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Translating President Obama's NSA Reform Promises Into Plain English

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the dynamo-of-a-blender-of-an-analogy dept.

Privacy 171

sandbagger writes "The cynics at the Register have picked apart Barack Obama's NSA reform promises. As to be expected, there's some good, some deliberate vagueness, talk of 'ticking bomb scenarios' and the politician's favourite 'promises to commit to future reforms'. Basically, it's a fig-leaf to kick the can down the road so the next president has to deal with it. He's promising bulk data will go to a third party so the NSA can't see it. Okay, who is this magical third party?" They don't seem to me nearly cynical enough.

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If you like it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006439)

"If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period".

Why would you bother parsing what he said word by word. He lies, period. What he says means nothing.

Re:If you like it (4, Interesting)

redemtionboy (890616) | about 9 months ago | (#46006509)

"If you like your privacy, you can keep it"

This is how power creeps. No one thinks they're evil. Each trust themselves to not abuse power. But even if this is going to a third party, it's still a violation of the 4th amendment. There are rules in place for a reason. This is asking to be abused.

Even worse, they still haven't proven or show any evidence that this is necessary. It's one thing if you were preventing terrorist attacks left and right and could make a utility argument, but they aren't even doing that. It's disgusting.

Re:If you like it (5, Interesting)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46006599)

It's one thing if you were preventing terrorist attacks left and right and could make a utility argument

No, it's not. Freedom is more important than safety. The people who are focused on the question of whether or not these programs stop terrorists are missing the point entirely.

Re:If you like it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006687)

Really, so you never wear a safety harness, because your freedom is more important than your safety?

Huh.

Ok, so you don't like that way of analogy, fine, let's consider putting people in prison. Why do we do this? Isn't that impairing their freedom? How dare we!

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006741)

I'm not even sure what you're attempting here. Are you really advocating that everybody gives up their rights and goes to prison for their own safety?

If, on the off chance that you're slightly less retarded than that and are instead saying that because people convicted of a crime are sent to prison and that is directly against their personal freedom, you are still an idiot. I suggest you read the constitution sometime. It makes very clear you are not guaranteed rights when you are convicted of a crime.

Re:If you like it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006803)

I'm pointing out that "Freedom is more important than safety" is not true, but is really just a trite statement of no particular worth, since there are times where safety does trump freedom. Hence why people can be put in prison. And yes, I do say that everybody who violates my safety should be put in prison.

Besides, why are you talking about the Constitution? This isn't a discussion about what the US Constitution allows or doesn't, but the issue of freedom versus safety, which is a concern for individuals everywhere, even those not subject to that document care about their safety and freedom. If you only want to discuss what's allowed in the US, no thanks, I'm not interested in such a limited discussion. Of course, you were only using that reference to try to dismiss me, so I really don't care what you have to say anyway.

So keep up with the insults, that surely shows how interested you are in a conversation.

Re:If you like it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006953)

Your opinions are not facts and vary depending on person. Nobody cares if you're willing to give up your own freedoms; just don't demand to have ours taken away as well.

And yes, I do say that everybody who violates my safety should be put in prison.

Well, I find your support of tyranny to not be in my own personal best interests of safety. Perhaps you should be sent to prison?
I'm not even going to point out that if someone is actually doing something that could potentially cause you bodily harm is already breaking the law.

Besides, why are you talking about the Constitution?

Gee, I don't know. It's almost like that's one of the founding ideas of the constitution, right? How crazy is that?!

Of course, you were only using that reference to try to dismiss me, so I really don't care what you have to say anyway.

No, you don't care what anybody that has a differing opinion than your own has to say. You're spouting off dangerous ideas then crying that nobody wants to play your game.

Re:If you like it (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 9 months ago | (#46008261)

I'm pointing out that "Freedom is more important than safety" is not true

Execept you can't, because it's not. Your assertion about prison isn't an exception - it bears out the rule. You see, your freedom isn't affected - it's not you being put in prison.

But, if you really think safety is more important, then you can certainly get a cell there fairly easily. You will be safe, clothed, housed, and fed the rest of your life. So, you should go to prison.

Re: If you like it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006771)

So you'd be ok with daily door to door home inspections because they might make you more safe?

I wear a harness at work because the danger is real and present. If I fall it will save my life. Now on the other hand the nsa spying on me will not make anyone safer because I have no intention of hurting anyone. They also have no evidence that I intend to hurt anyone. Now if they did have that evidence and used it to get a warrant then spy away.

people like you make me sick.

Re: If you like it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006933)

So you'd be ok with daily door to door home inspections because they might make you more safe?

The absolutist was above, if you'll note, who was saying that "Freedom is more important than safety" without consideration of circumstances.

I was replying to them, with my own remarks, that did not express any particular sentiment or position, except disagreeing with what I perceived them as saying an absolutist position.

As far as it goes, I'm ok with home inspections for safety, but I don't see why they need to be daily, unless things are very unsafe. I suppose for the elderly, or the mentally unsound, that might be the case, but for most people, I think that'd be an excessive cost for little gain.

