back to article CIA illegally harvested US citizens' data, senators assert

Two US senators have gone public with evidence of what they assert is a previously secret bulk data collection effort by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), conducted outside the law and without oversight. Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, of Oregon and New Mexico respectively, on Thursday announced that in …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the Agency is very keen on protecting civil liberties"

    Just like the NSA, we know.

    They both want to keep civil liberties closely protected.

    Very closely.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: "the Agency is very keen on protecting civil liberties"

      These liberties are so very well protected that we have been able to identify exactly those who actually deserve them.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: "the Agency is very keen on protecting civil liberties"

        the answer being: no one?

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: "the Agency is very keen on protecting civil liberties"

          No, the answer is "Us, and the people we agree with"

    2. Snake Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: the NSA

      One Republican, plus one Democratic senator, have reintroduced the EARN IT Act, it exited from committee just yesterday with approvals.

      Forget the NSA: the senators are using the usual "Think of the children!" tactic to allow every police construct to spy on you.

      Both the NSA and the CIA will be second-rate players once the stoppers on the coppers looking at your private communications are removed.

      1. Fred Daggy Bronze badge

        Re: the NSA

        What's the bet said senators are involved in a scandal shortly?

  2. IGotOut Silver badge

    And just remember...

    ... this was before the Internet, high speed networks, huge data storage capacity and 9/11.

  3. UCAP Silver badge
    Joke

    ... USA being rather keen on personal liberty and government keeping its nose out of citizens' business...

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    (I assume that was supposed to be joke)

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Joke

      (I assume that was supposed to be joke)

      No, that is what you call a very honest lie.

  4. msobkow Silver badge

    Gee, America's spy agency spies!!! Can you imagine that?

    1. msobkow Silver badge

      Think about it: how many times do American agencies have to be caught spying on the American public before the American people wake up to the fact that their much-vaunted "rights" aren't worth a scrap of paper to the federal government and its bureaucracy...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Why do you think they're trying to dumb down the American public. They just want drones...until they can be replaced with AI...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They keep warning the world about how terrible it is when other countries' spy agencies do it, though. There might be a story here about pots and kettles.

    3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Trollface

      only the FBI is allowed to spy on US citizens, that's why there is an issue when the CIA does it

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        I mean, legally, you are not wrong.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      It's not supposed to spy on AMERICANS - that's the job of the NSA

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        That's also where GCHQ comes in. The US agencies are not supposed to spy on US citizens but there's nothing in US law stopping GCHQ from doing so and sharing what they've caught with them,

  5. Andy Mac
    Trollface

    Land of the Free spies on its own?

    <Bear enters woods>

    <Flushing sound heard>

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Land of the Free spies on its own?

      <Pope enters Vatican.>

      <Mass is celebrated.>

      1. Ken Shabby

        Re: Land of the Free spies on its own?

        <Dolly Parton retires for the evening>

        <Sleeps on her back>

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And do you think...

    ...that the same thing doesn't happen here? In the UK?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: And do you think...

      > [ ... ] the same thing doesn't happen here? In the UK?

      Doesn't the UK have an entire agency dedicated to domestic spying? MI5, anyone?

      https://www.mi5.gov.uk/

      MI5's mission is to keep the country safe

      But of course it is. Pot. Kettle. Black.

      Get off your hoity-toity moral high horse.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: And do you think...

        Yes. That's exactly what AC you replied to was saying.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Re: And do you think...

          > That's exactly what AC you replied to was saying.

          And your point was?

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: And do you think...

            My point was:

            AC: And do you think...

            ...that the same thing doesn't happen here? In the UK?

            so here, AC is saying that the same thing DOES happen here

            ST: Doesn't the UK have an entire agency dedicated to domestic spying? MI5, anyone?

            ... Get off your hoity-toity moral high horse.

            and here, you are ALSO saying that the same thing happens here, as if AC was wrong.

            DN: That's exactly what AC you replied to was saying.

            I merely pointed out that it looked like you were criticising what was said as hoity-toity, but you were also making the same point.

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: And do you think...

