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DHS Wants To Monitor the Web For Terrorists

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-most-instances dept.

Government 285

clustro writes "Under the belief that terrorists are 'increasingly' recruiting US citizens, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says that increased government monitoring of the Internet is necessary to thwart them. It is believed that Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad were inspired by radical Internet postings. Speaking at a meeting of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Napolitano said, 'We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where tradeoffs are inevitable.'"

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285 comments

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When you are looking for a needle in a (5, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631322)

hay stack, you don't need more hay. There were so many warnings about the Ft Hood shooter, the idea that more monitoring of the Internet would have prevented the tragedy is simply laughable.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (5, Insightful)

mim (535591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631344)

exactly. all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear" that they already foster and to quote: "without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances." in most instances?? get real.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631382)

[A]ll this will do is make people more paranoid.

This is going to change anything? The idea that some government agency or another isn't already monitoring the web for terrorist activity is inconceivable.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631430)

exactly. all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear" that they already foster and to quote: "without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances." in most instances?? get real.

But they want people scared and paranoid. Scared people are much more willing to trade personal freedoms for "relief" from the fear of the "bad people" out there.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (2, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631464)

...all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear" that they already foster...

True - but this is a symptom of the hole we've dug ourselves into. Trouble with saying "we don't negotiate with terrorists" is that that cuts out all your options. All that's left is to kill everybody.

To hell with the needle, and the haystack. (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631634)

"Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius."

Re:To hell with the needle, and the haystack. (4, Funny)

Oddscurity (1035974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632052)

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631682)

Trouble with saying "we don't negotiate with terrorists" is that that cuts out all your options. All that's left is to kill everybody.

Sounds like a plan. Lets get to it.

feature or a bug? (3, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631588)

all this will do is make people more paranoid, furthering the "state of fear"

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (5, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631750)

This has little to do with international terrorist groups and more to do with domestic right wing militias and left-wing anarchists. If you think even 50% of the money allocated for investigating terrorism is used for over seas operations and groups, you are sadly mistaken. Even groups like Greenpeace who albeit may stage some rather spectacular displays of non-violent protect by hoisting banners up the sides of buildings have been routinely investigated under the auspices of these new anti-terrorism laws. In fact, I would say these laws, as a tool, are mostly ineffectual against international groups, mostly because of the sheer amount of translation and intelligence analysis that would need to be done to catch a single potential terrorist act is of a vast amount more than abusing these same powers to silence unwanted protest from mostly non-violent protesters. NYC spent millions of dollars tracking, documenting and arresting many of the groups who protested last years RNC convention.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631380)

you don't need more hay.

Oh yes you do! More hay = bigger and better bonfire :)

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (2, Insightful)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631494)

There were so many warnings

I'm sure there are so many warnings about a lot of people who'll never actually do anything. We have the benefit of hindsight in Nidal Hassan's case.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631680)

Uhhh - how much have you actually read about Hassan? The man made treasonous statements in the presence of other commissioned officers. The only thing that held those officers back, it seems, is the liberal feel-good policies that would have branded them as racists, and/or intolerant religious bigots.

I wasn't an officer, but I reported less treasonous statements made by a little freak skinhead who worked for me. Nazi, neo-nazi, skinhead, whatever you care to call it, the freak drew swastikas everywhere he could draw them, and praised Hitler and his policies. His attitude toward blacks was disgusting, and his attitude toward our flag was little better. I don't know how the little freak ever got into the service.

Hassan? Same thing.

If you've read very much of what I post around here, or elsewhere, I am NOT EVER "politically correct", and I'd have reported Hassan again and again, even if I had to send letters to BuPers, the Pentagon, the White House, and to congress. No man in uniform should ever run at the mouth like Hassan did. Most certainly not a commissioned officer.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631762)

You... you... racist, intolerant religious bigot you!
 
/I keed, I keed

Seriously, there were a ridiculous number of big, red warning flags thrown up by Hassan. Amazing how they were all dismissed and ignored until after the shit hit the fan.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631568)

They've already started; they're just looking for permission now that they've the technology worked out. Look for traffic from southeastern Virginia, especially Ft. Eustis, that pretends to be referred by Google but without any keyword.

