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NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the we're-all-shocked dept.

Privacy 274

Charliemopps writes: "According to Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, 'There have been queries, using U.S. person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.' Basically, if you communicated with someone that is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, you've lost constitutional protection against searches without a warrant, according to the NSA."

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April Fools? (1, Offtopic)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 8 months ago | (#46634507)

I'm guessing.... no.

Re:April Fools? (5, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 8 months ago | (#46634569)

A little depressing, but it's getting hard to tell.

Re:April Fools? (2)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46634597)

Well, up to this story it was hard to tell. This one is so obviously true is breaks the pattern. How sad is that?

Re:April Fools? (3, Interesting)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 8 months ago | (#46635453)

Slasdot's biggest april's fools joke this year: No april's fools jokes! All of the news is unbelievable!

Re:April Fools? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634827)

James Clapper and Keith Alexander belong behind bars.

Re:April Fools? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46634999)

You think their replacements will be any different?

Re:April Fools? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635301)

If we started putting these people behind bars when they break the law? Yes, eventually the replacements would get the hint.

Re:April Fools? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635395)

Right, just like police brutality stopped when we arrested the first guy to do it..

The problem is that the culture inside law enforcement is that these guys see themselves as the avenging angels of justice, fully entitled to break the law in pursuit of capturing criminals. And it's no wonder, when you look at American films and television. It's always some lone cop, on a vigilante mission to kill the bad guys, above the law. It's a fantasy that has been so ingrained in our culture at this point, that from when these guys are little kids to when they join the force they are already programmed to fail. They're like mindless machines at that point -- they don't even see what is wrong with it...

Re:April Fools? (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46635403)

Well maybe if we arrested them then beat them and water boarded them repeatedly, maybe that might get the point across?

Re:April Fools? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46635615)

Well, it seems you have to vote for somebody who will appoint an Attorney General who will do just that. In which case you've already solved the problem, and a few others...

Re:April Fools? (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 8 months ago | (#46635075)

If it's too far-fetched to be from The Onion, it must be a real headline. Because comedy is supposed to make sense.

Re:April Fools? (5, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | about 8 months ago | (#46634655)

Whether they are joking or not, regardless of their claims, the activity of the NSA is a violation of the constitution. It matters not what the FISA court says or what they believe it should be. It is a civil rights violation and they have been breaking the law. Without a warrant any collection of data is a violation of the 4th amendment. The purpose behind the 4th amendment was to stop general warrants, of which, the NSA activities qualify.

Re:April Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634777)

I'm sure an AC will show up sooner or later and make the same comments that others have debunked in numerous other articles (That it's all constitutional, and that judges are always right in their interpretations of the constitution.).

Re:April Fools? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 8 months ago | (#46634807)

But if a court says it is okay, then it must be okay. After all, men in black robes are smarter than the rest of us!

Re:April Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635377)

And since it is a crime, they should be arrested. The actions should cease and desist, and persons should be taken into custody. Their tools of crime confiscated as evidence. How is this not happening. Everyday should be a greater personal crime against those responsible.... not tax payers, but the criminal element running these programs should be facing crimes against humanity.

Executive branch (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635405)

And the NSA is under the Executive branch of the US Government - the President of the US.

Back in 2001 - 2008, there was a President that was grabbing more power away from Congress and from we the people under the reason of National Security and safety and 9-11.

Some of us had a problem with that. We were called "unAmerican", "Bipartisan" and "Liberal".

When we protested and said that, "Whoever is next in office will get those powers and they WILL expand on them - regardless of their party." we were accused of using the "slippery slope" logical fallacy.

Now, we have a President of another party. He has not done much to reduce the powers the previous Administration gained.

The next POTUS will use those powers further - regardless of party. People will use the vapid rhetoric of "well, we haven't had another terrorist attack since! So, he's doing something RIGHT!"

So, the next time someone accuses me or anyone for that matter of using the "slippery slope" logical "fallacy", I'm gonna shove this example up their ass.

It won't do any good.. Next election in '16 will be about the same bullshit issues - abortion, when life begins, too much taxes, and "national security.

Abortion: doesn't apply to me because if a loved one wants one - even if it's illegal here - we'll jump on a plane to somewhere where it is because I'm well to do - and that is how it was done way back when. Anti-abortion laws only affects the poor.

Taxes - I'm for that. I want to pay zero and have the middle class pay my way.

