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Cap'n Refsmmat

NSA found to be collecting details on all phone calls in the United States

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No, it wouldn't because you'd have to read the letter to determine that.

No you wouldn't - you'd just scan it with a computer to collect metadata. The letter itself would not be read by anyone, and the only record would be of the metadata.

That would be like a phone wiretap — it requires a warrant, dependent on probable cause.

We have just learned that scanning and compiling metadata is done from all of our phone calls without warrant Only listening directly or recording the "substance" of them requires a warrant.

 

 

No. I can't tell if you're being flippant or not, but a sealed envelope
carries with it the expectation of privacy, analogous to phone privacy
conditions

I certainly hope that a sealed envelope provides far more privacy than what we have now learned to expect in our phone calls. My description of what the situation would be if it didn't is above.

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No you wouldn't - you'd just scan it with a computer to collect metadata. The letter itself would not be read by anyone, and the only record would be of the metadata.

 

I will rephrase: you would have to open the envelope to do that. That act requires a warrant to do legally.

 

We have just learned that scanning and compiling metadata is done from all of our phone calls without warrant Only listening directly or recording the "substance" of them requires a warrant.

 

Just like opening the letter would.

 

 

 

I certainly hope that a sealed envelope provides far more privacy than what we have now learned to expect in our phone calls. My description of what the situation would be if it didn't is above.

 

As I've been trying to explain, it provides the same privacy: the content of the discussion. The metadata is not protected.

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!

Moderator Note

moved in from is metadata private thread - sorry for confusion. @21 refers to that post in that thread. imatfaal

 

 

RE @ 21: "I want to know why gathering metadata, and metadata alone, is considered by some as an invasion of privacy, for reasons other than "the
government might abuse its power"

 

in my post N° 14, above, ( http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/75732-is-metadata-private/#entry749657), I cited at letter to the relevant U.S. House and Senate Intelligence Committee's chairpersons and ranking members from EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center, epic.com) in which the Center's lawyers argue that the FISA Court's authority could not include the power to grant such collections of data concerning solely U.S. domestic (including U.S. citizens) sources--because the FISA (Act) empowering the Court's authorities concerns the collection of information pursuant to foreign intelligence operations.

 

link: http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/fisa/

 

and, though I didn't include this portion in the post, it is nevertheless in the letter linked, where the Center's lawyers argue that,

 

 

 

... "The NSA Verizon Order Oversteps the FISA Court's Authority" ...

 

..."

There is simply no precedent for the FISC to authorize domestic surveillance. As Justice Alito, writing for the Supreme Court in a case concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, explained just a few months ago,
Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to authorize and regulate certain governmental electronic surveillance of communications for foreign intelligence purposes
.
See 92 Stat. 1783, 50 U.S.C. §1801 et seq.; 1 D. Kris & J. Wilson, National Security Investigations & Prosecutions §§ 3.1, 3.7 (2d ed. 2012) (hereinafter Kris & Wilson).
In FISA, Congress authorized judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to approve electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes if there is probable cause to believe that “the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and that each of the specific “facilities or places at which the electronic surveillance is directed is being used, or is about to be used, by
a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.” §105(a)(3), 92 Stat. 1790; see §§105(b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(B),
ibid. ; 1 Kris & Wilson § 7:2, at 194-195; ibid.,§ 16:2, at 528-529.(emphasis added)
8
With the Verizon Order, the FISC went beyond its legal authority when it sanctioned a program of domestic surveillance unrelated to the collection of foreign intelligence.
Edited by imatfaal

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An interesting perspective from Moxie Marlinspike:

 

We Should All Have Something To Hide

 

In short, he suggests that if law enforcement were 100% effective through pervasive surveillance, social change would be impossible. Civil rights leaders would have been jailed and nobody would ever argue for same-sex relationships, because nobody would ever have had one. Homosexuals would have been jailed immediately. A democracy is supposed to grant us the freedom to experiment with new ideas.

 

Additionally, the sheer number of laws on the books means that surveillance will likely reveal evidence of crimes committed by everyone, at which point law enforcement becomes arbitrary.

 

Jailed? Homosexuals? Over centuries, and, in numerous places around the world today, being identified as homosexual meant (and today still means) liability for not jail but lethal execution--burning at the stake, beheading, stoning to death, etc.

 

Law enforcement is arbitrary and always has been.