Re:When you are looking for a needle in a (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631894)

It doesn't matter how laughable the idea is. The problem is the psychology behind the belief that it's a good idea to do these things and grant even more authority to the state. Forget the logic of any proposal like this and study the mental condition of the subject.

And then break RSA. (1)

nunojsilva (1019800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631336)

Won't this just catch the ones who plan their attacks with no encryption?

Also, even if it catches those, isn't the internet a little big to filter without getting overloaded with stuff to analyse? Unless everyone starts using ASCII youtube, I suppose...

But surely, this gives potential to the idea of fake alerts to make sure security forces will be somewhere else waiting for an attack, while the real one happens on their backs.

They won't catch anyone (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631388)

Case-in-point: there were dozens of warning signs about the September 11 attacks, and that was without any additional Internet monitoring. The problem has nothing to do with detecting the communications of people who are planning an attack, but with correctly using that information.

Re:They won't catch anyone (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631528)

Case-in-point: there were dozens of warning signs about the September 11 attacks,

And just to be clear on what these "warning signs" were, one of the chiefest ones was a paper that described the risk that someone would do just this, and that plans to do so had been intercepted. Or in other words, we knew the attack was coming and we did nothing to prevent it. This is the kind of thing that just drives conspiracy theorists into a frenzy.

Ben Franklin spinning in his grave (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631348)

We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin [quotationspage.com] , Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Re:Ben Franklin spinning in his grave (-1, Offtopic)

mim (535591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631358)

most relevant! mod up!!

Re:Ben Franklin spinning in his grave (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631616)

Let her publish her email/web activity on the web for six months before doing this.

She's got nothing to hide, right?

The sooner we encrypt everything, the better. Why aren't we doing it now? Seriously. Is it because the Boys In Black pay regular visits to Microsoft to make sure messenger stays as plain ASCII?

Re:Ben Franklin spinning in his grave (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632004)

I don't think he is, or at least not for the reason you are eluding to.. A lot of us are not willingly giving it up, but having it forcibly taken from us with no *realistic* recourse.

DOWN WITH TEH BUGGERMENT!!!! (1, Insightful)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631352)

Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says that increased government monitoring of the Internet is necessary to thwart them.

Perhaps it's all this doggone survelliance that's making them fights fer there freedom's? DOWN WITH TEH BUGGERMENT!!!!

Re:DOWN WITH TEH BUGGERMENT!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631368)

Because only Republicans want to violate your right to privacy and civil liberties... right?

Re:DOWN WITH TEH BUGGERMENT!!!! (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631482)

There have been, and will continue to be, terrorist activities against governments, religions and 'peoples'. This includes the United States and 'our way of life' but isn't limited to the US by any stretch of the imagination. These acts of terror are committed by people of all nationalities and religions. It's evident that we all "just can't get along". The vast majority of these efforts aren't because of "perceived government eavesdropping on landlines, cellphones and e-mail" - they are because some extremist didn't get enough hugs from mommy, or someone of a nationality or religion other than theirs disrespected or harmed them or their way of life in some way (real or imaginary).

In the US this isn't a Republican vs. Democrat issue. The Republicans tend to campaign on the 'national security' issue much more than the Democrats, and regularly use it in their talking points. When the Republicans are in power they advance this agenda openly (though we'll never be aware of most of the details). The Democrats tend to campaign on alliances and détente, though they don't use coordinated talking points effectively. When the Democrats are in power the also advance an agenda of national security, but do it quietly and "behind the scenes" (and we'll never be aware of most of the details). Both parties use & promote surveillance and other activities that attempt to skirt the limits of the Constitution and the laws. The Republicans take their flack for it up front and the Democrats take their flack for it when it exposes itself.

Re:DOWN WITH TEH BUGGERMENT!!!! (4, Insightful)

flajann (658201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631608)

It's got nothing to do with "our way of life" (Bush propaganda), but US hegemony. If the US wants to continue to stick its nose in everybody's business, it can expect terrorism.

Bring our troops home. Pull them out of the 100+ countries they are stationed in. End the war already. Close Guantanamo Bay already, and return that land to the Cubans. And stop supporting Israel so damned much!!!

Once the US starts minding its own business in the world, it'll see much less of this so-called "terrorism threat".

Meanwhile, China is laughing at the US. Whilst the US weakens itself by chasing paper tigers, China is building itself up economically. Notice how they DID NOT go into negative growth during the economic downturn, while the US did. Hello. Is anyone paying attention?

