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Facebook and Microsoft Disclose Government Requests For User Data

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the know-when-to-walk-away-know-when-to-run dept.

Facebook 140

wiredmikey writes "Facebook and Microsoft say they received thousands of requests for information from U.S. authorities last year but are prohibited from listing a separate tally for security-related requests or secret court orders related to terror probes. The two companies have come under heightened scrutiny since reports leaked of a vast secret Internet surveillance program U.S. authorities insist targets only foreign terror suspects and is needed to prevent attacks. Facebook said Friday it had received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data affecting 18,000 to 19,000 accounts during the second half of last year and Microsoft said it had received 6,000 to 7,000 requests affecting 31,000 to 32,000 accounts during the same period." Meanwhile, an article at the Guardian is suggesting the government may have better targets to pursue than Edward Snowden. "[U.S. director of national intelligence James Clapper] has come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country, yet a review of Booz Allen's own history suggests that the government should be investigating his former employer, rather than the whistleblower."

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Treason (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017627)

"[U.S. director of national intelligence James Clapper] has come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country"

No. The people responsible for spying on American citizens are the ones who have betrayed their country and the public interest. They're the ones who should be caught, tried, and imprisoned. Government officials who violate the US constitution are traitors. People like Snowden are heroes.

Re:Treason (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017711)

But what about 9/11 ? This country can't afford to lose another brave 2,000 in this war, or any more buildings.

Re:Treason (2)

guruevi (827432) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017733)

And given the almost religious "patriotic" response after 9/11 within the US I would say, 2,000 more "patriots" would gladly give their lives in order for the government not to be oppressing the rest of the world like this. Right?

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017757)

You don't understand, you can't be 100% safe and also 100% private.

The only think that's important is to never, ever, not ever have another 9/11 ever again. Remember the shoa- I mean 2,000

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017793)

I think you mean 20,000 or are you a traitor and a bigot?

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017827)

20 million died on 9/11, get it right goy

Re:Treason (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020487)

20 million NYC sewer rats

Re:Treason (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017797)

I think you can find a compromise where the government doesn't need to monitor everything we do. Take the Boston bombers. Russia warned us and yet we still didn't target any of the communications they made that the investigators later found on their phones and computers. What a fantastic system, eh? Don't let the government fool you into giving up your privacy. Remember a few months ago when they wanted you to give up your guns? What's next...

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018131)

So your solution is to rely on Russia to do our intelligence work for us?

Oh, I know what you mean, but you didn't think this through. Russia is monitoring their own people, that's how they knew about this guy. The older brother went to Chechnya, and they picked up on him.

That all works if you start traveling to foreign parts for training, but what happens when you are trained in the US and have never set foot in another country? Like the younger brother, or self radicalized Muslims in the US?

You have to have targets before you start targeting, and you can't just sit and wait for someone else to tell you about them.

Re:Treason (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018761)

He's saying that they were monitored and it didn't help. So it seems like more monitoring isn't likely to help more.

Re:Treason (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020231)

And don't forget, the info Google and Facebook has posted about the number of requests and how many users info they divulged doesn't include info from FISA warrants, because...they are secret. The recipient is ordered to turn over the info and to not tell anyone that they even received a FISA warrant.

Zuck doesn't want to post to Facebook from behind bars.

Re:Treason (0, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019149)

I'll get hate for pointing this out but then again common sense seems to be poison to the politically correct, but if most of your troubles are coming from one group, how about keeping more of the group from coming over and keeping a closer eye on the ones you got, how about that?

I'm sure the PC crowd will scream racial profiling and wet their panties but if most of your trouble is coming from the a certain demographic then why in the fuck should we waste 4 times the effort just to make sure the groups which AREN'T causing shit get as much or more scrutiny? Then is as fucking retarded as blocking the law in AZ from stopping Latinos looking for illegals by screaming racial profiling...what kind of illegals you think you are gonna get coming over a border with Mexico, Russians?

The simple fact is the rest of the religions have by and large grown the fuck up and the dangerous nutballs within those religions (like the WBC for example) are treated as what they are, dangerous nutballs, instead of being sheltered and aided as we have seen time and time again with the mosques preaching jihad. And before i hear that "religion of peace" bullshit I leave you with some of the words of the Koran and remind everyone unlike the other religions that have denounced the nastier parts of their books like pro slavery and racism passages again this has NOT happened yet with Islam..

Quran 4:89: They (infidels) desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper. Quran 8:12: Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers; Quran 2:191: kill the disbelievers wherever we find them Quran 22:19-22: for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods. Quran 8:12: Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes. Quran 8:7: Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words: Wipe the infidels out to the last. Quran 8:59: The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorize them. They are your enemy and Allah's enemy. Quran 8:60: Prepare against them whatever arms and cavalry you can muster that you may strike terror in the enemies of Allah, and others besides them not known to you. Quran 9.29 Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. Quran 47:4: Strike off the heads of the disbelievers and, after making a wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives.

Re:Treason (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019985)

I'll get hate for pointing this out but then again common sense seems to be poison to the politically correct, but if most of your troubles are coming from one group, how about keeping more of the group from coming over and keeping a closer eye on the ones you got, how about that?

You do realize that the majority of mass killings and other terrorist incidents in the U.S. have been the result of the actions of right-wing white male Christians, right?

Re:Treason (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020501)

You do realize that the majority of mass killings and other terrorist incidents in the U.S. have been the result of the actions of right-wing white male Christians, right?

You obviously mean the left-wing fascist regime in Washington DC.

Re:Treason (3)

bkmoore (1910118) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020205)

Pragmatic response would be, the best information about threats would come from people in "that group." If you want access to useful information on which to build good intelligence, you would need to have good relationships with "that group." Or you could be like Israel, and put "them" behind a fence, and watch your reliable information sources dry up and your cost of collecting information rise exponentially. The Maginot Line defense seldom works in the real world.

Re: Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019563)

You sound like an NSA troll

Re:Treason (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018313)

Russian warnings can't all be followed up on. They probably gave a warning on every single Chechnyan. When you're inundated with data you will miss the important data, but will be accused of being incompetent after the fact.

