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Former NSA Director: 'We Kill People Based On Metadata'

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the kill-metadata-based-on-people-instead dept.

Privacy 155

An anonymous reader writes "An article by David Cole at the NY Review of Books lays out why we should care as much about the collection of metadata as we do about the collection of the data itself. At a recent debate, General Michael Hayden, who formerly led both the NSA and the CIA, told Cole, 'we kill people based on metadata.' The statement is stark and descriptive: metadata isn't just part of the investigation. Sometimes it's the entire investigation. Cole talks about the USA Freedom Act, legislation that would limit the NSA's data collection powers if it passes. The bill contains several good steps in securing the privacy of citizens and restoring due process. But Cole says it 'only skims the surface.' He writes, 'It does not address, for example, the NSA's guerilla-like tactics of inserting vulnerabilities into computer software and drivers, to be exploited later to surreptitiously intercept private communications. It also focuses exclusively on reining in the NSA's direct spying on Americans. ... In the Internet era, it is increasingly common that everyone's communications cross national boundaries. That makes all of us vulnerable, for when the government collects data in bulk from people it believes are foreign nationals, it is almost certain to sweep up lots of communications in which Americans are involved.' He concludes, '[T]he biggest mistake any of us could make would be to conclude that this bill solves the problem.'"

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155 comments

Project Insight... (4, Funny)

AceCaseOR (594637) | about 2 months ago | (#46969305)

Calling Dr. Arnim Zola to the white courtesy phone. Dr. Arnim Zola to the courtesy phone please.

The price of liberty (4, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 months ago | (#46969309)

As Jefferson would say, only eternal vigilance can protect us.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969353)

Or Admiral Tolwyn.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

gangien (151940) | about 2 months ago | (#46970079)

I don't think Tolwyn said that. That was the captured pilot.

Re:The price of liberty (5, Informative)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#46969467)

Something like that.

But what Jefferson (and others who made similar statements) were talking about was the public keeping an eye on its own government.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970195)

No I think what Jefferson meant was paying an agent to live in everyones home. The Agent was the every vigilant one, watching incase someone appeared to start discussing the thin veil of freedom. Give up your guns and help law enforcement by armored vehicles. It's for Freedom*.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969519)

So go do something rather than quoting dead white guys b

Re:The price of liberty (2)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 2 months ago | (#46970795)

It's too late. We gave up our freedoms in favor of politicians who would "support" one or two ideological issues. The system is too far gone to be fixed, unfortunately.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970837)

It is never "too late", but the later you start, the more it will cost you.

Re:The price of liberty (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#46969621)

Jefferson also created a standing navy and invaded a foreign nation using a military unit called the marines. The success of this invasion depended on foreign intelligence collected by citizens of that foreign nation and delivered to the US. He did this all to protect the citizens of the US.

You can get a "that a boy" if you can tell me what province or state which was part of that country who allowed us to stage in their ports and conduct operations from it. I'll give you a hint, some think it is all about oil but we defended them from invasion at some point in the last 40 or so years.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970507)

morocco, the first barbary war?

Re:The price of liberty (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#46970611)

The marines staged and took supplies in the port of Kuwait which had been a trade port for the Americas long before the US was even a country before setting off for battle. They then marched into battle in various areas ending up in Tripoli while advancing the notion of regime change (replacing Pasha Qaramanli with Hamet Qaramanli as the ruler of Tripoli) until they finally decided peace was preferable.

Re:The price of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969755)

Sounds like eternal slavery to me.

It is getting to a point where a lifetime of sleeping with one eye open only reinforces that your government is a pack of vipers and perhaps the true price of liberty is ostracizing those who seek to debase it.

This spaghetti code government is proof that the current form has failed, and perhaps we need a clean sheet structural change.

Who cares (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969321)

GHCHQ can monitor US citizens and then tell the NSA the stuff they need. What we need are spying restrictions to EVERYONE not just the americans. The only exception should areas where the US is at war.

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#46969431)

The only exception should areas where the US is at war.

We're always at war. The war on drugs. The war on porn. The war on obesity.

Re:Who cares (5, Funny)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 2 months ago | (#46969491)

There's a war on porn? I feel as though the genitals are winning. Nothing can stop them.

