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362 comments

Americans no better than foreigners (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380261)

Spy on everyone. Karma is a bitch, folks.

Re:Americans no better than foreigners (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about 9 months ago | (#44380427)

But who will watch the watchers of the watchers watching the watched?

Re:Americans no better than foreigners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380445)

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the greatest of them all? USA, USA, USA!

Re:Americans no better than foreigners (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 9 months ago | (#44380543)

It's watchers . . . all the way down.

Sadly, this isn't even funny, but rather the reality.

Re:Americans no better than foreigners (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 9 months ago | (#44380929)

Rather the sad thing is that reality is actually pretty fun when you're not busy with the reality of being sad about the unfunny realities of reality.

Re:Americans no better than foreigners (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380809)

But who will watch the watchers of the watchers watching the watched?

China.

It's A Start (5, Informative)

some old guy (674482) | about 9 months ago | (#44380295)

Not bad for a first try to rein in rogue agency.

We need to keep the pressure on, and support organizations and officials who think the principles of Constitutional government are more important than fear-mongering.

If we don't, the fight is over. The terrorists and our fascist "protectors" have won.

Re:It's A Start (5, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44380377)

Rogue? Seems complicit to me.

What I wonder about right now are the NSA employees who - some surely being geeks who read Slashdot - are reading this comment. How do they sleep at night?

Do they speak like so many mid-20th century "soldiers", absolving themselves because they're only following orders? Have they been brainwashed into thinking that there's suuuuuuch a threat from terrorists to the American Way Of Life that what they do is essential? Or do they just enjoy the power trip in a dying empire? At least one such NSA employee will be reading this, and their conscience will twinge, just for a second.

Re:It's A Start (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380489)

They're in a privileged position, and the vast majority will be lapping it up. It boosts their egos because they are legally above the law applied to everyone else. People in power very rarely want to give it up, they desire more.

Re:It's A Start (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44380553)

I'd regard not being able to achieve unless I deceive those who put their trust in me to be a grand admission of failure. Maybe some people just have low standards for themselves? Even the dullest person can get things done with a bottomless pit of money and lies.

Re:It's A Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380499)

When you're getting paid well to perform a task, you naturally begin to view that task in a more positive light. This applies from the bottom of the power pyramid (where the pay is direct and official) all the way to the top (where the pay is indirect and unofficial).

I've just watched that happen with two diff... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380541)

friends, one of whom is now drinking the Apple Kool-aid, and another doing similiar with the goog.

Re:It's A Start (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#44380557)

At least one such NSA employee will be reading this, and their conscience will twinge, just for a second.

No, no it won't. Cognitive dissonance will prevent it. They have convinced themselves that they are good people on no basis whatsoever, and in order to protect that belief they will convince themselves that there is no way to achieve their goal but to ride roughshod over the constitution. Then they'll tell themselves that it's OK to violate the constitution as long as you're doing it to protect the constitution. Unfortunately, holding such a clearly contradictory belief is a kind of insanity.

Re:It's A Start (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44380783)

They have convinced themselves that they are good people on no basis whatsoever,

All people do this, and I am continually amazed when people make comments like GP, wondering how someone can live with certain actions.

Its as if they think the "big bads" of the 20th century (Mao, Stalin, et al) thought they were bad guys. Never underestimate the ability of humans to rationalize and justify their actions. Note that this means each person should be continually on guard for when they have convinced themselves that something abhorrent is actually justifiable.

Re:It's A Start (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44380973)

They have convinced themselves that they are good people on no basis whatsoever,

All people do this, and I am continually amazed when people make comments like GP, wondering how someone can live with certain actions.

Oh, that's terribly defeatist. What makes you think it? It's certainly not been my observation at all.

Its as if they think the "big bads" of the 20th century (Mao, Stalin, et al)

Not sure why you slipped in that little list, but are you by any chance looking at this problem from quite far to the right? I've noticed a tendency of ideologues (rather than ethical pragmatists) to view everyone as evil hypocrites by nature, and to use that as an excuse for their worldview.

Re:It's A Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380853)

Then they'll tell themselves that it's OK to violate the constitution as long as you're doing it to protect the constitution. Unfortunately, holding such a clearly contradictory belief is a kind of insanity.

Not to protect "the constitution" but rather protect the American people against dangers that the founding fathers could not foresee when they originally wrote the constitution.

