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More Claims From NSA Whistleblower Russell Tice

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the where-does-it-end dept.

Privacy 271

eldavojohn writes "Russell Tice, former NSA employee & whistleblower, has revealed yet more details claiming that wiretapping was combined with credit card data to target civilians. He also suggests the CEOs of major companies hold the truth: 'To get at what's really going on here, the CEOs of these telecom companies, and also of the banking and credit card companies, and any other company where you have big databases, those are the people you have to haul in to Congress and tell them you better tell the truth.' Will Congress follow his suggestions?" This adds to information revealed by Tice last week that the wiretaps targeted journalists in particular.

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Hard evidence (5, Insightful)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654109)

People are saying this guy was just a mid level analyst. Does he have any hard evidence or is he just drumming up publicity to sell a book?

Re:Hard evidence (1, Troll)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654157)

Two appearances with no evidence/verifiable information. One more, Tice, and you will be /ignored.

Re:Hard evidence (5, Interesting)

yakmans_dad (1144003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654251)

Two points. First, he isn't making a new allegation. Second, does the friggin' Telecom Immunity Bill ring a bell? Hellooooooo, McFly. They didn't decide to protect these people on a hypothetical.

Re:Hard evidence (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654483)

Second, does the friggin' Telecom Immunity Bill ring a bell?

Good thing Obama filibustered that thing like he promise.... oh, never mind.....

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654517)

Second, does the friggin' Telecom Immunity Bill ring a bell?

Good thing Obama filibustered that thing like he promise.... oh, never mind.....

Ah, so that means ... that there's nothing to look for? How does that work?

Re:Hard evidence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654593)

Ah, so that means ... that there's nothing to look for? How does that work?

It means the savior is a calculating (some would say lying) politician like any other, all claims to "change" notwithstanding. There is still a large contingent of followers who refuse to accept this and provide all manner of rationalizations.

Re:Hard evidence (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656021)

Why do the repugnant republicans insist on calling President Obama "the savior"??

They really are the only ones to do so.

I suppose it IS handy that they make sure we know they are semi-fringe nutcakes, just like the ones that insist on using his middle name every time they use/say/type his name.

Re:Hard evidence (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654697)

obama this and obama that.

1) he's human
2) humans are corruptable
3) presidency always ALWAYS corrupts (its too much power for any single human being to weild)

draw your own conclusions.

I expect nothing 'new' from obama. the machine is what matters and he's only a small cog; a figurehead. the machine LIKES power and will never give it up once it has it. have we not seen that play over and over, in history?

obama won't be as evil as bush but he's human and will be corrupted by the power he received. its not his fault but ours for giving TOO much power, essentially unchecked by The People, to our own government. the gov no longer works for us, it thinks we work for it. its already broken beyond repair, sorry to say.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655105)

3) presidency always ALWAYS corrupts

I assume you actually meant "junior senatorship" corrupts. He voted for telecom immunity before he switched jobs.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655191)

Oooh, Burn.

Re:Hard evidence (3, Funny)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655157)

Your sig is wrong it wasn't safe at all! :(

Re:Hard evidence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655475)

I expect nothing 'new' from obama. the machine is what matters and he's only a small cog; a figurehead. the machine LIKES power and will never give it up once it has it. have we not seen that play over and over, in history?

obama won't be as evil as bush but he's human and will be corrupted by the power he received.

Bush is/was not "evil". Enough hyperbole already. He might have been misguided or overzealous (I don't particularly think so), but not evil. Everything he did, whether you agree with his tactics or not, was to fight terrorism/protect the country. Hell, Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, but no one goes around calling him, "evil".

Re:Hard evidence (1)

timepilot (116247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655591)

Um, Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus for a civil war. Please don't compare the two.

Re:Hard evidence (4, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655987)

"Hell, Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, but no one goes around calling him, "evil"."

