June 6, 2013

"Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama."

The Guardian reports:
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

142 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Over and over again, it's obvious what a huge mistake it was to vote for this affirmative actioned bastard.

Steve Mills said...

First

Mark O said...

This is how it works. There are huge intrusions into civil liberties based on the idea that the country is at war and there are exigent circumstances. That is followed by an end to the "war" but the preservation of the totalitarian intrusions.

Odd that we should have this to discuss on June 6.

Phil 3:14 said...

I'm Spartacus!

LarsPorsena said...

They must have some really massive computer resources at Ft. Meade to handle this stuff.

John Borell said...

This is the biggest threat to liberty of any of the scandals. Why stop with phone records? Next is text messages, emails, all data, everything. The 4th Amendment is dead.

madAsHell said...

Well, the good news is.....

Moments ago, I walked past the TV, and the local talking heads were reporting this.

gerry said...

Inside every Progressive is a Totalitarian.

Not only can we suppress organization of dissent, we can build calling patterns that can identify "cells" of political dissent.

"Hi, I'm President Obama, and I'm here to make sure you don't say or do anything I don't like."

AustinRoth said...

I objected to these over-reaches of government authority and disdain for the Constitutional rights of Americans under Bush, and I object again now under Obama.

This is NOT a partisan issue; this is a basic rights issue. The time that such rights most need to be enforced is when the government uses the pretext of exigent circumstances to deny them to us.

Tank said...

Not worried.

I trust the gov't.

They would never misuse any of this info.

Nothing to see here.

Move along.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

There will be hell to pay when Obama finds out about this!

Tank said...

Yes, wait until Zero picks up his morning paper and learns about this.

LarsPorsena said...

Give me a clue. Why does the warrant cover everything but the calls content? Am I reading the article correctly?

MadisonMan said...

The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

Next time.

Thank you Russ Feingold for voting against the USA PATRIOT act. This was one of many steps down this path.

bpm4532 said...

I doubt this started with the court order. It has been going on long before this and with the other mobile and wireline telcos as well.

The pressure to come clean and start to attempt to legally justify these things must be pretty high in DC.

gerry said...

Gee - I hope no one said anything that might be so embarassing they might be able to be blackmailed by an entity only interested in doing anything necessary to forge a good end for national security.

Let's see : Watergate bugging involved a phone line or two.

Obamagate involves bugging MILLIONS of phones.

Does it qualify yet for impeachment proceedings? IF ONLY THE CZAR - i mean president - KNEW!

LarsPorsena said...

Maybe they just want to make sure everybody is maximizing the use of Obamaphones?

phx said...

Give me a clue. Why does the warrant cover everything but the calls content? Am I reading the article correctly?

It may not be possible to retrieve or store the call content from that massive a database. But just seeing who is reaching out to touch who may serve their purporses.

Someone will answer for this one I think.

James Pawlak said...

Only more evidence that the Fourth Amendment is dead.

Shanna said...

There will be hell to pay when Obama finds out about this!

He just heard about it on the news.

robinintn said...

Because, as NPR explained, it's an important terrorist fighting tool.

Tim said...

Didn't Obama just tell us the war on terrorism was basically over?

If so, why the unprecedented, deep data dive into the phone records of American citizens?

And *some* people wonder why other people are so anxious about their Second Amendment rights.

Anyway, I can't wait to hear the unleashing of the Liberal Outrage at their president for this order.

Props to Gore for so doing - I expect he'll be nearly alone on this. Liberal hypocrisy is immeasurable.

Steve Mills said...

I recall Professor Althouse holding Conlaw I class outside and debating the "patriot" act (lower case intentional). Ann, what would the Founding Fathers say were they to weigh in this morning?

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leland said...

I guess we are not supposed to see a pattern here.

Darrell said...

Obviously the work of low-level employees.

I wish they would promote everyone so that we would no longer have ANY low-level employees. They are more trouble than they are worth.

Mogget said...

I wonder how this will affect Verizon's bottom line. I am quite sure that all the others are similarly tapped, but this one is getting the attention. If Verizon starts to incur financial stress, that's how we'll know people care about this in any meaningful way.

chrisnavin.com said...

Al Qaeda's on the run. Everyone else is too.

LarsPorsena said...

phx said...

Give me a clue. Why does the warrant cover everything but the calls content? Am I reading the article correctly?

It may not be possible to retrieve or store the call content from that massive a database. But just seeing who is reaching out to touch who may serve their purporses.
________________________________

Seems bassackwards to me. They already have ability to scan for keywords in conversations. Given there are throwaway phones that illegal or terrorists would most likely use, why grope the whole system? It's like copying a phone book.

SteveR said...

Yeah and to think people are bent out of shape about the possibility the government might get your DNA if you get arrested. Its already happening!

rhhardin said...

Phone metadata is great for analyzing out networks.

The security reason for it is that for the bad guys to do anything seriously bad, they need finances, organization, and so forth, which becomes more and more detectable the bigger the group.