Re:Treason (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018905)

Now you're making excuses. If we can't act on the kind of proof the Russians provided then why even bother to collect so much data? You collect data knowing you can act on it...

Re:Treason (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019725)

I'm commenting on the Russian attitude towards their ethnic minority groups.

Re:Treason (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018485)

Dumb thing is - people forget that there were plenty of clues noticed before 9/11 with which, if it weren't for bureaucracy, the plot might very well have been prevented. That's with the laws that were already in place at the time.

Re:Treason (5, Insightful)

bkmoore (1910118) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020163)

We had ample warning prior to 9-11. The FBI was even keeping track of Mohammad Atah while he was taking flying lessons in Florida. It was the higher-ups in D.C. who didn't take the threat seriously and refused to act on this information.

Another example, the shoe bomber, who was thwarted at the last minute by passengers. His father had grown suspicious about his son, and warned the U.S. embassy in his country. Another real lead that was not followed up on.

After every successful terrorist attack, there is always some soul searching about how this attack could have been prevented. I don't see how spying on Americans by default would have changed things on 9-11. In the end, people have to make decisions based on the incomplete information that is available and chose which leads could be true threats and which ones are probably not. That's where the break down in U.S. security is; effectively interpreting the information available. Not that there is not enough information in the first place.

If the U.S. really wants to be safe from Muslim extremists, the U.S. should focus on building better relations with the Muslim community. The first step would be to stop betraying those values we preach to others. The second step would be to improve access for young people int he middle east to educational opportunities in the U.S. through an expanded visa and scholarship program. The third step would be to improve primary and secondary education in the middle east. I know schools aren't as sexy as an armed Global Hawk drone. But the best information comes from people on the ground who are in contact with potential terrorists. If the U.S. were seen in a more positive light, we would get better information as a result. Lastly, intervening in Syria and taking sides in yet another middle-eastern civil war, is just plain stupid.

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44020509)

We had ample warning prior to 9-11

Ron Paul predicted 9/11... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzbEWYi_CI8 [youtube.com]

Re:Treason (3, Informative)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018291)

And the 25,000 brave drivers who died on the road, who can forget them. That's 2000 a month. We should outlaw automobiles.

Re:Treason (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019383)

And the 25,000 brave drivers who died on the road, who can forget them. That's 2000 a month. We should outlaw automobiles.

Terrorism doesn't even make the top ten causes of death in the USA. I say we think about spying on and data mining every single American when it does make the top ten or even the top one hundred and in the meantime we get to work on fixing the things we SHOULD be scared of (see below). The reason given for intercepting and recording all of our communications is obviously a con and yet so many are going for it so easily. I guess the fact that our government is spying on us exactly as a totalitarian govt. would do is a lot to take in. It's much easier to deal with if we make believe that it's done for our safety.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death
  Heart disease: 597,689
  Cancer: 574,743
  Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
  Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
  Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
  Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
  Diabetes: 69,071
  Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
  Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
  Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/FASTATS/lcod.htm

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44020517)

OMG!!! the terrorists are causing heart attacks! quick... bomb Nepal cos they look a bit weird!

Re:Treason (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018505)

But what about 9/11 ? This country can't afford to lose another brave 2,000 in this war, or any more buildings.

Oooh, is that what passes for insightful nowdays?

US Casualties in Iraq -- 4488
US Casualties in Afghanistan -- 2220

If this country cannot afford to lose more people in wars, maybe they should stay out of wars?

Re:Treason (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018677)

I guess Irony means a description of a Ferric object right?

Re:Treason (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020483)

Not necessarily.

"If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron." - Spider Robinson 1977

Re:Treason (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018999)

Red herring and frankly a lame excuse, we lose more people to car wrecks in your average year and if they really gave a rat's ass about that we wouldn't have a border so pointless you could drive a nuke through the thing and which is largely controlled by drug cartels.

Nope if 9/11 wouldn't have happened it would have been something else, from COINTELPRO to Iran Contra the government has been getting nastier by the year, 9/11 simply gave them a way to slam on the accelerator and get away with doing it all at once instead of a little here and a little there. It no coincidence that the USA no longer has any left wing, just right and extreme right, the elite learned from the mistakes of Nixon and bought up all the MSM so that anyone who isn't already on the payroll might as well be invisible.

I do have to say it did give me a bit of schadenfreude to see so many have their bubbles burst by finding or Mr "Yes we can!" was really "Yes we can! (But I won't) " while it amazes me how many sign the little petitions and still buy the bullshit when its ALL just kayfabe. Its like what Ventura said after being in politics, that just like pro wrestling when the camera is on you play up how much you hate the other guy and when the camera is off? you are both having lunch together and laughing about it.

So I'm sure I'll get hate for saying this by those that still by the bullshit but I hate to break the news to ya, but you CAN NOT fix a corrupted system by working within that system, why? Because its corrupted silly! You can sign your little petitions and wave your little cardboard signs in the free speech zone 20 blocks from the cameras, they will just laugh and keep doing what they are doing. After all what are you gonna do, fire them? Then they get a cushy lobbying job and one of their frat bros get to play politician for a few years, big deal.

Re:Treason (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020399)

But what about 9/11 ? This country can't afford to lose another brave 2,000 in this war, or any more buildings.

I've never seen a Score:0, Insightful before. Thank you for the experience. I'll use my Mod points tomorrow.

Re:Treason (3)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020481)

This country can't afford to lose another brave 2,000 in this war

if those 2,000 brave fools hadn't signed up in the first place they wouldn't have died

and for anyone who thinks that without the brave fools terrorists would take over the world... wake the fuck up and get a clue dipshits... when you invade and blow up other countries, you piss people off and they fly planes into your buildings... so... stop blowing people up and you won't need to worry... it's not rocket science for fuck's sake

Re:Treason (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018243)

o. The people responsible for spying on American citizens are the ones who have betrayed their country and the public interest.

