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Electronic Surveillance By US Law Enforcement Agencies Rising Steeply

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

Government 105

hypnosec writes "According to data obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), surveillance of emails and other forms of Internet communications without warrants has increased substantially over the last two years. Documents, obtained by the ACLU, reveal that there has been a 361% increase in 'pen register' and 'trap-and-trace' orders between 2009 and 2011. The ACLU has appealed to Congress to bring in more judicial oversight in these warrantless orders."

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First (0)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41486621)

First tap

How do you blame this on BUSH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41495921)

Why is /. turning into d!gg?

My two cents (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486639)

There is no excuse for such warantless searches. All searches need a warrant. If we're talking about a search sometime shortly before obtaining a warrant (with the risk of not getting one afterwards), that's a gray area, but no warrant afterwards means the evidence should not be used. But in no situation should there be any sort of search without said warrant.

Re:My two cents (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41486759)

It's always (sadly) amusing to me how the Constitution thumpers are all about the Founders Intent and Strict Interpretations and all that - right up until it's time to dispense with all that shit so we can have Yet More authoritarian "law enforcement".

Re:My two cents (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#41486851)

Not sure what you mean. Last I checked, the current prez is no "Constitution thumper". Or am I missing something?

Re:My two cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487061)

Last I checked, history did not begin with the current president. Those "Constitution thumpers" were defending this kind of surveillance under the last administration.

Re:My two cents (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 2 years ago | (#41489287)

Perhaps you missed this part of the summary then:

"...there has been a 361% increase in 'pen register' and 'trap-and-trace' orders between 2009 and 2011.
That's a hell of an increase. But still somehow it's all Bush's fault...?

Re:My two cents (2)

strikeleader (937501) | about 2 years ago | (#41490509)

And isn't interesting how the so called "main stream" media is silent on this. Must be nice for Obama to have the media hiding all the negative from the American people

Re:My two cents (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41490595)

That's the problem with a 2 party system. Everyone wants to assume that they picked the right side, when in reality an individual in their own regime can easily perform an action they don't agree with. So to somehow explain away the action they begin looking for a way to pass the blame to the other side.

When in reality, the 2 party system is the dumbest idea ever contrived. By limiting our potions the system has essentially created a method for us to somehow feel like were in control when in reality we don't have any control. Politics is a system for idiots, no matter how good or bad you are at your job you will be like by some and hated by others, have every aspect of your life examined under a microscope, and the only protection you have is the "friends" you acquire on your way up. Even an village idiot can take the role, the only talent you need is the ability to spend an hour saying nothing while mentioning all the topics that everyone cares about.

It's time for change stop supporting the 2 parties, and stop buying foods from company's that support them. Then actually spend a few hours investigating the background of the individual you are voting for. Check who is paying for their campaign (Remember the comment that the MPAA made "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake", as this is generally true for all of industry.) Then check how they votes and the comments they made in the past. In all likely-hood they will be nearly identical the the standpoints they make in the future, as these are the comments and viewpoints that got them to where they are. Don't sit here and blame a party, or the president. Until all of us actually stand up and do something it's only going to get worse. We won once against SOPA/PIPA. however, even now the government is hard at work to derail efforts to stop like bills from receiving similar attention. Because these bills are in the interest of their investors. No matter which side you take, just look where the money is coming from. We need to take a larger stand, and give the government some real oversight, place people who actually know what they are doing (and not just giving a good pubic face) in charge.

Re:My two cents (1)

gmanterry (1141623) | about 2 years ago | (#41491093)

That's the problem with a 2 party system. Everyone wants to assume that they picked the right side, when in reality an individual in their own regime can easily perform an action they don't agree with. So to somehow explain away the action they begin looking for a way to pass the blame to the other side.

When in reality, the 2 party system is the dumbest idea ever contrived. By limiting our potions the system has essentially created a method for us to somehow feel like were in control when in reality we don't have any control. Politics is a system for idiots, no matter how good or bad you are at your job you will be like by some and hated by others, have every aspect of your life examined under a microscope, and the only protection you have is the "friends" you acquire on your way up. Even an village idiot can take the role, the only talent you need is the ability to spend an hour saying nothing while mentioning all the topics that everyone cares about.

