June 9, 2013

"Make no mistake, NSA can and will perform its missions consistent with the Fourth Amendment and all applicable laws."

"But senior leadership must understand that today’s and tomorrow’s mission will demand a powerful, permanent presence on a global telecommunications network that will host the ‘protected’ communications of Americans as well as the targeted communications of adversaries."

National Security Agency memo from the Clinton era, highlighted at Politico under the headline "NSA memo pushed to 'rethink' 4th Amendment" and noting "The quotes around 'protected' appear in the original document." (I haven't read the memo, but the quotes around "protected" may have to do with the third party principle discussed here.)

Also at the Politico link:
The NSA has been a central player in U.S. cyber strategy since at least 1997, according to a separate declassified memo obtained by [George Washington University’s] National Security Archive. That document describes how the administration of President Bill Clinton assigned NSA with “Computer Network Attack” — “a natural companion to NSA’s exploit and protect functions,” the memo said.
But it wasn’t until later, after the infusion of billions of dollars and the new legal authorities that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, that NSA’s capabilities grew to the scale revealed this week.
I note the groundwork for the argument: Bill Clinton would have averted the 9/11 attacks. Also: Everything is Bush's fault. Before 9/11, he didn't do what Clinton told him to do. After 9/11, he did too much.

106 comments:

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Is this connected with the documents Sandy Berger stole from the National Archive in his socks?

Mogget said...

If the immigration laws applicable to the 911 terrorists had been enforced, would the attacks have happened?

Quayle said...

I am giving slight, but some attention to the thought that all these Obama scandals are the Clintons preparing the battlefield for portraying Hillary as the sensible, constitution-protecting choice.

It smacks of classic Clinton triangulation strategy.

Set up the outer pole against which the Clintons appear as reasonable centrists.

Mogget said...

I think we ought to cut the NSA budget by 25%, including the "black lines," so that they are encouraged to focus their newly limited attentions on someone besides us.

glenn said...

Actually the only amendment Obama, his administration and his band of crony capitalists like is the 5th. Those creeps from Solyndra took it, Lois Lesher took it and I suspect we're just getting warmed up.

C Stanley said...

A first sentence starting with "Make no mistake." followed by a sentence beginning with "But" indicates thatbthe reader would be making a mistake to believe the rest of the first sentence.

edutcher said...

Who runs the NSA these days and what's his background - intel or military, or political hack?

The problem for Politico is that the WaPo (actually, the Guardian) already shot down their thesis that it's Dubya's fault.

A quote from the WaPo, "Its history, in which President Obama presided over 'exponential growth' in a program that candidate Obama criticized,"

EDH said...

They're all "Obama Phones" ...now.

Mogget said...

And we all have Verizon's "Share Everything Plan," as well.

Jay said...

I note the groundwork for the argument: Bill Clinton would have averted the 9/11 attacks. Also: Everything is Bush's fault. Before 9/11, he didn't do what Clinton told him to do

I wasn't aware that Clinton wanted Bush to do anything in particular.

pm317 said...

Well, republicans are not bemoaning 'it is Bush's fault'. OTH they are proud to take credit for this surveillance thing. They have openly embraced Obama and offering shelter to him in his new predicament. Just listened to Bolton and he was at least consistent unlike the Dems. This leaves people like us who don't trust Obama nowhere. He can do whatever he wants and when he is in trouble trot out things Bush did and show that it is still going on, and Repubs will sing praises of him. They are like wind up dolls.

Larry J said...

Anything is possible if you lower your standards far enough, even claiming compliance with the 4th Amendment under these circumstances. The federal judges who made these rulings are the most to blame. Damn them all to the worst corner of Hell normally reserved for terrorists, pedophiles, mass murderers and whomever it was that screwed up the user interface for Microsoft Office.

edutcher said...

pm317 said...

Well, republicans are not bemoaning 'it is Bush's fault'. OTH they are proud to take credit for this surveillance thing. They have openly embraced Obama and offering shelter to him in his new predicament.

Rand Paul hasn't. Ted Cruz hasn't. Sarah Palin hasn't.

If you mean the RINOs, say so.

If you have someone else in mind, let us know.

jr565 said...

Pm317 wrote:
Well, republicans are not bemoaning 'it is Bush's fault'. OTH they are proud to take credit for this surveillance thing. They have openly embraced Obama and offering shelter to him in his new predicament. Just listened to Bolton and he was at least consistent unlike the Dems. This leaves people like us who don't trust Obama nowhere. He can do whatever he wants and when he is in trouble trot out things Bush did and show that it is still going on, and Repubs will sing praises of him. They are like wind up dolls.


Have you looked at the left recently? Shouldn't THEY be speaking truth to power right about now rather than giving Obama consistently high approval ratings?
It was the left that called what Bush did fascism, yet its the left and the anti war crowd that is largely silent, and the left that elected this guy TWICE.

jr565 said...

A quote from the WaPo, "Its history, in which President Obama presided over 'exponential growth' in a program that candidate Obama criticized,"


I agree with Bush's implementation of the NSA program, because my understanding of it is that it was extremely limited and targeted. Whereas Obama seems to be taking the shotgun approach.

