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January 17, 2014 5:14 PM   Subscribe

President Obama unveils new policy directives for the NSA. Full text of the speech. And for lols, here are some photos also from Slate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering (142 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Eponysterical.
posted by swift at 5:27 PM on January 17 [15 favorites]


It sounded like some pretty reasonable reforms to me but the technical and legal details of all this are over my head.

Greenwald isn't convinced, obviously:

“It’s really just basically a PR gesture, a way to calm the public and to make them think there’s reform when in reality there really won’t be. And I think that if the public, at this point, has heard enough about what the NSA does and how invasive it is, that they’re going to need more than just a pretty speech from President Obama to feel as though their concerns have been addressed.”

The one thing I am sure about is that it is a travesty that Snowden is still under threat of prosecution and that James Clapper is not.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:28 PM on January 17 [17 favorites]


EFF Scorecard for the announced reforms.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:29 PM on January 17 [23 favorites]


Another shameless use of 9/11 to justify the erosion of the principles this country was founded on. Have you no sense of decency, sir?
posted by entropicamericana at 5:33 PM on January 17 [11 favorites]


Congratulations to President Alexander, who has now proven that he can control the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

None of these policy changes will actually change anything. I am saddened that the media seems to be eating this up.

On preview, I disagree with the EFF on this one. They are far too optimistic. I am looking for a more detailed analysis. Or, more specifically, I am looking for someone to point out that when you have already backdoored everything and have no oversight, it doesn't matter much what you are officially allowed to do.
posted by bh at 5:36 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


The EFF analysis is a really great summary. Even if you disagree with their political position, it's a tractable list of what policy changes Obama promised.

None of it addresses the real need, which is to subject NSA programs to judicial review and particularly scrutiny in the context of the Fourth Amendment. Just because the President says something is legal doesn't make it legal; but avoiding legal scrutiny is a way to defer the decision. The FISA court change could be an improvement, although it seems terribly limited and it's still a secret court. (EFF gives this one full marks, so maybe they know something more than I do).

His failure to address the way NSA has been subverting domestic security makes me sad. Part of NSA's mission has historically been to protect US individuals and companies from foreign spies. They now actively sabotage that same security and it seems a real shame.
posted by Nelson at 5:37 PM on January 17 [10 favorites]


At least he didn't say "I want to splinter the NSA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."
posted by localroger at 5:43 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I no longer have any hope of real reform. It's pretty clear we've lost and the assholes won. The best way for the state to track and monitor you is to give you said device and then put Temple Run and Bejewelled on it and everyone will happily carry them wherever they go.
posted by nevercalm at 5:43 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Mashable: 5 Things Obama Failed to Address in the NSA Speech

Nelson: None of it addresses the real need, which is to subject NSA programs to judicial review and particularly scrutiny in the context of the Fourth Amendment.

That's key. Given that Obama's own panel found that everything the NSA domestic collection accomplished could just as easily be accomplished with standard judicial oversight, it's even more key.
posted by mediareport at 5:47 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


What I'm wondering is what is Roger Ailes telling his minion hordes to think? On the one hand, Obama muslim socialist antichrist Kenyan, but on the other Snowden traitor freethinker egghead and Greenwald gay expat liberal media. Also on the one hand terror terror muslims terror terror 9/11 but on the other big intrusive govmint can figure out how many guns you have and stuff. They must not know whether to shit or go blind.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:49 PM on January 17 [27 favorites]


It may seem sometimes that America is being held to a different standard. And I’ll admit the readiness of some to assume the worst motives by our government can be frustrating.

Ummmm, yeah it's called the 4th Amendment Mr. President and it doesn't really matter what the motives are.

No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programs or Russia to take privacy concerns of citizens in other places into account.

What a steaming pile of bull shit. We would not even be having this if it weren't for Edward Snowden.

But let’s remember, we are held to a different standard precisely because we have been at the forefront of defending personal privacy and human dignity. As the nation that developed the Internet, the world expects us to ensure that the digital revolution works as a tool for individual empowerment, not government control.

Well, no. We has happened is that we have been publicly "at the forefront of defending personal privacy and human dignity," while clandestinely ensuring that "the digital revolution works as a tool for individual empowerment, not government control."

Having faced down the dangers of totalitarianism and fascism and communism, the world expects us to stand up for the principle that every person has the right to think and write and form relationships freely

This has nothing to do with WWII. It, again, has everything to do with the 4th Amendment. And Obama is supposed to be a constitutional lawyer??? I guess Harvard Law didn't cover the 4th Amendment when Obama was attending.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:51 PM on January 17 [25 favorites]


Disgusting.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:54 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I thought this would be news Mefites would be interested in. I don't want to threadsit my own post, but I would like to pose one question:

Isn't something better than nothing? There do seem to be some positives here. And maybe after 2016 under the {Clinton II|Warren} administration, more will be done.

Politics is the art of the possible, after all.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:56 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


"What I did not do is stop these programs wholesale, not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in that initial review and nothing that I have learned since indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens."
I'd laugh, but the fact that the President of the United States just lied through his fucking teeth to the American people is not funny.
posted by zarq at 5:56 PM on January 17 [30 favorites]


the readiness of some to assume the worst motives by our government can be frustrating.

Yeah, well, when you get caught lying and breaking the law, and your response is to have secret courts rewrite the laws while you do everything in your power to get the whistleblowers quietly garroted and buried in unmarked graves, it's funny how some people will stop giving you the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:01 PM on January 17 [32 favorites]


It helps to be clear here about the legal issue. NSA thinks it's obeying the Fourth Amendment. Presidents going back to Truman have acted with the pretense that NSA is constitutional. (Initially, by confining its espionage to non-US citizens.) The executive branch is not ignorant of the Fourth Amendment. NSA jumps through some fairly ridiculous hoops like the 3-hops-for-surveillance rule trying to match what they interpret the Fourth Amendment to mean.