It's time for change stop supporting the 2 parties, and stop buying foods from company's that support them. Then actually spend a few hours investigating the background of the individual you are voting for. Check who is paying for their campaign (Remember the comment that the MPAA made "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake", as this is generally true for all of industry.) Then check how they votes and the comments they made in the past. In all likely-hood they will be nearly identical the the standpoints they make in the future, as these are the comments and viewpoints that got them to where they are. Don't sit here and blame a party, or the president. Until all of us actually stand up and do something it's only going to get worse. We won once against SOPA/PIPA. however, even now the government is hard at work to derail efforts to stop like bills from receiving similar attention. Because these bills are in the interest of their investors. No matter which side you take, just look where the money is coming from. We need to take a larger stand, and give the government some real oversight, place people who actually know what they are doing (and not just giving a good pubic face) in charge.

Wish I had some points. This is a truly insightful opinion.

Re:My two cents (1)

okcdan (954396) | about 2 years ago | (#41494261)

Ditto. In my experience this particular observation falls on absolutely deaf ears unless it's met with an eye-rolling chuckle. It's becoming increasingly difficult to be optimistic about the situation (for me anyway). Great post here.

Re:My two cents (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41486989)

It's always (sadly) amusing to me how the Constitution thumpers are all about the Founders Intent and Strict Interpretations and all that - right up until it's time to dispense with all that shit so we can have Yet More authoritarian "law enforcement".

Ah, spoken like a true soft-on-crime liberal who fails to understand the deep intellectual nuances of stricterprertationalism!

It is really quite a simple matter: Just pretend that the Founding Fathers were a bunch of nit-picking, crabbed, legal technicians(just as you probably are, if you are a promising candidate for a deeper understanding of stricterprertationalism), and that their Intent in writing the bill of rights was not to address contemporary and recent past abuses of state power in light of that 'Enlightenment humanist' political theory nonsense that so many of them wasted their time reading and thinking about; but to put in place a series of precise, legalistic, and highly specific protections of certain types of property and communications media, and only those.
After all, it's not as though somebody would fail to regulate 'pen registers' just because he was writing in the late 18th century; but because he Intended that pen registers should remain unregulated.

Then, consult a plastic surgeon for administration of botulism toxins until you can do that with a straight face. See? It's really quite simple.

Re:My two cents (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41487455)

Even Google doesn't understand stricterprertationalism [google.com] -- its only hit on that word is your comment. Is that a typo, or did you deliberately make the word up for purposes of obfuscation?

Re:My two cents (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41487599)

To be honest, I made it up and used it mostly because I liked the way it sounded, and didn't want to use one of the names of an actual school of loony-toons constitutionalism, lest a devotee of the same be triggered into attack mode.

(At least I'm honest about my self-indulgent laziness, right?)

Re:My two cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41493043)

Wow. Impressive. You could make a fortune in the entertainment industry known as talk radio if you can make up stuff like that into a microphone for a few hours a day.

Re:My two cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41495265)

That long rambling rant with made up words sounds pretty fucking retarded dood.

Re:My two cents (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41489729)

[citation needed]

Re:My two cents (4, Informative)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#41486777)

I'll summarize the defense of these searches. Btw, I disagree with all of them... but I thought we can just get this over with quickly.

Choose:
- What if it was your child?
- Don't you want to catch terrorists?
- Prevention is better than cure.
- I have nothing to hide.
- I trust my government.
- (I probably forgot some...)

They're either logical fallacies, or just besides the point. Or both.

Re:My two cents (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41486971)

Here, I'll kick in one:

What if your child is a terrorist?

Re:My two cents (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41487663)

Why do you hate our freedoms?

Re:My two cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487855)

nah, I think he just hates your child. :)

Re:My two cents (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41486999)

I think you forgot "Why do you care more about criminals' rights than victims' rights?"

Re:My two cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41493749)

(Pen Registers + Trap & Traces) != Searches

More to the point, searches involve visibility of email content (a *far* greater invasion of privacy, say the Courts).

If you advocate raising the requisite level of judicial oversight of Pens/Traps to the level currently applied to searches, what are you, in fact, incentivizing? Searches in place of Pens/Traps. (After all, why would law enforcement bother with asking a judge for A when he could get A+B+C+D+E+F with the same amount of hoop-jumping). Of course, the hoop-jumping is not without cost. Expect a cost increase, productivity decrease, or both.

The greater the invasion of privacy, the greater the judicial oversight; flattening this tiered structure may yield unanticipated (and undesired) results.

With judicial oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486653)

We can be sure that Justice is dispensed with.

And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41486661)

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Ahhha haha hahaha ha hahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahah!

Just kidding! Of course it won't. These things only go in one direction!

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (5, Informative)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41486675)

Obama is just the idiot puppet on stage. It's the ones behind the curtain controlling things.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486715)

Obama is just the idiot puppet on stage. It's the ones behind the curtain controlling things.

Yes, you are rephrasing Overzeetop's point.

