×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NSA Director Defends Surveillance To Unsympathetic Black Hat Crowd

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the know-your-audience dept.

United States 358

Trailrunner7 writes "NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander's keynote today at Black Hat USA 2013 was a tense confessional, an hour-long emotional and sometimes angry ride that shed some new insight into the spy agency's two notorious data collection programs, inspired moments of loud applause in support of the NSA, and likewise, profane heckling that called into question the legality and morality of the agency's practices. Loud voices from the overflowing crowd called out Alexander on his claims that the NSA stands for freedom while at the same time collecting, storing and analyzing telephone business records, metadata and Internet records on Americans. He also denied lying to Congress about the NSA's capabilities and activities in the name of protecting Americans from terrorism in response to such a claim from a member of the audience."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

358 comments

Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in polls (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 9 months ago | (#44441335)

The NSA scandal has been so earth-shattering with regards to raising awareness of government surveillance that concerns over civil liberties now outweigh concerns over protecting the country [rare.us]. The shift is across party lines as well. It's no wonder politicians of either party have been decrying a rising trend of libertarianism. Whether or not it's accurate to classify today's anti-government fears as such, the fact that the U.S. has become the kind of country to seek asylum from is staggeringly insane. The "trust us" defense isn't good enough.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441511)

And yet they still want to hang Snowden from the highest tree they can find.

What's really happened is that Congress, which has spent the last decade after the Patriot Act was passed jacking off and doing piss all to keep the Executive in check, is now suddenly been embarrassed by the revelations, and wants to look all huffy-and-puffy. But make no mistake, they want Snowden disemboweled just as much as the Administration, if for no other reason than having the audacity to interrupt that partisan circle jerk with some meaningful and critical to the national interest.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441583)

"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." - Mao Zedong

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (5, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | about 9 months ago | (#44441915)

The man lied to Congress and is participating in illegal unconstitutional mass surveillance and seizure of every American's private data, all for the very limited success of saving less lives than that lost by slipping in the tub during a bath/shower. He's a criminal. He's abused the people's trust and has flat out lied to every American as well as those American's that sit in Congress. He needs to be in jail for a very long time along with all his compatriots.

You can't debate the goodness of violating the Constitution. We can't have our government (and the associated military) making decisions of what part, and when, to uphold the Constitution. No, the Executive Branch is not responsible for determining what should or should not be upheld nor are they even responsible for defending the American people. The President's primary duty is to defend and uphold the Constitution.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#44441787)

Knowing their average IQ, i bet that most blame Snowden for having no privacity now. Shooting the messenger should be the next american sport.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442187)

While I doubt that's true, it really wouldn't cost much in mainstream media to make that true.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 9 months ago | (#44442085)

They weren't jacking off, they were raking in billions of dollars in "campaign contributions" from the corporations that have been getting all of the contracts these agencies need.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (5, Informative)

flaming error (1041742) | about 9 months ago | (#44441555)

> The "trust us" defense isn't good enough
It's not, because we are unsatisfied.

But it is enough, because what do they even need a defense for? What threat must they defend themselves from?

Congress? If Congress does anything, it will expand NSA powers, not reduce them.

SCOTUS? Somebody has to sue the gov first and prove harm. But it's all secret, so nobody can do that. If anyone managed to get proof, they'd end up in a jail cell with Bradley Manning.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441597)

Or hanging out in a Moscow airport waiting for the President to offer the appropriate bribe to Vladimir Putin to have your ass sent back to the United States for the crime of causing the Surveillance State a little trouble.

This is it, go with him... (4, Insightful)

Grog6 (85859) | about 9 months ago | (#44441901)

That's the way I see this ending, pretty much.

It's amazed me that he hasn't been "accidentally" killed in a plane crash, or other public disaster; it's not like the Russian Govt cares.

It Does amaze me that America is now a place to seek asylum From. :facepalm:

Re:This is it, go with him... (4, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 9 months ago | (#44442147)

I'm guessing that if they did anything too overt, they'd just risk making a martyr of him. Better to find some way to bury him in the public eye (dodgy rape case) or, more likely, wait a few years for him to fade into obscurity, and then he gets hit by a drunk driver.

One way or another, I don't see him seeing his 35th birthday.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (0, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44442261)

.... for the crime of causing the Surveillance State a little trouble.

NSA chief says leak damage 'irresponsible and irreversible' [foxnews.com]

National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander said Thursday the damage from recently leaked information is "irresponsible and irreversible" because it has given terrorist groups the intelligence community's "playbook."

Snowden leaks give edge to U.S. rivals, officials say [latimes.com]

Among the disclosures from Snowden that were published in the Washington Post and the Guardian was that Skype, the Internet calling service, was among the systems that provided data to the NSA's secret PRISM database. That disclosure contradicted a widespread belief that calls made via Skype were difficult or impossible to intercept.

Some suspected terrorists the NSA was tracking are no longer using Skype, U.S. officials said. Others have stopped using email, said one U.S. official who has been briefed on the damage.

"The Skype thing was really bad," the official said.

You don't think you're downplaying this just a little, do you?

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#44441973)

And since a case like this doesn't fall under SCOTUS original jurisdiction Congress can simply pass a law disallowing them to hear any cases.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441649)

Oh please. If this country we more libertarian in nature the spying would just be done in backroom deals.

Libertarianism is a disease of immature minds desperate to cling to the certainty of selfish and conformation-biased concepts. It's like you can't or don't want to admit that the world doesn't work in stark theoretical extremes. That you wont admit that something like a government can be both oppressive and beneficial at the same time.