You should read more blogs; lots of people think Lincoln was evil for destroying the Constitution in order to centralise power in DC.

obama is better then bush, (2, Funny)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655819)

just today signed bill strengthing anti pay discrimmination law; I know, I know, it is a small step that still leaves the burden on the employee, but there will be a lot of little things like that the will help
also - i think this is important- the POTUS, in toto, has a LOT of jobs at his disposale - not just direct appointees, but 2o and tertiary appointees that add up to the 10s of thousands; with obama, this will mean defunding of the right wing wackos and more money to the right people; the net effect is big and important

Re:Hard evidence (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656165)

Any chance Obama was privy to additional information that made him change his mind? If that were the case, he really couldn't come out and say "There's information that I have been told but I can't tell you what it is but just trust me." I would have voted against him if he did that. Especially after becoming president, there are many promises that you simply can't keep because you didn't have enough information.

Your post basically says there is no hope so don't try to change anything. Instead, you should put effort into asking for more transparency. If we knew what was happening, and Russell Tice could say it matches what he saw happening, it would make a lot more sense. If it is an evil machine, we need to push to see what's happening. If it is just a bunch of normal people making normal mistakes, only on a national level, transparency can only help.

What you see as a conspiracy against normal people looks to me like a bunch of people allowed to operate in secrecy and not having to explain themselves.

It would be better for people to get behind drives like DownsizeDC [downsizedc.org] . Even if you don't agree with the idea of downsizing government, many of their campaigns have no reasonable counterargument. Write the laws yourself instead of accepting industry-written text, read bills before voting, no bundling of unrelated riders. I'm no libertarian myself, so some campaigns make sense to me and some not so much. These kinds of things should be our focus, not surrender, cynicism, and apathy.

Re:Hard evidence (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655113)

Second, does the friggin' Telecom Immunity Bill ring a bell?

Yes, yes it does. I believe it was to allow the companies that allowed for International-Domestic wiretaps to occur without a warrant from the FISA courts to not be persecuted due to some sort of "duty to stop terrorism" or some other trumped up charge. Yes, it was stupid, yes I'm still mad that our Pres. didn't stand up like he said he would.

However, If you are inferring that telecom immunity was to allow ALL wiretaps on anyone anywhere in the name of stopping terra, I think it would have been a bigger story than it was. Now, could the immunity bill allow for such exclusions to persecution if what Tice is claiming is true? I'm sure they'll try that defense if it is ever looked into (HIGHLY doubt it), but I don't think it will hold up.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655629)

However, If you are inferring that telecom immunity was to allow ALL wiretaps on anyone anywhere in the name of stopping terra, I think it would have been a bigger story than it was. Now, could the immunity bill allow for such exclusions to persecution if what Tice is claiming is true?

Yes, because the Telco immunity also said that states could not investigate any wrongdoing by the telcos and that both the telcos and NSA can destroy records.

So... no investigating, no papertrail, and instant-immunity means we'll probably never find out what really happened.

Besides, FISA was unconstitutional as is, they've only made it worse. 72 hours of warrantless wiretapping instead of 48.

Sure, the constitution is a "living document" but that doesn't mean you can interpret it however you want. If you're doing something diametrically opposed to the constitution you need to amend the damn thing.
Yes I know it's hard to do, but it's hard to do for a GOOD DAMN REASON.

Re:Hard evidence... by extension... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654475)

"People are saying this guy was just a mid level analyst. Does he have any hard evidence or is he just drumming up publicity to sell a book?"

could be converted to:

Slashdot is repeating the story of what some "People are saying this guy was just a mid level analyst." Does Slashdot have any NEW hard evidence or is it just drumming up a recycled story to publicish astory?

(LOL)

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654183)

No one in their right mind screws around with these people just to sell a book. It just isn't worth it.

Re:Hard evidence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654817)

No one in their right mind screws around with these people just to sell a book. It just isn't worth it.

Are you saying Joe Wilson is crazy? Because he sure as shit did find that Saddam did try to buy yellowcake in Niger, yet he lied his ass off about that, and made himself and his wife (both Democratic contributors, BTW...) false martyrs.

And now he's a "hero" to a bunch of loons.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654927)

Did you take a wrong turn on the way www.crazymutherfucker.net?

Re:Hard evidence (0)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654279)

He's starting to sound a bit nutty. I wonder if aliens are wiretapping his phone. I don't mean the illegal kind.

