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Government Sent 2,000+ National Security Letters To AT&T In 2013

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the going-for-the-high-score dept.

AT&T 67

Trailrunner7 writes: "AT&T, in its first transparency report, said it received at least 2,000 National Security Letters and nearly 38,000 requests for location data on its subscribers in 2013. The new report from AT&T is the latest in a growing list of publications from telecom companies, Web providers and cell phone carriers who have been under pressure from privacy advocates and security experts in the wake of the Edward Snowden NSA surveillance revelations. AT&T's report shows a higher number of NSLs and subpoenas in 2013 than its most relevant competitor, Verizon. In January, Verizon's first transparency report showed that the company received between 1,000 and 1,999 NSLs in 2013 and 164,000 subpoenas. AT&T said it got 2,000-2,999 NSLs and 248,343 subpoenas last year. AT&T also received nearly 37,000 court orders and more than 16,000 search warrants."

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Thats a lot of national threats... ? (5, Interesting)

XLT_Frank (2759563) | about 8 months ago | (#46288687)

It is time for them to answer up and tell us what they were for. I want to see the fruit of their supposed labor.

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#46288795)

38,000 terrorists were caught, obviously. Millions of American lives were saved and you're worried about protocols and paperwork...?

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289343)

or perhaps 38000 fathers that skipped out on their child support....or 38000 bail jumpers...38000 wanted felons...etc etc

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#46289861)

Oh Noes!! the appeals to emotion are running wild today!!

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#46290873)

or perhaps 38000 fathers that skipped out on their child support....or 38000 bail jumpers...38000 wanted felons...etc etc

All of those were matters of "National Security", obviously...

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 8 months ago | (#46292277)

No. Only 2,000 were National Security. 38,000 were "We want to know where somebody is. You don't need to know why."

It'd be interesting to see what groups were asking. I mean, I can somewhat understand if it is a combination of police and FBI. I can easily believe that, nationwide, there are about 104 requests every day to know where somebody is or was at a particular time.

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46288861)

I always knew that AT&T users were terrorists.

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 8 months ago | (#46288997)

You have to understand government reasoning though...

The fact that there were over 2,000 is evidence of the threats and the need...afterall, they never would have issued NSLs if they didn't need them, therefore thats 2,000 cases of legitimate terrorist investigation!

See its really a huge problem.... need evidence? That is your evidence, just look how many times they used it!

If the number goes down, its evidence that its working, if the number goes up, its evidence they need to do even more!

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 8 months ago | (#46291351)

2000 given the size of the USA phone network is not that big - remember the network effect one suspect might trigger one for each recent contact the two boston bombers alone could easily have caused 20 or 30.

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289515)

This isn't transparency when any one of those requests could have been a blanket demand for all the data.

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46291299)

That's 5 or 6 NSL's, and 104/105 requests for location data, every day for a year.

I see 2 possibilities here.

1) If there is that much suspect activity within the US to warrant such resources daily, we've failed to combat terrorism by such an absurd amount, the US should entirely re-evaluate its entire foreign policy, as well as the entire military strategy. And before that, completely overhaul immigration, and perhaps stop ALL green cards and visas to the US for 5 years. Sorry, but we can't even keep the house clean!

2) There aren't that many threats on a daily basis, and policy for NSL's and location data are far too broad resulting in a statistically significant number of false positives. Point is, they're wasting massive resources on a surveillance dragnet against everyday US citizens.

All of this however, is somewhat misleading, since it assumes all surreptitious activity that should be caught on AT&T's network, was. And this is just 1 cellular network.

Re:Thats a lot of national threats... ? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 8 months ago | (#46291373)

The USA has a population 317,558,000 I can easily believe that there are 5 or 6 possible terrorism leads per day that woudl need investigating

Only for terrorism! (5, Insightful)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 8 months ago | (#46288723)

They PINKY SWEAR they're only using this information for terrorism, right?

If there are really THAT MANY terrorists inside the US, we're fucked. I mean, really truly fucked. I'm surprised any of the bridges or large buildings in my city are still standing. We KNOW The FBI and DHS can't catch everyone. Oddly enough, all the bridges and buildings are still there. No one has taken down the water supply. Electricity still works. Parking sucks, but that's normal. :D No terrorists attacks have taken place (and it's NOT because the FBI stopped them.)

That means all those THOUSANDS of requests... lets see, 16,000 search warrants, 50 states, 320 search warrants per state... I should have an active terrorist cell of AT LEAST 50 people in my city. Probably 100. Where are they?