      Oh, it is way, way too late for hoping that it didn't, folks

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigatory_Powers_Act_2016

      It was only found unlawful in August 2021

      https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252504608/Investigatory-Powers-Tribunal-finds-UK-spy-agencies-unlawfully-collected-personal-data?amp=1

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: And do you think...

        >It was only found unlawful in August 2021

        Yes I remember that, MI5 and GCHQ were closed down and the spies were hauled off to the Tower of London in Chains and the Home Secretary was convicted and jailed

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: And do you think...

        There's a reason the Grace Hopper Cable comes in to Bude - you can see the GCHQ post from the beach there! When it goes live I imagine there will be lots of lorries full of tapes blocking the A39!

  7. Scene it all

    There may be US laws against the CIA or NSA spying on US citizens. But there is no US law against *British* agencies doing so. There are also treaties that that allow the two countries to share intelligence information. You can see how that works.

    And the same in reverse.

    1. msobkow Silver badge

      Yep. That's the glaring hole in the "5-Eyes" agreements that they hope you won't notice. :(

  8. CoffeeBlackest

    Really? "We're" shocked about this? It's barely worth notice at this point. The word that best comes to mind is "Duh", imo. Does it bother me that they may have pulled info about me personally? Not terribly...i've got more important things to worry about frankly.

    1. Bruce Ordway

      Worried...not...

      Except... if enough random people have unlimited access to my history...I'm afraid at least one scrutineer would find a reason to flag me.

    2. tekHedd

      Agree with "duh".

      Strong disagree with "more important things to worry about."

      Don't worry, I won't be saying "told you so," because when we get to that point I will have long since been silenced. History shows that they come for you "nothing to hide" types later, just... not too much later.

      Question: when the CIA takes several months to "redact" a document, who's to say they didn't simply make up a new document entirely from scratch? It's not like there's anybody checking who isn't also also, basically, CIA...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Annoying but not surprising

    When you are allowed to secretly make your own rules, change your own rules and break your own rules under the guise of some vague directive to provide for national security this is what happens again and again again. It make the rule of law and alleged inalienable rights of the people quite irrelevant. A bad joke.

    Eventually, people wake up and figure the rulers are quite irrelevant, also. Then it gets sticky. It's coming. This is one of the Reasons.

    Mass collection of the personal data of Americans by the president's personal army is not surprising at all of course. But, it's still really, really annoying. And wrong. Very wrong.

    Now we face the indignity of yet another whitewash by Congress etc. It's really annoying. Did I say that already?

  10. HildyJ Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The sewer

    All information about you goes to the CIA/NSA/FBI servers. Some is flagged and all is available for any of their reviewers.

    When confronted, they will cherry pick one or two of the billions of records that actually turned up something.

    Welcome to the modern world.

    1. R.O.

      Re: The sewer

      I don't know the exact quote but it goes something like, "The weapons of war are always used on the people eventually".

      Some may remember the US Govt policy of data gathering in Afghanistan and other places was to "collect it all". Certainly that's what's going on in the USA, and many other places right now, the govt. and in particular the military is collecting it all for whatever use it pleases.

      One of the major causes on the American Revolution was General Warrants issued by the King to search for whatever the British soldiers felt like to enforce tax and other laws. We now have the same thing going with computer data. They are collecting it to use as evidence, if they feel like it.

      The problem, sort of, it's being done in secret so it's hard to use it in court. So, the next step is to admit it, codify it and then gain the ability to use it for police and proprietorial action.

      This is really awful but the vast majority of people don't see it and don't care. They will when it's too late.

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Google says

    LOL!

  12. Sub 20 Pilot

    Would this be from the same nation who were gibbering about the Chinese government allegedy ( but unproven ) doing the same thing a week ago, telling visitors to the Beijing winter games to use a burner phone. Fucking hypocrisy at it's best.

  13. Aussie Doc
    Facepalm

    But wait...

    Everything's fine.

    I found the list of all the folks known to be surprised:

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    ...

  14. sreynolds Silver badge

    I personally welcome the intrustion...

    I have nothing to hide. (Queue the sarcasm and irony flames)

    1. julian.smith
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I personally welcome the intrustion...

      No one expects the Spanish Inquisition

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