Re:Hard evidence (5, Interesting)

EQ (28372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655617)

Having worked there in the black tower at Ft Meade (and more importantly, the lower brick building with the looooong hallways that is connected to it, which is where the real work gets done), this guy is appearing to be less and less believable.

There one thing that rings the BS bell for this guy: NSA is VERY compartmentalized. Information simply does not cross boundaries there, and there are multiple checks and curbs to see that compartmentalized intelligence is not shared out, so that the sources and methods are protected. In the past, there have (allegedly) been times when people died or bad events were allowed in order to preserve sources and methods. This is RELIGION at NSA: protect sources and methods, PERIOD. That means compartmentalization really slices the world up, and you only get to see your sliver of it as an analyst.

That's one of the major frustrations I and others had there when working there as an analyst: you only get blindered, partial, or gappy info and data. Many times, the best you get are "sanitized" analyst/reporting products from other programs and compartments that has been scrubbed so clean of sources and methods that it is scarcely useful. This makes one's analysis necessarily incomplete in many case because one simply do not have the raw data on hand except that for which one's own compartment is responsible. As an analyst, you end up using hedge-words, and all kinds of "fudge factor" language.

So I doubt anyone his level or near his level (above him) has that much scope, nor has that sort of visibility into programs across such a broad swath of intelligence collection, processing, analysis and reporting. Because it would ring alarm bells in personnel security if one person of that level were to be read-on to so many special compartmented access programs, sufficent enough to be privy to so many programs, sources and methods.

Furthermore, he cites no real specifics in these cases, not a shred of *actionable* evidence, only vague and overly-broad allegations, all given in a conspiracy-tinged "dramatic" way.

He may have reported some issues correctly regarding telecom intercepts (the legality of which have been upheld, and which the Obama administration seems to find useful now that they are tasked with protecting the nation), but a lot of this seems to me to be simply speculation on his part.

The applicable USSIDs and Presidential Directives are pretty tight about these sorts of things, and the NSA Inspector General pounds people for violating these sorts of things. This is another reason Tice's claims seem hollow to an insider(aside from the utter lack of actionable specific hard evidence): he apparently never went to the IG.

Initially his claims appeared to merit attention, but all in all, Tice is beginning to sound more like a crank who wants face-time on Olberman than anyone with a legitimate, actionable claim, with evidence to back it up.

Advice from one ex-"A wing" denizen: Start naming names, places, and activities, ones that can be verified by the IG and the US Attorney General; they love to rip NSA program managers. Otherwise, Tice needs to realize he's not "Mother" and this isn't Sneakers.

Re:Hard evidence (3, Insightful)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654381)

Does he have any hard evidence

What if he does? How long before "certain elements" of the media and body politic start accusing him of treason for how it was acquired or the fact that he released it?

Treason is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654421)

Most of this is hold over from the Bush admin, the DNC will make this guy a hero if it is true.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654555)

start accusing him of treason

It's only treason if it's true.

Re:Hard evidence (4, Informative)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654677)

It's only treason if it's true.

In other words, "you were right, go directly to jail, do not pass Go."

Seems to me he is playing his best card by stirring things up and trying to shame Congress and the administration into doing their jobs.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655889)

It's only treason if it's true.

In other words, "you were right, go directly to jail, do not pass Go."

Seems to me he is playing his best card by stirring things up and trying to shame Congress and the administration into doing their jobs.

You got modded +5 for implying that shaming politicians - especially DEMOCRATS - works?

Good God, man. Barney "There's nothing wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" Frank's gay lover runs a drug/prostitution ring right in the "Honorable Member's" HOME, while a Republican gets unconstitutionally arrested and run out of the Senate for playing footsie?

Re:Hard evidence (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656129)

You guys don't even put up the pretense of sanity anymore, huh?

Shame has no meaning for sociopaths like the Bushies and the "we just close ranks and follow orders" Republican Congress. At least there is a chance with the Democrats.

A rehash (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654789)

This is just another rehash of the same Olbermann interview... and like the previous one, he still doesn't offer any specifics.

Re:Hard evidence (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654975)

It really comes down to the following difficult decision: who do you trust more. The last administration or a mid level NSA worker with little to no proof?