I wear a harness at work because the danger is real and present. If I fall it will save my life.

Which means, unlike the person above, you can recognize that there are times where safety is more important than freedom.

Now on the other hand the nsa spying on me will not make anyone safer because I have no intention of hurting anyone. They also have no evidence that I intend to hurt anyone. Now if they did have that evidence and used it to get a warrant then spy away.

people like you make me sick.

Why? Because you see me incorrectly as blindly supporting all NSA surveillance, and want to support that, whereas I see myself as opposing the absolutist position that acts as if safety was never more important than freedom?

That's because you have a false image of me.

Now it's possible I have a false image of YumoolaJohn, but if so, I'd like to see him address that, preferably in a non-hostile and belligerent manner.

Or can you do that, can you acknowledge that your representation of me, may not be accurate, and that you are getting yourself sick because of your own manufactured image of me? You're not as venomous as the previous reply, so I do hold out hope for that possibility from you.

Next time though, do try to inquire more, and judge less.

Re:If you like it (1)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46006987)

Really, so you never wear a safety harness, because your freedom is more important than your safety?

That's a personal decision. I say you'd be dumb not too 99% of the time, though.

But this has nothing to do with fundamental liberties.

I was replying to them, with my own remarks, that did not express any particular sentiment or position, except disagreeing with what I perceived them as saying an absolutist position.

So, in other words, you completely disregarded the context this was said in. Don't blame me for your own stupidity.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007277)

That's a personal decision. I say you'd be dumb not too 99% of the time, though.

But this has nothing to do with fundamental liberties.

''

Indeed, it isn't exactly pertinent, but did you keep reading my words, or did you fail to see:

"Ok, so you don't like that way of analogy, fine, let's consider putting people in prison. Why do we do this? Isn't that impairing their freedom? How dare we!"

So, in other words, you completely disregarded the context this was said in. Don't blame me for your own stupidity.

Ah snap dude, if only you hadn't failed to reply to the entirety of my own words, and jumped out of context yourself.

I've got to blame you for that. And the hypocrisy that resulted from you choosing this response.

I'm not saying you're stupid, you just lack integrity.

Re:If you like it (1)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46007315)

Indeed, it isn't exactly pertinent, but did you keep reading my words, or did you fail to see:

I did keep reading your words. They're not on-topic. Consider the context of where I posted that; this is an article that relates to the NSA, and I responded to someone else saying that it would be less wrong if they were violating our rights in a way that kept us safe. I do not believe your reply was relevant.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007567)

I did keep reading your words.

Yet you neither quoted, nor responded to what I see as the most important part of them. So what am I to think, except you ignored them, which combined with your own remarks complaining about me not seeing context makes for a good bit of hypocrisy on your part.

They're not on-topic. Consider the context of where I posted that; this is an article that relates to the NSA, and I responded to someone else saying that it would be less wrong if they were violating our rights in a way that kept us safe. I do not believe your reply was relevant.

I do believe they are on-topic, namely the topic of "Freedom is more important than safety." which is your own chosen sentiment, and lacked any particular specification or limitation to it, and seems to be a foundational principle of yours. I believe you made a statement that needed to be addressed, because of what it represents, and that is far more than any discussion simply about the NSA and its actions.

Are you now clarifying your words to say that you didn't mean for such a bold and all-encompassing claim to define your remarks? I don't consider limiting the discussion to the NSA programs to be a good idea, any more than I do discussing the provisions of the US Constitution to be a good idea. It just gets things going in the wrong direction. But if you are doing so, and I do respect your freedom to choose that, I think you might consider leaving such absolutist statements out in the future.

That way your own remarks may be less likely to generate replies you don't consider relevant, and you won't have to clarify yourself. At the least, some qualification to "Freedom is more important than safety." would be important.

How exactly did you mean that to be taken? Why did you include it, if not to define your remarks, and why not consider the ramifications of it?

Re:If you like it (1)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46007973)

Wow! Enough of this garbage; it's an eyesore. You're ignoring context and being pedantic for the sake of it. Vanish, I say.

I don't consider limiting the discussion to the NSA programs to be a good idea

Perhaps you should pay attention to what the article is about.

Re: If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006999)

Let's not water the issue down with car analogies.
Without freedom you do not get the choice to even think about safety.

Re:If you like it (5, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | about 9 months ago | (#46007563)

so you never wear a safety harness, because your freedom is more important than your safety?

Saying freedom is more important than safety does not imply that safety is unimportant just like Saying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is taller than Shaquille O'Neal does imply Shaq is not tall.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46008007)

Actually, it's more like saying Kareem is taller than Shaq, so Shaq is of less value to the team than Kareem, simply because of height. Thus we never ever let Shaq off the bench. The more important part is the key to recognizing the sentiment, as in the comparative to freedom versus safety.

(Note, I'm not big on basketball, so I don't even know if your contention that Kareem is taller than Shaq is true.)

