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Member since: Fri Aug 1, 2008, 07:40 PM
Number of posts: 5,763

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FISA Court has been secretly expanding surveillance


A few things about the FISA court that I didn't realize. First, the Judges are all chosen by SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts. All of them except one are Republicans.

Second, there's no confirmation, no oversight of these guys.

Third they're making Supreme Court-size decisions in secret, affecting all of us, that can't be appealed.

Fourth, often these decisions are not contested, it's unclear whether the people they concerned are even given the chance.

This goes against every principle of justice.

Why does my personal NSA agent keep screwing up?


To My Personal NSA agent,

I hate to keep complaining, but you've made another mistake.

I made reservations for a trip to a Convention in September, but I made them for the wrong day. So, I had to change the reservations, it cost me $20 and a trip to Greyhound to correct it.

How could you possibly let me do that?

This is just your latest cock up. Your mind has really been wandering recently. I admit I don't have the most exciting life, and you probably sleep through most of it, but you must have some alarm that tells you when I'm about to make a misstep. So what's wrong with you? You have that metadata stuff, and those metastatistics. You have my profile. You have enough to create a Sim of me and run Chuck Sim through my whole day before I live it. Probably dozens of times. So you ought to be able to correct my mistakes before I make them. I mean, why do I pay taxes?

You made another error earlier in the day. People on Facebook wished me a happy birthday all day yesterday. I was very thankful to all of the well-wishes, but who told Facebook it was my birthday? It wasn't me; it had to have been you. I bet you thought I'd appreciate it. Look, when I call and make doctor's appointment or correct one of your errors on my bankcard, they always ask me for my birthday. That's important personal information, and you just took liberties with it. One thing I was never going to talk about in my blog was my birthday. I felt so smart hiding it.

Then you overcompensate. When I put up a post thanking you for blabbing it to Mark Zuckerberg, my post comes right down. Was that necessary? I know it wasn't in good taste, on the big Z's own website. I was a little sarcastic with you and the Z, but why should the whole post come down? I thought if I went overboard, you'd just redact parts of it the way you intelligence people always do.

We just need a few adjustments, and I know I can get comfortable with you spying on me. I tend to look at the bright side, if you're going to record all my emails and phone conversations on the impossible chance that I'll become a terrorist, the least you could do is keep me from screwing up my life any further.

It's in your interest too. If the public gets the idea you're spying, they're just more and more uncomfortable with it until they can't take it any longer. Maybe you think you've built up the police forces enough to keep this from breaking out into violence. I won't argue against that, now that agencies as remote to law enforcement as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have their own air reconnaissance and military grade armaments. Your bosses are certainly thorough. Nevertheless, it'd be far easier and cheaper if you emphasize the consumer service side part of your work. That way, people won't see it as an intrusion or, as some enemies have suggested, a total violation of the 4th Amendment. They need a vision of how your program can improve their lives. Make them think of you as guardian angels, not Big Brother.

However, if they need some riots and raids to fill those privatized prisons for slave labor, who am I to argue? You must fulfill your contracts.

So, pass that on to your superiors, and get on the ball. I really need my NSA agent to get my life right. So does every American in my socio-economic class, if they would only think about it correctly.

Give my best wishes to the rest of the office,

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