The problem is that NSA is not willing to submit their interpretation of the law to meaningful judicial review. By pretending not to exist, and then preventing any legal proceedings to go to court, and by having their own secret rubber stamp court this part of the Executive branch has bypassed the American judicial system. And it's terribly dangerous to democracy. I'm not sure that open judicial review will fix all the problems with the US spy agency spying on everyone, but at least it'd be a start. One Obama is clearly not willing to initiate. Precious few Congresspeople are interested, too.

I'm reluctantly of the opinion that in general NSA is a necessary and useful thing for protecting American interests. I'm even nervously admiring of their apparent technical capability in doing things like mass data collection and analysis of digital communications. (Compare it to how the clowns who were in charge of healthcare.gov couldn't even set up a working web site.) But while I think a powerful spy agency is a necessary capability it's also a very dangerous one and it needs judicial oversight. It doesn't have it now, and Obama's speech doesn't meaningfully change that.
posted by Nelson at 6:02 PM on January 17 [19 favorites]


What I'm wondering is what is Roger Ailes telling his minion hordes to think?


I was stuck with Fox News on at the gym and it's "The President has left you vulnerable to being murdered by terrorists" at the moment.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:02 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


It may seem sometimes that America is being held to a different standard.

Of course we should be if we claim we're the fucking good guys!

Politics is the art of the possible, after all.

Yeah, screwing the peasants without antagonizing them enough into cobbling together a guillotine.
posted by codswallop at 6:03 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


"I Think It's Embarrassing" Julian Assange Responds To Obama's Big NSA Reforms Speech
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:03 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Marcy Wheeler is, as usual, very much worth reading on this:

Obama’s Speech, Annotated Version

Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive: Pixie Dust 2.0

The Misplaced Enthusiasm for Obama’s 2-Hop “Change”
posted by tonycpsu at 6:04 PM on January 17 [9 favorites]


President Obama, in a major speech on Friday

I see what you did there, burying your speech in the end-of-week news cycle doldrums..10 years ago. If it were major, you wouldn't be holding the speech on Friday afternoon.

The Audacity of Hope--ITS A COOKBOOK!
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:07 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


But while I think a powerful spy agency is a necessary capability it's also a very dangerous one and it needs judicial oversight. It doesn't have it now, and Obama's speech doesn't meaningfully change that

This captures my feelings well. Nothing he announced gave me any confidence that my own personal constitutional rights are any more meaningfully protected.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:10 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I thought this would be news Mefites would be interested in. I don't want to threadsit my own post, but I would like to pose one question:

Isn't something better than nothing? There do seem to be some positives here. And maybe after 2016 under the {Clinton II|Warren} administration, more will be done.


There could possibly be some positives here if you assume that this isn't hand-waving.

So the NSA won't keep as many records. But the records will still be kept. And the NSA still has access to all of the records, one way or another.

It doesn't matter if the access is official or unofficial if they have no oversight. And oversight that you control isn't really oversight.

Adding additional oversight that you also control isn't helping here.

There is a very simple way to know if things have changed. The leaders start going to jail. Not the underlings.
posted by bh at 6:10 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


This is progress. When this began, Snowden was a treasonous traitor entitled brat know-nothing nerd geekbaby who loves Commie China and Putin! Yet, now we're talking about reasonable restrictions. The definition of "reasonable" is in flux, as they think they can still spin themselves out of this.

Oh, no. It's been made quite clear Greenwald has years of revelations socked away, and he's pacing himself... he's held back some of the real bombshells in case things don't start to move. We're going to have another one of these in six months or so, as the president promises real reforms to head off some serious international sanctions.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:12 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Nothing is going to change, because the NSA, CIA, and other alphabet soup agencies work for — and are — the people with money and power. And the PWM&P need these agencies to do the evil things, otherwise the PWM&P will not be PWM&P for very long.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:12 PM on January 17


There's reason to believe Edward Snowden might be a method used to inform the Global public about the current wave of Neo-Fascist American policies without backlash. 'Anybody notice Net Neutrality bite the dustbin? 'Time to counter this culture.
posted by mnmlst at 6:14 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Another shameless use of 9/11 to justify the erosion of the principles this country was founded on.

He didn't mention is just once, but eight times. I don't think Bush dropped it that many times when trying to get us into Iraq.

Obama owes these guys, because they got him this picture.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:24 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm projecting but I've always seen Obama as looking very conflicted in that image. As in, "We're doing the thing the American people want, but we are killing a (very and totally evil) man in cold blood."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:27 PM on January 17


"We're going to start killing 34 adorable puppies a day instead of the previous 35."

I guess that's good?
posted by 256 at 6:27 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Isn't something better than nothing? There do seem to be some positives here. And maybe after 2016 under the {Clinton II|Warren} administration, more will be done.

"On November 15, 2007, when asked "[is] national security more important than human rights?" Hillary Clinton responded, "I agree with that completely".

There is nothing in her record to suggest that she will be anything but loyal to the prevailing DC power structures that continue to grow and in the process chip away at our civil liberties. This will not change. Also, see Obama. If it wasn't for Snowden, Obama's speech would not have happened. On these matters, there is no obvious partisan divide.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:27 PM on January 17 [20 favorites]


I don't know whether to be hysterically disappointed or hysterically reassured
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:32 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Under Obama’s reform, if the NSA wants to gain access to this data, it will have to file a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In other words, no NSA official will be able to rummage through the records on his or her own authority. This is a major step to curbing the “potential for abuse.”

Oh yes, that'll be SO helpful.

Did you know you can have a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of your very own? It's true! It's great fun to pull out at parties!