So long as the seriously bad group size is bigger than the detectable group size, the terrorists lose.

Phone networks lower that threshold for us.

Of course it can also be used to detect Republicans, but on the other hand it's important securitywise.

You can't prevent mall bombings, but they're not serious damage except in the mind of the news ratings people.

Losing a city is what's worrying, and phone records prevent.

ErnieG said...

They need this information. How else are they to determine who gets audited?

carrie said...

So do they search the phone calls for the same key words as the IRS--patriot, liberty, tea party?

carrie said...

So do they search the phone calls for the same key words as the IRS--patriot, liberty, tea party?

pm317 said...

Bush II.. where are all the lefties?

dc said...

Don't worry folks.The government will protect your data.But before it can do that it has to get it first.

SGT Ted said...

Obama's admin is using this for domestic spying on his political opponents. He isn't using it for National Security.

He already has shown a pattern and practice of using the other agencies for domestic spying on his political enemies to harass, intimidate and undermine their dissent.

Then they will act all shocked when anybody notices, like a teenager caught smoking a joint, denying the weed is his.
That is what totalitarians do.

Obama and his cronies are totalitarians. They will break the law and then lie to your face to gain and maintain power.

LarsPorsena said...

THUNK! That's the sound of all Mexican narcos and AQ operatives throwing their Verizon phones in the nearest dumpster.

I Callahan said...

They must have some really massive computer resources at Ft. Meade to handle this stuff.

Utah Data Center

Jay said...

Don't worry liberals, the Bush NSA was an example of fascism sweeping across America, but the Obama NSA is using a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats

Isn't that nice?

Scott M said...

Sigh.

And the left wonders why the right is so concerned about government overreach.

I Callahan said...

There were so many lefties raising a stink about secret subpoenas and the government listening in back in the Bush days. They all seem quiet now.

Hypocrites.

Jay said...

By the way, this program and effort is several orders of magnitude larger than anything Bush did.

But don't worry, the silly liars will use the "Bush did it" defense.

Drago said...

Of course the big difference between how the Bush admin administered this capability and how Obama is now abusing it can be summarized fairly simply:

During the "Reign of Bush", if you placed a call domestically to a known or suspected terrorist international phone number or received a call domestically from an international number which was thought (from intel gathered) to be a number associated with terrorists, then that relationship alone would be enough to a targeted monitoring of your (domestic) communications.

Any domestic to domestic call that was swept up (during Bushs tenure) was inadvertent, as even the NYT's had to admit in 2005:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/21/politics/21nsa.html?ex=1292821200&en=91d434311b0a7ddc&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0

I can still hear the deafening roar of the lefty complaints about Bush's program!! "Warrantless Wiretapping!!!!"

But now, Obama has expanded this program (as he has expanded almost all the Bush admin terror policies) to include all domestic to domestic communications in wide sweeps without any evidence of any wrongdoing.

Of course, we already know that the Obama admin would never stoop to using any communications by it's political "enemies" against Republicans/conservatives/Libertarians, don't we?

Where is the left on this?

Almost universally silent.

Because they never actually believed in any such thing as "civil liberties".

That was just the bludgeon they had available all those years to achieve what they needed to politically.

Now that Obama is doing much much worse.........silence.

Fen's Law.

campy said...

Shut up, you racists. Obama is AWESOME!

Browndog said...

wait for it....

The "government" did this.

Obama had nothing to do with it.

He's too busy running the country to sit around and listen to everyone's phone calls.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger I Callahan said...

They must have some really massive computer resources at Ft. Meade to handle this stuff.

Utah Data Center

6/6/13, 8:54 AM
____________________________

Thanks, I had no idea.

Darrell said...

However, according to the March 14 posting on an al Qaeda-linked website, Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, the al Qaeda weapons expert, stated that Stevens was given a lethal injection and that the injection was overlooked during the medical autopsy.

According to Dhu-al-Bajadin, “the plan was based on abduction and exchange of high-level prisoners.”

“However, the operation took another turn, for a reason God only knows, when one of the members of the jihadist cell improvised and followed Plan B,” he wrote on the prominent jihadist web forum Ansar al-Mujahideen Network.

Dhu-al-Bajadin’s claim of assassination also stated that it had been copied to the Ansar al-Mujahidin website from the closed and al Qaeda-accredited website Shumukh al-Islam. That site is only open to members and was initially posted by a member identified as Adnan Shukri for Dhu-al-Bajadin.



http://freebeacon.com/possible-poisoning/

Beta Rube said...

So he gives a speech more or less declaring the war on terror over, then he drones some guys and collects massive phone records.

I hope he doesn't declare the era of IRS bullying over.

Browndog said...

Personally, I wouldn't doubt if they just wanted a massive data dump to test the operational capabilities of the Utah Data Center.

If all goes well, let the real spying begin-

That, or James Rosen dropped AT&T and switched to Verizon after he found out he was being bugged.

bagoh20 said...