Now in my opinion there is hardly a larger danger than the executive powers of FBI and NSA spiralling out of democratic control. But that is not the main danger that the imperium founded by Edgar Hoover perceives.

Re:It's A Start (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#44380569)

To programmers there: Snowden claimed he could listen to calls with no warrant and no alarms going off. How is this possible? Shouldn't you build in logging with MD5 calculation, both being sent off to multiple storage sites?

Shouldn't you have a similar system integrity check, also logged, against a known, uncorrupted file system, to detect alteration of executables?

To honest agents: What if the guy next to you was like G. Gordon Liddy, and when nobody was looking, listened on on conversations of political people? How would you know? What if he was doing it for "the other side?".

Re:It's A Start (2)

spacepimp (664856) | about 9 months ago | (#44380849)

.Why would they want any sort of accountability/records of who they listened to? That would make them guilty. No record means it didn't happen. Why do you think they can suck up the planets email but they cannot examine their own? (to have records will prove them guilty)

Re:It's A Start (1)

Mitsoid (837831) | about 9 months ago | (#44380665)

I would argue the media organizations have overblown the terrorism angle so they can have 24/7 terror news coverage. Just yesterday with the spanish train derailment the radio broadcaster said "another train derailment happened a decade ago in Madrid, Spain, 350 miles from this trains location, it was connected to a terrorist attack. Authorities have claimed this incident, however, looks like an accident."

Why bring up a terrorist attack a decade and 300+ miles away? I doubt they are even on the same track, run by the same company, or in any other way related -- except by being trains in the same country.

The public becomes afraid, and the public forces the government to do something. Is the NSA program overboard? Personally I don't think so -- I think it should INCLUDE Americans.

My only objection to the program is that, by existing as a government program, lobbiest might take it over and force MPAA/RIAA detection & crack downs.. and then more and more minor cases, until a teenager texts about a kid in his school smoking weed in the bathroom and gets the FBI knocking on his parents door.

Re:It's A Start (0)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 9 months ago | (#44380701)

Honestly, I'm willing to bet many geeks who do work at such agencies, are geeks who like to play with new toys, or develop new toys, or find new ways of doing things with what some might say, is in an environment with limitless resources.

I do not work for them, but honestly, if someone offered me the chance depending on the position, and the skill set required, I would probably say yes.
Would I have a clear conscience, probably not, would I have alot of fun, probably.

I'm sure many here will crucify me for being somewhat honest, or being a traitor to the people, etc etc.

Re:It's A Start (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 9 months ago | (#44380899)

So you'd sell your countries liberties for the ability to experiment with hacking/surveillance of your own populace? I can say I respect your honesty, because a comment like this makes you a genuine douche-bag.

Re:It's A Start (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#44380705)

How do they sleep at night?
Considering what they are allowed to read at work and how 'free' they feel to read at home i.e. compartmentalized.
This news will come as funding = legality. That feeling of retroactive telecom immunity vs say starting a next gen Church Committee.

Re:It's A Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380805)

Rogue? Seems complicit to me.

What I wonder about right now are the NSA employees who - some surely being geeks who read Slashdot - are reading this comment. How do they sleep at night?

Do they speak like so many mid-20th century "soldiers", absolving themselves because they're only following orders? Have they been brainwashed into thinking that there's suuuuuuch a threat from terrorists to the American Way Of Life that what they do is essential? Or do they just enjoy the power trip in a dying empire? At least one such NSA employee will be reading this, and their conscience will twinge, just for a second.

I think its safe to say that if there are any people of good conscience in the NSA they have been silenced, ostracised or even kicked out. Reality had surpassed fiction. The Turner hero of the 3 days of the Condor ? Poof gone, doesn't even exist nowadays together with that nice 4th power that americans are (used) to be so proud of. Today we've got psycopaths in the government starting from the top and yes-men everywhere from Congress passing through the press and down to your shithole of a town in central oklahoma whose police is more militarized/weaponized than soldiers fighting insurgents in afghanistan.

This will never happen. (4, Insightful)

emil (695) | about 9 months ago | (#44380855)

Having acquired these powers over decades, no amount of voter insistence will be effective in removing them.

What needs to happen now is at the state level - the legislatures must be convinced to grant themselves greater oversight and control over federal activities.

Article. V. - The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Our representative democracy was designed in an era where (horse-drawn) transportation was problematic, and the decisions of a few were practical. These conditions no longer exist, and the few are now too easily swayed by money and power. More people need to participate in federal decisions if we wish to (re)establish the consent of the governed.