 

More grist for the topic's mill:

 

"Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution"

 

"

What Edward Snowden has done is an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience. Like me, he became discomforted by what he was exposed to and what he saw: the industrial-scale systematic surveillance that is scooping up vast amounts of information not only around the world but in the United States, in direct violation of the fourth amendment of the US constitution.

 

The NSA programs that Snowden has revealed are nothing new: they date back to the days and weeks after 9/11. I had direct exposure to similar programs, such as Stellar Wind, in 2001. In the first week of October, I had an extraordinary conversation with NSA's lead attorney. When I pressed hard about the unconstitutionality of Stellar Wind, he said:

"The White House has approved the program; it's all legal. NSA is the executive agent."

"It was made clear to me that the original intent of government was to gain access to all the information it could without regard for

constitutional safeguards. "You don't understand," I was told. "We just need the data."

 

"In the first week of October 2001, President Bush had signed an extraordinary order authorizing blanket dragnet electronic surveillance:

Stellar Wind was a highly secret program that, without warrant or anyapproval from the Fisa court, gave the NSA access to all phone recordsfrom the major telephone companies, including US-to-US calls. It correlates precisely with the Verizon order revealed by Snowden; andbased on what we know, you have to assume that there are standing orders for the other major telephone companies. It is technically true that the order applies only to meta-data. The problem is that in thedigital space, metadata becomes the index for content. And content is gold for determining intent.

 

"This executive fiat of 2001 violated not just the fourth amendment, but also Fisa rules at the time, which made it a felony – carrying a penalty of $10,000 and five years in

prison for each and every instance. The supposed oversight, combined with enabling legislation – the Fisa court, the congressional committees – is all a kabuki dance, predicated on the national security claim that we need to find a threat. The reality is, they just want it all, period."

Edited by proximity1

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I will rephrase: you would have to open the envelope to do that. That act requires a warrant to do legally.

And I will separate my two points to avoid further communication failure:

 

1) No, you don't necessarily have to open the envelope to scan some or all of the contents and compile metadata, with modern technology.

 

2) Opening the letter by machine, scanning its contents for metadata, and resealing the letter, with nobody ever reading the contents and no direct recording of those contents made, would not necessarily require a warrant (the ruling has not been made) - we see that the analogous treatment of phone calls apparently does not require a warrant, for example.

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And I will separate my two points to avoid further communication failure:

 

1) No, you don't necessarily have to open the envelope to scan some or all of the contents and compile metadata, with modern technology.

 

2) Opening the letter by machine, scanning its contents for metadata, and resealing the letter, with nobody ever reading the contents and no direct recording of those contents made, would not necessarily require a warrant (the ruling has not been made) - we see that the analogous treatment of phone calls apparently does not require a warrant, for example.

 

You are using a fundamentally different definition of metadata than I, and it's impossible to communicate under those conditions.

 

The court order SPECIFICALLY SAYS that metadata "does not include the substantive content of any conversation". There is no caveat here of having a computer analyze anything, because the document defines what data was to be turned over. The conversation was not part of that data. There is nothing for the NSA to analyze via this particular method.

 

So if this is what you're referring to by "analogous treatment of phone calls apparently does not require a warrant", then you are simply making it up, and I can't rebut fiction.

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The court order SPECIFICALLY SAYS that metadata "does not include the substantive content of any conversation".

And nothing I listed is substantive content. Voice frequency analysis sufficient to identify a speaker, for example, is a mathematical abstraction - not the voice itself or any "substance" at all.

 

 

There is no caveat here of having a computer analyze anything, because the document defines what data was to be turned over.

The we should have no problem getting our government to specify exactly what that was, rather than providing us with more or less benign seeming examples along with the kicker "and other data".

 

Until then, we have no reason to assume they have avoided compiling whatever they were not specifically forbidden to ( that's giving them the bendfit of all doubt and avoiding all conspiracy theory). We know for a fact - from the W era exposures - that various agencies of the US government have installed the necessary infrastructure for running the calls themselves through software analysis, more or less automatically under the operations of the phone company or whoever. Why would we assume this metadata would not be included in what was "turned over" (allowed to be extracted) from the phone companiy's computers?

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Sorry to jump in mid-discussion, but this question has been nagging me. Does the NSA have legal jurisdiction to handle this type of information? I thought it was only supposed to deal with things on the international front, and what PRISM works through is definitely domestic data.