It's not regulation vs free market, tyranny vs freedom. Effective society is the product of moderation and wisdom. The problems we face are multifaceted, and so are the solutions. You need every bit of theory from communism to libertarianism to truly make something work. And even then, it will be imperfect.

Grow up, bonch. How many years have you been spewing this kind of immature shit like you just read Atlas Shrugged. Enough already. Your iPhone trolling was bad enough.

Welcome to the 21st century. (0)

arcite (661011) | about 9 months ago | (#44441685)

This is just the beginning. Tracking technology is revolutionizing civilization. Automated cars will be a big one, they'll require constant tracking and monitoring by sophisticated AI networks. Healthcare is another one; with an aging society, people will voluntarily hook their bodies up to persistent remote monitoring by automated healthcare systems, essential in an age of ever increasing healthcare costs. Every aspect of our individual movements and activity will require monitoring if our connected, wired society is to function. With persistent monitoring of all public (and many private) spaces, crimes will plummet. Smart homes will provide essential consumer services, monitor energy usage, and ensure government mandated standards are followed. The key here is automation. Human eyes will not be peering into our private lives, it will be sophisticated AI. In an increasingly crowded planet pushing nine billion humans in thirty years, adopting these systems is not just essential, but the only viable solution to tackle many of our current problems. With the pace of cost reduction, advancements in the technology, accelerated adoption is assured. The information wants to be free. Privacy may be dead, but we need only redefine the nature of privacy.

Re:Welcome to the 21st century. (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#44442035)

I like how you choose to completely disregard human history in favor of super-optimistic drivel.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441783)

The "trust us" defense isn't good enough.

It never was, and shame on you for every thinking it was!

Unfortunately, most voting Americans have political memories compared to that of goldfish, and a social perspective that only reaches their city limits.

Listen folks, WE did this to ourselves. By all means, WE didn't ask for it, but we sure as hell deserve some of the blame for letting politicians thinking an appropriate response to 9/11 was the Patriot ACT, FISA expansion, and widespread NSA surveillance.

Come on!!! It was right there in front of us all. Right there in the cards. Some of you HAD to know that this was where it was all going. It was that small voice in the back of your head that kept nagging you every time the US response to terrorism came up on TV, radio, friendly discussion... It was there telling you it would get worse. You didn't listen to it though. There was no way things would get this bad you said. That was impossible. This is America after all. We stand for Truth, Liberty, and Justice, right? RIGHT?

I'm certain I don't know which way all of this is going, but I sure as hell know my distrust of Government started long before I was allowed to vote. Why everyone else thinks the next crop of electees will be any better is beyond me. I'll state for the record, the next lot will probably be worse, as whatever attempts are made to 'redirect' the country, or 'fix things', will go horribly in the wrong direction. And in all likelihood, innocent American lives will be lost on US soil. AGAIN! And it won't be who we all think it would have been. It will be someone we least expected doing the damage. Not some foreign agent, body, or intercept. It will be a homegrown American.

And then after that? Well, I don't want to think that far ahead. Down that road lies a darkness that only fictional authors dare.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441853)

Another first post from bonch.

Fuck off. Go use one of your sockpuppets like Gr8pes or noh8rz.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441955)

Unfortunately Obummer is a lame duck and doesn't have to care.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (3, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#44442223)

the fact that the U.S. has become the kind of country to seek asylum from is staggeringly insane

Not as insane as the fact that the U.S. executive is determined to prevent sovereign nations from providing asylum.

Re:Privacy concerns now outweigh terrorism in poll (4, Funny)

slick7 (1703596) | about 9 months ago | (#44442229)

Like the Honey Badger, the NSA Director don't give a damn.

He's lucky that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441363)

they didn't just string him up.

Not much of a defense (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 9 months ago | (#44441395)

Alexander's defense seems to amount to "See? We stopped terrorist plots using these programs!"

That's not really much of a defense, since it doesn't claim that these programs are the ONLY way to stop the terrorist plots in question. At least FTA, it seems he did not make any attempt to argue that a less invasive program would have been unsuccessful.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44441425)

It is hard to stop a plot you don't know about. They find out about them with the intelligence they collect.

Re:Not much of a defense (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 9 months ago | (#44441437)

They do? I've heard them claim several numbers of stopped plots, and yet the most visible was missed completely.

Re:Not much of a defense (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441615)

Indeed. All that surveillance of millions of innocent Americans (and presumably that many innocent people throughout the rest of the world) sure did prevent the Boston Marathon attack.

When your surveillance program is not only immoral, but ineffective, then there's not a lot you can do to defend it.

Re:Not much of a defense (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44441771)

When your surveillance program is not only immoral, but ineffective, then there's not a lot you can do to defend it.

It seems pretty likely to me that you'll do nothing to defend effective or even vital intelligence. In fact it seems to be quite the opposite.

...Alexander said, adding that of 54 different terrorist-related activities identified through PRISM, 42 of which were disrupted, including 13 in the U.S., and 25 in Europe. “ -- Gen. Keith Alexander [threatpost.com]

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#44441891)

It seems pretty likely to me that you'll do nothing to defend effective or even vital intelligence.

First, you have to defend the intelligence gathering as 'effective' and 'vital' -- saying that its true is not a defense. The onus is on you.

I remember you; you work for a defense contractor. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441933)

Prove me wrong.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442279)

hey dildo - are you really saying it's ok to track millions of american's movements to stop 1 in 14 terrorists (13 they stopped, boston marathon they didn't)? That really doesn't seem that impressive. Not to mention, we are only a few bad decisions from this being used by the local police force. 10 years ago, i'm sure drones were in the same situation (only available at the top end)...