Growing your Military Industrial Complex destroys wealth. Building up your manufacturing and production to meet the civilian market grows your wealth. It's that simple. And something the United States is totally lost on.

Re:DOWN WITH TEH BUGGERMENT!!!! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631924)

It's got nothing to do with "our way of life" (Bush propaganda), but US hegemony.

The western world has been attempting to recreate the Pax Romana for the last few hundred years... with limited success.
And i'm afraid they don't understand how the world could work without at least one super power nation to "enforce" the peace.

you got to be kidding me (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631356)

They'll eventually use this law to bust pot smoking Americans who upload themselves hitting the pipe on youtube.

Re:you got to be kidding me (-1, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631710)

Wait. Can I upload myself to youtube? How about someplace like wikileaks? Wikipedia? Once uploaded, can I move around the web? Can the cops download me from the web? Sounds really cool to me, but not if the cops can get me back out. Hmmmm. I wonder what the Pentagon's firewall looks like when you actually look at it from inside the intartubez? And, the Great Firewall of China has got to be impressive.

Do you have the hardware and software ready for sale, or are you offering vaporware, like Microsoft?

Go To Hell (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631360)

We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable

First, you're full of crap.

Secondly, there are NO SITUATIONS in which that trade-off is acceptable. NONE. There is no such thing as, "We will abuse the rights of some, just a little bit, but it will work out net positive".

It's absolutely negative, fuck you, and get out of my country. You don't deserve to be here, YOU are a greater threat to my "American Way of Life" than that Fort Hood terrorist ever was, or could have been.

Ohhh, and Mrs... if you are reading this.. seriously fuck you. That's the most asinine and offensive statement towards my rights and liberties by a public official that I have heard in a long time.

Re:Go To Hell (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631390)

A-Fucking-Men!

How long before this shit has people rooting for the terrorists and it comes full circle and creates freedom fighters?

Re:Go To Hell (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631404)

Why do you hate America so much?

Wish I knew... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631572)

I assume your question is directed at Janet Napolitano.

Well, I wish I knew why she and her kin do hate America that much. Maybe she was deprived from something as a kid. Whatever.

Re:Go To Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631594)

He doesn't hate America. He loves America. He abhors and hates the things the American government is doing to this once great country. He's pointing out that the American government does not see that there are not shades of gray where these laws and beliefs are concerned. the American government should know that but they clearly do not.

Re:Go To Hell (4, Insightful)

flajann (658201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631614)

Why is it that anyone critical of the US Government is labeled as "hating America?" The two are completely different.

Re:Go To Hell (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631688)

I was kind of going for funny, not troll. Oh well.

Re:Go To Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631804)

Why is it that anyone critical of the US Government is labeled as "hating America?" The two are completely different.

Some people are simply pussies [wikimedia.org] .

Re:Go To Hell (0, Troll)

cfortin (23148) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631440)

Absolutely. And it also shows how out-of-step with the current net these people are. Given the way people rejoice in their liberty on the net, there would be whole theater groups getting set up just to troll DHS.

This, people, this right here is the natural result of electing a pile of leftist socialists, the smug 'we understand the social models, so we can make things better if we control everything' mindset. A aristocracy of arrogance. No understanding of the noise in the system, or the importance of having noise there.

Re:Go To Hell (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631584)

"This, people, this right here is the natural result of electing a pile of leftist socialists"

Wow, I have never heard of the republicans referred to as leftist socialists. They are, after all, the party that started the trend toward more and more surveillance, and Bush administration officials have publicly voiced approval of Obama administration policies.

Oh, yeah, and the one socialist in the US Senate does not approve of the increased surveillance: http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=1cabd1b9-84c1-4f8f-a93d-2731bfe273fe [senate.gov]

Re:Go To Hell (2, Insightful)

aronschatz (570456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631860)

Oh good, another person that blindly supports a political party.

There are stupid people in BOTH parties. These are PROGRESSIVE ideas and progressives have invaded both parties. Who care what party they are from if the policy is bad.

I guess you're okay with the situation now since it a Democrat in power? You should ALWAYS deny the government any additional power at the expense of your individual rights.