Here though is where you'll get a SLIGHT defense of Obama and Bushs use of the NSA program.
I don't think they are listening in on everyone's phone calls. What they are doing is getting a listing of all calls and where they are calling from and to whom. And from that are determining patterns based on things they are looking for, rather than simply looking up people's info.
So, if I call the pizza place 100 times a week, if that pizza place is not a number they are looking for, it will not be triggered. It would be like a number in a phone book. To collect the data that you will need to target specific numbers you need to have all data available. Otherwise you can't target the data you want.
So when people ask, how does having all the phone records help you fight the war on terror, I think of it as sorting in a database. You need all the records, to be able to sort for individual records. The data has to be gathered for you to instantly connect the dots. Otherwise, its useless data.

pm317 said...

edutcher said...
-------------

Hey, don't gang up on me. If you look around, the Rs are pretty happy to defend Obama on this. Mike Rogers (R) chairman of intel comm is trying declass a supposedly prevented attack because of Prism.

jr565, this is my pet peeve -- this is how Obama gets away with anything. His side is silent because they are bloody hypocrites and the other side is just as stupid to embrace his excesses. Meanwhile what Obama is doing may not resemble anything Bush tried to do but worse and we will never know.

lemondog said...

Scale of Top Sayings (Source: The Global Language Monitor, as of March 25)

#1 “Make no mistake” — 2,924 times

#2 “Win the future” — 1,861 times; 9 times in his 2011 State of the Union address

#3 “Here’s the deal” — 1,450 times

$4 “Let me be clear” — 1,066 times

#5 “It will not be easy” — 1,059 times

Jay said...

Hilarious butt-hurt @ Daily Kos:

It was about hope and change. A hope for individual, economic survival, and a change from what many saw> as the Bush administration's intrusive, Orwellian reach.

The comments section is a clown show...

Jay said...

The Daily Kos goofs are rationalizing this by saying The 2014 midterms are the most important election of our lifetimes!!!! Tea Party!!!!

Hysterical.

AReasonableMan said...

Larry J said...
Damn them all to the worst corner of Hell ... whomever it was that screwed up the user interface for Microsoft Office.


There is no punishment great enough for that bastard.

bpm4532 said...

How much of the $80B per year that is spent on this effort woule be unneeded if they had merely enforced immigration law and border control?

jr565 said...

So, in the case of the marathon bombers, lets say the FBI triggered a warning that this guy was bad news and might do something nefarious. The NSA would kick in. Now, if they have of all phone calls, then they can instantly see who he called. And who the person he called called. And are there any patterns. But even if they have records of me calling my mom in their database, because I didn't call anyone that they are targeting it will not be data that is looked at. Even though its potentially there to be looked at. As are all other phone numbers. Its simply using phone records that the phone company already keeps. Now, why isn't the phone company keeping the records of everyone you call a similar invasion of privacy? Because its records they need to keep in order to bill you for using a telephone.

If you don't want such information tracked (by somebody), then frankly you shouldn't be using phones.
Or the Internet.
If google is going to use what you visit to market to you, then I don't see why govt couldn't use that info to track terrorist threats.
Whether its govt, or corporations, your data is being tracked. And we've all willingly given over such data for the convenience of being able to search for I the resting stuff on the Internet, or buying something on amazon. Or talking to our mom on the phone. Its a true double edged sword.

AprilApple said...

"Tea party" is code for -- Americans who pay their taxes and play by the rules.

"Progressive" is: A radical leftwing extremist who operates outside of the law.

Simon said...

The memo doesn't say that the NSA must "rethink" the fourth amendment, it says (on page 38 of the PDF): "NSA's existing authorities were crafted for the world of the mid to late 20th century * * * The Fourth Amendment is as applicable to eSIGINT as it is to the SIGINT of yesterday and today. The information age will, however, cause us to rethink and reapply the procedures, policies, and authorities born in an earlier electronic surveillance environment."

AprilApple said...

Clinton is on the eternal "media rehabilitation tour". Clinton just gets better and better!
Never mind that his failures are part of what led to 9/11 in the first place.

Anyone remember that banned movie about it?

Our media is not real. They are simply hack and cheerleaders for one party.

cubanbob said...

The democrats are bemoaning the fact that they are behaving like fascists because the republicans gave them the tools to do so. Just see JR565's comment.

jr565 said...

The democrats don't HAVE to use the tools setup by Bush. Obama campaigned against such tools

jr565 said...

Here's the thing. there is the data collection and the data mining. The data mining ostensibly requires a warrant. The data collection is just data. It's like asking the phone company to see July's phone calls. The data has already been gathered by the phone company. The govt is just accessing the same data looking for dots to connect.if they actually have to target a specific number (like say the Marathon Bombers) that's where the warrant should come into play. So, even though there is data for ALL phone records available, only specific phone records should be accessed, dependent on the justification.

Now, there is some chance of abuse on this. Is the govt using this technology to target terrorists, and potential plots, or their enemies.
Given the Obama administrations propensity to go after Tea Partiers and the media, I don't have faith that they are not using this technology to target them.

jr565 said...

Simon wrote:
The information age will, however, cause us to rethink and reapply the procedures, policies, and authorities born in an earlier electronic surveillance environment."

THis is true though isn't it? The old laws are written for land lines when you dialed from a phone at a fixed location. The new technology allows for mobility that would be inconceivable back in the 60's and 70's.

jr565 said...

pm317 wrote:
jr565, this is my pet peeve -- this is how Obama gets away with anything. His side is silent because they are bloody hypocrites and the other side is just as stupid to embrace his excesses.

By the same token, we shouldn't damn all programs simply because Obama embraced them IF abandonding them removes fundamental tools that govt needs to protect this country.
I was for the NSA program under Bush. It SOUNDS like Obama has expanded it exponentially and in ways that are probably over the line. BUT even so, that doesn't mean that we should throw away our ability to target terrorists through phone conversations.

And,frankly, I'm just as scared of Google having this information than govt. Google can't even change their website to acknowledge Memorial Day. They are a complete left wing company with an agenda. And yet, Google should be exponentially more powerful than the govt, when it comes to information? Why then should we not empower Google to protect us from threats both foreign and domestic.

Joe said...