You just go to a custom rubber stamp company and order one that reads FISA APPROVED. And you won't have to pay any Republican judges anything, or get Chief Justice Roberts to appoint anyone!
posted by JHarris at 6:45 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


No change. Phone data may not be kept by NSA but by ...? phone com0anies (they now do)...and for so much of the controversial stuff, Obama cynically says let the do-nothing congress d3ecide. They have shown they can not decide anything...farewell 4th amendment.
posted by Postroad at 6:48 PM on January 17


There's reason to believe Edward Snowden might be a method

Oh do tell. What reasons do we have? I'd like a source more authoritative than one that starts with the assertion that the Pentagon Papers and Wikileaks were also CIA conspiracies. Maybe your comment is the real CIA counterintelligence, placed on Metafilter to derail this discussion.
posted by Nelson at 6:49 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Did everyone also like the condescending tone in the speech? Kind of like, "I know we don't have any diet soda in the break room, but we just got a Keurig machine, so will you people PLEASE simmer down?"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:50 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Catch-22 character: Snowden.

Since policies won't change, I wonder what the change has been. A comment on HN said that NSA is god for the godless. Too much recent scifi has AIs only as nannies for humanity. In one scifi I read a long time ago, not sure if it is online, there was a sort of Asimov Foundation predictive capacity of the intelligence agency (its symbol was an octopus). But they could only perfectly predict people in aggregate, not individuals. But that's pot boilers for you.

I feel for Obama. Boethius: "If any man take from these proud [kings] their outward covering of empty honour, he will see within, will see that these great ones bear secret chains. For the heart of one is thus filled by lust with the poisons of greed, or seething rage lifts up its waves and lashes his mind therewith: or gloomy grief holds them weary captives, or by slippery hopes they are tortured."
posted by saber_taylor at 6:51 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


In one scifi I read a long time ago, not sure if it is online, there was a sort of Asimov Foundation predictive capacity of the intelligence agency (its symbol was an octopus)

Oh, you mean like this?
posted by entropicamericana at 6:54 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I was stuck with Fox News on at the gym and it's "The President has left you vulnerable to being murdered by terrorists" at the moment.

Boehner, today: "Our national security programs exist to root out terrorist threats and save American lives — and they have”

So, yeah. Didn't we already go through this?
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:59 PM on January 17


Use the Google:

2003 - Pointdexter, TIA
2006 - AT&T, San Francisco, EFF
DARPA
USA PATRIOT Act

None of this is new. It was all made possible under the Bush Administration, even after the program was opposed. Obama, or any president for that matter, would be a fool to give up any of the powers he inherited from Bush - and at the same time, he wound up owning the whole thing when he refused to "look back" and hold anyone accountable.
posted by Chuffy at 7:16 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


The elephant in the room, to me, is this: If you add up just the NSA operatives and their telco lackeys, there's more people right there infringing our rights and freedoms than there are fucking terrorists. Who needs enemies when you've got friends like these, huh?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:17 PM on January 17 [12 favorites]


It's time like these I'm reminded why I prefer the Democrats to the Republicans in office. (it's their stance on gay rights and women's rights).
posted by el io at 7:22 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Obama, or any president for that matter, would be a fool to give up any of the powers he inherited from Bush

Which is why we should have impeached Bush. Not to punish him for being a bad person or anything, but to pry out of the president's toolchest all these shiny things Bush had appropriated during his turn and not let them become part of the presidential legacy.

But it's happened, and now it's too late. It will take a constitutional crisis and a complete government reform to get rid of them now.
posted by hippybear at 7:23 PM on January 17 [11 favorites]


It isn't much but it's a start. This is going take a while and will not be easy.
posted by humanfont at 7:23 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Bruce Schneier: Today I Briefed Congress on the NSA
posted by homunculus at 7:25 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


It isn't much but it's a start.

That is exactly my hope. Slippery slopes aren't always bad. Everything begins with a first tentative step.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:25 PM on January 17


Highlights of Daniel Ellsberg’s Reddit AMA on Edward Snowden and NSA surveillance
posted by homunculus at 7:26 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Better than absolutely nothing, y'all!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:26 PM on January 17


What I'm wondering is what is Roger Ailes telling his minion hordes to think? On the one hand, Obama muslim socialist antichrist Kenyan, but on the other Snowden traitor freethinker egghead and Greenwald gay expat liberal media. Also on the one hand terror terror muslims terror terror 9/11 but on the other big intrusive govmint can figure out how many guns you have and stuff. They must not know whether to shit or go blind.

Knowing the Fox m.o., it'll be all of the above. No time for cognitive dissonance, buy gold!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:28 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


My fear is that this isn't a start, it's an end.

The Americans I talk to are already baffled and overwhelmed by the Snowden revelations. They just want to move on. Now that Obama has said he's going to make the NSA stuff all better we can stop talking about it and enjoy the Super Bowl.

I'd love to read more about previous NSA and CIA scandals when previous whistleblowers forced change. I know there was at least one major event before the 2000s that resulted in major changes coming out of Congress, but I don't know any details.
posted by Nelson at 7:36 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Re: Ailes - Certainly you know the ( eminently predictable ) playbook by now. Anything a Democrat does - and, especially, anything Obama does - is the worst. thing. ever. The buck only stops on desks with a "D" attached. It doesn't have to make sense. And, sometimes they're right.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:36 PM on January 17


No matter what else changes, one huge problem is the 1979 SCOTUS ruling that metadata snooping is legal.

While I think that reasoning was questionable even then, there's no getting around the fact that technology has changed significantly and that the amount of data you can gather with to/from/when/where information regardless of actual content of the message is huge.

You can infer causality from timing. You can get the locations of the participants, and you can create a social graph of the sort that Google, Yahoo, and Facebook are spending literally billions of dollars for.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:37 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I really, really, really wish Schneier could have said more.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:38 PM on January 17


I really, really, really wish Schneier could have said more.

