and control it's scope rather than lamenting its continued existence.
    So, you're saying that the progressive position is to lament the NSA's continued existence, while your position is to support unspecified limitations on what it does?

    That's it? That's what you've got?

    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

    by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:57:52 AM PST

  •  "Barack and Hillary" are NOT PROGRESSIVE (6+ / 0-)

    Why does this pithy, linkless op-ed position on the NSA here--something by your own admission, you've stated many times, joelgp--read like an afterthought?

    Maybe you missed the memo, but those of you who persist in attempts to hijack the label of "progressive", to be applied to Democrats who are nothing of the sort, are going to FAIL.  

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:59:42 AM PST

  •  Diarist's documented disdain for progressives... (5+ / 0-) repeated in the headline of this quite vacuous post, is feeble. What's next? Quoting Joseph Goebbels (or, whomever it was that actually stated the following)?

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

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

    by bobswern on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:16:24 AM PST

  •  Agree. We "fix" it with laws preventing the use (0+ / 0-)

    of any of this data outside an actual active terror investigation, doesn't matter what they find, they could find I am Walter White and not get to use that information at all and I cannot be charged

    HUGE penalties for anyone who mis-uses others private information

    the way all we do is recorded by google and they could give it to the govt too, so we need to protect our rights with strong law

    go ahead, collect info but you cant use any of it ever for anything but actual active terror activity

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:22:57 AM PST

  •  Shut it down (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PJEvans, Roadbed Guy, Johnny Q, stevemb

    it's a monster. The fact that it was kept hidden demonstrates the fact that they KNEW it was wrong and unconstitutional to create it in the first place. No matter what the bought-and-paid-for "law" governing the FISA court says, it goes against everything this country is supposed to stand for.

    Dismantle it. Period. You can't fix stupid.

    I've already made the other component of this particular diary mess abundantly clear upthread, so I'll not repeat it.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:43:36 AM PST

  •  of the ones mentioned, only NSA can put me in jail (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, stevemb, lotlizard, Odysseus

    or bring charges against me or cause government investigation into me to be launched.

    And the "law enforcement" community has proven themselves sooooooo judicious in the use of their powers over the last decade.  

    Like in the way all those bankers have had investigations concluded and charges brought against them as opposed to spending hours and resources monitoring, oh, i don't know, Occupy Wall Street.

    If NSA monitoring is so valuable why does the director have to lie about it to congress?

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:53:59 AM PST

    •  Google "arrested due to Facebook" and you will see (0+ / 0-)

      just how wrong you are.

      I just did that out of curiosity, and was surprised at how many articles there are and how many people have in fact been arrested because of things they posted on Facebook.

      •  I didn't realize Facebook had its own cop shop (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        LE might peruse facebook and facebook might hand over info and they might even provide tips but they aren't sending out cops to have people arrested.

        i'm aware of dumbasses who post incriminating shit on facebook or wherever and the cops either see it themselves or are turned onto it.  not the same.  and facebook can't provide info to the court i'm not legally allowed to see.

        elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

        by bnasley on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:30:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  But it was all right, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    K S LaVida, PhilK, stevemb

    everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  •  The very thinking that sent the AJA to the camps. (0+ / 0-)

    FDR-era Decider: "What if we don't intern all Americans of Japanese ancestry and something happens where one of them gets the blame? Then we get the blame."

    The trouble is, casting aside fundamental principles only because you fear that otherwise you will look bad and lose a power struggle — isn't that a classic case of a Faustian bargain?

    How much evil and injustice will you call good, in return for how much power? Before you know it you've already sold your soul — the rest is just haggling over price.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:24:56 PM PST

  •  No we are not wrong on this issue. (0+ / 0-)

    Your are making the argument of "If you have nothing to hide, you shouldnt worry about it."  

    Things you give up when we allow this kind of surveillance:

    - Freedom of association:  Because you accessed facebook on your phone your GPS location was transmitted and recorded by the NSA.  So was the person sitting at your table.  So was the person sitting at the table behind you.  Did you have a conversation with the person at the table behind you? Probably not.  But if that person was a known terrorist... the NSA now lists you as a possible associate.  -Because you sat right next to him-

    -Freedom of thought: Curious about something?  Do a google search.  That google search is now associated with you and cataloged. Look at the wrong thing and you are now a target.  How can there be freedom of speech in an environment like this?  It is no different than cops going to political rallies in the 50s and 60s and writing down license plates and then targeting the people present for arrest.  

    -Freedom of Travel:  
    Lets say you go to a shopping mall and walk around.  You go into a few stores.  Buy a few things.  You then go home.  The next morning a dead body is found inside of a store.  You are now a suspect.  How? The GPS track lifted from phone records shows that you were in the store today.  So until you are cleared... you are a suspect.  Just because you were shopping.  And minding your own business.  

    This kind of data makes a suspect of everybody.  And with enough data it can be selectively chosen to justify almost anything.  

  •  Question on Searches AND Seizures (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    A commenter said, " The 4th amendment is a prescription against UNREASONABLE searches. Metadata is not an unreasonable search." Everybody seems focused on whether or not the metadata might be used either legally or illegally.  

    The 4th amendment protects against unreasonable searches and SEIZURES. I understand that they are not supposed to be searching through the information without proper oversight, without a reason, but how is the  collection itself not a "seizure"? I have never heard anybody talk about this and think I must be missing something in how I am reading the amendment or my interpretation of the word "seizure".

    (I may have just missed discussions about this).

  •  the difference between govt and corps having (0+ / 0-)

    the info is that the former has law enforcement and military capabilities.  At the end of the day, that's what it ultimately comes down to.  Gov't is more powerful than corporations and can screw people over more thoroughly.  Such as incarceration, fines, IRS audits, even something as simple as revoking one's driver's license.

    So people are more frightened of gov't than corps, so are more concerned about gov't having data than corps.

    Now, what is the likelihood that a given individual would be targeted for screwing by gov't using bulk surveillance data?  Pretty close to zero.  Less likely than being struck by lightening. Even less likely than being attacked by terrorists, particularly attacked by terrorists indirectly, such as an attack on infrastructure or utilities, which could affect millions who weren't directly attacked.

    I'll go on record right now with my belief that more Americans have been attacked, directly and indirectly, by terrorists than have been screwed by gov't through use of NSA collected data.

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