The NSA, like the CIA, is a vastly overrated agency in terms of defending America. In the end, they've cause more mischief and problems that they solve and have become the very epitome of what the United States isn't. For whatever good they do, we'd be better off without them.

Cedarford said...

bpm4532 said...
How much of the $80B per year that is spent on this effort woule be unneeded if they had merely enforced immigration law and border control?
=====================
Name an Islamoid enemy attack that was done by illegal alien Muslims, bpm.

all the Muzzies who were enemy that killed were either here on valid Visas, were let it as "Noble Freedom Lover Refugees", or were "full US Citizens/permanent alien residents with all the precious rights of the Constitution".

No doubt there are enemy Muslims that have infiltrated the US across our Borders or are here on expired Visas..but so far, no attack involving "illegal Muslims" has happened. So your solution idea doesn't fit the problem.

Sort of like "expanded background gun checks" would have stopped Nancy Lanza from getting the firearms her monster son illegally used.

jr565 said...

Joe wrote:
The NSA, like the CIA, is a vastly overrated agency in terms of defending America. In the end, they've cause more mischief and problems that they solve and have become the very epitome of what the United States isn't. For whatever good they do, we'd be better off without them.

And what are you going to replace them with? Nothing?

edutcher said...

pm317 said...

Hey, don't gang up on me. If you look around, the Rs are pretty happy to defend Obama on this. Mike Rogers (R) chairman of intel comm is trying declass a supposedly prevented attack because of Prism.

What you mean is Rogers, who is a terrible RINO, is happy to do it.

Don't mix real Republicans with RINOs.

Cedarford said...

Joe said...
"The NSA, like the CIA, is a vastly overrated agency in terms of defending America. In the end, they've cause more mischief and problems that they solve and have become the very epitome of what the United States isn't. For whatever good they do, we'd be better off without them."

================
Just jaw-droppingly ignorant.

jr565 said...

The fact of the matter is the technology is available now to collect data in ways inconceivable decades ago. Govt should not be less powerful than Google or any internet company when it comes to information if it's job is to protect the Homeland. If you want to ban the internet, then have that argument. But if the technology is here,now, then you can't expect govt to not be able to use that technology, when YOU have that technology. And private corporations have that technology.

pm317 said...

jr565, I share your concern about Google and don't disagree with other things either but Obama can't be trusted and should be held accountable.

viator said...

Getting ready for Hillary 2016

Simon said...

jr565 said...
"Simon wrote [quoting the memo]: 'The information age will, however, cause us to rethink and reapply the procedures, policies, and authorities born in an earlier electronic surveillance environment.' THis is true though isn't it? The old laws are written for land lines when you dialed from a phone at a fixed location. The new technology allows for mobility that would be inconceivable back in the 60's and 70's."

Yes, it's absolutely true. Like every other aspect of this supposed scandal, there's not a breath of scandal in it. That part of the memo says nothing controversial.

EDutcher insinuates that the Republicans who have supported this program are RINOs. To the contrary, those who have not are CINOs—conservatives in name only, classical liberals masquerading as conservatives. Conservatives—real conservatives, not dogmatic libertarians who have forgotten their roots—accept the traditional limitations on civil rights that are necessary to support the traditional functions of the state. A real conservative can easily distinguish between the overreaching grasp of the government transgressing its boundaries and the appropriate exercise of traditional governmental functions, and at the very heart of traditional governmental functions, indeed, the paramount function of the government, is the protection of the population from foreign threats. That is precisely what this program is designed to do. It operates well within the traditional function of government, it operates within statute law, and it operates within the confines of the fourth amendment. The only people who disagree are civil rights fanatics and paranoid lunatics whose crippling fear of tyrants lurking behind every tree makes them the inheritors not of the framers of our constitution, but of the framers of the defective articles of confederation that it replaced. Republican =/= conservative, but conservatives—actual conservatives, grounded in the great tradition of Burke, Oakeshot, Kirk, Rossiter, and Buckley, not liberarian fakes like Rand Paul—support this program, even when the president executing it is our hated enemy.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I note the groundwork for the argument: Bill Clinton would have averted the 9/11 attacks. Also: Everything is Bush's fault. Before 9/11, he didn't do what Clinton told him to do. After 9/11, he did too much.

Life is just so unfair for Republicans.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Simon said....


Well, a lot of stuff. But in the end the fact is that police can "surveil" your public footprints in the digital realm no less legally than they could if you were both on public streets/sidewalks and they happened to have binoculars from a distance. Political and ideological considerations don't change that one iota. It's scary because of the technology, not because of the concept.

In the NYT today, the funniest comment I read was by a guy relating an anecdote about a Powerpoint presentation made by the CIA to the Wall Street Journal about how they could ID a person based on what their cell phone tracks reveals about their style of walking and speed of gait. How in the hell is that intrusive? You could bury the person in a body suit and that information would still be available. People are objecting to high-powered methods of tracking information through its analysis alone, even if it's still just as oblique as public information always has potentially been, if not moreso. It's almost borne more of the anti-science/knowledge impulse than of the will to protect actual privacy, in all its expectations.

Otherwise I'd be more sympathetic.

edutcher said...

It just gets better.

A former NSA official says they may have the data from up to 20 trillion (20,000,000,000,000) phone calls and emails.

They may also have real-time data from as many as 50 (not 9) companies, including ISPs and credit rating agencies.

Achilles said...

Rhythm and Balls said...

Life is just so unfair for Republicans.

6/9/13, 11:55 AM

The supporter of the fascist administration makes the only argument that can be made for the left. He probably thought it was a witty remark too.

jr565 said...

Google just came out with Google glasses which allows you, an ordinary citizen to film ANYBODY.

If that is allowed, then why would it be a problem if govt officials or police officers to use Google Glasses or an even better technology to film YOU?

