back to article NSA may kill off mass phone spying program Snowden exposed, says Congressional staffer

The NSA may kill off a controversial mass surveillance program of Americans that was exposed by Edward Snowden, according to a Congressional staffer. Luke Murry is national security advisor to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and over the weekend told the Lawfare podcast (5 minutes in) that the US spying agency …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The chiefs of all the intelligence agencies involved have admitted lying to congress, and their attempt at a false coup using evidence made up for money in UK by "retired" agent Steele was illegally used to open FISA warrants on the big cheeto. Maybe Steele used Skripal for the "russian connection" for all we know, that whole affair stinks to anyone used to looking at facts, not partisanship.

    He'd be an idiot to trust them, whether you hate him too or not. You should never want your leader to be an idiot....bad things result - be careful what you wish for.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The smells like a convenient excuse.

    Why did they delete the "old" data? What good it is depends on the age of the data and the content. The flip answer is they needed the disk space but the real one is that it's probably that the old data is meaningless what with the profusion of burner phones.

    1. Grikath

      Re: The smells like a convenient excuse.

      Not necessarily, I think. The article adresses the original data, and the willingness to drop it. This means that whatever many Gestalt they built out of that data ensures that that data is not needed anymore. It's been wrung dry, so can be safely dropped in a big show of virtue signalling.

      Note that as far as I can tell, nothing stated in the article indicates the agencies will also drop whatever they harvested out of their programs... Just the original data gathered, and possibly the programs used to gather it.

      And you can be damned sure that if they're willing to drop those programs, they've got something else we don't know about (yet) to fill the gap. It's in the nature of the beast..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: they've got something else we don't know about

        The Equation Group's name came from the fact that they were crypto group E. There was an A, B, C, D as well. Crypto groups didn't talk to each other and all worked in their own silos with a few people able to look into each silo and point out when they were doing something very bad. The better groups were doing things like diplomatic encryption or decryption while other groups were doing military or civilian work. Group E was dissolved after it was split up or merged with a different group. Some of the leaked info implies a group with a letter starting with G so they were at least up to at least 7 groups decades ago.

  3. kain preacher

    Time senstive

    One reason for doping the old data is that it is stale .

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This is just a shell game by the NSA

    You can be sure that if they are publicly closing down one invasive program, they already have two more classified programs to take it's place.

    1. vulture65537

      Re: This is just a shell game by the NSA

      treadstone, blackbriar

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey NSA

    We don't believe you!

    Slimeball organisations like yours simply don't shut down a huge source of data like this. You might say you have but I'm sure that somewhere burried deep in a black site this thing is still in operation 24/7/52.

    May I humbly suggest that the black site is the 'donut' that is GCHQ?

    They can do all your dirty work for you and then you can keep a straight face when you tell Congress that it was shut down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey NSA, government agencies we don't believe you

      IMO the most important revelation from the Snowden Docs and how the governments of the Five Eyes responded is the extent of the surveillance, lies and secrecy.

      Surveillance, lies and secrecy, those that we now know about, show the failure of democracy and the openness needed to have informed voters.

      The biggest lesson from Snowden and the fall out was that elected representatives, as well as all watch dog systems in governments, are routinely lied to and without consequence.

      Democracy requires transparency, openness, the action of government needs to be known and understood by voters.

      That does not exist in any of the Five Eyes and continuing to act and believe it does is preventing the restructuring needed.

      Without needed changes any promises from any part of government is worthless, at best a distraction while the real business of government goes on behind the curtain of security.

      Yes it has always been a complex chess game but recently one that has undermined democracy and our ability to trust any of our governments or any claims from anyone in government. Our governments have been lied to and lying to us for far too long to have any creditability.

      Which begs the question, where do we go from here? We can't believe any claims from our governments but what are the options?

    2. Old Goat

      Re: Hey NSA

      And GCHQ will be doing the same for the EU after the 29th.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just like the last program was closed down, because it had been replaced

    They're now on Invasive Spying Program BT[*] 3.0

    [*] Because Terrorists

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Same old, same old, oswald ...

    The metadata collection has been going on for many years, all Snowden did was to get the media to wake up and look at it (shock, horror, zzzzzz). This reporting is accurate, it's just a move in a chess game to distract everyone from reality. Intelligence services have never killed off anything off the record ... Mandy Rice Davies applies.

  8. Gnosis_Carmot

    Either 1 and/or 2


    1. They aren't really.


    2. They have something better

    I'm betting both.

  9. Wily Veteran

    They don't have to collect it themselves

    What with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, et. al. slurping data like crazy and the data brokers doing all the correlation, the NSA doesn't have to spend the money and effort doing it themselves, they can just buy the data on the open market. Likely, that's cheaper than what they were spending on their own efforts. If buying it doesn't work, a FISA warrant or just plain hacking will get it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shifting sand

    Its been over a year, but I recall the nsa/gov shifting data storage for phone calls to the telecoms. Made the telecoms very unhappy to have to start storing all the data, but I expect they got help to do that - from experienced agents.

    It's all misdirection and BS, they don't have to house the data, and still have full access. Maybe even better for them to use the private sector to keep the consumers under thumb. Google, telecoms, software companies like RSA. No wonder the US gov is so paranoid about private sector in RU and China, they know how much they get away with at home.

  11. Tom 64

    Rinse, repeat,

    ... assign new amusing acronym.

  12. Big Al 23

    How's life in Russia

    Wonder how life in Russia is for Snowden?

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