Re:If you like it (-1, Flamebait)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 9 months ago | (#46006967)

I'll give you 50 bonus points for not quoting Franklin. I'll also subtract 100 points because you're an idiot.

Total points: -50

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007623)

That's the same argument that violent people make to try to justify gun ownership. Obviously, they are wrong, and you are also wrong. What good is the Bill of Rights if you can take those rights if one of those gun owners can take all of those rights from us in an instant with a gun?

Re:If you like it (3, Insightful)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46008013)

That's the same argument that violent people make to try to justify gun ownership.

And they are right. Freedom is more important than safety. I don't believe we should be punishing everyone merely because some people abuse guns.

What good is the Bill of Rights if you can take those rights if one of those gun owners can take all of those rights from us in an instant with a gun?

Have some principles, please; you're living in a country that's supposed to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Some criminal could randomly kill you, but what does that have to do with the government violating everyone's rights? You act as if we must sacrifice all of our rights for safety.

Re:If you like it (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#46008209)

If people have freedom of expression, they can disagree how freedom and security should be prioritized.

But when you get neither out of the system, then it is unambiguously a failure. (Unambiguously unless one side is arguing in bad faith.)

Re:If you like it (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#46006729)

Even worse, they still haven't proven or show any evidence that this is necessary.

Oh it's an absolutely necessary part of their corporate espionage cash cow.

Re:If you like it (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46006951)

This 'data will be held by third parties' thing is just about changing who pays for data storage.

Instead of giving tax money to the NSA to build large data warehouses, and hacking American companies to get the data, the American companies will be required to store ALL the data [data + metadata] indefinitely, at their own expense [which means consumers have to directly pay for it] and the NSA/FBI/DHS have to pay to access it [fee's will be approximately 98% profit].

This way, the NSA can focus their budget on hacking companies and gov'ts outside the US. So effectively, this actually increases how much data will be available to the gov't, because it will be 'everything the company gathers about you' instead of just what the NSA could afford to track/store.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007369)

"it's still a violation of the 4th amendment. "

No it's not. The courts have ruled for decades that this sort of activity is not unconstitutional. I might add that these are the same courts whose authority to make such rulings is also defined in the constitution.

Re:If you like it (1)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46007457)

No it's not. The courts have ruled for decades that this sort of activity is not unconstitutional.

What difference does that make, drone? Courts can be wrong. In fact, the supreme court overruled itself on a number of occasions, so your line of thinking (that the courts are automatically right) is paradoxical at best.

You'd think that in a place that's supposed to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave," you wouldn't see people blindly worshiping authority figures.

I might add that these are the same courts whose authority to make such rulings is also defined in the constitution.

Those judges merely have power that others do not. Their opinions, however, are as 'correct' as anyone else's. And that's all they are: mere opinions.

So your assertion that this does not violate the constitution because some judges supposedly said it doesn't is simply absurd, frightening, and sad.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46008107)

No it's not. The courts have ruled for decades that this sort of activity is not unconstitutional.

What difference does that make, drone? Courts can be wrong. In fact, the supreme court overruled itself on a number of occasions, so your line of thinking (that the courts are automatically right) is paradoxical at best.

You'd think that in a place that's supposed to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave," you wouldn't see people blindly worshiping authority figures.

I might add that these are the same courts whose authority to make such rulings is also defined in the constitution.

Those judges merely have power that others do not. Their opinions, however, are as 'correct' as anyone else's. And that's all they are: mere opinions.

So your assertion that this does not violate the constitution because some judges supposedly said it doesn't is simply absurd, frightening, and sad.

That leads us to other mechanisms the constitution defines when there are disagreements with the courts interpretation of law: congress can pass constitutional amendments if there is disagreement or other legislation. Like many slashdotters, you claim to care so much about the constitution but know so little about it.

Re:If you like it (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 9 months ago | (#46008273)

Court willfully misinterprets meaning of a constitutional amendment. Solution: make a constitutional amendment. What ensures it is interpreted correctly?

Re:If you like it (4, Insightful)

homey of my owney (975234) | about 9 months ago | (#46006517)

What is important here is the appearance of doing something... At least as far as ANY politician is concerned. The suckers buy into it.

Re:If you like it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006775)

It's more than that -- Obama is basically telling the American public, "you're all too stupid to know what's best for you, you can express your outrage by signing an online petition and then you go right back to your Facebook and Twitter who are in fact the "third parties" collecting all this data. You're a bitch-ass chump, common American, and I'm going to patronize you for being the fat moron you are, and you're not gonna do a goddamn thing about it."

Then the common American hangs their head, chin cushioned by a comfortable layer of jowel fat, saying "Okay, I guess..." before waddling off to McDonald's to guzzle down a 64oz. soda and triple cheeseburger while using the wifi to bitch about it on Facebook and Twitter.

You disgust me, fellow Americans. You're a bunch of spineless, disgusting fat and vain blobs. You don't deserve to be free!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:If you like it (0)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 9 months ago | (#46006821)

I prefer Arby's.

It's weird though. Their fries are shaped just like my new light bulbs.