Thank you for regurgitating and reinterpreting that for us. I am certain the 3rd-graders were getting confused and needed you to explain it.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487011)

Maybe that is exactly what overzeetop said (i don't know i did't hear it) but it's a pretty common thought. Not everyone is tricked by democracy, the illusion of control.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487513)

Why beat around the bush?
Let's call them out!

Damn... I tried to make a list... but I gave up, since it would be easier to list those who are not in on it.
- The CIA and their constant propping up of evil dictators, arming of enemies, and the like, in foreign countries as well as in the USA itself. (Basically at least the entire Arabic and north-African world.)
- The banking conspiracy (unrelated to the "conspiracy theorists", since it's an actual real conspiracy. [Cue the "there are zero conspiracies in the history of humanity and there never will be" conspiracy theorists. ^^)
- The weapons industry. (For supporting genocide, general mass-murder, and igniting wars to profit off both sides.)
- The fossil fuel industry. (Duh. [Includes the Bush and Laden clan, Exxon, etc.])
- The pharma industry. (For making money off of and generally fostering the abuse of hard drugs by most of the population, including young children.)
- The content distribution and artist extortion Mafia (includes everything that uses the imaginary property lie, like Microsoft, Apple and Joe Biden’s gang.)
- Monsanto & co. (so evil, they deserve their own personal spot)
- Dick Cheney and his team of Neocons. (For creating a totalitarian industrial-feudalist faschism. [Do not make the mistake of thinking that team would exclude the democrats.])
- The churches. (Organizations that abuse the mentally ill and weak for money and power, and rape children by the masses. [At least they partially stopped the inquisition shit.])
And last but not least:
- The lethargic and pathetically passive population.

See? Who the hell is left? Those who now sit in jail because they spoke up, and are now hated by the brainwashed masses? Like Assange?
"Look how you get raped in the ass! I found proof!”
"DIE, you treasonous asshole! We don't wanna hear that! Let's focus on how you imaginary-hurt our torturers, cause that is totally not OK!"

Sorry, you are doomed, and it's your own damn fault!
You'd hate and murder everyone who would even dare to openly talk about saving you!

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 2 years ago | (#41491549)

Assange's actions place him in the category of narcissistic sociopath. He performs his actions not for the actions themselves, but for the accolades and reputation boost.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#41489189)

"It's the ones behind the curtain controlling things."

Indeed. The ones behind the curtain controlling things, the ones whose bodies are composed of delicious, delicious 'power behind the throne' flesh. Pity they're so hard to catch.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41489451)

It's the ones behind the curtain controlling things.

That would be us. Try voting for somebody completely different, that's not aligned with any particular political party, and see if anything changes. At the very least don't vote for the person the TV tells you to vote for. If you vote along party lines, you'll get no sympathy or attention from me.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486701)

Successfully trolled. Good show, sir. Good show.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41488563)

By the way...I do remember hearing an interview with Pres. Carter a couple years ago about presidential power, and most presidents, before they take office, have all intents of being open and respecting the limits of power. Once they get in - no matter their stripe - they realize how frustrating the process of Washington DC is, and take every opportunity to short cut the red tape that exists. It's not unlike what a business executive would do, except that as President you really don't have the kind of power a CEO does in the organization. With the lengthening campaign cycle, it gets tougher and tougher to show "progress" during your term - or even just to say "I'm here for 4 years" and actually get things done in such a short time.

There are no perfect leaders, but I find it fascinating to see how each man has taken the job and applied his own sense of style and compass to the process.

I do not envy the job in any way.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#41489447)

This is bullshit. Carter, like Obama (and Bush, and Clinton, and Bush) were elected to LEAD. If any of them got on TV (with or without teleprompter) and started enumerating the issues with these things, and causing the deserved outrage, the congress would follow. It isn't that hard to change things for a true leader. But we don't have any such beast and thus we don't have the results we were promised.

Obama, for all the promise and hype, could have done something with this, and played golf and went on the view instead. Rock Stars don't lead, they expect people to follow. There is a difference.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41492711)

You obviously missed the part where the party out of power is actively trying to thwart the party in power in order to try and take over in the next cycle. Whoever is out of power will lie - whether with numbers or without - to dissuade the public of the President's points. And since most of what they do is not grounded in fact or certainty (Was Keyens right? Does trickle-down work?) - there is no algebraic, closed form solution tot he problems they face. And to top it all off, there are 24 hours "news" outlets on both sides actively lobbying for or against them.