Re:Hard evidence (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654979)

No, I don't believe he is in possession of stolen classified information. He probably doesn't want to spend tens of years in a federal prison and/or be fined up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Hard evidence" for this sort of wrong doing would fall under the above category, and comes in neat little binders warnings written in large very unfriendly letter. Whistleblower status would not protect him from prosecution from violating federal laws.

Re:Hard evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655203)

To sell the book, then give the monies back to NSA. /start conspiracy.. now!

1984 (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654125)

1984 was a Typo

Re:1984 (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654531)

Orwell was an optimist.

In other news... (3, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654161)

Russell Tice found dead by apparent "suicide" in his residence.

apparent "suicide" twice ... (2, Funny)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654261)

"Russell Tice found dead by apparent "suicide" in his residence"

Yea, would that be two gun shots to the head, as the first one didn't finish him off .. :)

Re:apparent "suicide" twice ... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654511)

And, like Vince Foster, the hand/palm prints will exibhit that Tice has a tentacular-like 6' arm...

But, even if Tice has evidence that the ISP and bank CEOs know something, cheney and company probably put them under a "lifetime non-disclosure order/national security letter"...

Re:apparent "suicide" twice ... (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654737)

nah, cheney will just invite him out for a hunting trip.

you'll never hear a peep from him after he opens the invitation. some letters can be more chilling than National Security Letters..

Re:In other news... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654571)

"Suicide by gunshot from outside his car with the windows closed. "

"Suicide by shotgun in the middle of the back."

Both real cases if I could bother to find them. As I won't, only the conspiracy theorists will believe me.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655035)

This sounds like a certain Clinton lawyer! Who "suicided" in a park.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655527)

Proof? [stewwebb.com]

Re:In other news... (1)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656087)

Fantastic! Not only do we learn about all the mysterious deaths the Clintons were involved in, but we learn that "The USA is under occupation by Satanists in the White House."

I might be willing to pay attention if the site were a wee bit more credible.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654933)

Actually, the second news report says he was killed by a rogue weather balloon.

The confusion came from the way the weatherballoon had snared itself four times around the neck before being blown (man and balloon) into the highest tree in the area.

The government is quite clear at pointing out that no government officials was in the area when this tragic accident happened.

Why don't they make the NSA tell the truth (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654175)

Instead of hauling in companies that have been threatened by G-men.

Do we expect companies to not cooperate when law enforcement and government spies ask them for help?

They need to start firing government employees that conduct illegal activites instead of going for the EVIIIILLL corporations.

Re:Why don't they make the NSA tell the truth (1)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654301)

I direct you to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_immunity#In_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

Quote: "In the United States, the federal government has sovereign immunity and may not be sued unless it has waived its immunity or consented to suit."

Congress is part of the government and is exempt from this immunity, but they haven't done anything yet about this, and this whistleblower doesn't seem to be the kind of source they jump on.

No (2, Interesting)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654177)

Congress will not follow his suggestions. That would be the shocking news story.

Why does Obama support this? (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654203)

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that Obama hasn't been flat-out lying about his desire for a government that obeys the law, then does anyone know why he supports this kind of BS?

So far, I haven't seen any change I can believe in. And I voted for him.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (5, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654249)

p>So far, I haven't seen any change I can believe in. And I voted for him.

It's been only a week. Don't you know how slow things move with the government?

Re:Why does Obama support this? (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654467)

Don't you know how slow things move with the government?

Ding, ding, ding, mod parent up. Whether or love Obama or hate him expecting real change on a ship the size of the Federal Government in ten days is pretty unrealistic.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (2, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654489)

Don't you know how slow things move with the government?

Ding, ding, ding, mod parent up. Whether or love Obama or hate him expecting real change on a ship the size of the Federal Government in ten days is pretty unrealistic.

This is going pretty OT, but it's going to bite him in the ass when he's running for a second term and people are asking why he didn't change everything he promised.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654637)

It'll only bite him in the ass if the only thing his administration is known for by then is his campaign promises.

People forgive not being perfect if they perceive you are not just doing 'the best you can' but actually having an effect.

