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NSA's Legal Win Introduces a Lot of Online Insecurity

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the or-did-you-think-the-state-was-your-friend? dept.

Cloud 239

Nerval's Lobster writes "The decision of a New York judge that the wholesale collection of cell-phone metadata by the National Security Agency is constitutional ties the score between pro- and anti-NSA forces at one victory apiece. The contradictory decisions use similar reasoning and criteria to come to opposite conclusions, leaving both individuals and corporations uncertain of whether their phone calls, online activity or even data stored in the cloud will ultimately be shielded by U.S. laws protecting property, privacy or search and seizure by law-enforcement agencies. On Dec. 27, Judge William H. Pauley threw out a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that sought to stop the NSA PRISM cell-phone metadata-collection program on the grounds it violated Fourth Amendment provisions protecting individual privacy and limits on search and seizure of personal property by the federal government. Pauley threw out the lawsuit largely due to his conclusion that Fourth Amendment protections do not apply to records held by third parties. That eliminates the criteria for most legal challenges, but throws into question the privacy of any data held by phone companies, cloud providers or external hosting companies – all of which could qualify as unprotected third parties."

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The insecurity right now (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45806859)

The insecurity is on the side of the NSA.
They wouldn't go through such hoops if we didn't have the most powerful freedom tool ever, namely the Internet.

Use it properly and they shall vanish.

Re:The insecurity right now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807045)

Name a single innocent person who has been affected by the NSA. NSA is not the threat, it's the maniacs that for example leave bombs at public sport events or goes shooting at a school.

Re:The insecurity right now (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807065)

Name a single innocent person who has been affected by the NSA.

Just about everyone in the US, unless you believe that freedom and the constitution don't matter. You also can't disregard future abuses, and as history shows, they're inevitable. You people who believe the people in the government are perfect beings are so disgustingly naive that I'm not sure how you even exist.

Re:The insecurity right now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807129)

History also shows that invasions, terrorism, and spying against our country are inevitable. The constitution's meaning isn't determined by what is in your head. You people that believe you can waive your hands and make that vanish are being disgustingly naïve, I'm not sure how you even exist.

Re:The insecurity right now (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807223)

Freedom is more important than safety. Remember how this is supposed to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave"? No? Then perhaps you're too trusting of the government.

History also shows that invasions, terrorism, and spying against our country are inevitable.

Such is life. In order to be free, we have to take some risks. That's what happens when you're free.

I'll take those risks over your police/surveillance state any day.

The constitution's meaning isn't determined by what is in your head.

No, it's determined by the constitution. Try reading it sometime, and while doing so, try to avoid letting government propaganda destroy your ability to interpret it properly.

Re:The insecurity right now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807289)

You should try reading the Constituion sometime. The Constitution says that any law that is passed by the legislative branch and signed by the executive branch IS constitutional until the SCOTUS says otherwise. So, like it or not, what is happening is constitutional. Whether or not it should be is up to the judicial branch to decide, not you, not me, not /.. If you don't like the laws that are in place, then elect different officials who make the laws.

Re:The insecurity right now (2)

Holi (250190) | about 10 months ago | (#45807381)

It does? Can you show me the line that says the government can pass any law and it is constitutional, or even the part that says the Supreme Court gets to decide?

No? I didn't think so because the Constitution doesn't say it.

Re:The insecurity right now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807591)

The "Necessary and Proper Clause" Article 1, section 8, clause 18.

"To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

The constitutionality of a law is binary...it is either constitutional or unconstitutional. There is no middle ground. Only the Supreme Court can deem something unconstitutional. Therefore, all laws are constitutional, until proven unconstitutional.

A constitution by its very definition expresses what the government can do and what the people cannot do. Any legislation that is passed either gives the government powers or restricts the people from doing something. The government is only allowed to do what the laws say it can do. The people can do anything they want that is not explicitly against the law. To protect the people from 1 or 2 branches of the government from getting out of control the Judicial Branch was given absolute authority over all laws.

Re:The insecurity right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807491)

The Constitution says that any law that is passed by the legislative branch and signed by the executive branch IS constitutional until the SCOTUS says otherwise.

Bullshit. The constitution gives no such power to the court.

Re:The insecurity right now (4, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#45807535)

Last I checked it said

anything NOT in the CONSTITUTION is up to the STATES, NOT the federal government. Perhaps you should try reading it again. I recommend you start with the 10th amendment to clear up your ill informed understanding of the constitution

Re:The insecurity right now (0)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#45807185)

an obvious group are the victims of sexint, though, i suppose being the girl/boyfriend of a terrorist does make you a valid target.

Re: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807457)

i suppose being the girl/boyfriend of a terrorist does make you a valid target.

Being the girl/boyfriend of a NSA Employee does not make you a valid target.

Re: (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#45807489)

whoosh

Re:The insecurity right now (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 10 months ago | (#45807227)

Hmm. Did you feel the same way in 2005 when we had mass protests in DC against the NSA monitoring phone calls to Pakistan? Or does a different President make a world of difference?

Re:The insecurity right now (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#45807539)

ill take the bait, yes, I did. I didnt like it when bush abused the constitution and i sure dont like it when the man who ran as "not bush" takes things even further

Re:The insecurity right now (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807277)

Oh, look. An NSA shill posting AC on Slashdot. Didn't see that coming!

Name a single innocent person who has been affected by the NSA.

Besides everyone that has the constitutional right to not be searched without probably cause and warrant? How about the companies that were being spied on for economic purposes? Were they big winners from that? No? How strange.

How about the big tech companies (such as anyone in cloud computing or cryptography) that took a major hit as a result of the leaks? You think they are happy that they are losing money now that people know how insecure these systems really are? How about Google/Yahoo/Microsoft/etc. that are suffering the same backlash on top of needing to invest a lot more resources to fix holes that the NSA was exploiting? What about RSA?