Is it the assertion that ONLY the govt should not be allowed to film you? Or only the police?

DO you need a warrant to use Google glasses?
Doesn't that kind of make a mockery then of the need for warrants?

Technology is making the whole idea of privacy redundant,and we are all on board because of convenience. You can't have your cake and eat it too.


Simon said...

Rhythm and Balls, that's exactly right. It's the flipside of the Kyllo coin: The balance between individual rights and government authority struck in the constitution—or rather, I should say, the range of permissible balances specified by the constitution—don't change just because technology changes.

jr565 said...

edutcher wrote:
A former NSA official says they may have the data from up to 20 trillion (20,000,000,000,000) phone calls and emails.


That's simply the collected data from all carriers (who all have their bits and pieces of that collected data). if you are going to have phone calls, then you HAVE to collect that data. So, it's simply one database of all data, rather than 7 databases of smaller subsets of data.
And it correlates, I'd imagine, to the number of phone calls that are placed.

imagine if each county put out a white pages and a yellow pages. And then govt combined all white pages and yellow pages into one huge database. It sounds like some nefarious thing, but all it would be doing was compiling data that is already avaiable into an even bigger database.

jr565 said...

Simon wrote:
The balance between individual rights and government authority struck in the constitution—or rather, I should say, the range of permissible balances specified by the constitution—don't change just because technology changes.

But they do change. Back when we were talking about land lines versus cell phones, I'm sure the same argument was posed.

jr565 said...

Simon wrote:
"The balance between individual rights and government authority struck in the constitution—or rather, I should say, the range of permissible balances specified by the constitution—don't change just because technology changes."

I'd imagine there were a whole different set of laws, prior to the advent of the telephone then after the advent of the telephone. Correct? Were those laws the perfect threading of individual rights and permissable balances. Or did we have to make some allowances for technology that we didn't prior to the advent of said technology?

Rhythm and Balls said...

It was a sarcastic remark, Achilles.

Thanks for being objective, Simon (I don't mean that sarcastically). Privacy concerns are obviously bi-partisan. And legal arguments for how they apply or should apply are non-partisan.

Simon said...

edutcher said...
"They may also have real-time data from as many as 50 (not 9) companies, including ISPs and credit rating agencies."

Gee, it's fortunate for libertarians and civil liberties types that the Constitution contains a clause that forbids the government from aggregating many pieces of data that, as separate pieces, were constitutionally-obtained! I know a lot of people miss that clause in article 8, but all real conservatives know that the framers were clairvoyant and deeply concerned about Big Data.

jr565 said...

From edutchers link about what the NSA is tracking:

"Britain’s Guardian newspaper posted online late Wednesday a copy of the “Top Secret” FISA court order directing telecommunications giant Verizon to hand over “metadata” about every call made or received by all of its customers in the United States. Such metadata include the calling and receiving phone numbers, the time of day and length of the call, and the whereabouts of the two parties."

This data is already being collected by Verizon and all the other carriers. It's not monitoring the calls themselves, simply the data about the calls that Verizon already keeps.

If you look at your phone bill you will see a listing of every call you make. If you are getting a bill, it means its in a database somewhere. Meaning, billions of calls are being tracked every year by every single carrier.
All the NSA is doing is combinging data from the carriers into a bigger database that includes all data across multiple carriers.

Simon said...

jr565 said...
Simon wrote:
The balance between individual rights and government authority struck in the constitution—or rather, I should say, the range of permissible balances specified by the constitution—don't change just because technology changes.

But they do change. Back when we were talking about land lines versus cell phones, I'm sure the same argument was posed.

Landline telephones are not, in my opinion, protected by the Fourth Amendment. At first, the courts agreed. Since the late 1960s and Katz v. US, however, the courts have held them to be so, just as, since the 1930s, the courts have upheld a number of flagrantly unconstitutional laws and struck down a number of patently constitutional laws. We call it "judicial activism." But even under extant Fourth Amendment doctrine, it's not clear to me that the Fourth Amendment even applies here. Whose rights have been violated? The government is not tapping individuals' phones, they are compelling telephone and internet companies to produce data about people using their services. So the people whose activities are depicted in that data have no fourth amendment claim. The telephone company has no fiduciary duty to the consumer, and even if it did, most of us sign waivers that say that the telco can do anything they like with that data. So if there is any kind of fourth amendment case to be brought, it's the telephone company that would bring it.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Lol @ 12:43!

I haven't given him enough credit before, (long before), but Simon is seriously the most intelligent (or at least thoughtful, even better) conservative on Althouse. Usually, at least.

jr565 said...

Simon wrote:
Gee, it's fortunate for libertarians and civil liberties types that the Constitution contains a clause that forbids the government from aggregating many pieces of data that, as separate pieces, were constitutionally-obtained! I know a lot of people miss that clause in article 8, but all real conservatives know that the framers were clairvoyant and deeply concerned about Big Data.


And yet we have had a CIA since its' founding, and even George Washington had a spy network.

Culper Spy Ring
What data was the spy ring dealing with? Probably "BIG" data, or as big as could be colllected at the time. Which, prior to the advent of supercomputers wasn't as much.

C Stanley said...

Others have pointed out that the data is just being stored, not accessed without a warrant.

It's the possibility of abuse though that is the concern, along with the known facts that this administration has already been judge shopping for warrants (and misrepresenting their intentions on the warrant request') as well as using government agencies to harrass their opponents.

We shouldn't trust the generic administration with so much access, and we sure as hell shouldn't trust this administration. Their motives and means have already been shown to be corrupt.

edutcher said...

Simon said...

They may also have real-time data from as many as 50 (not 9) companies, including ISPs and credit rating agencies.

