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NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times Per Year, Audit Finds

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the say-it-isn't-so dept.

Privacy 312

NettiWelho writes "The Washington Post reports: The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents. Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by law and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls."

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312 comments

3 frightening words (4, Insightful)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 8 months ago | (#44582241)

broad new powers

Re:3 frightening words (5, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#44582403)

But...but...President Obama and the NSA chief assured us that abuses don't happen and that there's plenty of oversight to stop them. So surely the Washington Post MUST be mistaken!

Re:3 frightening words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582423)

Is it time to say "We told you fuckers."?

Re:3 frightening words (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#44582597)

Is it time to say "We told you fuckers."?

Don't worry. The next time you see it coming because you understand this concept of a "track record" or have read a little history, you'll still be called a tin-foil hatter.

There are large numbers of people who never really grew up emotionally and are unable to cope with reality despite possibly having high intelligence. It's not that they have any solid reason to doubt you (in fact it's the opposite if they bothered to look). It's that they want so badly to believe their government is not out-of-control that they're personally offended you would suggest otherwise. Of course anything that offends them must be wrong, right?

This is actually how the average person perceives reality. Yes it's scary. It's why so little effort is put towards prevention.

Re:3 frightening words (4, Interesting)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 8 months ago | (#44582689)

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

George Washington

Re:3 frightening words (4, Informative)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#44582713)

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

George Washington

It's not just government itself. The phenomenon I described above also explains why issues that should be factual/scientific are instead political. I'll give an example: marijuana is a Schedule I substance. Schedule I means "no medical use". Yet we have doctors prescribing it and patients using it who report relief of symptoms. We have lots of laws like this which directly contradict the available facts. It's because so many people aren't concerned with facts. They are concerned with their feelings, their fears, and with what offends them.

Re:3 frightening words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582871)

Not only that, but the same government who schedules it 1 also has a patent on the cannabinoids. http://uspatent6630507.com/ [uspatent6630507.com]

But nevermind all that. The government sold your birthright to the queen and enslaved you. Get back to work slave...

Re:3 frightening words (4, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | about 8 months ago | (#44582951)

Schedule I drugs are not drugs with no medical use.

Schedule I drugs are drugs that a particular government organization has *decided* have no medical use. This isn't a scientific claim; it's a political one.

The most blatant example is heroin, which is Schedule I in the USA but used in much the same way as morphine in the UK.

Re:3 frightening words (5, Funny)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 8 months ago | (#44582827)

Is it time to say "We told you fuckers."?

I informed you thusly! I so informed you thusly.

Re: 3 frightening words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582591)

2008? I didn't know Obama POTUS then.

And what will come of this all? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

"We promise it won't happen again."

Re:3 frightening words (3, Interesting)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 8 months ago | (#44582743)

"no abuse and plenty of oversight"

"the check is in the mail"

I'll respect you in the morning"

Need I go on ??? After all, they ARE from the Government, and here to help. . . .

Re:3 frightening words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582977)

This is easy. Get two doors. Behind the first door put the note "NSA abuses power" and behind the second door put the note "NSA doesn't abuse power". Open the doors and show the labels to Obama and the Washington Post. Now close them. Now ask the Washington Post if Obama would say that second door leads to the truth. If the answer is 'yes', then the NSA abuses power.

Re:3 frightening words (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582505)

No, there are three words in that article that are much more frightening: "Most were unintended".

"The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended."

This implies that there was some intentional unauthorized use of the material being collected. That is terrifying.

Take a breath, get some perspective. (1, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about 8 months ago | (#44582617)

The WP broke it down for you. 2776 cases includes incidence over 4 years.
Last year there were 900-odd total including 195 FISA act violations and roughly 700 violations of executive orders.
Of the FISA act violations: they break it down further:
  • 60 operator errors
  • 39 did not follow standard operating procedure (no news whether or not willful)
  • 21 typographical errors or overly broad search terms
  • 3 training issues
  • 67 computer errors due to failure to recognize roaming phones
  • 5 other system errors

This is not evidence of a vast conspiracy to deprive you of your rights. It's evidence of people failing to do things properly.

I figure to come up with that many errors, there must have been several thousand searches per year that were done as intended and according to the law. If they were always ignoring the law, that means the NSA would hardly be searching anything. If they were 99.9% in compliance, there would be about 900,000 searches to get about 900 errors. I think both of those scenarios are implausible. Nobody believes there are just a couple thousand searches per year and I doubt the NSA is good enough and careful enough to get 99.9% compliance. At the very limit of plausibility, they are not listening to all your phone calls.