Re:Who cares (3, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#46969583)

That we're losing the 'war' as badly as we are against drugs, obesity, etc... Doesn't detract from the point.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969589)

The federal government does a surprising amount of trying to arrest porn stars.

The war on penises and tatas and hooters is never ending, when will they be defeated??!!!

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

Rufty (37223) | about 2 months ago | (#46970033)

We need a war on war.

Re:Who cares (2)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | about 2 months ago | (#46970601)

Didn't we already try that?
The war to end war [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who cares (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#46970045)

We're always at war. The war on drugs. The war on porn. The war on obesity.

Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia [studentsfororwell.org] .

The US has always been at war with Eastasia (2)

Rix (54095) | about 2 months ago | (#46969443)

So that's not going to be an improvement.

Re:Who cares (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969529)

Posting AC to be a devil's advocate here:

What is ironic is that the NSA isn't a real threat. Nobody gets dragged off in the night. However, there are real intel agencies which will be more than happy to make people disappear. Those are now running unchecked and unfettered now that the "good" (relative here) guys are under the microscope.

In fact, with NIST standards and kernel hardening (SELinux for example), they have done some good to keep the real bad guys out.

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but people need to always know who to be worried versus ignored. For me, the NSA isn't on my list. Lots of people/organizations higher up on that (the top being the neighborhood meth-head looking to do a burglary to score some rock to feed his addiction.)

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969827)

There is zero irony in your statement. In fact it's irrelevant. The criticism of the NSA is merely soup of the day, the criticism is really meant for the entire federal government. Between the 18 plus intelligence agencies, they certainly do drag people off the street. And people have been killed in the street. And "anonymous tips" sent down from on high, to the local bureaucratic layers at the state/county/city levels. They aren't going after bad guys ala "24", a television show, in which the dumbest "terrorist" was a million times more sophisticated then anyone that's been deterred in real life. They're not even stopping the neighborhood methheads, because those guys are found in low income neighborhoods, and they could give a shit less about low income areas. When you figure out the sham, and the costs, maybe you won't be posting the stupid shit that you do.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969831)

Personally I think the federal agencies that ordinary Americans should fear most the INS and Border Patrol because a run away fascist government could trust members of those agencies to do the dirty work assigned to them. The regular army, national guard, minor law enforcement agencies like the ATF, BLM aren't trustworthy enough and likely to turn on them.

Re:Who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970057)

Nobody gets dragged off in the night.

No, you are wrong.

I spent a couple of years in prison c. 14 years ago and I met a few inmates who had been snatched up by the
government and imprisoned without a trial or anything resembling due process of law. In one
case one of these poor bastards had been locked up for over TEN years. The families of these people
did not even know where they were or what had happened to them.

It wasn't clear whether the NSA had any involvement with the above people being snatched off the street,
but the fact remains that this has happened in the United States, and I expect that it has happened many more
times than I am personally aware of.

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970289)

because criminals are known for telling the truth.. you got names for any of these people?

fact is, any one that would be snatched and held without trial for 10 years would be in 24 hour lockdown or dead, not hanging out in gen pop with you.

uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970413)

Or they would be in gen pop, because they realise most people will react exactly as you have - passing it off as a crazy inmate.

Cobwebs of lies tend to be best hidden in plain sight.

Re:Who cares (1)

fightermagethief (3645291) | about 2 months ago | (#46970881)

If they were in general population, they would have had access to phones. If for some reason, they were in population but the guards were constantly watching them to make sure they didn't use the payphones, they could have been handed a cell phone to use in their cell during lockdown. Cellphone use could have been purchased in ANY prison for the cost of a few days worth of breakfast trays...or so I have heard.

Re:Who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970231)

Crack comes in rocks, meth comes in shards.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970471)

What is ironic is that the NSA isn't a real threat. Nobody gets dragged off in the night. However, there are real intel agencies which will be more than happy to make people disappear. Those are now running unchecked and unfettered now that the "good" (relative here) guys are under the microscope.

In fact, with NIST standards and kernel hardening (SELinux for example), they have done some good to keep the real bad guys out.

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but people need to always know who to be worried versus ignored. For me, the NSA isn't on my list. Lots of people/organizations higher up on that (the top being the neighborhood meth-head looking to do a burglary to score some rock to feed his addiction.)

