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Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:34 AM

What Will Happen When A President Uses The NSA To Get Reelected?

An article in the New York Times about how Barack Obama won the 2012 election through a revolution in collecting data about voters includes this quote:

With so much more time to prepare, Mr. Obama’s polling and “analytics” department collected so much information about the electorate that it knew far more about which sorts of voters were going to turn out — and where — than the Romney campaign and most public pollsters.

A piece on CNN said something similar:
But from the beginning, campaign manager Jim Messina had promised a totally different, metric-driven kind of campaign in which politics was the goal but political instincts might not be the means.

"We are going to measure every single thing in this campaign," he said after taking the job. He hired an analytics department five times as large as that of the 2008 operation...

Let's (sort of) switch subjects. An article in Popular Mechanics described how the data collected by the NSA can be used:

There are two basic ways to approach the data. First is a supervised learning approach, where you start with a target variable you are trying to predict for (in this case, you could isolate for a high-risk versus non-high-risk communication) and then separate the data by that variable. The second method, which is more useful for this type of request, is unsupervised learning, in which there's no target variable. You're simply searching for interesting patterns of behavior that occur in unexpected ways. This type of analysis can be used to create social networks of people of interest.

Now, back to the Times piece:

Culling never-before-used data about viewing habits, and combining it with more personal information about the voters the campaign was trying to reach and persuade than was ever before available, the system allowed Mr. Obama’s team to direct advertising with a previously unheard-of level of efficiency, strategists from both sides agree.

Read The Rest (wi/links)
http://paulbibeau.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-will-happen-when-president-uses.html#.UbXiyRXD9jo

21 replies, 1383 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply What Will Happen When A President Uses The NSA To Get Reelected? (Original post)
paulbibeau Jun 2013 OP
Laelth Jun 2013 #1
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #2
emulatorloo Jun 2013 #3
JoePhilly Jun 2013 #4
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #6
emulatorloo Jun 2013 #7
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #13
emulatorloo Jun 2013 #14
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #18
kenny blankenship Jun 2013 #5
emulatorloo Jun 2013 #8
1-Old-Man Jun 2013 #9
MineralMan Jun 2013 #10
msanthrope Jun 2013 #15
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #16
msanthrope Jun 2013 #17
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #19
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #20
paulbibeau Jun 2013 #21
Octafish Jun 2013 #11
Autumn Jun 2013 #12

Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:38 AM

1. Intesting speculation. k&r for exposure. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:40 AM

2. Thanks.

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Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:55 AM

3. I worked as a volunteer on the campaign. It was not "Sinister" at all

the way you are trying to twist it. I had an unpaid "internship" for 3 or 4 months. Basically my job was to serve as the field coordinator's "right hand man" and do whatever she needed doing. So I got to see lots of different aspects of the campaign.

I knocked doors, I had conversations with people and asked them about the issues that concerned them.

I came back to the office, and entered that stuff in a database.

I sometimes sent them a follow-up postcard about the economy, healthcare or education or whatever their top issue.

If I saw them again, I highlighted their concerns and explained why I supported Obama.

If others on the campaign called, they were also aware of the voters concerns and could address those specifically.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:57 AM

4. FASCIST!!!!

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:08 AM

6. I'm NOT saying what you did was sinister.

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Response to paulbibeau (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:53 AM

7. You are implying the Obama 2012 campaign was sinister.

And insinuating that the election was stolen. Pardon me in advance if I am misinterpreting you.

The 2008 campaign was similarly talked about regarding their smart use of the Internet, social networking and GOTV efforts when compared w the McCain campaign.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:22 PM

13. No I am not. No I am not. And yes you are. (But I totally understand)

People are obsessed about what this means for the president. I'm talking about what it means for the presidency. For the next guy, and the one after that.

Imagine the next Karl Rove with access to massive amounts of NSA data. Does that help?