How about Lavabit and Silent Circle [usatoday.com] ? These are just two examples of businesses that were dismantled because of legal pressure. They are completely legal businesses.

How about anyone that isn't actually doing anything wrong, but our government decides to harass/blackmail/defame anyways? We know that the NSA will find your porn [huffingtonpost.com] and be more than happy to tell everyone about it. Blackmail is NOT OK [washingtonsblog.com] !

We also know that the NSA has been writing and distributing malware [forbes.com] . How about TorMail or any other (legitimate) service provided by Freedom Hosting? We know that the FBI confiscated the servers, but the NSA helped with installing malware on any connection and siphoning data regardless of whether or not the user was attempting to access a legal service or not. Hell, we even know that the NSA took part in hacking consumer Tor nodes to initiate a MITM attack in the hope that they might be able to track someone unrelated.

I think I've made my point. I could keep going, if I had to. There is a hell of a lot of people being wronged by this program, but lets turn your own game on you.

Name a single innocent person who has been affected by the NSA.

It's your turn. Name a single person or incident that has been stopped, hindered, or investigated in relation to terrorism from the NSA's programs. Trick question, we already know that there isn't any [falkvinge.net] These programs have nothing to do with terrorism, so get your head out of your ass and stop pretending that it's OK for the government to infringe on our rights for their own personal gain.

Re:The insecurity right now (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#45807543)

mod this post up

Re:The insecurity right now (4, Insightful)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 10 months ago | (#45807085)

The insecurity is on the side of the NSA.
They wouldn't go through such hoops if we didn't have the most powerful freedom tool ever, namely the Internet.

Use it properly and they shall vanish.

You are right. But the problem is that the ISPs will not allow you to use the internet properly (e.g. hosting your own data on your own server at home, thus giving it the strongest possible U.S. 4th ammendment 'papers' protection.

http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121024.pdf [cloudsession.com]
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/07/google-we-can-ban-servers-on-fiber-without-violating-net-neutrality/ [arstechnica.com]
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/google-fiber-continues-awful-isp-tradition-banning-servers [eff.org]
http://crossies.com/pissed.html [crossies.com]
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/google-fiber-now-explicitly-permits-home-servers/ [arstechnica.com]
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/08/01/198327/googles-call-for-open-internet.html [mcclatchydc.com]

Re:The insecurity right now (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 10 months ago | (#45807139)

The ISP that I have at home permits me to run servers from my connection. I suggest you either change ISP or put pressure on them to change their policy.

Re:The insecurity right now (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 10 months ago | (#45807253)

Many ISPs will let you host servers. For example if you are a Cablevision Ultra 50 subscriber you are good to go.

Re:The insecurity right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807373)

the problem is that the ISPs will not allow you to use the internet properly (e.g. hosting your own data on your own server at home

That's a pile of bullshit. ISP's don't give a shit about private servers on home service connections, and most don't even care if they're public as long as it's not a "business grade" server.
And even if they do, that's for residential "buffet style" internet access, every ISP in the country will happily sell you a business account where you can run servers 24/7.

Re:The insecurity right now (2, Interesting)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 10 months ago | (#45807463)

the problem is that the ISPs will not allow you to use the internet properly (e.g. hosting your own data on your own server at home

That's a pile of bullshit. ISP's don't give a shit about private servers on home service connections, and most don't even care if they're public as long as it's not a "business grade" server.
And even if they do, that's for residential "buffet style" internet access, every ISP in the country will happily sell you a business account where you can run servers 24/7.

And what are the price differentials the residential user sees if they purchase that "business grade" service? What if the only feature of the business grade service they were interested in was not having their home server's traffic discriminated against? (i.e. not needing more 9s of uptime or any other part of the 'business grade' service). The answer is an absolutely ridiculous premium in price, often by a factor of well over 100%. This is a convenient way for the established internet giants to prevent home hosted servers from competing with the services they provide with their servers connected to their endpoints of 'the internet'.

What such 'business grade' service is really about, is about the ISPs getting to 'take a cut' of any profitable innovative home-hosted server based business. And it's a 'cut' that is entirely unjustified based on any actual expense the ISP incurs (the home hosted server is still regulated by the same bandwidth policies as any youtube-addict uploading gigabytes of lol-cat videos). Basically the issue is entirely about the concept of how "net neutrality" was supposed to level the playing field for all server operators connected to the internet, by forbidding arbitrary traffic discrimination, that was tantamount to network operators demanding an extra tax on profitable/valued internet traffic.

Business Records (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807251)

How long before lack of adequate federal revenue justifies the seizure, archiving and datamining of all business records and transaction?

Not that I'm against such daylight... I believe that we'd be better off if ALL such dealings were a matter of open public record. Then no one would be able to use their wealth or privilege to avoid responsible and necessary contribution to the common wealth or engage in politics by surreptitious means and methods without the possibility that their interest, activity and opportunity for personal gain could be hidden. 501c4 nonprofits currently disguise far too much activity on the part of those who seek to slip the brass ring through your nose using public airwaves, astroturf-like 'grassroots' organizations, politically oriented foundations and group-think tanks. Mushrooms may be happy with their diet in the dark, but no reasonably intelligent American should be.

What would happen if we all could know what every person and artificial person was doing with their wealth; what they supported, who they did business with and why so much of their wealth went into the black market or was spent promoting unenlightened self-interest.

Re:The insecurity right now (1)

phrostie (121428) | about 10 months ago | (#45807403)

William H. Pauley was Nominated by Bill Clinton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Pauley_III [wikipedia.org]

You remember Clinton and Gore. They gave us Eschelon and NSAKey.

Just saying

How about that rented storage? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45806867)

If the fourth doesn't apply to records held by third parties... what if your records are in a rented storage unit or a bank safety deposit box? If your property is held by a third party (your money in the bank), do constitutional protections against the government just seizing your money also not apply?

Re:How about that rented storage? (5, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 10 months ago | (#45806899)

Uhm, worse, what about people who rent rather than own? If you live in an apartment owned by someone else, do you have any rights???

