(I don't feel like I always have to use profanities)
I suspect these guys watch NCIS and think it's a documentary.
Now that a US federal court has ruled that the NSA's mass wiretapping program exceeded its legal authority, leaders of the US Republican party are pushing to make it legal. Within hours of the ruling by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeal that the NSA's bulk domestic surveillance program under Section 215 of the Patriot Act …
This is the new strategy.
It takes years to contest an illegal law. When it is declared unlawful, no one is punished, they just vote in a new law to be fought in court.
Someone needs to go to jail before this will change and as the government runs the courts, guess just how likely that is.
Why does these idiots keep trotting out the line that they (the NSA) will prevent an attack. The NSA has proven time and again that they won't prevent an attack at all. Why? because to do so would let the bad guys know we are spying on them.
If they were honest to god going to actually ACT before something happened then I'd be more inclined. If they were TRANSPARENT about what they are collecting, etc, I'd be more inclined.
But that's not the situation we find ourselves in. Rather we have yet another government agency that consistently lies to the public, lies to congress - basically lies to pretty much everyone about what's going on. Further they don't prevent jack or shit. To sum up: they have zero credibility.
So, no, I don't want them to have their hands in everything because I simply DON"T TRUST THEM.
Stopping the next tourist attack is completely against the NSA's interests. A big bomb blast is something they can point at when they demand their next budget increase. Imagine how much dirt you could dig up on politicians with a $50billion budget. If there was any danger of the NSA's senior management being found guilty, politicians all over the country would leap up to change the law for them.
"If our intelligence community cannot connect the dots of the information, we cannot stop this determined enemy from launching attacks,"
Dear Mr. McConnell,
Our intelligence community cannot connect the dots because they're fucking drowning in them. You don't gather intelligence by piling irrelevant data on top of irrelevant data.
Also, if you have identified the "determined enemy" then the intelligence community doesn't need the mass surveillance; they can do targeted surveillance. And if "determined enemy" is used here to reference a hypothetical enemy, then you haven't met the level of evidence to justify mass surveillance.
In either case, your statements do nothing to justify mass surveillance.
PS. You do so look like a turtle.
Looking at that face, and trying to wrap my mind around WTH is going on in the American political system is making me ill.
They can't even catch terrorists that tweet their plans, we've got WW3 about to explode, and these morons are still re-arranging chairs on the Titanic arguing about metadata.. the issue has gone so far beyond surveillance now, we are talking about whether any part of the US government is even functioning anymore..
stick a fork in America, she's done..
"It's pretty clear that 9/11 could have been prevented if we had known about some of the communications that were linked to those who committed the terrible atrocity of 9/11,"
You mean intelligence from the French and Germans that pointed out that this was going to happen, but that intelligence was ignored because US spooks couldn't be bothered getting their heads out of the donut box to confirm?
But lets face it, you just wanted an excuse to rename the way you cook your potatos.
Exactly. They even had, at one point, Bin Laden targeted and didn't take the shot. They knew what was coming. The actions of at least one of the hijackers was reported by a flight school and was ignored.
It's a power grab pure and simple by the Congress for some warm fuzzies like the whole DHS thing. Pure theater for the masses and for the politicos... it's "see we did something.. vote for us".
would have prevented 9/11, sad and uninspiring though that may have been.
Besides, it is not as if the criminals were not known to the government, all of them had visas and were from the same embassy...
You guys should watch "The Unit", a masterpiece of military drama by David Mahmet. They have an episode that parodies it very well.
"The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."
I chose to join the 'grocery store' scheme and gave them a 'junk' e-mail address so I can ignore any spam. I never choose (and didn't even know until recently) that the NSA(/GCHQ/etc) were making notes of who I called and when, where I was and when and which website I looked at and when.
I have reasonable confidence that the grocery store will never try to blackmail me or embarass me in any way by revealing my purchases of tobacco/condoms/pile-ointment or try to spy on me while I use any or either of my purchases. I know that the NSA(etc) have already used their powers to spy on people's private web-cam chats for their own personal amusement and to spy on their own spouses to sniff out infidelity etc. For this, the individual operators get a 'stern talking to'.