Gee, it's fortunate for libertarians and civil liberties types that the Constitution contains a clause that forbids the government from aggregating many pieces of data that, as separate pieces, were constitutionally-obtained! I know a lot of people miss that clause in article 8, but all real conservatives know that the framers were clairvoyant and deeply concerned about Big Data.


What part of, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.", eludes you?

Simon is, obviously, no Conservative, so, of course, Ritmo likes him. Too bad neither of them can see they're as much at risk as anybody else.

They need to read up on Uncle Joe.

jr565 said...

Simon wrote:
"Landline telephones are not, in my opinion, protected by the Fourth Amendment. At first, the courts agreed. Since the late 1960s and Katz v. US, however, the courts have held them to be so, just as, since the 1930s, the courts have upheld a number of flagrantly unconstitutional laws and struck down a number of patently constitutional laws. We call it "judicial activism." But even under extant Fourth Amendment doctrine, it's not clear to me that the Fourth Amendment even applies here. Whose rights have been violated? The government is not tapping individuals' phones, they are compelling telephone and internet companies to produce data about people using their services. So the people whose activities are depicted in that data have no fourth amendment claim. The telephone company has no fiduciary duty to the consumer, and even if it did, most of us sign waivers that say that the telco can do anything they like with that data. So if there is any kind of fourth amendment case to be brought, it's the telephone company that would bring it."

the fact that courts argued that landlines weren't covered under the fourth amendment, means that a suit was brought which suggested that it was. And the courts said, in fact, NO it wasn't.
but if the fourth amendment doesn't apply to landlines, does it apply to cell phones? Who's rights are being violated HERE?

Rhythm and Balls said...

So now you're choosing other people's ideologies and sympathies for them, Ed?

Yep. I guess that makes you a hugely responsible civil liberties defender. Lol.

jr565 said...

edutcher wrote:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.", eludes you?

The key word there is "unreasonable". Is collecting data a search? If govt has to go to FISA courts to get a warrant to monitor specific calls, then isn't THAT the search? And that still requires the warrant.
(Granted, they've yet to actuall turn down the issuance of one, so there is room for harm here).
But having access to data, doesn't necessarily constitute searching for data. Having more data simply means you have a more thorough search capability.

IN the case of cell phones and multiple carriers, I think you can see the problem of NOT having all the carrier data. What if a caller calls someone who has a different carrier? Suddenly, you can't track that data? (Even if you had a warrant).

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
So now you're choosing other people's ideologies and sympathies for them, Ed?

Yep. I guess that makes you a hugely responsible civil liberties defender. Lol.


It is nice to see Ritmo defend George Bush's NSA program. Where was his voice back when liberals were making the edutcher argument?

Jay said...

imagine if each county put out a white pages and a yellow pages. And then govt combined all white pages and yellow pages into one huge database. It sounds like some nefarious thing, but all it would be doing was compiling data that is already avaiable into an even bigger database.

Huh?

the data is not "already available" to the NSA.

jr565 said...

Are white pages available to the NSA? It's essentially public information.
Why couldnt the NSA compile all the white pages they have access to to create their own white pages?

Jay said...

jr565,

My mobile phone # is not in the white pages.
My call logs are not in the white pages.

Just because Verizon can send me a bill with all of the inbound and outbound calls to my number doesn't mean it is publicly available.

Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are complying with a FISA warrant.

That doesn't make the law correct in my opinion.

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
Huh?

the data is not "already available" to the NSA.

If the NSA got a warrant to monitor a set of numbers, wouldn't they be? Doesn't the NSA still have to get a warrant?
All we are discussing is the info in the database?
If we didn't get carrier support then any search would be stymied as soon as someone called a person who's phone was from a different carrier?
Do you need to get separate warrants every time someone calls a different carrier? We're talking about tracking real time information.

Way back when the phone company was not different carriers, but one carrier. And way back then we had land lines. If this program were available then, then the database searched would be ALL carriers, because there was only one carrier.

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are complying with a FISA warrant.

That doesn't make the law correct in my opinion.

So now you think the phone companies should ignore warrants and actively stimey govt from doing a legitmate search?
Even with the warrant?

C Stanley said...

Jr565

Think of it this way. Let's say you have a safe deposit box at your local bank. Lots of other people do too, and lots of other people at lots of other banks.

Those exist, right?

So why can't the government use it's authority to force the banks to turn over all contents to their central bank, where they hold the keys? And tell us, don't worry, we won't use your keys unless a judge gives us a warrant to do so,

edutcher said...

Rhythm and Balls said...

So now you're choosing other people's ideologies and sympathies for them, Ed?

You're the one who called him a Conservative, not me.

I just beg to differ.

Yep. I guess that makes you a hugely responsible civil liberties defender. Lol.

Far more than you, it would seem. You're the one defending the trashing of the 4th Amendment.

jr565 said...

What part of, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.", eludes you?

The key word there is "unreasonable". Is collecting data a search? If govt has to go to FISA courts to get a warrant to monitor specific calls, then isn't THAT the search? And that still requires the warrant.


Not sure what you mean by the edutcher argument, but data collection is what a search warrant is all about, isn't it?

Does he have the murder weapon?

Did she have his old love letters?

Isn't that what search warrants are for, to collect data, sometimes physical, for a court case?

Keep in mind, the F in FISA stands for Foreign.

If this is being justified through FISA and it's all domestic, Lucy and Ericky and Choomie got a whole lot o' 'splainin' to do.

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
My mobile phone # is not in the white pages.
My call logs are not in the white pages.

the white pages was not perfectly analagous. I was just descriging an example of compiling data into a bigger database.

C Stanley said...

the white pages was not perfectly analagous. I was just descriging an example of compiling data into a bigger database.

Fine for them to compile data they already have gathered through normal means.

