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No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data - ProPublica

No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data
by Theodoric Meyer and Peter Maass - ProPublica
Update, Jan. 8, 2014: This post has been updated. It was originally published on Dec. 4, 2012.


The government isn't allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI to the Internal Revenue Service, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. Authorities can often obtain your emails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a simple subpoena that doesn’t require showing probable cause of a crime. And recent revelations about classified National Security Agency surveillance programs show that the government is regularly sweeping up data on Americans’ telephone calls and has the capability to access emails, files, online chats and other data — all under secret oversight by a special federal court.

The breadth of and justification for the surveillance are the subjects of ongoing debate in Washington. President Obama and others have defended the programs as necessary to identify terrorists and stop attacks before they happen, but privacy advocates and several U.S. lawmakers have questioned them.

Here's a look at what the government can get from you and the legal framework behind its power:


The Rest: http://www.propublica.org/special/no-warrant-no-problem-how-the-government-can-still-get-your-digital-data

Remind Me Of 'Plausible Deniability'... And Is Christie Going Down That Road ???

WOW !!! - 'Christie’s Waterloo' - NYDailyNews

Christie’s Waterloo
The George Washington Bridge fiasco is a deeply damning window on the governor's administration.




In the best possible light, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie built a top staff of lying thugs who threatened lives and safety to serve his political ends. If not, Christie is a lying thug himself.

Emails and text messages among his close aides made public Wednesday documented that in September they gleefully engineered George Washington Bridge lane closures to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse their boss’ reelection.

Local officials say the gridlock they caused delayed ambulances in responding to four calls, including one involving an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died.

Christie’s presidential ambitions are all but kaput, as he will be lambasted and lampooned as a man of low character and horrible judgment — again viewing him in the most favorable way.
The Port Authority’s sudden, unannounced closing of bridge entrance lanes produced hours-long backups for four days. They ended only after Executive Director Patrick Foye discovered the shutdowns, which were later traced to rogue orders issued by Christie PA appointee David Wildstein, a high school buddy, and to a cover-up by Bill Baroni, Christie’s top person at the bi-state agency.

For months, responsibility remained clouded. During that time, Christie made light of the charges. He joked that the press was suggesting he had moved traffic cones personally. Last month, he described the affair as “not that big a deal.” He supported Baroni’s story that the lane closures were part of a traffic study.

His aides’ communications, made public Wednesday, put the lie to that...


More: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/christie-waterloo-article-1.1570246

A Phun Fact About The TPP...

Although it is called a
"free trade" agreement,
the TPP is not really
mainly about trade.

Of the TPP's 29 draft chapters, only 5 deal with traditional trade issues. Most would set rules on non-trade matters that affect our daily lives:

food safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, job off-shoring, financial regulation, and more.

Our domestic policies
would be required to
comply with the TPP rules.

Link: http://www.exposethetpp.org/TPPImpactsYou.html

The War On Poverty Is Our Moral Challenge Now - Richard (RJ) Eskow/HuffPo

The War on Poverty is Our Moral Challenge Now
Richard (RJ) Eskow - HuffPo
Posted: 01/07/2014 7:29 pm


"Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity," said Nelson Mandela, "it is an act of justice." When the War on Poverty began a half-century ago, it was widely seen as the moral obligation of a wealthy nation. President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in his first State of the Union message, fifty years ago. That speech was delivered on January 8, 1964, to a Congress and a nation still grieving the assassination of a young and vibrant President. "Let us carry forward the plans and programs of John Fitzgerald Kennedy," said Johnson, "not because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right."

Johnson knew that some of his colleagues might pay a price for their political courage on this issue. But he rejected the path of centrist convenience in his moral call to fellow Democrats. Said Johnson: "I especially ask all members of my own political faith, in this election year, to put your country ahead of your party."

Some sacrifices are worth the price. But then, as now, politicians and journalists often dealt with the moral challenge of poverty by rendering it invisible. Michael Harrington talked about that in his 1962 book, "The Other America," writing of the "normal and obvious causes of the invisibility of the poor." Those forces "operated a generation ago," wrote Harrington, and "they will be functioning a generation hence... the very development of American society is creating a new kind of blindness about poverty. The poor are increasingly slipping out of the very experience and consciousness of the nation."

He was right. A generation later the ranks of the poor, which swelled after Wall Street triggered the 2008 crisis, have too often remained out of sight and out of mind to a political and media class obsessed with false arguments about deficit reduction and "downsizing government."