Re:Not much of a defense (3, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44441635)

Not sure what you mean. Are you claiming that they have to be 100% effective to be effective at all? I don't think that's reasonable. Pulling out one case of failure does not make a program useless.

That said, I agree that just saying, "we stopped dozens of events that I can't tell you about" can't just be said without corroboration.

Nevertheless, it's also fair to point out that stopped plots never look serious because there is always they assumption that they must have been less threatening or competent than the terrorists who succeed. The reality is that terrorists may have uneven quality, but it is as much luck and opportunity based as anything else.

One way or another, the GP is right, you have to develop intelligence to stop plots. Yes, the rights and privacy of citizens have to be considered, but people demand security, but also want to have privacy.

What I want someone to tell me is how they think that the NSA can develop good intelligence without doing what they are doing. I honestly don't know if they can or not, but what if this is the best way to do it? Do we simply accept that we will have more successful terrorist attacks without this system in place? Or will we bitch about the government not being effective when those attacks happen again?

I'd like someone to explain how we can have our cake and eat it too, and I am not just saying that, I'd really like to know what we think we could do differently. What if Alexander is *right* and it turns out that there is a more stark choice between safety and privacy?

Re:Not much of a defense (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441691)

I don't think anyone but the crazy wingnuts think that governments should be deprived of intelligence. The issue here isn't really that the NSA has these vast powers. After all, we've known this was likely long before 9-11, and historians have even pointed out that the Lincoln Administration had moved to gather information from all telegraph transmissions, so this has been around for a helluva lot longer than the Internet.

The issue is accountability. If you're going to do this level of data gathering, then the citizens have the right to know. Not only do they have the right to know it's going on, but they have the right to expect a reasonable level of accountability.

What has happened here is a vast program that was largely secret, where even Congress was fed marginal information, and which is overseen by a judicial entity (FISA court) that almost never says "No". There has been no accountability. The Executive has simply taken an insanely liberal reading of the Patriot Act and FISA and ran with it, and Congress hasn't even cared enough to bother asking any real questions until Edward Snowden had the balls to hand a British newspaper some internal documents detailing the level and capacity of surveillance.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441949)

I wonder though, was it being secret a natural check on its abuse? For example, because it was secret, the nsa would likely want to do everything they could to hide its existence. To me, this means that if the nsa saw some "regular criminal looking" messages, it was pretty likely that the nsa wouldn't risk exposing the program by reporting the crime and risking somebody saying "hey, wait, how did you know about X?" It seems to me that they would only use the program, and risk its exposure, when they were sure it was worth it (like when they saw serious and committed terrorists about to do something).

Now though, the risk of exposure is gone so there isn't a whole lot of downside to using it to track and catch common criminals.

After thinking it over, I'd rather have the government do something illegal in the dark with them knowing its illegal. That fear will keep its use in check. Public knowledge of it though will make it more likely to be abused I think.

Re:Not much of a defense (4, Insightful)

Zaelath (2588189) | about 9 months ago | (#44441703)

The trouble is "we stop plots all the time" is elephant repellant.

The Boston Bombing is the proof that the elephant repellant isn't effective if someone actually imports an elephant.

They're in a no-win situation, but the cure is still worse than the disease. Terrorism isn't a credible threat to your life and liberty, compared to driving a car it's about as likely to kill you as shark attack. The NSA solution for that is what, drain the oceans?

Re:Not much of a defense (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 9 months ago | (#44441749)

Do we simply accept that we will have more successful terrorist attacks without this system in place?

If that's true, yes.

Or will we bitch about the government not being effective when those attacks happen again?

I didn't do that in the past and won't start now.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441679)

Most visible being? Boston Marathon? Clarify if you would please.

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

cjc25 (1961486) | about 9 months ago | (#44442185)

This is seems like a permutation of the Butterfield fallacy [wikipedia.org]

Whichever attack you've decided was the "most visible" was so because it was missed.

Fortunately this doesn't affect arguments regarding the proper scope of surveillance, but unfortunately it underscores that people are often oblivious to their assumptions. In your case, it's that you would have heard of stopped terrorist plots. I'll agree that it's plausible because of the temptation to brag about success, but far from certain.

Re:Not much of a defense (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#44441655)

They find out about them with the intelligence they collect.

If they suspect that someone is a terrorist, then they can get a warrant to monitor his phone records. It is also reasonable to cross check the few dozen people that the terrorists talked to. Maybe it is even reasonable to go another level and look for patterns of calls in the "contacts of contacts" which would be thousands of people. But to go beyond that to contacts-of-contacts-of-contacts-of-contacts, which encompass millions of people seems unreasonable, and I have seen no evidence or even claims that these 3rd or 4th degree searches led to any arrests. Of course there needs to be a surveillance program, but they should be looking at far fewer people, and they should stop lying about it to the elected representatives of the American people.

Re:Not much of a defense (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44441693)

Have you been to any of the classified sessions in Congress? I would assume the more juicy, more direct information is provided there.

Re:Not much of a defense (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#44442043)

Have you been to any of the classified sessions in Congress? I would assume the more juicy, more direct information is provided there.

Have you watched any of the NON-classified sessions in Congress? Such as the one where James Clapper looked Senator Ron Wyden directly in the eye, and lied through his teeth, claiming that this program doesn't even exist? Why do you think congress is getting "juicy information", when it is already clear that the spooks don't trust them and are willing to lie to them?