Re:If you like it (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 9 months ago | (#46007121)

In the case of Arby's fries, the light bulbs taste better.

Re:If you like it (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#46007429)

before waddling off to McDonald's to guzzle down a 64oz. soda

that is, as long as he is not in NYC

Re:If you like it (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 9 months ago | (#46007773)

McDonald's doesn't sell 64oz soda's and triple cheeseburgers.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006567)

what's that? a continued attempt by the gop to dissuade younger voters (who will never vote for the gop) to not vote at all

this all got rolling last spring with the cavalcade of gop crises and culminated in the greenwald/snowden affair

trust this, the abuses are more evident on the goper watch, and snowden would be hustled off to a dark site under the previous administration

Re:If you like it (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#46006631)

More evident? Don't get me wrong, they could well be but historically, I don't think abuses of power have ever been more evident than under the current administration. Handbaskets come to mind.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006677)

perhaps you missed it in all of the noise, but all of the audits of the NSA staff that showed abuse occurred before the the current administration put court oversight over the programs created under the patriot act

From a cause and effect standpoint, polling of young voters (including young republicans) last winter showed a complete dislike of the modern gop, only the constant string of overblown scandals has done anything to blunt the popularity of the Dem party

If the greenwald/snowden affair was not created by the gop, then they are the luckiest sobs on the planet

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007059)

trust this, the abuses are more evident on the goper watch, and snowden would be hustled off to a dark site under the previous administration

"Our guy isn't quite as bad as the other guy" doesn't give comfort to anyone with a brain. Bush, Obama, and everyone who voted for this sort of thing are scum. Whether or not some of them are less scummy is 100% irrelevant.

perhaps you missed it in all of the noise, but all of the audits of the NSA staff that showed abuse occurred before the the current administration put court oversight over the programs created under the patriot act

Collecting this information is an abusing in and of itself. And the court oversight is nothing more than rubberstamping.

Re:If you like it (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#46007469)

to put it another way "the one guy cut off my arm, but the new guy only gut off my finger so he is better"

Re:If you like it (1, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#46006615)

"If you like your unconstitutional spy agency, you can keep it"

I think that's the one promise he could actually keep.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006977)

He's said some things that turned out wrong, and some things that turned out correct. If anything a person ever said wrong makes them into a liar, then you must be a liar as well since "what he says means nothing" is not entirely true. Where does it end?

Re:If you like it (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 9 months ago | (#46007055)

President cannot write laws. Any promise from the executive branch about the legislative is not credible. Not necessarily a lie, but a promise that cannot be kept. Lower taxes, lower crime, most of the promises of a gubernatorial or presidential candidate simply cannot be backed up.
Does this make it a lie? Surely it is not ignorance.
If the audience should know better, can it feel lied to?

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007441)

Ugh. The people that claim that is a lie are defending substandard plans. Of course they had to come to an end with the changes that now require more sensible coverage.

Plus, they're ignoring the "if you like" part. No one likes paying for insurance that doesn't provide reasonable coverage. The government is doing them a favor.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46008123)

If you like your plan ... well, it's a substandard plan, so go fuck yourself. We'll tell you what's good for you.

Re:If you like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007489)

You forgot the rest of the quote about keeping your doctor. I have some serious health problems, and as of Jan 1 none of the six doctors I've seen the past two years accept my insurance. That is a bigger problem than the statement that you GOPpers attack. It doesn't really matter what insurance company you have. The doctors you see are much more important than which company pays the bill. If you people were logical, you'd attack that part of the promise instead of the part that just doesn't matter.

As an example, I used to walk to my oncologist. Now the closest one that accepts my insurance is an almost three hour round-trip bus ride. If you CONservatives really cared about people, that is the argument you would make. Instead, you defend substandard insurance plans that were made illegal. I haven't heard a single educated person complain about losing their health insurance.

Re:If you like it (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 9 months ago | (#46007723)

What's this bullshit about caring about people? We want the government to stop bullying everyone and controlling everything. Then you can choose your own insurance coverage and/or go to whatever doctor you choose. You don't need a government overseer to care about you. Be a free, independent person, make your own choices, and care for/about yourself.

This will be great for India's Economy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007601)

Parent said:
"What he says means nothing."

I hope not! From the front page:
"He's promising bulk data will go to a third party so the NSA can't see it. Okay, who is this magical third party?""
I don't know, but I know it will be in India where we have no money but lots of free software (like Windows XP and Vista and 7; nobody here is bothering to crack Windows 8 because there is no esteem in accomplishing something that nobody appreciates: like Windows 8).

But yes our U.S. allies can count on us Indian guys to snoop through your phone messages and Instagram perversions. Since we do this anyway (everybody down here is unemployed except for Hackers, Crackers, Child Prostitutes and call centre customer service representatives with accent training in all dialects of American English, including but not limited to Bronx-speak, Southern-drawl, and California-Hip). So, since we've got so much free time over here (being unemployed and all), and being over-educated (us higher-caste people that is), we amuse ourselves by spying on Western people for fun through the Internet, and a wise old Buddhist once said your work should be your passion and your hobby. So yeah most Indian guys fit the Human Resources profile for the perfect NSA employee: trustworthy, snoopy, curious, socially-awkward, over-educated and brown, or at least brown on the inside where it counts.