That's not to say that the War on Poverty has been a failure. Far from it. When Ronald Reagan said that "we waged a war on poverty and poverty won," he was either being deceitful or woefully ignorant. The Census Bureau reports that government programs kept 41 million Americans out of poverty, including 9 million children in 2012.

As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities observes...


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/the-war-on-poverty-is-our_b_4557846.html

Sorry... Can't Help Myself... From The Site That Shall Not Be Named... Re: Christie

UPDATE, CASUALTY COUNT BEGINS: So Far One Known Person Killed By Chris Christie In Bridge Vendetta
Pat Dollard.com ^ | Pat Dollard
Posted on 1/8/2014 4:29:07 PM by icwhatudo

Link: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3109772/posts

I'm Curious To See How The Christie Scandal Plays Into The Republican Rift...

I mean... the Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Establishment probably were ready to go Full Christie, the Tea-Bagger/Ultra-Conservatives, not so much.

The Libertarian/Ayn Randians... probably not so much as well.

It will be interesting to see if anybody tries to come to Christie's aid, or if he's left to twist slowly in the wind.

Any predictions ???

Stay tuned.

House Republicans Kick Off 2014 With Renewed Focus On Abortion, Birth Control - Laura Bassett/HuffPo

House Republicans Kick Off 2014 With Renewed Focus On Abortion, Birth Control
Laura Bassett - HuffPo
Posted: 01/08/2014 4:47 pm EST | Updated: 01/08/2014 5:33 pm ES


As the Senate takes up a measure to extend unemployment insurance, Republicans in the House of Representatives are looking to make 2014 another banner year for anti-abortion laws.

A panel of 12 men on the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill Thursday that would deny tax subsidies to women and small businesses who purchase health insurance plans that include abortion coverage. The bill only makes an exception for rape and incest victims and women who would die without abortion care, which opponents say could prompt the IRS to audit any woman who claims one of these exceptions.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also promised to fight for a rider in the appropriations package Congress is expected to pass next week that would allow employers to refuse to cover contraception in their health insurance plans for moral reasons. And the Republican National Committee has announced it plans to delay its annual winter meeting this year so that members can attend the annual March for Life, an anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C.

"I'm not a psychologist, but we're dealing with behavior that, to me, appears obsessive," Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told HuffPost in an interview. "The jury is in from the rest of country as well -- they want Congress to legislate on issues that are priorities for all Americans. But Republicans don't hear it, because it's an obsessive-compulsive behavior, their focus on rolling back women's rights. They can't stop themselves."


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/house-gop-kicks-off-2014-_n_4563303.html

Thank You, Eugene Robinson !!! - 'Defining the NSA's Role'

Defining the NSA's Role
By Eugene Robinson - RCP
January 7, 2014


WASHINGTON -- President Obama's anticipated reform of the National Security Agency's practices needs to go beyond ending the mass surveillance of innocent Americans' phone calls. He should force the agency to think less about the quantity of information it gathers and more about the quality.

Obama should ignore the choir of apologists singing in lamentation over the beastly way the NSA is being treated. I refer to voices such as that of Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who on Monday accused Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. -- and, by extension, all the agency's critics -- of "trying to create this paranoia among Americans that the NSA is spying on everyone."

In fact, the NSA is spying on everyone by keeping a detailed log of our private phone calls. This practice was sanctioned by secret court rulings that stretched the words of the Constitution and the Patriot Act beyond recognition. We couldn't challenge these rulings because we weren't allowed to know about them. When asked last March whether any such blanket domestic surveillance was taking place, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress and said no. In what universe is it "paranoia" to be angry about all of this?

King and the rest of the NSA chorus blame whistleblower Edward Snowden for getting the agency in trouble over the phone surveillance and other rogue practices, such as eavesdropping on the cellphone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and secretly tapping into the data streams of major Internet providers. But Snowden just revealed these abuses. It was the NSA that committed them -- and brought this world of hurt on itself.

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies -- one of two blue-ribbon panels Obama appointed to examine the NSA mess -- recommended that the agency stop compiling its comprehensive log of domestic phone calls. This information should be kept by the phone companies or some third party, the review group said, and the government should have to obtain warrants to search it.

Obama should go further...


More: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/01/07/defining_the_nsas_role_121143.html

:evilgrin: - Check Out HuffPo's Front Page...

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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