What they are doing though is getting blanket warrants for huge amounts of data,most of which has nothing to do with the targets of their investigations, and the carriers have agreed to put this data in a place that the govt can freely access. Under normal circumstances, this is private data that they would NOT have access to. Just because they've created a legal framework and most (but not all) of the companies agreed to it, doesn't make it right.

jr565 said...

edutcher wrote:
Not sure what you mean by the edutcher argument, but data collection is what a search warrant is all about, isn't it?

In terms of a database, i look at the warrant as running a search from a collection of data that has been compiled. The compiled data must include EVERYTHING. Otherwise the search is limited to what you're searching for amidst a more limited data set. THe fact that the data was compiled doesn't mean that the data is being used.

So, if you get a FISA warrant, and have access to all carrier info, as opposed to one carriers info, it gives you a better result.

There is the ability to run different searches of other numbers, but you are limited in your search based on the warrants perameters.

So, even if my phone records are in the database, it doesn't mean that the govt will search for my phone records.

Simon said...

edutcher said...
"What part of, 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.,' eludes you?"

The part where it applies to metadata held by third parties, which is not a person, house, paper, or effect of the person who made the call, or the surrender of that information by a telephone company. jr565 poses an apt question (which I think was originally framed by Nick Rosenkrantz, IIRC) than in evaluating rights claims, yo say that a constitutional violation has happened in the rights-bearing sphere (distinct from sutrctural restraints, which are self-executing), you want to ask: WHO has violated the rights of WHOM? You have no fourth amendment rights in play here. The information that the government is taking? It isn't taking it from you. It's taking it from the telephone companies. Consider an analogy: If you are a regular customer of a pest control company, and the government later siezes the records of that company, the fact that the company has records about your use of their service does not give you a fourth amendment claim against the government. It gives the company a fourth amendment claim against the government, but you? Nope. The same thing here.

"Simon is, obviously, no Conservative, so, of course, Ritmo likes him. Too bad neither of them can see they're as much at risk as anybody else."

As my commens above explain, you don't speak for conservatives, and you don't get to say who is and isn't one. Your mode of analysis is revealing. Your mind immediately jumps first and foremost to individual rights rather than the traditional functions of government—a Liberal mindset, not a conservative one 150 years ago; today, we call them libertarians not Liberals, but the mindset is still the same, always anxious to assert a priori theoretical claims over tradition. You, my friend, are not a conservative, and seemingly have no idea what conservatism is—and so the idea that you, a Liberal, a libertarian, get to tell a Burkeian that they aren't a conservative is risible.

jr565 said...

edutcher wrote:
Isn't that what search warrants are for, to collect data, sometimes physical, for a court case?

Keep in mind, the F in FISA stands for Foreign.

If this is being justified through FISA and it's all domestic, Lucy and Ericky and Choomie got a whole lot o' 'splainin' to do.

In the case of the Boston bombers though, woudn't that be some overseas calls and some domestic calls?
We're faulting the CIA for having this guy in our sites, being told that he was a terrorist in training, and then not following up.
Shouldn't we have been monitoring all of his calls though, both foreign and domestic? What would the CIA "following up" actually entail, if not tracking his movements and cell phone calls?

Simon said...

I mean, seriously, if you want to know what conservatism is, go read Russell Kirk. Go read Clinton Rossiter. Put down the libertarian nonsense that you're reading—the Glen Beck nonsense, the Mark Levin stuff—and read about conservatism as described conservatives. Not these dogmatic fakes whose loyalty is not to tradition but to certain dogmatic principles that briefly coincided with conservatism and has now become conflated with it in too many minds.

jr565 said...

C Stanley wrote:
"What they are doing though is getting blanket warrants for huge amounts of data,most of which has nothing to do with the targets of their investigations, and the carriers have agreed to put this data in a place that the govt can freely access. Under normal circumstances, this is private data that they would NOT have access to. Just because they've created a legal framework and most (but not all) of the companies agreed to it, doesn't make it right."

Suppose the govt were going after a company for fraud, and demanded they turn over all records? Woudn't that include records of customers who bought from the corporation in question, even though they are not necessarily part of the case?
The govt would need all the data, though and then filter it down to relevant data that pertains to their case.

Rhythm and Balls said...

It is nice to see Ritmo defend George Bush's NSA program.

Glad you think so. I'm not defending it. I'm acknowledging it as an accepted and not easily thwarted fact. It wasn't George Bush's NSA, unless you're referring to GHW Bush. It was alive and well and kicking all the way back to the Clinton era, if not before. "Liberal" 60 Minutes was doing stories on it back then, anyway... bringing to bear the way its participation cuts across major Anglosphere governments, not just America but Canada, Australia, the U.K., etc.

Simon's right. It's "suddenly" political because A. The way we use data is more powerful, even if it's the same data we always had legal access to, and B. Now a Democrat's doing it (not Simon's point, but an important "twist" in the narrative and interest level). In any event, politicize it all you want. That only makes the conversation a hell of a lot dumber than a human interest story as important as this one deserves to be made.

jr565 said...

Granted, going after a company criminally is not the same as a company wilfully turning over records despite not being under indictment. BUT the piont is, records are accessed of transactions, that many might view as "private" in the course of an investigation. ARe they private though?

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
"In any event, politicize it all you want"

If you remember back when Obama was running for president it was he and the democrats/liberals politicizing Bush's NSA program.
At the very least we should be allowed to call people hypocrites who act hypocritically, no?

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
It's "suddenly" political because A.

I take issue with your use of the word "suddenly". As if it wasn't political when your side was trying to win the white house and used it as your example of why Bush was the worst president in the history of the world EVER!

edutcher said...

Simon said...

Simon is, obviously, no Conservative, so, of course, Ritmo likes him. Too bad neither of them can see they're as much at risk as anybody else.