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Sorry to jump in mid-discussion, but this question has been nagging me. Does the NSA have legal jurisdiction to handle this type of information? I thought it was only supposed to deal with things on the international front, and what PRISM works through is definitely domestic data.

 

Well, it is domestic AND international. They're spying on the entire world. Regarding the international data, it's more internet, and less telephone.

I have no law degree, but it seems (NSA claims) that they do nothing against the law.

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And nothing I listed is substantive content. Voice frequency analysis sufficient to identify a speaker, for example, is a mathematical abstraction - not the voice itself or any "substance" at all.

 

And how do you get this information when the conversation i snot part of the data that was turned over. Are you claiming that the phone company does this?

 

 

The we should have no problem getting our government to specify exactly what that was, rather than providing us with more or less benign seeming examples along with the kicker "and other data".

 

Until then, we have no reason to assume they have avoided compiling whatever they were not specifically forbidden to ( that's giving them the bendfit of all doubt and avoiding all conspiracy theory). We know for a fact - from the W era exposures - that various agencies of the US government have installed the necessary infrastructure for running the calls themselves through software analysis, more or less automatically under the operations of the phone company or whoever. Why would we assume this metadata would not be included in what was "turned over" (allowed to be extracted) from the phone companiy's computers?

 

If they have the capability themselves, then there is no reason to ask for the data from someone else.

 

Sorry to jump in mid-discussion, but this question has been nagging me. Does the NSA have legal jurisdiction to handle this type of information? I thought it was only supposed to deal with things on the international front, and what PRISM works through is definitely domestic data.

 

PRISM is supposed to involve foreign data.

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Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, who wrote the initial stories after being approached by Snowden, promises that more NSA stories will appear "very shortly". In the past he's told Clapper to "save some melodrama and rhetoric for coming stories," suggesting that he'd reveal serious abuses by the US government. We shall see if he lives up to his hype.

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Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, who wrote the initial stories after being approached by Snowden, promises that more NSA stories will appear "very shortly". In the past he's told Clapper to "save some melodrama and rhetoric for coming stories," suggesting that he'd reveal serious abuses by the US government. We shall see if he lives up to his hype.

 

"Hype"? Doesn't that mean "hyperbole"? This stuff is, in your opinion, "hyperbole"? What happens later, when more and more of what Greenwald has alluded to comes out for public inspection? Can we expect a comment from you on your characterization here of Greenwald's views as "hype"?

 

I only just read the very article you cite. To me, it's "must-reading" ---

 

"There is nobody who political officials and their supine media class

hate more than those who meaningfully dissent from their institutional

orthodoxies and shine light on what they do. The hatred for such

individuals is boundless."

 

and with the kind of programs Snowden has denounced, the government has all the tools necessary to locate (and, of course, secretly punish) any and all who it may now or at any future date please to define as "dangerous" and "deviant".

 

And, it seems clear that many Americans are "fine with that".

 

----as are also "must-reading" some of the references linked in his article:

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1613914n (BTW, I'm not able to access the video--out of the CBS "user-market"-- but many other readers here can. Take advantage and learn.)

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/14/the-sickening-snowden-backlash.html

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I commented earlier (first reply to thread) that due to the technology we use for these communications our data will be captured no matter what (the only way to stop that is not to use the technology) and we should IMO instead focus on how it's used. With that said, this sort of thing has also been going on for nearly a century already.

 

http://www.vice.com/read/a-brief-history-of-the-united-states-governments-warrentless-spying

Nothing is ever new. The NSA’s monitoring of the internet and the phone records of millions of Americans surprised some people, and made the public as a whole fairly pissed off, but it’s not the first time US government has taken an Big Brotherly interest in its citizens. The feds have been tapping into the private lives of Americans without warrants and with the help of communication companies for nearly a century. Here are some of the more significant spying programs:

 

"Hype"? Doesn't that mean "hyperbole"? This stuff is, in your opinion, "hyperbole"? What happens later, when more and more of what Greenwald has alluded to comes out for public inspection? Can we expect a comment from you on your characterization here of Greenwald's views as "hype"?

 

OMG, you need to chillax and try to understand context before blasting out an almost incoherent reply. Reading comprehension is important in a text-based medium like this.

 

Cap'n said this reporter was a good self-promoter and that he said there were more stories to come. He mentioned, "let's see if he lives up to the hype," in other words, if he actually has some additional attention worthy content to share about the NSA / government or if he is just promoting himself and "hyping" things up based on fluff and inuendo.