Every police station in every town in every state of the United States has a list of people that are considered "important" members of that community. Each employee of the police department are assigned to befriend at least one or two of these people within their jurisdiction.

This is done under the guise that the people should know their police department. However, this is really done for a variety of other reasons; political manipulation being one of the sleazier uses. For example (before the internet) you could easily see the lock on the local newspaper and how it would spin any negative event into a positive explanation.

If we could stop the cop lobby's national program from browbeating our leaders to keep the failed war on drugs monopoly going for the sake of their job security, maybe we can can get rid of that threat of burgarly you're worried about defending yourself from and do something constructive with those problems.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#46970771)

yet. seriously, yet.

if the NSA gets *really* good at intercepting all communication in and out of the US, the genie is out of the bottle, and suddenly the other spookier agencies have that same capability. Similarly corporations like Facebook or Google getting that capability, leads to the same result. And once it's there, there's no dismantling it. It will be a permanent fixture in our society until the day the sun goes nova.

worse, and i think you're missing this really super crucial point -- just because people aren't getting disappeared 'today' does NOT mean they won't get disappeared tomorrow. 'Disappearing' is the most hyperbolic/tin-foil hat way of addressing the overreach, but regardless -- democracy is not compatible with total state surveillance. Freedom of speech is not compatible. We're being really really dumb about this whole thing, and seriously missing the god damn forest for the trees. FWIW: I won't Godwin the thread, but there was a definite progression in Nazi policies. They didn't start off with the final solution.

By allowing the panopticon to be constructed in the first place, we're virtually assuring its use later on -- like literally every other governmental 'tool' its use will at first be controversial, then accepted, and then law enforcement/government/whoever will cry out that it's mandatory in order to keep us safe. Once we give these people a new tool, they will never, ever relinquish it. the only way to win is to prevent them from getting their grubby little mitts on it. But that's cool, google gives us maps and email, and the NSA protects us from cyber terrorists out of Russialand who want to hack our freedoms.

Re:Who cares (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#46971011)

Posting AC to be a devil's advocate here:

What is ironic is that the NSA isn't a real threat. Nobody gets dragged off in the night. However, there are real intel agencies which will be more than happy to make people disappear. Those are now running unchecked and unfettered now that the "good" (relative here) guys are under the microscope.

In fact, with NIST standards and kernel hardening (SELinux for example), they have done some good to keep the real bad guys out.

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but people need to always know who to be worried versus ignored. For me, the NSA isn't on my list. Lots of people/organizations higher up on that (the top being the neighborhood meth-head looking to do a burglary to score some rock to feed his addiction.)

BZZT! Wrong. Thanks for playing. There has been a long history of presidential administrations [aclu.org] using the foreign intelligence security apparatus to spy on its enemies, real or imagined. The courts and Congress long took a dim view of this, but apparently they think it's okay now.

The NSA *may* have done some things to help us secure our systems, but they have the apparatus in place (and are using it, to what extent we don't really know) to spy on Americans. Even if (and that's a big 'if') the Obama administration isn't using those facilities to spy on Americans it sees as a threat, there's nothing to stop future administrations from doing so. Devil's advocate indeed.

Re:Who cares (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#46969723)

You cannot put spying restrictions on everyone unless you conquer them and subjugate them to your authority. Well that unless they voluntarily agree to your terms which is the case with international treaties. However, the nature of spying is secret so secretly ignoring international law will happen.

It's easier said than done and not very realistic in the real world.

Re:Who cares (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#46970043)

We need spying restrictions that cover Americans, regardless of what source the information has. It should be illegal to disseminate GHCQ intelligence involving targets that would be unlawful for the agency to pursue on its own.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970755)

War is everywhere these days, according (and thanks) to the politicians and media in the large sense. Axis of Evil has become the Planet Terror.

Blah. To late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969327)

China going to rule the world and Canada is richer then most people of the US. too late to do anything.

Re:Blah. To late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969405)

Are you also gonna complain about boob-slips? Jesus, focus is not your strong point.

Re:Blah. To late. (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 months ago | (#46969411)

Canada is richer then most people of the US.

I would hope a developed first world nation would be richer than most private citizens.