IMHO, both parties have compeltely whiffed on their agendas when they had full or nearly full control. And often, when they do they put in place really bad ideas (deregulation of S&Ls in the 80s which ended badly, and then of the financial industry in the 90s and 00s which ended badly - the latter a fully bipartisan fuckup). When Obama took office, he expected shit to get done, and delgated some of it to people who should have been responsible. Instead, the Democratic congress pissed away the leverage they had. That is the biggest shortcoming of Obama - he delegates and expects things to be done correctly, forgetting that congress are not a bunch of hand-picked staffers in his senatorial office with a common mind, but rather a bunch of glad-handing pretty faces who have pandered to their local electorate all their lives. He's a smart guy who forgets that there are alot of people who don't see the big picture. GW Bush was just the opposite - a smiling face and a one-track man who kept his contacts fresh and focused on tasks, letting lots of things fall by the wayside in order to make sure his point of focus was matched. As a result, he missed most of the signs of the impending crash - or simply ignored them in favor of his personal priorities.

Re:And it will go down if you get rid of Obama (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41489075)

Of course it won't go down if you get rid of Obama. He's just a symptom of the disease. The start of the cure is to get rid of all of them every election. We should be the ones to implement term limits. Holding office should not be a career. For those who don't keep up with current politics, try this method --- if you recognize a name on the ballot, vote for the other one.

Then, maybe, we can start getting at the root of the cancer - the unelected and overpaid bureaucracy that holds way too much power over our lives. Congress can pass one law and then the bureaucracy gives us tons of regulations they think are right for us. It's time for this process to end.

Get used to it (4, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41486719)

Let's face it: we now live in a surveillance society. If it's not the government (FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS, etc.), it's a corporation trying to make money (Google (DoubleClick), Microsoft, Apple, etc.) or an IP troll (RIAA, MPAA, Sony, EMI, etc.). We drive down the street, and we're under almost constant video surveillance. Walk into a store, bank, restaurant, dry cleaners, expect to be photographed. Soon we'll have drones overhead. Big Brother is watching. Their excuse is "We're just trying to make money/keep you safe", and their justification is "If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.". Get used to it, because there's nothing you can do about it.

Re:Get used to it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486745)

It wasn't too long ago that this kind of 'we're all being watched, everywhere!' attitude some people have seemed a bit ridiculous to me, but I'm starting to see that that's not really true anymore. How sad :(

Re:Get used to it (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 2 years ago | (#41488643)

Agreed. I remember when all this stuff was just "paranoid" ravings, theoretical risk, etc. You had to be some kind of weird cypherpunk nerd to want to have a PGP keysigning meeting.

But now it definitely happens for sure, it's mainstream knowledge, and .. you have to be some kind of weird cypherpunk nerd to want to have a PGP keysigning meeting.

WTF? Situation changed, our perception and knowledge of it changed, but our attitude and behavior didn't.

We're stupid.

Re:Get used to it (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#41490935)

Bingo. I have been wanting to get people interested in a keysigning party. First, if done right, no computers need to be brought -- just a piece of paper with everyone's key IDs and fingerprints and a writing instrument to sign off.

It really is a combination of factors. The first is that E-mail for anything other than formal communications has essentially been replaced by texts, iMessages, and FB messages. No SMS client supports PGP [1]. iMessages, neither. I have read that FB sometimes flags encrypted PGP messages as spam and won't deliver. Copying/pasting text is no big deal, but on devices like the iPhone which only allow an app at a time, it does interrupt the workflow.

There is the attitude as well that security should be as simple as clicking a picture of a padlock, without people worrying about webs of trust, trusted introducers, recovation certs, ADKs, etc. However, without that knowledge, we get people having to trust CAs completely... and we all know where that has gotten us (the discussions about DigiNotar for example.)

Of course, there is the fact that PGP seems to have faded away from platforms. It is difficult to get GNU's Privacy Guard to build on non-mainstream operating systems due to the sheer amount of dependencies involved.

There is no iOS app that one can use to generate, store, sign keys, copy keys in and out, export keys, import keys, and so on, unless one jailbreaks their device and uses GNU's Privacy Guard and a shell prompt. Android fares a tad better in this department.

PGP is one of the very few tools that people have that is widespread and usable for protection, and it is almost impossible to get people to use it, even when they know about the constant invasions of privacy.

[1]: In this context, PGP means PGP (TM) by Symantec, GNU Privacy Guard, or other utilities that work with the OpenPGP standard.

Re:Get used to it (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41486781)

Let's face it: we now live in a surveillance society.

Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

Get used to it, because there's nothing you can do about it.

Ah, learned helplessness... The door is open yet nobody steps through.

Re:Get used to it (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#41487059)

Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

Or perhaps that's simply what's reported.

Re:Get used to it (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41487771)

The voting results are self explanatory. Media reports mean nothing.