They don't exist. That means they're using this information, and the powers granted to them FOR CATCHING TERRORISTS, for other things. No way!

Re:Only for terrorism! (4, Informative)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 8 months ago | (#46288763)

And lest you think I'm just whining on the internet, there are things you can do. Volunteer for the ACLU. give money to the EFF. join an organization dedicated to fixing congress. Get money out of politics. It's not hard. It just takes that little bit of motivation to get off your ass and go do something. That itsy little bit really does make a difference.

I challenge all of you. Look up your state and federal reps, and add them as contacts on your phone. Call them when you're bored and tell them what's important to you. It really does make a difference.

Ok, so you're THAT lazy... :D Here. Sheesh. http://whoismyrepresentative.c... [whoismyrep...tative.com]

Re:Only for terrorism! (2)

judoguy (534886) | about 8 months ago | (#46289061)

Get money out of politics...

Why do people even bother to say this?!? WTF does that even mean?

Politics is ONLY about money. Oh, you mean somehow make it so that people can run for office without having any money. Really? In what possible system can that happen? I ran for city council in a small suburb of Minneapolis recently. Cost me about $8000 for ads, mailings, etc. How the hell are the "people" supposed to evaluate candidates without an information stream, i.e., "publicity"?

Oh, you say, "We'll have government paid for publicity for candidates. That'll get the money out of politics!" Wrong! All that does is let the government decide who can run for government.

Re:Only for terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289497)

Oh, you mean somehow make it so that people can run for office without having any money. Really? In what possible system can that happen?
I ran for city council in a small suburb of Minneapolis recently. Cost me about $8000 for ads, mailings, etc. How the hell are the "people" supposed to evaluate candidates without an information stream, i.e., "publicity"?

H.G. Wells actually had an interesting idea (about 100 years ago) that could solve this problem.

Voter Juries
Basically, not everyone is allowed to vote. You pick 20-30 people at random, and they get paid to evaluate all the candidates and then vote.
So, candidates don't need money for publicity. The people voting (should) take it very seriously because obviously their vote matters.
The only problem is that not everyone gets a say in who wins... But, really, how often does your vote matter now when everyone votes?

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46292401)

Interesting idea. If you took it a little further, you could choose a large enough voter pool that the decision would be an accurate reflection of the electorate's will, with very high probability. The pool would still be small enough that we could arrange to pay them so they could really put in the time needed to evaluate the candidates and make a careful choice.

However, it would still leave the vast majority of people feeling like they had no say, and the feeling of disenfranchisement would, I think, do more damage than any improvement in the selection of leaders. As it is, we all feel like we have a tiny say, even if we recognize that it's almost indistinguishable from zero.

Re:Only for terrorism! (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#46289729)

I'm going to quote you out of order, but the context will remain.

Politics is ONLY about money. Oh, you mean somehow make it so that people can run for office without having any money. Really?

What it has become is not how it was intended, how it was designed, or how it was envisioned. Just like a Religion, people abuse everything to gain power and control. More on this shortly.

Oh, you say, "We'll have government paid for publicity for candidates. That'll get the money out of politics!" Wrong! All that does is let the government decide who can run for government.

Again, you are repeating propaganda and not looking at how we were intended to run.

Why do people even bother to say this?!? WTF does that even mean?

That is the easy question, but lets see if you are willing to do the work. Read Plato's "The Republic", then read the Federalist papers, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, and study just a bit of history. Everything will become abundantly clear.

I am not going to rewrite several novels worth of material for you, but rather demand that you do the work. I will give a small piece of Plato's The Republic for you. I'm paraphrasing for time and space sake. Don't be lazy, read the _WHOLE_ book!

Socrates: Imagine a government that keeps all of their citizens in a cave. They work all day and come back to a common room at night. A marionette show plays on the wall to entertain them, and their needs are met. Glaucon: To them, life would seem normal. They have no idea that the outside exists so they have nothing to compare their current life with. Socrates: Now imagine a slave gets free one day, and slips out of the cave. What would they feel? Glaucon: I imagine they would be ill. The light would hurt their eyes, but also their astonishment at seeing the world would create a hatred for the people that kept them in a cave. Socrates: The would surely feel pity on those in the cave and try to help them escape. How many would leave the cave? Glaucon: Very few, they have their needs met and some form of entertainment. They would fear the unknown, and would not be easily convinced to leave what they know.