Re:Go To Hell (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631898)

"I guess you're okay with the situation now"

You guess wrong, probably because you did not understand the point of my post. Here, I'll put it plainly for you: neither the democrats nor the republicans actually care about the rights of the people.

Re:Go To Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631486)

That's not being a good liberal. You're supposed to cheer the abuse of rights when a socialist is in power. You're only supposed to speak out with anger when it's a Republican in power, where you're to pretend that it's all about abuse of rights and not simply who's in the White House.

Re:Go To Hell (4, Interesting)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631540)

Though I might have put it more politely, I agree to some extent. How many deaths a year do we have from terrorism? Is that number really big enough to justify giving up some of our rights?

On the other hand, we already consider rights to be a trade off against security. Most people support allowing some forms of surveillance with a court order. Laws haven't kept up with improving technology, so there isn't really a black and white "this violates our rights and that does not".

I don't have serious objections to collecting information to stop terrorism. what I object to is using that information to stop other crimes. We already accept the idea that our military is given different tools than our police: We don't give the police attack helicopters, grenade launchers and nukes. By the same sort of argument, I don't mind the military having extensive surveillance technology to stop international terrorism, but I DO object to that technology or information obtained from it being used to stop other crimes like copyright violations.

Re:Go To Hell (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631726)

I'm pretty certain that even in 2001, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists was a rather small fraction of the number of Americans killed on our highways. Sometimes, it's hard to put things in perspective, but it's worth the effort.

Re:Go To Hell (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631792)

Really, all sites need to offer https really. Why doesn't Slashdot? You can't claim to give a shit about freedom, security etc and force users to use the internet in plaintext - it doesn't make any sense.

Re:Go To Hell (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631922)

From the article

As terrorists increasingly recruit U.S. citizens, the government needs to constantly balance Americans' civil rights and privacy with the need to keep people safe, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

But finding that balance has become more complex as homegrown terrorists have used the Internet to reach out to extremists abroad for inspiration and training.

This should not be a difficult balance to find as it is spelled out in the constitution that this woman swore to uphold. Specifically, she needs to present a judge with probable cause and ask him to sign a warrant. Considering that judges practically rubber-stamp the things it should not be difficult.

There's terrists growing in them thar intarwebz!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631362)

What's this, total information awareness 2.0?

Yes, of course we need more tracking of everybody, everywhere, everywhen. Because these people obviously cannot think of anything else to do. What else can you do, if you can't even keep a job flipping burgers? *facepalm*

The only use I have for this icon of solidified paranoia, so aptly seconded by arrogant incompetence compressed into a TLA dedicated to harassing travelers, is to stuff it full of tranquilizers and drop it traitjacketet into the deepest dungeon, to rot ever after. And there would be much rejoicing.

Less Freedom != More Secuity (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631370)

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
  - Benjamin Franklin

Also: If we outlaw the visiting of radical websites, only outlaws will visit radical websites?

At this rate it wont be long before we have a convictions based on "pre-crime" behavior ala Minority Report.

Re:Less Freedom != More Secuity (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631396)

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

According to the DHS, the liberties you will give up are not essential and the safety you will gain will be permenant, so the quote does not apply.

Re:Less Freedom != More Secuity (2, Insightful)

silentsteel (1116795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631690)

Why is this modded troll? This is actually, very likely the answer you would receive from the nuts at DHS if you brought this quote up to them. At the very least it should be modded funny, in a sick twisted sort of way.

Re:Less Freedom != More Secuity (0, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631736)

"According to the DHS"

Yes, I got that. There are a lot of other things I don't like about Napolitano. The bitch should have been drowned while she was still a pup.

Theatrical Security (5, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631398)

This is what they call theatrical security: No real outcome, no real benefit, just a stage to let people gradually abandon their rights of privacy. Nothing to see here, move along people... Reminds me of when people used to write all sorts of fake alerting messages on the internet to distort intelligence scanners and fill them with false positives. Like this: bomb terrorist Osama George Bush Saddam nuclear improvised explosive devices infidels

Re:Theatrical Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631436)

The problem is that it isnt theatrical only, it is theatrical, but it is behind the curtain they they are stripping rights and freedoms away from us, one dollar and one law at a time.

It sure is theatre! (3, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631508)

As an example, she noted the struggle to use full-body scanners at airports caused worries that they would invade people's privacy.