We look forward to snooping through your email, reading your Kik messages, looking at your Snap-chat pictures (you American parents need to keep a handle on your teenage daughters, and you American wives need to keep a handle on your American husbands! I know; we've seen it all!), and listening to your phone-calls. God Bless America! The Land of Opportunity (for East Asians).

Re:If you like it (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 9 months ago | (#46008133)

"If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period". Why would you bother parsing what he said word by word. He lies, period. What he says means nothing.

Well in that case, there were some things that needed clarification. For one, the people without actual heatlhcare plans - the guys who payed their dealer in monthly installments weren't eligible to keep their plans. But the biggest issues was, the government doesn't actually control private enterprise, so they found a loophole where they could switch people off the plans they had before the cutoff (of the plans they could keep) to a brand new one with the same benefits. Then when the law came into effect the insurance companies said "oh darn, your cheap plan doesn't meet the minimum requirements, and it's too new so you can't keep it - Obama made us cancel it".

If Obama was a dictator, then he could say things about the future, but since corporations don't listen to the president, and Congress certainly isn't going to do exactly what he wants, it means the statements are what he hopes to happen - he doesn't have a crystal ball.

The president especially should be forward thinking in government - and we want him to share those thoughts with us. Since he's actually in charge of running a lot of the government, it might be a good idea to listen to him. Some speeches like this NSA one are full of weasel words, but since he's stating what the policy is going to be (at least officially), it's worth figuring out what he's saying.

Re:If you like it (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 9 months ago | (#46008153)

> "If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, period".

To be fair, it was the insurance companies that cancelled substandard policies rather than bring them up to minimum standards. Should he have realized this would happen and refrained from making that statement? Maybe so. He owned up to it publicly, which is more than I can recall ever happening in the previous regime.

More on-topic, though, he's as much a part of the power structure as anyone else. I'm sure the NSA has made clear to him and the consequences of trying to rein them in.

Everybody Knows (1)

rotorbudd (1242864) | about 9 months ago | (#46006445)

He's promising bulk data will go to a third party so the NSA can't see it. Okay, who is this magical third party?"

Google?

Re:Everybody Knows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006511)

or NSA subsidiary

Re:Everybody Knows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006721)

I thought that google was an NSA subsidiary

Besides the phone meta-data is already the property of the private phone companies ( Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 744 (1979)) , that is why gathering pen register information does not require a warrant

Re:Everybody Knows (1)

Atomic Fro (150394) | about 9 months ago | (#46006519)

Dear God, thats the worst thing he could do. I trust the NSA more with the data than spreading it around to corporations for "safe keeping." The problem is the data exists / has been collected in the first place. If anything, his suggestion is an insult.

Re:Everybody Knows (4, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#46006653)

Arguably corporations already have this data so all you need to do is have a law that mandates a retention policy. I still don't like it but it's definitely an improvement (of miniscule proportions)

Re:Everybody Knows (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007209)

One side effect of the speech is that the NSA declassified more documents yesterday [dni.gov] . Included is the original "metadata" orders from the FISA court. Not sure if this is a comprehensive list, but there is enough in there about domestic data collection.
I was under the impression that this data is collected and retained forever, but it seems the order requires this data to be deleted after five years. It also says what metadata is collected, and I am not sure if any single corporate entity has this data. For example, if a Verizon user calls a T-Mobile customer, both records are collected and matched. Similarly, device IDs are collected, not just numbers. So pre-paid SIMs are tracked even if the user switches carriers (ie, move from TracFone to T-Mobile to AT&T etc. - all uses of the phone can be identified as a single device). The orders (that I read) are unclear on whether the geographical location is tracked.

Re:Everybody Knows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006661)

Coastguard?

Re:Everybody Knows (2)

russotto (537200) | about 9 months ago | (#46006683)

He's promising bulk data will go to a third party so the NSA can't see it. Okay, who is this magical third party?

The NSA under a different name, I would expect.

Re:Everybody Knows (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 9 months ago | (#46007823)

It will be manages by a collaboration of Target, Evernote, and Adobe.

Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't think this "third party", whoever it is, won't become a giant "Target" (pun intended) for data hackers? At least the NSA's data centers are on military bases, and they have half a clue about security, Snowden notwithstanding.

Re:Everybody Knows (1)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about 9 months ago | (#46006825)

CGI? We can only hope because they will screw the project up so bad that it will never see the light of day.

Re:Everybody Knows (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46007205)

Probably the same third party I have to deal with whenever I have a billing/tech support issue. Some contractor in India.