For as long as I have been alive, which probably has you beat, my time has been spent trying to stay out of the cave. People holding power want us in the cave, which is why so few have actually read or studied this brilliant piece of Philosophy from over 2,400 years ago. Most people that claim to have read the book have only read a piece and simply believe what others tell them about the whole work.

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

egarland (120202) | about 8 months ago | (#46289911)

The weather doesn't pay to inform people as to what it will be like in the next few days. Why should we expect political candidates to pay to inform us? I can't imagine a system less likely to get the right person into the job.

Money in politics isn't the problem, it's that money is what determines who wins. If someone spends a fortune running for office, but a broke, mild mannered person who does no fundraising, but happens to be a great choice for the job happens to win instead, then we've fixed the system.

I expect the fix would require a lot of trust-based information gathering and distribution, where people put a lot of thought and effort into objectively determining candidates suitability for the job, and then those results are disseminated to people who seek it out and can then make better informed decisions. Political journalism used to fill this need, but it has devolved into parroting press releases full of spin, and is worse than useless now. I think we need a new system of evaluating candidates, and there's a ton of ways it can be done, but at it's core there should be the goal of counteracting the corrupting force of money and allowing the best person for the job to get it.

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 8 months ago | (#46292571)

A good place to start getting money out of politics can be done with a targeted attack on campaign contributions. There is a limit of $2500 for individual contributions but the 503 corporations were created for the sole purpose of getting around the $2500 limit. Specifically targeting this issue instead of generalizing the entire system makes it easier for the public to understand. Make the politicians to explain their campaign expenses in detail. Politicians would be hard pressed to justify the amount of donations they receive. Make them explain why a big corporation would contribute massive amounts of money and what do these contributors expect in return. These issues are relatively easy for the average person to understand. Generalization creates so many issues they almost seem unassailable and impossible to change to the average citizen.

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 8 months ago | (#46292937)

Sigh. Well, you keep doing nothing. I'm sure that'll work out well for you. I'll just keep working with others in my state and saving your ass, little by little. I'm sure it's all hopeless, you know, except that we're succeeding in 20 states. All it really took was to try.

Nah, I'll bite... I'd rather politicians (and I've met several, and they're just people. Some are brighter than others), were taking public money to run their campaigns than corporate or lobbyist money. It's a matter of influence. And yes, people need to be informed. I don't count those stupid yard signs as informative, and I don't count the usual TV ad as informative either, but oh well.

You keep thinking "government bad" and not doing anything. I'll just be over here saving our country, from itself. :/

Re:Only for terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289545)

And lest you think I'm just whining on the internet, there are things you can do. Volunteer for the ACLU. give money to the EFF. join an organization dedicated to fixing congress. Get money out of politics. It's not hard. It just takes that little bit of motivation to get off your ass and go do something. That itsy little bit really does make a difference.

The only way to change the US Government is by means of a bullet. The government understands only violence and reacts to violence. Severe the head of the beast. Al Qaeda would have done the world a favor by crashing those aircraft into the buildings of Congress, Senate, and White House. But as you know they were working in cahoots with the US Government by crashing the financial sector...opps the "Too Big Too Fail" investment bankers did that themselves almost 7 years to the day of the alleged terrorist attacks on New York. Anyone have a musket, some gunpowder, and a lead shot?

CAPTCHA: expunge

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 8 months ago | (#46292949)

Sigh. Well, take your stash of AR15's, and go up against the US Military. I'll hold my breath, 'cause you won't last longer than 60 seconds. :D

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#46289819)

In spite of some responses to your post, I commend you for it.
Give the boot to degenerates like the Clap, Alexander, Feinstein, Lieberman,
and the whole lot that subscrinbes to the maxim "Keep the rich happy and
(to that end) keep the rest frightened".

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46290465)

Or, alternatively, you could actual read up on some facts and then create an informed opinion.
I know, leaving your echo chamber is scary, and stupid people fear what they don't understand.

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

XLT_Frank (2759563) | about 8 months ago | (#46288765)

It is worse than that! That is just one carrier. You have Verizon and T-Mobile. Plus you have all of the major email providers receiving these letters.

Re:Only for terrorism! (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#46288805)

...and that's only the stuff they had to specifically request. Most of the stuff they can hoover up automatically so they don't need no steenkin' NSLs.

Re:Only for terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46288973)

These people COULD be terrorists. Best to check to be sure!

Don't panic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289001)

I didn't read TFA, but couldn't 37,000 court orders and 16k search warrants be related to legitimate things that aren't "OMG national security!", like tracking down amber alerts or verifying for the court whether someone was or was not violating their restraining order? Still though, 3K NSLs is 600 per state, which means there's at least a dozen or so T's in each metro area.

