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Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:58 PM Jun 2013

The real problem Snowden revealed, and why Obama is especially dangerous

I've gone back and forth on this, but the thing that turned me was the following from the New Yorker

WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH METADATA http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/06/verizon-nsa-metadata-surveillance-problem.html

Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from liberal Northern California and the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, assured the public earlier today that the government’s secret snooping into the phone records of Americans was perfectly fine, because the information it obtained was only “meta,” meaning it excluded the actual content of the phone conversations, providing merely records...The gist of the defense was that, in contrast to what took place under the Bush Administration, this form of secret domestic surveillance was legitimate because Congress had authorized it, and the judicial branch had ratified it, and the actual words spoken by one American to another were still private. So how bad could it be?

The answer, according to the mathematician and former Sun Microsystems engineer Susan Landau, whom I interviewed while reporting on the plight of the former N.S.A. whistleblower Thomas Drake and who is also the author of “Surveillance or Security?,” is that it’s worse than many might think...“The public doesn’t understand,” she told me, speaking about so-called metadata. “It’s much more intrusive than content.” She explained that the government can learn immense amounts of proprietary information by studying “who you call, and who they call. If you can track that, you know exactly what is happening—you don’t need the content.”

Metadata, she pointed out, can be so revelatory about whom reporters talk to in order to get sensitive stories that it can make more traditional tools in leak investigations, like search warrants and subpoenas, look quaint. “You can see the sources,” she said. When the F.B.I. obtains such records from news agencies, the Attorney General is required to sign off on each invasion of privacy. When the N.S.A. sweeps up millions of records a minute, it’s unclear if any such brakes are applied...In fact, Landau told me, metadata and other new surveillance tools have helped cut the average amount of time it takes the U.S. Marshals to capture a fugitive from forty-two days to two.


The second, far far more insidious problem with this is that Obama is a Constitutional scholar. That means, you can be sure, there are some ironclad arguments in favor of the procedures that are being followed in the course of collecting this data. We'll get a chance to see those arguments aired when the ACLU case moves through the courts. What Obama has done is far more damaging than what Bush did because he has managed to give this thing a legal framework within which it can be done. I don't know if that kind of damage can be undone. That is the truly disturbing part of this.

The ACLU really really needs to win its case. Desperately needs to. That's where the real battle on this is going to play out. If this thing is left with a legal rationale of Constitutional compliance, it really is game over.