Re:It's A Start (4, Interesting)

asylumx (881307) | about 9 months ago | (#44380921)

Given that Pelosi and Boehner both voted against this bill, I'd say this is a much bigger problem than most of the others we've talked about around slashdot. When those two agree, you know something is severely wrong with the world.

Re:It's A Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380931)

What I wonder about right now are the NSA employees who - some surely being geeks who read Slashdot - are reading this comment. How do they sleep at night?

That's why they've got Cold Fjord here for. Makes them feel better to have a paid shill trying to justify all their shit.

Re:It's A Start (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 9 months ago | (#44380947)

People in the "defense" industry typically respond with "I sleep just fine on a giant pile of money" or a slight variation of it, I'd expect the same from NSA stooges.

Re:It's A Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380979)

We sleep because we follow our own rules.

Re:It's A Start (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380513)

Not bad for a first try to rein in rogue agency.

Just wait until the tech sector starts sending in the lobbyists in droves. Right about now, the implications are starting to hit home in Silicon Valley. All those government contracts in foreign countries are about to go bye-bye, along with a pretty good percentage of private contracts.

Re:It's A Start (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about 9 months ago | (#44380659)

they werent really trying. everyone knew it was going to fail. congress LIKES the NSA, they would never actually get rid of it. this was an attempt to save face, and it looks like they succeeded in doing so.

My congressman will be getting a call today. (5, Informative)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44380303)

It's shameful. My district borders on two of my previous districts, and both of those districts voted aye. Both of those representatives are men I voted for in prior elections, and proudly so. My current congressman, on the other hand, has brought disgrace upon himself by voting against this amendment. To be fair, I voted against him...

Re:My congressman will be getting a call today. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380599)

So what if you give him a call? So he lost your votes, and some others. He still has a chance to be a representative next term. If the NSA has sufficient dirt on him, or if they can convince him of that, he won't get another chance. They'll expose what they have gathered on him (and everybody has some dirty little secret) and they'll take their chances with the next one.

I think it was Edgar Hoover who first demonstrated how to amass so much power in the executive that multiple presidents and congresses no longer dared to exert any reasonable amount of control over the apparatus.

Nixon thought that he was entitled to the same kind of antics on the other side of the fence, and see where that got him.

FBI/NSA are not to be trifled with. Losing a few voters is harmless in contrast.

Re:My congressman will be getting a call today. (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44380727)

*shrug* Doesn't matter, really. Unless I let my voice be heard, I may as well be a serf.

Re:My congressman will be getting a call today. (3, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 months ago | (#44381017)

John Culberson (Republican with TeaParty)- Texas 7th district - had this to say about why he voted against the Amash amendment but instead voted for the Pompeo amendment.

voted for the Pompeo (Nugent) Amendment instead of the Amash Amendment because it protects the privacy of American citizens. The Pompeo (Nugent) Amendment prohibits the NSA from targeting U.S. persons and protects the content of our phone calls from the NSA. Specifically, the Pompeo (Nugent) Amendment prohibits the NSA from listening to phone calls of American citizens without a court ordered search warrant. It protects our privacy and protects our Constitutional rights without destroying the NSA’s ability to track terrorists, as I believe the Amash Amendment would have done. The consequence of the Amash Amendment would be to prevent the collection and analysis of ALL bulk data in America — not just the data of American citizens. This would protect the data of terrorists who are operating sleeper cells in this country and make us vulnerable to future terrorist attacks. The Amash amendment would do nothing to reform the NSA surveillance program and would do nothing to ensure that the privacy of American citizens is protected. The NSA has successfully stopped several domestic terrorist attacks, and we need to continue tracking and stopping terrorists while at the same time protecting the privacy and Constitutional rights of American citizens.

http://culberson.house.gov/protecting-your-right-to-privacy/ [house.gov]

Of Course (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380309)

Of course it failed. What, you actually thought it might pass? It was obviously a hollow effort by some politicians to appear to be on the side of American privacy while knowing full well that nothing would change and the government would continue to have the ability to do what it's been doing. No surprise there.

wait a minute (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#44380319)

So, not only do I have to turn javascript on for that last link but I have to know my rep's name since it's not sorted by name. Also, I don't think Karen Bass is a male black teenager so I think the pictures might have been a bit screwed up. Is it their twitter profile pics or something?

Re:wait a minute (4, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44380401)

If you don't know your representative's name in a representative democracy, something's very broken.