Re:Blah. To late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969481)

No, the news is that despite the supposed higher tax rate, the Canadian middle class is doing better than the American one, and the average Canadian is doing better than the average American.

Re:Blah. To late. (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#46969773)

Well, when the person driving the economy is who we have in the US, you are bound to see things like this. Margret Thatcher I think said it best, âoeWhat the honorable member is saying is that he would rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich,â She explained âoeSo long as the gap is smaller, they would rather have the poor poorer. You do not create wealth and opportunity that way. You do not create a property-owning democracy that way.â

Anyways, is the middle class actually the same in both nations? I mean it appears they pay more for almost everything and on average earn less.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-... [numbeo.com]

But it is not too late to do anything. It just takes enough people concerned about it. Congress will gladly do anything to limit themselves if it means continuing their election- they just have to understand that is what is necessary for them to be reelected.

Re:Blah. To late. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 months ago | (#46969807)

No, the news is that despite the supposed higher tax rate, the Canadian middle class is doing better than the American one, and the average Canadian is doing better than the average American.

The US has a middle class still?

Re:Blah. To late. (1)

butchersong (1222796) | about 2 months ago | (#46970025)

Might have something to do with this (compare US and Canada): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Blah. To late. (1)

butchersong (1222796) | about 2 months ago | (#46970031)

Sigh.. withdrawn. Canada immigration rate is higher than states. Still though most immigrants are from the states, europe and asia. I still take the position that the states have much more of poor and downtroden category of immigrants.

6 degrees of kevin bacon or your terrorist (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969387)

Erdös Number.

If they can store 3 phone call hops of metadata of who a suspect called over the last 2 years (or was it three) then they have everyone's metadata forever.

That's one obvious bit of mathematics that the god damn media missed in the latest lies from the White House.

They have your metadata forever because you're ALWAYS 3 phone call hops from a terrorist who after all once called for a plane ticket or a pizza or a taxi or called someone who did.

And nice to know that they kill people based on metadata, and that they've made sure that none of your secure communications are secure. The ghosts of Stazi secret police are dying a second time from orgasming all day and night.

Re:6 degrees of kevin bacon or your terrorist (2)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 2 months ago | (#46969555)

Lets say an average person calls 100 different numbers over a two year period. One hop gets 100 people. Two hops gets 10,000. Three hops gets 1,000,000 people. That is for one terrorist. So, it might not be everybody.....unless you start with hundreds of terrorists, of course. Three hundred terrorists and you pretty much do have everyone in the US. If any of these numbers are for the pizza, or taxi, then you might get there with one terrorist.

In any case it shouldn't slow them down much.

Re:6 degrees of kevin bacon or your terrorist (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 months ago | (#46969655)

If any of these numbers are for the pizza, or taxi, then you might get there with one terrorist.

If one suspect calls AT&T to get phone service, everyone who knows someone who has (or had) AT&T phone service is swept up in three hops.

Or maybe they call Entergy to turn on the electricity in their apartment. You're now within three hops if you live in the southeastern US.

While you're correct if we assume that all calls are to private individuals, your assumptions fall flat when we consider calling, say, Amazon....

Re:6 degrees of kevin bacon or your terrorist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969779)

NSA doesn't like someone.
1) They buy cell phone.
2) They call terrorist, setting it in metadata.
3) They then use same cell phone to call person they don't like.
4) Profit!

Your example is overly complex, this is much simpler and gets any single person who has a phone number on the kill list in a matter of minutes with a cost under $100. But I did like how you try and point out accidental killings on purpose.

Re:6 degrees of kevin bacon or your terrorist (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#46971025)

Lets say an average person calls 100 different numbers over a two year period. One hop gets 100 people. Two hops gets 10,000. Three hops gets 1,000,000 people. That is for one person of interest who, in all likelihood, has nothing at all to do with terror attacks..

There. FTFY.

Thanks for nothing. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969413)

This new America that was invented by Bush and refined by Obama is nothing short of terrifying.

I want leadership that cares about the people more than the whims of big business, and can provide meaningful change instead of "lightweight" legislation designed to appease a small segment of people superficially, such as drug legalization and immigration reform.

Ending our pointless war on terror and dismantling the domestic spying program would be a huge step in the right direction. We can't justify either one of them at all, and both were developed as unworkable solutions to hypothetical problems. They cost too much, they hurt too many people, and they are ultimately pointless.