This seems a bit of overkill just to fight "workplace violence". They need to be watching Youtube videos. That's the source of the problems. Millions of videos uploaded daily and we only have one filmmaker in jail. Get to work you slackers. We got millions of workers at risk.

Misinforminimalism said...

I know the defense is that we lack individual privacy interests in the metadata such that individual Verizon users would have grounds to complain, but isn't it about time for someone to make the case that Big Data and its modern use (and abuse) transforms that calculus? That those disparate bits can and will be used in a particularized fashion? That the particularized use is, after all, one of the key goals of the data gathering? It's the case for all Big Data gatherers, be they the NSA or Wal-Mart, that they're not simply amassing statistics for an historical treatise on modern American behaviors. They're targeting real people. And we should have some good goddamned protections against the government doing that on a whim.

Colonel Angus said...

And the left wonders why the right is so concerned about government overreach.

Cue Obama's commencement address about rejecting the voices that warn against government intrusion.

I'm sure many on the left are less than thrilled with this latest development but will keep silent mainly because shame overwhelms the nauseating cheerleading that they've done for him the last five years.

Julius Reincarnate said...

D is for Despotism.

rcommal said...

"Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?"

edutcher said...

Thank you, Madame.

Cheer up, guys, it's only Verizon.

(now if it were AT&T...)

Browndog said...

"The Cronut – the US pastry sensation that must cross the Atlantic."

Big American trends that I'm only hearing about because of a foreign news report.


"Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama."

The Guardian reports:

Rusty said...

why grope the whole system?


Because they can.

All dictators need to know what the populace at large is thinking. They need to know who to beat into submission with the IRS.
I would think that would have been obvious.

There is no rule of law anymore. Just the endless bludgeoning of the state.

Have a nice day!

n.n said...

Is Obama looking for illegal aliens? Is "Press 2 for Spanish" actually a honeypot scheme?

Jay said...

HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA

Guess who?

Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and "wiretaps without warrants,"

What a clown we have for a President.

Rusty said...


What a clown we have for a President.

What a bunch or morons we have for citizens.
Well. 53% anyway.

Michael Haz said...

This must be totally okay with Russ Feingold because he has said utterly nothing to the contrary, unlike when Bush was president.

campy said...

Utah Data Center

So it's Mittens Romney and the other Mormons behind this?

Whew, I knew Obama had to be blameless.

Paddy O said...

Foreign Intelligences services court? Why do they have jurisdiction over domestic surveillance and the FBI?

elkh1 said...

Were they trying to find that Osama raid leaker to Zero Dark Thirty?

Strelnikov said...

"It was midnight and the clock was striking 2013."

Michael Haz said...

How come only Verizon? What if terrorists use T-Mobil or AT&T? Maybe those companies made larger campaign donations.

TMink said...

We only know about Verizon. Nobody has said that Verizon is all there is.

Trey

Michael Haz said...

Don't terrorists use burn phones anyhow?

Or is the governmant just trying to find the 37 people in the US who regularly order pineapple on their pizza?

elkh1 said...

Rusty said...
"What a bunch or morons we have for citizens.
Well. 53% anyway."

Don't forget those who stayed home because Romney was not a true conservative, and those who refused to vote for a Mormon. They are despicable.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And NEXT.....GPS tracking devices on all of our cars, ostensibly to deal with mileage and gasoline usage so they can tax us for the miles driven instead of gasoline used. That way they can stick it to the electric auto owners as well as the traditional car owners.

Anyone think that this will be the ONLY usage of tracking where we travel, how often we travel, what times we travel.

Soon it will be mandatory taping of our conversations in the car so that they can know what we say and to whom we say it. Log in and identify who you are driving with and state the purpose of your travel...."Show your papers and authorization for this trip, Comrade. What is the purpose of this visit....hmmmm?"

Icepick said...

Let's see : Watergate bugging involved a phone line or two.

Obamagate involves bugging MILLIONS of phones.

Does it qualify yet for impeachment proceedings?


One bugged line is an impeachable offense. Millions of bugged lines are a statistic.

Icepick said...

what would the Founding Fathers say were they to weigh in this morning?

Answer: What's a cellular phone?

Robert Cook said...

Obama is rightly to be condemned for this violation of our civil rights, but anyone who asserts it began with him is lying, and anyone who believes it began with him is ignorant or in denial.

As with his mass murder abroad, Obama's crimes are a continuation and extension of the crimes of his predecessor(s), and as those of us who objected (rather than applauded) when Bush defiantly brayed--when it was revealed by the NYTimes (a year after they learned of it) and he could not deny it--that he had conducted warrantless wiretapping (in violation of the law), this continuation and extension of the law-breaking was entirely to be expected.

You can't ignore or cheer for violations of the law by "your guy," and not expect those violations to continue or expand when "your guy" is out of office.

edutcher said...

elkh1 said...

Don't forget those who stayed home because Romney was not a true conservative, and those who refused to vote for a Mormon. They are despicable.

Did they really stay home? Keep in mind all those people who supposedly stayed home only appeared after questions were asked about how Choom could have won when 4 million fewer people voted for him than the first time.