National security: I don't give a rat's ass because I'm stateless. My capital rules. You go ahead and send your sons and daughters to die and fight for oil....freedom. (Some asshole Thunderbird pilot on Reddit actually said that he was there to fight for the downtrodden and for freedom - never mentioning that we won't touch N. Korea. USAF - lead don't fly! )

See folks, we are all a bunch of peons. We got our cars, cable, internet, and an ability to rant on the Internet. (Irony intentional.)

We are thrown bones to shut us up - the social Conservatives are the easiest to shut up; but they do keep demanding more and they won't be happy until we are a theocracy like Iran.

I am done now because my disgust for all of you is starting to make me gag.

Re:April Fools? (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 8 months ago | (#46635409)

Good, you have accepted that. Now what, O citizen, are you going to do about it?

Re:April Fools? (1)

bigfoottoo (2947459) | about 8 months ago | (#46635629)

Trogre, you have asked the right question, "Now what, O citizen, are you going to do about it?" The best answer I can see is this: we techheads need to work towards end-to-end encryption in every project we touch. This includes phone conversations. Let the NSA eat static.

Re:April Fools? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46635411)

Haven't you heard? We reinterpret the Constitution now to mean whatever we want it to mean. Can't let the founding fathers get in the way of freedom.

Re:April Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634911)

I believe this is the letter mentioned in the article:
http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/world/letter-to-sen-ron-wyden-from-dni-james-clapper/910/

OK, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634511)

... what is their definition of a terrorist?

Re:OK, but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634537)

... what is their definition of a terrorist?

If you are being suspected that makes you a terrorist. With this definition everything works out.

Re:OK, but... (4, Insightful)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 8 months ago | (#46634609)

anybody who gives 2 shits about their civil liberties.

DEFINITION (4, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about 8 months ago | (#46634691)

A member of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement, or anyone who objects to the corruption, wealth funneling, war mongering imperialism, or the militarization of the police.

In otherwords, "me"...
(and "you")

Re:DEFINITION (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 8 months ago | (#46635639)

Heaven help you if you supported both.

Re:OK, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634761)

Anyone who doesn't have a security clearance.

Re:OK, but... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46635019)

Depends on his target...

Re:OK, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635049)

I'm betting 'reasonably believed' includes anyone connected to or employed by any government or their contractors, anyone working for a large organization in competition with US corporations and anyone who disagrees with any Us policy and doesn't drink the US Government kool-aid.

Re:OK, but... (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 8 months ago | (#46635189)

a human being. so far other animals not considered yet.

Re:OK, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635589)

George Washington.

Ship James Clapperstein back to Israel. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634515)

Fuck that kike.

"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (5, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | about 8 months ago | (#46634519)

Not sure where that leaves "communist."

Re:"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634599)

Communist, capitalist, it doesn't matter so long as the boot of oppression is on the livestock's necks

Re:"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634885)

Well, it'll take some pressure off the previous "witches": sex offenders and drug lords.

Re:"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (1)

click2005 (921437) | about 8 months ago | (#46635073)

You forgot filesharers.. they tend to get lumped in together. Copyright infringement must be a gateway 'witch' or something.

Re:"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about 8 months ago | (#46635099)

Pedaphiles: looked down upon by terrorists, communists, witches, drug lords, and file sharers the world over.

Re:"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635239)

Behind. I was just talking to my friend Ahmed last week and yesterday morning I wake up with swollen and slightly aching rectum. I wasn't sure what was going on so I showed it to a proctologist. She found a tattooed "Approved by The NSA" stamp from my gastrointestinal tract to my amazement. The protologist recommended that I visit the a local alternative lifestyle community as I had now been cleared by the government.

I called Ahmed about it and we had a laugh. We agreed to visit the community as a joke. The place was quite nice and people helpful. My rectal discomfort simply vanished by the magic of one their community steam rooms, built right at the forest floor in a pit. I inhaled some weed, involuntary I might add, and then met my friend who had followed the community agricultural fest and traded in some manual labor for an earthly colored, handmade mat which he intended to use as a prayer mat. Sun was shining and all was well.

When we returned from the trip, I though I spotted a black car parked outside of my friends home. I moved on to drive to my home and got this strange feeling somebody was following me. After getting a good night sleep I woke up this morning, only discover my rectum once again swollen and slightly aching. Oh shit, I though, and dialed my favorite proctologist. The tattoo had a "Dis-" prefix added in the front of the word "Approved." I got the picture, had a recipe and as I was exiting the doctors office, I saw who was sitting in the waiting room. My friend Ahmed.

