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NSA eavesdropped upon...
October 26, 2013 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Former NSA director Michael Hayden overheard on train doing a phone interview... Tom Mattzie, previous MoveOn director DC, overhears Michael Hayden doing a phone interview on a train and retweets it.
posted by Samizdata (60 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, a little bit more...
posted by Samizdata at 1:13 PM on October 26, 2013


That strikes me as even shittier than it appears. He insists on being identified as a "former senior administration official". If you read that wouldn't you assume it's a former high up in the Obama administration? Except... Hayden is from the Bush administration! He was replaced as soon as Obama took office.
posted by Justinian at 1:21 PM on October 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


Hayden has in the past defended the use of waterboarding against detainees held in various sites around the world, and dismissed torture as a “legal term.”

Hayden is among the worst filth of humanity. Truly a piece of shit.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:28 PM on October 26, 2013 [21 favorites]


The press loves 'off-the-record interviews' with officials because it gives them access, and scumbags like Hayden love them because it lets them steer public opinion. The vulnerable deserve anonymity: The powerful do not.

Hopefully this will cut the legs off the story he was being interviewed for.
posted by anemone of the state at 1:34 PM on October 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


Current NSA administrator tells americans: shut up and take your baths, you babies.
posted by empath at 1:38 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Current NSA administrator tells americans: shut up and take your baths, you babies.

General Keith Alexander is a fucking fascist.
posted by anemone of the state at 1:39 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


General Keith Alexander is a fucking fascist.

You let a guy who takes obvious delight in dressing up in a uniform guide your state security apparatus?

Missing a Sam Browne belt though.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:45 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


These jerks would rather use the Constitution for toilet paper than limit their power in any way. Anyone who thinks they are doing anything in order to protect us is naive.
posted by birdhaus at 1:55 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Seems a bit fishy to me. Reeks of PR. The completely unflattering photo doesn't help.
posted by ReeMonster at 2:10 PM on October 26, 2013


Hayden is among the worst filth of humanity.

True dat. But just as filthy are the journalist enablers who allow present and former administration officials to speak anonymously. This simply permits sources to lie with impunity.
posted by JackFlash at 2:20 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Love it.
posted by odinsdream at 2:23 PM on October 26, 2013


Eavesdropping on the piece of shit who enabled our national spying complex then getting a photo-op with him: Priceless.
posted by odinsdream at 2:26 PM on October 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wonder who he was talking to and whether those reporters will now actually use him as a background source for their articles. I'd love to see people call out stories repeating the talking points he was delivering there. "Really? Did you get that from Michael Hayden?"
posted by immlass at 2:34 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You let a guy who takes obvious delight in dressing up in a uniform guide your state security apparatus?

Er, he's a four-star general. Why are we supposed to be shocked that a general in the US army wears a uniform?
posted by yoink at 3:00 PM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Who Are The Anonymous Sources In DC Journalism?
When you read a news account which cites, "unnamed sources" and "a senior defense official" and "a senior military leader" and other such anonymous sources, you are often (though not always) being fed a line. A polite lie on the journalist's part, but the problem is, you have not been let in on the lie. It is a well defined pirouette between journalists, political public affairs officers in all of the federal agencies, and the professional civil servants and military officers who serve at the direction of our political leaders.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:07 PM on October 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


honestly what are we even protecting from terrorists at this point

is the objective to make them feel so bad for us that they leave us alone
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:10 PM on October 26, 2013 [25 favorites]


Well if the terrorists won, we would lose our freedom and privacy. So we need to give up our freedom and privacy now to prevent that. Or something.
posted by empath at 3:25 PM on October 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


I am a small-time hack reporter for a podunk weekly newspaper. I am not allowed to quote anonymous sources, unless the source is otherwise powerless and would be fired or subject to physical violence if identified. It is unethical and counter productive. If only important journalists with national and global audiences were similarly constrained...
posted by tommyD at 3:41 PM on October 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Loose lips sink twits.

Yeah who's a big bad spy now, Mr. Bond?
posted by spitbull at 4:56 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hayden was informed on the train after a while that his conversations were being live-tweeted by a passenger. Somebody, or some algorithm sure had his back - in real time. I'd like to know more about that.
posted by klarck at 4:56 PM on October 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


> Why are we supposed to be shocked that a general in the US army wears a uniform?

Maybe it's the shock of seeing generals so openly running a country ostensibly a civilian republic.

What's the word . . . "junta"? Yeah, that's it.
posted by one weird trick at 5:02 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's the shock of seeing generals so openly running a country ostensibly a civilian republic.

Yes, it's positively shocking that Alexander, who was appointed by the civilian President, confirmed by the civilian Senate and answers to the civilian Secretary of Defense, is a military officer running a military agency.

It's even more shocking how ruthlessly this member of the "junta" clings to power.
posted by Etrigan at 5:36 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hayden was informed on the train after a while that his conversations were being live-tweeted by a passenger. Somebody, or some algorithm sure had his back - in real time. I'd like to know more about that.