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 9 months ago | (#44441707)

The idiotic thing of course is that they 'disrupted' only 42 out of the 54 'terrorist-related activities', which means that 12 of those activities were not disrupted.

One could ask: so, what happened?
Were they unable to do anything about more than 20% of the stuff they found out about? Or unwilling?
Or were those activities just so insignificant and almost completely harmless that they could just let them take place?

By the way, audio of the speech:
https://soundcloud.com/larrymagid/nsa-director-general-keith [soundcloud.com]

Re:Not much of a defense (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#44441451)

Alexander's defense seems to amount to "See? We stopped terrorist plots using these programs!"

That's not really much of a defense, since it doesn't claim that these programs are the ONLY way to stop the terrorist plots in question.

It also completely glosses over the ethical/moral questions that a lot of people have about these programs. I haven't heard a single complaint that the programs should be stopped because they aren't working, the complaints are about the ethical and moral problems associated with total government surveillance of its people, and the question of whether or not our rights are being violated. They like to skip those questions and instead answer the question they wish you asked, which is "are these programs effective".

Re:Not much of a defense (0, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44441663)

If you read the article it states that General Alexander addressed the legal basis.

The problem isn't always that they answer the questions they wish you had asked, but rather that people prefer to ignore the answers that are given if they aren't the preferred answer. Some people don't want intelligence surveillance to be legal at all, so they ignore the legal basis for doing it and chant about violations of the 4th amendment.

That is before you get to the problem of some people being willing to "defend freedom" to the last drop of blood from their neighbor, or the next city over, just so long as no surveillance passes anywhere near them. All it takes to ethically satisfy them is to chant, 'Die well, my countryman! Die bravely! Make us proud!" So much for the right to life as the basis for the other rights and liberties.

People disregard General Washington's wisdom at their peril.

In a letter to one of his officers written in 1777, Washington wrote that secrecy was key to the success of intelligence activities: [fas.org]

"The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged-All that remains for me to add is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, success depends in most Enterprises of the kind, & for want of it, they are generally defeated, however, well planned...." [letter to Colonel Elias Dayton, 26 July 1777]

For some mind numbingly stupid reason people keep wanting to reveal US intelligence operations to all, citizen or noncitizen alike. That isn't likely to end well. There is no putting the genie back into the bottle once it has escaped. You generally have to find a new genie, and that can take years, or decades.

Re:Not much of a defense (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441791)

Another irrelevant post from cold fjord. Damn quisling.

Re:Not much of a defense (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#44441827)

If you read the article it states that General Alexander addressed the legal basis.

I did read the article, thanks.

Some people don't want intelligence surveillance to be legal at all, so they ignore the legal basis for doing it and chant about violations of the 4th amendment.

Maybe that's true, for some people. For me, I don't ignore the legal basis. I question it. I question the rubber-stamp court which claims that these are legal, and I question the decisions that court makes and the fact that their decisions, the legal basis for these programs, are classified. I hear the claims that there is a legal basis for these programs that somehow does not violate the 4th amendment, and I read the 4th amendment, and I reject the claim that these programs are legal. I welcome a public discourse with the classified courts on the legal basis for these programs. In fact, I would like this case to go to the Supreme Court, in public, with the full arguments on both sides out in the open for everyone to see and judge for themselves. I want to see the legal basis that they claim exists, and I want the public to judge the merits of it. I also want the public to judge the character and qualifications of the people who authorized these programs in the first place, starting with the Patriot Act.

For upon Secrecy, success depends in most Enterprises of the kind, & for want of it, they are generally defeated, however, well planned....

Obviously secrecy is necessary in intelligence-gathering operations. Secrecy has no place, however, in the legal basis and authorization for those operations. I will counter your quote from George Washington with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, which you can find in my signature line. If you want to talk about ignoring wisdom at one's peril, let's start with the idea of trading liberty for security.

For some mind numbingly stupid reason people keep wanting to reveal US intelligence operations to all, citizen or noncitizen alike.

Allow me to reveal the mind-numbingly stupid reason: people don't feel that their government has the right to blanket surveillance of everything they do with their communications when there is no indication that the person is a criminal. If the government is authorizing blanket surveillance of its entire population, warrantless or otherwise, and they say this somehow does not violate the fourth amendment, then it sounds like the government assumes that its entire population is composed of criminals.

Re:Not much of a defense (4, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 9 months ago | (#44441921)

Well stated, but the problem is that this very secrecy can be used for nefarious purposes, and if there is no one to answer to, the damage to our democracy can be worse.

The screenshots in the XKeyscore presentation revealed today show a page where a person can use a drop-down menu to indicate a legal reasoning behind why the NSA analyst might want to start tracking or get more information on an email. Apparently, once done, the person can start tracking and READING emails from/to an email. Any email, not just ones abroad. Say, Senator Feinstein/Rep. Paul/ Pres. Obama. Supposedly there are no additional steps to begin reading this information; there is only a POSSIBLE audit.

Now imagine said NSA analyst decided to get this information and pass it on to political opponents in a campaign, even a presidential one. This is a very real possibility, because these sorts of shenanigans are almost GUARANTEED to happen. The damage to our very democracy would be catastrophic, because the most powerful surveillance history in the history of the world would have been brought to bear against political opponents in a campaign. If you want to see the NSA get defunded real quick, this is the best way to do it.

And in fact, there are rumors that the next thing that Snowden will "leak" will be information of this sort...not just how the NSA can spy on people, but WHICH people were spied on.

You ain't seen nothin yet.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44441757)

Is it "total government surveillance" though? I keep seeing people assuming that it is, or that the capacity even exists.