Re:"Terrorist" is the new "witch." (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 8 months ago | (#46635263)

Most of them were buried, burned or otherwise rendered non-corporeal by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, etc, etc, etc

Not Funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634521)

I know April Fools is a thing, but this is just not funny!

Re:Not Funny! (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 8 months ago | (#46634617)

I think it's pretty funny

Legal searches (1)

mozumder (178398) | about 8 months ago | (#46634529)

“These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.”

So, they were legal searches approved by the FISA court.

What was the problem again?

"BUT GOVERNMENT NEEDS OVERSIGHT!"

That's exactly what the FISA court does. What? You don't trust the people you gave trust to?

Re:Legal searches (4, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | about 8 months ago | (#46634673)

Where in that sentence do you think that the searches had been approved by FISA?
I think you need a lesson in reading comprehension, it claims the process used in the search had been approved by FISA, not these specific searches, and that is a very different thing.
The usual smokescreen doubletalk of course, but no where do they claim the search targets had been approved.

So, why are you trusting people who have got no approval, let alone specific approval?

Ah, thats right - you only believe in your rights not generic rights - and they haven't come for you yet.

Re:Legal searches (1)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 8 months ago | (#46634817)

So, they were legal searches approved by the FISA court.

Yeah, the masters of rubberstamping. Also, note how most things they approve of are unacceptably broad. The NSA shouldn't be able to collect the data *at all*.

You don't trust the people you gave trust to?

Never, at any point, have I ever gave them my trust.

wtf (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634535)

wtf is up with the auto-play read-out loud BS? It's like being waterboarded with "beta" feature. Make it stop.

Re:wtf (4, Insightful)

Fulminata (999320) | about 8 months ago | (#46634825)

Welcome to April 1st. Your wish will be granted on April 2nd.

Adblock filter stops it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634857)

I added an adblock filter and it has stopped it from showing up... here is the filter i added if you wish to try the same
|http://slashdot.org/images/articles/*.mp3?*

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634887)

Pretty sure the autoplay is an april fools.

Re:wtf (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 8 months ago | (#46634913)

NoScript is your friend.

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635633)

it's not a script. It's an audio tag
greasemonkey+ jquery -> $(function(){$('.audio').remove();})

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635067)

wtf is up with the auto-play read-out loud BS? It's like being waterboarded with "beta" feature. Make it stop.

Oh that? I run NoScript so it never plays unless I specifically tell it to play, with a left click. It doesnt interest me so I have never clicked on it. Ergo I have never heard it.

But you can go on being a passive lemming if you want to. Won't harm my experience any. In fact it is amusing to see people complain instead of taking simple steps to eliminate the object of complaint.

The Internet is not TV. You can actually do something about it. If you're one of the sheople then you can't be bothered even though it would take about the same time and effort you already put into complaining. But lots of people are sheople so you will at least enjoy lots of sympathisers. In American it's cool to be helpless! Victimhood is a major political force in fact. In America only a great big meaney-head would ever tell helpless people they aren't really helpless! I mean what victim would EVER want to learn they don't have to remain a victim. That's like, what a big meaney head would tell them.

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635079)

Oh fuck off. Not everyone is interested in having to whitelist everything on every new site they come across, and not everyone is in a position to even be using NoScript in the first place (e.g. mobile browsers other than Firefox for Android). Fucking elitist prick thinking they're more enlightened than everyone else.

This is (1)

lennonpaul (2493992) | about 8 months ago | (#46634577)

Bullshit

Re:This is (3, Interesting)

Arith (708986) | about 8 months ago | (#46634611)

Speaking of bullshit, what the devil is the deal with the damned voice I assume people get on RSS feeds? I don't recall ever checking a setting "Please read this to me in a terribly digitized voice every time I look at an article"

Re:This is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634643)

Perhaps you should volunteer to read the dictionary and send it in to Slashdot on about a couple of thousand floppy disks so they can fix it.

Make sure you remember to include a copy of pkzip with the archive.

Re:This is (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634649)

New here, you must be. Ponies, OMG, you loved would have.

Re:This is (2)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 8 months ago | (#46634775)

4/1. Pray that it's gone on 4/2.

Re:This is (1)

Arith (708986) | about 8 months ago | (#46634855)

Indeed, if this is a 4/1 joke, I'd hate to see the other jokes they play.
"Let's make annoying noises every time something happens, it'll be funny!" .. ugh

Re:This is (1)

Torodung (31985) | about 8 months ago | (#46635425)

I think it's hilarious, because it's someone reading in a robot voice, not a robot voice. I am gleeful imagining the staff recording every single submission for a dopey 401 joke.