Re:Don't panic! (2)

nigelo (30096) | about 8 months ago | (#46289193)

> 3K NSLs is 600 per state,

Mathematics. Please study it.

Re:Don't panic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289333)

It was a typo. My final answer was correct. 3000 / 50 = 60, and if you take the 5 largest cities, that's about a dozen apiece.

Re:Don't panic! (1)

LaughingVulcan (3511853) | about 8 months ago | (#46289987)

Yah, but the Fed and poster knows there are only 5 states that realy matter in this country. Actually 5 MSLs. The rest of us are just along for the ride.

Re:Don't panic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46291225)

couldn't 37,000 court orders and 16k search warrants be related to legitimate things that aren't "OMG national security!", like tracking down amber alerts or verifying for the court whether someone was or was not violating their restraining order?

Does it matter? If that was the case, then they are abusing National Security Letters for something that isn't, you know, National Security. That is an abuse of power.

On the other hand, if that is not the case, then they are intentionally claiming just about everyone is a terrorist so they can scoop up even more data. Again, an abuse of power. Seriously, 38,000 from just one provider for just one year? There is absolutely no way they can in good faith say they actually had reason the believe all those people had anything at all to do with national security.

So, either way, you should be angry. Exercise your right to speak out against it while you still can.

Re:Only for terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289793)

Oddly enough, all the bridges and buildings are still there. No one has taken down the water supply. Electricity still works. Parking sucks, but that's normal.

I would just like to point out that National Security, like IT, is demonstrably doing its job when *nothing is going wrong*. Pointing out that everything still works is more evidence that the NSA is doing something right rather than wrong. Of course, from the end user perspective, it is really hard to tell how many problems they caught before we ever even noticed them.

*Sidenote: I am not defending the government's surveillance programs. Just showing that GP's line of reasoning isn't particularly sound.*

Re:Only for terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46291263)

That's not necessarily the case. A few months ago, the NSA had to admit in court that it has stopped zero domestic terrorist attacks. It's pretty easy to claim they are doing a good job at stopping terrorist attacks when they aren't any to begin with.

Well, to be fair, Odin did promise to end all ice giants, and I don't see any ice giants around, so that's perfect proof that he delivered on his promise! Guess you better start praying to Odin now.
https://lh3.ggpht.com/-dsBXWmLgTYQ/UVIL6mVVx2I/AAAAAAAACtg/LffeQ6OJAwY/s1600/odin-ice-giants.jpg

Re:Only for terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46291359)

I am not saying that it is proof that the government is doing their job, I was pointing out that GP was using the lack of attacks as proof they weren't doing their jobs.

It would be like saying, "Well, I don't see any ice giants, so Odin must not be doing anything." It doesn't make sense.

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 8 months ago | (#46292321)

16,000 search warrants, 50 states, 320 search warrants per state... I should have an active terrorist cell of AT LEAST 50 people in my city.

That 16,000 is all the warrants from all sources including local, state and federal police investigating crimes not related to terrorism. You are making the assumption that all the requests are supposed to be terrorism related and that is not true. For example, getting a warrant for a phone dump on a murder suspect would be in that total.

Even the national Security Letters and FISA requests are not all about terrorism. That have been and continue to be about counterespionage as well.

Re:Only for terrorism! (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 7 months ago | (#46305535)

They PINKY SWEAR they're only using this information for terrorism, right?

No they don't. Because this number is total subpoenas and search warrants. These could be for tax fraud, divorce cases, speeding tickets, murder trials etc.

Welcome to 1884, where a lawyer can subpoena information on you in the course of a trial. The National Security Letters examples are related to terrorism. Everything else is just all of the normal legal requests a large document archive will get related to the rest of the law enforcement activities we've seen for hundreds of years.

Shockingly high count? (0)

BobMcD (601576) | about 8 months ago | (#46288747)

Taken together, this would allude to the existence of a shockingly high number of terrorists active in the US, wouldn't it?

Who would have thought we have over 412,000 active terrorists using our cell towers???

Re:Shockingly high count? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46288779)

There are many more people than that living in the United States that government considers to be terrorists.

Among these terrorists are people who carry a copy of the Constitution with them, people who assert their rights during traffic stops, and people who have pro-gun stickers on their cars.