They are saying that they don't do that. Obviously, they aren't going to tell us if they did, but does that suspicion automatically mean that they are actually doing it?

I don't think so. Even Snowden did not demonstrate how this was used against anyone except who it was meant to be used against except perhaps accidentally. Of course with a system like this, you have the possibility of encroaching accidentally on non-terrorist privacy. That's spying for you.

Still, I keep seeing people writing comments as if there is a lengthy file on them, or there could be at a moment's notice. I call bullshit on that for most people. Yes, they could look at Facebook and get information on you. So can I.

Many things can be used against you and there are good reasons to still let the capability for those things exist. I think it is fair to ask, "are they actually using it in the way that we fear", as opposed to simply assuming the worst. We're asking people like General Alexander questions, but we don't listen to the answers if they don't match our internal world view. Sure, he could be a mustache-twirling villian, but what if he's actually just another civil servant trying to do his job?

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 9 months ago | (#44441859)

Of course with a system like this, you have the possibility of encroaching accidentally on non-terrorist privacy.

But the fact that they're even collecting all this data is the problem to me. I wouldn't mind completely demolishing the NSA.

I think it is fair to ask, "are they actually using it in the way that we fear", as opposed to simply assuming the worst.

Maybe when you're dealing with someone who is on equal ground with you. When you're dealing with someone who could easily (and probably even legally) ruin your life on a moment's notice, distrusting them by default seems to be the most rational decision to me.

but what if he's actually just another civil servant trying to do his job?

As far as I'm concerned, he's just another freedom-violating piece of trash working for the government.

Re:Not much of a defense (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#44441885)

Still, I keep seeing people writing comments as if there is a lengthy file on them, or there could be at a moment's notice. I call bullshit on that for most people. Yes, they could look at Facebook and get information on you. So can I.

Can you get my Facebook chat logs, private messages, all of my HTTP traffic, web searches, files I upload or email, VPN traffic, VOIP traffic, Google Earth traffic, my usernames, buddy lists, etc? Because the NSA can, and does. Their training materials show how to query that data. Can you find an encrypted VPN, decrypt the traffic, and determine who is using the VPN? The NSA can. Can you get a list of all IP addresses that visit a website? The NSA can.

I think it is fair to ask, "are they actually using it in the way that we fear", as opposed to simply assuming the worst.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It doesn't matter how they are using it, it matters what they are collecting. It is a violation of my rights, plain and simple, for the government to intercept and store all of my electronic communications when I am not even suspected of committing a crime. That is a violation, how they use that data is not relevant to the question of whether or not it is a violation. You might be willing to hand over your rights whenever the government scares you, but I'm not. You can probably use a little wisdom from Benjamin Franklin also, see my signature line.

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 9 months ago | (#44442069)

I have the solution to all crime. If an authorized person would shoot every American in the head, including me, there would be no crime. Does that make it a good plan? Or a legal plan?

Reductio ad absurdum is usually a very terrible idea. But we aren't dealing with the best and the brightest here, and sometimes beating people over the head to prove a point is the only way.

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 months ago | (#44441459)

It's not a defense for people who care about privacy rights. But, about 1/2 this country *doesn't* care and the other half doesn't care enough for things to change.

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441521)

If not even the subhuman halfwits in Congress believe the claim of 54 plots being discovered, then I fail to see the bright people at Black Hat should be convinced.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441607)

ahahhahhahaha...

The NSA could have prevented 9/11 if it gave the necessary information to the FBI when they asked for it, instead of saying nothing.

What terrorist plots have the NSA actually PREVENTED?

Re:Not much of a defense (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#44441811)

They should buy Lisa Simpson's tiger repelling rocks [about.com]. There is some point where you should just concede that can't be all idiocy and should be some malice in that fallacy generating machine that are politics.

Re:Not much of a defense (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44441983)

I have some nice lists of people in the US, and some in the UK and Canada, that were arrested, tried, and convicted for terrorism related offenses. Would you like me to post some? That is one way that you can separate the magic "tiger repelling rocks" from intelligence and law enforcement against terrorism. The law enforcement actions have a paper trail and bodies either in jail or in the ground. That isn't the case with the rocks. Just let me know if you want that post.

Re:Not much of a defense (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#44442113)

Like this 82 year-old nun [topinfopost.com]? Anyway, after such long campaing to create terrorist in all the world better that exist some.

Re:Not much of a defense (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44442289)

No, more like this:

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 27, 2012 [fbi.gov]

Denver: Man Arrested for Providing Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization

Jamshid Muhtorov was arrested by members of the FBI’s Denver and Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Forces on a charge of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a Pakistan-based designated foreign terrorist organization.

Baltimore: Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center

U.S. citizen Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, pled guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property in connection with a scheme to attack an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland.

Washington Field: Man Pleads Guilty to Shootings at Pentagon, Other Military Buildings

Yonathan Melaku, of Alexandria, Virginia, pled guilty to damaging property and to firearms violations involving five separate shootings at military installations in northern Virginia between October and November 2010, and to attempting to damage veterans’ memorials at Arlington National Cemetery.

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 13, 2012 [fbi.gov]

1.Tampa: Florida Resident Charged with Plotting to Bomb Locations in Tampa

A 25-year-old resident of Pinellas Park, Florida was charged in connection with an alleged plot to attack locations in Tampa with a vehicle bomb, assault rifle, and other explosives.

2.Baltimore: Former Army Solider Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to al Shabaab

A man who secretly converted to Islam days before he separated from the Army was charged with attempting to provide material support to al Shabaab, a foreign terrorist organization, and was arrested upon his return to Maryland after traveling to Africa.