So, why should I trust them in any way and why should I pay attention to this idiot's analogies?
I don't want to live on this planet any more.
After last nights showing, I'm thinking of moving. The one party that tentatively suggested this that maybe all this slurping was unuseful were slapped and slapped hard (admittedly, they hardly stepped out from the shadows as the prop of the last government, but still.
What fresh madness does the future hold in store today, another round of 'let's ban encryption' etc. etc.
Simples... destroy all your personal means of electronic communication... phones, tablets, pc's, etc. Turn off the cable and satellite tv. Then... oh... wait... then they come looking for you in person thinking you're some kind of survivalist terrorist and have lots of things to hide. You're damned if you do, damned if you dont'.
Er, what about remembering last week when a comic convention was attacked.... they had been watching one guys since 2006... didn't seem to make any difference there... only local law enforcement dealt with some people shooting... only later was it "terrorsim".
Where in this very recent example did all the surveillance alter the outcome?
Ehm, not the nitty gritty on how they started tracking him, but: " while the FBI had been aware of Garland, Texas jihadist attacker Elton Simpson for nearly a decade, they did not follow his violent, pro-jihad tweets as closely as they could have because “there are so many like him” that the agency is overwhelmed."
"Despite Simpson’s public calls for jihad on Twitter, one law enforcement official told the New York Times that this did not make him unique or demanding of special monitoring. "
So much for blanket monitoring of anybody and everybody then eh?
I don't know where to start with my criticisms of these idiots.
I suspect that McConnell, Burr, Rubio, McCain, et al must have some SERIOUS skeletons that the NSA (etc) have documented.
For $diety's sake - grow some, politicians! Live up to your oath to defend the Constitution!
I think in some of their minds, they really ARE defending the Constitution from an existential threat can come anyWHERE, anyTIME, from anyONE. They're trying to prevent the last two dreaded words, "Without Warning." In which case, no holds are barred because The Enemy certainly won't play by the rules.
The Patriot Act has never once connected any dots. Not once. When asked, not a single person in government or any of its intelligence or law enforcement agencies has been able to produce even one example of such utility.
McConnell is flat-out lying here when he claims otherwise. If he wants to prove me wrong, all he has to do is show the nation a solitary instance of such connections made because of this odious piece of legislation.
"The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."
1) I can shop somewhere else, or otherwise opt out of my grocery store's data collection.
2) My grocer can't put me in prison.
NSA does not jail people, they collect information which may lead to jailing people if that information implicates them being part of a terrorist plot.
US bashing is on the high again here, at least it is transparent, something that European government culture lacks by default.
Also there are tens of millions at the south side of the Mediterranean, waving the Koran at us and cutting heads off. They are the same threat to us as the communists were, except they waved with "the red booklet of Mao", both live in failed societies and want to bring their failure to us.
Nobody should blame the US for doing something to defend itself.
NSA does not jail people, they collect information which may lead to jailing people if that information implicates them
being part of a terrorist plot of being someone "we don't like".
Also there are tens of millions at the south side of the Mediterranean, waving the Koran at us and cutting heads off. (me:Then why do they want to surveail people on the west side of the Atlantic that have never held a Qoran?)They are the same threat to us as the communists were, except they waved with "the red booklet of Mao", both live in failed societies and want to bring their failure to us.
Me: El Reg, can we PLEASE get the "You are completely insane" voting button?
@ naive, well at least your choice of user name is close, perhaps though you should have been more pedantic in your choice and gone for 'no fucking clue'.
There are tens of millions of Muslims in the south of the Med as well as at the Eastern end and other places, many of these 'Quran wavers' come to Europe to live and work, they for the most part work hard and if you work with them you willfind they are good hearted, hard working, generous people. Branding them all because of a few fundamentalist loonies is the same as branding all Americans as Republican Right Wing Nutters who believe all furriners are evil incarnate because of a comment by a twat like you.