The scanners are useful in identifying explosives or other nonmetal weapons that ordinary metal-detectors might miss — such as the explosives that authorities said were successfully brought on board the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

First, they do invade privacy it's just that folks have given up in arguing with the Government or there's the folks who are stupid enough to believe that it's important - I know a couple of them.

Secondly, that Nigerian boarded the aircraft IN NIGERIA! How many of these scanners do you think are going to be in piss poor third world countries?! NONE. And that's were most of the threat is coming from.

In the meantime, our stupid Government is scanning us: me, you, them, the 99.9999999999999999999999999999999% of travelers who just want to fucking get to their destinations. Of course, those big shots making policy, they don't fly commercial! Congressmen fly on private jets -Have a look [google.com] .

Security is just theater for us little people to follow and be inconvenienced by.

Re:Theatrical Security (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631512)

Nothing to see here, move along people...

I disagree, there is a LOT to see here, and we should be fighting this nonsense, not just "moving along". Apathy is just as bad as 'its for the kids' when it comes to losing our rights and freedoms.

Re:Theatrical Security (2, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631538)

You're totally right. Apathy is what makes this world so screwed up when in fact it's filled with good people.

It reminds me of the Bystander Effect. Look it up if you're unfamiliar with it.

Re:Theatrical Security (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631782)

"Apathy is what makes this world so screwed up when in fact it's filled with mediocre people."

I think that's more accurate. Great people are very hard to find. Good people are difficult to find. Mediocre people are everywhere.

Re:Theatrical Security (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631830)

> "Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it's there, and there's nothing you can do about it." - Charlie Br

Who is this "Charlie Br"? Charlie Brown? Brouhaha? Bronson?

Re:Theatrical Security (2, Informative)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631996)

On average people are below average

Re:Theatrical Security (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631620)

Nothing to see here, move along people...

I disagree, there is a LOT to see here, and we should be fighting this nonsense, not just "moving along". Apathy is just as bad as 'its for the kids' when it comes to losing our rights and freedoms.

I think he was being sarcastic.

Re:Theatrical Security (2, Interesting)

rolando2424 (1096299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631518)

For those of you who use Emacs, you can use M-x spook when composing email

(Or you can use it with twitter [nmt.edu] )

Example: terrorist Ft. Meade strategic supercomputer $400 million in gold bullion quiche Honduras BATF colonel Treasury domestic disruption SEAL Team 6 class struggle smuggle

Re:Theatrical Security (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631546)

Haha, that is nice, I didn't know about it. Auto-panic generator.

Hope and change (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631406)

that you can believe in.

Re:Hope and change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632048)

Hey! It was a catchy phrase won him the election... That's all that mattered... Madison Ave. at its very best

who's to blame? (4, Insightful)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631424)

When the fox is guarding the hen house, is he really to blame for taking more and more liberties (pun intended)?

Or those who:

a) put the fox in the hen house in the first place

b) leave the fox there even after knowing it ain't no good

c) fail consistently to adequately protect themselves from the fox and his intrusive methods despite having the tools to do so?

Re:who's to blame? (4, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631432)

Unfortunately the idiots that think the fox was a necessary addition outnumber those of us that know better. The fox is always to blame *and* so are those who were stupid enough to let fear make the decisions for them.

Re:who's to blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32632040)

Maybe if they installed more security cameras in the hen house?

I guess memories run short... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631426)

Remember how Carnivore FAILED in independent tests (Source: Cryptome) or how hackers stole gigabytes of DoD information by sending it through 80/tcp, bypassing DoD firewalls?

I guess the government forgets easily..

DHL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631442)

I read this as DHL wanting to monitor the web for terrorists who sabotage their shipping delivery times and quality.

It wouldn't be the first time using them as an excuse either...

Disturbing (5, Interesting)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631448)

Apparently the speech focused on one of those situations where "tradeoffs are inevitable." If Hassan and Shahzad were "inspired" by radical internet posts, I cannot conceive of any further investigative tradeoff that could have been made while still maintaining constitutionality. Even if they had made radical internet posts, they would have to be inciting imminent lawless action [cornell.edu] or alluding to their participation in criminal plots/conspiracies/etc. to justify a search warrant. The FBI is already on the lookout for people who post such things on public online forums.