Since they are already beyond the reach of meager US data protection and privacy laws, it will be trivial for the NSA/FBI/CIA to just buy back (for a modest fee) any metadata that they want. The telecoms//ISPs are already in the business of reselling our* metadata to third parties. Anyone who wants a dump of anything from your companies customer lists to any number that regularly calls in to certain exchanges in Langley, Virginia can buy that on the open market already. What's to stop the NSA?

* Not really 'our' data anymore. Courts have already ruled on the side of telecoms that billing metadata is the property of the telecoms and preventing their sharing with partners or resale is a violation of their free speech rights.

Translating Obama's NSA Promises to TL;DR (3, Insightful)

keyslemur (3505475) | about 9 months ago | (#46006507)

Lol, no.

Plain enough. (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#46006529)

Will this POTUS stop surveillance of citizens?

Nope.

Re:Plain enough. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006743)

He can't. Congress passes the laws. He can only veto and advocate.

Re:Plain enough. (3, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 9 months ago | (#46006885)

Bullshit. Potus has WAY more power than you think. He can ask the Justice department to investigate why the judges only rubber stamp, he can use presidential orders to direct departments or how to interpretation the law, he can fire US attorneys, he has his cabinet members he can fire, he could even fire the the head of the CIA/FBI and Homeland security for misconduct by asking the AG to fire them, and so much more powers.

Re:Plain enough. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 9 months ago | (#46006923)

He has a lot of control over what the NSA and other agencies do though. As President he have a great deal of influence and control because the Administration, you know, administers those agencies, appoints the people who lead them, etc.

Re:Plain enough. (2)

Kohath (38547) | about 9 months ago | (#46007081)

He could end the secrecy. The President can de-classify anything, anytime he wants.

Get a warrant (4, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 9 months ago | (#46006549)

Quite simply there needs to be two things. One is get a warrant, and these warrants need go public in short order. Public with no redactions. My guess is that 99% of redactions are not to protect sources and whatnot but to avoid embarrassment.

Also these warrants need to go before real judges. If they can't trust the judges then how can they trust anyone?

Re:Get a warrant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006725)

Quite simply there needs to be two things. One is get a warrant, and these warrants need go public in short order. Public with no redactions. My guess is that 99% of redactions are not to protect sources and whatnot but to avoid embarrassment.

Also these warrants need to go before real judges. If they can't trust the judges then how can they trust anyone?

I will also add that in cases of immediate threats it would ok to do a search as long as a 'retroactive warrant' is submitted within 5 days of the search and the reasoning of immediate threat is clearly specified. These would be released to the public unredacted within 30 days. If this does not sound reasonable then it clearly wasn't an immediate threat.

Re:Get a warrant (1)

YumoolaJohn (3478173) | about 9 months ago | (#46007097)

I will also add that in cases of immediate threats it would ok to do

No.

Re:Get a warrant (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#46007605)

I will also add that in cases of immediate threats it would ok to do

No.

He actually added it, so yes, his statement that he will add it was clearly true.

Re:Get a warrant (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#46007555)

I would only be for that IF the person/people who go after the retro warrant are held accountable if they are wrong. I am talking jail time if they collect data with a retro warrant and it turns up with nothing. They should also pay the costs incurred

Re:Get a warrant (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 9 months ago | (#46007105)

If they can't control the judges then how can they control everyone?

Re:Get a warrant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007505)

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Once the whole world is bugged and recorded, how will the old thought experiment be perceived then?

Third party recording and retention is but another pork barrel abomination of a boondoggle potentially ripe with corruption. Such information, without a prior justified warrant should not be recorded in any way not related to proper billing and once paid for then all records should be eliminated. Actions of a free person in private or unwitnessed ( i.e. in front of a live person ) public should be such as that question to all other living beings.

Nothing (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#46006555)

"I don't want to do anything; I don't plan to much; I don't know how what little I am offering will get done or when" -- Pretty much sums it up.

The interesting thing is, some of the statements Obama made directly contradict the congressional testimony. Is anyone getting charged with perjury this time? Or is CONgress just going to let being lied to go?

Re:Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006613)

They would but they have no standing as there is no reasonable expectation of not-being-bullshitted.

Re:Nothing (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 9 months ago | (#46006939)

No standing? It's illegal to lie to Congress. If you're appearing formally and put under oath (which sometimes is done, sometimes not) and you lie it's called perjury.

Are you shitting me? (1, Troll)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#46006639)