Remember the 20% of ineligible voters in OH and the unsolicited ballot scheme in FL.

Robert Cook said...

"Don't forget those who stayed home because Romney was not a true conservative...."

See my previous comment. If Romney had won this program would still be in place.

As I've said here before, as long as we elect our Presidents from either of the two major parties, we are fucked. They all work for the military-intelligence/industrial-corporate-financial complex and not for us.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Cook

Most conservatives and libertarian leaning conservatives and especially libertarians (of which I count myself) were appalled at the Patriot Act and vociferously railed against this erosion of our Constitutional rights. The implementation of this abomination in the name of expedience for the so called "war on terror(ism)" allowed the unthinking or complacent to let it slide by.

The worst ideas of government don't arise all at one moment. It takes years of the drip drip drip erosion of freedoms. It also takes a sleeping media or one that blindly supports 'their guy' for ideological reasons. The water in which us little froggies reside has been warming gradually for quite some time......Obama just feels free to really crank up the heat because no one ever calls him out on ANYTHING.

edutcher said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And NEXT.....GPS tracking devices on all of our cars, ostensibly to deal with mileage and gasoline usage so they can tax us for the miles driven instead of gasoline used. That way they can stick it to the electric auto owners as well as the traditional car owners.

Anyone think that this will be the ONLY usage of tracking where we travel, how often we travel, what times we travel.


Progressive Insurance has been pioneering the technology for about the last 5 years.

Soon it will be mandatory taping of our conversations in the car so that they can know what we say and to whom we say it. Log in and identify who you are driving with and state the purpose of your travel...."Show your papers and authorization for this trip, Comrade. What is the purpose of this visit....hmmmm?"

Big Sis is already working on that, too. Heard about "hunch" searches?

Icepick said...

Well, one thing we can be sure of: People that use Verizon are EEEEEVVVVVIIIIILLLLL. They should all be fired from their jobs, thrown out of their apartments, and so on.

Colonel Angus said...

As I've said here before, as long as we elect our Presidents from either of the two major parties, we are fucked.

That's why you should support the Tea Party that demands smaller and accountable government.

Again Robert, when you demand that a government be the alpha and omega of our everyday lives, this is what happens. It's the basic nature of government.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Don't forget those who stayed home because Romney was not a true conservative, and those who refused to vote for a Mormon. They are despicable"

Did they really stay home?

Does anyone really think that Romney got ZERO votes in Philadelphia. REALLY. Not one single person voted for Romney? Not ONE?

And I agree with Cook. We are so fucked.

Icepick said...

And I agree with Cook. We are so fucked.

Yep.

AllenS said...

I agree with what Colonel Angus said at 10:16 AM. How about it Mr. Cook?

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

Don't forget those who stayed home because Romney was not a true conservative....

See my previous comment. If Romney had won this program would still be in place.


The issue is not that it's there, but that it's being used, sweetie.

Lots of stuff left over from when the Salon Socialists and Closet Communists ran the country are still there, but aren't used (we all know you'd love if they were).

edutcher said...

PS If you think we're so fucked, get up off your ass and DO something about it.

Cook loves to whine only because the country isn't being run the way Russia was run out of the 4 sub-basement of the Kremlin in 1938. He never proposes anything we should do about it.

bpm4532 said...

NOTE: The Verizon phone records court order was a RENEWAL. This has been going on for a while.

When you make or receive a call on Verizon the chances are high that many non-Verizon wireline phone numbers are involved.

Yet another thing for the Congress to investigate - Who has access to this information or any analysis derived from it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The issue is not that it's there, but that it's being used, sweetie.

Well, lil darlin', cupcake. Take that issue up with those who raise it and use it.

The issue IS there and since you didn't read my other post, cutie pie, let me reiterate or state it again for you, dumplin', the erosion of our rights has been happening for quite some time and the Patriot Act was just put us on a faster track towards the end goal, whether Bush knew it or meant it that way.

Obama is just putting the pedal to the metal.

elkh1 said...

gerry said...

"Hi, I'm President Obama, and I'm here to make sure you don't say or do anything I don't like."

Obama: They made me do it. I set up websites and tweeter tags for loyalist Americans to report verbal abuse about me. What did they do? They, the conservatives, the Teabaggers, made fun of me and hijacked the links.

What else could I do? They made fun of me, ME, the President, the transformative President who sent tingles up the legs President.

I'm the president, I can use my minions to run interference, can't I? So happened some of my running dogs (so Maoist, so apt) work in the IRS, the Justice Dept, the Court. They were not cheap, though. I have to poke their behinds with hundreds of millions of bonuses to make them run. (That, by the way, is what "leads from behind" really means.) These days money is not easy to come back, you know. The troops in Afghanistan can skip their hot foods, my running dogs need to be fed. The fun part is all these money came from the "victims". Do we call them "victims" when they chose to put me back to office? Masochists? Morons? Rubes? It's nice to be the Top Dog and have a couple of trillions to play with.

edutcher said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The issue is not that it's there, but that it's being used, sweetie.