As my commens above explain, you don't speak for conservatives, and you don't get to say who is and isn't one. Your mode of analysis is revealing.


Yeah, I know a moby when I hear one.

jr565 said...

In the case of the Boston bombers though, woudn't that be some overseas calls and some domestic calls?

If it's domestic, they need a warrant from a Federal court, not FISA.

Rhythm and Balls said...

If you remember back when Obama was running for president it was he and the democrats/liberals politicizing Bush's NSA program.
At the very least we should be allowed to call people hypocrites who act hypocritically, no?


Or alternatively, calling people political who act politically would be about as accurate. Still, no I don't remember an NSA conversation, if I did, it wouldn't have meant I had to agree with it (I didn't agree with Obama's 2003 opinion on Iraq), and I'm not responsible for it. But the biggest exculpation is that no conversation used the words "NSA". I've always known what the NSA was up to for more than a good decade and a half, at least, and if the conversation involved something beyond that, so be it. Maybe it's semantics. But you can watch Good Will Hunting, a 1997 film, and he has a brilliantly memorable monologue on exactly what the NSA does. I've always known about that. Its activities were documented widely. It wasn't something that Bush started, at all. So there, you have it on record from me that I know and agree with all that. Does that help you?

Simon said...

jr565 said...
"If you remember back when Obama was running for president it was he and the democrats/liberals politicizing Bush's NSA program.
At the very least we should be allowed to call people hypocrites who act hypocritically, no?
"

I don't think it's so much a hypocrisy issue, but I know what you mean. Obama denounced this program when he ran for office. And when he got into office, he became privy to new information, intelligence that the general public (including candidate Obama) can't know but which a President must know. He changed his mind. And he should be applauded for that, not condemned! I agree that he ought to be more frank in acknowledging the switch, and that he'd be well-served to do so, but I understand his reluctance. What I can't abide is these faux conservatives like Ed whose blind hatred of Obama is such that they're rather endorse candidate Obama's criticism of the Bush administration rather than praise President Obama's embrace of the Bush administration. There are a few people who have consistently been on the wrong side of this issue—you have to credit Glen Greenwald. He was a prat then, he's a prat now. But if we're going to talk hypocrisy, I mean, Obama isn't being hypocritical, he just changed his mind. If you want to see real hypocrisy, look to the Democrats who opposed this program when Bush ran it but now say nothing, or the Republicans who criticize this program now but said nothing when Bush was President.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Bush was incompetent because of how he implemented things and the fact that he was in-line with the Republican fixation on short-term tactics over long-term strategy. So if you actually want my rather short opinion on what I don't like about Bush, jr, there. You have it. Assuming you actually want it or it matters to you.

But if you instead want to play politics then I'm sure none of that matters and you can put words in my mouth in whichever way suits you best. No need for any help from me on that!


Jay said...

jr565 said...

So now you think the phone companies should ignore warrants and actively stimey govt from doing a legitmate search?
Even with the warrant?


No, what I'm saying it Congress could make the blanket storage of this information illegal.

Jay said...

If you want to see real hypocrisy, look to the Democrats who opposed this program when Bush ran it but now say nothing, or the Republicans who criticize this program now but said nothing when Bush was President.

Or perhaps you could realize that what the Bush NSA did is not what the Obama NSA is doing.

Simon said...

Jay said...
"what I'm saying it Congress could make the blanket storage of this information illegal."

Unless it intrudes on the inherent authority of the executive, yes, that's right. I think that any President with two brain cells to rub together—anyone recent President except Carter—would have the nouse to veto the bill, and if a bad President did sign it, I think his successors would start framing an argument that it does so intrude.

Simon said...

Jay said...
"Or perhaps you could realize that what the Bush NSA did is not what the Obama NSA is doing."

At absolute most, given the disclosures that we have, what the Obama administration is doing is a modest expansion of the NSA dataq mining program that we know that the Bush administration was running. Now, you are certainly correct that they could be doing much, much more—but we have absolutely no basis in evidence for that, and paranoia about Obama's character (the touchstone for much of the GOP criticism we've seen) is not evidence. We cannot evaluate what we do know on the basis of paranoid fear that it might just be the tip of the iceberg. And even if we could, one would have to ask: How do we know that the Bush NSA program to which we are comparing the imagined chimera that we have standing in for the Obama NSA program is as limited as we think it is? If Obama's program goes much deeper than we know, why, then maybe Bush's program went much deeper than we know! No, if we're going to compare the version of Obama's program that we have carved out of our partisan hatred of Obama to the Bush program, we must, to balance the equation, compare the version of Obama's program that we have carved out of our partisan hatred of Obama to the version of Bush's program that liberals carved out of their partisan hatred of Bush.

jr565 said...

edutcher wrote:
If it's domestic, they need a warrant from a Federal court, not FISA.

Largely irrelevant to whether they should be compiling the data. Lets assume they get all the proper warrants. You're still left with the point that you would have an issue with them having gotten access to the data in the first place.


jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
No, what I'm saying it Congress could make the blanket storage of this information illegal.

But then they'd have to face the argument that they are hampering our ability to deal with terrorist threats requiring such monitoring programs.
Is there a better way to get access to this data other than through a program like the NSA has setup where the carriers are cooperating and turning over data?

Jay said...

Simon, there is evidence to suggest that this is not a "modest" expansion.

This.

And Gen Hayden just said this morning that what is happening now is not what he was able to do when he worked under Bush.

Jay said...

Is there a better way to get access to this data other than through a program like the NSA has setup where the carriers are cooperating and turning over data?

Profiling.

jr565 said...

Sion wrote:
He changed his mind. And he should be applauded for that, not condemned! I agree that he ought to be more frank in acknowledging the switch, and that he'd be well-served to do so, but I understand his reluctance.

Even if he chagned his mind, he's trying to have his cake and eat it too. IF he can't acknowledge freely that Bush was right and he was naive, then he's simply continuing with the demagogic politics that got him into office.
And we shouldn't let him get away with that.

jr565 said...

Jay said:

Profiling.


Come on now. Edutcher just got through the whole "unreasonable searches and seizures" anti constitution argument. Wouldn't profiling run into the same objections?

Jay said...

jr565,

I'm hard pressed to understand how importing a hundred millions of records of America customers furthers the goal of "connecting the dots" of Muslims engaging in jihad.

This isn't merely brining out a hammer when all you see are nails, it is kind of like bringing out a wrecking ball when all you see are toothpicks...

jr565 said...

Simon wrote:
"If you want to see real hypocrisy, look to the Democrats who opposed this program when Bush ran it but now say nothing"

How is that not Obama?

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
I'm hard pressed to understand how importing a hundred millions of records of America customers furthers the goal of "connecting the dots" of Muslims engaging in jihad.

What about the muslims not enagaging in jihad?
Aren't you saying its ok to profile them too?

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
I'm hard pressed to understand how importing a hundred millions of records of America customers furthers the goal of "connecting the dots" of Muslims engaging in jihad.

I just explained why they are importing the data. They are compiling a database. Having all data and then filtering out a search is a lot easier then trying to gather data based on a single phone number across multiple carriers where you have to get approval from the carriers for each individual search.

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
I'm hard pressed to understand how importing a hundred millions of records of America customers furthers the goal of "connecting the dots" of Muslims engaging in jihad.


Suppose tomorrow they are tracking a terrorist and he calls a number of someone who is part of a different carrier. HOw difficult do you want to make it for them to get that information? DO they have to get approval from a carrier on a call by call basis? Do they need to get a warrant for the next phone number and every number?
It becomes a largely unwieldling process very quickly, and I'd imagine the NSA would be spending a large amount of time just going through the bureacracy to get approval for something that they needed five minutes ago.
IF they have access to all records, then if tomorrows Marathon bomber calls a number five times they instantly have it in their database and can start tracking it.
If your number is also in the database but he never calls you, it's simply data that never gets put into a search, even though technically it's in the database.

If they are using the data for other purposes, absent warrants (like say targeting tea partiers) its an abuse of the program. ANd I'm not arguing that Obama hasn't been abusing the program. I'm just saying, compiling the data itself is not an abuse of the program. Compiling the data is how they can do accurate searches for data that they actually need.

edutcher said...

Ritmo's a gas. It was evil when Dubya was running it because he was incompetent, but, now that Choom is all over it, it's great because he's spying on everybody.

Of course, the terrorists are running around, doing what they want, but it's OK because Choom's running it.

jr565 said...

If it's domestic, they need a warrant from a Federal court, not FISA.

Largely irrelevant to whether they should be compiling the data. Lets assume they get all the proper warrants. You're still left with the point that you would have an issue with them having gotten access to the data in the first place.


In a probable universe, all things are possible. It doesn't sound as if they have those warrants.

For good or ill, that's where the courts come in - to decide the Constitutionality of those warrants. That's where the whether is really decided.

Back in the 50s, somebody infected everybody driving through the Holland Tunnel to see how germ warfare would work. Whether they should have done it or not is pretty obvious, but it would never gotten through a court.

Jay said...

jr565,

It would be very easy to subpoena a suspected terrorist's phone records. You don't even need to go get a warrant.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Dubya was most incompetent at running a war, actually. (And a stable economy). But don't let the smell of your own gas distract you from putting another one of your good old lies and misunderstandings into what I actually said, Ed.

Where would I be with you to tell me what I didn't say? Even the twin conspiracy theorists, Jay and jr, have better things to do.

C Stanley said...

@Simon- i saw your name and wondered if you were the Stubborn Facts Simon. Glad to see that the blog is back up....I've missed it.

C Stanley said...

This is probably a dumb question but here goes...

Is it possible to tap into the content of emails? If this program is for the metadata only, what happens next when they pick up suspicious data? For phone records they'd get a warrant for a wiretap, but what do they do for internet communications?

edutcher said...

Rhythm and Balls said...

Dubya was most incompetent at running a war, actually. (And a stable economy). But don't let the smell of your own gas distract you from putting another one of your good old lies and misunderstandings into what I actually said, Ed.

No, I just point out your nonsense and, in case you haven't heard, just because you say something doesn't make it so.

You have yet to post one source to back up anything you've ever said.

Come back when you have something in writing.

Other than your commitment papers.

Rhythm and Balls said...

No, I just point out your nonsense and, in case you haven't heard, just because you say something doesn't make it so.

In a democracy (if you know what that is), a president's competence is a matter of opinion, the validity of which can be demonstrated by a poll.

Which if one were to be conducted of Dubya would promptly show you just how wrong you are.

Simon said...

C Stanley said...
"@Simon- i saw your name and wondered if you were the Stubborn Facts Simon. Glad to see that the blog is back up....I've missed it."

I am, and it is, although I didn't do it. ;) Pat fixed the technical issues that took it down and brought it back online so that we could look at what we wrote about the original NSA story back in the day. It hit some technical problems about a year ago and none of us was in a good place in life to make it work. And honestly, most of the stuff that I've wanted to write about in the last year has been Catholic stuff which I had already segregated off to a separate blog. Anyway, all that to say that I don't yet know whether it's back as an archive or whether it'll return to life as a going concern.

n.n said...

The revolution masquerades in plain sight behind a nuanced deception.

This didn't start with Obama, but it has enjoyed extraordinary progress under his direction.