Napolitano's comments suggest an effort by the Obama administration to reach out to its more liberal, Democratic constituencies to assuage fears that terrorist worries will lead to the erosion of civil rights.

I would hate to think that anyone liberal on civil rights would find these statements comforting...

"Her speech is sign of the maturing of the administration on this issue," said Stewart Baker, former undersecretary for policy with the Department of Homeland Security. "They now appreciate the risks and the trade-offs much more clearly than when they first arrived, and to their credit, they've adjusted their preconceptions."

Yes, I'm sure "liberals" will be relieved that Stewart Baker, former Assistant Secretary [dhs.gov] (nice research, AP) of the DHS for George W. Bush, approves of the Obama Administration's "security" policies. When Republican hawks talk about "mature" security policies, they mean the ones that Dick Cheney dreams about at night, the ones that Bush was trying to step back from in his final two years; they mean Obama's current policies.

Re:Disturbing (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631806)

Actually, Hassan and Shahzad are quite different cases. Hassan had a history of making treasonous remarks, and going off on seemingly irrational tangents. He was a known loose cannon, subject to military scrutiny and discipline. He really should have been dealt with very early in his career, and firmly.

Shahzad, on the other hand, is basically an unkown nobody, who could easily have evaded everyone's radar, if he were world-wise. No commission, no military background at all, no real education, not a public figure, nothing. Just another dummy who wanted to be something/somebody, and failed because he was stupid.

Tools are already in place, but not used (5, Insightful)

indytx (825419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631452)

This is all fine and good if it actually makes us safer, but it won't. Maj. Hasan was investigated by the FBI for his contacts with radical clerics well before he went on a shooting rampage, but he was still allowed to buy a gun because this information or even a flag was never placed into the instant background check database, and the terrorism task force that was watching him didn't receive notice that he bought a gun and a bunch of ammo. Here's an idea, make it so the FBI knows when a terrorist it's investigating is buying a bunch of guns and ammo. Why don't we start there?

Re:Tools are already in place, but not used (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632038)

It would have been rather bizarre if an army major was prohibited from buying a gun... And even if the FBI were notified, it doesn't seem like they would have done anything, since they had no problem with a guy with security clearance who swore an oath to protect the USA openly being an Islamic extremist.

And here it is (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631470)

If nothing else, this proves that a Democrat administration is no more concerned about individual rights than the previous Republican administration was.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Re:And here it is (1)

Robert Bowles (2733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631816)

Moderators, please "untroll" this comment.

Is directing negative comments towards ${YOUR_PARTY} inherently trollish and anything positive "insightful"?

Re:And here it is (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632058)

I wasn't at all surprised. Another thing the big parties have in common besides little concern for individual rights is neither party can take any criticism. This is what happens when you have extremists running the show in both parties, instead of having a party that truly represents the majority.

This one will probably get trolled too, because a "troll" mod is just another way of saying "too close to the truth and it makes me unhappy".

That is the point. (3, Interesting)

n00btastic (1489741) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631476)

Free speech sometimes encourages behaviour against the institution.

When I entered high school the internet exposed me to anti-Christian propaganda. This led me to think about my belief system in a more analytical way. I am sure there are some people in Utah who would like to have removed my access to all dissenting religious thought for the same reason.

People who want to limit your access to information are trying to control how you think and how you act. People should do what they feel is right, and most importantly their actions should be the result of a well informed thought process.

Surely Nadal's actions were not efficient. He did not change anything, but he made his choice. Now he's dead. But you can hardly say he was a child who was indoctrinated by some internet posting.

Flame me if you will.

What a facist (4, Interesting)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631490)

Quote:
"Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation's homeland security chief said Friday."

She goes on to say that the TSA procedure to not retain copies of the pictures taken by airport scanners is "protecting our rights". If the argument is going to be made that not making copies is "good enough" let's ask Rolando Negrin, the TSA employee who was arrested and fired after beating the snot out of one of his co-workers for their cracks about the size of his genitals.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/TSA-Fracas-After-Body-Scanner-Reveals-TMI-92971929.html [nbcmiami.com]

So, if someone only "publicly" derides your appearance, reading habits or porn preferences then your rights are violated. If the government gives unfettered access to the fine details of your private life to a select group it is a good thing?