I doubt they see it that way. And in any case, it's easy to blame somebody else... or a group of people... but let me ask: Did you vote in the last election? Did you write to your congress critters at any point during the long procession of decisions that has led us to this point? Held up a sign on a street corner? Had a meaningful discussion with a stranger about this? Met with anyone to discuss the problem? Democracy doesn't run very well on apathy... it's rather like pouring diesel into a gas tank... the results aren't pretty and the engine usually dies as a result.

They're the ones who should be caught, tried, and imprisoned.

Might I suggest that since we already have the highest incarceration rate of any country on the planet we start looking to solutions to social problems that don't involve sending people to our criminal education centers? Because that's pretty much what prison is: It's a place you go to meet like-minded people and learn all kinds of shit you wouldn't otherwise learn... and are then normalized to the idea that what you did was okay. And then you're released back into society where you're promptly told you have few housing or employment options, no friends, and very often just the clothes on your back. Oh... and a fresh new education.

. Government officials who violate the US constitution are traitors.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom â" go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!" -- Samuel Adams

If you aren't participating, you're part of the problem. As part of the problem, you must be a traitor. As a traitor, you should be executed. (grabs a big rock) So, how do you want to die, sinner?! ... In other news, extreme statements like calling people "traitors" can result in extreme reactions, like stoning to death. Of course, a more civilized discourse would avoid using words like "traitor" to describe government officials carrying out their official duties, and perhaps might focus instead on the actual constitutional definition of what a traitor is... since you did invoke the Constitution afterall. Since you're obviously unfamiliar with the relevant passage...

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

People like Snowden are heroes.

Snowden himself disagrees with your assessment.

Re:Treason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018995)

I doubt they see it that way.

Of course they don't. That's part of the problem.

Democracy doesn't run very well on apathy... it's rather like pouring diesel into a gas tank... the results aren't pretty and the engine usually dies as a result.

Democracy doesn't run very well on apathy, but apathy is itself the product of a failed democracy. You're deluding yourself if you think apathy suffices to explain the sorry state in which we find ourselves. Perhaps some reading [google.com] is in order?

Might I suggest that since we already have the highest incarceration rate of any country on the planet we start looking to solutions to social problems that don't involve sending people to our criminal education centers?

America's criminal justice system is certainly a mess. We do need to look for solutions to our social problems that don't involve sending people to prison, but let's not allow those who break the law in the name of the law go unpunished in the meantime.

Of course, a more civilized discourse would avoid using words like "traitor" to describe government officials carrying out their official duties, and perhaps might focus instead on the actual constitutional definition of what a traitor is... since you did invoke the Constitution afterall. Since you're obviously unfamiliar with the relevant passage...

I have no delusions about these people ever being tried and convicted of treason. I do, however, dispute the claim that conducting large-scale surveillance of American citizens is one of the official duties of our government officials, and that in doing so they have not betrayed their country and its people.

Snowden himself disagrees with your assessment.

Which is, of course, irrelevant.

Re:Treason (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019063)

When it comes to heroes, it's time for a reality check. A huge number of people who the public would call heroes - whether it's the citizens who ran towards the building that collapsed recently in Philadelphia, or the first responders to 9/11, or Sully, the pilot who landed a plane on the Hudson safely - don't consider themselves heroes. There's already a few disparate terms that describe it in media, from hero self-deprecation to the "humble hero". I can't find one that describes this phenomenon in real life, but there's a ton of people out there who fit those types of descriptions, so be real - whether someone considers themselves a hero or not is almost completely independent from their actual hero-or-not status.

Re:Treason (4, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019919)

People like Snowden are heroes

Snowden himself disagrees with your assessment.

Charles Barkley doesn't think he's a role model either, but guess what... he is. When people do extraordinary things, there is a significant chance that millions of people will hold such actions in high regard and elevate said person to 'role model' or 'hero' status. Snowden is a hero for the simple fact that he ousted illegal activity by a government organization. If the actions weren't illegal, but were just 'super secret', Snowden would be a traitor and should hang. But no, all he did was risk his own life to expose quite possibly the worst betrayal of trust the U.S. government has ever bestowed upon its citizens.

downmod! parent is dupe! (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019301)

AC parent (modded +5 Insightful) is a dupe [slashdot.org] which...

1. AC, first post
2. copy/paste dupes

adds up to BOT...

parent is a bot, or a paid commentor, or a very misguided troll...plz mod down

Re:Treason (2)

sackofdonuts (2717491) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019735)

Have to agree. Obama is actually complicit with all this so should be brought up on charges. In fact Obama more than others since he explicitly states he will uphold the U.S. Constitution when he takes the job.

Guardian article is a reach (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017631)

Snowden's career at Booz Allen, of course, is highly relevant. Clapper's, not so much. Clapper retired from the military as a Lt General and worked for Booz Allen for two years, then moved on - so what. Clapper was a "Vice President" at Booz Allen - do you know how many Vice Presidents there are at a management consulting firm the size of Booz Allen? It's title inflation for a middle management role.

Then Booz Allen was involved in scattered other irregularities and questionable dealings which are unfortunately typical for companies of that size, that have major dealings with the Pentagon and other agencies of the Federal government.

Like a lot of folks on Wall Street, the Guardian sees two points and draws a trend line. Only it's more like one point so far. Snowden.

Re:Guardian article is a reach (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017657)

Then Booz Allen was involved in scattered other irregularities and questionable dealings which are unfortunately typical for companies of that size, that have major dealings with the Pentagon and other agencies of the Federal government.

And you don't see a problem with that?

Re:Guardian article is a reach (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017723)

Look up GE's wikipedia article, you'll see cases of fraud, accounting irregularities, tax avoidance, lots of industrial activities that resulted in Superfund sites, etc. Not saying this is good or should be ignored, but I'm afraid it's typical. If the government only dealt with companies with a pristine record, they'd be dealing with lots of startups w/o track records.

Re:Guardian article is a reach (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017689)

Like a lot of folks on Wall Street, the Guardian sees two points and draws a trend line. Only it's more like one point so far. The US Government intentionally, across multiple departments & agencies, with malice aforethought, massively violating the US Constitution and the Rights of it's citizens in nearly every way possible. Well, except house troops in our homes. We can give them that. For now..