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Bingo. I don't have any "loyalty" cards for stores ("loyalty" is something I have towards people, involving giving them the benefit of the doubt in certain circumstances based on my past dealings with them; I will never feel loyalty towards a business, or indeed a government or nation). It's a choice I make, based on what I perceive to be the benefits and the drawbacks and my personal circumstances.
If the senator wishes to liken governments spying on their own law-abiding citizenry to loyalty cards, might I suggest that they create a similar scheme, allowing people to opt in to being spied on?
"I suggest that they create a similar scheme, allowing people to opt in to being spied on?"
We used to have one - it was called "Innocent until proven guilty". If you didn't break any laws, the gubermint (probably) didn't give a shit about you. You opted-in when you broke a law. Simples, no?
"Bingo. I don't have any "loyalty" cards for stores ("loyalty" is something I have towards people, involving giving them the benefit of the doubt in certain circumstances based on my past dealings with them; I will never feel loyalty towards a business, or indeed a government or nation). It's a choice I make, based on what I perceive to be the benefits and the drawbacks and my personal circumstances."
Frankly, I suspect they track you whether you use the things or not. The cards simply make it easier. Failing that, there's the plastic you may use to pay for your groceries and (if you insist on cash) images from the ubiquitous surveillance cameras.
The court is striking down mass surveillance under section 215 of the PATRIOT Act as unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment. So the only way to make it constitutional would be to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow bulk surveillance. Simply passing another bill without changing the constitution would result in that bill being struck down as well.
Remind me to send Mitch's office an email, pointing that out.
That's not how the Court of Appeals ruled. They ruled that the specific collection of metadata is NOT COVERED by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. IOW, they didn't violate the 4th Amendment, they violated the Patriot Act. That's why there's a frenzy over at the Capitol to amend the Act to correct this. It would simply take the passage of an act specifically authorizing this collection on the grounds of national security (thus making the search reasonable under 4th Amendment grounds).
Bad move ... does Mitch sound like someone who can read* ?
Be subtle, find out where he buys his groceries and have them put a coupon on the back of the receipt for a GED Diploma Mill.
*curiously he seems to be able to breathe under water, from the picture. I thought you had to be a mammal, when did they change that ?
I am glad the article notices the Republicans are very split on the spying issue. If I remember right at least 2 running Republicans oppose it (Rand Paul being one). However I dont know about the other side of the isle. Do any Democrats oppose the spying and data collection? I would hope there was a choice from both parties but so far the Republicans appear to be fielding a varied group while Democrats field Hillary. She has a lot of weight on her shoulders
... according to the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, allowing the .fed to apply ECHALON to the entire population of the US WITHOUT THE $TELCO IN QUESTION GETTING SUED does NOT automagically make the practice constitutionally legal.
This concept hasn't been eyeballed by SCotUS yet, alas.
I voted for Obama because I thought he was a Constitutional lawyer. My bad.
... as "One day, I hope ... there will be an attack that's successful"? Of course I personally do not expect this to ever happen, but I also think that's what they want - because it would legitimize all this spying. Little, twisted people with much too much power than is healthy for anyone.
No, they haven't.
What they *have* forgotten, is that all of the hijackers were in the US legally, and many had overstayed student or tourist visas. The Immigration Service had done squat to locate them. The FBI had been alerted to those taking flying lessons and had done squat about it. All the agencies had their turf and viciously defended it, to the extent of not cooperating with other agencies.
That is what caused the creation of the Orwellian "Department of Homeland Security", which excells at detecting bottles of shampoo and pocketknives, and placing surveillance cameras everywhere.
There are those (myself among them) who believe that a US airliner will never again be taken by force, because the passengers know their fate and have nothing to lose by resisting as strongly as possible.
Joke -> (It's all a distraction anyway -- while JADE HELM 15 allows Obama to occupy and subjugate Texas) <- Joke
"No one cares about you unless you are a criminal."
