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Innocent Or Not, the NSA Is Watching You

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the culture-of-control dept.

Government 410

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world's communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital 'pocket litter.' It is, in some measure, the realization of the 'total information awareness' program created during the first term of the Bush administration — an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans' privacy."

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410 comments

End the USA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613525)

It's time for the revolution. Kill the pigs in charge.

Re:End the USA (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613563)

kill the pig that modded this down

Re:End the USA (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#39613697)

THOUGHTCRIME.

It's real.

Re:End the USA (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#39613813)

Actually its been real for quite a long time, they just used the classic "use it against a bad guy and the populace won't scream..until its too late" trick and it worked quite well. There are two men currently in prison for thoughtcrime, there are probably more but there are at least two that i know of. 1 is the guy that wrote the 'pro pedo" book, this book is nothing but his thoughts on the subject, no pictures, no "hey you should go out and rape kids" incitement, just his thoughts written down, now he's in prison...thoughtcrime. The other wrote down his fantasies of having sex with 14 year old girls on the advice of his therapist who wanted him to write down his fantasies in detail so they could break them down in therapy, now he is in prison too. again no pictures, no evidence that he actually did anything other than write his thoughts down...thoughtcrime.

It never ceases to amaze me how much of the populace will let any trully horrific law through or allow virtually any crushing of our civil liberties as long as you make sure the FIRST few targets are of a group they hate, be it communists, racists, terrorists, pedos, etc. So sad that so many years after "first they came for the communists" was written so many still don't understand that this is a classic tactic, use the power against someone that nobody will defend and then by the time they use it on you its been part of the system so long nobody balks.

We have seen the enemy...and it is us. Too many simply won't stand up if the target is someone they can't stand so that all of this horrible shit can seep into the system and eventually be used against us all. Once upon a time the NSA was mainly tasked with rooting out foreign spies which at the time was a real and credible threat...now they are used against us. nobody watched them, or kept them in check, or complained when their powers grew, so here we are.

Re:End the USA (5, Funny)

Cyberblah (140887) | about 2 years ago | (#39613691)

Oh, you're so getting on the NSA's list for that.

Re:End the USA (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#39613773)

I'm sure you get on their list simply by posting in a subversive thread like this.

Re:End the USA (3, Insightful)

Cyberblah (140887) | about 2 years ago | (#39613847)

I'm sure you get on their list simply by posting in a subversive thread like this.

Yeah. I didn't bother posting anonymously, because I doubt it makes a difference at this point.

Re:End the USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613777)

Four legs good! Two Legs Better!
Four legs good! Two Legs Better!

Vigilante Justice is all well and good, but revolution is best accomplished democratically. Bullets should be reserved for supplementing a non-functional justice system.

Trouble with Vigilante Justice is that it is administered by the "simple solutions to complex problems" type of person who would become a Vigilante. That makes it's probability of improving the justice landscape vs. making it worse very unlikely.

Did Joesph Stack really take issue with the IRS in general? Or did he just manage to get sucked in to a personality conflict with some petty dictator?

Anger and revenge need to be focused to pin point resolution like a laser to inspire violent retribution. The Jews, the Pigs, the IRS, the Supreme Court, etc. These are all small ideas that the anger and frustration in life can be attributed to as a source. It would all be lollipop fields and gumdrops "IF ONLY [insert confirmation bias scapegoat] were removed from the picture!".

Given a little bit of wisdom & perspective, the hatred loses it's focus and sharp point as it dithers in to the fog of non-black and white thinking.

My belief is that the ability of a person to accomplish evil is proportional to how much power they are given to wield without oversight. When political power becomes centralized and concentrated, the amount of evil shit it takes to remove the administrator increases proportionally with the difficulty of finding a qualified candidate to replace them. It's a lack of competition for power because fewer and fewer people are available or seen as qualified to fill the big chair.

The idea of focusing hatred on executive roles seems great in concept, because based on the idea that "shit rolls downhill", everything can be blamed on failures in leadership, however at the end of the day the leaders themselves are frequently victims of the terrain of the field and have limitations to their maneuvering room which would allow them to change things for the better.

All of this culminates in a desire to curl up on an island(remote from civilization), drink a beer, and bask in a proper case of Weltschmerz & islomania.

Then again, it's also possible that I'm too quick to relieve leadership of accountability as animals helpless to their circumstances. Perhaps I'm the type of person who would have argued against assassinating Hitler as I watched fascism goose-stepping through my living room to haul away my fiance.