I'm sure J. Edgar had some lackey tasked with finding out what the rumors going around about him were too. Computers took their jobs.

That part of it shouldn't even be scandalous really. If I particularly cared about knowing that someone was Twittering or publishing about me in short order, I could make up a script to search Twitter every five minutes, and Google News, and a bunch of other stuff I could think of... That is like the honest-to-God above ground function of the NSA that is admitted to the world. Don't want the dude knowing you're on a train with him, don't tweet it to the world. The bad part is that maybe if he had e-mailed a colleague this guy would know as well (though in that case he would not have given any sign or come over for a picture).
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:49 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somebody, or some algorithm sure had his back - in real time. I'd like to know more about that.

CSIS, the Canadian spy agency, is installing a computer server room that will consume energy eqivalent to a small town.

Imagine how many CPUs that represents, especially given the lack of displays and the efficiency of modern laptops. A few watts a machine means they're running one for every few hundred households—enough to surveil everyone.

Imagine the computing power the NSA can throw behind its data. Think about the open-source natural language toolkits, or Siri, or Dragon Dictate, then consider how much further ahead are the likes of the NSA.

The iPhone 5S has the computing power of a 1998ish Macbook Pro—by every measure a smoking machine. It can perform meta-analysis and compression, identifying emotional tone and capturing phrases, and store and transmit in ways that minimally affect battery life and performance. You would never know it was happening.

Don't doubt for a second that the technology exists to spy on you, a nobody, 24-7 if you have any net-connected microphones near you. And you know they want to do it and that from a certain point of view, it's a good idea. So rest assured, they are and do surveil you to some degree.

You can be sure that the power structures in this world are very interested in monitoring your "temperature" — your emotional tone when discussing politics, social welfare, wages, brand names, and the names of people and groups that are important to them.

They want the pulse if the nation. How angry is it? How angry are you? Which groups are dangerous, and which are placid?

And why are you talking about former NSA director Michael Haydan when he's not in the news and your browsing history doesn't mention him? Ding-Ding-Ding!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:06 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seek And Ye Shall Find
In essence, it means we never save any data until it has been flagged as anomalous; we don't need to save it in order to analyse it. The pattern data from the call is retained in quantum state without the actual call data being available, so that its character can be compared later without the actual call information being held without warrant. This is possible because Syene has been, in essence, listening to everything our telecom system 'says' for the past year or so and knows what 'normal' sounds like, and she can filter out nearly all of that by simply ignoring what sounds familiar. What's left over - well, that's suspicious
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:15 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You mean 2008ish, right? But yes.
posted by anemone of the state at 6:15 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's positively shocking that Alexander, who was appointed by the civilian President, confirmed by the civilian Senate and answers to the civilian Secretary of Defense, is a military officer running a military agency.

It's even more shocking how ruthlessly this member of the "junta" clings to power.


What's our "defense" budget again?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:18 PM on October 26, 2013


Yes, 2008ish. Now get off my lawn, young whippersnapper!

I can't be this old. I'm sure I'm only twenty- or thirty-some!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:27 PM on October 26, 2013


Why would Hayden request anonymity? If he has nothing to hide, he has nothing to fear.
posted by compartment at 7:08 PM on October 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


What's our "defense" budget again?

The defense budget voted on by the civilian Congress and signed by the civilian President, you mean?

I won't deny that the Pentagon and defense contractors hold an enormous amount of influence, but being "shocked" by that or calling it a "junta" is disingenuous at best.
posted by Etrigan at 7:10 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


US Intelligence Effectively Admits That, Despite Earlier Statements, They Don't Think Snowden Gave Docs To Russians
posted by homunculus at 7:11 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The defense budget voted on by the civilian Congress and signed by the civilian President, you mean?

Yeah, the same people who are unable to control their own intelligence agencies. The very same agencies which have been known to monitor the communications of aforementioned civilian leadership. So if there is a "junta" you or I would not be in a position to know about it.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:57 PM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, yes. There is a reason so many leaders are acting like they are being blackmailed.
posted by anemone of the state at 8:19 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


So if there is a "junta" you or I would not be in a position to know about it.

Which is just the way the lizard people like it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:13 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which is just the way the lizard people like it

Except for the fact that lizard people don't exist and the NSA does. In this case we also have a precedent....ever heard of Jay Edgar Hoover? You wouldn't go so far as to insinuate that Jay Edgar Hoover's machinations came out of the head of David Icke, now would you?

The fact of the matter is that the real danger of the NSA doesn't have anything to do with American's email being heuristically searched by some total information awareness software, but rather with the very real and very pernicious potential for our elected leaders to be subverted by certain factions within our military and intelligence institutions.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:28 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


ever heard of Jay Edgar Hoover?

The guy that collected a file over a thousand pages long on Albert Einstein, convinced he was a communist plant?