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending December 9, 2011 [fbi.gov]

Seattle: Man Pleads Guilty in Plot to Attack Military Processing Center

A former Los Angeles man pled guilty in connection with the June 2011 plot to attack a military installation in Seattle.

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending December 2, 2011 [fbi.gov]

San Diego: Woman Guilty of Conspiring to Provide Material Support to al Shabaab

Nima Yusuf, 25, a resident of San Diego, pled guilty to conspiring to provide material support to al Shabaab, a foreign terrorist organization.

More here [fbi.gov].

The world won't be running short of terrorists any time soon.

Dude's got brass ones (5, Insightful)

Robert Goatse (984232) | about 9 months ago | (#44441413)

Agree or disagree with what the NSA is doing, Alexander has some set of cojones to speak in front of an unfriendly mob. Hell hath no fury like a room of sweaty nerds!

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 9 months ago | (#44441513)

Yes, and it takes some cojones to set up the system that spies on ALL americans in nearly plain view of the President and many in congress. Surely they all knew it would someday be made public and the shit would hit the fan. Face the fan and smile.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441573)

Agree or disagree with what the NSA is doing, Alexander has some set of cojones to speak in front of an unfriendly mob. Hell hath no fury like a room of sweaty nerds!

He's a four-star general, that's a lot of brass right there. Not that he's done anything as a soldier other than spy on people.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441727)

Agree or disagree with what the NSA is doing, Alexander has some set of cojones to speak in front of an unfriendly mob. Hell hath no fury like a room of sweaty nerds!

No.

He is just - JUST - an overpaid dip shit mouth piece. No talent other than playing the game. It takes brains and talent to get to Lt. Colonel - after than that it's politics.

Got it?!

A stooge.

I'd do the same for the obscene six figure pay and perks that he receives which gives him the lifestyle of a centi-millionaire.(Those worth more than a hundred million)

Fuck him.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441829)

Agree or disagree with what the NSA is doing, Alexander has some set of cojones to speak in front of an unfriendly mob.

Are they really so unfriendly? From what little I know about them I would guess that blackhats are as morally corrupt as the NSA.

How many attendees would join the NSA if they were given the chance?

The fact that there was some support for Herr Direktor seems to imply that at least some would do so.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441831)

Not sure if i got it right, but from the TFA it looks like the questions were "pre-approved", though supposedly he didn't see them before hand. Which I wouldn't bet on...

Re:Dude's got brass ones (4, Insightful)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 9 months ago | (#44441833)

Alexander has some set of cojones to speak in front of an unfriendly mob.

Riiiiight. 'Cause a bunch of passive-aggressive hackers who've likely never been laid represent quite the physical threat level! :p

Re:Dude's got brass ones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442105)

Because all of that has to do with the ability to buy and use a gun...

Keith Alexander is a terrorist and deserves the fate of a terrorist.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441849)

It wasn't unfriendly...actually there was two hecklers that couldn't even make a valid point and ended up looking like idiots. The general made very good points and put on a very good presentation.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442025)

As I suspected, the audience is as sociopathic as the NSA.

If 'we audit our snooping' and 'we stopped some terrists' is justification enough to revoke the right to privacy then you're either an idiot or you're just looking for excuses.

Re:Dude's got brass ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442309)

Blackhat is the corporate security conference, attended by "security professionals" willing/able to pay a few thousand to attend. It is likely that a majority of the attendees are either employed by, or paid directly/indirectly, by a government agency or contractor (not always the US government). It is actually likely that there is a high percentage of supporters of what the NSA does in attendance at Blackhat.. Defcon, on the other hand, is a bit more diverse (still a lot of obvious government types attending, but a bit less corporate, and you are likely to find some of the more vocal critics of things that the NSA does in attendence). And General Alexander showed up their last year (before the latest revelations), and stood his own with the questions (also screened) that were asked. Say what you will about the agency he runs, he seems to truly believe it makes a difference, and will defend it, and advertise it as a great place to work.

In case you're wondering what he got applauded for (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#44441467)

“There are allegations [the NSA] listen to all our emails; that’s wrong. We don’t,” Alexander said, adding that of 54 different terrorist-related activities identified through PRISM, 42 [...] were disrupted

“We’re talking about future terror attacks and the success we’ve had the last 10 years. What will we have in the next 10? What if the 42 of 54 [terrorist attacks] were executed, what would that have meant to our civil liberties and privacy?” Alexander said; a response that was met with loud applause.

Just reminds me of this. [youtube.com]

Just txt from a pre-paid to be a terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441547)

They don't have a record of the data, just the meta-data, supposedly. Just plot using texting, maybe using pagers? Are they around still?
Snowden hurt america, now the terrorist know they can txt to chat about plots... g-damn u snowden!

Re:In case you're wondering what he got applauded (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#44441561)

I guess it's true they don't listen to our emails. They read them.

Re:In case you're wondering what he got applauded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441639)

meh. They collect the metadata, not the contents:

oodaloop emailed wonkey_monkey on July 31st, 2013... etc,etc..

Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441923)

Short of video communications there's no reason to believe they're NOT recording email, IM, voice, and textual web contents.

None of that stuff is high bandwidth, and it's exceedingly rare that anybody is actually recieving it at more than an average 128Kb/s transfer rate (Obviously it may burst over the line faster, but the amount of information that needs to be stored rather than simply having the first block of data fingerprinted is exceedingly low)

Even just assuming they have current top of the line COMMERCIAL GRADE equipment puts them at a level where recording off the tier 1 ISP hubs would probably only result in a few (hundred?) terabytes of stored data per hour. Combined with a deduplicating filesystem and dedicated compression processors that could no doubt be done in real-time on some of the larger SSI systems currently available.

