HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Libraries fear 'ravenous'...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 02:54 PM

Libraries fear 'ravenous' NSA

Source: The Hill

The nation’s libraries are backing legislation that would curb the powers of the National Security Agency.

Revelations about NSA surveillance have created a “climate of concern” for libraries, which are seeking to defend the freedom to read and research away from the government’s prying eyes.

“You need to have some freedom to learn about what you think is important without worrying about whether it ends up in some FBI file,” said Alan Inouye, director of the Office for Information Technology Policy at the American Library Association (ALA).

Government snooping of libraries has a long history. Under the Patriot Act, for example, the FBI has the power to compel libraries to hand over user data. But the activities of the NSA seem to go far beyond traditional police work, reflecting an “almost ravenous hunger” for collecting information, according to Lynne Bradley, director of the ALA’s Office of Government Relations...




Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/191979-libraries-back-legislation-to-curb-ravenous-snooping-by-the-nsa

34 replies, 1739 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Libraries fear 'ravenous' NSA (Original post)
Indi Guy Dec 2013 OP
Swede Atlanta Dec 2013 #1
randome Dec 2013 #2
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #3
randome Dec 2013 #9
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #13
randome Dec 2013 #16
Maedhros Dec 2013 #5
randome Dec 2013 #8
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #10
Maedhros Dec 2013 #12
randome Dec 2013 #15
Ash_F Dec 2013 #28
AverageJoe90 Dec 2013 #6
Maedhros Dec 2013 #11
randome Dec 2013 #17
Maedhros Dec 2013 #18
randome Dec 2013 #21
Maedhros Dec 2013 #23
Uncle Joe Dec 2013 #4
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #7
Progressive dog Dec 2013 #14
Maedhros Dec 2013 #24
randome Dec 2013 #26
Maedhros Dec 2013 #33
Uncle Joe Dec 2013 #20
mitty14u2 Dec 2013 #19
blkmusclmachine Dec 2013 #22
nilesobek Dec 2013 #25
Alkene Dec 2013 #27
Pholus Dec 2013 #29
Solly Mack Dec 2013 #30
jsr Dec 2013 #31
PasadenaTrudy Dec 2013 #32
Indi Guy Dec 2013 #34

Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 03:19 PM

1. How stupid...

 

I swear those in our so-called intelligence agencies are dumber than the average turtle......

First they missed the 9-11 attacks - well maybe they were on to something when St. Ronnie II - GWB ignored their warnings

They missed the Arab spring.........once again stupid and uninformed

But the whole thing about watching libraries...really? Do they think that "bad guys" would go to Madam Librarian and check out a book on how to blow something up? Really? They are truly stupid.

But we have known for a long time that many FBI, CIA and NSA staff are traitors. Many, unfortunately, are caught up in an organization of traitors and liars. The most notable are anyone in authority in any of those agencies.

Our government has gone from something marginally trustworthy 40 years ago to absolutely not trustworthy today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 03:29 PM

2. This is all just speculative fear-mongering, nothing more.

Conveniently leaving out the fact that the NSA's mandate is to monitor foreign communications and is forbidden by law from spying on Americans.

With that in mind, I agree libraries should be off-limits unless a legal warrant is served. Which is probably what the FBI does.

A ton of bricks, a ton of feathers. It's still gonna hurt.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 03:53 PM

3. Speculation?!

The cold hard reality is that the NSA is collecting information, foreign and domestic, on a gargantuan scale. This is not speculation!

What is speculation is what they plan on doing with all that data. You can take them at their word (or swallow their propaganda e.g, their Thanksgiving talking points) that they the good guys, and would never do anything un-American -- or you can face the reality that they've already violated the public trust by their illegal spying.

It's not speculation that the agency consistently flouts the Constitution (the foundation of our rule of law). You can trust them blindly to be out for your best interests; but I'm not going to be as generous with my capacity for critical thinking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:18 PM

9. I am not saying to trust blindly any governmental organization. Not at all.

Your 'cold, hold reality' isn't supported by facts, however. What I posted is true insofar as what we know.

Despite no evidence of the NSA spying on libraries, I would have no problem with a law being formulated to stipulate they are off-limits except with a legal warrant. Which, as I stated, is probably how the FBI is forced to operate.

Treat your body like a machine. Your mind like a castle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:38 PM

13. On further thought, it seems that I was wrong...

...in saying that there is no speculation involved here. However, there is certainly no fear mongering. Given the NSA's unbridled hunger for data (which is not in dispute), the libraries have every right to take every precaution available to guarantee their rights under the law.

...the NSA has been collecting vast troves of “metadata” on Internet activity and phone calls that shows when communications were made, who was involved and how long it lasted.

That’s especially troubling to the ALA, as “libraries are all about metadata,”...
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/191979-libraries-back-legislation-to-curb-ravenous-snooping-by-the-nsa

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:50 PM

16. What precautions can they take, though? Pass a law that forbids the NSA from spying on them?

It's already on the books so I'm not sure where this 'concern' of librarians leads.