Sad thing is, in the next election neither major party will have anyone to offer who is significantly different from what we've seen before. The Democrats will have a lukewarm nice guy who's soft on the major issues, and the Republicans will have a hard-right nutjob who talks directly to God. And the third parties will offer the same crackpots who have more interest in building marijuana dispensaries and legalizing ferret ownership than the hard issues that impact our rights, our privacy, and our way of life.

Sucks when "None of the above" is the only option. I'll still vote Democrat because they are "less evil", but these days, not by very much at all...

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969427)

Exactly. Bush wrote his Executive Orders in such a way that subsequent Presidents cannot undo them. This is 100% his fault and until Congress acts with a 2/3 majority, the NSA cannot stop it. Blaming Obama, who did not create this can cannot stop it, is unproductive. He has said many times that he does not support this. Why include him in your scorn when he agrees with the public that it should be stopped? That is unless you're a Republican, and you're trying to irrationally blame him.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (3, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#46969763)

Exactly. Bush wrote his Executive Orders in such a way that subsequent Presidents cannot undo them. This is 100% his fault and until Congress acts with a 2/3 majority, the NSA cannot stop it. Blaming Obama, who did not create this can cannot stop it, is unproductive. He has said many times that he does not support this. Why include him in your scorn when he agrees with the public that it should be stopped? That is unless you're a Republican, and you're trying to irrationally blame him.

What the hell are you talking about? President Obama nullified Executive Order 13,233 [huffingtonpost.com] He also reversed GWB's policy on stem cell research [whitehouse.gov] And he reversed E.O. 13201 [dciconsult.com] Which was also an EO signed by GWB. I could go on, but it would be pointless, I'm sure

It's very easy to include the president in anyone's scorn on this subject. One of the topics he campaigned under was the premise that EO abuse must be stopped. [weaselzippers.us] And yet if things aren't going the way he wants, or as quickly as he would like them to, all of the sudden use of the executive power is somehow warranted. [youtube.com]

Like most/all politicians (both democrats and republicans) he agrees with the public when it's convenient. People in this country really need to get over this "us vs. them" mentality. It doesn't matter if you are a democrat or a republican. Black, white, yellow, red or purple. Gay, hetero, both, or neither. We are all americans. It's really sad to see us all at each others throats. We have been comfortable, and extremely safe (barring a few blips) for so long that we have started turning on each other. And our "leaders" have not helped the situation for quite some time now.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#46969805)

What? I need a cite on that.

NO law cannot be change by simply passing another law. No executive order cannot withstand a future executive order. No government is limited in action by previous governments.

The only thing that can be different is if the courts ruled the law or executive order unconstitutional. Anything- even the constitution can be changed by government elected after something has been passed. It's happened already in US history (prohibition).

I think either you are trolling or you and whoever modded you up needs to finish school before delving into crap like this.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969945)

Exactly. Bush wrote his Executive Orders in such a way that subsequent Presidents cannot undo them. This is 100% his fault and until Congress acts with a 2/3 majority, the NSA cannot stop it. Blaming Obama, who did not create this can cannot stop it, is unproductive. He has said many times that he does not support this. Why include him in your scorn when he agrees with the public that it should be stopped? That is unless you're a Republican, and you're trying to irrationally blame him.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

How the hell can an executive order be written "in such a way that subsequent Presidents cannot undo them"?

Cite please.

Good God that's the most pathetic "blame BOOOOOSH!!!" I've ever seen.

Do you really think Bush was so damn strong and Obama so freaking weak that 5 years after Bush has been out of office, Obama can't undo what Bush did? You are definitely in Abraham Lincoln's "some of the people".

Re:Thanks for nothing. (2)

greenwow (3635575) | about 2 months ago | (#46969445)

refined by Obama

He has done no such thing. He has done everything he can to try to stop this. He is just one man. He has very little power to undo what the Republicans did in the 20 out of 28 previous years that they ruled before he became President. You can’t undo that all of that in a day. Give him time.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (4, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#46969489)

Democrats have ruled for 14 of the past 22 years. How much time do they need?

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46969505)

Democrats have ruled for 14 of the past 22 years. How much time do they need?

