What is the point of the court ruling ?
The NSA will just continue to do it - just be a bit more careful about being caught.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled [PDF] that the National Security Agency's phone-call slurping was indeed naughty, seven years after former contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the tawdry affair. The ruling had nothing to do with Snowden himself. Instead it concerned four Somali …
The NSA will just continue to do it - just be a bit more careful about being caught.
It really boils down to public perception - if the public feel that the NSA needs reining in then that will happen because politicians need votes. If they don't, or more likely, the NSA and its backers manages to change the subject of the conversation,* then nothing will happen.
*We've no interest in law-abiding citizens like you, it's all about protecting y'all from the communist Muslim extremist Antifa extinction rebellion paedoterrorists who want to take your assault rifles away and give you free healthcare.
Interesting to note that it's become taken for granted that any politician in a high enough position has something they can be blackmailed about
In America it is a scandal if a politician breaks his marital vows, in France everybody is surprised if a politician doesn't have something on the side. No French politician can be blackmailed with something like that.
The NSA won't do this particular thing under this particular interpretation of the law. They'll have a different thing they do under a different interpretation of the law, that they will stop doing once it comes to light.
Too many politicians think that violating privacy is OK if it helps catch terrorists (or "violent protestors" or whoever the administration in power has a hard on for) for them to ever lift a finger to stop it. Other than a few privacy minded congressmen who really do want to stop it, the vast majority is unfortunately not going to lift a finger beyond giving them a slap on the wrist to make voters think they stopped them.
Reminds me of the conclusion of the Justice Department's criminal case against Microsoft for driving Netscape and other companies out of business by abusing its quasi-monopoly status.
After the presidential election returned George W. Bush to the White House, the DoJ decided to give Microsoft (already convicted of criminal offences) a light slap on the wrist.
Essentially, it had to promise never again to drive Netscape out of business.
The NSA is not "breaking the law" because it's not illegal for the NSA to monitor everything. There is a law permitting it but it's secret and it would be breaking the law to tell you anything about it.
It has been well documented for years that the NSA can (and does) monitor all foreign communications, so it you talk to anyone outside the USA it's completely legal for the conversation to be monitored. But note that if you talk to anyone outside the USA then it's legal for the NSA to monitor anyone who talks to you.
No there is not and never was a law permitting the NSA to do that. In fact there is and has since the 70s been a law making it illegal for them to intercept domestic communications.
The reason they started doing it was that Bush's deputy AG made a "finding" that it was legal with a convoluted argument. The courts have said that interpretation of the law is incorrect, and the original law preventing it holds.
That is, if there hasn't been another secret "finding" with a different convoluted argument. Or if the NSA isn't just plain breaking the law because they know the current administration won't do anything about it.
I've said it before, and will over and over again, that the law was stupid as well as unconstitutional; and was totally not needed in the first place.
We had all the information needed to stop the 911 attacks, but we simply didn't share information between agencies, so investigators could put two and two, together. The only law needed was to relax (but not completely, as abuse in the 1970's proved), data sharing rules between investigatory agencies. That was ALL they needed, not this ridiculous tripe! More time has been wasted following this stupid tactic, that could have been better served through regular old fashion gum shoe work!!! [and possibly a whistle blower law to protect lower agents when reporting information that could prevent attacks] The latter which would have also prevented the 911 attacks.
Obviously, since that is what has been happening for several years now in the case of Julian Assange.
Never mind the Constitution and other pieces of paper. The actual rules are:
1. We can do anything we like, to anyone, anywhere, any time.
2. If you try to stop us, or reveal what we have done, you are a vicious criminal and will be severely punished.
Oh, you know the answer to that. He must remain steadfastly in the BAD column, regardless of constitutional law, the courts, human decency, and whatnot. It's a matter of them what wears the pants not liking that he exposed their tawdry state of affairs to the public in the first place. They may have been chastised, but that hasn't altered their capacity for vendetta, nor the hubris that they exhibit in persecuting folks who rightfully are concerned about it.
No, I fear it is still not safe for poor Edward to return to his homeland.
Actually not all the disclosures he made count as valid whistleblowing even if this court decision stands. He released plenty of information about overseas operations which everyone acknowledges were 100% legal under US law.
Even if he came home he couldn't be sure that a future administration wouldn't try to prosecute him, so I'm not sure he'd be smart to return even if he's told "all is forgiven".
"The problem isn't that what they're doing is illegal, it's that it is legal," I heard Snowden say in a recent interview.
In a sense, that's what was happening before, if the CIA or NSA found part of what they were doing might be illegal, they'll visit the president for a short chat, propose a bill to Congress, or argue in the closed & secret FISA court.
Now, will this new ruling change anything? ...probably not.
Nothing prevents the Brits and the US wiretapping the other's messages on their territory. With visitors looking at the screens.
The weird thing is that they have had no success using wiretaps to thwart attacks. And bulk surveillance can't be used as evidence after the fact. It may be useful for creating profiles of suspected terrorists.
For all of us who have been receiving scam calls in a foreign language, we are now all suspected of consorting with hackers from that country. /sarcasm.
The NSA and Five Eyes aren't about to give up their access to everything and the "Mutual Assistance and Cooperation" framework assures that they won't have to.
The NSA just gets data from the the Big Tech giants. No need to slurp up data anymore. Google, Facebook, and Amazon already know everything about you and all the person you know. I find the amount of info Big Tech has to be just as scary as the NSA, yet we all just keep posting on Facebook.
Qwant.com as a search engine
maps.Here.com for maps,
Email? Proper email provider, never free webmail.
For throwaway email addresses, Yandex.com use to be usable. But given Trump's 'special' relationship, you might want to find another throwaway provider.
There's simply no reason to give them more data than you really have to. But their surveillance webs are largely unavoidable.
[Self-hosted and] public Searx instances.
Downloaded, offline OSM maps.
[Shared] self-hosted or trusted local/small company email.
Don't give anyone data or make it so difficult to find as to be unusable (t. Searx searches not really being traceable by Big Tech).
If you do self-host, make sure to throw in other people's data to scramble things up.
Always use S/MIME where possible.
......in the mean time, ordinary folk have taken Edward Snowden's message to heart, and have started using private ciphers to keep their LEGITIMATE communications completely private. So.....the Cisco backdoors just yield stuff like this for the average NSA/GCHQ snooper. Is it sinister? Is it a birthday greeting? Maybe it's just random base64. Who knows!!!
Is it sinister? Is it a birthday greeting? Maybe it's just random base64. Who knows!!!
That rather depends on what algorithm and key the NSA chooses to use.
You can't hide your plot from us. We have determined that your "random" data is actually encoded using the XOR encryption algorithm and the (lengthy) key is [...]. Using this key we immediately see that your supposed "birthday greeting" is actually a plot to take over the world explained using a photo of some lego.
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