Re:Take a breath, get some perspective. (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about 8 months ago | (#44582635)

The WP broke it down for you. 2776 cases includes incidence over 4 years. Last year there were 900-odd total including 195 FISA act violations and roughly 700 violations of executive orders. Of the FISA act violations: they break it down further:

  • 60 operator errors
  • 39 did not follow standard operating procedure (no news whether or not willful)
  • 21 typographical errors or overly broad search terms
  • 3 training issues
  • 67 computer errors due to failure to recognize roaming phones
  • 5 other system errors

This is not evidence of a vast conspiracy to deprive you of your rights. It's evidence of people failing to do things properly.

I figure to come up with that many errors, there must have been several thousand searches per year that were done as intended and according to the law. If they were always ignoring the law, that means the NSA would hardly be searching anything. If they were 99.9% in compliance, there would be about 900,000 searches to get about 900 errors. I think both of those scenarios are implausible. Nobody believes there are just a couple thousand searches per year and I doubt the NSA is good enough and careful enough to get 99.9% compliance. At the very limit of plausibility, they are not listening to all your phone calls.

My bad. Those 900 or so errors were for one quarter. The whole year is 2776, with 2012Q1 being the worst. Also, the trend is increasing.

Re:Take a breath, get some perspective. (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 8 months ago | (#44582791)

Whether it is deliberate or through incompetence is irrelevant. The NSA is still depriving US citizens of their rights on a frighteningly large scale. In addition, the director lied directly to Congress while under inquiry. Nothing is happening to the agency or its members as a result. There's plenty of reason to be upset.

Re:Take a breath, get some perspective. (4, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 8 months ago | (#44582667)

So you take a small subset, bout 20%, and because it *lists* personnel mistakes you assume that a lie agency is telling the truth, then with that assumption you say all is ok, while neglecting the other 80% of the cases?

Re:Take a breath, get some perspective. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582945)

Rights? What rights? You have no rights? A person as defined by the 14th amendment falls under statute and has privileges. Rights are what a people have or a natural person. Better get reading slave...

Do the math. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582887)

3 frightening words: broad new powers

The frightening thing is that those broad new powers were still overstepped about three times per day. In separate news, we were assured that only about 30 people have the power to make decisions in the NSA which means that every one of them is still exceeding his authority about three times a month on average. After being granted broad new powers.

Well finally (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582249)

Now congress HAS to do something about it!

Re:Well finally (5, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 8 months ago | (#44582283)

Now congress HAS to do something about it!

Yeah. They're going to increase the NSA budget so they can implement an internal office of surveillance review or something like that.

Re:Well finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582339)

I bet James Clapper will head it up.

Re:Well finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582441)

According to the article, they already tried that:

"Despite the quadrupling of the NSA’s oversight staff after a series of significant violations in 2009, the rate of infractions increased throughout 2011 and early 2012. An NSA spokesman declined to disclose whether the trend has continued since last year. "

I guess they need to octuple it.

Re:Well finally (2)

evilRhino (638506) | about 8 months ago | (#44582653)

War profiteers all of them! I don't think anyone in the establishment will oppose this so long as it is contracted out to a company that they could work for, receive campaign contributions for, or invest in to receive dividends. We will be in danger so long as it is profitable for these assholes.

Re:Well finally (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#44582393)

Don't worry, they're on it! I'm sure they've already got broad bipartisan support for passing a bill imposing harsher penalties on leakers and countries who shelter them.

Re:Well finally (1)

dhasenan (758719) | about 8 months ago | (#44582433)

Like what? Change the laws that they aren't obeying so they disobey even more?

That's...brilliant.

Re:Well finally (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 8 months ago | (#44582899)

Like what? Change the laws that they aren't obeying so they disobey even more?

That's...brilliant.

They usually do the opposite.

Re:Well finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582469)

Now congress HAS to do something about it!

Unfortunately, Congress lacks the one thing it needs to do what is right: real statesmen, people who care about the U.S.A. At this point in history, the U.S.A. can't compete with the likes of I.B.M. or A.D.M. in terms of money. Our Congress is just a bunch of weak willed lackies for the business lobby who are not only willing to sell us out, but also willing to use our government to subjugate us to our new overlords.

