fascism; A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism).
Generally speaking, I don't think most Americans are cowards. When we are attacked, we tend to kick some serious a$$. I believe we can do it without spying on all the citizens of the world while without 'reasonable cause' (due process). I hope, for the future of this planet, that most folk still believe in civil rights and freedom.
If anyone wishes to review the PDF article describing the risks involved in endpoint wiretap modifications which I am almost wholly in agreement with, you can find the link here; https://www.cdt.org/...ould-undermine-
What is not discussed is the ramifications dealing with all the attempts to circumvent/disable the fedwares that will occur and the scams that will crop up pitching the ways and means to disable them. My concerns also extend to the legal issues that ordinary users will face for circumvention.
Land of the free?...where's that at?
And it starts; http://prism-break.org/
It's really going to get bad when folks start realizing that their own devices contain US gov wiretaps.
Please don't think that link is an endorsement.
-----------------------------Evidence that the NSA Is Storing Voice Content, Not Just Metadata
that the NSA is storing everyone's phone calls, and not just metadata. Definitely worth reading.
I expressed skepticism
about this just a month ago. My assumption had always been that everyone's compressed voice calls is just too much data to move around and store. Now, I don't know.
There's a bit of a conspiracy-theory air to all of this speculation, but underestimating what the NSA will do is a mistake. General Alexander has told members of Congress that they can
record the contents of phone calls. And they have the technical capability.
Earlier reports have indicated that the NSA has the ability to record nearly all domestic and international phone calls -- in case an analyst needed to access the recordings in the future. A Wired magazine article
last year disclosed that the NSA has established "listening posts" that allow the agency to collect and sift through billions of phone calls through a massive new data center in Utah, "whether they originate within the country or overseas." That includes not just metadata, but also the contents of the communications.
William Binney, a former NSA technical director who helped to modernize the agency's worldwide eavesdropping network, told
the Daily Caller this week that the NSA records the phone calls of 500,000 to 1 million people who are on its so-called target list, and perhaps even more. "They look through these phone numbers and they target those and that's what they record," Binney said.
Brewster Kahle, a computer engineer who founded the Internet Archive, has vast experience storing large amounts of data. He created a spreadsheet
this week estimating that the cost to store all domestic phone calls a year in cloud storage for data-mining purposes would be about $27 million per year, not counting the cost of extra security for a top-secret program and security clearances for the people involved.
I believe that, to the extent that the NSA is analyzing and storing conversations, they're doing speech-to-text as close to the source as possible and working with that. Even if you have to store the audio for conversations in foreign languages, or for snippets of conversations the conversion software is unsure of, it's a lot fewer bits to move around and deal with.
And, by the way, I hate the term "metadata
." What's wrong with "traffic analysis," which is what we've always called that sort of thing?
Also interesting;NSA Secrecy and Personal Privacy
In an excellent essay
about privacy and secrecy, law professor Daniel Solove makes an important point. There are two types of NSA secrecy being discussed. It's easy to confuse them, but they're very different.
Of course, if the government is trying to gather data about a particular suspect, keeping the specifics of surveillance efforts secret will decrease the likelihood of that suspect altering his or her behavior.
But secrecy at the level of an individual suspect is different from keeping the very existence of massive surveillance programs secret. The public must know about the general outlines of surveillance activities in order to evaluate whether the government is achieving the appropriate balance between privacy and security. What kind of information is gathered? How is it used? How securely is it kept? What kind of oversight is there? Are these activities even legal? These questions can't be answered, and the government can't be held accountable, if surveillance programs are completely classified.
This distinction is also becoming important as Snowden keeps talking. There are a lot of articles
about Edward Snowden cooperating with the Chinese government. I have no idea if this is true -- Snowden denies it
-- or if they're part of an American smear campaign designed to change the debate from the NSA surveillance programs to the whistleblower's actions. (It worked against Assange
.) In anticipation of the inevitable questions, I want to change a previous assessment
statement: I consider Snowden a hero for whistleblowing on the existence and details of the NSA surveillance programs, but not for revealing specific operational secrets to the Chinese government. Charles Pierce wishes Snowden would stop talking
. I agree; the more this story is about him the less it is about the NSA. Stop giving interviews and let the documents do the talking.
Back to Daniel Solove, this excellent 2011 essay
on the value of privacy is making the rounds again. And it should.
Many commentators had been using the metaphor of George Orwell's 1984
to describe the problems created by the collection and use of personal data. I contended that the Orwell metaphor, which focuses on the harms of surveillance (such as inhibition and social control) might be apt to describe law enforcement's monitoring of citizens. But much of the data gathered in computer databases is not particularly sensitive, such as one's race, birth date, gender, address, or marital status. Many people do not care about concealing the hotels they stay at, the cars they own or rent, or the kind of beverages they drink. People often do not take many steps to keep such information secret. Frequently, though not always, people's activities would not be inhibited if others knew this information.
I suggested a different metaphor to capture the problems: Franz Kafka's The Trial
, which depicts a bureaucracy with inscrutable purposes that uses people's information to make important decisions about them, yet denies the people the ability to participate in how their information is used. The problems captured by the Kafka metaphor are of a different sort than the problems caused by surveillance. They often do not result in inhibition or chilling. Instead, they are problems of information processing -- the storage, use, or analysis of data -- rather than information collection. They affect the power relationships between people and the institutions of the modern state.
They not only frustrate the individual by creating a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, but they also affect social structure by altering the kind of relationships people have with the institutions that make important decisions about their lives.
The whole essay is worth reading, as is -- I hope -- my essay
on the value of privacy from 2006.
I have come to believe that the solution to all of this is regulation. And it's not going to be the regulation of data collection; it's going to be the regulation of data use.