Re:How about that rented storage? (5, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 10 months ago | (#45807183)

Under the fourth amendment ownership of the building is irrelevant. The Fourth protects your person, papers, house, and effects. If you have a legal right to store papers you own in a place then they have the same Constitutional protections regardless of who actually owns the building. If you don't have a legal right to store them there -- maybe you leave the book where you record your illegal bets in some guys house and he finds it -- then the owner can rat your ass out and you get no Fourth Amendment protections. OTOH if the owner chooses not to rat you out the police need a warrant to search his house before they can get the book.

The debate in this case is who actually owns these records. The government is arguing that since these records are not used by you, but are generated by a private company as part of it's business, they aren't actually your records. Just as the government doesn't need a warrant to read who has a tab at the local bar it doesn't need a warrant to read the data on who you called last week.

Privacy advocates are arguing otherwise. The fact you think your records are yours is extremely important, and the NSA snooping has to stop.

In legal terms the simple fact is that the only judges who matter are not likely to side with privacy advocates, because two of them are Obama appointees unlikely to argue his attempt to get the program covered by getting the FISA Court to issue warrants was evil Fascism, a third (Roberts) appointed the FISA guys who issued said warrants, and four more are aligned with the guys who thought that we didn't warrants in the first place. Five votes to overturn the NSA will be tricky.

Re:How about that rented storage? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#45807215)

no.

same goes for so-called 'owned' property. only the person listed on the deed has any rights.

Re:How about that rented storage? (2)

BlazingATrail (3112385) | about 10 months ago | (#45806927)

The constitution can only cover so much in modern times. Why does the American public elect a government that allows acts that any normal person would consider invasion of privacy? It seems such a basic right but the sheeple just keep allowing it.

Re:How about that rented storage? (1, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#45806979)

world wide problem. each country has its own 'nsa'. you think otherwise?? seriously???

this is human nature. sure, the nsa is evil, but its not an 'american thing' no matter how much it may serve your little agenda.

this is about people using power and control over others. at its heat, that's all it is. 'on the internet' or 'on a computer' does not change this fact of human nature.

Re:How about that rented storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807001)

Ask yourself this: Historically, what happened to those who opposed corporations and governments?

This is just the latest in a long string of dominations.

Captcha: syndrome

Re:How about that rented storage? (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45807115)

"The constitution can only cover so much in modern times."

I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but I don't see this as a deficiency in the Constitution. The Constitution says that people shall be secure in their "papers, and effects". Courts have for the most part ruled that modern communications are equivalent to "papers and effects". Some exceptions were made later (like the "3rd party" rule this judge used), but those exceptions are pretty clearly obsolete today.

What is really important is the "expectation of privacy" that people have with their communications. They expect cell phone calls to be private. (And I would argue that they also expect their phone call "metadata" to be private too.) They expect emails to be private (or should).

Courts are supposed to use the "reasonable man" or "reasonable person" principle: what would a reasonable person do, or expect? Using that standard, I think it is pretty darned clear that the vast majority of people DO have an expectation of privacy. And if most people expect it, it is by definition "reasonable".

Re:How about that rented storage? (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | about 10 months ago | (#45807163)

Interesting point about the "reasonable person". I don't know any of them though. Most people I personally know (aside from my kids, who think like I do) think the meta data collection is OK. They equate it with survey data that is aggregated and anonymous - even though the meta data includes non-anonymous stuff like your phone number. I don't consider them reasonable, but they seem to be in the majority. Generally, if put to a vote, the majority - assuming they aren't apathetic and don't vote - will win and will be considered the reasonable ones. Maybe I am unreasonable? But I sure don't like the NSA collecting all of this info...

Re:How about that rented storage? (3, Informative)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 10 months ago | (#45807257)

Clue #1 that you're Sheeple:
You think the US Constitution has anything to do with protecting freedom.

The US Constitution was created to allow the middle class of early America to get rich. Many of the activities they wanted to do were pro-freedom. Advancing technology, creating railroads, etc. are good things. But others were the exact opposite. In particular protecting slavery and stealing land from Native Americans were two of the top agenda items for the young United States.

The goal was to allow enough freedom to this very specific WASP class so that they could get rich without worrying about the government, but not so much freedom that the British, nasty abolitionists, or Natives who liked living East of the Mississippi could arrange effective resistance to their get-rich-quick schemes. In this particular case there's no way in hell that the Founders intended Quakers to have the ability to organize peaceful resistance to slavery among slaves, which is why nobody batted an eye when the Federal Post Office started reading everyone's mail and arresting anyone who dared send anti-slavery info. to the South despite the fact this seems to violate both the First and the Fourth Amendments.

Re:How about that rented storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807269)

Clue #1 that you're Sheeple:

You think using the word "sheeple" makes you smart.

Re:How about that rented storage? (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45807495)

Wow, you are a complete moron.

The US constitution was for one purpose and that was to create a union of 13 different countries (which the colonies became after independence from England and why outside the US state means country) without imposing on them outside the impacts of presenting a unified front for foreign affairs, settling disputes between the states, and providing very basic services like post office and roads, regulating interstate commerce and the such. It is all there outlined in the constitution- you can read it and it will back this up. It says nothing about what you try to claim.

Re:How about that rented storage? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#45807557)

thats quite a revisionist history indeed. the founders were smart enough to understand that slavery was unsustainable. Thats why the 3/5th rule was created. NOT as people today like to claim that we dont value black people as a full person but because it took power AWAY from the slave owners. The native american issue is a little more difficult to pin down, and I agree that there is more merit in that argument that we wanted to take the land from the natives (disclosure, I am part cherokee) in most cases however, not my families case but most cases we bought the land, sure it was for pennies on what it was worth.