The folk who won't forgive him regardless, frankly are the same folk who will be gunning for him no matter what.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654831)

Congress has the power to obstruct everything obama tries to do. Just like Gowron trying to force Martok into no-win battles, Congress can make obama look bad pretty easily.

If he's smart, he'll call for america's support and ask them to pressure their reps in congress not to stonewall him. Then, if his programs don't go through, he can blame congress for sticking a big fat foot in the way and tripping him up.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655267)

In other words, we (the people) should (according to Obama) want Congress to be his rubber stamp, instead of the previous administration being Congress's rubber stamp.

Honestly, I'd prefer them to argue and compromise, instead of either branch running roughshod over the other. That whole checks and balances bit, if it hasn't been completely thrown out with the rest of the constitution.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (1)

geeknado (1117395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655303)

Not if he delivers on his promises within a reasonable window of time or can defer blame for his lack of delivery to a reticent congress. The very fact that we're talking about his prospects for re-election _10 days_ after he assumed office illustrates why it's so difficult for politicians to do anything meaningful. Yes, no one's life is magically better because Obama is now in power. This is in no way a surprise.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655471)

I think it's time we contain the optimism and start looking a little more critically at our new president. I voted for him and I believe he's the most intelligent and charismatic leader we've had since I've been alive, but thus far his pattern of leadership has been (perhaps with the exception of Gitmo) to simply give everyone whatever they're asking for. Two private corporate bailouts, one FISA bill, and almost a trillion in new spending. This cannot be sustainable in the long term.

And let's not forget that Obama was the one who supported the FISA amendment which, in addition to granting the telecom industry immunity from lawsuits for breaking privacy laws, also allows the government to wiretap without a warrant or court approval for up to a full week. Of course, it's hard to say where he'll stand on it now that he's president, because he was against the bill when running against Clinton, yet supported it when running against McCain and I can't tell that the bill changed during that time.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (1, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655969)

expecting real change on a ship the size of the Federal Government in ten days is pretty unrealistic.

Have you seen the number of "executive orders" he's written already? The cost of these orders will soon exceed the entire budget of Bush's entire presidency, including the cost of the Iraq and Afgan wars. He's already allocated billions each for free abortions and voter fraud groups.

Yeah, you drank the coolaid (1, Insightful)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654311)

Nothing has changed. The Obama administration is continuing to advance the same legal arguments the Bush administration used.

In all fairness we might consider withholding final judgment for a while, but so far all indications are that the 4th Amendment will continue to be ignored and the executive will continue to assert that it has limitless unbounded inherent powers which are subject to no review or check of any kind.

Heil Obama!

Re:Yeah, you drank the coolaid (3, Funny)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654757)

The last sentence destroyed your argument.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654457)

What makes you think he does?

We've had one Slashdot story claiming that he does that turned out to be complete bullshit, the words of a Bush-appointee who hasn't left yet being put in President Obama's mouth that themselves didn't say what the story said it did, and that certainly wasn't about bugging the phones of journalists.

I'm not optimistic that Obama is going to haul those who made a mockery of the rule of law and the constitution over the coals, but it's a little too early to be sure he isn't going to, and it's highly improbable he'll follow in Bush's footsteps.

Wait and see.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654703)

We've had one Slashdot story claiming that he does that turned out to be complete bullshit, the words of a Bush-appointee who hasn't left yet being put in President Obama's mouth that themselves didn't say what the story said it did, and that certainly wasn't about bugging the phones of journalists.

My head just exploded.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655029)

Why?

Re:Why does Obama support this? (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655135)

Not entirely sure why the above was moderated "Troll", but given the AC's response, if the issue is the second paragraph, then the false Slashdot story is here [slashdot.org] , and the debunking is here [slashdot.org] and here [firedoglake.com] .

Re:Why does Obama support this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655977)

What makes you think he does?

Because he voted for a bill which: [wikipedia.org]

  • Prohibits the individual states from investigating, sanctioning of, or requiring disclosure by complicit telecoms or other persons.
  • Permits the government not to keep records of searches, and destroy existing records.
  • Protects telecommunications companies from lawsuits for "'past or future cooperation' with federal law enforcement authorities and will assist the intelligence community in determining the plans of terrorists."
  • Removes requirements for detailed descriptions of the nature of information or property targeted by the surveillance.
  • Increased the time allowed for warrantless surveillance to continue from 48 hours to 7 days.
  • Allows the FISA court 30 days to review existing but expiring surveillance orders before renewing them.
  • Allows eavesdropping in "emergencies" without court approval, provided the government files required papers within a week.