Assuming they have tech that won't make it to the market for another 5-10 years? They could be doing even worse.

Think about what China's surveillance state has been capable of with 5-10x the population of the US, and at best current generation networking tech.

Then imagine you put america's brightest on the same task for domestic purposes.

Re:In case you're wondering what he got applauded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441825)

That's nice, General. I have this rock that keeps me safe from all terror attacks! I've never been attacked by a terrorist since I started carrying it.

How do we know there were really 42 such attacks prevented?

And yes, I'd rather have my civil liberties than be spied on by my government. Even assuming that you are one of the "good guys", how do we know that the next guy to hold your position isn't a power-hungry megalomaniac?

Posting AC, even though they can probably track my IP.

Re:In case you're wondering what he got applauded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442027)

All 54, even if there were 5 or 4 really, really, I mean, pretty please REALLY dangerous plots, how many of them were a direct reaction to our own terrorist attacks on so many countries? A kind of broken window fallacy come to mind, listening this low life scumbag.

Don't believe the lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441495)

More lies from the king of liars. Their "oversight" consists of them lying to the congressional committees on the scope of their surveillance. The author of the act they claim gives them this authority say it was never designed to do anything of the kind. When they are caught, they scream about how they can't talk about classified stuff, and what did you expect them to say? Don't believe the lies and half truths coming from these people. They are just trying to placate the masses now that our eyes are finally opening up to what has really been going on the last 12 years and how badly they've shredded our constitution.

Re:Don't believe the lies (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441577)

Sure they lied to Congress. But Congress had the ability to call these bastards in at any time over the last decade. If the Bush and Obama Administrations are guilty of being lying power-abusing peeping toms, then Congress has to accept the blame for being utterly fucking useless. What the fuck is the point of oversight committees that provide no fucking oversight whatsoever?

Everyone from the Founding Fathers onward expected the Executive to play fast and loose and to take as much power as it could at any given moment and push the margins with incredibly liberal, if not outright ludicrous interpretations of law. That has been the nature of the executive branch since the dawn of time. The whole point of Congress is to create a check on that power, to have lawmakers who not only can hold the Executive to account, but can even pass laws to constrain the Executive when it crosses the line.

So what the fuck has the Executive done about this? Even now, a slim majority are to craven and stupid to even moderately hold the Executive to check. Yes, they'll huff and puff and make rude noises, but if they're not outright complicit in what the NSA has been up to since 9-11, then they are as much to blame for not doing the job that the Constitution set out for them.

No matter the spin, its still illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441529)

I don't care what our corrupt government officials say. The US Constitution is the corner stone defining the limits that our government must operate under and no amount of secret laws and secret courts can supersede those rules. But unfortunately the American people are too busy watching reality TV to care about reining in our government's corruption.

Re:No matter the spin, its still illegal (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44441637)

The point is that the People elect representatives to Congress to, gosh, represent their interests, because, well, the People can't sit around all day every day parked out on Pennsylvania Avenue keeping an eye on the White House. Yes, Americans should be more proactive, but at the same time they should be able to put some faith in all those Representatives and Senators that they're not just there to play pointless political games.

Keith Alexander.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441581)

...has got some massive balls to show up at a black hat hacking conference.

Re:Keith Alexander.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441669)

Why, half of the people in the room are working for him anyways. And the other half are on constant surveillance from his programs.

Just don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441599)

call yourself a free country anymore, please?
It sounds so silly these days.

NSA == HIV (2)

sshir (623215) | about 9 months ago | (#44441619)

Do those who defend these programs understand that they're crippling the country's immune system? The tools they deploy are extremely efficient at subverting, nipping in the bud 'undesirable' popular movements (indispensable tool for keeping US democratic). Given well documented (COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org]) things FBI tried to pull against civil rights and untiwar movements, argument that they are not doing it now does not wash - they did it before and they WILL do it again.

Re:NSA == HIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441705)

if you equate playing blu ray on my linux machine = illegal and I should go to jail, then fine.

Aren't NSA blackhats too? (0)

Agent ME (1411269) | about 9 months ago | (#44441697)

Aren't NSA blackhats too? Didn't we figure out that they had a hand in STUXNET?

(Please don't tell me it's arbitrarily defined as "whitehat" if you do it for the government.)

Re:Aren't NSA blackhats too? (1)

bradorsomething (527297) | about 9 months ago | (#44441753)

The CIA are the Black Hats. The NSA collects and analyzes by charter. There are no White Hats in the government, really... maybe, maybe DHS if they ever got off their butts.

All the White Hats seem to work for Universities.

Freedom - Democracy - Constitution - Oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441789)

What is being protected with so much money,power, justification ?
I am sure it is not - freedom,democracy,constitution.
What is coming to light after the leaks are - rights abuses,war crimes,criminal acts.

Overwhelming number of false positives. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441847)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/07/14/1248244/what-medical-tests-should-teach-us-about-the-nsa-surveillance-program

At 1st, I had doubts... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44441857)

I really did - until I caught wind of that xKeyScore deal going on too!

Man... that did it for me, don't know about the rest of you guys.

* :(

(Yes - I openly "shot my mouth off" MORE than a few times here, & I am NOT "hiding behind" any handle/nickname either etc.-et al... imo, probably risky to do, but I am a HUGE FAN of truth, & those guys weren't telling it!)