Right, Republicans lead and democrats rule. Those fucking tyrants. How dare they try to give us health care?

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969517)

give us health care?

No, all they did was force us to buy it.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46969635)

No, all they did was force us to buy it.

They tried actual health care, but the republicans would only permit health insurance to happen.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969665)

No, all they did was force us to buy it.

They tried actual health care, but the republicans would only permit health insurance to happen.

The Democrats had the House, a supermajority in the Senate, and the Presidency at the time. You might want to check your facts.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46969749)

The Democrats had the House, a supermajority in the Senate, and the Presidency at the time. You might want to check your facts.

When, at the time when they tried single payer health care?

Re:Thanks for nothing. (2)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 months ago | (#46970915)

Yes, there was a super majority. It wasn't as effective as thought because Democrats kept electing Kennedy and Byrd in honor of their efforts to murder Blacks and women throughout their lives.

The Democrats’ 134-Day Supermajority [polipundit.com]

Democrats Had a Filibuster-Proof Senate Majority for 72 Days During President Obama’s First Term [winningprogressive.org]

A fleeting, illusory supermajority [msnbc.com]

Democrats' Senate Supermajority Not as Strong as Advertised [foxnews.com]

What’s So Super About a Supermajority? [nytimes.com]

111th United States Congress [wikipedia.org]

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970565)

And they chose to compromise with psychopaths. Or would you rather they send millennials to die in a war of stupidity again? I am sure war is far more preferable than someone not dying of a horrible disease for you. It isn't your son coming back maimed and damaged after all. It isn't your daughter coming back in a casket. You coward.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970249)

Health insurance != health care.

A UHC system that works would be single-payer.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 2 months ago | (#46969889)

The difference between a republican and a democrat -- a donut blimp. Figure it out.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970677)

Maybe time to realize that two party system where both are equally funded by megacorps isn't very democratic, eh?

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970153)

refined by Obama

He has done no such thing. He has done everything he can to try to stop this. He is just one man. He has very little power to undo what the Republicans did in the 20 out of 28 previous years that they ruled before he became President. You can’t undo that all of that in a day. Give him time.

Pathetic apologist is pathetic apologist.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

srichard25 (221590) | about 2 months ago | (#46970555)

This post is specifically about the NSA. The NSA is part of the Executive Branch. Obama, as head of the Executive Branch, can shut down the whole NSA very easily. He refuses to do so because of political reasons, not because he lacks the power to do so. He has NOT done everything he can to try to stop this. In fact, he has barely lifted a finger to try to stop this.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969657)

"This new America that was invented by Bush and refined by Obama is nothing short of terrifying."

They fear political awakening, while you may be reasonably comfortable. Many in the bottom billions of poor on planet earth are in abject poverty and oppression. Capitalism wants to keep those people in their place, hence the elites desire to control the internet.

People are waking up to the fact that the governments are all power hungry and corrupt and are not there to serve the interests of the people, but that of the global elite and the multi-billion dollar corporations.

WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap

http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

This is just more part and parcel of state surpression of dissent against corporate interests. They're worried that the more people are going to wake up and corporate centers like the US and canada may be among those who also awaken. See this vid with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Free markets?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

http://www.amazon.com/Empire-I... [amazon.com]

"We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this “other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

In the tradition of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this culture—attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies—to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion."

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | about 2 months ago | (#46969951)

I must disagree with you about the marijuana issue. I think that it is an important issue that is being ignored.

Here in the USA, we arrest 750,000 people each year for marijuana. Most people seem to know someone who smokes the stuff and would not want someone's life torn apart because someone in DC didn't what he was doing.

I have come to believe that in the future, the struggle to legalize marijuana will be seen as one of the defining civil rights issues of our time.

And oh yes, legalizing marijuana will leave the powers that be with one less excuse to otherwise violate our civil rights.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#46970263)

The war on drugs has an effect far beyond the injustice to a few harmless pot smokers. Thinking about my friends and the drug laws, I concluded that I would feel morally compelled to impede the police in any way I could if they wanted to enforce the drug laws. More and more average people are coming to that same conclusion. It's one thing when organized crime sees the cops as the enemy, it's quite another when average citizens come to agree.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970323)

As an pro-crime, anti-cop anarchist, you do realize the most simple solution is to NOT DO DRUGS, right?