Somebody submit a manifesto, or something similarly huge.

Re:This is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635369)

Speaking of bullshit, what the devil is the deal with the damned voice I assume people get on RSS feeds? I don't recall ever checking a setting "Please read this to me in a terribly digitized voice every time I look at an article"

Maybe if they made it sound more like Hawking, people wouldn't complain so much.

Not surprising (0, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46634615)

Today, I got out of bed without a warrant.

I brushed my teeth without a warrant, showered without a warrant, and got dressed without a warrant. I picked up my laptop bag without a warrant, having packed it last night without a warrant. Then I drove to work without a warrant. I proceeded to do my daily allotment of engineering, without a warrant for any of it. I read Slashdot without a warrant, and I'm posting this comment without a warrant, as well.

Of course, I don't need a warrant for any of this, and that's what the NSA thinks, too. In the opinion of the NSA, the information they gather isn't private, and they don't need a warrant to get it or use it.

Re:Not surprising (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 8 months ago | (#46634629)

Somebody mod this down

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634743)

In the opinion of the NSA, the information they gather isn't private, and they don't need a warrant to get it or use it.

And if we actually knew what they were doing instead of having to guess, we'd probably agree.
Secrecy breeds distrust and leads us to imagine the worst.

Re:Not surprising (1)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 8 months ago | (#46634843)

And if we actually knew what they were doing instead of having to guess, we'd probably agree.

Nope. They simply should not be collecting the data.

Re:Not surprising (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46635023)

What does "should not" have to do with any of this? They will, whether it's illegal or not, and regardless of how you or I or anyone else feels about it. Near as I can figure, we can all either metaphorically bend over and take it up the ass like good bitches, or just go and move elsewhere. It's not going to change just because of some subjective notion that they "shouldn't" do it... because they think they should, and they have the means by which to accomplish it, and that's all that matters to them. There's not a darn thing that any citizen can actually do about it that won't ultimately land them in prison, where one could end up taking things up the ass far more literally.

Re:Not surprising (2)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 8 months ago | (#46634835)

Wow, I've never looked at it that way. How very insightful. The people in power don't think their abuses of power are wrong, or even abuses of power? What a shocking revelation! I'm going to view the NSA in a whole new light, and it's all thanks to you.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46635267)

Your sarcasm shows that you don't actually understand the point.

From a legal perspective, this story's headline doesn't even agree with its summary:

NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

There have been queries ... of communications lawfully acquired...

Looking through information that's already been collected has never required a warrant, any more than I need a warrant to take a shower. Police detectives look through old evidence routinely looking for anything that might connect to another case, or that might have been missed the first time. This is not unusual in the least.

The whole point of requiring warrants is so officers can't use the government's power to harass people (or per recent SCOTUS rulings, invade privacy). Once information is gathered, there is no real further risk of invading harassment (or privacy invasion), so there is no need for a warrant. That's why the "lawfully acquired" qualifier is so important.

Unfortunately, that important detail is also the question that is so often ignored - whether the gathering itself actually requires a warrant. If no warrant is necessary, then the legal precedent is that the NSA is free to look at the data however it wants, including using individual-specific filters. On the other hand, legal precedent also holds that a warrant isn't necessary, because the NSA's collection isn't targeted in any way. The same precedent that allows DUI checkpoints would likely also apply here.

Of course, that just feels wrong, and that's why there's so much outrage at the NSA doing what they are legally allowed to do (as far as case law has determined). The easiest (and probably most just-feeling) approach is for Congress to clarify that bulk observation of private details is an invasion of privacy, regardless of whether it's targeted or not, and make exceptions for DUI checkpoints and other socially-accepted instances. The outrage at someone using the data they already have is, if you'll pardon the pun, unwarranted.

Re:Not surprising (0)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 8 months ago | (#46635371)

Your sarcasm shows that you don't actually understand the point.

Not really. Your post said basically nothing. I don't care if authority figures (even judges) think or say this is okay, and I know some people are angry that others have minds of their own and will yell at me for thinking this way, but their opinions are laughable to me as well.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 8 months ago | (#46635625)

It's a pity, then, that we live in a society that values everyone's opinions.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634971)

You wrote much, but said little — just your boring routine ("without a warrant," ad nauseam) followed by stating the obvious. Your post wasted the time of everyone who read it. The same goes for the authoritarian dreck you've got as your sig.

Re:Not surprising (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46635085)

...the information they gather isn't private...