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Response to paulbibeau (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:32 PM

14. Thanks. And Rove w access to classified info very easy to imagine

We already lived thru that.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:19 PM

18. Here's an article on the renewal of his security clearance in 2007.

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Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:04 AM

5. Nothing!

Anybody who found out about it, and who wasn't an initiated member of the Conspiracy, er , I mean Committee to Re-Elect the President, would likely be too intimidated to tell anyone else what they knew. They might tell one person face to face (why bother telling one person?), but then that person would be a dope and tell someone else about it over the phone. The spreading word would be traced back to the first blabbermouth to refer to it over an electronic network, and then hmmm... who does this person know who would also possibly be in a position to find out about this?

Anyone who knew about this who wasn't supposed to would find it in their best interest to unknow it, asap. And there's an excellent but non-computable chance that active unknowing would safeguard the President's secret for success indefinitely. I see the capacity for literal doublethink is a very real and growing phenomenon in our world. it has long been evident in the Republican Party. I also see it growing right here.

One sure thing about the post-Obama, post-Prism world: there are no more Anonymous Whistleblowers, ever. Anyone who is driven by conscience to tell the pubilc stuff the rulers don't want known is going to have to march themselves right up the scaffold to do it.

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:55 AM

8. It would be clearly illegal for a CREEP to use a govt agency this way

Cut and dried, black and white.

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Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:56 AM

9. I think you have it backwards - what happens when the NSA decides who to elect as President?

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Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:57 AM

10. None of that campaign research required any access

to NSA information. It's all available from non-governmental sources, if you have the money to buy it. You're casting suspicion where it is not warranted. And I wonder why...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:34 PM

15. The blog-flog link to the blog with google ads would be my guess. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:15 PM

16. 1. I don't have ads.

2. I don't get much traffic from DU.
3. I'm pretty sure, given 1 and 2, I haven't actually earned a dime from this site. I just like putting my stuff up here and playing with you freaks.
4. You dislike my stuff, and me, and everything I stand for, and yet you ALWAYS SHOW UP HERE. Which brings us to...

5. I'm obviously really pissing you off.

I *love* Five.

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Response to paulbibeau (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:18 PM

17. "playing with you freaks?" Well, that mask certainly slipped!!! I must tell you

that I am disappointed--I would have expected you to hang on for at least 1,000 posts!

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:24 PM

19. You got me.

Unless I'm being funny, or I think being a freak is cool or something. Which I am and do, and maybe that's even obvious, and just saying so is exhausting.

Which it is.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:24 PM

20. Five. Definitely.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:35 PM

21. I'm not casting suspicion. You are.

I'm saying EXACTLY what I'm saying.

What I'm worried about is the future. Ask yourself: Could this NSA research be a useful supplement to a campaign's other efforts? Especially since it covers minute details of everyone's communications, not just the stuff people reveal in surveys?

And would it help that it is free, provided you have the right connections?

Yes and yes.

And will it get better, more detailed? Probably.

See where I'm going?

I say we have to worry about both sides cheating, politicians being what they are. But focus on the GOP. Rove 2.0.

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Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:59 AM

11. Whaddya think happened in Ohio?

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Response to paulbibeau (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:59 AM

12. What Will Happen When A President Uses The NSA

to get information on his opponent? What happens if said president is a republican?

From the article.
"To be clear: There is no evidence at all that Obama's team used national security information inappropriately to win reelection. But they have opened the gate. The NSA is surveilling and analyzing the social networks and communications of the American people to an astonishing degree. And this is occurring at the exact same moment pols have launched an information arms race in presidential campaigns like we've never seen before.

The people in the next administration will be privy to a platinum-grade level of information about those whose votes they want to win. To say a reelection campaign won't use their position to gain advantage is naïve.

To say it won't be inevitably revealed is short-sighted.

To say such revelation won't cripple this country's political system and harm its national security is stupid."


this is the most important piece I have seen on this whole cluster fuck

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