I don't understand them - I really don't:

They're given this GIGANTIC position of trust by the people, & they're outright telling us bullshit about "DIRECT" intercepts (when Narus devices + discrete math directed graphs pretty much tell them what-is-what ANYHOW... then that xKeyScore deal came out today too, completely making me realize that what I've been spewing here all week was correct, that "absolute power, corrupts absolutely").

Someone PLEASE, convince me otherwise! I would like that, since we're THE greatest nation on this planet, that proves the planet CAN live as one nation, achieving levels of excellence that are unparalleled in history!

(I mean, hey: For Pete's sake - This crap's right up there with when you find out your woman's screwing around on you - you DON'T want to believe it, even when it's staring you in the face!)

---

1.) Clapper & Alexander outright LIED to congress (twisting words using DIRECTLY! Well, might as well be, using directed multigraph discrete math work & NARUS devices set @ the "choke point" nexus of communique.

2.) Just like how they CLAIM there is no easy CENTRAL way to query their own mail but they do it to everyone else - I found that hilarious & disgusting, since mail is really DBMail and to select/insert/update/delete into those, you NEED to have abilities for that... What they told us, unless someone can show me otherwise, is total bullshit. Hypocritical bullshit). I.E.-> We can do it to you, but nobody can to us @ the NSA... that's bullshit.

3.) Screwing with protesters was from the FEEBS http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy [guardian.co.uk] [guardian.co.uk]

4.) The IRS used against political opponents of the current regime in office http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_IRS_scandal [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] & got caught - nobody lost their job.

Same with Clapper & Alexander... WTF!

Heck, they lied to Congress, nothing was done. The head of the IRS didn't lose her job either. I suspect that Clapper, Alexander, & the IRS head told Obama "Pal, you fire me? I will let the dogs out on the FACT you gave ME THE 'GO-AHEAD' to do these things and I will take you down with me. Try it!". That's how "politicians" operate. Thuggery, bribery, etc.!

Then - again: Out came xKeyScore! So much for not "directly" tapping us!

---

This guy had it RIGHT, as far back as 1997 imo:

Why shouldn't I work for the NSA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrOZllbNarw [youtube.com]

Prophetic... what's below is as well.

APK

P.S.=> Why was I so "bent outta shape"? This: I was told decades ago by a history professor of mine in collegiate academia this:

"Totalitarian regimes start with 'little laws' they pass, getting an inch, & reaching for a mile: Before you know it, you are Nazi Germany/Soviet Russia USA: DO NOT THINK IT CANNOT HAPPEN HERE" & what's going on fits that pattern, & imo @ least, the "ROI" on it being effective vs. "terrorists" is FAR OUTWEIGHED by the potential for misuse (especially by "mortal men").

and

Then this http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/money-nsa-vote/ [wired.com] (the "infamous they" say "talk is cheap"? Not when it's OUR tax monies in the BILLIONS it isn't & when it's clearly being used against us)...

... apk

In the US The People are The Nation (2)

Tiger Smile (78220) | about 9 months ago | (#44441907)

The United States is not it's boarders. It's we, the people. Protecting our rights is something every government employee took an oath to do, above all else. It's their Oath of Office. Nation Security IS protecting our rights.

Private Companies (4, Interesting)

ubeatha (531412) | about 9 months ago | (#44441961)

What I'm amazed about is the fact that private corporations have access to this data and no one seems to care. Snowden wasn't even a member of the NSA he was just a contractor. I highly doubt that private security companies are above reproach in using tools only for the intended purposes. I can't even imagine what Blackwater would have gotten up to with access to such tools.

Protecting us from the terrorists? (4, Insightful)

dgharmon (2564621) | about 9 months ago | (#44441995)

If the cost of protecting us from the terrorists is to live in a police state, then I would prefer to take my chances with the terrorists. The odds of me being a target are minimal while the risks of a corrupt government using this total awareness system to oppress my freedom are that much greater. Fact is, you are more in danger from your own state security apparatus that any foreign terrorist. Iraq never attacked the US. Saddam Hussein was a puppet president installed by the CIA and an ally of the US, at least until he invaded Kuwait and threatened to stop trading his Oil in petrodollars. Al-Qaeda was formed from the remnants of a guerilla army armed and financed by the CIA to oppose the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As such, US state security would have been aware of their capability, ideology and intentions. As such the state security apparatus didn't need the NSA to know this as they - state security - helped create it. What this lawful intercept program is really about is silencing political dissent [amazon.com], such as the Occupy Wall St [theguardian.com] movement.

27:25 "We comply with the court orders and do this exactly right", Gen. Keith Alexander

There are NO court orders !

NSA Director General Keith Alexander at Blackhat 2013 [soundcloud.com]

your rights are irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442031)

the only think that matters is stopping terrorism a la 9/11 against the 1%

Why Shouldn't I Work for the NSA? (4, Interesting)

dgharmon (2564621) | about 9 months ago | (#44442173)

Why shouldn't I work for the NSA? That's a tough one. But I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at the NSA, and somebody puts a code on my desk, somethin' no one else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, cus' I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East and once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels are hiding... Fifteen hundred people that I never met, never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Oh, Send in the marines to secure the area" cus' they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot.

Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, cus' they were off pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie over there takin' shrapnel in the ass. He comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, cus' he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so that we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices.

A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, of course, maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work. He can't afford to drive, so he's walking to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks because the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin' cus' every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure fuck it, while I'm at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected President. Good Will Hunting [imdb.com] (1997)

audio of his talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44442199)

Snooper [soundcloud.com] talking to what sounds like a sympathetic audience.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...