 

Also, it's not hard to find a definition for the word "hype." You should try google sometime. Very helpful tool. Has the ability to help us look less foolish if we wish to avoid that:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=define%3A+hype

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Well, it is domestic AND international. They're spying on the entire world. Regarding the international data, it's more internet, and less telephone.

I have no law degree, but it seems (NSA claims) that they do nothing against the law.

 

Nor do I, though I've heard that it's "technically" legal given that the program is a consequence of the Patriot Act, or rather one's subjective interpretation of it.

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Correct. The legislature, our congress, is in place to actually create and write our laws. They wrote a law that says this is legal. That's not at issue here. We can ask that the law be changed, but to suggest this is illegal is really to miss the point.

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The NSA Computer Network and Software code named...ECHELON...which Lockheed labeled...P415 has been around for quite some time. A Newer network and software is now being used although it is unclear if it is still under the NSA code name ECHELON.

 

Echelon is quite simply the most complex and comprehensive network and programming ever devised by Mankind...and one can only guess at the capabilities it now has.

 

Every single electronic communication upon Earth...and not upon Earth as well...is monitored by this network. It is so advanced that the NSA can even tell WHO is typing on any keyboard as things such as Key Stroke Pattern Recognition...Subject Pattern identity, voice prints, Texting Pattern...YOU NAME IT!

 

The fact is they already know who is doing what to who, where, how and why...but in order for such information to hold up in court...they need to LEGALLY use it as evidence.

 

The JOKE here is a lot of people are naive enough to think that if this new law was not passed then the NSA would not be listening and watching. They have been doing this for Multiple Decades and they know all there is to know already.

 

Split Infinity

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http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/75456-nsa-found-to-be-collecting-details-on-all-phone-calls-in-the-united-states/page-4#entry749922

 

> 77 : ... "As I've been trying to explain, it provides the same privacy: the content of the discussion."...

 

Michael McConnell does not agree with this view of yours--'the content of the discussion".

 

 

Administration Pulls Back on Surveillance Agreement
Published: May 2, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 1 — Senior Bush administration officials told
Congress on Tuesday that they could not pledge that the administration
would continue to seek warrants from a secret court for a domestic
wiretapping program, as it agreed to do in January.

 

Rather, they argued that the president had the constitutional authority to
decide for himself whether to conduct surveillance without warrants.

As a result of the January agreement, the administration said that the National Security Agency’s
domestic spying program has been brought under the legal structure laid
out in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires
court-approved warrants for the wiretapping of American citizens and
others inside the United States.

 

But on Tuesday, the senior officials, including Michael McConnell, the new director of national
intelligence, said they believed that the president still had the
authority under Article II of the Constitution to once again order the
N.S.A. to conduct surveillance inside the country without warrants.

 

During a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. McConnell
was asked by Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, whether he
could promise that the administration would no longer sidestep the court
when seeking warrants.

 

Sir, the president’s authority under Article II is in the Constitution,” Mr. McConnell said. “So if the

president chose to exercise Article II authority, that would be thepresident’s call.

 

The administration had earlier argued that both the president’s inherent executive powers under Article II of the
Constitution, as well as the September 2001 Congressional authorization
to use military force against Al Qaeda, provided him with the power to conduct surveillance without warrants.

 

Mr. McConnell emphasized that all domestic electronic surveillance was now (2007)
being conducted with court-approved warrants, and said that there were
no plans “that we are formulating or thinking about currently” to resume
domestic wiretapping without warrants.

 

But I’d just highlight,” he said, “Article II is Article II, so in a different circumstance, I
can’t speak for the president what he might decide.

 

The exchange came as the administration is seeking new legislation to update the
surveillance act to expand the government’s surveillance powers, in
part to deal with vast changes in communications technology since 1978,
when the measure was enacted.

 

And who is Michael McConnell? As the article cited above states, at the time of the article, May, 2007, McConnell was the Bush administration's Director of National Intelligence. And today? Mr. McConnell is "now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's former employer"

 

So, the V.C. of Booz Allen Hamilton is on record as believing that, should the President so decide, he (PotUS) "had the authority under Article II of the Constitution to once again order the N.S.A. to conduct surveillance inside the country without warrants."