(On a side note, can someone PLEASE figure out what's wrong with the link button around here? Sometimes it works, sometimes you can't get it to do anything no matter what. Very annoying.)
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The real problem Snowden revealed, and why Obama is especially dangerous (Original Post) Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 OP
I think it's the dashes or other odd characters in the url that break the 'link' button function. nt Electric Monk Jun 2013 #1
Link worked for me think Jun 2013 #2
I meant the DU hyperlink function, to make a block of text a working link Electric Monk Jun 2013 #7
ahh. misunderstood. TY /nt think Jun 2013 #14
I saw Susan Landau interviewed a few days ago and she explained the Meta Data KoKo Jun 2013 #3
Correct it's behavior modeling. This turns galileoreloaded Jun 2013 #5
Voice calls are line switched. Downwinder Jun 2013 #4
Yes. They reveal one part to make it all seem innocent, but really they haven't fessed up to the dkf Jun 2013 #6
These cases can take decades to go thru the courts; for example" Melinda Jun 2013 #8
At the time of the Patriot Act, Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #10
One point to make about Sen. Di Feinstein - she is NOT truedelphi Jun 2013 #47
This message was self-deleted by its author Downwinder Jun 2013 #13
my intuition was right undergroundpanther Jun 2013 #9
You have to abstract away from this Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #31
Metadata hasn't had constitutional protection, ever Recursion Jun 2013 #11
Not so sure about that Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #18
LOL ,Feinstein the liberal Dem bahrbearian Jun 2013 #12
Can I suggest you address your selective editing above pkdu Jun 2013 #15
I used the three dots thing to indicate where I edited, Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #17
Your para 2 and para3 has missing sentences between . Fair enough on the ....I used to do same pkdu Jun 2013 #21
Hmm. Why? Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #22
Most criminals , esp. Federal Crimes are smarter at evading capture than you give them credit for.. pkdu Jun 2013 #24
You remember when Olbermann had that whole thing on dumb criminals? Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #28
"Ellipsis points are used to represent an omission from a direct quotation when it is cited ..." panzerfaust Jun 2013 #49
The generally accepted standard here at DU seems to contrary to writingxxx.yyy pkdu Jun 2013 #66
Obama didn't give this a legal structure. That legal structure was put into place pnwmom Jun 2013 #16
Which Obama said he would Debate and Change ,, in 2007. bahrbearian Jun 2013 #23
There were changes after Obama was elected -- things were even worse before. pnwmom Jun 2013 #25
So when is he proposing to debate and Change it Its been 4 years. Wait and Hope. bahrbearian Jun 2013 #26
You're not getting it Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #27
He still says debate it treestar Jun 2013 #30
It would be the single best thing he did. n/t Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #32
He has had 4 years to bring this to debate this,he needs a bill to sign,unless he signs blank pages. bahrbearian Jun 2013 #33
At this point it is far easier to count up the things that O truedelphi Jun 2013 #48
It's all starting to turn into jello in my head, but I'm pretty sure that passage of HardTimes99 Jun 2013 #62
...as a journalist... FirstLight Jun 2013 #19
Use a Tracphone or something similar. Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #20
I think the opposite treestar Jun 2013 #29
This is what bothers me. Blue_In_AK Jun 2013 #34
Exactly n/t Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #35
Question 90-percent Jun 2013 #36
Kind of, although technically they weren't collecting in 1997. I think. Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #37
Constitutionality is in the eye of the beholder. HomerRamone Jun 2013 #38
HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!! WillyT Jun 2013 #39
Same here - It was encouraging to read this truedelphi Jun 2013 #54
So, by this argument intaglio Jun 2013 #40
No - not if you give them permission FreeState Jun 2013 #44
When you sign up for a phone, have you read all the T & Cs? intaglio Jun 2013 #70
Metadata is extremely useful and informative FreeState Jun 2013 #41
First ProSense Jun 2013 #42
What you're pointing out is true in a narrow sense, Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #60
Great post. Thank you. ~nt 99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #43
There was an article in DISCOVER magazine a few months back that describe how this data is used rwsanders Jun 2013 #45
But it is more than establishing a profile. truedelphi Jun 2013 #52
thanks for linking to her site madrchsod Jun 2013 #56
I agree completely, just trying to point out that even "Metadata" isn't innocuous rwsanders Jun 2013 #67
I should alert on this- complaining about the link button. No whining about DU. In other news, silvershadow Jun 2013 #46
Once more the ACLU steps into the breach to defend an ignorant public Lefty Nast Jun 2013 #50
"he has managed to give this thing a legal framework within which it can be done." KamaAina Jun 2013 #51
And this metadatabank gives the executive branch JDPriestly Jun 2013 #53
Obama is especially dangerous? liberal N proud Jun 2013 #55
yes it would. madrchsod Jun 2013 #57
Whats with the title? DCBob Jun 2013 #58
mr "bent on destruction" (how clever), and other true geniuses on Du i suppose... dionysus Jun 2013 #59
Yes. Why do you ask? Did you read the OP? Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #61
Yeah, I read it and didnt see those particular words. DCBob Jun 2013 #63
Yes, they're my opinion. Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2013 #64
glad we cleared that up. DCBob Jun 2013 #65
I Think RobinA Jun 2013 #68
... Scurrilous Jun 2013 #69
Obama also signed the NDAA section 1021, providing for the indefinite detention of US citizens Fire Walk With Me Jun 2013 #71
 

Electric Monk

(13,869 posts)
7. I meant the DU hyperlink function, to make a block of text a working link
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:15 PM
Jun 2013
like this. That doesn't work when there are certain special characters in the url.

KoKo

(84,711 posts)
3. I saw Susan Landau interviewed a few days ago and she explained the Meta Data
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:08 PM
Jun 2013

collection very calmly and persuasively.


----------

The answer, according to the mathematician and former Sun Microsystems engineer Susan Landau, whom I interviewed while reporting on the plight of the former N.S.A. whistleblower Thomas Drake and who is also the author of “Surveillance or Security?,” is that it’s worse than many might think...“The public doesn’t understand,” she told me, speaking about so-called metadata. “It’s much more intrusive than content.” She explained that the government can learn immense amounts of proprietary information by studying “who you call, and who they call. If you can track that, you know exactly what is happening—you don’t need the content.”

