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New Just got back from running down the road screaming...
This is such bullshit on so many levels I just can't stand it.
They record EVERYTHING but only look at the metadata. But when the metadata looks interesting, they can tie it to the message, which, curiously enough, they have already so they don't have to ask permission to look for it. They have J. Edgar Hoover files on the entire fucking country at their disposal.
Ahh... but it's legal; the FISC said they could do it. I believe that the Oxford dictionary definition of the FISC involves kangaroos and rubber stamps, but that's a different topic. After all, OUR representatives (the ones we voted for even if they were rotters, because the other ones were such bad guys)passed laws contravening the constitution of the country allowing them to do so. This was, of course, highly necessary since the odds of the average citizen being killed by a terrierist (or schnauserist) is slightly less then them winning money from the lottery. As long as power can pass laws to legitimize their actions, they can do no wrong. It's like if the mafia could buy congress critters, they could operate openly... wait... never mind. Moving on...
You have, in the past, been on my ass about being a purity troll. You may have a point, but when people who are supposed to be representing me totally trounce major values I support, I get a little pissy. This support of endemic surveillance and authoritarian government is a little pushy in the other direction. If our national security will not allow for individual freedom and liberty, then it is no longer useful.
Just my $0.02
New Sorry that I've been too personal in the past.
I know my arguments are too high and mighty and so forth far too often. It's mostly laziness on my part - it's easier to be snarky than to be nuanced. But I honestly don't mean it to be personal. We're just yacking.

There's a lot of stuff out there that is contradictory and we'll probably never know the full story. My inclination is that the NSA simply can't grab and store everything for people in the US. Maybe I'm naive about this, too.

We all have our buttons and our red lines. I just am not upset about this metadata stuff. Bad cops can get stuff about us no matter what the laws are. Recall the stories about the IRS underlings getting returns on famous people. Recall the stories about the police breaking into the wrong house and killing innocent people. I'm not excusing that - I'm simply saying that there are legal protections in place that are generally followed.

I don't see the threat to my rights by metadata being stored. I don't see much of a threat of stuff stored in some server farm in Utah either. Stuff goes through my ISP and who knows what they do with it and how long they keep it, or other private servers along the way for that matter. As long as warrants are required to tie those packets to me personally, I think that's all we can hope for.

There are too many of us for domestic surveillance to be ubiquitous. We apparently disagree about that. If they're really going through everything, then they're just adding noise to the signals that they should be concentrating on according to their charter (they're tasked with foreign intelligence).

Something that makes me more sanguine is that the people who work for the NSA and the courts and the prosecutors are citizens, too. Most of the government employees I've come across do take their jobs seriously. They do understand the rules about Personally Identifiable Information. They do understand the importance of staying within the rules. Yes, there are always cowboys, but they are very rare.

Who knows whether the rules are too lax. Franken says that there is oversight and that some of the more sensational claims are wrong - http://www.startribu...gs/210862561.html

I'm sorry I've upset you. Don't let me get to you. :-)

New which franken are you talking about?
senator from minnesota?

Yet Franken made a lengthy speech on the Senate floor on July 26, 2012, during discussion of a Cybersecurity Act of 2012, declaring the NSA should not be gatekeepers of the American public’s information because of its poor track record of spying on citizens:

But the cyberthreat information that companies are sharing often comes from private, sensitive communications like our emails. And so the gatekeeper of any information shared under these proposals should never be the military. It should never be the NSA. Now, the men and women of the NSA are patriots and they are undoubtedly skilled and knowledgeable. But that institution is too shrouded in secrecy-and has too dark a history of spying on innocent Americans-to be trusted with this responsibility, under any Administration.

Under the new, revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the one that will soon be before us on the floor, companies can use the authorities in the bill to give cyberthreat information only to civilian agencies.

That is a critical protection for civil liberties-and it is a protection that CISPA and the SECURE IT Act do not have. I want to be very clear: An America with CISPA and an America with the SECURE IT Act is an America where your emails can be shared directly, immediately and with impunity, with the NSA.
did they get pictures of him doing the nasty with Palin?
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free American and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 58 years. meep
New No worries, we're all friends here.
I really do appreciate your opinions. They make me think outside my box. I tend to operate on (at least) two levels: me and mine, which includes my immediate personal friends, and society in general. For me and mine, the rules are simple and inflexible: we take care of our own. Always. For society in general, rules are pretty much a guideline; you just need to know how hard to break them and when and have a good reason to do so. Rules are good because they make you think. Some are reasonable to obey and some are reasonable to disregard. Cost/benefit ratios apply.
The government seems to be playing a similar game. Warrants? Send the secretary after lunch to pick up fifteen of them; fill in the names when they need them. There is no oversight. Well maybe there is in the same sense that I currently have Mona the retriever overseeing the cube steaks we plan to have for dinner. I didn't see them the last time I was in the kitchen but she looks alert so I imagine they're alright.
Anyway, don't let my pissy attitude get to you either. It's usually a good conversation in the long run.
New Thanks. :-)
     Eichenwald at VF: PRISM isn't data mining. - (Another Scott) - (9)
         nice, he admits they are scooping all the data - (boxley)
         Lessig on Moyers today.. - (Ashton)
         Just got back from running down the road screaming... - (hnick) - (4)
             Sorry that I've been too personal in the past. - (Another Scott) - (3)
                 which franken are you talking about? - (boxley)
                 No worries, we're all friends here. - (hnick) - (1)
                     Thanks. :-) -NT - (Another Scott)
         Eichenwald? Sorry, prolly a Nazi apologist: Too close to... - (CRConrad) - (1)
             Man, it is *GREAT* to have you back. -NT - (mmoffitt)

Fetch forth the Quivering Runcible of Jaundiced Blandishments!
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