The process is supposed to be based upon reasonable cause and suspicion. Evidence is to be presented to a judge who would issue a search warrant to give the government the temporary permission to snoop into the details of your private life to collect evidence of a crime. Homeland Security is quick to jump onto any opportunity to treat every American as a criminal "who just hasn't been caught yet".

4chan (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631492)

Goodbye 4chan, it was fun while it lasted *sniff*

"Class of 2010 you are charged with insensitivity, cruelty towards animals, cruelty towards the handicapped, beastiality, crimes against nature, child pornography, anti-government ranting, promotion of drug use, homosexuality, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, and a host of other charges we will come up with before your trials."

Re:4chan (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631516)

The 4channers will all just fire up Tor, or 4chan will move to freenet.

We humans are made of swatikas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631502)

Sometimes I hope the christians are right and my death leads me to a better world.

trade-offs are inevitable (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631504)

Well of course they are... :(

They are already monitoring us! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631506)

A funny thing happened a couple weeks ago, when I tried to find out why my super fast internet was suddenly super slow. My computers trouble shooting software said, it was a connection problem. So, I opened up my connections icon and lo & behold, there was another connection in my neighborhood called Homeland Security. Now, if I lived in a big city, I would think, "They are probably have an office close by." However, I live in a village of less than 2,000 people so, my conclusion is, they are already monitoring the internet!

Hope I'm not declared a terrorist... (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631520)

At first glance, people respond with, "seems reasonable." But. If you happen to be on the wrong side of a political argument (GM bond holders), then info found on the internet can be used to coerce you so the result matches the government's desired outcome. Don't think it can happen? Ask BP why they so easily agreed to give up $20B.

"Tradeoffs are inevitable?" (3, Insightful)

flajann (658201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631544)

"Trade-offs are inevitable?" Doublespeak for "we're going to screw your rights in the name of 'terrorism'".

Considering that the issue of "terrorism" -- in the US, at least -- is no where near a level you could possibly consider epidemic, this is just a poor excuse for the government to spy on ALL its citizens.

And if the government doesn't like what you're doing, you'll wind up being labeled a "terrorist", and they will swoop down on you, kick your doors in, confiscate all of your computers and smartphones, and CDs/DVDs and anything else where you might be hiding "terrorist activities".

And where is Obama in opposing all of this crass nonsense? Hell, I bet he supports it!

Welcome to the new boss! Same as the old boss!

"Monitoring" can mean two things. (3, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631550)

If by "monitoring" they mean "reading publically-available websites", then I have no civil-liberties problem with this. It might not be a good use of law enforcement resources (they'd benefit me, the taxpayer, more by finding the people who steal cars and break into houses), but there's nothing wrong with the DHS using publically-available information to do their job.

This, of course, is contingent upon them only using that information in an ethical way. If they want to subpoena my ISP and send the police to hassle me because I said "Fuck the police", then that's a problem. But that isn't directly related to the DHS' monitoring of the web.

Monitoring of private communication (email, IM, which websites I read) is a whole different ball game. Ethical arguments aside it is simply not practical -- the real "bad guys" can hide so deep behind cryptography and steganography that the only people turned up by this monitoring will be people who are a little too ardent (for their tastes) in saying "Fuck the police".

I'm visiting Italy, and they really do make it hard to get an internet connection that they can't investigate. I had to give my passport information to the hotel before they'd give me a damn wifi account (and they have accounts, on an authentication server that's always grossly overloaded, where in the US there'd just be a public AP). But of course anybody really up to no good would do their dirty work over Tor or through an anonymising proxy, while these sorts of "security" measures instead just make it hard for a bunch of scientists [www.infn.it] to check their experiments.

We can have all the discussions we want about whether there is a fundamental right to private anonymous communication, but the technological reality is that anyone who wants it enough will have it regardless. Monitoring etc. is just going to make /b/ load slowly because everyone has to load it over Tor.

This is news? (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631556)

I thought they already did this.

Fuck America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631598)

Monitor that you fucking Nazis.

Thank you, Gracious Overlords. (1)

Robert Bowles (2733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631678)

Miniluv really has a doubleplusgood idea here. Crimethink must be stopped, and this is a great first step to protecting us from ourselves.

situations vs. rights (1)

Theodore (13524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631746)

Rights must win, every time.
Freedom vs. safety,,, freedom... we are not guaranteed safety, we are guaranteed freedom.