Call Now to Oppose NSA Spying
In the week since we launched, the stopwatching.us
campaign has gathered over 215,000 signatures from individuals opposed to NSA surveillance. And weve made huge waves in the media with a coalition of companies and organization that the Atlantic called
"perhaps the most diverse collection of groups in the modern history of American politics."
But were not done yet. Today, were launching a campaign to call members of Congress. We're asking everyone concerned about their privacy to call Congress today and throughout the rest of the week.
We need you to make a quick call to ask your elected officials to investigate surveillance practices of the NSA and stop the illegal spying. A call will take you from 2 to 4 minutes and it can send a huge message to Congress.
Were teaming up with our friends from Fight for the Future to make it easy for you to demand reform. Here are two ways you can speak out (note, if you are outside of the United States you should go here to take our international alert
- Dial 1-STOP-323-NSA (1-786-732-3672). The automated system will connect you to your legislators. Urge them to provide public transparency about NSA spying and stop warrantless wiretapping on the communications of millions of ordinary Americans. Visit CallDay.org for more info.
- Visit the EFF action center. We will look up the phone number of your elected officials. Call them and tell them you oppose NSAs spying programs.
Phone calls can make a huge difference in Washington: we saw scores of lawmakers change positions in response to the call-in campaigns we organized during the SOPA fight. Lets repeat that victory by driving tons of phone calls to Congress today to stop NSA spying.
Thanks for helping us fight back against NSA spying. If youd like to support our efforts to beat back invasive government surveillance, please become a member of EFF
. We wouldnt exist without members like you.Important notes about your privacy
: weve required that the automated tools above promise to protect your privacy by insisting that your phone number be used for this campaign and nothing else unless you request additional contact. If you dont want your information processed by the automatic calling tools, use the EFF page
to get a phone number and call directly. Learn more by visiting the privacy policies of Fight for the Future
-----------------------------I'm Not American but I Have Privacy Rights too, NSA
Despite What the President Said, There's Nothing Transparent About a Secret Court Issuing Secret Rulings
On Charlie Rose
last night, President Obama gave his most detailed defense of the NSA surveillance programs since a FISA court order demanding that Verizon hand over phone records information on all its US customers leaked to the Guardian
two weeks ago. In a key portion of the interview, he talked about the secret FISA court that, under the auspices of the PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act, has been approving the NSAs sweeping surveillance requests. Curiously, President Obama referred to these secret courts
Charlie Rose: But has FISA court turned down any request?
Barack Obama: The because the first of all, Charlie, the number of requests are surprisingly small number one. Number two, folks dont go with a query unless theyve got a pretty good suspicion.
Charlie Rose: Should this be transparent in some way?
Barack Obama: It is transparent. Thats why we set up the FISA court.
The FISA court, by its nature, is the opposite of transparent. In fact, its hard to imagine how the FISA court could be more secretive.
Lets start with the court building itself. After the FISA Amendments Act passed in 2008, which greatly expanded the government abilities to make broad surveillance requests, the court was remodeled. The Washington Post reported at the time
about secrecy measures in place to make sure the public did not find out what the court was up to:
First, the workers encased the room in reinforced concrete. Then came the thick wood-and-metal doors that seal into the walls. Behind those walls they labored in secret for two years, building a courtroom, judge's chambers and clerk's offices. The only sign that they were done came recently, when biometric hand scanners and green "Restricted Access" placards were placed at the entrances.
What workers have finally completedor perhaps not; few really know, and none would sayis the nation's most secure courtroom for its most secretive court.
The decisions by the court, far from being transparent, are some of the most highly classified documents inside the U.S. government, as The Daily Beast reported today
. The Daily Beast
described the ultra-secretive process for those companies who receive the orders, and the senators who want to provide oversight to the court.
Those who receive [FISA orders]the first of its kind to be publicly disclosedare not allowed to disclose to any other person except to carry out its terms or receive legal advice about it, and any person seeing it for those reasons is also legally bound not to disclose the order. The officials say phone companies like Verizon are not allowed to store a digital copy of the [FISA orders]...
Even lawmakers and staff lawyers on the House and Senate intelligence committees can only view the [FISA orders] in the presence of Justice Department attorneys, and are prohibited from taking notes on the documents.
For years now, EFF has been trying to get one of these FISA opinions declassified. Last year, the Director for National Intelligence publicly admitted that on at least one occasion
the FISA court has ruled the NSAs collection of domestic communications violated the Fourth Amendment, yet refused to release any other information about it.
Weve filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to have the opinion released, but as EFFs Mark Rumold described in detail
, it was extremely difficult for EFF to even file a brief in the FISA court. The governments Kafkaesque secrecy arguments, which they used in an attempt to prevent the opinions release, really have to be read to be believed
Thankfully, the FISA court ruled last week
that there was nothing barring the decision from being subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the district court will now rule on how much of the opinion should be released to the public. To give one an idea about how secretive the court is, EFFs motion was the first to be placed on the courts online public docket and the first (known) win by a non-government party in the courts history.
Today, Google commendably filed a challenge
to FISA gag orders in the FISA court as well, citing their First Amendment right to tell the public a general number of how many users are affected by FISA court orders. We hope other companies follow suit. In Googles motion to the court, they wrote, "Transparency is critical to advancing public debate in a thoughtful and democratic manner."
We couldnt agree more. Once upon a time, the President did too. Twice, once in 2010 and again in 2011
, the Obama administration promised to declassify significant FISA court rulings. They still have not done so. If President Obama wants the FISA courts to be more transparent, he can act today.
I think it means a lot when even the largest data miner on the planet(Google) gets onboard opposing the secrecy behind hiding these invasive gov actions from the people.
Also Google related; http://www.theregist..._glass_privacy/