As for your statement that you dont believe that the founding fathers thought that the quakers didnt have right to peaceful protests, thats plain ignorant. we were founded on protests! we came to this country from the west as a form of protesting, and when we finally took over control it was in protest to taxation.

Re: How about that rented storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45806961)

Well this invalidates the HIPAA. Let's revolt and all of us shut down our phone service and stop using Facebook and Google and it will be effective!!!!! Seriously!

Re:How about that rented storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45806997)

If someone sneaks into the storage area and makes copies of all your papers but leaves the originals untouched, was anything really seized?? As for you money, the IRS is not bound by the constitution and can seize your assets on merely a whim.

If the NSA is only gathering "metadata" about calls and emails, then I can see the argument that you are still secure in your papers and possessions. Also, the NSA is NOT using any of this to prosecute Americans in American courts, pretty much the intent of the 4th amendment. Only an American who is dumb enough to go to Yemen or *stan could be on the receiving end of a hellfire missile.

Re:How about that rented storage? (3, Informative)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 10 months ago | (#45807049)

the NSA is NOT using any of this to prosecute Americans in American courts,

Probably not - they are on good terms with GCHQ, who will have explained to them that the trick is to use this data to find out what they CAN use against you.

Re:How about that rented storage? (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45807527)

Actually, we know they have used this information against Americans in American courts. We had a big story about it a while ago when the feds would call up a state agency and say X is going to happen at Y or something similar, you need to find a way of making it legit and capture them.

I think it was called creating a parallel construction where they know you have drugs in your car or something but pull you over for doing 1mph over the speed limit and search your car because "you were acting suspicious".

http://slashdot.org/story/13/08/05/168205/dea-program-more-troubling-than-nsa [slashdot.org]

Re:How about that rented storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807093)

If someone sneaks into the storage area and makes copies of all your papers but leaves the originals untouched, was anything really seized?

They sure were searched, though. That's definitely an invasion of privacy, and in this case, a violation of the fourth amendment (no matter what courts have said or might say).

As for you money, the IRS is not bound by the constitution

The entire government is bound by the constitution.

If the NSA is only gathering "metadata" about calls and emails, then I can see the argument that you are still secure in your papers and possessions.

How? Metadata is just data, and the actual content isn't any more secure from them, so why would "metadata" be any less important?

Sheesh... cheerleaders these days.

Re:How about that rented storage? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 10 months ago | (#45807405)

Also, the NSA is NOT using any of this to prosecute Americans in American courts

Apparently you missed the stories about how local law enforcement departments are getting tip-offs from undisclosed sources (the NSA), which are then used to conduct "random" stops which result in finding evidence.

The phone company is not a third party. (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 10 months ago | (#45807113)

What I want to know is, why the phone company is considered a third party at all? As I understand it a legal third party is a party uninvolved in the transaction. If I give you $10 and Bob happens to walk by, Bob is a third party. However, if I give $10 to Bob to give to you he is now an intermediary, not a third party. By the same reasoning the phone company is an intermediary in our telephone conversations.

Re:The phone company is not a third party. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807419)

What I want to know is, why the phone company is considered a third party at all? As I understand it a legal third party is a party uninvolved in the transaction. If I give you $10 and Bob happens to walk by, Bob is a third party. However, if I give $10 to Bob to give to you he is now an intermediary, not a third party. By the same reasoning the phone company is an intermediary in our telephone conversations.

It has to do with who is involved in the "transaction". If I hand you a letter, but pay someone else to actually take it from my hand and put it into yours, that person is a "third party" with respect to the transaction you and I conducted. But I created a different transaction between him and I, in which he's a direct party not a third party.

So the government's usual stance is that the Constitution refers to the "conversation" itself, to which the Telco is a "3rd party", even though you (and the other guy) each have your own direct relationship with the Telco.
Or to use an old-time example, if you pay a Courier to deliver a letter to me, and the cops stop the Courier and search him, they might be violating HIS right against search/seizure but they are not violating YOUR right since you already gave up the letter to a "3rd party". And when the courier is just straight up letting the Cops read the letters he's carrying, there aren't any actual "Rights" violations going on.

(not that I agree with it, i'm just explaining things)

Re:How about that rented storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807549)

... bank safety deposit box ...

Safe. Deposit. Box.

Reverse Engineering The NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45806877)

Given the wealth of information on the NSA programs, it is possible to reverse engineer each NSA program and then apply each to the communications of the White House, President and Vice President to do the them what they intend to do do to us before they have a chance to "do us."

Re:Reverse Engineering The NSA (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 10 months ago | (#45806935)

It would be easy to do but you would need access to the internet backbones blank ssl certs and much more you can't get without either owning the infrastructure or having the force of the government on your side. Oh and you would need to have the equipment manufactures give you backdoors as well as the owners of the major propriety OS's. So unless you are the government or own everything its not going to happen.

Re:Reverse Engineering The NSA (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807157)

Given the wealth of information on the NSA programs, it is possible to reverse engineer each NSA program and then apply each to the communications of the White House, President and Vice President to do the them what they intend to do do to us before they have a chance to "do us."

Instead of engaging in revenge fantasies it would be a more productive use of your time to write your Congressional representatives.

Can't rely on the law then (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 10 months ago | (#45806953)

Obviously, if you don't want the NSA to read your data, make sure they can't read them. Make sure your data is not stored outside your control by someone who could at least in theory read it (like Lavabit). Make sure the data is not stored in the USA at all if you can avoid it.

Re:Can't rely on the law then (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807011)

Also, if you don't want to be robbed, don't carry your wallet outside of your house. Leave everything behind.

We shouldn't have to inconvenient ourselves because the NSA is doing things we shouldn't let it do.
I sure hope SCOTUS takes up this issue. I feel the judges would rule against it, but would probably avoid taking the case in order to have to rule against it.
We really need some sort of constitutional amendment for "the right to/of privacy", even if it's implicit already.