FTFY

Strat

money siphoning (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017717)

well.. if nothing else it's highly relevant that the programs work pretty much as a funds siphoning device(in addition to being secret, useless and rights infringing).

you would think that if they had any brains they would legislate such programs to be done with governmental employees only, no? wouldn't it make sense that only military/police/nsa personnel would be allowed to work on the project? 200k/year for technicians! imagine how much the company was billing the government for that 200k - put it at mildly at 400k. for a technician in a role they shouldn't be buying from a private contractor in the first place in a project that should not be touched by private contractor hands in the first place.. now it runs on basis of "hey here's xxx million - do what you please with it! hire friends! give stupid support contracts!".

you know what's worse than a spy program? a spy program ran by dicks for money. it's as stupid as hiring your own veterans as private contractors for military operations.

Re:money siphoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018715)

For starters he wasn't paid 200K, he LIED. He also LIED about his employment history. He is almost certainly LYING about the levels of access he had. In addition, at the salaries they give government employees, where would you find them with the right skill sets? The GS scale is tough to live on to say the least in places with high cost of living - say Hawaii and DC. You know Congress has also capped the numbers of employees that various agencies can have right? Did you also know that when it's all added up Government employees cost MORE than contractors on average? Did you know that when you're done with a contractor you can tell them to leave, now try firing an employee of the government. Ha! Good luck with that last one. Government employees haven't gotten a raise in something like 2 years and many upper level GS slots are frozen I'm told, do you want to work for them? Contractors in the DC area aren't getting raises either BTW so don't get too excited, benefits are also being chopped. When the economy suffers everyone suffers.

I think this program smells a bit but I'm also certain that Snowden is at the very least exaggerating a great deal about his accesses if not outright LYING and he's sucking you right in. Funny how the story is spinning away from facts and into mud slinging about a contracting company isn't it?

Re: money siphoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019331)

How do we know he lied? Because Booze Allen said so? They could be telling the truth, or they could be attempting to discredit him. With out seeing pay stubs I am unwilling to pass judgement so quickly.

Re:Guardian article is a reach (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017883)

The Guardian is full of shit. They have nothing. If they did have anything valuable, they would be shut down and the offices emptied out. The much more interesting story right now is who is the father of Wendi Deng's children. There you will see many pieces of a big puzzle fall into place.

Re:Guardian article is a reach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018411)

Sorry he's not a troll, he's RIGHT. Not only that but Snowden was on LEAVE for 3 of the 10 weeks he worked at Booz Allen. Hell his indoctrination for the company would've taken another week. Something is very very fishy about what this guy says. Considering his inflated salary claim and other claims about access that don't quite make sense I cannot help but wonder where exactly he got the data he claims to have leaked.

Booz Allen has dozens upon dozens of vice this that or the other, Clapper's past bothers me less than Snowden's. A company the size of Booz is going to have fuck ups, they're going to get smacked, and if they screw up badly enough they lose big money - they're staffed with people. When that Air Force idiot brought over that data he screwed the pooch and it should've been reported immediately but wasn't which was the problem. Guess who DID report it in the end - yup Booz Allen themselves!

Look at just about any other BIG firm and you will find the same crap, the line that this report draws is tenuous at best.

Treason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017651)

"[U.S. director of national intelligence James Clapper] has come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country"

No. It's the people responsible for spying on American citizens who have betrayed their country and the public interest. They are the ones who should be tried and punished for treason. People like Snowden are heroes. It's those who violate the US Constitution who are traitors.

Silicon Valley Elite Tech (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017661)

Barack Obama says: "Let's toast our agreement, spying on everyone ..." see the time they did it together with Silicon Valley Elite Tech http://goo.gl/WTiGW

I don't understand this (5, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017665)

"[U.S. director of national intelligence James Clapper] has come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country"

I simply cannot wrap my head around this. How is it in public's interest to be constantly surveiled in violation of the bill of rights?

Re:I don't understand this (5, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017719)

Wait. I thought Snowden was a liar. So how could he be a traitor to [USA] public interest?

Re:I don't understand this (1, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017809)

blackwhite

Re:I don't understand this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019259)

It's called doublethink.
These idiots read 1984 and used it as a guideline for everything they do.

Re:I don't understand this (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017831)

I simply cannot wrap my head around this. How is it in public's interest to be constantly surveiled in violation of the bill of rights?

It gets better. Mr. Clapper said, under oath and before Congress, that Snowden "didn't have the access" necessary to make his claims. He then goes on to state that he's a traitor. Well... he's lying about one of these two things: Either Snowden had access to classified information and is a credible source... or he didn't have access, in which case he can't be a traitor, because he's not giving away government secrets, since he never had them to begin with.

I suspect this is the NSA version of "We don't have a problem and we're working to fix it as quickly as possible," and by fixing, of course we mean throwing someone under the bus. Since Snowden is at the bottom of the food chain, we'll start there, and continue feeding people to the lions at progressively higher levels of the bureauacracy until the "problem" goes away. And the problem of course isn't that the NSA is doing this, but that they got pants'd by some kid. Remember, it's not wrong if it's legal! -_-

Re:I don't understand this (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018337)

It's the NSA version of saying what is necessary to appease the congress. Normally they only have to deal with a very tiny committee of inner circle friends, like Feinstein. But every so often some of the sheep in congress wake up and start asking questions, and it makes the security people nervous.

Re:I don't understand this (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019087)

Well... he's lying about one of these two things: Either Snowden had access to classified information and is a credible source... or he didn't have access, in which case he can't be a traitor, because he's not giving away government secrets, since he never had them to begin with.

Snowden made a large list of claims. If just one of them is true, or even partially true, he can both not have the access he claims to have and still be considered a traitor. I like what Snowden did, but I'm pointing out a really obvious flaw in your logic.

Re:I don't understand this (2)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020057)

Well... he's lying about one of these two things: Either Snowden had access to classified information and is a credible source... or he didn't have access, in which case he can't be a traitor, because he's not giving away government secrets, since he never had them to begin with.