Re:Get used to it (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#41490403)

You could have 55% of people voting against something, but if the media tells you only 45% voted against, how are you going to know otherwise? In this day and age the Media means everything. They tell you what issues are important, which two people you will choose between (remember they wouldn't even mention Ron Paul even when he was ahead in the polls) and they tell you the results of the election. The Media defines the political world.

Re:Get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487089)

Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

When was that vote open to the public?

Re:Get used to it (2)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 2 years ago | (#41487427)

Let's face it: we now live in a surveillance society.

Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

Do not mistake apathy for intent. We have insufficient data to suggest that people want it this way. They just don't care enough to enforce change with political action. I caught myself before saying votes, though, as there are no candidates which have any meaningful chance to affect change in this regard whom anyone could vote for. The only hope at this point is for a new, grass-roots party to form and win elections by landslides.

Re:Get used to it (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41487709)

The only hope at this point is for a new, grass-roots party to form...

They don't come to being by themselves. And besides, why is a political 'party' needed? Vote for non-aligned candidates that aren't beholden to any particular party. Try voting for individuals. The problem is not the government. I will take apathy as consent. If people don't care, that only means they approve of the situation. If they don't, they have to show it.. with action. Their words of complaint mean nothing otherwise.

Re:Get used to it (3, Insightful)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | about 2 years ago | (#41491077)

Let's face it: we now live in a surveillance society.

Only because the majority of the voters want it that way.

Do not mistake apathy for intent. We have insufficient data to suggest that people want it this way. They just don't care enough [...]

I would dispute that, too. My belief is the evolving totalitarian state isn't a matter of voter desire or voter apathy; it is simply misplaced trust; too many Americans project themselves and their own behavior onto their elected officials. I.e., they wouldn't sell their friends and neighbors out, so they cannot envision a scenario wherein their elected officials would, either. Even though it keeps happening.

On top of which you have to add a lack of awareness of the scope of the systems that are already in place and, further, a lack of the imagination required to conceptualize how those systems might be used to first curtail and then crush individual liberty...which again comes back to the American people's provincialism: They've never seen just how bad it can get...they're not aware of just how far so-called "conservatives"/totalitarians are not just willing but eager to go.

Ignorance isn't bliss...as anyone who has ever seen a cow contentedly chewing its cud as it walks up the ramp to the slaughterhouse may already have concluded.

Re:Get used to it (1)

fuzznutz (789413) | about 2 years ago | (#41492013)

[...] it is simply misplaced trust; too many Americans project themselves and their own behavior onto their elected officials.

Of all the days not to have mod points... You have hit the nail on the head. It's also the reason assholes and con artists are so successful.

Re:Get used to it (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41487583)

Want it that way or have simply come to expect it that way? Certainly the TSA, DHS, FBI et al. present a world where we're daily surrounded by bomb-throwing, foaming-at-the-mouth crazies intent on killing soccer moms at the local mall. Our popular fiction (NCIS, NCIS:Los Angeles, CSI: Wherever, Person of Interest etc.) show a surveillance society where "<clickety> I've traced the IP address to a local Internet cafe, <clickety> I hacked the video camera on the ATM in the corner, <clickety> facial recognition software identifies him as Edgar Schwartz, <clickety> here's his drivers license photo." as everyday occurrences. Physics be damned. Current state-of-the-art be damned. The law (due process, probable cause) be damned. We got our bad guy. So the message "you're surrounded, only (non-critically) giving up your rights is the only way to stay safe" comes at us from all sides.

Re:Get used to it (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41489925)

The majority of voters are retarded. ignorant, illiterate self-absorbed jackasses who vote party lines, have no actual identity with their political party that extends beyond taxes and welfare handouts, because they inherited their political identity and perception of government from their parents. They don't research, they don't comprehend, they don't understand the constitution and law and the theories behind them, and the history behind them. People did not vote for Proposition Fuck You and Your Neighbors, to increase surveillance, to increase domestic usage of drones and wiretaps and electronic computer taps. They voted for asshats in Congress who don't even have the time or will to READ the legislation they are voting on - who then vote for things they did not read based on the summary paragraph which doesn't actually cover the concept or language of the bill. The political system in this country is not what you think it is, it does not function the way it was meant to. Anyone who can't see that hasn't paid a lick of attention to any news source whatsoever for 100 years. The congress is RIGHT THERE on Cspan, every day. They have phones and emails for you to contact them and interview them. You can find thousands of videos all over youtube. We didn't vote for the p.a.t.r.i.o.t act or the ndaa, the eea, pipa, sopa, acta, or anything else.