Sounds pretty "What 4th Amendment?" to me.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (1)

Covert Penguin (1094443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654495)

I'm skeptical of any politician. However, I'm willing to keep an open mind for a while longer on Obama.

Consider that he may only now be privy to information/intelligence that scares him as much as it did Bush/Cheney. Not that I agree with the policies of the previous administration; I'd like to think that change might be delayed because of some information Obama hadn't been previously party to, and he's still trying to determine the most appropriate long term solution for.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654553)

Get involved in local politics. It is the best cure for your distaste for politicians. After that:

1. Change at the executive level is slow no matter what. An aircraft carrier doing a U-turn is nimble in comparison. 4 years is very, very little time to affect much change.

2. The notion that this administration will act more lawfully than the last is a matter of interpretation. Bush #43 acted lawfully. They started with the notion that the Office of President has unlimited powers, so everything they did was "within the law." Every administration has their own interpretation of "lawful." Don't pin your vague notions of lawfulness on the current administration. It will only lead to disappointment.

It will only be a matter of time before any group wanting to discredit the current Administration finds an issue that will provoke outrage and foster disaffection. You would do well to keep that in mind.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655455)

4 years is very, very little time to affect much change.

You mean "effect much change".

Re:Why does Obama support this? (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654969)

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that Obama hasn't been flat-out lying about his desire for a government that obeys the law

Why would we assume that? This is the guy who just nominated two lobbyists for cabinet positions immediately after announcing that there would be no lobbyists in the Obama government.

For all you dupes who thought Obama was the Messiah who was going to sweep in and heal the federal government with one touch of his blessed hand, get over it. He's a politican. Politicians lie. They are, in large part, corrupt, morally bankrupt, bought and paid for, and self-serving. And the higher up the ranks you go, the more likely that is the case. In fact, that may be the only way to get to the top spot anymore. I would love to live in a world where that's not the case, but I don't, and neither do you.

Re:Why does Obama support this? (2, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655053)

So far, I haven't seen any change I can believe in.

Not to make excuses for politicians, but it's not as if the entire intelligence community gets changed with each changing administration, especially not within the first few months.

Obama does still have to work with these people to keep the nation safe. Most of the people working in the CIA, NSA and whatnot did not start when he did. Making dramatic changes immediately and offending them from day one would be a pretty stupid move.

Corrupt CEOs (3, Insightful)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654217)

Is there any doubt left that the corporate aristocracy in this country is rotten to its core?

Re:Corrupt CEOs (5, Funny)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654453)

It's not rotten, it's in fact a very well-functioning oligarchy.

Re:Corrupt CEOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655079)

Indeed, the only group which is more corrupt is the elite at the top of the power pyramid (government) who make it all possible. Without them, the corporate aristocracy wouldn't exist.

Cue daveschroeder (0, Flamebait)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654241)

Come on Dave, where's the long screed defending the Bushies?

If true, you can stop blaming BOOOOSH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654319)

No way that crap happened without Democrat complicity.

At least Bush didn't lie about where he stood.

Re:If true, you can stop blaming BOOOOSH!!! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654395)

Your honor, I should be found not guilty because the cops were eating donuts while I committed the murder.

Once again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654403)

I've said this before and will say it again in response to this retard; To have the level of overarching view this guy claims to have, he'd have to be Director of NSA (DIRNSA). I have been around NSA and the Intel world my entire career. This guy is full -o- shit.

Re:Once again. (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654627)

I've said this before and will say it again

Well, Mr. Coward, you do post more often than anybody else at slashdot. Your UID must be what, minus five hundred?

To have the level of overarching view this guy claims to have, he'd have to be Director of NSA (DIRNSA)

You, perhaps?

I have been around NSA and the Intel world my entire career.

Why would you expect us to believe that?

This guy is full -o- shit.

He's putting his name on his accusations, you aren't. Who do you think is more credible?