 

galileoreloaded

(2,571 posts)
5. Correct it's behavior modeling. This turns
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:11 PM
Jun 2013

Into the ability to almost watch thoughts form. Pre-crime genesis.

Downwinder

(12,869 posts)
4. Voice calls are line switched.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:10 PM
Jun 2013

You can capture the calls in bulk and transcribe them, what then. You need the metadata for source and destination to index them.

 

dkf

(37,305 posts)
6. Yes. They reveal one part to make it all seem innocent, but really they haven't fessed up to the
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:12 PM
Jun 2013

Larger collection.

It's been reported but we don't have docs yet.

Melinda

(5,465 posts)
8. These cases can take decades to go thru the courts; for example"
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:19 PM
Jun 2013

The Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 987 (Public Law 81-831), also known as the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 or the McCarran Act, after its principal sponsor Sen. Pat McCarran (D-Nevada), is a United States federal law of the McCarthy era. It was enacted over President Harry Truman's veto.

The Act required Communist organizations to register with the United States Attorney General and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate persons suspected of engaging in subversive activities or otherwise promoting the establishment of a "totalitarian dictatorship," either fascist or communist. Members of these groups could not become citizens and in some cases were prevented from entering or leaving the country. Citizens found in violation could lose their citizenship in five years. The Act also contained an emergency detention statute, giving the President the authority to apprehend and detain "each person as to whom there is a reasonable ground to believe that such person probably will engage in, or probably will conspire with others to engage in, acts of espionage or sabotage."[2]

It tightened alien exclusion and deportation laws and allowed for the detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of war or "internal security emergency".

The Act made picketing a federal courthouse a felony[3] if intended to obstruct the court system or influence jurors or other trial participants.


In 1993, sections of the Act were ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS, as violations of the First Amendment. That's 43 years for some SECTIONS to be ruled unconstitutional - SECTIONS. Other parts remain law.

43 years to make it to SCOTUS. Do we wait for this to wind its way thru the courts (do we really have the time?), or do we concentrate the majority of our efforts to vote out every congress critter who supports this crap?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarran_Internal_Security_Act#Constitutionality

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
10. At the time of the Patriot Act,
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:26 PM
Jun 2013

both of my NJ Senators voted for it. Both were Dems. I stopped giving to the DSCC because of that. I actually voted for the Republican candidate when Menendez came up for re-election I was so utterly pissed. But trying to vote them all out on this would do damage on other issues in a lot of cases, so I don't know if I could do that again.
Anyway, I don't think this one will take that long, given the publicity and the fact the ACLU started on it right away. I hope not, anyway.

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
47. One point to make about Sen. Di Feinstein - she is NOT
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:43 PM
Jun 2013

The "liberal" as this OP designates her.

She is an extremely canny, self centered and powerful woman who on two occasions over the last 15 years pre-selected California's "D" gubernatorial candidate so that she could ensure that the Republican candidate won.

What she gets in exchange for such a thing, I have no idea. Her husband, Richard Blum, and she are rich beyond belief, in part on account of the 27 millions of dollars in Iraq War contract that Blum secured immediately after our 2003 Shock and Awe campaign on the people of the nation of Iraq..

Her policies are pro-war, pro-surveillance, and I doubt that she works very hard to persuade the president to stop having his DOJ arrest citizens in her state while they are attempting to use their voter-approved medical marijuana status.

Response to Melinda (Reply #8)

undergroundpanther

(11,925 posts)
9. my intuition was right
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:25 PM
Jun 2013

Early on I suspected obama was not what he seemed I posted my thoughts and got mightily chewed out..My question is being a constituonal scholar you know he knows how to get around it. I knew he was no real dem,however I kept that to myself. But to see how evil he is in subverting the constitution this way it's obvious he has no consoience.He is a fucking corporate sociopath.He might as well be worshipping leo strauss with the rest of them.

I have great reason to not ever trust anyone who is too rich,too powerful or too well connected with ANYTHING. all of 'em.I do not trust them. D was in my mind better than an R but the days of new deal dems is over and has been over since reaga.I didn't like what clinton did to the poor and I don't trust hillary at all.After who is clinton socializing with,the fucking bushes the same creatures that impeached him. It's all back to the neo liberal bullshit along the lines of leo strauss.