Re:Get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486795)

Care to cite how MS or Apple are trying to make money by watching us? Or even the fact that they really are watching us?

Re:Get used to it (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41486813)

Have you missed the part where they're watching what you install on your PC? Have you heard of Bing? iTunes? Do you really suppose they're NOT logging all that?

Re:Get used to it (4, Insightful)

usuallylost (2468686) | about 2 years ago | (#41486801)

I agree that, at least in the near term, there is nothing we can do about it. Though I think we still have to try. We still need to complain, sue, protest, put up candidates who are against this etc. If only to slow the spread of this stuff. My problem with the whole "if you're doing doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" bit is that what is defined as wrong has a habit of changing with the political winds. Historically when Government's made unreasonable demands people would find ways to work around it. That is becoming harder and harder to do as we get closer and closer to continuous surveillance of the population. All it takes is for us to elect one real bad player and all of these tools we aren't worrying about become an electronic leash around our necks.

Re:Get used to it (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41486933)

Yeah, that would be bad. We could end up with something like the Patriot Act.

Re:Get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487263)

Even the United States could never pass such a monstrous law.

Re:Get used to it (3, Insightful)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#41487119)

Unfortunately, omnipresent surveillance is an inevitability. As technology continues to develop it will only get easier and cheaper. The only upside I see is that if it does become so trivial, maybe the watchers can also be watched. And whether you're religious or not, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is good advice. Societal standards will need to change significantly if we're going to get through this.

Re:Get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41493167)

I think what you MEANT to say was that it is an inevitable POSSIBILITY (currently happening) without proper legislation and oversight.

nothing to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487041)

Surely the cops having nothing to hide, but when i asked them if they minded me searching though their house they weren't to interested.

Re:Get used to it (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41487265)

" If it's not the government (FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS, etc.), it's a corporation..."

See: Totalitarianism,
..something I neither embrace or accept as tolerable. I choose persistent innovation over submission. Futility is only 6' away; I see no reason to crawl and make it closer.

Re:Get used to it (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#41487397)

Get used to it, because there's nothing you can do about it.

Precisely. Give in, give up, don't give a single f*ck. That's how we got where we are -- half the the population just said "ah, f*uck it. Nothing I can do about it, so BOHICA"

"Fighting back" against problem legislation is arduous. For most Americans, they don't want to put in the effort to contact their representatives and voice their opinion. They think someone else will do it. Well, not enough people do and pretty soon we have stuff like military drones in the sky, and some really bat-shit crazy corporate sponsored law makers in office.

How do you think SOPA/PIPA got beat? Lot's of regular people raising hell about it. Making a big enough deal out of it that the media covered it and it was impossible to pass now because the lawmakers couldn't keep it some clandestine piece of legislation that would get passed quietly.

Let's face it: There's more everyone could be doing to keep crap like this off the law books.

Re:Get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41488183)

For most Americans, they don't want to put in the effort to contact their representatives and voice their opinion

I do this all the time, but all I get in return is:

1. useless auto-generated emails proclaiming how great they (the politician in question is)
2. some robot (human or computer) on the phone not really listening to what i say
3. and if i ever even get a chance to actually talk to a politician, they just babble on and never really say anything (all the while sporting a crap-eating grin).

Re:Get used to it (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41488259)

Lot's of regular people raising hell about it.

Wrong. It wasn't until Google, et al got involved did any of the politicians even notice there was a complaint. The regular people's only option is to vote them out. Which is a fairly powerful option by the way. We shouldn't have to go through a corporation to get the politician to listen.

Re:Get used to it (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 2 years ago | (#41487561)

You sound like one of those assholes who complain about politics but don't participate under the excuse of "my vote doesn't count". Indifference is why we're in this mess.

Re:Get used to it (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41488591)

And what exactly is one to do that does count? Vote Obama?

Re:Get used to it (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 2 years ago | (#41491081)

Vote for who you truly believe in instead of buying into the lesser of two evils or that you vote doesnt count at all. Plain and simple.

Re:Get used to it (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41492191)

I've done that by voting for no one at all. No one who wants that kind of power should have it.

Re:Get used to it (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 2 years ago | (#41493057)

Which only perpetuates the problem... Not that I necessarily disagree with your sentiment.

Re:Get used to it (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41488305)

Get used to it, because there's nothing you can do about it.

Sure there is. Tor, AdBlock, NoScript, Ghostery, Jitsi, GPG, etc.