Well, lil darlin', cupcake. Take that issue up with those who raise it and use it.

The issue IS there and since you didn't read my other post, cutie pie, let me reiterate or state it again for you, dumplin', the erosion of our rights has been happening for quite some time and the Patriot Act was just put us on a faster track towards the end goal, whether Bush knew it or meant it that way.

Obama is just putting the pedal to the metal.


OK (forgive the familiars, I was addressing Cook at the time, not you), but I was the one who initially linked that story here yesterday.

And I didn't see anybody react to it until Ann made it a separate post.

You don't like the law?

Have it repealed. If enough people get mad enough and make enough noise, it will happen, but nothing happens if you just sit around whining, "We're so fucked", and then roll over and go back to sleep, telling yourself what a great Libertarian you are.

David said...

So they know who you talked to but not what you said?

You know, this isn't so bad.

Our would not be it turnabout were fair play. I want to know who Obama, Holder and the other administration figures on my list talked to over the past two years.

And no fair calling executive privilege.

Mark O said...

Damn. Now Verizon is the new n***er.

Why would we need such sweeping intrusion to find any of these "lone wolves?" The wars are over. Disband TSA.

Tibore said...

Can we stop calling them "liberals" now and start calling them "statists"? Because "liberal" is not what they're being.

edutcher said...

I like Closet Communists.

Even crypto-commies.

But Leftists also works.

Inga said...

I do miss Russ Feingold.

edutcher said...

PS There hasn't been a Liberal in this country since Hubert Humphrey died.

phx said...

Have it repealed. If enough people get mad enough and make enough noise, it will happen, but nothing happens if you just sit around whining, "We're so fucked", and then roll over and go back to sleep, telling yourself what a great Libertarian you are.

That's two days in a row I caught you saying somehting sensible. You better watch it.

Inga said...

LOL! See DBQ loves it when edbutcher calls her sweetie.

Drago said...

Poor confused cookie: "Obama is rightly to be condemned for this violation of our civil rights, but anyone who asserts it began with him is lying, and anyone who believes it began with him is ignorant or in denial."

Too. Many. Straw. Men. Don't. Know. Where. To. Start.....

Cookie: "As with his mass murder abroad, Obama's crimes are a continuation and extension of the crimes of his predecessor(s),"

Not must "continuations", but EXPANSIONS.

Is that too subtle for you?

LOL

Cookie: "and as those of us who objected (rather than applauded) when Bush defiantly brayed.."

Does Obama "bray", or was that just a Bush thing?

LOL, cookie can't help himself.

cookie: "..-when it was revealed by the NYTimes (a year after they learned of it) and he could not deny it--that he had conducted warrantless wiretapping (in violation of the law),,.."

Hilariously misinformed.

Probably on purpose.

cookie: "..this continuation and extension of the law-breaking was entirely to be expected."

Again, not a "continuation", but a massive expansion on the domestic only level.

Again, is this point to subtle for you?

cookie: "You can't ignore or cheer for violations of the law by "your guy," and not expect those violations to continue or expand when "your guy" is out of office."

Again, Bush broke no laws.

Just keep repeating it though. I can tell it makes you feel better.

Well, at least in his final comment cookie pays lip service to the concept of expansion as a potential differentiator.

Drago said...

Inga: "I do miss Russ Feingold"

Oh, so you're the one.

bpm4532 said...

One thing we've learned from modern data analysis is that the content of a phone call may be of less interest than the existence of the activity, the frequency of the activity and connecting that activity to other trackable things such as email and web activity particularly as web, email and messaging activity is performed via the IP address connected to that phone's internet connection (wireless or land-line).

Also, remember, this is a RENEWAL. It's been going on for quite some time.

Drago said...

edutcher: ""We're so fucked", and then roll over and go back to sleep, telling yourself what a great Libertarian you are."

I would imagine the Libertarians are the ones screaming the loudest.

Drago said...

As well as getting active to try and stop this.

Colonel Angus said...

I will frankly admit that I am surprised that Obama has essentially doubled down on much of W's policies particularly considering how much he railed against them. I took him as an inexperienced and naieve but that he truly wanted to end the Bush era abuses.

It truly must be a bitter pill to swallow for his syncophants to see him continue to carry out these policies with gusto. Or perhaps not since liberals tend to ignore these things when their guy is in charge.

Icepick said...

If you think we're so fucked, get up off your ass and DO something about it.

And what's to be done, when a supermajority of the country favors this kind of shit?

Note that the relevant Senate committee has come out and said that (a) this program is legal and (b) they were aware of it.

There's nothing to be done now, save armed revolt, which is useless because the vast majority of voters have supported these programs (even those bitching about it here), or bitching about it.

edutcher said...

Drago said...

As well as getting active to try and stop this.

Staying home on Election Day (if, in fact, they did), isn't the way to do it.

Icepick said...

Yet another thing for the Congress to investigate - Who has access to this information or any analysis derived from it?