 

 

 

 

____________

 

excerpts from testimony: (emphasis added except where otherwise indicated)

 

( From FISA Hearing: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2007 House of Representatives, of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence )

 

D.N.I. McConnell: "Global trends and technology will continue to enable even small numbers of alienated people to find and connect with one another, justify their anger, even intensify their anger and mobilize resources to attack, all without requiring a centralized terrorist organization, training camp or leader. This is the threat we face today and one that our Community is challenged to counter." ...

...

Mr. Holt (D- N.J.). Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for holding these public hearings.    Thank you both, gentlemen, for coming today.    I understand, Mr. Director, that you believe strongly that the legislation needed to be changed so that there would be no individualized judicial warrants required for overseas targets. Let me go through a few other things, though.    Did you need and do you need the ability to conduct warrantless searches of Americans inside the United States?    Director McConnell. No.    Mr. Holt. Do you need or did you need the ability to conduct warrantless searches of domestic mail?    Director McConnell. No.    Mr. Holt. Do you need to be able to conduct searches without judicial warrants of U.S. persons about foreign intelligence?    Director McConnell. Ask the question again.    Mr. Holt. Do you need to be able to conduct searches without judicial warrants on persons whose communications might be about foreign intelligence?    Director McConnell. Depends on where and who the person is. If it's a U.S. person.    Mr. Holt. A U.S. person.    Director McConnell. In this country, it requires a warrant.    Mr. Holt. And not in this country?    Director McConnell. The U.S. person is protected under U.S. laws. There is a situation which is covered under Executive Order 12333. You have to have an authorization, but in the current interpretation, that is not a warrant.    Mr. Holt. Do you need to be able to conduct warrantless searches of library records, medical records, business records, under FISA?    Director McConnell. Not to my knowledge.    Mr. Holt. Do you need to be able to conduct bulk collection of all communications originating overseas?    Director McConnell. Bulk collection of all communications originating overseas. That would certainly be desirable if it was physically possible to do, since I am in the foreign intelligence business.    Mr. Holt. Do you need to be able to collect--or conduct bulk communications of someone overseas to an American?    Director McConnell. No.    Mr. Holt. Do you need to be able to conduct bulk collection of call detail records, metadata for domestic-to-domestic phone calls by Americans?    Director McConnell. Metadata, we think of it as not content but a process for how you would find something you might be looking for. Think of it as a roadmap.

... ...

Mr. Tierney (D.- MA.). Mr. Director, I don't think there has been any disagreement from the beginning as to whether or not a warrant is needed for foreign communications between a person in a foreign country and another person in a foreign country not a U.S. citizen. There is no warrant required.    Many of us have argued consistently that FISA never required a warrant in those situations.    I know there has been some disagreement on that in the interpretation.    I am just going to read the section of the bill that had been filed by the Democrats last session that deals with your issue of whether or not it will clarify that matter. I don't want you to respond now, but I would like for you to submit to us after the hearing your complete reason why you thought the following language wasn't fair enough to satisfy your needs to make it certain that no foreign-to-foreign communications required a warrant.    Section 105(a) reads: ``Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, a court order is not required for the acquisition of the contents of any communication between persons that are not located within the United States for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence information, without respect to whether the communication passes through the United States or the surveillance device is located within the United States.''    So if you would be kind enough to submit to us why you think that is not clear with respect to that issue, I would appreciate it.    Secondly, I think, Mr. Director, you would agree with me--and I think you stated very clearly--Americans and others inside the United States do enjoy constitutional protection or a right against unreasonable search and seizure or interception of their conversations; is that right?    Director McConnell. Right.    Mr. Tierney. And it would be unlawful to intercept that communication without a warrant; is that correct?    Then I assume you agree with me that the original program that the President was operating was, in fact, unlawful.    Director McConnell. That is a debate between the interpretation of Article II and Article I. Some would argue it is lawful, some would say ``no.'' I can't resolve a constitutional debate. I am talking about the framework of FISA.

______________

 

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-110jhrg38878/html/CHRG-110jhrg38878.htm

 

 

Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded LawPublished: April 15, 2009

 

While the N.S.A.’s operations in recent months have come under
examination, new details are also emerging about earlier
domestic-surveillance activities, including the agency’s attempt to
wiretap a member of Congress, without court approval, on an overseas
trip, current and former intelligence officials said.

 

After a contentious three-year debate that was set off by the disclosure in
2005 of the program of wiretapping without warrants that President George W. Bush
approved after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress gave the N.S.A. broad new
authority to collect, without court-approved warrants, vast streams of
international phone and e-mail traffic as it passed through American
telecommunications gateways. The targets of the eavesdropping had to be
“reasonably believed” to be outside the United States. Under the new
legislation, however, the N.S.A. still needed court approval to monitor
the purely domestic communications of Americans who came under
suspicion.

 

In recent weeks, the eavesdropping agency notified
members of the Congressional intelligence committees that it had
encountered operational and legal problems in complying with the new
wiretapping law, Congressional officials said.

 

Officials would not discuss details of the overcollection problem because it involves
classified intelligence-gathering techniques. But the issue appears
focused in part on technical problems in the N.S.A.’s ability at times
to distinguish between communications inside the United States and those
overseas as it uses its access to American telecommunications
companies’ fiber-optic lines and its own spy satellites to intercept
millions of calls and e-mail messages.

 

One official said that led the agency to inadvertently “target” groups of Americans and collect
their domestic communications without proper court authority. Officials
are still trying to determine how many violations may have occurred.

 

The overcollection problems appear to have been uncovered as part of a
twice-annual certification that the Justice Department and the director
of national intelligence are required to give to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court on the protocols that the N.S.A. is
using in wiretapping. That review, officials said, began in the waning
days of the Bush administration and was continued by the Obama
administration. It led intelligence officials to realize that the N.S.A.
was improperly capturing information involving significant amounts of
American traffic.

 

Notified of the problems by the N.S.A., officials with both the House and Senate intelligence committees said
they had concerns that the agency had ignored civil liberties safeguards
built into last year’s wiretapping law. “We have received notice of a
serious issue involving the N.S.A., and we’ve begun inquiries into it,” a
Congressional staff member said.

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The court order SPECIFICALLY SAYS that metadata "does not include the
substantive content of any conversation". There is no caveat here of
having a computer analyze anything, because the document defines what
data was to be turned over.

We don't know what was turned over under the rubric of "metadata". The phone companies themselves have all the analytical capability needed to provide everything I listed. Some of it was installed under W's dragnet surveillance program, the illegal one nobody was impeached, arrested, or even fired, for.

 

With better oversight, we could at least get an idea of what kinds of files the surveillance program is keeping in general, and who has access to them.

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We don't know what was turned over under the rubric of "metadata". The phone companies themselves have all the analytical capability needed to provide everything I listed. Some of it was installed under W's dragnet surveillance program, the illegal one nobody was impeached, arrested, or even fired, for.

 

With better oversight, we could at least get an idea of what kinds of files the surveillance program is keeping in general, and who has access to them.

 

The NSA Echelon program was in place well before George W was in office.

 

You have to understand that regardless of what political party controls the White House and Congress...NSA programs like ECHELON will ALWAYS be running.

 

It is not like the Republicans are the only political party to occupy the White House and have running massive Intel programs specific to data collection and recognition.

 

I don't care if you are living in ESTONIA and you just purchased a $10 THROWAWAY Cell Phone...the moment that battery is in that phone...as it is not even necessary to use the phone...the NSA will know that phone exists. Such is the nature and level of technology in use in such systems.

 

Split Infinity

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We don't know what was turned over under the rubric of "metadata".

 

Last time I'm going to respond to this: we know what wasn't turned over in response to the court order. You can't analyze data you don't have.

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Some skepticism exists about certain of your claims, including this:

 

"I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone,
from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President
if I had a personal email.
"


 

Do you stand by that, and if so, could you elaborate?

 

 

Answer:


 

 

"Yes, I stand by it. US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections

(and again, it's important to understand that policy protection is no

protection - policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very

weak technical protection - a near-the-front-end filter at our

ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what

is euphemistically referred to as the "widest allowable aperture," and

can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get

ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border. Your

protected communications shouldn't stop being protected communications

just because of the IP they're tagged with.

More fundamentally, the "US Persons" protection in general is a

distraction from the power and danger of this system. Suspicionless

surveillance does not become okay simply because it's only victimizing

95% of the world instead of 100%. Our founders did not write that "We

hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all US Persons are created

equal."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower?commentpage=1

In RE: Post 3, of this thread :

 

(Swansont) "These aren't wiretaps. They aren't listening in on conversations,

they are collecting phone numbers, call lengths, and other data. Not

that this is acceptable, but let's make sure we're discussion the

correct scenario."