Mr. Teleprompter who is now costing me another house payment a month because my old plan was not good enough? His bullshit reforms with the NSA don't go nearly far enough and I have no faith that the current leaders (snicker) in congress will make meaningful reform something to debate in the upcoming elections. What his speech and plan amount to is a white wash of the situation and what has to happen is a constitutional amendment to finally put personal privacy rights first and foremost. This country was founded on the principals of liberty with a government by the people and for the people. Right now we have courts that we have no visibility into making decisions appointed by an appointee making decisions with an agency that has a substantial amount of resources at their disposal to undermine our privacy and to corrupt every aspect of our lives. It's not just the NSA but other government agencies we have to worry about, that's the point we have to raise the discussion up a bit higher. On the commercial side of things we have new intrusions daily into our privacy by companies and local governments who don't have our privacy in their plans, everything from license plate scanners to RFID tags we take on our cars and other methods sold for "efficiency of operational need" yet there's not uniform retention or privacy policy governing it. Drive a car, your movements are now being scrutinized on multiple levels. Want to take public transportation? The cameras being installed on streets and in public transportation systems will monitor you along with the open microphone technology, you'll be recorded as well. [infowars.com] Add this to facial recognition software and it's not just Facebook you have to worry about, it's every jackbooted cop or DHS Gladys Kravitz [wikipedia.org] snooping on your every movement. Do you need to go to the store? We now have trackers in supermarkets that know what aisle you're on and couple that with your register receipt, they know what you buy all in the name of targeted marketing. Welcome to the new police state folks with our new idiot in chief and his retards in Congress all bobble-heading along the way with the large cadre of contractors and companies making money off of it. Hope you feel safe now.

Re:Are you shitting me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006789)

To be clear, DHS and TSA was not created by Mr. Teleprompter. Mr. Teleprompter did not legislate money is free speech. Mr. Teleprompter does not argue "corporations are people". Founding the country with liberty is all right when government is the most powerful institution. It means nothing when the most powerful institutions are corporations that can spend infinite amounts of money to get the candidates that they want, which eventually has gotten them the judiciary they want.

Re:Are you shitting me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006797)

Paragraphs, use them.

Re:Are you shitting me? (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 9 months ago | (#46007087)

You sounded angry. Having vented, do you feel better or no?

Re:Are you shitting me? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 9 months ago | (#46007423)

Not until these fucksticks in DC are all gone, then I'll feel much better. Until then I want stocks set up on the Washington Mall so these capricious folks can get a taste of rotten tomatoes and eggs.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006685)

"Fuck you. Here, take this roofie. We still gonna snoop on you, but you won't care."

That's obvious (2)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | about 9 months ago | (#46006711)

"Okay, who is this magical third party?"

There is only one entity that could be trusted with the security and sanctity of such a trove, the TSA of course.

            -Charlie

Who's naughty or nice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006765)

He's promising bulk data will go to a third party so the NSA can't see it. Okay, who is this magical third party?"

Obviously Santa Claus. He already collects data on children.

His lips are moving (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 9 months ago | (#46006785)

He is a politician.

Connect the dots.

Register's response is good. (4, Interesting)

bussdriver (620565) | about 9 months ago | (#46006851)

The main issue that a lot of people are going to have is:
1) They denied everything until Snowden
2) What they fix, they'll deny until the next leaker.

Possibly) What Snowden didn't leak, they will continue to deny and have no need to fix it. Plus there is the "need to know" stuff, some of which POTUS doesn't even know.

Re: Register's response is good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007471)

You don't understand, the only thing they are fixing are the concerns raised by the shit-thrown-into-the-fan leaks.

What the NSA will do is the same , good for them. How they do it will change to make people feel better. Whatever, good for you, it's like talking to people that just just found out there are sometimes bugs in your food.

Three words would suffice (1)

knarf (34928) | about 9 months ago | (#46006807)

In reality three words would suffice when it comes to translating any policitian's words on covert monitoring:

'bridge for sale [phrases.org.uk] '

Obama's Dilema Differed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46006915)

Snowden really did open a can of worms! And this will be in play long after the Nov. 2016 Presidential election.

Here's the problem for Obama and the DNC.

DoJ charged Snowden with theft of Gov. property: NSA operations, practices, procedures, methods and techniques.

The property was classified at Confidential, NOFORN and TOP SECRET.

A DoJ District Court Judge argued that the Federal GOVERNMENT was likely violating the U.S. Constitution, regarding NSA practices (including the above in the DoJ complaint against Snowden).

A second DoJ District Court Judge argued that NSA activities (in the DoJ complaint against Snowden) were:

1) Legal
2) Protected by US Federal Law
3) Anyone can engage in the same activities (communications metadata mining el al.).

Now, with BOTH rulings (one differed on appeal, the other final but likely to be appealed) is the DoJ's complaint VACATED?

Obama Dilema: If NSA doings are legal and DoJ's complaint has no legal basis, then if Obama pardons Snowden, who is Obama really pardoning [?] and why [?] for committing a non-crime?

Its like this:

Two guys are at Grand Central Station toilet stalls.

Guy 1: Hay, I heard that the boss of the DoJ is fucking his daughter.

Guy 2: So what?

Guy 1: He uses a French Tickler.

Guy 2: Hey, you got one of those?

So with all the 'complaints' and 'accusations' and 'incriminations' flying fast, Obama has no place to go but to pass it off to the other guy in the toilet stall.

Ha ha

Stop being so naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007027)

All these articles are worded so naively. They're both expecting honesty and good intentions from politicians, and making it sound like a single politician is responsible for it all. If people keep reading articles like this, they'll elect someone else next time and be just as shocked that things turn out even more crap.

Re: Stop being so naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007499)

It's like watching people find out what hot dogs are made of and making a big scene.