Re:Can't rely on the law then (2)

reboot246 (623534) | about 10 months ago | (#45807119)

We cannot place our trust in the decisions of SCOTUS. I fear that even they have been compromised. Look at their rulings over the last few years. Even a casual observer can figure out that SCOTUS has been ignoring the Constitution.

Re:Can't rely on the law then (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807235)

Even a casual observer can figure out that SCOTUS has been ignoring the Constitution.

Well then, it's a good thing we have "casual observers" to tell us what is and isn't constitutional. Lawyers and judges are clearly overrated. Any opinion is as good as any other.

The Right To Serve (2)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 10 months ago | (#45807023)

Obviously, if you don't want the NSA to read your data, make sure they can't read them. Make sure your data is not stored outside your control by someone who could at least in theory read it (like Lavabit). Make sure the data is not stored in the USA at all if you can avoid it.

Unfortunately there are large hypocritical corporations as well as governments colluding to prevent people from being more in control of their data by hosting it on residential servers.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/07/google-we-can-ban-servers-on-fiber-without-violating-net-neutrality/ [arstechnica.com]

Re:Can't rely on the law then (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 10 months ago | (#45807341)

Outside the USA won't help much.

Very few countries have the Constitutional protections we have, and no country that's managed to survive actually does everything privacy advocates want. If you tell everyone they're being investigated so they can do something about the investigation you are (by definition) telling 100% of the criminals you could have caught exactly when they should start destroying evidence. Some of them have official rules saying you should be notified afterwards, but I've seen no evidence those rules are followed.

And those countries have intelligence services, intelligence services that probably don;t have to file much more paperwork to wiretap then the NSA does and definitely don't have to obey the FISA Court.

The internet cannot be made "useful" and "secure". (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 10 months ago | (#45806975)

The way to deal with exposure is not to use insecure communications for information which must be kept secure.

There will be much thrashing as users attempt to get secure outcomes because people are hard-headed.

Water is wet and the Sun rises in the East.

Re:The internet cannot be made "useful" and "secur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807013)

ok. you're right.

that doesn't mean we have to pay vast sums of money to have these government goons vacuum
up the details of everyones lives and store them forever

A deeper hole (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45806981)

It is fun to watch the USA dig themselves in a deeper and deeper hole everytime...

All NSA-related judgements should be suspended (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807027)

Due to the scale of NSA data collection, it is safe to assume that the NSA has data about every single US judge.

The data NSA has may render the judges unable to render impartial judgement.

A bi-partisan political review of all NSA data about every US judge should be conducted to verify that the judges are in the position to do their jobs.

By now the entire US legal system might be corrupted by the virtually unlimited NSA data collection.

Re:All NSA-related judgements should be suspended (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807181)

And the internet has just jumped the shark.

Re:All NSA-related judgements should be suspended (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 10 months ago | (#45807263)

So you don't like the courts decision so they must be being blackmailed by the NSA? This kind of reasoning has made the truth inconsequential in todays society. Anything that validates your particular viewpoint automatically becomes true and every thing else is a conspiracy and patently untrue.

Re:All NSA-related judgements should be suspended (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807467)

Except that surveillance and monitoring of the judges are FACTS. While your "conspiracy theories" are not.

Such facts do indeed have consequences of the legality and morality of such judges' decisions, REGARDLESS wether such records have been used or not.

Re:All NSA-related judgements should be suspended (0)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 10 months ago | (#45807499)

True, however who is to say that being a judge these days isn't like being a politician, corporate owned before being allowed on the ballot. Sad thing is that the goberment, by it's actions appears to be instigating a civil war. No one knows this better than DHS with purchase of over two billion rounds of .223, armored personnel carriers, and turning military force on Americans (NSA is a department of defense entity)... With the knee jerk actions in mind it is conceivable that they are moving towards depopulation, or population control.

Re:All NSA-related judgements should be suspended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807531)

And if they dont have it, they make it up using guesses just like Facebook does.

Impartiality (2)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 10 months ago | (#45807061)

Aren't judges supposed to be impartial adjudicators? This judges statements read like an NSA PR release touting all of the "wonders" of the NSA program without providing any evidence or noting any of the drawbacks.

Re:Impartiality (3, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45807259)

Nobody believes that since the Republican-majority Supreme Court handed the election over to the Republican candidate in Bush vs. Gore.

I don't even think the idealistic lawyers believe that. They've had too much experience with the courts.

It's like the Greek philosopher Thrasymacus said: law is the interest of the strong.

Re:Impartiality (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807575)

Nobody believes that since the Republican-majority Supreme Court handed the election over to the Republican candidate in Bush vs. Gore.

So that's what really did it for you? That's when you started doubting the system, when the Supreme Court upheld the legal principle that you can't keep changing the rules of an election after the voting until the other guy wins?

Scalia on Bush v Gore: ‘Get Over It’ [outsidethebeltway.com]

Treason against america and its people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807069)

On a grand scale... And we don't really seem to have a PROBLEM with that. WtF is wrong with us.

It's wrong. Period. There's no argument here about what data is wrong to collect... It's all of it. You don't spy on your countrys people.

Get them all up against the wall.

In Soviet Russia ... (4, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45807079)

During the cold war, we heard stories about how the Communist governments monitor their citizens.

Now our government is monitoring us in ways that the East Germans would envy.

Here's something useful you can do:

-- Find out how your Congressman and Senators voted on these policies.

-- Add it to their Wikipedia page.

-- Don't vote for them if they don't support the Fourth Amendment.

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807191)

There is also voting for judges (or rather voting them to leave the island) if you think they are not doing their job to uphold the constitution...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retention_election

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807203)

If you paid attention during the Cold War you know that the problem was active oppression engaged in by the communist governments, not just the listening. Vote the wrong way - go to jail. Tell a joke about the party leader - go to jail for 10 years. Want to leave the country - go to jail.

Write your Congressman and Senators, don't just update their Wiki page.