Snowden made a large list of claims. If just one of them is true, or even partially true, he can both not have the access he claims to have and still be considered a traitor. I like what Snowden did, but I'm pointing out a really obvious flaw in your logic.

The really obvious flaw in your logic is that it requires more than the claim to be true. If I claim the US is secretly recording the content of conversations between Americans (based on my personal speculation), that doesn't make me a traitor, even if it's true. On the other hand, I'm arguably a traitor if the government gives me access to that information and I then betray my NDA/oath/security clearance and reveal it. He really did need to have the access he claims, or it's not really treason, because he's not revealing anything, he's just speculating and saying frankly what speculators on Slashdot have been saying for years. They don't all become traitors if their speculation turns out to be correct.

Re:I don't understand this (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017889)

I simply cannot wrap my head around this. How is it in public's interest to be constantly surveiled in violation of the bill of rights?

That is what happens when the people in power become convinced of their own righteousness. It is not an evil plot, it is simply the natural result of fact that basically no one ever thinks of themselves as the bad guy. So if they are the good guys, then whatever they do must also be good. They convince themselves that any harmful side-effects truly are minimal (easy to do when the side-effects don't impact them directly) and are a necessary cost for the greater good.

Re:I don't understand this (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018347)

Problem comes when their job changes from "I must stop terrorism" into "I must stop terrorism at any cost".

Re:I don't understand this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018123)

Apparently you don't understand. Most of the bill of rights was has long been nibbled at, even in the beginning our more perfect union we passed a sedition act to quell speech.

Heck, search for "Civil Asset Forfeiture" and be horrified.

Re:I don't understand this (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018359)

Usually the courts determine after the fact that the actions were unconstitutional. I suspect it will also happen in this case, if we wait long enough.

Re:I don't understand this (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018435)

Usually the courts determine after the fact that the actions were unconstitutional. I suspect it will also happen in this case, if we wait long enough.

Because that worked so well with the telcos.

Re:I don't understand this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019939)

Telcos are a beast of our making. We socialized their build out, so we pretty much paid for all their seed money to get them going, federally. Then locally, state by state, each telco is granted a monopoly in an area (this is before cell phones). Then we passed a law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act or CALEA which mandates the Telcos track and monitor all the information, for such a time that law enforcement will need it. And allow the ability for the Government to Tap the lines, when ever the need it. Then in the 2000s we grant them blanket immunity for pretty much anything they could ever do wrong when it comes to government tapping and poof. A system the Stasi would be jealous of.

Snowden.. (2)

houbou (1097327) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017677)

did the right thing. The truth is, I believe that MANY more Americans would be in favor of the government sifting through the information IF they were informed of such processes. The problem is transparency, or the lack of it actually. Covertly operating as they are doing, to me, is the real issue. That being said, I personally think that regardless of transparency, I've always assumed Big Brother was watching more than it should, but I've never let it bothered me because it would be just much ado about nothing.

Re:Snowden.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017725)

The "real issue" will not be a single one. What has bothered me most so far is that the UK and USA have exchanged this kind of "intelligence" as the means to work around their laws about spying on their own citizens. In my view, they went out of their way to infringe the spirit of the law while retaining the excuse that the letter of the law does not prevent them from copying each other's intelligence files.

Re:Snowden.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017789)

A head in the sand argument to this spying doesn't hold water, the "I don't do anything wrong, so no problem" argument. It is a problem for everyone simply because people you support can be spyed on, and the information can then be used against them. If a republican government is in power, they can spy on the democrats for example. Objectors to any government policy can be spyed on and their cause undermined. This is a massive problem for America. Sitting here in Australia the media is reporting this quite differently to what you're seeing in America. There is no "traitor vs hero" reporting, just the facts of US surveillance and a sprinkling of respect tor the rebellious American, Edward Snowden.

read carefully (4, Informative)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017695)

If you read carefully, saying that specific requests have come in for 20000 users doesn't mean that there aren't other mechanisms in place to collect a lot more data without specific requests. For example, the NSA could be collecting data where Facebook's servers connect to the Internet. Past reports and disclosures on NSA activities (as well as the activities of other spy agencies) suggest that this is likely routine practice. Facebook doesn't even deny this, and of course even if they did, it's questionable whether such a denial was meaningful. In addition, it's clear that the NSA and other agencies actively collect data from all open sources that they can. And, of course, you have to assume that the Utah data center is going to be used to store something, and it ain't gonna be data obtained from just 20000 Facebook-related requests, because those would fit on my hard drive.

So I don't know what these disclosures are supposed to accomplish. They really don't change anything. At the root of the problem is really that there isn't enough transparency and that people have lost trust. What we need and should demand is complete legal, fiscal, and legislative transparency on our spy organizations, what they are legally allowed to do, who sets limits on them, and how much we're spending on it. I don't see why understanding in such general terms what these organizations do should hinder their ability to catch terrorists. And if such disclosures really interfere with their capabilities, that suggests by itself that they are doing something they shouldn't be doing.

Re:read carefully (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017817)

the 20 000 requests are just normal requests for "normal" crimes.

the requests for crimes to be decided later as such, and taps for them, are secret and it's a treason to tell how they are performed since it's a "critical tool".

naturally that kind of thing existing can only be a pr disaster sooner or later. since people can't believe what the companies are saying since the company personnel would be performing a crime if they admitted to it. however as another catch they're as public companies required to inform their investors of things that might affect their shareholder value and giving taps to nsa might have an effect on that too.. it's a stupid system that nobody thought really through before implementing the legal framework for such superduper restraints and multiple levels of secrecy about what is secret.

so it's a bit like gitmo in legal sense, something that shouldn't be but which can't be labelled as illegal because executive branch can do nothing illegal. actually quite a lot like gitmo, driving head first into a moral and legal dead end and then just not doing anything about it whilst incurring extreme on going costs for little benefit.

Re:read carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017825)

While an amazing way to fix this problem stop using Facebook it's stupid

Re:read carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017901)

Google,Microsoft,and Facebook want to produce these counts so that they can try to distance themselves from the outrage over wholesale surveillance by saying that they're only responding to specific requests. Notice that AT&T and Verizon have remained silent on the issue. Draw whatever conclusions from that that make the most sense to you. I'm concluding that for mass surveillance, the NSA captures phone traffic with corporate cooperation, and captures TCP/IP traffic without corporate cooperation, but that they capture it either way.

Re:read carefully (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017963)

doesn't mean that there aren't other mechanisms in place to collect a lot more data without specific requests. For example, the NSA could be collecting data where Facebook's servers connect to the Internet.

Apparently SSL encryption at all of the large internet corps is handled by dedicated front-ends - and the network between the SSL front-ends and the real guts of entities like facebook, google, etc are all in the clear. That makes for a perfect location for the NSA to drop their sniffers in, no need to compromise any SSL certs at all, no forward secrecy, etc, just wide open traffic perfect for raw harvesting.

And, of course, you have to assume that the Utah data center is going to be used to store something, and it ain't gonna be data obtained from just 20000 Facebook-related requests, because those would fit on my hard drive.

I think that bears repeating - the NSA ain't building data silos (there are others, like one in san antonio, texas [nsa.gov] ) that consume as much electricity as a small city for nothing. They are collecting literally tons of data on us, its gotta be coming from somewhere.

Re:read carefully (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018307)

The electrical consumption of the the Utah installation is estimated roughly at $40 million/y. At 0.07 per kwhr that's roughly 500 million kwh / yr.

Google as a company is believed to use about 2 billion kWh / yr.

So we can probably say just Google will have 4x the data of this site.

Re:read carefully (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018463)

Apparently SSL encryption at all of the large internet corps is handled by dedicated front-ends - and the network between the SSL front-ends and the real guts of entities like facebook, google, etc are all in the clear. That makes for a perfect location for the NSA to drop their sniffers in, no need to compromise any SSL certs at all, no forward secrecy, etc, just wide open traffic perfect for raw harvesting.

Even if they are using SSL between the front end and the middle tier, self signed certs are probably used between those layers and its "game over" anyway in that case.

Re:read carefully (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020089)

Even if they are using SSL between the front end and the middle tier, self signed certs are probably used between those layers and its "game over" anyway in that case.

You think whether the cert is self-signed or not is relevant in this case, you fundamentally misunderstand the problem. Having Verisign sign the cert wouldn't do jack-diddly-squat here.

Re: read carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44020141)

SSL is useless against the NSA. They have access to the private keys.

Re:read carefully (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017987)

And if such disclosures really interfere with their capabilities, that suggests by itself that they are doing something they shouldn't be doing.

Not necessarily. There's good reason to capture all kinds of metadata ahead of time, and store it for a period of time; The most practical argument is that it reduces the cost of executing search warrants. Anyone who's worked in IT knows that the moment you have a database, people are going to want access, and eventually, mirrors of at least some of that data is going to start cropping up elsewhere on the network. It'll be exported to spreadsheets, it'll be handed to the building maintenance people, it'll be pushed out for the network engineers. There is a lot of redundant data floating around on a network, simply because it's faster and more convenient to simply trap what you need and keep your own copies, perhaps with notes or additional metadata, that is separate from the primary source.

A lot of this "big scary NSA" non-sense is based on a misconception that just because the NSA is capturing this information means they're using it, or even looking at it. In all likelihood, yes, they probably know what your last Facebook status was. In all likelihood, no human, or even an automated bot searching for keywords, is accessing it. It's simply recorded, shoved into a database, and forgotten until it expires from the super secret anti-terrorist caching system of doom.

That said...

At the root of the problem is really that there isn't enough transparency and that people have lost trust.

And this is the part of the equation that is troubling. The NSA has broken its social contract with the people it was supposed to be protecting. Trust has been damaged. There are legitimate reasons why the NSA would be keeping secrets from the American public. National security really is at stake for a lot of what the NSA does. That's no exaggeration. What's been exaggerated is what is being considered National security.

The United States has certain constitutional obligations; Specifically that the government should be transparent as much as possible. Now this is always a balancing act... and sometimes both sides are going to get it wrong -- the public will demand something they really ought not to have, and the government will hold back what they really shouldn't. This push and pull by itself is normal. It's expected. It's democracy "Working As Designed." The problem is, in the last 12 years or so, the balance, well... isn't anymore.

The government, as a whole, not just the NSA but the whole government superstructure, has been moving towards a heightened level of security (some would say paranoia), and been locking out the public from areas traditionally left open. In the short term, this isn't a threat to the democratic way of life, but it's been going on now for 12 years. Osama Bin Laden is dead. The few remnants of 9/11 now sit in a shitty museum in New York and scattered monuments throughout the country. It's long dead and gone; It is no longer justification for the present state of affairs -- Yet the present state of affairs has persisted.

And right now, the NSA is caught right in the middle of the public debate over where that tipping point should be between the public's need to know, and the government's need for national security. And frankly, it's done a shit job in the public relations department -- a formerly secretive and highly respected intelligence agency now looks like a bunch of incompetent assclowns John-Wayne-ing their way through the private data of Americans, and nary a fuck is given about whether it's right or wrong.

The NSA, as an organization, needs to return to its roots, which is specifically and only providing intelligence assets and support to operations abroad. Domestic operations should be the providence of the FBI, and foreign operations under the direction of the CIA... and both of those organizations should separate as much as is practical, from the charters of its opposing number. Where cooperation is indicated, the Department of Homeland Security can mediate. That was what it was originally supposed to be, before it bloated up and started eating everyone else's cake and then vomiting all over everything while singing "Daisy, Daisy..." Obviously there's going to be intelligence needs that cross into both domestic and foreign operations -- DHS is supposed to oversee and coordinate when this need arises.

The problem is... the mandates of every organization have been mish-mashed together in a massive bureaucratic cluster-fuck... the CIA is now drone assassinating US citizens domestically, and the FBI is sending G-men into other countries' to "extract" people. And DHS... Fuck if anyone even knows what's going on there... it's become a dumping ground for all kinds of intelligence fail, from body scanners to illegal search and seizure at the border, and the list goes on.

Re:read carefully (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018371)

A lot of this "big scary NSA" non-sense is based on a misconception that just because the NSA is capturing this information means they're using it, or even looking at it.

The fact that this information is easily available at all, and potentially without a court order, is a threat to our political system. You can be sure that the president gets national security reports on all major political figures, both allies and foes alike. Tax evasion, extramarital affairs, homosexuality, illegitimate children, drug habits, whatever are all considered security relevant and would of course be reported. And all of those also happen to be wonderful means for exerting pressure on people to vote his way or drop out of political races. This is too powerful a political weapon to give to the executive branch.

Re:read carefully (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018827)

The fact that this information is easily available at all, and potentially without a court order, is a threat to our political system.

Dude, a lack of citizen participation is a threat to our political system, but I'm sure you're leaping from the couch right now, rushing out the door without even grabbing your coat, and driving like a crazy man down to your local congress critter's office and telling them what a threat it is. Or, more likely, you're doing what every other American does when faced with a political crisis: Turn on the TV and pat yourself on the back about how you agree with the talking heads of your choice, and then go to bed.

Except of course, it isn't a threat to our political system. Gathering information, in and of itself, means nothing. "The NSA is copy-pasting stuff off the internet! We're doomed!" Yeah, okay man... visited Reddit lately? or 4Chan? Copying data is sorta what the internet is all about.

You can be sure that the president gets national security reports on all major political figures, both allies and foes alike.

I sure as hell hope so. I don't want the President to be making decisions based solely on what he watches on CNN.

Tax evasion, extramarital affairs, homosexuality, illegitimate children, drug habits, whatever are all considered security relevant and would of course be reported.

Hold on. I'll give you all the rest -- but extramarital affairs is abit unbelievable man. If there's one thing Congress doesn't want the world to know about, it's their extramarital affairs. Okay, actually, I lied, I won't -- dude, you're a paranoid nutjob. The President does not care to know the full history of your sexual partners.

And all of those also happen to be wonderful means for exerting pressure on people to vote his way or drop out of political races. This is too powerful a political weapon to give to the executive branch.

No, it's not powerful enough. The President should keep detailed files on everyone. Worldwide. Think about how much better the world would be tuning in for the evening Presidential Name And Shame -- we'd know exactly who to hate, how much to hate them, and why to hate them. The 480,000 trillion dollars needed to compile such details dossiers, the installation of hundreds of millions of cameras, downloading the entire internet and monitoring all of it... it's a small price to pay for such certainty in an uncertain political landscape. ... I'll just let you write the check while I skip off to the bathroom to call the NSA with the good news.

They ARE using it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019385)

We have the leak from the mathematician [William Binney] who originally worked on the data mining for them.

So yeh, we know they're using it. It's data mining.

Also we know now that Trailblazer wasn't cancelled, it might have had a name change or been shifted around, but not cancelled:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailblazer_Project
'Turbulence' [malware] description doesn't fit the Trailblazer [surveillance] description, so it wasn't cancelled and replaced by 'Turbulence'.

"The government, as a whole, not just the NSA but the whole government superstructure, has been moving towards a heightened level of security "
Fear mongering clap trap, STUXNET was likely NSA, real world threats are small.

"The NSA, as an organization, needs to return to its roots"
You talk like a speech writer.

"FBI is sending G-men into other countries' to "extract" people. And DHS... Fuck if anyone even knows what's going on there"

And the NSA writes STUXNET, then STUXNET becomes the basis for NSA cyber defence funding, so they can do STUXNET2 which they can present as 'scary enemy malware version 2..... gee I wonder how they found out the zero day exploit in Microsoft? BECAUSE MICROSOFT TOLD THEM.

We're in the ludicrous position of fighting a phantom enemy with the NSA that *IS* the NSA itself.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/obama-china-targets-cyber-overseas

"The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) "can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging"."

And why are we at cyber-war level?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20023124-245.html#!

" The Stuxnet worm is a "wake-up call" because of its complexity and its aim at critical infrastructure systems, a Symantec director told a U.S. congressional committee today."

"The malware is a milestone in many ways, Dean Turner, director of Symantec Security Response's Global Intelligence Network, said in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs."

"It is the first known threat to: spy on and reprogram industrial control systems and grant hackers control of critical infrastructures; use four zero-day vulnerabilities; compromise two digital certificates; inject code into industrial control systems and hide the code from operators;"

They just lied (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019297)

They legally can't disclose the FISA requests, they can however quite legally lie about them.

They can see their businesses going up in smoke, nobody can use the Cloud Services now if the NSA has access to them. Facebook will face worldwide probes and legal bars.

Occam Razor says, they are lying to save their business.

It's the one thing they can legally do under US law. As I wrote that a wave of despair went down my back.

i'll just leave this here (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017773)

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD

Re:i'll just leave this here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017861)

The count seems awfully low. Is anyone periodically downloading the list to be sure that initials/cities remain on it, associated with their originally assigned numbers, and that any signature entered gets a number assigned?

Re:i'll just leave this here (3)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017951)

I think a lot of people have given up on the White House petitions site, the responses thus far on positions the administration does not approve of have been less than stellar. They are often a boilerplate response roughly approximating "we understand your concerns and will take them under advisement" which is bureaucrat for "get lost".

Re:i'll just leave this here (2)

StopKoolaidPoliticsT (1010439) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017955)

Or people don't want to get put on an enemies list so that they can be harassed by the various agencies of the government... welcome to the chilling effects of the police state.

Of course, it's all fun and games when it's "those people" we disagree with that get harassed and silenced by our increasingly authoritarian government. Those people bring it on themselves, it's not the fault of the establishment we intentionally built. Oh and "those people" don't have to be the tea party if that's what you were thinking, how about all the minorities convicted of things like drug crimes or pulled over for driving while black?

Re:i'll just leave this here (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#44019351)

Over 78000 in less than a week is pretty fast. The first couple days were really fast.

If they arn't doing anything wrong? (4, Insightful)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017811)

What are all of the three letter agencies so afraid of? I mean, If they aren't doing anything wrong they shouldn't be concerned with some reasonable transparency. As long as they don't have anything to hide, right?