And honestly leo,ayn rand all those 'philosophers' were fucking diseased with sociopathy.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
31. You have to abstract away from this
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:20 PM
Jun 2013

and make it a more general problem.
If you look at the Constitution, you'll see that the President had very few powers assigned to him, and none of them involved spending, because the framers knew that power over the purse is the real power.
They also very carefully circumscribed the war powers the President had, and gave the power of actually declaring war to the Congress. To complete the package, they put in a sunset clause on a standing army, something no one notices anymore: any appropriation for an army has to be voted on again in two years. This was to make sure that if there was a standing army in the appropriations, each Congress had to vote on it again and put itself on record as in favor of one.
All of this was because they distrusted giving the Executive any more power than it really needed.
We're a long long long way from that now. Trusting any individual with the kind of power the US President gets these days is just stupid. The first step to reining those powers in could be this whole NSA controversy.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
18. Not so sure about that
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:34 PM
Jun 2013

Nadler pointed out there's only one case on this and he didn't really think that one case was meant to give such wide discretion in the collection of metadata.

pkdu

(3,977 posts)
15. Can I suggest you address your selective editing above
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:30 PM
Jun 2013

Use of <snip> where you choose to leave sentences or paragraphs out.

Not everyone goes to the links and what you choose to omit can be construed or misconstrued.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
17. I used the three dots thing to indicate where I edited,
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:33 PM
Jun 2013

I'm old-fashioned that way. Wherever you see that is where I cut something out.

pkdu

(3,977 posts)
21. Your para 2 and para3 has missing sentences between . Fair enough on the ....I used to do same
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:40 PM
Jun 2013

But as for the 2 day average for US Marshals apprehension of fugitives , I'm calling bullshit until the author asks for and gets proof of that one.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
22. Hmm. Why?
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:43 PM
Jun 2013

If you can get the location of the cellphone that would do it, I would think. Most criminals aren't going to realize they can be tracked by the location option on the phone, and won't turn it off. What could be simpler?

pkdu

(3,977 posts)
24. Most criminals , esp. Federal Crimes are smarter at evading capture than you give them credit for..
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:00 PM
Jun 2013

Whitey Bulger...on he run for 16 years I think. Tipoff that got him caught. I'm not buying the 2 day average.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
28. You remember when Olbermann had that whole thing on dumb criminals?
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:15 PM
Jun 2013

Highly entertaining.
Anyway, you may be right about Federal ones. Maybe. I might give you that one.

 

panzerfaust

(2,818 posts)
49. "Ellipsis points are used to represent an omission from a direct quotation when it is cited ..."
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:48 PM
Jun 2013

"<snip>" is not widely accepted - outside of ... well, don't wish to be rude so will just leave it that: "<snip>" is not an English grammatical construct.

One might want to have a look at the very clear explanation here: http://writingcommons.org/research/integrate-evidence/incorporate-evidence/omitting-words-from-a-direct-quotation


Or the less formal one here: http://www.writingforward.com/grammar/punctuation-marks/punctuation-marks-ellipsis.

The poster quite correctly used this form of punctuation. Sorry if it is confusing.



pkdu

(3,977 posts)
66. The generally accepted standard here at DU seems to contrary to writingxxx.yyy
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 07:17 PM
Jun 2013

I think I'll stick with that here.

Btw. I saw no ellipses in the OP, and nothing indicating a whole paragraph was removed. Now that WAS confusing.

pnwmom

(108,874 posts)
16. Obama didn't give this a legal structure. That legal structure was put into place
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:31 PM
Jun 2013

with the passage of the Patriot Act, which occurred after the wiretapping abuses during the Bush administration.

pnwmom

(108,874 posts)
25. There were changes after Obama was elected -- things were even worse before.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:02 PM
Jun 2013

But I agree with the calls to re-open the debate and rein in the NSA.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
27. You're not getting it
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:10 PM
Jun 2013

The reason for the huge importance of the Magna Carta was it put a legal framework in place that restricted the powers of the King for the first time. What we're doing now is unwinding that document, with all the attendant dangers. The seriousness of this can't be underestimated.

bahrbearian

(13,466 posts)
33. He has had 4 years to bring this to debate this,he needs a bill to sign,unless he signs blank pages.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:23 PM
Jun 2013

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
48. At this point it is far easier to count up the things that O
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:44 PM
Jun 2013

Promised and actually did, then the things he promised and then reneged on, isn't it?