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807361)

The only difference is that in the current day, and in the U.S. Such things are not as public, this oppresion is happening in our country. We just have a better illusion that these violations do not happen.

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807435)

No, not even close. Great troll though.

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807501)

If you paid attention during the Cold War you know that the problem was active oppression engaged in by the communist governments, not just the listening. Vote the wrong way - go to jail. Tell a joke about the party leader - go to jail for 10 years. Want to leave the country - go to jail.

Write your Congressman and Senators, don't just update their Wiki page.

It's not a prison until you try the door and find it's locked...

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45807523)

Write your Congressman and Senators, don't just update their Wiki page.

That's an interesting political science model: Politicians read thoughtful opinions by their constituents, and change their policies based on reasoned facts and arguments.

I had a friend who used to write thoughtful, articulate letters to her elected officials. I thought it was charming, in a naive way.

In my observation, politicians are more likely to get elected based on campaign contributions from special interest groups. In addition to money, there are special interest groups that can actually drive voters to the polls, like AIPAC and the National Rifle Association.

My Senator is Chuck Schumer. He takes in so much money he needs a Brinks truck to come back from restaurant row. I don't think he's influenced much by constituent letters. He's shocked, shocked by the wiretaps under the Patriot Act, which he opposes after he supported it. I think I'd be better off updating his Wikipedia page to reflect that. I wonder if his fanboys will revert it.

It's kind of hopeless, but the best way to make a difference without being a billionaire is to support challengers in the primaries, and third parties in the general elections, in close races.

Is this really a problem? (0)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#45807097)

I mean, the amount of data flowing out there is enormous, and I can't see them possibly being able to assimilate it all. Only a couple of days ago it was mentioned that they were drowning [slashdot.org] in data, and being explicitly legal for them to monitor stuff won't change that (if anything, it will make it worse) Any security you have will ultimately have to come from being a figurative (non-ferromagnetic) needle in a haystack.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807179)

It's a problem because however ineffective it is, we're still paying for it. Get a ruling that these methods are off-limits, and we can stop funding them.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#45807239)

Even if it *were* ruled as illegal, they'd still go and do it anyways... the only difference being that we wouldn't know about it. It would still be just as ineffective, and you'd still be paying for it, so, as I said... is this really that serious a problem that it's explicitly legal for them?

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807339)

"able to assimilate it all"
  They do not need to assimilate it. they only need to search it.
We cannot win this war by voting or begging for privacy. We can only fight back harder. Turn the surveillance back on them.
More leaks.
More Encryption.
Expose all government, judges, police etc...
Less facebook.
More Anonymous.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#45807387)

With a sufficient quantity of data coming in, even simply searching it is not necessarily viable Try doing a grep on a constantly growing data stream.... now imagine what happens when the rate of data you have going in exceeds your computer's ability to process even for something as simple as a search. The amount of information moving around the net every second is immense. You'll end up either with a constantly growing backlog that never gets empied or else you end up with large amounts of data being ignored because based on random sampling, it's assumed that nothing of import is going to be found in temporally proximate data packets. Either way, large amounts of data never get examined.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807385)

"the amount of data flowing out there is enormous, and I can't see them possibly being able to assimilate it all" Don't say that you are that naive. Supercomputers, and the right programming can achieve this easily.

What uncertainty? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807131)

leaving both individuals and corporations uncertain of whether their phone calls, online activity or even data stored in the cloud will ultimately be shielded by U.S. laws protecting property, privacy or search and seizure by law-enforcement agencies.

What uncertainty? If you have data on company X's servers, and law enforcement shows up with a warrant to search company X's stuff, they are getting those servers. There's nothing uncertain about this, it's the way it has always been. I mean we even discuss it here on /. every damn time a data center gets raided anywhere in the world.

Not to mention the fact that company X has the right to do pretty much whatever they want with that data, including hand it all over to law enforcement or selling it for market research. You can disagree with it, but that's reality, only narrow classes of information are legally protected (in US... where some of your data probably is, on the "Internet has no borders", so cry me a virtual river).

I really can't wait for this NSA crap to blow over so we can talk again about things like who owns data in the cloud, what laws keep it from being analyzed or sold, what jurisdiction, etc. instead of all this faux surprise "but teh gubmint..." bull crap.

I don't get how we can talk about all the ingredients to this soup, HERE on /. even, and be _remotely_ surprised when we take the lid off. I'm OK talking about change, and stronger privacy protections, but in the old context of "because we don't have any" not this hopeless reactionary NSA hate where as long as "they" don't get your data we don't care.

Seriously, it's sort of... you know you don't have a fence on your lawn, you should know that animals shit on it regularly, but when someone tells you that guy you don't like, Jim down the street let his dog shit on it, it's time for fisticuffs.
The neighbor you abruptly stopped discussing privacy fences with last week is just scratching his head wondering if he should even tell you about all the cats or that stray dog dropping a deuce on your petunias, judging by your rage induced hyper focus, he's guessing it wouldn't matter.

No, It Does Not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807151)

The NSA's most recent legal win introduces NOTHING. It changes NOTHING.

Nothing that was or was not happening five or even 10 years ago is changed. Nothing that was happening prior to Snowden's revelations has changed in any way due to NSA's legal wins or losses. They still do what they choose to do and they still do it with impunity.

WORST OF ALL they still do it with the acceptance and support of the majority of the U.S. population. Cause terrerists.

Data you put in the cloud is not yours. (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 10 months ago | (#45807153)

There is already case law to that effect, take a close look at the megaupload case.

The ruling does nothing novel (2)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about 10 months ago | (#45807155)

The article summary is misleading. The Supreme Court ruled, in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), that you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in records you don't control. It's not Judge Pauley's conclusion, it's binding precedent that the court that rucked against the NSA handwaved away with not good explanation.

Re:The ruling does nothing novel (4, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | about 10 months ago | (#45807425)

The Supreme Court ruled, in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), that you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in records you don't control. It's not Judge Pauley's conclusion, it's binding precedent that the court that rucked against the NSA handwaved away with not good explanation.