There is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it.
Nothing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:09 PM

5. Why are you so concerned that Americans are paying attention to their spy agencies

and expressing alarm over what they are finding?

It's almost as if holding Federal agencies accountable is a bad thing to you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maedhros (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:16 PM

8. Accuracy is important to me.

What I posted is true. If the NSA is violating the law, that's a different matter. And not a matter on which I would cheer on the NSA.

Treat your body like a machine. Your mind like a castle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #8)


Response to randome (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:37 PM

12. Accuracy, or semantics?

Just because something is nominally "legal" we should accept it without criticism?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maedhros (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:48 PM

15. Not at all.

If we think the laws need to change, then we need to get going and do it.

There is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it.
Nothing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 06:38 AM

28. Exactly. Defund the NSA and get the Republicans out of it.

Alexander and Clapper and their right wing cronies need to go.

I am glad you are with us on this one!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:13 PM

6. +1. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:36 PM

11. As for your spurious "speculative fear mongering" statement...

Here is a report from 2008 in Mother Jones (by Amy Goodman and David Goodman) describing the FBI seizing library records without a court order:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/09/americas-most-dangerous-librarians

Here is a report from the Illinois Library Association discussing the impact of the Patriot Act:

http://www.ila.org/the-usa-patriot-act-in-2012-what-it-currently-means-for-libraries

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (http://www.epic.org), there have been over 250,000 NSL requests since 2002—to place this number in context, prior to the USA PATRIOT Act, there had been a cumulative total of 8,500 requests. Although numbers are down from the 2003-2006 time period, there were still 16,511 requests in 2011. In addition, 1,745 FISA applications were approved in 2011, none of which were rejected by authorizing authorities. This figure reflects a 10.5 percent increase in applications over the previous year. It is clear that both FISA and NSL orders will remain a part of the Justice Department’s toolkit for years to come, and imperative that we remain informed on these topics.


The best part? Because of "speculative fear mongering" by civil liberties groups and librarians’ associations in response to early abuse of the "library provision" in the Patriot Act, it was amended in 2009 (from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/theusapatriotact):

USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009
On October 20, 2009, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Representatives Jerrold R. Nadler (D-NY) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R.3845). The USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009 includes several key reforms that restore important civil liberties without diminishing the government’s ability to conduct legitimate national security investigations. Chief among these are:

Prohibition of use of Section 215 orders to obtain personally identifiable information about patrons from libraries or booksellers;

Meaningful judicial review of Section 215 orders, NSLs, and the gag orders that prevent recipients from talking about these orders;

Rational limits on gag orders including limits on their duration once challenged;

Rational limits on the scope of NSLs so that they cannot be used unreasonably to gather information on innocent Americans;

Minimization procedures to insure that information obtained using these powers is destroyed once it is no longer relevant to
an ongoing investigation;

Yearly audits of the use of these powers and a new “sunset” that will give Congress an opportunity to consider further reform
based on those audits.

The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s passed H.R. 3845 on November 6, 2009.


The article in the OP suggests that metadata collection by the NSA uses an end-around these provisions. Hopefully there will be more "speculative fear mongering" about the NSA's data collection activities that forces Congress to further amend the Patriot Act to protect our privacy.

http://www.propublica.org/article/remember-when-the-patriot-act-debate-was-about-library-records

Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, says that she has for years worried about bulk collection of metadata, but believed the government might be justifying it using other provisions in the Patriot Act.

“It was a really novel idea on the part of the government that they could use 215 to get bulk phone records,” she says.

As part of the Patriot Act reauthorization of 2006, Congress changed some of the wording in Section 215. But because the government’s interpretation of the law is still secret, it’s not clear whether the changes made any difference in the court’s ultimate authorization of the metadata program.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maedhros (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:56 PM

17. Too many NSLs from the sound of it. But I don't see that this endangers libraries.

"In addition, 1,745 FISA applications were approved in 2011, none of which were rejected..." That's a tautological statement.

And the amendments of 2009 added additional protections. Good.

I agree the metadata could be used in not-so-likeable ways. But there are processes in place to prevent that. Carl Bernstein said it sounded to him as if the NSA has strong protections in place and I agree with that.

If we want to stop the metadata collection, we need to change the law that allows for it because right now it is not against the law and any law enforcement agency will do its utmost to push the envelope of what's allowed and not allowed.

There is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it.
Nothing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 07:07 PM

18. The first step to changing the law is to call attention to those parts that are unacceptable.

To characterize such scrutiny as "speculative fear mongering" is unhelpful. Inaccurate, if you will.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maedhros (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 08:28 PM

21. No one is spying on libraries that we know of so what is there to call attention to?

That someone, somewhere might be spying on libraries? That's not much to go on.