 

HardTimes99

(2,049 posts)
62. It's all starting to turn into jello in my head, but I'm pretty sure that passage of
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 06:34 PM
Jun 2013

the Patriot Act preceded the wiretapping abuses. IOW, the PA did not pass after the wiretapping abuses.

Let me know if your memory conflicts with mine and I will be happy to run down the chronology to one of our (or our mutual) satisfaction.

FirstLight

(13,332 posts)
19. ...as a journalist...
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:35 PM
Jun 2013

i don't know why the news orgs are not all over this. the idea that sources can be compromised is huge...makes one take a second look at that death of the reporter recently...

i suppose it will come down to using cell phones once and throwing them away to avoid detection? very scary indeed

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
20. Use a Tracphone or something similar.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:39 PM
Jun 2013

Frankly, any journalist who wasn't already doing this as standard practice when talking to a secret source was just being careless.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
29. I think the opposite
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:18 PM
Jun 2013

If it does not go through the courts, then it remains on the books and every administration in perpetuity can use it. If it is unconstitutional and gets struck down, it's gone. If it is found constitutional, at least that will be explained in the court opinion and may be rational.

ETA more reason to be sure more Scalias don't get appointed to the court. This means future Presidents and Congresses.

Blue_In_AK

(46,436 posts)
34. This is what bothers me.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:37 PM
Jun 2013

They have somehow managed to make this all "legal." Perhaps we have nothing to fear while Obama is president, but what about if some real hard-liner conservative comes to power in the future and decides that certain ideas and communications are seditious or a threat to his personal security. Would you really want this kind of power in the hands of a despot? And please don't think that it can't happen here. Imagine if the HUAC in the '50s had had the tools at hand that today's NSA has. How many more lives could they have ruined?

90-percent

(6,813 posts)
36. Question
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:42 PM
Jun 2013

the meta-data stores are forever, yes?

So if you're doing something suspicious in 2013, they can go back to perhaps your 1997 metadata and then also get the contents of your electronic communications.

In other words, from the meta-data they can go further and actually obtain the contents of your communications from 1997 if they so chose?

-90% confused

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
37. Kind of, although technically they weren't collecting in 1997. I think.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:50 PM
Jun 2013

Not sure about getting actual content, but the idea is that they can find out who had that phone number in 1997, and see if it matches the 2013 data.

HomerRamone

(1,112 posts)
38. Constitutionality is in the eye of the beholder.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:04 PM
Jun 2013

And we've got a majority with horrible taste on the Supreme Court.

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
40. So, by this argument
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:28 PM
Jun 2013

All companies collecting such data are also breaching the privacy of the account holder ...

Shame they need that data for network control and up-grade, for part of their bottom line for advertising, to inform their purchase of bandwidth and probably other purposes of which I have no knowledge.

FreeState

(10,531 posts)
44. No - not if you give them permission
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:37 PM
Jun 2013

Google has an end user agreement - as does nearly every other business who's business model relies on selling your data.

I have an app on my phone that collects metadata of where I have been and then tries to tell me about myself. Its spot on - all from just silently keeping track of where I travel, where I stop and for how long I'm there. (It correctly guessed I'm a vegetarian, my favorite type of food, I'm a buddhist, gay and a "health nut". I don't go to earthy stores or a buddhist temple by the way.)

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
70. When you sign up for a phone, have you read all the T & Cs?
Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:58 AM
Jun 2013

When you sign up with your software provider have you read those T&Cs? I doubt it, because part of both types of contract is that some information is made available to 3rd parties.

If born in a country do you sign up to all the ways your personal data will be used? This include things like tax records, property records, medical records and marriage records; driver licensing, vehicle taxation and number plate tracking; entry and exit documents and flight details. When the census is done do you sign up to all the uses to which that will be put?

Do you think the Government should be able to think strategically about the provision infrastructure (including data transmission services) locally, nationally and internationally?