Re:wait a minute (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 9 months ago | (#44380597)

Well then something is very broken, because in just about all the places I know the vast majority of people don't know their representative. They'll know the top people (or the president/prime minister alone, at worst) but that's about it.

Re:wait a minute (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | about 9 months ago | (#44380625)

I know. I's NSA.

Seriously, how do we, or rather you americans, know NSA did not use blackmail?

Re:wait a minute (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 9 months ago | (#44380697)

I disagree. You not knowing your representative's name only shows the system is "very broken" if your representative likes it that way.

Posting to Facebook (1)

SenatorPerry (46227) | about 9 months ago | (#44380327)

If you post the associated "Show me how my Representative Voted" link, please consider sponsoring the post that it shows up on your friend's feeds. The reason is that often these articles are repeated with multiple sources leading to them not reaching the importance criteria to display on other's feeds. It is too important of an issue to allow $7 in sponsorship fees to bury the message.

quite possible (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#44380355)

If they defund the NSA's programs, they'll just use all those stolen credit card numbers and intercepted banking logins from their data logs to fund it.

NSA sez... (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#44380359)

I'll know who you called this Summer.

but I still can't sort out my own emails

Re:NSA sez... (1)

khr (708262) | about 9 months ago | (#44380687)

but I still can't sort out my own emails

That's probably by design, for their own security... That way the courts can't force them to reveal it.

System works! (3, Interesting)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 9 months ago | (#44380361)

Representative government system at work, flawless as ever. Not like some godawful Egyptian generals, who are causing turmoil just because of some "spirit of the law" and other unholy gibberish.

Ah, Gibson, Sterling and other cyberpunk masters, you were truly prophetic back in your time.

Re:System works! (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 9 months ago | (#44380623)

Ah, Gibson, Sterling and other cyberpunk masters, you were truly prophetic back in your time.

Hardly; Heinlein predicted this shit in the early 60's.

Re:System works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380873)

It is why Gibson doesn't write Cyberpunk anymore. Because it stopped being scifi.

Hence why stuff like Little Brother and Homeland are cyberpunk, but at the same time contemporary fiction.

Jury maundering at its finest. (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#44380371)

The problem with the house is all the Jury Maundering.

Because of the majority, they will work to keep a hold of their majority, so they keep districts, where their threat of power isn't the other side, but people in your power who will claim you are not far enough into their camp. And because your district with a shape to hold your parties interest, means you can't even once vote across party lines.

In the House democracy has failed, in the area that is normal people, most direct say.

Re:Jury maundering at its finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380443)

Gerrymandering.

Re:Jury maundering at its finest. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380503)

Obama could put a stop to it in a single executive order without Congressional input, this was an attempt by some of Congress to pull that power from him and stop it without him being able to do anything about it.

Blame the executive branch for failures of the executive branch. Its popular to blame the GOP house for every problem, but it is 100% Obama's fault and his continuting it. You all voted to continue Obama policies, so I'm not sure where the Gerry Mandering is relevant or there is no representation, you asked to continue this and got what you asked for.

Re:Jury maundering at its finest. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#44380583)

He could have stopped it politically if the Republicans had the senate too. Or if the democrats were in charge of the house. However if he did that now, it would look like he is trying to strong arm the republicans out of power... And that will just get them more polarized.

If he were to fix that, he could have done that back when he got elected... However he wasted his time and effort on a health care bill, that in order of priorities that the Americans needed, was lower in the list than a lot of other things.

Re:Jury maundering at its finest. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44381067)

Generally speaking, assuming you are referring to gerrymandering, this was extremely non-party-line for a congressional vote these days. Both parties were deeply split on the Amash amendment.

Gerrymandering refers to tweaking district borders to ensure certain parties or candidates remain in power. As much as I would love to blame a system for the vote, this was nothing that matches that particular description. Just a lot of elected representatives disregarding the principles of liberty which are enshrined in the constitution.

Would you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380379)

Would you vote for something when the people you're voting to defund come up and say... "Remember, we have all of YOUR phone calls and emails too." But at least it was a close vote.

Re:Would you... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44380847)

Yes, brilliant idea. A US organization threatening congress-- THAT would go well. Im not sure you realize the extent of the power that Congress has to make life difficult for the NSA if it wanted to.