This is a variation on "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".
Might I point out that you don't have a plate glass exterior wall in your shower, and you do have drapes over the windows in your living room & bedroom ... and hopefully there is a door between your toilet and the rest of your house. What are you hiding? Are you a criminal?
Privacy isn't always covering something illegal.
"Do the T&Cs for Loyalty cards allow the grocery store to use extraordinary rendition, lock you up without due process and then use waterboarding or other torture if you break any of the T&Cs?"
Never mind that, you mean I could have asked the CIA for a Rain Check ???!!!???
"My grocery store won't throw me in jail for anything I buy in the store."
The NSA might after looking at the purchase records on the card showing Chemicals that Might be Used in the Pursuit of TURRR!! Eg, Peroxide, bleach, steel wool, iodine etc.
er, I might have said too much...
"What attack? When? Where? Republicans, how many "attack" have been prevented by NSA since 9/11??? A big total of ZERO."
How do you KNOW zero attacks have been prevented, given the NSA's level of secrecy? If an attack was prevented, you just wouldn't hear about it, biasing public perception since the NSA can only come out about failures.
""It's pretty clear that 9/11 could have been prevented if we had known about some of the communications that were linked to those who committed the terrible atrocity of 9/11," he said. "People seem to have forgotten 9/11." ®"
No, people haven't forgotten 9/11 - they are just sick of you and others dancing on the victims graves by trying to spin it to your advantage.
.....with these exceptions (a huge list follows...).
They drag out 9/11, conveniently forgetting that the puerps of 9/11 were sussed out before the attack by a relatively low level person in the FBI but she couldn't get the information up the chain of command.
But then we all know its not all about being 'anti-terrorist', its 'anti-we-the-people'.
9/11 is just a "get out of jail card" for the Yanks, they are still butthurt about the attack they received, but how many countries have the Yanks attacked without a valid reason and got away with it? If the Yank gov't stopped sticking their noses up everyone's business, there wouldn't be so much people wanting to bomb the hell out of them.
In order to get respect from people, you should start by respecting them.
So here we have politicians that are failing to uphold their pledge to defend and protect the Constitution (these NSA programs are, after all, not only illegal but unconstitutional). Time to kick these guys out of office!
The big problem we have in the US is having effectively a one-party system... you have these Republicans that say they are all for freedom and doing whatever, while at the same time wanting a massive government to restrict people's freedoms (which they falsely call "balancing" them.) The Democrats say "unlike" the Republicans they are all for freedom, while in reality seeming to think the solution to any problem is additional government programs and regulation ("let's ban it!").. Of course, at the same time both parties want all this stuff that adds to the government debt, they simultaneously CLAIM they are all for reducing it and the debt is the other party's fault. At present a few like Ron Paul (who due to the broken political system runs as Republican even though he's clearly Libertarian) not only spoke out against laws like the Patriot Act but ACTUALLY VOTED AGAINST THEM... but most of these guys in both parties will speak out against laws like this but then WILL VOTE FOR THEM ANYWAY.
The root of the problem is the broken polling system -- political polls in the US ask if you're a Democrat or Republican... if you are a Libertarian, for example, the pollster will either hang up on you and fail to record a choice at all, or falsely record you as "undecided". Every poll I've seen (both results and getting polled) is inherently inaccurate in that it not only doesn't list any 3rd parties, it doesn't even have a choice of "3rd party" or "none of the above" or "other". So, we've got 2 mashed-together parties encompassing what SHOULD be AT LEAST a centrist party (the "central" republican/democrats), a "far right" party (the religious nut Republicans), tea party (tea party Republicans), some kind of Green party or the like for "far left" Democrats.
Nice headline. I suppose that the fact that there are Democrat supporters of this idiotic law would be bad to point out. Senator Diane Feinstein (a Democrat) says the program is OK and that the judge was/is wrong. I guess it doesn't make as good a headline to note that both liberal and conservative idiots are supporting this infringement on Americans constitutional rights.
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