The question is whether Smith v. Maryland -- which was about one order to put a pen register on one phone based on suspicion (but no warrant nor probable cause) -- is distinguishable from this case where every phone record from every phone in the country with no particularized suspicion at all. Pauley explicitly ruled "no", the other court ruled that it was distinguishable.

If the NSA metadata collection is not distinguishable from Smith v. Maryland, then the slippery slope argument is not a fallacy.

Re:The ruling does nothing novel (2)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about 10 months ago | (#45807503)

The other ruling, by Judge Richard Leon, distinguished this case from Smith v. Maryland on the basis that the NSA's metadata collection was different in nature because of its volume. However, as Power Line's Paul Mirengoff noted, [powerlineblog.com]

But these changes provide no sound basis for distinguishing Smith. That case rests on the view that, because of the nature of metadata, its collection by the government without a warrant isn’t constitutionally problematic. This true no matter the quantity of metadata the government collects.

It's going to take the Supreme Court deciding that yes, you do have an expectation of privacy in records you did not originate, never possessed, and have no control over, and thus to throw Smith v. Maryland out the window, to have the NSA metadata collection ruled unconstitutional. Fourth Amendment jurisprudence rests very squarely on the idea that you only have an interest in not having subject to search those things and places where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That's where the arguments will fall down.

What uncertainty are they talking about? (1)

rmstar (114746) | about 10 months ago | (#45807165)

leaving both individuals and corporations uncertain of whether their phone calls, online activity or even data stored in the cloud will ultimately be shielded by U.S. laws protecting property, privacy or search and seizure by law-enforcement agencies.

If after all that has happened someone is still uncertain about this, then i'm quite certain that something is wrong with his/her cognitive abilities.

The technical is more important than the legal... (2)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 10 months ago | (#45807171)

Pitting the two legal 'sides' against each other in a figurative battle and commenting on the results (as TFA does) is missing the point completely. We live in a time when the technical capabilities and resources for surveillance have become so much more powerful than those of privacy than, in effect, window blinds and draperies no longer exist and we are all unintentionally parading around in front of uncovered windows without any clothing. To put it another way, governments will monitor all communications for no other reason than that they can. Even if the NSA is stopped, you can be sure than every other country in the world either has its own program underway or is in the process of rapidly doing so. You should assume that someone somewhere is logging your calls, surveying your internet traffic, gathering your voicemail data, recording your online banking profile and purchases, and so forth...because they can. This situation will not change until the technology available to defend yourself from digital intrusion catches up with the technology already available to the offense...and that might be a while yet.

It's a valid opinion (5, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 10 months ago | (#45807199)

It's just wrong, that's all. Wrong because our emails are *clearly* the "papers" mentioned in the Constitution. If there's a law that makes 3rd party possession of same somehow the equivalent of "it suddenly not being yours" then it's THAT law that has to go. This is how it is in most of Europe BTW. YOU control your phone records, not Verizon.

I could almost live with TIA if I thought that it would only be accessed via a court order, but that's not what we have. What we have is secret FISA orders, executed in secret, using secret criteria in accord with secret interpretations of secret executive orders.

I sympathize with this judge's concerns, I do, but the real world consequences of what they're doing are more likely to be worse than the real world consequences of stopping them from doing it, even if we have another 9-11 every year.

  Our democracy will not survive if the government can data mine all our "anonymous" data until programs it wrote decide that we fit a "profile" and THAT itself constitutes "reasonable suspicion". This can be used to stifle all dissent, and will be used for exactly that, starting, obviously, with people who speak out against the legitimacy of this process in the first place. A guy like Howard Zinn would just be destroyed by this.. we wouldn't have legitimate dissent in this nation.

Here's something that should help people think clearly on this topic. The NSA line operators and management REFUSED to permit the NSA to apply the same level of monitoring to THEM as they apply to us. They didn't want Congress to second guess them or know what they were doing.

(Binney) ".. also explained that NSA never developed and implemented technology in order to have the capabilities to track activities by employees on the agencyâ(TM)s systems because of two groups of people: the analysts and management.

The analysts âoerealized that what that would be doing is monitoring everything they did and assessing what they were doing. They objected. They didnâ(TM)t want to be monitored.â

Management resisted because it meant one would be âoeable to assess returns on all the programs around the world.â It would be possible to âoelay out all the programs in the world and map [them] against the spending and the return on investment.â

It meant the agency would be âoeexposed to Congress for auditing,â Binney added.â Management did not want that."

 

From:

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/12/27/interview-with-nsa-whistleblower-bill-binney-afraid-were-spreading-secret-government-around-world/ [firedoglake.com]

But this is the ONE thing that MUST be implemented. If an NSA operator cuts a fart, I want Congress to be able to know what he had for lunch. Unwatched watchers cannot be permitted to exist. Period.

At the heart of what's going on here is the people at the NSA are looking into their own hearts and deciding that they're all right and the American public has nothing to fear from them or their intentions. Bully for them, I'm sure it's true, but they won't always be there.

It's not about them or their intentions. It's about the institution, the process, *the machine* and how we're building that machine.

You can't say to yourself, as an NSA employee, by way of assuaging your own secret apprehensions, "Well, if push ever does come to shove, if it came right down to it, an unconstitutional, openly fascist-level of abuse would just never happen because WE'D never permit it". At least, you can't tell yourself that and also bash guys like Snowden and Binney because THOSE guys , whom you hate so much they make you grind your teeth , they're exactly the hypothetical WE you posit in the above safeguard. It doesn't look any different that THIS .. THIS THIS that is before your eyes now.

We cannot permit a opaque surveillance machine to be used at the executive's whim which has the power to untraceably target and then undermine anyone's life in ways too subtle to detect. But this is exactly what they want. The process, every stinking step and decision and action by everyone involved has to be exposable to the full Congress and the full Senate in every minute detail leaving out nothing.