Rules are made to be broken. Including this one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:24 PM

23. "That we know of" is part of the problem.

http://www.propublica.org/article/remember-when-the-patriot-act-debate-was-about-library-records

The entire point of this article is that while the sections of the Patriot Act that were being used to target library records were, to an extent, mollified by amendments to the Act, the secretly-interpreted portions of Section 215 may have given Federal agencies an unexamined loophole to continue to gather library records without a warrant.

Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, says that she has for years worried about bulk collection of metadata, but believed the government might be justifying it using other provisions in the Patriot Act.

“It was a really novel idea on the part of the government that they could use 215 to get bulk phone records,” she says.

As part of the Patriot Act reauthorization of 2006, Congress changed some of the wording in Section 215. But because the government’s interpretation of the law is still secret, it’s not clear whether the changes made any difference in the court’s ultimate authorization of the metadata program.


Given the huge increases in the number of NSLs post-9/11, this goes beyond "might" to "almost certain."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 03:59 PM

4. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Indi Guy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:15 PM

7. Thanks Joe.

What am I missing here? How can people still be so sheepishly trusting of those who are greedy for power over them (re: post #2)?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:44 PM

14. You are missing the fact that there is no evidence of the NSA

spying on libraries. I have no objection to a law prohibiting the NSA from spying on Americans, but this overblown hyperventilation about a nation spying is almost funny.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Progressive dog (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:26 PM

24. There is massive evidence of recent NSA spying on libraries.


http://www.ila.org/the-usa-patriot-act-in-2012-what-it-currently-means-for-libraries

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (http://www.epic.org), there have been over 250,000 NSL requests since 2002—to place this number in context, prior to the USA PATRIOT Act, there had been a cumulative total of 8,500 requests. Although numbers are down from the 2003-2006 time period, there were still 16,511 requests in 2011. In addition, 1,745 FISA applications were approved in 2011, none of which were rejected by authorizing authorities. This figure reflects a 10.5 percent increase in applications over the previous year. It is clear that both FISA and NSL orders will remain a part of the Justice Department’s toolkit for years to come, and imperative that we remain informed on these topics.


I'm sure they just stopped because the ALA was upset.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maedhros (Reply #24)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 05:58 AM

26. NSL stands for 'National Security Letter', not 'National Surveillance on Librarians'.

Since current law states the NSA cannot spy on Americans, it's a far-reaching conclusion, to me, that they are spying on libraries.

Precision and concision. That's the game.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #26)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 01:20 PM

33. If you read the article at the link

you will discover the ALA's reasoning: the interpretation of the current law is STILL secret, so there is no way of knowing if the NSA is following the law or not. How do we know if the NSA is breaking the law or not? All the oversight is kept secret, and we KNOW that the NSA lies to us.

You made a claim that there was no evidence of the Federal government spying on libraries, which was proven false given that the NSLs issued in 2011 (over 16,000) is twice the number for all years prior to 2001 combined. That's a hell of a lot of requests.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 08:11 PM

20. You're missing complacency, Indi Guy, some people are comfortable in waiting for the government

to be caught abusing its' power, while others such as yourself and I prefer to prevent the abuse before it happens.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 07:22 PM

19. Tax Payer$ So Called Budget 2012 (NIP)53.9 billion (MIP)21.5 billion = 75.4 billion

Intelligence Budget Data

http://www.fas.org/irp/budget/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 09:08 PM

22. Prying eyes, and all

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 05:30 AM

25. What really endangers libraries

Besides electronic Kindle readers is the the censorship from the librarians themselves resulting in boring collections of one-sided information. I stopped going when I found out they were deliberately pulling Pro-Palestinian books. Also some libraries, like this one even censor their fiction collections. Just try to find Orwell, Philip K. Dick and many others. Its like they never existed. One of my sons went to work there and found out the head librarian has total dictatorial powers on collection selections. Who needs the NSA when this is going on?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 06:35 AM

27. Shhhhhhhhh! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 07:14 AM

29. Seems like a lot of worry that you're unfairly singling out the NSA.

Might I suggest you use the more appropriate and general "TLA" designation for generic
governmental organization instead?

Certainly, there is a WELL DOCUMENTED history of FBI interest in our public libraries:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-07-05-fbi-letters_x.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/politics/26patriot.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

Certainly this must all be above board. That's why NSL's include the gag-order, right?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 09:16 AM

30. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:08 AM

31. Nonsense. Leave the NSA alone!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 10:52 AM

32. EFF

What do you guys think about the Electronic Frontier Foundation? I don't see this group mentioned much around here. I don't know much about them personally...

https://www.eff.org/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #32)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:11 PM

34. From what I've seen...

...the EFF is to be commended for their work. Here's an EFF article that should be required reading for all Americans: Busting Eight Common Excuses for NSA Mass Surveillance
Also be sure to checkout the video.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread