# 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.

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:

"

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.

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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"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?

"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."

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

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?

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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