He will. Bruce has integrity.
posted by bh at 7:46 PM on January 17


Since I've always felt sympatico with Obama—we're about the same age, with school connections, and he even likes Harold's—I've wondered whether the reason he hasn't done what we consider the right thing on this front is that he has seen some very scary shit in his security briefings. But I'm having a harder and harder time convincing myself of that, and either way it's not reassuring.
posted by stargell at 7:51 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I didn't see this mentioned elsewhere on the site, but it's probably worth putting in this thread. On January 10, Steve Inskeep had a long interview with NSA Deputy Director John Inglis - lots of interesting material, & plenty of stuff to get folks mad or make them calm down.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:41 PM on January 17


Stargell: much more likely is that there is some serious dirt on him, his family, his advisors or their families that the NSA has and could use as leverage. They have records on everyone for at least a decade, maybe more. And by everyone I mean EVERYONE. Generals, supreme court justices, senators, and all of the people surrounding them.
posted by Freen at 8:43 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Really, all they have to have is dirt of any significant Democrats, and they can play one party against the other. That's one of the reasons I worry about the NSA - they could easily become a major power themselves, with no real oversight from anyone.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:32 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I've wondered whether the reason he hasn't done what we consider the right thing on this front is that he has seen some very scary shit in his security briefings.
His first betrayal of our rights came months before he was elected President. Are there special briefings that are given to candidates right after they've safely won a primary election and no longer need to worry about the opinions of anyone except the median voter?
posted by roystgnr at 9:41 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Really, all they have to have is dirt of any significant Democrats, and they can play one party against the other.
"I suspect that, you know, on — on a list of people who might be targeted, you know, so that somebody could read their emails or — or listen to their phone calls, I’d probably be pretty high on that list. So it’s not as if I don’t have a personal interest in making sure my privacy is protected." – President Obama

I'm still only 99.9% sure that this was Obama arguing in defense of the surveillance state; it also kind of looks like a coded cry for help.
posted by roystgnr at 9:47 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


I'm convinced that the leaked Snowden information's ultimate revelation will be that the NSA has tapped every congressperson's phone and email.
posted by Benjy at 10:01 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


stargell: “Since I've always felt sympatico with Obama—we're about the same age, with school connections, and he even likes Harold's—I've wondered whether the reason he hasn't done what we consider the right thing on this front is that he has seen some very scary shit in his security briefings. But I'm having a harder and harder time convincing myself of that, and either way it's not reassuring.”
As I started saying last year, elected officials are no longer meaningfully in charge of the security apparatus of the United States. This "overhaul" is a ridiculous farce that looks even more ridiculous when you realize that the classified annex to the new budget prevents control of the drone program from being transferred from the CIA to the Pentagon.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:10 PM on January 17 [7 favorites]


The Threat Matrix might explain the attitudes of some:
In the process, [US government] information has been folded into a “Threat Matrix,” an itemized catalogue of all the “threats” — or more accurately “leads” — needing to be followed up. As Garrett Graff explains, the government pursues “upwards of 5,000 threats per day.”..

… living with the Threat Matrix seems to take a psychological toll on its daily readers. As Graff vividly describes the process, the Threat Matrix comes off as “a catalogue of horrors,” as the “daily looming prognoses of Armageddon,” and as “a seeming tidal wave of Islamic extremist anger that threatened to unhinge American society,” and it could become “all-consuming and paralyzing” — as one reader puts it, “Your mind comes to be dominated by the horrific consequences of low-probability events.”
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:35 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Isn't something better than nothing?

How can I tell if they're actually doing something if it's all kept a secret?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:53 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Greenwald gay expat liberal media.

No, Greenwald libertarian Koch shill disruptive pika pika pii
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:58 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


The thing that breaks my balls about this for any Obama apologists is that he is only doing this because he got caught. It's not like he actually thinks this needs reforming—this is PR and lame PR at that.

This is of course assuming that anything has been changed and we have ample reason to think that it's not.
posted by koavf at 12:06 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


"I'm convinced that the leaked Snowden information's ultimate revelation will be that the NSA has tapped every congressperson's phone and email."

I seem to remember Snowden saying in his initial interview with Greenwald that he could have accessed Obama's email if he wanted to... so I'm fairly sure that's already out there.
posted by panaceanot at 12:51 AM on January 18


“We're going to start killing 34 adorable puppies a day instead of the previous 35”

Nah… morelike “We're going to stop killing adorable puppies altogether: All puppies will, prior to being killed, be perceived by trained personnel who have learned to find all puppies repulsive.”

Or, you know, “we're not actually collecting all this data we're collecting until someone looks at it”.
posted by hattifattener at 1:44 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


the world expects us to stand up for the principle that every person has the right to think and write and form relationships freely

Uhh, nope. We'd be happy if you'd just stay out of our business, thank you very much.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:02 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


The security state has picked up a trick from quantum physics: All of your collected information exists in a sort of superposition until an analyst collapses the waveform by observing it. If only we can get entanglement working in our favor, we'd be able to tell when this happened.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:19 AM on January 18 [3 favorites]


El Reg breaks it down for us non-US citizens. And the rest of the world.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:44 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


*sits on floor of darkened room, knees pulled to chest, slowly rocking to and fro*

"Hope and change. Hope. And. Change ..."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:04 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


This is one of those stories where all you need to do is read two or three headlines. No way I'm reading that speech.
posted by bukvich at 5:51 AM on January 18



It will take a constitutional crisis and a complete government reform to get rid of them now.