Do you see how your point is only superficially valid? We live in an information rich society and that information is essential for planning and day to day management of the infrastructure of your life. Ban the your government from one type of data tracking and you start to influence all of such tracking. Freedom is largely illusory and based upon the limitation of freedom.

FreeState

(10,531 posts)
41. Metadata is extremely useful and informative
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:33 PM
Jun 2013

There is a reason the grocery store wants you to use your phone number or "discount card" - they sell the metadata to advertisers and use it themselves.

One just has to look at Google to see how profitable metadata is - its Googles business model.

ProSense

(116,464 posts)
42. First
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:36 PM
Jun 2013
The second, far far more insidious problem with this is that Obama is a Constitutional scholar. That means, you can be sure, there are some ironclad arguments in favor of the procedures that are being followed in the course of collecting this data. We'll get a chance to see those arguments aired when the ACLU case moves through the courts. What Obama has done is far more damaging than what Bush did because he has managed to give this thing a legal framework within which it can be done. I don't know if that kind of damage can be undone. That is the truly disturbing part of this.

...let's be clear about what Obama's arguments would likely support and likely not support. Bush broke the law, and the current programs are not legal versions of his illegal activies.

Another misleading media report implies that warrantless wiretapping is legal.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023026724

Remember whistleblower Thomas Tamm?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023032225

Secondly, if Obama's arguments are "ironclad," then maybe he has a point. Still, his argument may be "ironclad" in support of the program's legality, but if all the concerns being expressed are valid in relation to what we learn about the program, any argument he presents about its Constitutionality will be challenged.

This is a situation in which a balance has to be struck between Constitutionality, national security, privacy and the need to know.

In a country where surveillance has been part of the fabric of law enforcement and national security, with the acknowledgment that it's a necessity, the debate is about how to do it while protecting Americans, classified information and the Constitution.

Also, in the current debate, the very foundation of the FISA court, which has been an institution built on secrecy since it was signed into law by President Carter upon recommendations by the Church Committee, is under attack.



Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
60. What you're pointing out is true in a narrow sense,
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 06:30 PM
Jun 2013

but doesn't really answer my concerns in the OP.
The problem here is in fact the metadata. Note that for reporters, as is pointed out in the part I quoted, the AG has to sign off on each individual request because obtaining that metadata is considered an invasion of privacy. The NSA is indiscriminately collecting that metadata for everyone, all the time.
To use it they do have to get a warrant, that's true. And there have been a lot of other procedural rules written around this to try and limit the extent to which it can be used against US citizens.
But the heart of the matter is simple, really: if metadata is that useful in mapping out who you are and who the people you associate with are, then the mere fact of collecting it is an invasion of your privacy. You are trusting that the guy in the WH won't misuse that data, you're trusting that the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, the DIA, you name it, won't misuse it. You're trusting that all kinds of people won't misuse it.
That's the reason the Fourth Amendment was put in the Constitution in the first place: so you wouldn't have to trust that someone with the full authority of the government behind him, with the power to arrest you and destroy your life, would misuse data he has on you, because to get that data they first have to go to a court and show reasonable cause as to why they need that data.
I refer you again to the Magna Carta: it all goes back to that. You put restrictions on the power of the Executive in place so that you don't have to trust in the man, because you know the law will take care of that. We were already too far down the road of having to trust the Prez when Obama came to power. Now all he's done is take us even further down that road. Not good.

rwsanders

(2,572 posts)
45. There was an article in DISCOVER magazine a few months back that describe how this data is used
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:42 PM
Jun 2013

They run it through software that builds an association pattern. It shows who connects with who, how often, etc. Graphically it looks like a web and it shows a pattern of a persons associations and supposedly can display a pattern based on certain "types" of people.
And yes it is just as bad as having the content of the call. Because just like purchasing records builds a profile of us to the corporations, this builds a profile of your personal life.

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
52. But it is more than establishing a profile.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:56 PM
Jun 2013

Over at boilingfrogs.com, Sibel Edmonds' fine website, you find out that the PTB can re-constitute your whole conversation, should they care to.

And one of the videos making the rounds on websites where the Fourth Amendment and First Amendment also are treated with a great deal of affection, is one showing how some Hollywood film star told Jay Leno two years ago that the national security types employed as a film consultant was able to play one of the film star's conversations back to him - from a point in time far prior to that movie being filmed. (Being an old geezer, I can never keep these younger movie stars' names straight, so sorry can't be more specific.)