When you call shenanigans, they try the "well we didn't know before the leaks" bull crap. Hey, I like hot dogs... But what did you people THINK was in them before a bug crawled up your ass about it?

third party will be CLEC/LECs (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 months ago | (#46007163)

Look, the tech will simply be done on a distributed basis. We will no doubt pay the CLECs/LECs to hold the computers and data and then be able to access it with a warrant. Basically, it will be the same, except that it will costs us 3x what it currently does.

Fox News' reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007181)

NSA is buried on foxnews.com.... two minor stories linked below the fold, nothing from columnists.

Looks good for Obama politically so far. Fox News IS the voice of the national Republican Party.

Instead of a third party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007337)

IDCubed idea for an open source trust framework.

make this an issue for the next POTUS election (3, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about 9 months ago | (#46007351)

If people want to get the NSA reigned in they they should start now making this a big deal for the next election. It does two things. It will make sure the issue does not go away and force it to be an issue for Senate and House elections as well.

Re:make this an issue for the next POTUS election (4, Interesting)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 9 months ago | (#46007597)

It was an issue in the election that Obama won in 2008. The problem is that he lied his ass off and wasn't held accountable in 2012, not because Obama was doing a great job but because the other guy would have been 10x worse. I'm sure whoever runs in 2016 will either lie their ass off or figure out a way to make it a non-issue.

Among other lies on the subject:
"That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient," Obama said in 2007.
Later:
"I take the Constitution very seriously," he said. "The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America."

But either way, this won't be a huge issue in the next election. Ironically, it'll be the things Obama actually did right that the democrats get reamed for, like social services (since that costs money, albeit a teeny tiny fraction of what the wars are costing each year) that help a helluva lot of people,I didn't even know how much good they did until having a conversation with a relative who's a social worker, and healthcare reform (although implementation was half-assed, it is allowing a lot of people get insurance, and in the bigger picture it's a move in the right direction).

Freedom's just... (1)

angularbanjo (1521611) | about 9 months ago | (#46007573)

He should have just pulled out a six string and strummed along to Kris Kristofferson. "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose..."

Who will be the 3rd Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46007745)

I heard Blackwater is looking for work!

That interpretor's language is not Turing Complete (5, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#46007961)

What good is a lexical translator if the output doesn't compile? We've been incrementally compiling the language of ++BS (doubleplus bullshit) for quite a while, so let's just run what we've got now and see if there are any obvious errors.

The FBI and NSA have now both been tasked with maintaining "national security": This means maintaining the political, and socio-economic status quo despite the will of the people. [wikipedia.org] It's a fact they have a long history of acting to silence civil rights activism, anti-war activism, and other activist groups. They claimed to stop the practice, but the NSA has now admitted it still entertains the idea of discrediting "radicals", via exposing porn habits, etc. Under the state secret label of "national security" they FBI and NSA won't have to worry about pesky FOIA requests revealing their programs like they did in the past, and can delegate enforcement to the state police agency: DHS. It doesn't matter where the data is stored online, or how encrypted it is, the NSA can and will get at it via exploits. [theatlantic.com] , so Obama is free to promise the moon and stars. Not like oversight ever stopped them from blatant constitutional violations before.

Here is a documentary / book presenting facts which can be easily verified in an attempt explain the practice of Disaster Capitalism. [youtube.com] The gist is that through application of social, political and economic shock therapy you can bend the will of the people to your design and siphon a lot of wealth up into the upper echelon of private business. It's also a great way to force the privatization of public resources for corporate benefit. Anyone who objects or holds counter economic views is labelled a "radical extremist" of a "dangerous ideology" and rounded up in prison camps as examples of what happens if you disagree. The bogeyman of Communism or Marxism or Terrorism, etc. is thereby leveraged.

Warning: Cognitive Dissonance Detected.
    Assumption of inherent benign governance illogical: More evidence for Null Hypothesis against this stance exists.

This article examines the Pentagon's preparation to implement the round-up of those having "radical ideologies" in the wake of a Disaster Capitalism event, [theguardian.com] (essentially following the predicitons and warnings of the prior linked documentary) and explains how the PRISM system is apparently connected to it.

Error: Expected Event "Future" not found.
    Democratic Republic execution model is not consistent with economic ruin and despotism.

So, there we have it. It would be crazy to think anyone could benefit through economic ruin, so everything's probably OK. It seems our government is just run at the behest of rich corporations, and is wearing tinfoil hats in preparation of ensuring our continued acquiescence just in case they're ever able to strip more power from the people than is bearable. However, it's probably nothing to worry about unless they plan to let some "unforseen disaster" happen, like a Stock Market Crash, Pearl Harbour, 9/11, Energy Crisis, etc. or our ability to influence the government via the democratic vote has been hacked. [youtube.com]

TL;DR: Obama's Promises are merely legitimization and fulfilment of The Nightmare Eisenhower Tried to Warn Us About. [youtube.com]

This just in (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 9 months ago | (#46008215)

we can't trust our government.
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