Re:Once again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655147)

Truly, Sir, you are a master of logic and debate. And I would point out that I, like so many others posting on this thread, value my anonymity and exercise it at will.

Re:Once again. (3, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655307)

I, like so many others posting on this thread, value my anonymity and exercise it at will.

We have also assigned a value to your anonymity.

Re:Once again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655865)

"I have been around NSA and the Intel world my entire career"

Working the Starbucks near Fort Meade doesn't give you intel experience.

Most media outlets ignoring this (5, Informative)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654411)

It's interesting that most media outlets are ignoring this. Of course, it took them a little time to get onto the original NSA/AT&T story, which broke online (at Wired, I think) before it went mainstream. When I read it online, I made sure to send messages to several media outlets, including CNN, about this. I never got any replies, but it was nice to see them pick up on the story, and I like to think that maybe I helped the process along.

What I'm trying to say is that it wouldn't hurt for some folks here to take a few minutes to contact one or more news outlets and send them links to the video interviews on MSNBC, Wired articles, etc. Whether this story is real or fabricated is unknown at this point, but it's potentially big enough that it needs wide coverage.

So let's all send this in to CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. and see if they haven't covered it because they aren't aware of it or because they're deliberately ignoring it.

Re:Most media outlets ignoring this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654605)

Major new outlets have a responsibility to confirm stories before reporting them as fact. This usually means hard evidence or at least independent corroboration of the story. We've seen nothing of the kind here, and thus it is on a Wired Blog that has no real need for any of that silly fact checking stuff.

Re:Most media outlets ignoring this (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655895)

It's interesting that most media outlets are ignoring this.

Yeah, you'd think the "specifically targeting journalists" part would garner some media attention.

Still More Surprises (2, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654419)

This has been a likely scenario for quite a long time. The transactional data cooperation most likely predates Bush #43. It is the simplest reason for the decades of wanton privatization of transaction processing and personal data warehousing.

The collective shrug of the shoulders in Congress should surprise no one. Most of all, it should come as no surprise to anyone hanging around slashdot.

The notion that your daily life is somehow private should have died about 15 years ago.

Re:Still More Surprises (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654791)

I suppose it all depends on how motivated one is Michael.

And whether those new webcams in your office are working...

The notion that your daily life is somehow private should have died about 15 years ago.

Re:Still More Surprises (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655133)

It is the simplest reason for the decades of wanton privatization of transaction processing and personal data warehousing.

And what would be the alternative to privatization? Let some government agency do the transaction processing and personal data warehousing. Like, let's say, the NSA?

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26654437)

Welcome our new telecom/credit card company/major database holder overlords.

cuckoo...

We need investigations (5, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654557)

This is exactly what someone would say if he were a disgruntled ex-employee fired for insubordination.
This is exactly what someone would say if he were flogging a book.
This is exactly what someone would say if he were a partisan hack who did not like the previous administration.
and
This is exactly what someone would say if it were true and he were loyal to America rather than the party in power at the time.

Either a lot of Bushies need to go to jail, or Tice does.

Re:We need investigations (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655659)

This is exactly what someone would say if he were a disgruntled ex-employee fired for insubordination.
This is exactly what someone would say if he were flogging a book.
This is exactly what someone would say if he were a partisan hack who did not like the previous administration.
and
This is exactly what someone would say if it were true and he were loyal to America rather than the party in power at the time.

Either a lot of Bushies need to go to jail, or Tice does.

Not disagreeing with you. However.

The problem isn't this particular politician or that individual bureaucrat being corrupt. The problem is much, much larger than that. The larger any government is, the more wealth it controls, and the more power it has over the people it governs, the more corruption there will be. Period. It's just human nature.

You can pass all the laws against corruption you like, try to implement all the oversight you possibly could, but as long as the government keeps growing in size and scope, controlling ever more areas of its' citizens' lives and controlling ever more vast sums of wealth, the problems will persist and get worse.

Every time another government program is started, new department created, new entitlement set forth, government corruption *will* grow along with it. It's as unavoidable as entropy.