Nobody is forcing anybody to use drugs, other than drug advocates that are showering poor people, mostly minority, with pro-drug propaganda.

You are part of the problem, not the solution.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#46970391)

I don't do drugs, it's just not my thing. However, I have sufficient empathy and sense of proportion to see that the drug laws, as they stand, are unconscionable. That makes it my moral duty to at least have no part in their enforcement.

In the case where marijuana can help someone with a medical need, the drug laws are even worse. In that case, active impediment to law enforcement is easily justifiable.

Thump your chest and bark all you like, it won't change the facts.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970317)

"I have come to believe that in the future, the struggle to legalize marijuana will be seen as one of the defining civil rights issues of our time."

If you ever wanted evidence that marijuana was addictive, and that it permanently changes people's brains, this statement is that proof.

Out of all the incredible civil rights issues we have overcome, and those we have yet to fight, the right of a worthless fucking drug addict to get high is at the absolute bottom of that list. Fuck you.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 months ago | (#46970453)

I was actually going to post replying to the GP that, while the drug war policies are unreasonable in many ways, it's not really a civil rights issue. Then I read your post with its de-humanizing of drug users (well, some drug users since I'm sure you don't have an issue with caffeine users and alcohol drinkers) and rabid, vitreolic response to someone defending them from persecution... To make a long story short, thanks to you, I'm reconsidering the GP's position.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#46970027)

democrats/republicans = good cop/bad cop...

I'll still vote Democrat because they are "less evil"...

The state and its corporate masters appreciate your loyalty to the Party which will provide a "safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years"

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970283)

If you want to be "less evil", then why the fuck vote for Democrats? At least vote for something that actually is less evil like Libertarian party or please just don't vote at all.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970343)

Sucks when "None of the above" is the only option. I'll still vote Democrat because they are "less evil", but these days, not by very much at all...

Vote Snowden. Too bad he can't be president until 2018 (when he turns 35) but he's already eligible for the H o' R and Senate. Write him in!

Re:Thanks for nothing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970543)

This is why I come to Slashdot. it's blowhards like you spouting conspiracy theory scaremongering propoganda that gets modded insightful. And then people wonder why Slashdot's quality is going down. /grabs popcorn.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970627)

Sad thing is, in the next election neither major party will have anyone to offer who is significantly different from what we've seen before.

I'll still vote Democrat

Congratulations, you are the problem.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

antdude (79039) | about 2 months ago | (#46970665)

It is time to get off Earf and start a new colony. :P

Re:Thanks for nothing. (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 months ago | (#46970917)

What will you do if Hillary suddenly converts to Mormonism?

Re:Thanks for nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970941)

If there is nothing to vote for ..... then don't do it! People always say you have to vote to be heard but when enough people stop showing up it will make things like "the people voted for us!" very hard to say...

When only 30% show up to vote it sends a really strong message

Thankly.. (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 2 months ago | (#46969437)

.. a well crafted and up to date hosts file helps to deal with that!

We don't need central authorities anymore (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969457)

When are people going to wake up and realize this.

I feel sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969579)

for the people that believe this stuff.

wonderful news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969669)

People can be killed from metadata alone. That means we don't have to spend a lot of money and time to listen to all the content and try to figure out if that pizza order was actually code for something, like a pizza order.

I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969733)

It's the NSA and not the CIA? Or both? Neither? For law enforcement and security or just to check on my girlfriend?
Just the USA? China? Israel and Russia?
How about the Germans?

Do they know who I am? Do I care?

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969765)

honestly... i know i will be modded down but let's think a little... A nation starts atacking another one that does not have the $ to build UAVs that could level a little village in the other side of the world... what would be the next step for a well oranized millitia in the target country? hmm lets think about something worse than 911!! i know i would... so i say... if you want to kill somebody at least look at them in the eye.. umnanned ordinance and data collection only bring hatred... but hey... you started looking at everyone a potential enemyes so i say... as you say "s/american/foreigner" a dead american is a good american...

so, there should be a pattern of deaths ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969837)

Wait, remember how all those anthrax researchers died very shortly after a bunch of envelopes of anthrax got mailed, that just after 9/11?

