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July 1, 2015 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Yesterday a Fisa court judge issued final authorisation to a programme banned after Congress banned bulk collection of telephone data in the USA Freedom Act.
Today The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system.
posted by adamvasco (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Finally, for once and for all, surely this...
posted by nevercalm at 7:10 PM on July 1, 2015

Holy mother of all things spooky...I'm still reading through stuff, and I'm just astonished at the vampire squid (to borrow a phrase) that the NSA has become, or perhaps has always been.
posted by dejah420 at 7:55 PM on July 1, 2015

I don't claim to be especially prescient in this regard, but when it was announced that the mass spying was going to end as the result of a kind of passive-aggressive failure of the legislature to renew rather than an actual mandate to cease and desist, I was rather sceptical. And now an administrative court has decided it can continue after all -- how convenient.

What's important in NSA spying (let's not mince words) is not how it's accomplished (and the FPP article is quite vague on details) but the fact it goes on at all, in an extra-legal milieu.

The fact that this capability is being used to advance US commercial and diplomatic interests, rather than strictly security concerns, should not be a surprise to any rational adult.
posted by oheso at 6:48 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's also a follow-up with some interesting (terrifying?) technical details.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:27 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Me: "Just imagine what a tool all of this data will be for our enemies when the security of the database is breached!"
Them: "Oh no. That'll never happen"
Me: *points at Snowden*
Them: "Uh.. again. Never happen again."
posted by eclectist at 8:55 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Snowden? What? China just hacked our personnel files, without any one's help. Corporations hack us constantly for personal gain, locating our last nickels and dimes, harvesting creative concepts, plotting the algorithm to harvest the sweat from our threadbare clothes. Oh please. How much do they pay to push Snowden accusations so as to deflect genuine questions about core competencies of entities entrusted to mine us for info and at the same time, only broker the info in house?

Your sales numbers are down, please speak with our lobster clawed personnel management robot, please wear no heavy jewelry about the neck for the appointment. Where shall we send the burial allotment?
posted by Oyéah at 11:30 AM on July 2, 2015

So in the the John Oliver "Dick Pics" thread there was commentary that it was sensationalising. Here is an equivalent straight story with 8 comments.
Surveillance is an issue, but I wonder if posts against it are not just going to be sweeped up and added to a list at some time in the future. Talk about a chilling effect. Post now and future totalitarian states will scan back for your comments. A totalitarian Roko's basilisk.
For the record, I always supported the state, and am in no way affiliated with these clowns!
posted by bystander at 6:49 AM on July 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

You know I was thinking that as I posted. I wonder how many people will comment. Because now we know the extent of what goes on I guess anyone who posts here will go on a list and maybe they are on another list or one of their friends are so they are now on two more lists et al. And I guess if you are young and growing your career in America you think ok maybe I am paranoid but I don't think I will express my thoughts whatever my rights to do so might be.
Me I dont really give a fuck. I'm 64 and if I turn up oneday to fly to the states and they say sorry no flight for you; I think I will probably shrug, spit and go home as I don't really want to go there again anyway which is kind of a shame when I think about it.
I won't dance when the empire implodes, I have too many friends there I care about but i'm not going to cry either.
posted by adamvasco at 8:08 AM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

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