Senate Intelligence Committee leaders have already come out and said the program is legal and that they were aware of it. What's to investigate? This isn't like the IRS scandal, with the IRS doing things it isn't supposed to do. This IS what the government is statutorily EXPECTED to do.

Methadras said...

How much more are you people going to endure this rancid bullshit from this traitorous enemy of the United States? He's a fucking traitor and we tip toe around it. He's selling us out wholesale and no seems to give a shit outside of pontificating the inner meanings of it all. Obama and his cadre are cementing their power base for eternity well beyond and after he is gone. He's laying down the network and precedent that this will continue ad infinitum. How much more? Why isn't Verizon not going to be sued into oblivion over this? They should. Does the top secret court order grant them immunity? If it doesn't I'd be the first in line to sue them.

For whoever voted for this motherfucking piece of shit called a president, this is on you. You are just as culpable for the fuck up you've foisted on the rest of us. All of you. Everyone of you that defends an iota of what this piece of shit president is doing and has done are guilty. The match is struck.

Methadras said...

Robert Cook said...

Obama is rightly to be condemned for this violation of our civil rights, but anyone who asserts it began with him is lying, and anyone who believes it began with him is ignorant or in denial.


No it began with your favorite boy, FDR.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Robert Cook said...

Obama is rightly to be condemned for this violation of our civil rights, but anyone who asserts it began with him is lying, and anyone who believes it began with him is ignorant or in denial.

Yes; what I've been saying for awhile.
A lot of conservatives sold their souls to W, but not all of us.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

LOL! See DBQ loves it when edbutcher calls her sweetie

Well, it seemed we were getting close so I thought I should respond in kind

:-D

No harm. No foul.

edutcher said...

Icepick said...

If you think we're so fucked, get up off your ass and DO something about it.

And what's to be done, when a supermajority of the country favors this kind of shit?


It does? People may want the government to do what's necessary for national security, but do they really want Big Sis listening in on their phone calls?

And, even if they do (which I doubt), the people who made the American Revolution never had the support of more than a third of the people at the time.

Squeaky wheel, that's what Uncle Saul is all about. And Antonio Gramsci.

I'll say what I've said before, before last November, everything pointed to people being sick of Choom.

After, with the drumbeat of the complicit media and intimidated pollsters, people just take what they're spoon-fed and accept it without question.

Like the Lefties always say, "Question Authority".

And, especially, the Ministry of Propaganda.

Isn't that why you're here, because you don't trust the Establishment Media, and haven't for years?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Dear Professor:

Would you consider doing one of these threads on the Administration's intrusiveness or "license to kill" programs, and specify that only liberals and progressives get to comment?

Funny how silent most so-called Progressives are on this stuff.

Fr Martin Fox said...

"Dumplin'"

FWIW, I'm fine with any expressly female commentators calling me:

"Sweetie"
"Cupcake"
"Darling"
"Honey"

...trusting in your good taste...

edutcher said...

Icepick said...

Yet another thing for the Congress to investigate - Who has access to this information or any analysis derived from it?

Senate Intelligence Committee leaders have already come out and said the program is legal and that they were aware of it. What's to investigate? This isn't like the IRS scandal, with the IRS doing things it isn't supposed to do. This IS what the government is statutorily EXPECTED to do.


Last I looked, politicians can be replaced.

The Lefties are good at doing it.

You want Lindsey Gramnesty (or McCain) out? When he's up for a primary, help his opponent.

Gang up on him.

That's the only way you change things.

Icepick said...

Currently there is not one single person in any elected office that I have ever voted for. Also note that I rarely vote third party. Clearly, my voice doesn't mean shit. So my "getting organized" or calling my Congresswoman (a black woman who will support Obama no matter what), or my Senators (Bill Nelson, loyal Democrat who will support Obama no matter what, or Marco Rubio, whose sole goal in office is to give the vote to 140,000,000 Mexicans) isn't going to accomplish shit either.

The government is not accountable to citizens any more. If it were, they wouldn't have spent most of this year focused on gay marriage, giving Mexicans the vote, and restricting Second Amendment rights. When what the people have wanted is action on the economy and unemployment.

And it is all irrelevant anyway, as the people continue to support Barry Half-White, perhaps now out of fear of what will happen to them if they don't do so.

Looking to one's "representatives" and the voting process is pointless. The Constitution is no longer the operative document in the land, and shouldn't be looked to for guidance. We should look to the Declaration of Independence for guidance from this point forward. But until a large percentage of the people feel that way, nothing is going to happen.

edutcher said...

Inga said...

LOL! See DBQ loves it when edbutcher calls her sweetie.

Too bad the She Devil of the SS reads only German in Gothic font or she'd know I was responding to Cook.

But I do like DBQ.

Intellectually.

Methadras said...

Fr Martin Fox said...

Robert Cook said...

Obama is rightly to be condemned for this violation of our civil rights, but anyone who asserts it began with him is lying, and anyone who believes it began with him is ignorant or in denial.