Quote: Napalitano said it is wrong to believe that if security is embraced, liberty is sacrificed.
HER version of security, no; history of mankind, no...
This is not dogma, it's truth and history: Every time security is embraced, liberty IS sacrificed.

Every time someone tells you "we are under threat, you need to not do X"
That's when you need to say "NO. We are going to ignore you and double X."
THEY are the ones who are threatened, and they probably deserve it.

Fear is someone telling you, "don't step on a rusty nail".
Terror is, don't go outside without permission, because you might get tetanus and die.

Re:situations vs. rights (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632000)

This is not dogma, it's truth and history: Every time security is embraced, liberty IS sacrificed.

No no no, this is all wrong. Liberty IS security. Every bit of liberty we lose decreases our security against tyrannical goverment.

We have a voice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631756)

I keep hearing on policies that are winding us down toward a Totalitarian Government. In response to these policies, I hear complaints, but never action.

I believe we need to band together and work toward informing the general public of what is going on. From that, we need to show our representatives that if they wish to stay in office, they need to start opposing these sort of laws.

I am not calling for any form of violent action. I ask of from all of you, these things.
1. Do some searching on the internet. There are plenty of reports of the abuse of these anti-privacy laws.
2. Go out and talk to those that live near you, show them what you found.
3. Ask the people you talk to to talk to everyone they know about what you have talked about.

Perhaps, in time organize protests.

If we sit back and unhappily watch as we are stripped of our rights, we apparently don't care about them as much as we say we do.

Don't Worry, It's Normal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631834)

In every self-resp... er, florescent dictatorhip that sells out it's own people, land, goods, resources, dignity, and sovreignity for trinkets, notoriety or social standing - the people are the enemy. They have to be as brashly monitored as possible. And pushed about, cowed, bullied, distracted, patronized - into a state of timorous annullment, unthinking terrified collaboration and self-effacement. And obsession with meningless fads and trifles. Ever licking the hand that lashes them. Or is that " ... the boot of the hand ... " ?

Check.

I'll throw some more hay onto the haystack (5, Funny)

captain_dope_pants (842414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631866)

The youngest ocelets climb low up the yellow hitech house. Will they trudge ton to Sama binded or laden with sand? Some to the r southern astygmatics lambbast ardsley want to offer help. We can canvass ass in a teflon pan. They govern mentalists with an iron hand.

** Waits for the Feebs **

Didn't they already do this ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631918)

I remember them putting boxes in ISP's about 9 or 10 years ago. The boxes were packet sniffers. They could basically see any data that was not encrypted, which a lot of it wasn't back then, like email passwords, ect, ect.

Government (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631930)

We should be more concerned about monitoring the DHS for internal threats against our own lives and property.

And here I thought (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32631942)

that they were going to use child pornography to justify having to do this. I guess the polls must of shown that terrorism was still the hottest button topic.

All hail the Messiah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32631956)

Vote for change for the hope of the change.

That hopey, changey thing is working out soooo well.

Land of the Free: RIP (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32632030)

Seriously... 15 years ago when I came to the USA I felt that I was moving to the land of the free. I'm now looking at all the stuff the government is doing and seriously considering moving back to my country of origin so that I can give my son a better upbringing than I feel he can get here with the laughable "Security Theater" we have here. I have watched just about every freedom that Americans have had for hundreds of years basically vanish in 10 years. At the rate things are going I wonder if Mexico are going to have to start patrolling their borders to watch out for Americans trying to escape the tyranny.

Also, the focus on the "Terrorists" is pathetic. We've had terrorists in the USA as long as the USA has existed. The only reason they're clamping down now is because they see an opportunity to destroy our way of life and they grabbed it. What about the Neo Nazis? I'd say they're as bad or in some cases worse than the people who have committed the more recent public terrorist acts in the USA. Oh no, sorry... we can't clamp down on them; they're white. They make up a significant voting pool in the Midwest so we can't do anything about them.

It really pains me to see this country going down the tubes so rapidly... giving up everything that made America great. The sad thing is that the core values and ideals... hell even the core laws and rules are good. However, it has now become common practice to ignore the words of those base laws (like the constitution) while claiming to uphold the spirit of them.

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