( Note also, Cap'n Refsmmat's post below. : "

 

Q: When you say "someone at NSA still has the content of your communications" - what do you mean? ..." & etc.

 

 








Edited by proximity1

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Edward Snowden is holding a Q&A on the Guardian's website.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower

 

A couple of interesting answers relevant to this thread:

 

Q: Is encrypting my email any good at defeating the NSA survelielance? Id my data protected by standard encryption?

A: Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on. Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it.

 

Q: Some skepticism exists about certain of your claims, including this: "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email." Do you stand by that, and if so, could you elaborate?

A: Yes, I stand by it. US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it's important to understand that policy protection is no protection - policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection - a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the "widest allowable aperture," and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border. Your protected communications shouldn't stop being protected communications just because of the IP they're tagged with.

More fundamentally, the "US Persons" protection in general is a distraction from the power and danger of this system. Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it's only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%. Our founders did not write that "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all US Persons are created equal."

 

Q: Can analysts listen to content of domestic calls without a warrant?

A: NSA likes to use "domestic" as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant. They excuse this as "incidental" collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications. Even in the event of "warranted" intercept, it's important to understand the intelligence community doesn't always deal with what you would consider a "real" warrant like a Police department would have to, the "warrant" is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.

 

Q: When you say "someone at NSA still has the content of your communications" - what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?

A: Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time - and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.

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In RE: Post 3, of this thread :

 

(Swansont) "These aren't wiretaps. They aren't listening in on conversations,

they are collecting phone numbers, call lengths, and other data. Not

that this is acceptable, but let's make sure we're discussion the

correct scenario."

 

Snowden is discussion all NSA activities, which is far more than the Verizon court order, which was the topic to which I replied. I thought that was obvious.

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Snowden is discuss[ing] all NSA activities, which is far more than the Verizon court order, which was the topic to which I replied. I thought that was obvious. (emphasis added)

 

So, Mr. Snowden, speaking from direct personal experience on the matter, says that he had the capacity for direct, warrantless wiretapping, and that, even by formal rules of practice, warrants weren't even a "speed-bump" --

 

Viz:

"2) NSA likes to use "domestic" as a weasel word here for a number of

reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its

section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and

viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a

warrant. They excuse this as "incidental" collection, but at the end of

the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications.

 

Even in the event of "warranted" intercept, it's important to understand

the intelligence community doesn't always deal with what you would

consider a "real" warrant like a Police department would have to, the

"warrant" is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a

reliable judge with a rubber stamp."

 

Glenn Greenwald follow up: When you say "someone at

NSA still has the content of your communications" - what do you mean? Do

you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?

 

SNOWDEN: Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA

702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the

analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers,

attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time - and

can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants. (emphasis added)

 

ETA:

 

Anthony De Rosa

17 June 2013 2:18pm

 

1) Define in as much detail as you can what "direct access" means.

2) Can analysts listen to content of domestic calls without a warrant?

Answer:

 

1) More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in

general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has

access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for

anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id

(IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this

are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time.

Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake

justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only

5% of those performed.

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower

 

 

and Snowden's comments, above, you tell us, relate to "... all NSA activities," ...

 

and, somehow, we're supposed to imagine that there is a distinction between "all NSA (surveillance) --for that's what's being referred to, surveillance-- activities, on the one hand, and, on the other,'the Verizon court order' ? You mean you grant that in general, regarding "all (surveillance) activities," the technicians had direct access to content, but that somehow this didn't and doesn't also include the matter specified as part of the "Verizon court order"?

 

Why should anyone suppose that is the case, given Snowden's public statements? Care to explain that to us?

Edited by proximity1

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So, Mr. Snowden, speaking from direct personal experience on the matter, says that he had the capacity for direct, warrantless wiretapping, and that, even by formal rules of practice, warrants weren't even a "speed-bump" --

 

Which is not something on the topic of the court order.

 

 

Why should anyone suppose that is the case, given Snowden's public statements? Care to explain that to us?

 

Snowden is discussing the whole spectrum of the NSA activities, and not just the Verizon court order. I thought that was obvious. Is there an echo in here?

 

Further, he had not made the statements when I responded. It's also obvious how effortless it is to move the goalposts, but doing that doesn't make my statement wrong. The Verizon court order still does not encompass wiretaps.

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