113th congress (4, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 9 months ago | (#44380409)

113th congress is the worst in history, which is sadly impressive given how bad the 112th was.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_the_113th_United_States_Congress [wikipedia.org]

There have been a total 13 bills make it into law so far this Congress... and the ones that have made it into law are about items such as "Freedom to Fish".

It's at a complete stand still folks. You're representatives have finally dropped to the point they aren't even pretending to represent interests of voters over the interests of their corporate donors.

How bad does it have to get before something is done?

Re:113th congress (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380515)

Actually, them doing nothing is probably better, otherwise they will screw things up even more.

Re:113th congress (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#44380573)

Actually, them doing nothing is probably better, otherwise they will screw things up even more.

False dichotomy. There's a third option: Undoing things. They can be invaliding prior acts, which is what we really need. We don't need to "fix" the U SAP AT RIOT act, we need to eliminate it. Examples abound.

Re:113th congress (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#44380771)

There have been a total 13 bills make it into law so far this Congress... and the ones that have made it into law are about items such as "Freedom to Fish".

Clearly you and I have different opinions on what qualifies as "worst" Congress. Considering all the harm they've been causing, them being completely ineffective in getting anything done is a marked improvement over what we've seen in previous years.

Re:113th congress (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 9 months ago | (#44380951)

While I agree totally with your point about the utter incompetence of the 113th Congress, this is an odd time to be pointing that out. This is probably the first and only time in their whole session where they made a good attempt at getting something productive and important done. They only came 7 votes shy of the goal, and it was frankly the first significant bipartisan effort I've seen in Congress since the Republicans took it over in 2010. Seriously, don't harsh all over the first tiny ray of sunshine we've seen in three and a half years This kind of thing should be encouraged.

Normal behavior for the Republican Caucus has been to hold pointless symbolic votes to defund "Obamacare", women's health services, or the defunct ACORN (just in case it starts existing again), in between their amazingly long vacations (they will work all of 7 days next month). Then again, its tough to blame them for the vacations when they aren't accomplishing anything on their work days.

But now the Tea Party wing has just discovered that when they work with like-minded Democrats on certian issues, rather than just use them as evil foils for their elections, they might be able to actually accomplish something. Unless you are a fan of random drift, this a promising development in the governing of the nation.

Re:113th congress (2)

edawstwin (242027) | about 9 months ago | (#44381033)

I'd prefer a system in which every other year - let's say even years - are for passing laws and odd years are only for repealing laws.

Still don't get it... (1)

arekin (2605525) | about 9 months ago | (#44380419)

We have been doing this for a long time now. I don't see why having this data is a big deal. They are sitting on phone records that they are largely never going to use.

Re:Still don't get it... (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#44380533)

Does the name COINTELPRO mean anything to you? Decades ago the government used illegal surveillance to attempt to quash the civil rights movement. What assurances do we have that they won't do this again? Why should we believe they have good intentions at all when they cannot comply with the 4th amendment?

Re:Still don't get it... (3, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#44380843)

Does the name COINTELPRO mean anything to you? Decades ago the government used illegal surveillance to attempt to quash the civil rights movement. What assurances do we have that they won't do this again? Why should we believe they have good intentions at all when they cannot comply with the 4th amendment?

Exactly -this is why it is a big deal arekin (GP). When the government pretty much knows everything about everyone - then there is no more ability to effectively and democratically reform society for the better, right injustices, fight to change the status quo etc. For example try and organize a rally, information drive, any form of community organization against or for [insert cause]. If it upsets those in power you will be picked up/harassed/fired/detained before any of your emails/chats/phone calls to organize democratically allowed protest even hit anyones inbox. This is not speculation, all these police state things have already happened. One recent example: if you care to look into the details of one particular movement called "Occupy" that threatened the heart of power and money by asking for those in wall street that broke laws to actually be punished for their crimes.

Allowing the surveillance state means any slippery sloped we are now on with just continue to get worse, no leaders in our community can take charge to organize others to resist/complain/pushback against [insert cause]. History has given us enough examples now to know that if we do not reject the surveillance state we now find ourselves living in, then we really do deserve everything that is coming...

Re:Still don't get it... (1)

robinsonne (952701) | about 9 months ago | (#44380561)

Because it never stops. It's a gigantic dragnet of everyone and everything. Sure, a huge majority of it is blah blah blah about how Sally is tired of putting up with Tom's crap and Judy's going to have a baby...

Where it becomes an issue is: you can find out anything you want to know about someone by who they talk to. Are they part of a union, are they part of a certain political/religious group, are they having an affair, did they talk to someone 2 months ago that went on a shooting rampage today....?