Re:Shockingly high count? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46288929)

> 412,000 active terrorists

Nice lie asshole. They only received 2,000-2,999 actually NSLs, but of course you know that. Instead, you add completely unrelated numbers like from protective orders or missing children searches to your lie. I noticed that your post is a +2 right now. I love how /. always rewards the liars, but great posts from ACs are almost always punished all of the way down to zero. How about you stop fucking over this site with your nonsense. It's bad enough reading all of the Beta whines without also having chicken-little style lies spamming the site.

Re:Shockingly high count? (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 8 months ago | (#46288951)

Uh, the subpoenas are for any crime where the police have reasonable cause to obtain the call or location data of a suspect, not just terrorists. To me that seems reasonable, there were 1.2M violent crimes in the US in 2011 according to the FBI, that means the police are only requesting call or location data in at most 1/3rd of such cases (probably many are for non-violent crimes, though it would have to be a fairly major property crime or spree of such for the cops to go through the trouble of doing the paperwork).

Re:Shockingly high count? (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 8 months ago | (#46291703)

(probably many are for non-violent crimes, though it would have to be a fairly major property crime or spree of such for the cops to go through the trouble of doing the paperwork)

...or involve drugs. After forfeiture and other asset seizure, any investigation involving drugs more than pays for itself.

You people still use this site? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46288837)

Do you all like being guinea pigs for Alice Hill and her MBA touting goons trying to pander your participation in her Slashington Post wet dream?

National Security Letters? (2)

Indy1 (99447) | about 8 months ago | (#46288841)

More like National Fascism Letters...

I'm not surprised though, ATT has been the lap dog of the Fed.gov since day 1.

Re:National Security Letters? (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 8 months ago | (#46289041)

I'm sure they'll stop as soon as President Bush is finally out of office.

Re:National Security Letters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289613)

I'm sure they'll stop as soon as President Bush is finally out of office.

Yeah George Walker Bush was simply spray tanned, changed his hairstyle, and got a new family so the Republicans could usurp the constitutional term-limit restriction. And you thought Bush II was stupid. Ha!

Re:National Security Letters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289201)

> More like National Fascism Letters...

Oh please. Did you forget who is President? You act like Bush is still there. If he was doing it, then it would be fascism.

Either we live in East Germany or ... (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#46288849)

Either we live in East Germany and the NSA is the Stasi, or somebody hasn't been reading the US Constitution and the sections about quartering troops in our domiciles (aka computers, cell phones) and unwarranted search and seizure without reasonable cause.

Every day, our freedoms disappear, even though anyone with actual counter-terrorism experience knows 99.9 percent of the problem is overseas in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan.

Re:Either we live in East Germany or ... (1)

Knutsi (959723) | about 8 months ago | (#46289267)

Let's not forget this thing [un.org] either.

Re:Either we live in East Germany or ... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46290445)

Our computer are domiciles now?

Fuck you is all I have to say to people who think this is ANYTHING like East Germany. Bunch of ignorant, spoiled, entitled shits.

Re:Either we live in East Germany or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46292787)

Our computer are domiciles now?

Stone walls do not make a prison.

How are they not? That is where people keep their money, that is where they keep photos of their children, that is where they chat with friends after work. That is where billions of dollars of business is conducted daily, that is where people read the news, that is where people sit back to watch a movie. That is where people relax with a game. Above all of that, if you still don't buy it, that is where people have sex. Sounds like a domicile to me.

Fuck you is all I have to say to people who think this is ANYTHING like East Germany

I'm sorry you have been misled. Rather than lashing out, why not try directing your energies towards freeing yourself from the kidnappers and terrorists who have imprisoned you?

Re:Either we live in East Germany or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46292801)

or somebody hasn't been reading the US Constitution

Hell, they don't even need to read it. All they need to know is:

1) it is a whitelist, where the government can only do things explicitly listed
2) it specifically contains an all-encompassing wildcard where anything not explicitly allowed is DENIED

The framers knew how EVERY GOVERNMENT EVER trends. They witnessed it.

I do not see "search computers and cell phones" on the list of allowed activities.

I do not see "lie to congress" on the list either.

Nor do I see "engage in prolonged war on idealogies and concepts in order to grant yourself special powers indefinitely" on the list.

Nor do I see any mention of metadata.

It's not "why do you hate America, we would never do that" its "EVERY AUTHORITY IN THE WORLD ABUSES THEIR POWERS IF NOONE STOPS THEM."

Its not that the American government is so bad, its simply that power corrupts. Anyone. Everywhere. All the time.

hidden NSA room in San Fran (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 8 months ago | (#46288969)

So does that also include all the data collected from room 641A [wikipedia.org] ?