There is a school of ethics that would argue that all animals are entitled to change the "terrain of the field" when the existing landscape threatens their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness(or the less lofty "self preservation"). That is pandora's box and opens the door for retribution in-kind. Sometimes, the economics are stacked against the probability of peaceful resolution as wills collide on increasing frequency for too limited of resources.

So do we look to Adam Smith to expand the scope of the market, or do we turn to Mars, the god of war, to purge the field of some actors?

What people do when presented with those choices will largely be determined by circumstances and incentives I predict. I'll note that the media is owned by defense contractors, not the Sperry Gyroscope Company or sextant manufacturers.

Whatever America decides to do with their destiny, I want no part of it. I've yet to see a president or congress in my lifetime worthy of power, and I blame the voter for that. I'm just looking for an exit, I suggest anyone reading this do the same.

Re:End the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613879)

The problem with democratic change is that it's a fantasy. The US government has tons of ingenious "checks and balances" built into the system to ensure voting never changes anything.

You are not innocent (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613527)

There are no innocent citizens in the modern police state.

Re:You are not innocent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613731)

So, not only are we not innocent, we also get to pay – through taxes – for the machinery that will be used to prove our guilt.

Why is it that we aren't voting the bastards out?

And bottomless storage? Maybe. Maybe I'll set up a cron job to automatically email myself a different uuencoded DVD movie every day. I guess that'll work until they make doing that a felony.

Innocent? (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39613535)

Nobody's innocent anymore. There is too much information flowing about - we're all guilty of something. Even if you don't quite no what it is - it's not important. You're just guilty of something so it's important that somebody keep tags on you.

Just in case.

Re:Innocent? (4, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#39613553)

I find you guilty of terrible grammar.
It is know, not "no". Send him to the gallows!

Re:Innocent? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39613587)

It's my keyboards fault! I sear it is! My 'k' and 'w' keys ere stolen.

Re:Innocent? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613619)

If your 'k' key was stolen, how did you spell keys and keyboard? Answer carefully, the NSA is watching!

Re:Innocent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613623)

I find you guilty of terrible grammar. It is know, not "no". Send him to the gallows!

That's a mistake of usage not grammar. Just sayin'.

Re:Innocent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613931)

I'm keeping tabs on both of you.

Re:Innocent? (4, Informative)

DataDiddler (1994180) | about 2 years ago | (#39613561)

That's more right than you think. One author claims that the average citizen commits three felonies a day without knowing it (due to the byzantine legal code which can be interpreted any number of ways): Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent [amazon.com] . It's an interesting read if you're into that sort of thing.

Re:Innocent? (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#39613717)

In secular governments, where you can't use the concept of sin / haraam to control people, the only alternative is to make everyone a criminal. You may not feel guilty and afraid of the divine punishment, but you will be afraid of your child downloading an mp3 and your family being financially screwed for the rest of your life.

Re:Innocent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613743)

That's more right than you think. One author claims that the average citizen commits three felonies a day without knowing it (due to the byzantine legal code which can be interpreted any number of ways): Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent [amazon.com] . It's an interesting read if you're into that sort of thing.

Cardinal Richelieu would be so proud.

Re:Innocent? (4, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#39613745)

Nobody's innocent anymore. There is too much information flowing about - we're all guilty of something. Even if you don't quite no what it is - it's not important. You're just guilty of something so it's important that somebody keep tags on you. Just in case.

That's more right than you think. One author claims that the average citizen commits three felonies a day without knowing it (due to the byzantine legal code which can be interpreted any number of ways): Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent [amazon.com]. It's an interesting read if you're into that sort of thing.

While it's probably true that the majority of such cases weren't intentional on the part of those who originally drafted the laws (maybe I'm being naive there), it's certainly true to say that as a rule it's more beneficial for those who value power *not* to have the average citizen be 100% perfect and law-abiding, as knowledge of lawbreaking gives them a legitimised form of pressure and control over them that they can exert if need be.

Clearly, they won't punish the majority of such infractions- and really don't care about them in themselves- but the potential to be able to do so is the main thing.

This alone is one (but not the only) reason that those who say that "those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear" (i.e. "law abiding citizens") as justification for government surveillance and intrusion are either exceptionally stupid or exceptionally disingenuous.

Life in any country where every transgression of the law was punished would be absolutely impossible and break down quickly. Of course, that would be assuming "good faith" use of the information that let us know this- as I said above, in practice, it would be more beneficial to those in power to simply accumulate knowledge of such offenses and use it against those it deemed most problematic.

Re:Innocent? (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#39613919)

Love that. "Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear" -> well then, by all means, allow us to observe you as you observe us. Equality and all that, a foreign concept to these people.

What's even better, of course, is the implicit argument contained therein that they have a right to monitor people who do have something to hide. If the preceding sentence doesn't make sense to you, you might want to ponder it for a while.

Re:Innocent? (3, Informative)

Aighearach (97333) | about 2 years ago | (#39613913)

One reviewer wrote,

"With such a provocative title, I expected a thorough list of ways that ordinary citizens can be unwittingly trapped by federal law. Maybe a handful of frightening anecdotes, maybe some telling historical analysis.

Instead, after two lengthy introductions, I find a dense chapter defending ... a Florida politician accused of corruption. And a Massachusetts governor. And a Massachusetts House speaker. When I got to the chapter defending Michael Milken I started skimming instead of reading."

Re:Innocent? (4, Insightful)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about 2 years ago | (#39613601)

At least a member of your family is probably guilty of:
- downloading something
- using prohibited agricultural products
- and if less than 21 and living in the US, using other also prohibited agricultural liquids.

  And that's just for starters...

    And the real "looser" in this equation, is that disconnect between law and ethics...
    how can a parent educate their children when many laws prohibits actions that are hard to describe as unethical, and
    many unethical actions are totally legal.

    And if you have enough power, you can make illegal actions legal in your special case...

        The right wing is pushing the morals out of the window... (and I'm not speaking of the operating system....)

Re:Innocent? (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about 2 years ago | (#39613891)

At least a member of your family is probably guilty of:
- downloading something
- using prohibited agricultural products
- and if less than 21 and living in the US, using other also prohibited agricultural liquids.

  And that's just for starters...

    And the real "looser" in this equation, is that disconnect between law and ethics...

    how can a parent educate their children when many laws prohibits actions that are hard to describe as unethical, and

    many unethical actions are totally legal.

    And if you have enough power, you can make illegal actions legal in your special case...

        The right wing is pushing the morals out of the window... (and I'm not speaking of the operating system....)

The disconnect between laws and ethics, vice morals, is in fact a terrible thing. It leads to, among other things, a contempt for the law and a loss of faith in the system in general. So we're totally in agreement up to that point.

However, you do go off the rails when implying this is a purely right wing thing. The left is just a guilty of this as the so-called right. Yet, we all keep voting for the same bastards.

Re:Innocent? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613661)

"Give me six lines written by the most honest man, and I will find something there to hang him."

The idea's not new. It's just that the period of social democracy in Europe and liberal democracy in America has come to an end, and the West is creeping back to an imperialist Britain of the nineteenth century with some more equal than others under the law. Once we've crept back another 200 years, of course, the very technology we created to liberate ourselves will be used to stop us before we think of setting a foot wrong.

And we'll applaud, just as we'll always applaud our destruction. Some of us will applaud it because we have stuck a "free market" label on it and have faith that it'll all work out; others will applaud it because we have stuck a "communist" label on it and feel assured that nothing can go wrong; so it is for "Jesus", "Mohammed" and every religion in between. Just occasionally, someone will stand up and ask what effect something has on the people living right now - but those people are dismissed by rulers who no longer have to live in the real world, cheerled by those useful idiots who aspire to leave it too.

Re:Innocent? (3, Informative)

Gonoff (88518) | about 2 years ago | (#39613749)

"Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
Cardinal Richelieu

Aquinas protocol (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613537)

Gee, sure sounds familiar...

Traitors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613539)

traitors to the American way

it turns out its not "home of the brave" after all

That is Because (4, Interesting)

walkerp1 (523460) | about 2 years ago | (#39613543)

Privacy is evil, crypto is terrorism, stenography is child porn, and you are public enemy number 1.

Re:That is Because (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613767)

Oh oh. If stenography is child porn, what is steganography?

Re:That is Because (2)

hlavac (914630) | about 2 years ago | (#39613797)

Stenography? Poor secretaries! (You probably meant steganography :) )

Re:That is Because (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | about 2 years ago | (#39613951)

Stenography? Poor secretaries! (You probably meant steganography :) )

Heh, yeah. Had my stenographer not been otherwise occupied, she might have spotted that. It's hard to do sinister with typos.

So the only remedy will be overload ? (3, Interesting)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about 2 years ago | (#39613549)

The increase of backup capacity, and computing capacity makes the dream or nightmare of searching through the internet a reality.
Anybody being connected to anybody in a rather short chain of relations it's obvious that we are all at some level "persons of interest".

If you are a "bad guy" you are obviously "fair game", if you know the bad guy, you are reasonably suspect, if you know somebody who knows the bad guy, you might be needed to understand if you are not part of the support group of the bad guy.
Two level more of indirection and the whole humanity is in the dragnet.
No unfortunately there is not one unique "bad guy", so the probability of being more than N+2..N+3 of any bad guy is really low, even if you are a retired nun. (actually, in practice not such a good example).

So anybody can with some justification be "looked at", so it seems that the only way to alleviate the issue is to over broadcast everything, and hoping that the weighting algorithm finds you booring...

Guess it's too boring for me, I'll have to fish for friends in high places, ... so it's back to the "old regime" (as in before Louis Capet got his headache cured, actually not really fair for the guy, and the change where far from smooth, ... but somehow the end of privileges seemed a good idea, and now seems an idea whose time is past ....)

Sic transit gloria mundi...

Re:So the only remedy will be overload ? (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 2 years ago | (#39613665)

I see this increase in serverspace as a challenge for spammers to up their output.
Maybe we should all help them out a bit with some random noise?

Channers Quietly Crapping themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613551)

Good thing I stopped going on 4chan.

Re:Channers Quietly Crapping themselves (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#39613927)

And I, while infrequent to 4chan, would not. I don't allow fear to dictate my behavior, as lesser men do.

This 'outcry' you speak of... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613567)

What became of it? I mean, did it have any effect? Where is it now? Did anybody lose their job over this? Any elected officials lose their seats? So far the only ones that did were voted out. Bunch of hogwash! Most of the voters want this, and more.

In Soviet Amerika the fascist is YOU!

Re:This 'outcry' you speak of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613753)

So far the only ones that did were voted out.

So far the only ones that did speak up were voted out.

There FTFM...

Not so deep in the desert (5, Informative)

mycroft16 (848585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613573)

I love that the magazine cover says "Deep in the Utah desert." It isn't. It is literally in the middle of the city growth centers. I've been watching them build this since they broke ground. It is a mere 15 minute drive from my house and I live in suburbia. The center sits less than 1 mile off I-15 between Salt Lake City and Utah County. BYU is 30 minutes away from it. There is a water park 10 minutes up the road. They aren't hiding this thing at all. It is in plain sight. It sits up on the side of the hill across the Jordan river valley. And yes, it is freaking massive.

Re:Not so deep in the desert (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39613589)

you sure that's where they are keeping 'the data' ?

??

Re:Not so deep in the desert (4, Informative)

mycroft16 (848585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613597)

Yup. It is located about 2 miles from the Army's main translation headquarters and it sits on Camp Williams Army base as well. Everyone here knows exactly what it is, though maybe not what is going into it exactly. No secret that it is the NSA's facility though. They had a big ground breaking for it with the Governor, Senator Hatch was there. News interviews. Yeah, that is it.

Re:Not so deep in the desert (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39613669)

you're not getting what I'm saying, are you?

there's no one here would could talk about it, with any direct knowledge AND be authorized to accurately tell what is going on and where.

what did you see? a building being made. and you jump to conclusions based on what? disinformation that comes from those that want to keep us all in the dark?

for all we know, this has been built and working and is in some other remote location and has been for 5 years now. for all we know!

why is this hard for you to understand?

you see some building built, the MEDIA report what they are told and you believe what they say? about such matters, especially?

today, I assume 100% of the info we get is 'managed'. I don't trust a thing that comes from 'established' sources. why should I?

Re:Not so deep in the desert (3, Informative)

mycroft16 (848585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613747)

I'm getting a bit of a conspiracy theory vibe here. They have no reason to keep this place a secret. In fact it is in their best interests to not keep it a secret. It's why they sailed nuclear submarines out of harbors on the surface. It was important for the enemy to know that the thing set sail and then it disappeared. It's important for the existence of this facility to exist as well as its purpose. As to what it is, the power consumption is a very large indicator. Those numbers are not made up by managed media reports either. They did numerous power studies around the country before selecting a location to build. That amount of power is consistent with Data Center usage from Facebook, Google, Microsoft data centers. The facility has a dozen or so employees and that is it. This is a server farm that needs minimal maintenance. This is simply a massive server farm. Every bit of data points to that. The design of the facility, it's power requirements, the cooling facilities, staff numbers, etc. I'm sorry. Trust media or not, the numbers don't lie. And yes, it has been built and operating for years in other places. They have data facilities all over the country. There is no secret to that and never really has been. This is simply the largest single facility they have ever built. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=13908592 [ksl.com] http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19615060 [ksl.com] http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=13896111 [ksl.com] http://businessfacilities.com/articles/industry-focus/centers-of-job-creation/ [businessfacilities.com]

Re:Not so deep in the desert (5, Insightful)

dwillden (521345) | about 2 years ago | (#39613757)

Don't be an idiot. It's not "just a building" It's a massive complex of big buildings with very thick walls. And armed 24 hour security that even harasses locals watching deer herds in the area (as they've been doing for years). There is no other construction project anywhere near this size anywhere else in the state. I too live and work close to it, and there is no doubt as to what is being built. You simply do not understand the scale of what we are talking about.

Further the Wired account includes illustrations from the Army Corps of Engineers giving the layout (some buildings identified, others not) and it matches every other source of info.

You are taking your paranoia too far. Yes this is a massive NSA Data (and who knows what else) center. It will very likely infringe upon at least a few citizens civil liberties. But there is no question that it is what it is, and that is where it is being built. Something this scale couldn't be easily hidden anyway. It's power requirements are too big to hide in the desert. They had to build a power substation off the main high tension lines just for this facility.

On another note, why did it take this long to hit /.? The article hit the web nearly a month ago, I got my physical copy of wired with the article nearly two weeks ago.

Re:Not so deep in the desert (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39613609)

Perchance is there a volcano spewing lava with a big round eye at the top anywhere in the vicinity?

Re:Not so deep in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613637)

I was picturing something more pyramid-shaped with "Ministry of Truth" or maybe "Ministry of Love" on the sides.

Re:Not so deep in the desert (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | about 2 years ago | (#39613629)

Picky. While it is true that SLC is not technically in a desert, from the perspective of most (especially those of us from more verdant parts of the globe), the entire state of Utah is in the middle of the desert, hence so is everything in or near it.

Re:Not so deep in the desert (2)

mycroft16 (848585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613663)

Granted, but the phrase "Deep in the Utah desert" makes it sound like they are building this miles away from anything. That would be like saying "deep in the bayou" when it's in a suburb of New Orleans. Groom Lake is deep in the desert. North Las Vegas is not. Neither is Bluffdale Utah. It's a suburb of the state capital.

Re:Not so deep in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613675)

I love that the magazine cover says "Deep in the Utah desert." It isn't.

Maybe their spellchecker fixed "Deseret".

Oh that's goooood.... (2)

BlindRobin (768267) | about 2 years ago | (#39613611)

I fell so nice and fuzzy-warm and, and, yes LOVED to be so secure from the ravages of the those others that wish to do us harm.

Re:Oh that's goooood.... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39613765)

Yep, it's like their jealous of your freedom and will change your way of life if you let them, or something.

This WAS news... (0)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | about 2 years ago | (#39613613)

This was news, weeks ago.

WTG /. if it's not a slashvertisement, it's WAAAAAY old news.

-@|

Re:This WAS news... (1)

tqk (413719) | about 2 years ago | (#39613865)

This was news, weeks ago.

That's about when I heard about it too. Still:

It is, in some measure, the realization of the 'total information awareness' program created during the first term of the Bush administration - an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans' privacy.

What changed?

Re:This WAS news... (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about 2 years ago | (#39613929)

The outcry died down and they started it up again. If everyone gets uppity again, they'll put it on the back burner for a couple years or change the name...

Conflicted (2, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#39613641)

Many of the same people who are most angered and most vocally oppose such blatant 1984 style mass surveillance are the same ones that consistently vote and rally for more and bigger government, and support the politicians who favor a bigger/more-powerful government.

Yet, they don't see a conflict. They don't seem to understand that when you make a government large and powerful enough to provide all these social programs, entitlements, and levels of regulation, this is what happens. Politicians, being the type of people that politicians typically are, will use every opportunity of increased government scope & power to increase their control over the citizens and reduce/eliminate citizen rights and protections.

You can have a government that provides a social "safety net" and major social services/entitlements, and that regulates everything down to kid's lemonade stands and have things like this domestic surveillance-data facility.

Or, you can decide to risk people having the ability to make bad choices and possibly failing and have freedom.

You cannot have both.

Choose.

Strat

Re:Conflicted (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613647)

Right, because unchecked corporate rule would never oppress the citizenry. Stop conflating social programs with police states, it just shows your political naivete.

Re:Conflicted (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39613677)

binary-thinking, much?

you CAN have both, in the right ways and when designed not to walk all over our assumed basic human rights.

"its A or B. choose!"

idiots...

life is rarely so binary. life is FULL of grey levels.

Re:Conflicted (4, Insightful)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | about 2 years ago | (#39613693)

From the summary:

It is, in some measure, the realization of the 'total information awareness' program created during the first term of the Bush administration

Your "small-government" Republicans are just as much on board with this as the "big-government" Democrats.

Re:Conflicted (1)

mycroft16 (848585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613703)

Indeed. All parties like big government. They differ only on which parts of government should be big.

Re:Conflicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613707)

Because, clearly, the only way to send me my disability check is to read my email and check my google searches. Meanwhile a "powerless" "minimal" "Constitutional" government would still declare that it's fully within its power to monitor everyone's email because of a perpetual state of war on whatever. (Oh right then it wouldn't be powerless minimal Constitutional government, would it. Keep chasing them rainbows!)

Re:Conflicted (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39613841)

If the Founding Fathers had meant to protect your email from search and seizure, they would have had Ben Franklin invent the OSI 7 layer model and SMTP and then mentioned them in the Fourth Amendment!

Re:Conflicted (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#39613769)

So who exactly are the small government types? We have big government with social programs and a lot of corporate welfare, or few social programs, lots of corporate welfare and no taxes for the rich. Bringing up the rear, we have the practically no government party with no social programs, free reign to the corporatations and few taxes.

There doesn't seem to be a small but existent government party.

As for potential choices, you left out the entire quadrant of the graph where we have a social safety net but no nanny.

Re:Conflicted (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39613791)

I'm sure that having discovered the Secret Conflict at the Heart of the Liberal Agenda is fun and all; but you'll note that the expansions of fun surveillance technology, the making-legal of their use, and the creation and expansion of the entities in charge of them all occur under a "national defense" guise and in the aftermath of assorted defense-related incidents, from the Alien and Sedition acts to the present day.

You'll note that this is an NSA(formed during WWII, post Pearl Harbor) facility being built on a military base to store and sift through the product of post 9/11 surveillance powers exercised largely in concert with and with the assistance of the telcos, retroactively authorized because zOMG Terrorists!.

You'll note also that, in terms of voting patterns, 'National Defense' is broadly popular; both among pro-social-welfare-program(though it threatens the budgets of the programs they like, so support isn't total) and anti-social-welfare-program constituencies(though it threatens their tax cuts, so support isn't total). Each constituency does have a subgroup who oppose it(generally civil libertarians and peaceniks on the one hand, and classical libertarians on the other); but both are comparatively feeble voting groups, especially if something excitingly threatening is going on.

If we were talking about the(also present; but rather shabbier) Department of Education or FDA or such datacenter operations, the fact that you can't have social welfare programs without data gathering would, in fact, be salient. However, we are talking about a DoD spook shop. 'Defense' spending can be, and often is, in terms of empirical voting patterns and popular support, quite neatly decoupled from social welfare spending. It's actually reasonably common under non-communist authoritarians.

Maybe it is already finished now....... (3, Interesting)

beltsbear (2489652) | about 2 years ago | (#39613649)

A young libertarian is brought into a command center....... As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the listening power of this fully OPERATIONAL listening station!

Re:Maybe it is already finished now....... (1)

dwillden (521345) | about 2 years ago | (#39613775)

Nope, well over a year to go, as anyone who drives by the site on a daily basis can tell you. Those buildings are far from complete.

Re:Maybe it is already finished now....... (1)

mycroft16 (848585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613825)

Not anywhere near complete. The buildings in the complex have a long way to go and then they've gotta put all the equipment in, set it up, test, etc. It is a really huge project. Lots of trucks, equipment, several cranes.

RIAA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613657)

I can't wait until the RIAA sue the NSA for copyright infringement.

well this was funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613681)

so you cant type ascii well i decided to just type a ton of other crap

SO i giant

FART

and type some more crap cause thsi site sucks
Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.

Defence... (1)

QuasiRob (134012) | about 2 years ago | (#39613701)

Looks like it is time to start encrypting emails and buying everything with cash. And use TOR.

Re:Defence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613779)

You think they can't break your shitty little encyption? And that's assuming your encryption tools don't already have NSA backdoors built in....

Your Protests of Innocence are Irrelevant: (1)

codermotor (4585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613723)

Whether or not you may have offended the State is not to be determined by you, but rather by someone, somewhere, whom you do not know.

Budget approval ? (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#39613727)

In these days of austerity - who approved the budget for this and prioritised it over building something more useful like a hospital ? Or is that classified information ?

Anyway: now that they have it - I propose that we give them something to put in it, how about we start mailing each other 1MB chunks from /dev/random as attachments named things like HowToMakeABomb and pgp encrypted ?

Re:Budget approval ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613789)

Yeah, I'd like to know what companies are going to provide the hardware and software for this operation...mainly so I can invest in them and get some of my tax money back! So far my main suspects are IBM and Oracle.

Re:Budget approval ? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#39613805)

For questioning your masters - you are hereby sentenced to ... to ... live in this HELL your masters have made of your country.

My hands are placed over my head at all times (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613751)

I, for one, welcome our governmental overlords.

as a historian though it is kind of exciting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613771)

Imagine all the information that future historians will be able to use for research! In 500 years when someone does a biography of some artist or philosopher, instead of just having to publish rumors and inuendo that he was gay we'll be able to go back and see all the times he searched "m4m" on craigslist and then see what throw away yahoo email account he used to send cockpix to his gay hookups. I mean sure the potential for fascist regimes to use the information for a mass extermination campaign of gays or whatever is horrifying but on the other hand when the U.S. government eventually collapses all this stuff will become public like the old KGB archives did after the USSR collapse. It's gonna be a great time to be a historian if nothing else.

Disturbing. (3, Insightful)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | about 2 years ago | (#39613783)

I've come across a frighteningly high number of individuals who have a "nothing to hide nothing to fear" mindset. They support things like the Patriot Act without even thinking about.

Very, very disturbing. I really hope they're the minority.

And after that center is up and running... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613793)

I bet they'll still subcontract a lot of classified search work to Google and Amazon, who have the necessary capacity AND software in place.

I wonder (1)

Gonoff (88518) | about 2 years ago | (#39613815)

Perhaps opponents of this will just start to encourage encryption of all communications - even if they have "nothing to hide". As has been said many times before, it would be a bit like sealing the envelopes containing your personal and business correspondence.

To Quote Frank Zappa... (2)

codermotor (4585) | about 2 years ago | (#39613821)

You will obey me while I lead you,
And eat the garbage that I feed you,
Until the day that we don't need you.
Don't call for help, no one will heed you.

Your mind is totally controlled,
It has been stuffed into our mold,
And you will Do As You Are Told,
Until the rights to you are sold.

                    - Frank Zappa

Like the ancient Soviet Union (4, Insightful)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | about 2 years ago | (#39613887)

The US is building a vast system of paranoid security to protect... its vast security systems. Soon there will be nothing of much significance left but the military and its contractors. Then they might find out that they can't survive as a pure self-serving system. The shame is that they won't see until it's too late, stupid and arrogant as the military is (no matter which one), exercising their pompous and useless traditions, weaving flags and shooting in the air. Mankind should have known better since the first industrial war (WW1), but governments and systems have come and gone since then, the steel and cannon barons, however, have been staying in charge almost erverywhere...

someone call Stallone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613895)

Dredd is watching you

Burn It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613921)

Burn it down before it is too late and we loose the Internet.
It may sound extreme, but if you think about it this is the only thing standing between a new global totalitarian regime and one of our last freedoms!

Get everyone out and ...

Burn it
Burn it now
Burn it now
Burn it now
Burn it now
Burn it now

Burn it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613935)

Burn it.

Get everyone out and burn it to the ground !

This is the last stage before we get a new global totalitarian NWO government.
They have used Echelon already in the past for their financial and economical and military benefit (eg Airbus vs Boeing sales) and now they want global control?

Not going to happen: burn it down before we loose one of the last freedoms that we have: the Internet !

How to effectively stop any datacenter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39613937)

At least with the super computers at the UofM, if the cooling system could be shut down, it would over heat in 15min. So, the question is: How is this data center cooled? The UofM uses the Mississippi river.

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