Re:Get used to it (3, Interesting)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41489821)

Let's face it != "Things are the way they are and we should accept them." No. Not because it's a strict constructionist point of view, not just that. The constitution says this shit isn't ok. Did they foresee predator drones? No they did not. They foresaw that government, like it has always done in the past because government is people and people are flawed, will try to do things it shouldn't be doing - based on governmental theory and based on the philosophys floating around since the Enlightenment and Renaissance. This is the type of BS books were written about - 1984, Anthem, etc. etc. The kind of BS movies like Equilibrium show. There shouldn't be any discussion about this without a disclaimer beforehand that everyone is fully aware this is unacceptable. And yea, there's a lot we can do about it. We can do what Jefferson all but told us to do, rise up and slay them. From time to time the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. He wrote extensively about revolution as a tool.

Tell the person spied on (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486727)

Judicial oversight be dammed.

Report every request for data to the person whose data it is.
If you don't want them to know, ask the court for a delay in reporting for 6 months.
If they don't keep renewing, then they don't need the data for any criminal investigation and the person can be told.

The person, themselves will see if that request was fair and legal because they know and have an incentive to pursue misuse and fishing expeditions.

It's like they got their excuse to remove privacy and now anyone and everyone is the subject to fishing expeditions. And if they can't find something to prosecute, it seems they're not beyond creating it:
http://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=entrapment

Re:Tell the person spied on (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41488353)

National Security Letters are issued without judicial oversight and contain a gag order by default. Yes, it's that bad.

Transparent Society (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 2 years ago | (#41486753)

A bit old, but David Brin's Transparent Society is an interesting treatment of this issue.

Re:Transparent Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487017)

I'd be all for it if I thought that the rich and powerful wouldn't just opt out...

useless number (3, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#41486765)

The summary should have posted the raw number instead. Increasing by 361% doesn't really mean much. 100 to 461 isn't impressive, compared to, say, 100000 to 461000.

Re:useless number (1)

TallDarkMan (1073350) | about 2 years ago | (#41490241)

The summary should have posted the raw number instead. Increasing by 361% doesn't really mean much. 100 to 461 isn't impressive, compared to, say, 100000 to 461000.

Considering we're talking about the number of people using email (or worse, the number of emails being sent all together!), I'd say that a multiplier of 3.6 will produce a rather significant number.

Funny how the people who plaint over this the most (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486821)

have the least interesting lives.

But it's still horrifying.

Then again, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about it.

Move along, move along.

Re:Funny how the people who plaint over this the m (2)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#41487133)

Then again, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about it.

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

Re:Funny how the people who plaint over this the m (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487141)

So police and politicians wouldn't mind me searching their homes (surely the people asking for these laws having nothing to hide).

Re:Funny how the people who plaint over this the m (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487927)

In a literal sense, there can be no such thing. Privacy is hiding - people subscribe by the idea that not everything is everybody else' business, therefore your proposition fails on two points - being first nobody SAID that was the case [you put words in their mouths], and 2nd, such a state of mind as "nothing" to hide is impossible.

Not that simpletons like you would understand it.

Change we can believe in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486947)

Where are all of the people who were howling when Bush was at the helm? When Bush did this, a lot *less* of this, mind you, you couldn't go anywhere on the web without liberal activists screaming for him to be impeached.

But now we've got Obama, and the horde is silent. Apparently the howling was never at all based on principles, but solely on political partisanship. Hypocrites.

PS if you think this will get any better under Romney, you're a damned fool. If you haven't figured it out yet, Democrats and Republicans are more alike than different, and when it comes to total situational awareness of what every man, woman, and child is doing at all times, they are united in solidarity.

Re:Change we can believe in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487379)

"The horde is silent"? Have you missed literally every thread on the subject? They may not be calling for his impeachment but there's plenty of bitching.

Big Brother is watching (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 years ago | (#41487043)

who watches the watchers?

Orwellian dystopia here we come, welcome to the New World Order.

Re:Big Brother is watching (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41487577)

who watches the watchers?

Orwellian dystopia here we come, welcome to the New World Order.

New World Order my $$$. The Old World Order is handling the job quite well, thank-you-very-much. Good loyal American legislators and executives who are going to make us all "safe" and "protect" our (corporate) rights wrote and passed this legislation. And we let them. Republicans and Democrats both.

You got it. (0)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 2 years ago | (#41487275)

Here's the "Change" I believed in...

Re:You got it. (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 2 years ago | (#41487461)

That's a cute way to ignore that the surveillance is completely bipartisan. This is neither strictly Obama's fault nor any meaningful change from the last administration. Were McCain elected, we would not be any better off in this regard. Should Romney be elected, we will be no better off. Both parties want this desperately, because it is a springboard to consolidating even more power in their hands.

Re:You got it. (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41488623)

That's a cute way to ignore that the surveillance is completely bipartisan.