This is all very significant - because as the One Percent gains power, they are stipulating more and more that people have no rights to come out against Corporate products, even including their product of war! You can't come out against the Surveillance State, as that shows you' re not patriotic, etc.

When Monsanto furthers its Corporate Power and establishes that anyone opposing them is a terrorist, by getting all the puppets, er, elected officials it has in its control, to establish such a legalism, then who knows? Such a law might be retroactive, just as we saw with Mc Carthyism in the 1950's. Back then, people who had legally signed up as members of the communist party, or simply had their name on some party member attendance sheet, from way back in the 1930's, were black listed, and often ended up committing suicide, as how does somebody survive if denied work in their field?

If the American public doesn't wake up, we will have a return to what happened in the 1950's - but that will be child's play compared to what these unAmerican, totalitarian types in office, (including but certainly not limited to Obama himself and Di Feinstein.) want to shove down the collective throat of this society.

rwsanders

(2,572 posts)
67. I agree completely, just trying to point out that even "Metadata" isn't innocuous
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 08:42 PM
Jun 2013

Maybe it is time to consider Jesse Ventura as a candidate. (slightly facetious)

 

silvershadow

(10,336 posts)
46. I should alert on this- complaining about the link button. No whining about DU. In other news,
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:43 PM
Jun 2013

there is nothing to see here, the USA is all Mom and apple pie. (I agree with you).

Lefty Nast

(61 posts)
50. Once more the ACLU steps into the breach to defend an ignorant public
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:52 PM
Jun 2013

We owe this organization so much. I hope everyone who can afford it will send them a check--no matter how meager.

 

KamaAina

(78,249 posts)
51. "he has managed to give this thing a legal framework within which it can be done."
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:53 PM
Jun 2013

Actually, that would be Congress, in the wake of Nineleven(TM), with the (Un)Patriot(ic) Act.

JDPriestly

(57,936 posts)
53. And this metadatabank gives the executive branch
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:56 PM
Jun 2013

the ability (whether they use it or not can never be known) to know what calls members of the other branches, the legislative and judicial branches make and receive from their offices and from their personal phones as well as those of their aides. That means that even citizen contact with their representatives and the contact of judiciary with anyone and everyone is also breached.

For me, that spells a huge, major violation of our constitutional separation of powers. It puts the executive solidly in a position in which it is superior in every way to the other branches and can even use information gleaned from its surveillance program to intimidate or control members of the other branches as well as work havoc on our election system.

This is just an incredible blow to any semblance of a democracy that we ever had. Forget it. What is the point in voting if the communications of your local political organization and the other levels of your political organization or party can all be mapped out through phone data?

This program is illegal and unconstitutional.

liberal N proud

(60,218 posts)
55. Obama is especially dangerous?
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 05:36 PM
Jun 2013

A spy is born and Obama is especially dangerous?

How did this thread get so many recs? DU of old would have shut this down fast.

Benton D Struckcheon

(2,347 posts)
64. Yes, they're my opinion.
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 06:41 PM
Jun 2013

Once again, feel free to take issue. I wasn't just quoting the New Yorker piece, I was also expressing my own opinion on the matter. The rationale is there and in all the other posts I've made on this thread.

RobinA

(9,851 posts)
68. I Think
Sun Jun 23, 2013, 09:17 PM
Jun 2013

once a day (or more) everyone should create at least one piece of spurious metadata. Go on a website that has nothing to do with you, call a business you don't need, buy something you hate or would have no use for, drive somewhere irrelevant in the car and be sure your phone knows it...

 

Fire Walk With Me

(38,893 posts)
71. Obama also signed the NDAA section 1021, providing for the indefinite detention of US citizens
Mon Jun 24, 2013, 02:52 AM
Jun 2013

with neither trial nor representation. Twice. Fought for it in court when sued by Chris Hedges (Hedges etc. got it struck down as unConstitutional; Obama got it reinstated).

Let's see: quelling of protest, whistle-blowing, journalism and leaks...and spying to make sure they know if you're doing any of it, and with whom. And you can go away indefinitely if they decide. What's not to like about this Trend? The NDAA 2014 is about indefinite surveillance...

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