It would only take a congressional statute. That's the difference between Bush and Obama. The former would compel a constitutional crisis, while everything I've seen about Obama indicates greater respect for Congressional prerogative.
posted by jpe at 6:12 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]



NSA jumps through some fairly ridiculous hoops like the 3-hops-for-surveillance rule trying to match what they interpret the Fourth Amendment to mean

That's about staying within the contours of the FISA statute, not the constitution. This is all metadata, after all, so there isn't a 4th amendment issue.
posted by jpe at 6:26 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


From the previous link:

Americans lose their expectation of privacy, the court reasoned, whenever they voluntarily give information to a third party, such as a phone company. Telling the phone company who you call by dialing a number is enough to surrender your expectation of privacy that you are contacting that person, the court held.

So, basically the SCOTUS says that the 4th Amendment holds for good folks that stay in their own home with the doors and shutters closed and all communication lines snipped.
posted by sammyo at 6:46 AM on January 18 [5 favorites]


I am reminded of this.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:54 AM on January 18


This is all metadata, after all, so there isn't a 4th amendment issue.

That's not what Justice Sonia Sotomayor thinks.

Not to mention the countless debates that have been taking place over the past decade in law journals all over the country. You can continue to believe the lies you have been told, but I would suggest looking into the matter a bit further.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:28 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Nice to see everyone skating over the truth that removing the NSA's ability to store the metadata is a hugely significant change, which absolutely limits the potential for future abuses of The Public Trust (of office, not the actual level of public trust, since that's close to non-existent and not unreasonably so).

The fact is the people here are having the debate on a different level than the administration is, so you're never going to like what they do. You are questioning the efficacy, morality, and legality of gathering this data for any reason. They are not. They are concerned with abuses of it. As the article in the OP mentions, Obama is thinking of Nixon and trying to prevent the hugely illegal shit he pulled from happening again. As far as they're concerned, debating the value of this data for Keeping America Safe is just not on.

So no, you're not ever going to be happy.
posted by dry white toast at 8:02 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


As far as they're concerned, debating the value of this data for Keeping America Safe is just not on.

Remind me how many terrorist plots the metadata has stopped?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:39 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Exactly.

I would've been so much more impressed if he'd held up and waved in front of all americans a thick folder of all the foiled attacks.
posted by sammyo at 8:46 AM on January 18


So, if the NSA isn't going to be keeping all this information, what are they going to do with that giant facility they built in Utah?
posted by hippybear at 9:28 AM on January 18


So, if the NSA isn't going to be keeping all this information, what are they going to do with that giant facility they built in Utah?

NSA MMO?
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:36 AM on January 18


I would've been so much more impressed if he'd held up and waved in front of all americans a thick folder of all the foiled attacks

"I had the chance to pull together the data, and all the suspects seemed to be regular citizens… I went to the NSA and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of terrorists."
posted by Dip Flash at 9:36 AM on January 18 [4 favorites]


Removing the NSA's ability to store the metadata is a hugely significant change

Could you be more specific? My understanding is the only change Obama has signaled is that NSA isn't supposed to maintain a blanket record of the metadata of phone calls; what numbers called what and when. Instead the phone companies (or some other third party) will be required to store the metadata instead, and NSA will request it via the FISA process. That's a mild improvement, only the existence of the databases at telcos creates new risks and the FISA process is still broken. Also phone call records are the least of my worries, and AFAIK this change doesn't apply to email records, text message records, etc etc.

You are questioning the efficacy, morality, and legality of gathering this data for any reason.

I'm not. As discussed in this thread, and in previous MeFi threads, I'm a libertarian-leaning cryptonerd who actually thinks NSA's data gathering and analysis can be good for American interests. My particular concern is that I want NSA to disclose what data they're collecting, to justify the need for such collection, and to submit to open judicial review on their activities. Along the way I'd like them to, you know, respect the Constitution of the country they are defending. I'm reluctantly OK with a spy agency hoovering up all the data and analyzing it. What I'm not OK with is a secret agency doing that with no meaningful oversight.
posted by Nelson at 10:14 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]



You can continue to believe the lies you have been told,

I'm simply stating what the current law is, not what it ought to be (as all those law review articles are discussing) or what it might be (the relevance of what Sotomayor thinks).
posted by jpe at 10:34 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


I'm simply stating what the current law is

To which law are you referring? What you originally said was: " This is all metadata, after all, so there isn't a 4th amendment issue." Which given the amount of ink spilled on the issue in the context of the 4th amendment would see to be patently false.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:45 AM on January 18


I imagine jpe is referring to the 1979 Supreme Court ruling that phone metadata wasn't protected by the 4th amendment. We've been talking about that decision here, in this thread. I think it's a bad decision and ripe for overturning, particularly given the change in the world that makes metadata so much more valuable. But it is the current law of the land. So weirdly, the one metadata concession that Obama has indicated he'd make is the one collection activity that actually might be legal.
posted by Nelson at 10:57 AM on January 18


There is a good segment on William Binney, ThinThread, and Trailblazer in this 2011 NYT article on Thomas Drake's indictment.

In essence, Michael Hayden selected the contractor built Trailblazer program over the comparatively inexpensive internally built ThinThread. Trailblazer wound up being canceled after Binney exposed that they'd spent billion but it did basically nothing useful. Binney has blamed 9/11 partially on Hayden's decision because Trailblazer made actually understanding data harder by collecting so much, while ThinThread had focused more narrowly on real targets.

In this speak, Obama announces that they've found a couple ways that slightly limiting the NSA lets them justify giving more money to contractors, which is reason enough to do so.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:18 AM on January 18


The NSA costs US taxpayers $52.6 billion a year. Or $574 per taxpayer per year. And doesn't catch terrorists.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:41 AM on January 18 [4 favorites]


"I feel that President Obama should have had more US flags behind him today, and they should have been more prominent" - Glenn Greenwald   lol
posted by jeffburdges at 11:44 AM on January 18 [5 favorites]


They had to dump the trained eagles and Uncle Sam on stilts at the last minute.
posted by JHarris at 12:20 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, I didn't know there was more to the article, and only scrolled down after I made that comment. That's excellent.
posted by JHarris at 12:24 PM on January 18


I imagine jpe is referring to the 1979 Supreme Court ruling that phone metadata wasn't protected by the 4th amendment...But it is the current law of the land.

Yes, I am aware of Smith v. Maryland, but it is most certainly not a law. It is a legal decision handed down by the SCOTUS in a very narrow context. Here is representative Alan Grayson discussing the "legal" justification for the NSA dragnet. Here is his entire floor speech from which the above clip came which is also worth watching in its entirety.

The idea that dragnet surveillance of metadata is the law of the land exhibits an extreme lack of understanding of what the current legal situation is. First, the SCOTUS has never directly ruled on the issue of how the "third party doctrine" and the issue of "particularity" relate to internet communications. Second, there have been conflicting rulings in the lower courts about how to exactly apply the third party doctrine even when the case meets the particularity requirement of the 4th amendment (see United States v. Warshak, Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co., City of Ontario v. Quon, United States v. Forrester, and United States v. Hambrick). So to claim that internet metadata collection is not a 4th amendment issue and that dragnet collection of internet metadata is the law of the land is a specious claim.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:25 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


OK well at least we're all talking about the same thing. I'm out of my depth here; I'm not a fancy law-talking guy myself. Is Wikipedia's summary of Smith v Maryland roughly accurate?

Reading that and listening to the Grayson excerpt you linked, I think my larger point still stands. NSA believes it has some legal justification for taking and keeping metadata. They are pretending to follow the law, much the way Bush's torture lawyer John Yoo acted like US justified waterboarding. My point is that NSA's interpretation and justification must be subject to open legal scrutiny. As Grayson says, it is a farce to expand a ruling that says the cops can one time lift a phone number being dialed by one person to justify NSA's collection of all digital communication metadata everywhere. But until we get this discussion into an open court, that farce can't be undone. (And even then I fear it won't be.)
posted by Nelson at 12:44 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


I'm out of my depth here; I'm not a fancy law-talking guy myself.

Neither am I. IANAL. I am just a person with an interest in the legal underpinnings of our democracy. Which are quickly being undermined to the point of irrelevancy.

Is Wikipedia's summary of Smith v Maryland roughly accurate?

Yeah it is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Here's the actual opinion.

I think my larger point still stands.


I was unclear of exactly what your larger point was, but after reading your last comment yes I agree and think we are on about the same page.

But until we get this discussion into an open court, that farce can't be undone.

Yep, that is our only hope at this point.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:23 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead.
posted by adamvasco at 3:49 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


A Running List of What We Know the NSA Can Do. So Far.
posted by adamvasco at 3:57 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


Why Obama’s NSA Reforms Won’t Solve Silicon Valley’s Trust Problem: a discussion of Obama's speech in terms of what tech companies want. (Summary: they're not satisfied.)
posted by Nelson at 4:27 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


“I would love to put a bullet in his head,” one Pentagon official told BuzzFeed.

Well, I would love to see your office abolished, your pension terminated, you thrown out in the cold, deprived of your connections and privilege, and left to rot on the dustbin of history, Mr. Pentagon Official.

I wouldn't want to put a bullet in your head though. Sane people don't want that kind of thing.

“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”

Well I'm sure there are people in government who are eagerly working towards undoing those bothersome restrictions. I'm sure all you have to do is get Snowden branded a terrorist or something.

And the intelligence operators who spoke to BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity did not say they expected anyone to act on their desire for revenge.

I wonder if someone will rid them of this turbulent whistleblower?

“By [Snowden] showing who our collections partners were, the terrorists have dropped those carriers and email addresses,” the DOD official said. “We can’t find them because he released that data. Their electronic signature is gone.”

Well the data never, by their own admission, amounted them in uncovering even a single plot. Maybe they should thank Snowden for eliminating all those pesky unproductive leads?
posted by JHarris at 5:31 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


We do not know - and, importantly, we should not know all the functions and all the secrets of the NSA.

All the years of my life the American public has felt that our Intelligence Service has been gathering unimportant data and eventually it will be used against us. To this day, we are free to carry guns; to make and use our money as we see fit; to live our lives within a family unit and with considerable privacy; to marry with other races (and now even with matched genders); to have as many or as few children as we wish; to gather into groups; to protest; to vote; to send our children to decent public schools (where neither religion nor its opposite is being taught, regardless of what the media says); to move to a different state or a different part of a state if we don't like the way our city is being run; to buy and sell property; to encompass our addictions, be they food, nicotine, alcohol, fitness, even pot; to wear what we want even if it's offensive; to take pictures freely; to express opinions over electronic media or out in the open air; to belong to organizations whether they're political, elitist, bigoted, religious or anti- any of the same; to openly broadcast and publish complete lies under the umbrella of the press, leaving it to the recipient to choose his own truth; to receive medical care and not be turned away due to lack of beads or trinkets or money; to have the luxury of police and firefighters to help us when the situation outflanks us; to be assured that our medicines and our foods have someone checking them somewhere to protect us from hazardous substances; we have a right to a trial by jury - no small thing, when you think about it; we can pay our bills or not pay them - there is no longer a poorhouse where a widow is sent to live out her life when her husband dies and she has no means of income - we have a social service safety net, starting with Social Security and Medicare which keeps the wolves at bay.

There are so many "rights" we take for granted, and I'd be willing to bet that the Intelligence service of the government, by whatever name or department it's called, is overseeing every one of them. In short, our freedoms are a result of the continuous service of the NSA.

Oh yes, they're getting too intrusive. Of course they are - what else are they supposed to do with the explosion of data in this electronic age? We bellyache that they didn't foresee the attack on the Twin Towers, even though they were bombarded with incoming threats and warnings at that time, apparently part of the plan, and yet the amount of circulating information in the cyber world then was a fraction of what it is now.

There will be mistakes, and there will be oversights, and there will be way-out-of-line intrusions into private life, but there will also be the Bernie Madoffs brought down, the Jack Abramoffs, and maybe even a few terrorists whose names aren't American.
posted by aryma at 5:46 PM on January 18


We do not know - and, importantly, we should not know all the functions and all the secrets of the NSA.

Yes! Security through obscurity! They know better than us stupid little citizens! Let's not worry our pretty little heads!

FEH.
posted by JHarris at 5:57 PM on January 18 [4 favorites]


There are so many "rights" we take for granted, and I'd be willing to bet that the Intelligence service of the government, by whatever name or department it's called, is overseeing every one of them. In short, our freedoms are a result of the continuous service of the NSA.

I guess you missed the part of our history where our intelligence services were actively suppressing political parties.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:29 PM on January 18 [5 favorites]


We bellyache that they didn't foresee the attack on the Twin Towers

Um they did, there was vast incompetence at very high levels disregarding the threats.

but there will also be the Bernie Madoffs brought down

nothing to do with the NSA

the Jack Abramoffs

nothing to do with the NSA

and maybe even a few terrorists whose names aren't American

nothing to do with the NSA, probably, since they haven't foiled a single plot of substance in the last thirteen years.

Oh, and do clarify, please: what is an 'American' name?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:47 PM on January 18 [8 favorites]


That's one of the reasons I worry about the NSA - they could easily become a major power themselves, with no real oversight from anyone.

That is the current problem not some crazy-pants future scenario.
posted by odinsdream at 7:02 PM on January 18 [8 favorites]


The real story behind the Snowden revelations is that the US government is using surveillance, secrecy, and the catch-all of 'national security' to create an imbalance of power, not only between it and other nation-states, but between the government and its own population.

The surveillance regime Snowden exposed is tantamount to the subversion of democracy and the undermining of a free society, and the revelations call into question the very legitimacy of the ruling class in Washington.

And that is why Obama and Clinton and Feinstein carefully bloviate in front of giant flags about 'breaking oaths' and caring about Americans' privacy, while in the shadows spooks at Fort Meade talk hypothetically about assassinating the man who exposed them. They want to mollify the public with fake change, while striking fear into anyone who follows in Snowden's footsteps.

Meanwhile, if a Mefite speaks for an organisation the USG doesn't like, they will send men with night-vision goggles into his girlfriend's house and threaten him at the airport with prison rape. If a journalist is writing a story they don't like, they will tell the UK government to detain his partner at an airport under terrorism laws and send agents into his home to steal his computer.

The dystopia is here.
posted by anemone of the state at 10:45 PM on January 18 [4 favorites]


"I feel that President Obama should have had more US flags behind him today..."

And also this guy.
posted by themanwho at 1:35 AM on January 19 [2 favorites]


I'd agree that "sane people don't want [to murder someone]", JHarris, but interesting..

John Kiriakou was prosecuted in retaliation for "blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official US government policy". In fact, the CIA had approved his book, making his prosecution all about spin and discouraging others.

In theory, you cannot plead "just following orders" for crimes against humanity like torture. And potentially even officers of the court should make themselves accessory-after-the-fact if they participate in cases designed to enable crimes against humanity.

I'd therefore argue that some DOJ officials involved in Kiriakou prosecution, along with numerous CIA officials, should face crimes against humanity charges for which capital punishment an allowed penalty.

Architect Of Obama's War On Whistleblowers: 'It's Good To Hang An Admiral Once In A While As An Example'
posted by jeffburdges at 4:32 AM on January 19


The Fact That The US Intelligence Community So Readily Admits To Fantasies Of Killing Ed Snowden Shows Why They Can't Be Trusted
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:39 AM on January 19 [6 favorites]


That link, AElfwine Evenstar, is telling in how much contempt these people have for due process. This whole culture seems to have seen a few too many action movies in which the lone hero gets into the fortified stronghold and Gets Things Done.

It's really a pathetic fantasy. Although maybe it should be a little heartening that these fantasies tend to be harbored by those who believe themselves powerless, that is by no means a requirement. And the fact that Snowden undoubtedly knew these people would harbor these kinds of grudges against him when he leaked makes me admire him all the more.

Ya know, if something does mysteriously happen to Snowden, now that these people have said these things, no matter what its real cause is, everyone is going to look in our direction.

I wonder if I can get my time-traveling neighbor to nip ahead a few years and get one of the books that will undoubtedly be written about the affair after Obama leaves office. Because gosh, it'd be really interesting to get some kind of indication of what's gone through Obama's mind through all this, and how a man who was saying all the right things about whistleblowers before his election became the most ruthless prosecutor of them. They must have some pretty strong Kool-Aid in the White House.
posted by JHarris at 10:12 AM on January 19


The depressing part is that even these limited reforms are unlikely to make it through congress. The squawking about the idea of a public advocate is an indication that this will be a tough fight. If we put our hopes in he federal courts we are going to end up like the Cherokee. Our one hope is that the NRA and a coalition of industry lobbiests will force congress to act.
posted by humanfont at 10:46 AM on January 19


The NRA?!
posted by Nelson at 11:24 AM on January 19


Our one hope is that the NRA and a coalition of industry lobbiests will force congress to act.

What do you think the NRA is going to do? They have a good track record of lobbying the shit out of congress whenever any type of sensible gun law comes up, but I am unaware of anything related to NSA spying. Also what industry lobbyists? The tech industry?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:30 AM on January 19


MetaFilter: Our one hope is the NRA
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:56 AM on January 19


Well, this much data collection capability potentially makes the NRA's worst nightmares about gun owner tracking into a reality, so if the NRA actually cared about owner freedom (as opposed to serving the manufacturers interests), they would be throwing everything they had into fighting this stuff.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:39 PM on January 19


I mean, do they honestly think the NSA wouldn't also be using these tools to look for signs of weapons stockpiling in the US? That's pretty much right in the wheelhouse for intelligence agencies. And honestly, as much as I mistrust and worry about right wing extremism, I'm less worried about them than I am about these programs.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:00 PM on January 19


(And I'm worried most of all about any flavor of extremist coming into power with these programs still in place.)
posted by saulgoodman at 1:37 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]


Since no one's saying it out loud, I will. My concern over the NRA crack is that it's proposing civil war. That a bunch of armed militiamen in America threatening violence will somehow "force congress to act" on NSA data collection. That's a dangerous suggestion for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is how naive it is.

I don't think NRA or right wingers in general are going to get too upset about NSA. The assumption is that the government is mostly spying on foreigners, or maybe a few dangerous Americans, but not good white Patriots.
posted by Nelson at 1:42 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]


The NRA contingent and right-wing opposition to gun control is a contingency plan for putting down a revolution- there is nobody else more comfortable with violence. The government doesn't need to slaughter the opposition itself- it can let the gun nuts do it.
posted by anemone of the state at 1:52 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


I must clarify, because I recognize how badly I wrote the last comment regarding the NRA. I don't mean to advocate or support the idea of armed uprising as any kind of solution. What I should have said is that the NRA and its memebership are extremely concerned about domestic surveillance and privacy (women's wombs excluded). the NRA and ACLU are both in the same lawsuit against the NSA records collection program
posted by humanfont at 2:33 PM on January 19 [6 favorites]


I have a feeling they won't be so concerned when a Republican is in the White House again.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:37 PM on January 19


Memories of Stasi color Germans’ view of U.S. surveillance programs
posted by jeffburdges at 7:48 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


The NRA and ACLU are both in the same lawsuit against the NSA records collection program

Man, if they win that one we are going to see some of the most awkward high fives in recorded history...
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:37 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Martin Luther King Jr., COINTELPRO and the Normalization of Bulk Surveillance in Post-9/11 America
posted by homunculus at 1:35 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Now That The NSA Has Made It The Norm, Total Surveillance During The Sochi Olympic Games Is No Longer Noteworthy
posted by jeffburdges at 4:51 AM on January 21


Stewart Skewers Obama’s NSA Speech: Privacy Is Important!… Unless We Decide It Isn’t!
posted by homunculus at 4:37 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Surveillance watchdog concludes metadata program is illegal, “should end”: Congress-approved board says NSA program “lacks a viable legal foundation."
posted by homunculus at 9:58 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Obama goal for quick revamp of NSA program may be unworkable, some U.S. officials fear
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:30 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Time: In the latest indication of a growing libertarian wing of the GOP, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution Friday calling for an investigation into the “gross infringement” of Americans’ rights by National Security Agency programs that were revealed by Edward Snowden.

The resolution also calls on on Republican members of Congress to enact amendments to the Section 215 law that currently allows the spy agency to collect records of almost every domestic telephone call. The amendment should make clear that “blanket surveillance of the Internet activity, phone records and correspondence — electronic, physical, and otherwise — of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court,” the resolution reads.

posted by Drinky Die at 2:58 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


On Children’s Website, N.S.A. Puts a Furry, Smiley Face on Its Mission
posted by homunculus at 6:36 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


"Kids, color in this picture of a terrorist who looks like your neighbor! When you're done, there's no need to send it to us; we'll know if you did it right!"
posted by JHarris at 12:18 AM on January 25


European Court of Human Rights to fast-tracks case against GCHQ
posted by jeffburdges at 3:04 AM on January 25


There is a quick summary from TechCrunch here for folks who might not read the individual sources :
The Obama Administration’s Frustrating NSA Week

“We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation. Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.” (WaPo, ArsTechnica)

“Indiscriminate collection, storage, and processing of unprecedented amounts of personal information chill free speech and invite many types of abuse, ranging from mission creep to identity theft. These are not hypothetical problems; they have occurred many times in the past.” (CDT)
posted by jeffburdges at 5:29 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


Tor core dev @puellavulnerata: "You'd think #NSA shipment 'interdiction' would be more subtle... pic.twitter.com/KVCscLbdgG"
posted by anemone of the state at 9:22 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Ideally, Andrea Shepard should've waited until the device left VA before posting that because the NSA might now alter whatever backdoors they installed. What if an NSA agent pushed the "hardware backdoor" button simply because he saw a female name without realizing that she is tech savvy enough to find their modifications.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:59 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


It would be neat if one of these devices could be caught in the wild. Provided they can't toast their own transistors to self-destruct, a ROM dump might be interesting.
posted by anemone of the state at 6:49 PM on January 26


John Kiriakou was prosecuted in retaliation for "blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program and for telling the public that torture was official US government policy". In fact, the CIA had approved his book, making his prosecution all about spin and discouraging others.

Bureau of Prisons Considers CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s ‘Letters from Loretto’ on Firedoglake to Be Dangerous
posted by homunculus at 11:09 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


European Court of Human Rights to fast-tracks case against GCHQ

Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer: Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity'
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on January 29


In rare move, terrorism suspect challenges core of warrantless snooping law. Gov't notified Jamshid Muhtorov in October 2013 that it spied on him.
posted by homunculus at 12:09 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Federal consumer bureau data-mining hundreds of millions of consumer credit card accounts, mortgages
posted by jeffburdges at 6:58 AM on January 31


Submit Cartoons on NSA Surveillance and Win $1000
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on February 4


The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares.
posted by homunculus at 4:18 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Guilty plea in Fox News leak case shows why Espionage Act prosecutions are unfair to reporters' sources
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


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