Its always amazing how some federal agencies seem to think it is so important to have unfettered access to others information so they can "keep a vigilant eye out" yet they so detest anyone making sure that their own activities remain above board. Especially in light of the obvious revolving door between the private sector companies which stand to make billions, and the three letter agencies dolling out those fees. As noted in the Guardian article James Clapper the current director of National Intelligence, one of the loudest voices of "disapproval" against Snowden's actions, was Vice-President of Booz Allen Hamilton not too long ago. That coupled with his lies to congress in regards to these programs............ If we're looking for traitors I'm far more concerned with the ones who are fleecing the American taxpayers out of hundreds of billions of dollars and lying to government inquests than one individual who released classified documents in an attempt to inform the public about possibly illegal acts.

Perjurer Desperate To Redirect Attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44017845)

Of course James Clapper would vociferously accuse Snowden. How else can he have any hope of getting away with willfully lying to congress, replying "No Sir" when asked if the NSA was collecting any data on Americans?

The ultimate crime: (3)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017865)

making public officials look bad.

Statistics - reporting half year (3, Interesting)

skegg (666571) | about a year and a half ago | (#44017909)

Is it appropriate to report half a year's worth of data?

Facebook said Friday it had received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data... during the second half of last year

Though not unheard of, six months is an uncommon period to report; isn't the general expectation that they would report a full year's worth? Of course that would result in the requests being approximately doubled. My concern would be people will remember the amount as "9,000 and 10,000 requests per year".

This reminds me of politicians who also skew the time period to make dollar amounts appear larger or smaller.
To make dollar amounts appear larger, they increase the time period ("we're investing $4 billion over ten years").
An innovative approach recently used by Australian Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to convince Australians that politicians were only awarding themselves a tiny increase in public money was to use the following: the increase is only a dollar per vote per year.

I suspect the choice of "six months" was a deliberate attempt to skew the perception of the requests.

Re:Statistics - reporting half year (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020127)

That seems a bit of a stretch. The more straightforward insidious reason to report the second half of last year's data is because it looks a lot better than the first half of the year's data. People will see 9-10 thousand in half a year and assume, okay, that means about 18-20 thousand in a year, when in fact the whole year's stats were much worse...

This part doesn't bother me (I think) (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018001)

This sort of surveillance ("We need to look at these specific accounts") doesn't bother me: that's how search warrants are supposed to work. (Well, assuming they are looking for terrorists and not just harassing Tea Party people.) This seems quite different from some other recent disclosures, like the Verizon warrants: "Give us records of all calls made." Search warrants, to be constitutional, have to be specific. General warrants [thefreedictionary.com] were abused by the British and are a specific reason the Fourth Amendment was written.

Also note that at the same time the federal government is conducting sweeping, general surveillance of all Americans in the name of fighting terrorism, "Since October of 2011, the FBI has been forbidden to covertly gather information or set up sting operations at mosques unless they've been reviewed and approved by something the DoJ has tagged the Sensitive Operations Review Committee." [examiner.com] I guess the Department of Justice didn't consider sweeping surveillance of all Americans to be as much of a "sensitive operation" as looking for Islamic terrorists in places they are likely to be.

Sure, those guys too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018231)

Can't they investigate both of them? That's like when I tell the lady down the street that she needs to pick up her dog's crap, and she wonders why I am not going after the other people who have dogs. As if they wouldn't ask why I am not going after her, when I ask them to not be slobs. Of course, the answer is, "I need to start with someone, and your dog is the one who just crapped in my yard right in front of me."

So, let's get the right people all extradited, and then maybe they can give Snowden a few years off for turning State's Evidence on Booz Allen.

sqhit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018281)

"Terror probes" (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018391)

A phrase that can be read two ways...

Basic PR 101 (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year and a half ago | (#44018629)

1) deny it.
2) deny it
3) disclose heavily scrubbed and minimized data
4) do damage control
5) repeat as needed.

The repercussive storm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44018663)

PRISM introduces a huge corporate security risk, that will requires a response.

Corporate officers cannot knowingly transmit corporate secrets over insecure channels that cross through a foreign nation.

What do corporate charters say about dealing with companies that act as intelligence agents for a foreign government?

How much personal liability falls upon duly signed officers of the corporation?

Is google a 'foreign company' because it is really an Ireland Corporation?

Is this article an indication that Microsoft and Facebook server logs are already registering a backlash?

The US government violated it's constitution, it's Charter, and the Social Contract. Is the US Government technically now illegitimate?

What computers do I buy, now that Microsofts and Apples are unfit for purpose?

Do I dump my Facebook stock?

What happened to: "As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape/disc will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim." Where did that hard ass ethos go to?

What happened to "No Such Agency"? Back in the day, even talking abut the existence of the NSA got you labelled as a conspiracy kook.

Clapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019131)

Clapper is the Traitor !

TARGET Clapper KILL Clapper !

PISS on Clapper and his children and grand children ! KILL them ALL.

US Email Meta data/US Messenger meta data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019261)

Does the NSA collect Email & Message Meta Data on Americans? I know it gets that data from the Internet pipe, And from Boundless Informant I can see they collect lots of data, from US and many countries.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining

I don't see how other countries can be providing phone data, so it must be email meta data.

19k x 300M (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44019343)

Hmm, my first thought was that 19000 times 300 million per request is more than the total population on earth, so I was wondering who exactly the NSA is watching.

Misdirection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44020263)

Surely mass surveillance would only work for spying on people with nothing to hide (or crap terrorists) because those with nefarious aims and some intelligence would use the common channels of communication as a method of misdirection to the NSA.

Ever heard of Vupen? (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | about a year and a half ago | (#44020297)

http://www.vupen.com/english/ [vupen.com]
"defensive and offensive cyber security". Helsingin Sanomat, biggest newspaper in Finland, claims the company is selling security holes (most likely accompanied with easy way to use them) for governments and intelligence agencies.
In Finnish: http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/Tietoturva-aukoilla+tahkotaan+miljoonia/a1371264995752 [www.hs.fi]

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