Every time government is asked to assume a new responsibility or provide a new service or entitlement it also increases the power and wealth it controls and along with it the opportunities and incentives for corruption. This is why the founders of our country envisioned/intended a small, relatively weak federal government with barely enough revenue & powers to accomplish only the bare necessities of a central government.

At this point in our history, government has grown so large and corrupt that I believe that it is in a feedback-loop that will only be halted when the whole country collapses from governments' weight and devolves into chaos. It won't be pleasant, likely very, very bloody with staggering numbers of deaths, and makes me glad I'm rather old as I'll hopefully be dead before the collapse happens. Although it may well be closer than I or anyone else suspects.

Strat

Re:We need investigations (1)

iztehsux (1339985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656105)

I don't think anyone (regardless of how disgruntled they are at the NSA) would be dumb enough to make these accusations. Certainly not for publicity or to sell a book. Just because they silently monitor communications doesn't mean an unmarked van can't pick you up and perform some rubber hose cryptanalysis. As much as I'd like to believe that Tice is full of it, if I were him I wouldn't give details either. I think he's telling the truth, but God knows he's under surveillance up to his eyeballs and if you say too much, it's a good way to make your ass disappear. Then again if you say too little, people accuse you of spewing generalized statements with too little detail and the NSA probably figures "nobody will believe him" to the serious extent we are all looking for in great detail.

Impeach Bush/Cheney NOW! (3, Funny)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654639)

Oh, wait. . .

Re:Impeach Bush/Cheney NOW! (2, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655513)

Yeah, all we could do now is prosecute them and possibly throw them in federal PMITA prison.

Duuh, looks like he's lying (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654809)

This guy doesn't come off as credible at ALL. He reminds me a lot of those UFO nuts who can go on at length about secret cover ups and the like, but can't actually give any proof. Always some sort of excuse.

Re:Duuh, looks like he's lying (3, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655131)

He's not saying, "Look in Area 51 and all will be revealed." He's saying, "Haul these CEO's in to testify." Now, there are real questions of whether the technology is even plausible for interstellar travel - there's pretty good physics that says you can't get from one star to another in reasonable time with reasonable energy expenditure. But the technology for spying on us? Come on, there's enough technical expertise even within the community reading this thread to build, link, and mine the databases as it's suggested the NSA, phone and credit companies have done. And I'm sure some of us have pitched such designs to the government - direct knowledge, I know at least one guy who has, and got a contract from the pitch, pre-9/11. There had to have been hundreds, even thousands of pitches to and within the government to set up more of this stuff after 9/11. Now, on what reasonable basis do you believe the Bush administration wouldn't have bought some of these pitches? Our confidence that such programs are in place should approach unity. Talking to the CEOs whose cooperation would be required to pull this stuff off is a good place to start uncovering them.

Moron (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26654937)

NSA non-disclosure agreements don't expire for 99 years, so how does this guy get away running his mouth?

Re:Moron (2, Informative)

Zolodoco (1170019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655287)

Because he's not disclosing classified materials. If the NSA does something illegal, they have no protection against someone disclosing that activity beyond the usual intimidation and threats they'll make to shut people up. That's why we have whistle-blower laws.

Re:Moron (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655869)

Well until you've read, understood, and signed an NSA nondisclosure agreement, you really don't know what you are talking about.

TROLLKORE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26655377)

Users With Large Trying to dissect See... The number uncover a story of suffering *BSD at death's Fdoor become an unwanted Was at the same

Timing (4, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655947)

I've been holding my fire until Obama gets his AG pick confirmed, and the stimulus package passed. No one can expect anyone, even Obama, to change the course of justice overnight. And we do have many pressing issues that must be dealt with now.

But the Senate committee just voted to confirm Holder, and the vote on the general floor is expected to confirm him as well. And the House just passed the stimulus package by a large margin; it looks like it's on the road to passage.

So those two factors, plus the absence of a single Republican vote in support of a response to our national economic emergency, despite Obama's kowtowing to the "concerns" of Republicans, gives me hope that a proper, deep, wide, and comprehensive ass-kicking is coming from the boots of Lady Justice.

If not, then we have definitive proof that some people ARE above the law, and that the law therefore applies to no one. And it becomes the right and duty of the American people to punish their representatives accordingly.

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