Well technically, it is, but the companies that own it gave it up or sold it voluntarily.

Free To Do What We Tell You (5, Interesting)

Jahoda (2715225) | about 8 months ago | (#46634717)

"These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.' Basically, if you communicated with someone that is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, you've lost constitutional protection against searches without a warrant, according to the NSA." No, I'm sorry. I don't really give two-fucking shits what kind of weasel-dicked lawyer-speak garbage these scum fucks have come up with, continually honing, and that boils down to "Because FUCK YOU, that's why". What I want to know is: "When the justice system is no longer interested in enforcing the clear spirit and intent of the US Constitution, what are we as citizens supposed to do?" We have no representation in congress, clearly the police are not interested in protecting us and ensuring the government is bound by its own laws. The answer is coming down to bloody and violent conflict, or a one-thousand year police state that makes the feudal structure of 10th century Europe look like club-med.

Re:Free To Do What We Tell You (1)

Jahoda (2715225) | about 8 months ago | (#46634723)

There was actually a paragraph break in this at one point. Thanks /. Also, fuck your stupid beta.

Re:Free To Do What We Tell You (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 8 months ago | (#46634995)

So they just have to paint up to 6 people [wikipedia.org] with the brush of terrorist to get you, that is just collateral damage.. They are at war after all.

belief? (3, Funny)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 8 months ago | (#46634779)

That might be what the NSA says, but how could anyone believe them after everything else that has happened?

'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 months ago | (#46634781)

I don't get it? If the person is is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, then the FISA court would rubber-stamp a warrant so quick it would make heads spin. So why not get the warrant?

Re:'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 8 months ago | (#46634997)

Maybe because the NSA disagrees with the FISA court about what 'reasonably' means?

Re:'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635039)

I don't get it? If the person is is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, then the FISA court would rubber-stamp a warrant so quick it would make heads spin. So why not get the warrant?

(commenting as AC do to moderation)

Probably because as other NSA files have show[1] simply being with several degrees of separation away from a suspected terrorist makes you a target which means every person on the fucking planet. So that's to many warrants to rubber stamp without a machine at which point the even they can see how ridiculous this all is.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

Re:'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 8 months ago | (#46635123)

So why not get the warrant?

Because even the FISA court might balk at issuing a warrant for Dianne Feinstein's communications. You didn't really think that the NSA is not trawling through the communications of politicians, did you?

Circular Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635129)

1) We only investigate people who we ‘reasonably believe’ to be a terrorist.
2) We don’t need a warrant when we ‘reasonably believe’ that person to be a terrorist.
3) Therefore, We don’t need a warrant to investigate anyone we want to!

Just Keep Fucking With Us. (2)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 8 months ago | (#46634797)

And eventually we will snap. And when we do, it will be game over with this game of lies. Don't forget we are armed and own the keys to every base in this country. So, I advise you enjoy your moment in the sun, because soon, when you least expect it, SNAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Just Keep Fucking With Us. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46634951)

You radically overestimate the will of the sheeple.

Re:Just Keep Fucking With Us. (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 8 months ago | (#46635051)

Even a sheep will eat the entrails out of a man or beast if pushed far enough. I've seen it firsthand. Maybe you just like sheep with that defeatist attitude. We will throw your type under the bus first.

Re:Just Keep Fucking With Us. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#46635219)

My point being that no matter how right you may be, it's not something that most people are really willing to risk life or liberty for.

April Fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634813)

Ha, I bet it got you for a moment... but don't worry, the NSA would never admit to any wrong doing. It's just making cotton candy unicorns full of happiness, and those databases were built to tell them what flavor you like the most.

Someone please shoot the leaders in their heads (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46634849)

and reinstate the constitution. Problem solved.

Constitutional crisis approaches... (4, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 8 months ago | (#46634875)

Either communications (phone, email, twitter, etc.) are private and protected by the Constitution...or they are not. It cannot be both ways. If they are protected by the constitution...and the government, through its agency, the NSA, refuses to uphold the constitution, then a constitutional crisis is upon us...and the way forward on that is bleak since the constitution has been the basis for the existence of the United States for the last 2+ centuries. Here, we have the government essentially saying that their needs entitle it to disregard the constitution that they are sworn to uphold. Probably the only way to really resolve this is to arrest and bring the responsible officials into court on charges of treason...and it's not clear who or what would do the arresting and prosecution.

Re:Constitutional crisis approaches... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 8 months ago | (#46634989)

Probably the only way to really resolve this is to arrest and bring the responsible officials into court on charges of treason.