Please name this country Soviet USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289165)

It's about time and the name is well reserved.

Its a shame there is a need for such transparencey (1)

3seas (184403) | about 8 months ago | (#46289391)

as the NSA is an illegal organization in violating the Bill of Rights. And there are those in law who know this.

Re:Its a shame there is a need for such transparen (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46290437)

False. Congress gave them permission, hence not illegal.
Also, congress can take away any amendment, legally.

You might ant to read the constitution.

Re:Its a shame there is a need for such transparen (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#46292019)

Re Congress gave them permission, hence not illegal.
Yes it gives US agencies internal legal cover for a few years until tested in open court.
Then the reality of the 4th Amendment sets in and any laws offering 'permission' become a legal joke.

The typical govt smokescreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289581)

How could all of this be about anything but illegal downloading?

No way in hell there's any where near this kind of terrorism in the US, but there sure as hell is a fury of a shitstorm over illegal downloads. How many private industries do you know that get Federal protection, besides the Post Office? Have you seen enough FBI seals before watching a DVD to get it yet?

It's about money, dumbasses!

And if you work for a security agency, you can take pride in knowing you work for the people that run Hollywood, like it or not. What an aspiration!

Try this concept on: You can get a federal rap sheet for illegally copying a DVD or distributing it, fined heavily and/or likely federal prison time.
But if you shoplift the disc and get caught, it's a misdemeanor and you're fined a couple of bucks.

Re:The typical govt smokescreen (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#46289749)

The answer: the shoplifter fucks the store-holder (prob. someone middle-class who's being fucked over by you know whom), the downloader fucks the MAFIAA (as they themselves claim).

Numbers (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 8 months ago | (#46289597)

Lets look at the report [att.com] actually means.

The first part of the report refers to National Security Letters and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requests. Most people seem to assume that all these requests are submitted as counter terrorism related. That is not true. Both of these types of requests existed before 911 and were used to investigate foreign intelligence operations. What changed is that they are now able to use them to investigate individuals not associated with a country but a terrorist organization instead. There are still counterespionage investigations going on and that would account for some if the requests. I would like a breakdown between the two categories but I doubt that will ever happen.

The next section refers to "Total U.S. Criminal & Civil Litigation Demands". These requests can come from many sources including local police. They could be related to crimes such as murder, drug dealing, racketeering, etc. For example,when a police officer is investigating a murder suspect and they dump the phone that is one request. The civil cases could include things like divorces where one party is trying to prove infidelity. These requests are most likely unrelated to terrorism.

Re:Numbers (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#46292083)

The number could be a real mixed catch all.
If local law enforcement cant work out/fund parallel construction at a city or state level - try the Fusion centre and 'new' laws/methods/enjoy federal funding.
A vast count of limited classic crime been termed terror related due to movement of cash or drugs or weapons - a win for local law enforcement and 'new' laws/methods/federal funding.
Then finally the 'hop' method of finding one person/parallel construction/"entrapment" to then adding all friends, family, work related i.e. all connected telco records.
All the extra telco records are then looked at and then friends of friends, friends of family, friends and family work calls, colleagues add up over a few to 3+ hops from one person.
It all feeds back to parallel construction :)

Comrades please come here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46289603)

I guarantee, you will feel home here. It like Brezhnev living in USA again.
USA is new Soviet state for all comrades.

2,000 potential terrorists (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#46289727)

is still less than 30 odd thousand girlie brief peekers.

Fuck the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46290101)

Sorry, but those numbers mean exactly dick, until we know exactly what is in each and every single one.

1 letter does not mean one suspect.
1 letter could equal: give us all digital data of every communication in to and out of Boston for the next 12 months. Also, while your at it throw in all transatlantic communication to the united states and anywhere else we forgot to ask for.

The subpoenas could include everything from terrorist or drug dealers to someone's nasty drag out divorce case. Not hard to get from any of the bs courts in the United States for any even marginally incompetent lawyer.

Court orders, those are dime a dozen.

All that, and the phone companies are not just passive collectors. They are actively selling their own databases to the goverment. Why would they need a court order of any sort, when they are actively marketing the data they have.

Is that a lot? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46290429)

Te have millions of customers, so it seems like a tiny percentage. If you take into account degrees of separation, many of them were probably for related cases.

NSA Lottery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46293561)

It's like the lottery with these type of reports on how many requests they had received... sadly not the kind of lottery where you get lots of money but the kind where you may or may not end up in a black hole somewhere without any due process.

Yay! Let the games begin!

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