Yeah, there's no way the government would ever collect information on innocent civilians -- only terrorists.
posted by empath at 9:56 PM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's a perspective straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, in regards to the civilian control of the intelligence agencies:

Congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke. I should know, I'm in Congress

And people wonder why there isn't a viable progressive movement in this country. But that wouldn't have anything to do with the CIA, NSA, or FBI actively suppressing political parties such as the Socialist Workers Party, would it?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:16 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


When you have TIA you don't need a fucking junta.

Anyone who is sanguine about NSA spying, I hope you're right but I think you're dumb about human nature. Absolute power has always corrupted absolutely.
posted by spitbull at 3:07 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, homeland security agents seize Washington Times reporters notes. But it's not like they're actually using the information they gather domestically to do anything. Really.
posted by eclectist at 6:07 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


tommyD "I am a small-time hack reporter for a podunk weekly newspaper. "

tommyD: You may be a reporter for a small-time weekly podunk weekly newspaper, but I would kindly suggest reserving the word 'hack' for those that deserve it (eg: those that quote anonymous sources that are in positions of power advancing the position of those currently in power).

Also, thanks for serving your local community - local reporters are a great asset to the areas they serve (or can be).
posted by el io at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Er, he's a four-star general. Why are we supposed to be shocked that a general in the US army wears a uniform?

Most democracies have civilian oversight of state instruments and institutions. I can never trust a man in uniform to respect civil liberties. The fetishization of medals and spit polish is a sad indictment of his pathetic psyche.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:56 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did the NSA Keep Obama in The Dark About Its Spying on World Leaders?
posted by homunculus at 10:22 AM on October 28, 2013


I can never trust a man in uniform to respect civil liberties. The fetishization of medals and spit polish is a sad indictment of his pathetic psyche.

Please, tell us more about this person you've extensively psychoanalyzed. Make sure you tell us about how he must be a stereotyping asshole based on his profession.
posted by Etrigan at 11:01 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish: "Imagine how many CPUs that represents, especially given the lack of displays and the efficiency of modern laptops. A few watts a machine means they're running one for every few hundred households—enough to surveil everyone. "

OK, before too many people fall down this rabbit-hole... the data needs of the average household are dwarfed by the usage of companies.

So, let's try that again: "A few watts a machine means they're running one for every few terabytes of data—enough to surveil a tiny percentage of everyone."

I'm not arguing that the NSA isn't a bad thing - they are, IMO - but this example isn't very telling, really.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:38 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Five Reactions To Dianne Feinstein Finally Finding Something About The NSA To Get Angry About
posted by jeffburdges at 7:19 AM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing Feinstein now has an uphill battle ahead of her attempts to legalize NSA behavior. I also think that we're likely to see legislation coming down the pike even more furiously, so that the NSA activities are fenced off from further disclosures.
posted by rhizome at 10:08 AM on October 30, 2013


NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


NSA pushed 9/11 as key 'sound bite' to justify surveillance
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just the NSA? I thought it was pretty much every elected official that used
9/11" to justify their agenda.
posted by Big_B at 12:56 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

The particular graphic being discussed in that article doesn't match up with what the article is alleging. I'd love to see more details, but it's very, very common for a front-end server to perform SSL termination, and for internal systems to communicate un-encrypted.

The article implies that the GFE point in the diagram has something to do with the NSA decrypting traffic, which is not necessarily true. Slide 2 may very well be something that says "and then we tap into the private cloud with XYZ stuff" but, at least this article isn't taking it that far.
posted by odinsdream at 1:12 PM on October 30, 2013


I just did a Google Image search for "google engineers explode" and all I found was this lousy T-shirt.

No doubt the Web will respond with more evidence soon: it's a good man and very thorough.
posted by Twang at 6:22 PM on October 30, 2013


I'm kind of furious that Feinstein cares not a whit about millions of innocent American citizens being spied on but gets a bee in her bonnet about Angela Merkel.
posted by empath at 7:16 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Rep. Mike Rogers Angrily Defends Bathroom Spycam
posted by homunculus at 8:01 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Elites Stick together against Us: Feinstein Slams NSA Merkel Tap
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:40 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Word - See No Evil: Allegations surface that the NSA spied on the Vatican, and Representative Mike Rogers defends the agency via circular logic.
posted by homunculus at 11:30 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Could Keith Alexander's Retirement Finally Rein In The NSA?
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on November 3, 2013


Google security engineer on NSA: "Fuck these guys"
posted by homunculus at 12:17 PM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Michael Hayden Admits That He Can't Prove Stories Revealing NSA Snooping Have Harmed National Security
posted by jeffburdges at 8:31 AM on November 19, 2013


Meet the Spies Doing the NSA's Dirty Work: This obscure FBI unit does the domestic surveillance that no other intelligence agency can touch.
posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Singapore & South Korea help the NSA tap undersea cables; Japan refused

Pressure Mounts Against Telcos To 'Fess Up About Their Involvement In NSA Surveillance

NSA's Has A 50,000 Computer Botnet From Secretly Installing Malware Around The Globe
posted by jeffburdges at 5:29 AM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


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