US Constitution, Article 3, Section 3. Learn it, love it, live it.

Re:Constitutional crisis approaches... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 8 months ago | (#46635071)

The oath for Federal Officials:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

That makes things pretty clear.

It doesn't matter what James Clapper's beliefs are (1)

machineghost (622031) | about 8 months ago | (#46634899)

It doesn't matter what James Clapper's beliefs are, because he's just one person and we shouldn't judge the entire NSA organization just on the beliefs of a single member.

Re:It doesn't matter what James Clapper's beliefs (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 8 months ago | (#46635417)

He's not merely a member - he's the one in charge.

Small World(s) Phenomena anyone ? (2)

burni2 (1643061) | about 8 months ago | (#46634905)

If you have communicated with someone "believed" to be a terrorist:

Say your friendly Kebab dealer at the corner where your phoned in and ordered 2x Lamacun 1x Doener Kebab,

perhaps his brother is an "orthodox" muslim (now it misses the bitter taste of calling extremist such) is believed to be a terrorist, so is his brother (blood is thicker ..) and so your are for (a day or two or a month, hey don't reason with a machine ..)

So questions to be asked:
a.) under which conditions is someone believed to be a terrorist

b.) how deep is the search depth

c.) what is ment with "communicated"
- ebay buyer/seller
- same chatroom (e.g. IRC)
- same kebab dealer .. "hey you dropped this 5$US bill ... Ohh thank you" this is "communicating"

Re:Small World(s) Phenomena anyone ? (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 8 months ago | (#46635041)

So questions to be asked:
a.) under which conditions is someone believed to be a terrorist

Well, zero. NSA has been scanning UseNet since the 1980's, really any Internet traffic (I'm sure earlier than that). They don't read your "stuff", it's scanned for keywords, then routed as procedure requires. It used to be common knowledge, it's been forgotten as well as the Usenet -to all but a few of us. The word "Nuclear" has always been a keyword.

Re:Small World(s) Phenomena anyone ? (1)

sexybomber (740588) | about 8 months ago | (#46635231)

I just took a nuclear shit. It was the bomb.

(Am I doing it right?)

Color me suprised (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 8 months ago | (#46634965)

Like I didn't see this one coming. This shouldn't come as a revelation to anyone.

When you have the ability you use it, the more you use it the less defined the lines become.

" Basically, if you communicated with someone ..." (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Bullard (62082) | about 8 months ago | (#46634973)

"Basically, if you communicated with someone that is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, you've lost constitutional protection against searches without a warrant"

Fair game. Really. And I speak here as the pacifist humanitarian that I am.

But how do you make distinction between a terrorist and a freedom figher whose people are trying to survive genonide under your friendly ("preferred") trading partners? Tibet (unique in every way; language, culture, ethnicity, script etc.)? Ukraine (unique and close to Europe)? Or perhaps just a member of some rural middle-eastern belief system from the 6th century?

What value system are you basing this "terrorist" label upon? Believing in freedom? Self-determination? Or something else? Saying unpleasant things about the militaristic occupying nation? (you'd disappear in China)

It's the 21st century so please make up your mind and finally make more than a pretend stand on this issue: who are the terrorists (who you may actually trade with) and who are the actual victims of terrorism (often state-sponsored)?

The whole democratic majority of the world (as long as it exists) has a last chance to decide what they consider acceptable, at a state level. Are your real opponents mere misguided goat herders or something state-sponsored and fundamentally game-changing?

April Fools?? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 8 months ago | (#46635025)

I gotta say, as a joke news posting, this one is in pretty poor taste. The NSA would never admit to this.

Kevin Bacon Game (1)

Slim Boom (3600717) | about 8 months ago | (#46635449)

HAHAHAHA!! The 6 degrees of separation. By this logic they can spy on the entire world because everyone knows someone who knows someone who kinda knows someone who . . .

"Great minds think alike"... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635567)

Oddly enough, I thought the same thing (great minds think alike) - however, there's little original thought, so we're most likely not alone in our mutual sentiments & speculations.

APK

P.S.=> Seriously - you're might probably be right, & yes/again: I was thinking it myself after I read the headline of the article here, & was going to post & saw yours, so replying in agreement...

... apk

Umm hello? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635479)

Since when are rights granted by the constitution able to be revoked by the state again? Isn't that the point of the constitution?

Dear NSA, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46635557)

I have lost my user name and password. Can you please look at the crap you have about me and email me my user name and password.

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