That's a generous way to put on it. To put a finer point on it, the US government is monopartisan.

Re:You got it. (1)

brxndxn (461473) | about 2 years ago | (#41489543)

So, while working to change both the Republican and Democrat parties within, we should all be voting for a an anti surveillance-state candidate like Gary Johnson.

Re:You got it. (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 years ago | (#41487625)

Here's the "Change" I believed in...

This pretty much shows that you can't just hope that the guy in charge won't abuse the power. Why aren't the Repubs in control of the House having hearings about this, aren't they concerned the executive is overstepping its bounds? Why weren't the Democrats in control of the Senate during part of the Bush years doing that either?

It would appear that allowing unchecked executive power is the bipartisan issue of the 21st century. Your vote may matter a little bit regarding gay marriage or who pays how much in taxes, but as to encroaching police state your choices are "more" or "more".

Damn commies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41488165)

No really, as long as they were around, western governments at least paid some lip sevice to people's rights - in order to distance theselves from those horrible oppressive countries that monitor their citizens every move, communication and (at least trying to) thought.

my suspicion is (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#41489027)

that people are beginning to realize just how little their lives are impacted or affected by terrorism. out of sheer desparation, the government drive to catch anything remotely related to the ideas or sentiments of terrorism or terrorists is now becoming apparent.

if we dont have 'terror,' then an entire industry that employs millions of americans collapses during an intractable recession. Seeing an increase in wiretaps and so forth is merely observing this industrial organism defensively fight for its survival. As for its government custodian, in this case, i suspect its easier to keep up appearances than to face the fact that peanut allergies killed more americans last year than terrorism, and obesity killed more americans than 9/11 by a long shot.

Re:my suspicion is (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about 2 years ago | (#41490823)

Well said but I fear, as you probably do, not enough people are waking up fast enough. It may be too late very soon.

Re:my suspicion is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41494203)

that people are beginning to realize just how little their lives are impacted or affected by terrorism. out of sheer desparation, the government drive to catch anything remotely related to the ideas or sentiments of terrorism or terrorists is now becoming apparent.

if we dont have 'terror,' then an entire industry that employs millions of americans collapses during an intractable recession. Seeing an increase in wiretaps and so forth is merely observing this industrial organism defensively fight for its survival. As for its government custodian, in this case, i suspect its easier to keep up appearances than to face the fact that peanut allergies killed more americans last year than terrorism, and obesity killed more americans than 9/11 by a long shot.

Yes, but people fear violence unless it is for their entertainment. You cannot expose the type of violence that exists in this world to the majority of the population without some kind of backlash. And every type of societal response needs a scapegoat or hero. Someone or thing to symbolize the peoples self-righteous virtues.

Do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41489431)

Let them come.

As a taxpayer... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#41489709)

I did not approve of my taxes being spent this way, which can't possibly reduce crime in a reasonable reflection of what it is costing. Not to dismiss misuse of such ... lets call it what it is.... spying on its own citizens.... No why would they want to do that? With media control they have a feed back loop for manipulating the public.

No taxation without representation.... Is this representation?

Homeland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41490071)

my wife has gotten hooked on Homeland since it won all those Emmys - it's well written, incredibly well acted and an interesting premise EXCEPT for the idea of a CIA officer being worried about being prosecuted for warrantless surveillance of an American citizen. (mini-spoiler) there's actually a scene where her mentor blackmails a judge to obtain a FISA warrant since he obviously would NEVER have granted it otherwise. again, otherwise a great show but it's hard for me not to fall the sofa laughing at the portrayal of CIA-types showing genuine fear of consequences for this type of thing...

Not a search according to Supreme Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41492483)

Pen register / trap-and-trace information is just the log of phone numbers dialed outgoing and incoming to a phone. Since the 70's, the Supreme Court has maintained that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy concerning just the phone numbers, therefore it is not a search, so constitutional protections against warrantless searches do not apply. Now, if the government wanted to monitor the actual conversations or contents of those communications, THAT is private and requires a warrant. The ACLU knows all this, yet they still maintain that pen register / trap-and-trace techniques are warrantless searches. It's just not true, unless the Supreme Court chagnes its mind, which it probably won't.

Constitution out, NWO in (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about 2 years ago | (#41493237)

For emails, setup your own exchange server or what ever alternative there is on linux instead of using gmail, hotmail, etc... Use vpn. Don't save any of your personal data on cloud, create your own cloud server. But what do you expect to happen when the U.S goes around the world meddling in other peoples affairs including installing dictators, taking resources(for corporations to use), etc... The chickens come home to roost.

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