Yes; what I've been saying for awhile.
A lot of conservatives sold their souls to W, but not all of us.


Father, Bill Clinton seems to get a pass whenever his programs Carnivore and Echelon are brought up. Not to mention that Carnivore was replaced by a new software called NarusInsight which is an israeli co-founded company that I believe is still running today. Even though they were sued be the Electronic Frontier Foundation because they had set up operations at the San Fransisco AT&T Backbone center to monitor all and every piece of internet traffic that came through. Again, this is of leftist design. Bush simply continued the practice because that's what precedent setting technologies do? No politician has the intestinal fortitude to say, no this is wrong and shut it down. No one has yet.

phx said...

Well, it seemed we were getting close so I thought I should respond in kind

:-D


I love it when one of you maniacs step out of character to show a decent sense of humor.

Icepick said...

He's selling us out wholesale and no seems to give a shit outside of pontificating the inner meanings of it all.

You make it sound like it's just one party. The Senate has already stated that they knew and that this is legal. This is what the elites of both parties want done now. Nothing less than getting rid of BOTH parties, and throwing out all the bastards will accomplish anything, and that isn't going to happen. How many here voted for their incumbent (R) bastard because he was THEIR incumbent bastard?

This requires far more than just primary opposition to a few jerks. This will not change until the whole damned government is turned out. And that is not happening.

Achilles said...

I guarantee this covers all carriers. They got letters too but the Verizon letter is all the guardian has so far.

Funny how it was the guardian that reported this. I bet Fox News and other news orgs had a copy of the letter too and buried it. Press intimidation? Not in the US! Of course some of them didn't need to be intimidated.

And I will tell you it is a short step from the call pattern and contact list to complete transcripts of all calls for user John Doe. If you had enough nefarious contacts they were able to cross match data and "find" people. It started with a network of known bad actors and contacts were screened and matched. Once a person was determined to have enough bad contacts his calls were pulled up. The only thing that slowed things down in places overseas was a shortage of translators with clearance. This was used to find the Taliban and Al Quaeda overseas. Now it is being used on Americans.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Meth:

OK, since I'm being bi-partisan, I don't mind throwing Clinton in the villain hole.

For that matter, it wouldn't surprise me if someone could show a line of legal arguments and trail blazing programs going back to Reagan and Nixon, or earlier.

The problem of the National Security State surely has roots in some of the compromises of morality and principle during the Cold War.

And I was all for the Cold War; I probably didn't protest some things, then, when I might have.

edutcher said...

Icepick said...

Looking to one's "representatives" and the voting process is pointless. The Constitution is no longer the operative document in the land, and shouldn't be looked to for guidance. We should look to the Declaration of Independence for guidance from this point forward. But until a large percentage of the people feel that way, nothing is going to happen.

As I said, no more than one third the last time out. You're gonna be waiting a long time.

Beach Brutus said...

While the content of the Order itself is interesting -- I'd really like to see the Application and any supporting affidavits.

Icepick said...

As I said, no more than one third the last time out.

One third? You think we're close to one THIRTIETH of people ready to throw all the bums out, b whatever means? What was the re-election rate last year? How well did third party candidates do? Please.

Some of the American people a little upset by all this stuff - but not that much. Barry O's approval rating continues to hover over 50%. Congress's approval is abysmal, but most of them will be re-elected next year.

At this point if Obama starts using the drome program to kill domestic opposition, I expect most of the opposition to role over and approve, and I expect the American people to do the same. No doubt Robert Cook will be outraged, but phx and garage mahal and all the others will cheer.

Personal liberty as a philosophical guiding light for mass political action is dead. The people have been bought off a little at a time, and just don't care how much they're getting trammeled anymore.

Colonel Angus said...

I love it when one of you maniacs step out of character to show a decent sense of humor.

I'll love it when you liberals would cultivate a shred of integrity and admit you elected a charlatan to the highest office. Twice.

mtrobertsattorney said...

It's things like this that raise a fleeting doubt that Obama will step down from the presidency when his term ends.

mtrobertsattorney said...

It's things like this that raise a fleeting doubt that Obama will step down from the presidency when his term ends.

phx said...

I'll love it when you liberals would cultivate a shred of integrity and admit you elected a charlatan to the highest office. Twice.

From where I stand whatever I think of Obama is totally consistent with my values: integrity of self, dignity of others, acceptance of personal responsibility for myself, and an open hand to all beings.

It's one thing to impugn my intelligence, fair enough. But for the only person who counts in terms of what they think of my integrity (myself), my integrity is doing just fine.

Colonel Angus said...

From where I stand whatever I think of Obama is totally consistent with my values: integrity of self, dignity of others, acceptance of personal responsibility for myself, and an open hand to all beings.

Fair enough. I would have thought that his doubling down in Bush policies despite his condemnation of those very same policies during his campaign would strike most as hypocrisy of the highest order but apparently your mileage varies.

It's one thing to impugn my intelligence, fair enough. But for the only person who counts in terms of what they think of my integrity (myself), my integrity is doing just fine.