The entire purpose is to dig up dirt on people, and I don't trust anyone in the government to hold and use that information properly, professionally, competently, or ethically. It is a very dangerous tool that they have, and anyone who thinks it will only be used against "terrorists" is incredibly naive.

That's how they get ya (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380431)

Apparently, I have no legislators and they have my zipcode...

Say WHAT!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380455)

So the representatives got the opportunity to vote on a bill that would have implied financial cuts for the NSA if there was proof that they continued spitting on the constitution, committing perjury to congress, disappropriating money without congressional oversight for the sake of spying on the populace, and this was voted down?

Whose interests are these clowns supposed to be representing?

On a different note, there were "emergency" secret meetings scheduled by the NSA with representatives before the vote happened with the explicit aim of swinging the vote. It does not take a lot of fantasy to guess the kind of incentives the NSA offered. Their best bargaining chips for convincing dissenters will be pretty much indistinguishable from blackmail or offers of blackmailing material on political opponents, given the nature of assets that the NSA has to offer.

Would any other kind of arguments required secret meetings to persuade representatives that it is to their own best if they don't try to put the NSA back under congressional and/or judicial control?

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380461)

core team. They a dead man walking. To downloa3 the Lay dow$n paper

List of reps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380483)

I found this useful:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/113th_United_States_Congress

Congress *might* be rattled (1)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about 9 months ago | (#44380491)

I just called my representative to express my displeasure. The young woman who answered had an obvious prepared response about how Rep. Sinema has been working to protect the Fourth Amendment and this was a hard decision...but it didn't sound like her heart was in it.

That this amendment failed is a bad sign, that Congress would rather stand with the spymasters than with the citizenry. But there may still be a glimmer of hope for us to push hard enough to un-fuck ourselves.

It does make me wonder, though, what kind of dirt the NSA has on my representative that they could make her cave like that.

b&

Re:Congress *might* be rattled (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 9 months ago | (#44380671)

You representative is probably a typical politician, so here's the list of dirt they have on him/her.
- affair with interns
- hiring prostitutes
- taking bribes from government contractors
- getting top donors cushy political appointments (like ambassadorships)
- manipulating the Justice system to get friends out of jail
- insider trading. While still not illegal, is morally wrong
- etc.

Re:Congress *might* be rattled (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#44381015)

A typical politician may respond well to the positive reinforcement too:
- find the one member of the press who knows of the intern thing
- State jobs via Federal and private "government" contractors to take back to the electorate
- getting family members cushy jobs
- insider trading, legal now for staff :)
- Elite educational places found, huge fees altered to free scholarships.
- Offshore "trusts" permanently hidden from any US tax efforts
- etc.
For this gen insider trading seems to work well.

Re:Congress *might* be rattled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380763)

It does make me wonder, though, what kind of dirt the NSA has on my representative that they could make her cave like that.

Enough. The NSA has admitted to eavesdropping three hops from each suspect, and most representatives will be in two-hop radius to some "suspect" just by virtue of communicating with the press. And if they aren't, there will be some flimsy excuse for recording all their calls anyway. We are talking about national security, remember? And every congress member can be a danger to national security by virtue of the secrets he knows and the power he wields, particular the power to cast un-American votes. Like those curtailing the freedom of the NSA.

Sad..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380493)

Just another failure that shows our representatives don't give a crap about us.

This loss is really a victory (1, Troll)

aeranvar (2589619) | about 9 months ago | (#44380501)

This amendment was expected to be voted down by a large margin, which is why it was allowed to be voted on. In light of that fact, the 205 to 217 result actually makes this a significant victory for privacy advocates.

Re:This loss is really a victory (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 9 months ago | (#44380801)

This amendment was expected to be voted down by a large margin, which is why it was allowed to be voted on. In light of that fact, the 205 to 217 result actually makes this a significant victory for privacy advocates.

Symbolically, yes. In spirit, maybe, there might have been some pandering by the representatives. But in fact, that still means that more than half of the house doesn't think much of their constituents.

The only upside is that now we know we have at least 217 traitors in the house. Unfortunately the senate and other branches remains an unknown, but non-zero, number.

Kudos to Michigan reps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380519)

A lot of Michigan reps voted affirmative on the measure, including my local rep, Bill Huizenga. I may not agree with him on some issues (hell, a lot of issues), but at least he seems to have the character to stand up to blatant and unconstitutional abuses of authority like this. It's also worth noting that the amendment to the bill was fronted by a Michigan representative.