  We also have to strictly confine their activities to actual terrorism and not illegal activities of any other sort whatsoever. No criminal investigations of any kind whatsoever, no exceptions, none, unless it's shown to be funding terrorism.

We also have to have the same set of rules apply to our friends in other nations. Their personal private lives are not cheap meat for our surveillance grinder either. This is not just being decent, this is crucial to maintaining the essential goodwill we need to make our counter-terrorism programs workable ; goodwill which we have no other way to obtain or maintain and without which no amount of surveillance is going to suffice.

Can't we just GTFU ? Can't we lead here? Can't we just break from what we're doing and boldly and decisively start to do the smart, right thing by our people and by the world? This is a chance to get back some part of the credibility we lost in the eyes of the world post 9-11 when we invaded Iraq (which actually I'm glad we did for *other, non-terror * reasons that don't matter here) . This is a chance to lead by high minded and ingenious example and show the world how to both spy and secure liberty without compromising either , in fact, having both strengthened beyond what they are at now. We need both. We can have both. We need to retire the leadership at these agencies; their mindset is the road black. We need to get the civil libertarians and Constitutional scholars the technical MIT people and the CMU people and the defense people and the spies all together and motherfucking work it out. This is everything, this issue, this is bigger than anyone is making it out to be and will determine the nature of civilization for centuries to come. Surveillance with internal transparency. It seems like a contradiction but the ability to unite seemingly disparate things into a functional whole that meaningfully resolves apparent contradictions is as good a working definition of Intelligence as you're going to find.

Re:It's a valid opinion (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 10 months ago | (#45807209)

Should have been secret FISA COURTS COURTS...obviously

I say BS (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807211)

"The decision of a New York judge that the wholesale collection of cell-phone metadata by the National Security Agency is constitutional ties the score between pro- and anti-NSA forces at one victory apiece.

I call BS. Nowhere in the article did the judge even mention the Constitution. From the information provided in the article, the judge is obviously either paid off or incompetent. He states that

In the 54-page opinion issued in New York, Pauley said the sweeping program "represents the government's counter-punch" to eliminate al-Qaeda's terror network by connecting fragmented and fleeting communications.

which has nothing to do with legally acquiring evidence or the Constitution, and

"There is no evidence that the Government has used any of the bulk telephony metadata it collected for any purpose other than investigating and disrupting terrorist attacks," he wrote.

which once again was irrelevant to the question before the court. Just because the government has NOT YET been caught using the data illegally has nothing to do with it being illegally acquired.

The judge also quotes extensive justifications from the Patriot Act, which last I checked, is NOT part of the Constitution.

Espionage Is Legal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807233)

President George Walker Bush granted the Telecoms with impunity from USA laws in the beginning of this mess.

Now a District Court Judge finds Bush's NSA, which Obama inherited, is all legal.

If this Judge is correct, then was the Bush White House correct to grant all Telecoms impunity? If no then can Bush be tried for treason?

Can the NSA's "methods and techniques" be reversed engineered? Yes. And in doing so applied to the communications of President Obama? Yes. Would that be legal? Given the Judge's opinion, if not overturned on appeal, the answer is Yes!

Has Google reversed engineered the NSA "methods and techniques"? Let's hope so.

If there's no expectation of privacy for this data (1)

darkonc (47285) | about 10 months ago | (#45807241)

Does this mean I can get all of the metadata for calls made to and from the Whitehouse?

Remember: No expectation of privacy -- which means that secrecy is a complete no-go..

By the Declaration of Independence... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 10 months ago | (#45807315)

the founder recognized the rights and DUTY of the people to put off Tyranny.
Its not law, its more powerful than law, its the foundation and spirit of all legitimate law.

With this that judge is up for being fired.... someone just need to do so...... Tell him he is fired.

Re:By the Declaration of Independence... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807511)

Judges can be removed by Congress, that's it. Private citizens don't "fire" judges, or even try, unless they want to go to jail for threatening an officer of the court. If you don't like the way things turned out then write your Congressmen. That is the way things work.

Nothing has really changed (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45807325)

The status of the law isn't all that different than it was 30 days ago. The only "win," defined as a finding that the NSA's activities may not be legal, is a preliminary injunction for two people, and the case has yet to be decided. That isn't a win yet. It is also unlikely that complainants in the suit winning the injunction will ultimately prevail upon appeal. You can read some informed legal commentary from an actual law professor here:

Another Problem With Judge Leon’s NSA Opinion: Absolute vs. Relative Measurements and Fourth Amendment Reasonableness [volokh.com]
Can the DC Circuit Use the Mosaic Theory to Invalidate the NSA Telephony Metadata Program? [volokh.com]

This same law professor comments on the last case here:

Judge Pauley of the SDNY Upholds NSA Section 215 Program [volokh.com]

The bottom line is nothing is really different.

Mortgage = Gefucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807455)

So if I don't own my house outright, they can come in without a warrant now? Since my information is held by a third party (the bank)...

I think NSA is shooting in their foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45807471)

They NSA may have won a battle, but it would be smart to wait and see who will win the war of the public opinion. If they lose the war of public opinion (and most of the public opinion is clearly pro 4th amendment), then there could be new rulings issued or new laws enacted that would criminalize what NSA was doing for a long time.

Please keep in mind that the discussion is steered only to the phone records, however the suspects (citizens) leave much thicker digital trail: emails, internet searches, movements of person, movements of the properties (cars), all the banking transactions, healthcare records, your behavior at home and many more.

Allow me to give theoretical example: if I, for example, have a teenager son, and I decide to run to the political position I will become 100% vulnerable because my home internet log profile shows communication with the teenage girls. It does not matter that the teenager son was communicating with his friends, the fact of communication itself happened can and will be used to blackmail and to damage credibility. This everyday example alone is adequate to bring a point to those who say "If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear". I think those words are attributable to Goebbels

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