Hmmmm. They said it was just a coincidence ...

So we can say... (1)

WeeBit (961530) | about 2 months ago | (#46969927)

They collected everything they could on us, and nothing we have is hidden. They have it all. Metadata can spotlight many things in a person. Their likes, dislikes health family banking, credit cards etc. Phone records and recording is nothing compared. I said before they have all of this and then some. I stand by what I say. They can write a book about you.

Now that new rules are in place I don't believe you are anymore private than you was before the new rules. The NSA is a very private entity. Security suppose to be top notch. Keeping things hush-hush is part of their job. So they very well could do this behind our backs, and we would be none the wiser. We only know what few areas we were told they are storing on us. But it's a lot. You don't think they need over one million square feet, and contain Four 25,000-square-foot facilities to house rows and rows of servers that can hold endless data just to store phone and Google searches do you? These are just the ones we know about.

Read between the lines. http://www.wired.com/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

dolRl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970157)

a way to spend = 1400 NetBSD If you do not eyes on the 8eal steadily fucking from the sidelines, (7000+1400+700)*4 am protesting baby...don't fear

Don't Go To Sleep (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 2 months ago | (#46970517)

Criminals should not rest easy as the article points out what i have said for years. A computer may be wide open to the government despite some real efforts to secure your information. At times I strongly suspect that the very programs that one might use to secure a PC are actually making it even easier to penetrate the PC. Those that have been naughty should be rather afraid. Tax cheats, child porn, and dope problems might lock you away forever.

In war we usually have only "metadata" (2, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 2 months ago | (#46970567)

TFA is an off-kilter criticism

1. Here's a way to head off alot of pointless banter on this issue:You're either a full pacifist or it's a question of **when** to use deadly force...that's first in any conversation about military action. You can't criticize just *one* military decision to kill without any context or comparison unless you are a 100% pacifist for all situations...because if you're not a total pacifist, then it's just a question of what conditions your think justify lethal force.

2. In war, we kill on all kinds of imperfect data...**it's all we ever have**

3. The US military can legal engage in lethal force without a formal declaration of war on another country by Congress.

4. Both drones & piloted craft shoot missiles at enemies that cause collateral deaths, and any criticism of the use of either is a criticism of the use of both

I'm sick of the banter & want real discussion on this issue

Always the same (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970831)

In the eyes of the American government, American citizens have some rights, the rest of the world no (civil) rights at all except the right to be kidnapped, tortured, killed by videogame, etc. etc.

Who's doing the killing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970923)

The bigger discussion should be who's doing the killing, is it our professional military, civilian intelligence agencies (CIA, etc.), civilian law enforcement (DEA, etc.), or civilian contractors? The first step towards getting our military policy back on a sort-of moral foundation would be to reinstate the monopoly of the regular uniformed military on using lethal force in the name of national security. IMHO, there are just too many agencies using lethal force, each with their own ROE, chain of command, tactical priorities, etc.

This former military officer (Iraq 2006-2008) has experienced first hand how external agencies have targeted individuals in his area or responsibility without coordinating with the ground commander. The results have been mistaken identity (killing the wrong person(s)), use of unnecessary force (if they just asked, we could have had him turn himself in), and having to deal with the negative second-order effects which made accomplishing our own mission more dangerous and difficult. Often the second order effects make the targeting not strategically worth while. But I would speculate that these questions tend to not get raised at the higher levels, where the mission is targeting and killing and not achieving some desired end state. At some point we need to ask ourselves, how old where theses targeted individuals on 9-11. Most were probably around six to ten years of age. We're killing them via drone because they became terrorists. They became terrorists in part because we killed their relatives, friends, etc. via drone, and now we're targeting them. It's a cycle that needs to be broken. The other priorities need to be helping these countries get their economies back on track and putting their young population back to school and work.

Re:Who's doing the killing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46971047)

Their economy back on track ? Young population back to school ? Why do that ? At best you need a government and local police just good enough to allows your buddies to go pump oil out of the country's ground, if it has any.

project "insight" from captain america 2 (3, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | about 2 months ago | (#46970991)

so what's the difference between the NSA's plan and Hydra's plan in Captain America Winter Soldier? absolutely nothing as far as i can tell. can anyone tell me if i am mistaken?

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