War not over yet (3, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 9 months ago | (#44380531)

We may have lost this battle, but the war has barely begun. I would like to point out that when looking up your representatives, don't just maneuver to call and chew out those who voted against our liberties, call those who voted for us and praise them in a show of support.

I would also like to take a moment to sincerely apologize to the tin foil hat crowd: I have made fun of you in the past, only now I am sorry I was too blind to really listen. You were right all along.

Re:War not over yet (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#44380905)

I would also like to take a moment to sincerely apologize to the tin foil hat crowd: I have made fun of you in the past, only now I am sorry I was too blind to really listen. You were right all along.

Reminds me of my favorite Heinlein quote:

"Being right too soon is socially unacceptable."

Show vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380581)

It was a show vote. Every single one of these representatives have been briefed on these programs multiple times, and are only now crying foul. They just want their names on a piece of legislation that they knew stood no chance of passing, because it documents some separation between themselves and the sinking ship that is the NSA. There's an old adage about rats and sinking ships...

The best thing you can do is keep their feet to the fire. Don't let them get away with washing their hands of this so easily. They're all guilty as sin, and they all need to be held accountable.

The people have spoken (2)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 9 months ago | (#44380601)

And they want to be heard!

Darnit.

Re:The people have spoken (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 9 months ago | (#44380717)

This is the NSA. We hear you loud and clear.

Re:The people have spoken (4, Funny)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about 9 months ago | (#44380777)

Thanks guys. Hey - listen my external USB drive got corrupted last night and I can't seem to repair it.

Can you direct me to the request form for an NSA restore of my data, please?

I did my part (5, Insightful)

Yevoc (1389497) | about 9 months ago | (#44380607)

Now that we all know we're being surveilled, I can understand why others may not make similar posts, but I'm going to risk it and say it anyway. I read the previous slashdot article on the amendment. I immediately called my representative. He voted YES! Even if the ship sinks, I still feel very good about this moment. The system may be dysfunctional, but at least some of us are still doing the right thing. The worst thing we can do is succumb to despair. It may take some really tough times to happen, but we WILL eventually emerge on the other side with a better system. It's what life always manages to do, no matter how dark the times become.

Will never happen (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 9 months ago | (#44380621)

This will never pass for one simple reason. The same people who have access to the information and can use these intimate details of someone's life for personal or political gain, are the same ones who are voting on the funding of the same program. Why would the government shut it down, when they can use this to blackmail anyone they want? If had access to all this information and was a sociopathic politician, I would NEVER give the program up.

Remember the Petraeus scandal? Do you really think it was a coincidence that 1 month after Benghazi, the CIA director is found out to be having an affair? The United States is entering a phase known as the post-constitutional republic, where the rule of law is disregarded by the people who are "more equal than others". The Rule of Law offers no protection, because the same people who are supposed to enforce the law are the ones breaking the law.

Fortunately, the Founding Fathers gave the American People two amendments which are their best attempt at protecting the people from the post-constitutional republic. The 1st, allowing the people to speak about what is happening. And the 2nd, allowing people to defend themselves from a tyrannical government. Once the 1st and 2nd Amendment have been 100% usurped, it is time to start learning Chinese.

Surprisingly Close (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#44380627)

217-205.

My representative, who voted for crap like CISPA even voted against this.

All that is needed is to change 7 votes.

Re:Surprisingly Close (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44380959)

All that is needed is to change 7 votes.

But now the NSA knows which representatives to blackmail. They don't run into the danger of accidentally swinging a "No" into a "Yes" because of accidentally pissing off an actual "No"-voter. By only threatening "Yes"-voters, they can now extend their lead.

They'll bring out the thumbscrews, and now they know who is in need of persuasion. Expect a few "Yes" voters to resign due to "personal reasons" in the next few months.

Where was Ron Paul? (2)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about 9 months ago | (#44380761)

Doesn't he usually oppose everything that involves spending money? Isn't he supposed to be the great champion of civil liberties and The American Way (TM)? Surely, we should be able to count on him to vote to defund the NSA, shouldn't we?

Wouldn't Have Mattered (2)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 9 months ago | (#44380911)

It would have been a great symbolic win, but the President would have vetoed it no question, and I doubt we could ever get a super majority, even if we could get it passed in the first place.

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