I'm sure you think it does.

Crunchy Frog said...

See my previous comment. If Romney had won this program would still be in place.

You know what Cookie? You may be right. But we'd still be better off with Republicans in power, even if they are as corrupt as the Democrats (assumed for sake of argument).

Why? Because the media keeps Republicans honest. Any one of the dozen or so things the Obama Administration has pulled would be enough for the media to be all over a Republican president like stink on shit, and appropriately so. Instead, because it's their guy in the White House, they are complicit in burying the truth from the American public.

Want clean(er) government? Vote Republican.

Achilles said...

phx said...

I'll love it when you liberals would cultivate a shred of integrity and admit you elected a charlatan to the highest office. Twice.

From where I stand whatever I think of Obama is totally consistent with my values: integrity of self, dignity of others, acceptance of personal responsibility for myself, and an open hand to all beings.

It's one thing to impugn my intelligence, fair enough. But for the only person who counts in terms of what they think of my integrity (myself), my integrity is doing just fine.

6/6/13, 11:51 AM

Does this mean you do not support the administration that used government power to suppress their enemies? Or are we your enemies too? Do you still support them? Will you vote for Hilary?

Rusty said...


From where I stand whatever I think of Obama is totally consistent with my values:


That's a mighty low bar, my friend.

phx said...

Does this mean you do not support the administration that used government power to suppress their enemies?

If you are talking about the strong, bold military initiatives to suppress and destroy our jihadist enemies, I support them emphatically.

If you are talking about the IRS' program to pick on conservatives and Tea Party, I oppose them emphatically.

Or are we your enemies too?

Nobody is my enemy. They're just benighted.

Will you vote for Hilary?

Is she running?

phx said...

That's a mighty low bar, my friend.

High or low, it's the only bar I got.

edutcher said...

Icepick said...

As I said, no more than one third the last time out.

One third? You think we're close to one THIRTIETH of people ready to throw all the bums out, b whatever means? What was the re-election rate last year? How well did third party candidates do? Please.


It was close enough last time the Demos had to steal it, so quit whining.

You're just looking for an excuse to sit back and do nothing but complain.

Have fun.

SteveR said...

Is she running?

Yes

Lydia said...

J. Edgar Hoover started using wiretapping during Prohibition. Roosevelt used it widely during WWII, and then all presidents during the Cold War.

Detailed piece on it here.

Icepick said...

It was close enough last time the Demos had to steal it, so quit whining.

You're just looking for an excuse to sit back and do nothing but complain.


Sweet Jesus, you think this is just a Democratic problem? The pertinent laws were first enacted under Bush. This program has been supported by both Republican and Democratic elected officials. There are a few dissidents (Rand Paul, Ted Cruz(?)), but this is broadly supported by the ruling class, whichever faction holds power.

Were there any promises by Romney that he would have stopped this? Was there any reason to believe him if he DID make such promises?

The rot is two parties deep, and includes the loyal followers of both, as well as "centrists" who merely want moire "moderation" & "cooperation" between the parties, when that is exactly what got us to this stage.

SteveR said...

Icepick, of course you are basically right but what upsets me is this continued activity is at best no better than what happened under Bush and is perhaps worse (Charitably). This after Senator Obama was so critical and candidate Obama was so adamant about change and transparency and the media loved him and the people elected him. While there are scattetred criticisms from the democrats, they are nothing compared to the derision heaped upon McChimpyHilterburton. So go ahead and be critical of republican reversals. The onus is on the President to tell us what's going on and for the media to get their tongues out of his ass. Enough

Bruce Hayden said...

Give me a clue. Why does the warrant cover everything but the calls content? Am I reading the article correctly?

Different laws and different standards. The PATRIOT Act doesn't really cover recording conversations, except to the extent that it modified FISA, and for FISA to be applicable, you need at least one end of the conversation outside the U.S. to/from a person not known to be a U.S. Person (citizen or legal alien). Otherwise, the Wiretap Act applies, and a regular warrant is required (FISA warrants are issued by the FISA Court instead, with somewhat different standards).

The other thing that has to be kept in mind is that the 4th Amdt. has been seen to apply to recording telephone calls. Wiretap Act warrants essentially comply with this, but a widespread recording of calls, and, esp. those with both ends in the U.S., would most likely violate the 4th Amdt.

The call data though is more akin to a pen registry, which is not seen as nearly as intrusive as the recording of the actual calls. My memory is that both acts (Wiretap and FISA) address pen registries and the like, and provide a much lower level of scrutiny for such. This is, of course, an example of the law not keeping up with real life, since pen registries used to be attached to single lines, as contrasted with potentially all call records for all Americans being siphoned off into huge databases. While recording this information may not be intrusive for that single line, it probably is when the information is being cross-correlated with that of the call records for hundreds of millions of Americans.

rcommal said...

Bruce, I think that the scope and magnitude of "millions" is the sheerness of it. "Millions"? Dang, millions.

What next?