The President is much worse. Each president since Nixon has take more power and refused to give it up. Each president since Reagan (Iran-Contra affair) has refused to address the crimes of any previous administration in hopes that their successor will do the same for them.

Pitiful.

If you want to see real statesmen, watch the Watergate hearings where, despite partisan politics, even Republicans admitted that their guy over stepped his bounds.

Re:Well finally (1)

ImOuttaHere (2996813) | about 8 months ago | (#44582991)

Yes. This is funny.

The better question is: What are you going to do about it? Or is the price of liberty and true freedom just too high to do anything meaningful? Oh. That's right. I shouldn't interrupt your video gaming or iPhone twiddling. Sorry.

Now congress HAS to do something about it!

Well DARN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582263)

How unlikely is that?!

so basically, what we knew (4, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 8 months ago | (#44582265)

We (the people) gave them a little power, and they grossly over stepped the bounds.

Thank God Snowden exposed the NSA programs so that now they are finally being scrutinized.

The question left is, what are we(the people) going to do about it?

I vote for dissolving the NSA and DoHS.

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582275)

We (the people) gave them a little power, and they grossly over stepped the bounds.

We (the people) did no such thing. They (the government) did.

Re:so basically, what we knew (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582327)

We (the people) did no such thing. They (the government) did.

We (the people), governed by ... also the people ... apparently made a mistake. Which could just mean they accidentally saw that Joe Smith made a phone call at 2am... oops, didn't mean to search for that, crap, privacy violation.

The absolute number means crap... I just searched Google for 'kangaroos eating bagels' and got 4mil results. I don't think there are four million kangaroos eating bagels.

I vote to dissolve the US highway system because you were speeding.

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 8 months ago | (#44582857)

We (the people), governed by corporations through puppets

FTFY. The rest couldn't be fixed, but could be used in a garden as fertilizer.

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582333)

We (the people) gave them a little power, and they grossly over stepped the bounds.

We (the people) did no such thing.

Yes you did, by sitting like a lemon watching crap like america's got talent(sic) you were aiding and abetting it.

Re:so basically, what we knew (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582309)

Why thank God? Thank the one who had the guts to do it: Snowden!

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582445)

The U.S. should be throwing a fucking parade for him. Instead they're trying to throw him in prison for the rest of his life.

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582855)

The U.S. should be throwing a fucking parade for him.

Yes, that's the kind of parade they should throw!

Re:so basically, what we knew (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#44582419)

The question left is, what are we(the people) going to do about it?

Next time, they'll vote for Kodos instead.

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582479)

The only sensible solution is to broaden the bounds so far that not even the NSA can overstep them.

In an impromptu interview Clapper commented: "Challenge accepted!"

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582497)

Do about it? Dunno. How about those Redskins uh?

Re:so basically, what we knew (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 months ago | (#44582587)

We (the people) gave them a little power, and they grossly over stepped the bounds.

I don't think it is useful to exaggerate. We don't have any evidence (yet) of malicious intent - almost all of the stuff in this report was just sloppiness because nobody was there to keep them in line. It isn't like they were digging up dirt on political candidates in order to sway elections or blackmailing the leaders of the Occupy movement to make them back off.

On the flip-side it is useful to note that this was an internal report - pretty much guaranteed not to turn up anything heinous because that would be career suicide for the investigators who report to the same command-structure they are investigating. So the relatively benign level of abuse is not proof that really bad shit has not happened, it just wouldn't be in this report if it did happen.

Re:so basically, what we knew (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#44582681)

It isn't like they were digging up dirt on political candidates in order to sway elections or blackmailing the leaders of the Occupy movement to make them back off.

no but we DO know that the IRS was abusing political opponants, damn near everything that we have been told has been a lie since obama took office (and before he did to be clear) I dont know how you or anyone can still say things like "well we dont know...." we know enough to know they lied, about ALOT. I feel that we have only just begun to find the truth in this administration.

Re:so basically, what we knew (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about 8 months ago | (#44582853)

No the IRS was not abusing political opponents either. Rather it was the usual incompetent government we've all come to know and love.

Re:so basically, what we knew (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 8 months ago | (#44582909)

We don't have any evidence (yet) of malicious intent

How often do you think abuse is required to maintain the status quo of those in power? Hardly ever, and when it does happen it won't leave much of a paper trail, if any.

Here's something for NSA employees to think about. The Snowden leaks have made that entire org collectively shit its pants in fear. So who do you think that vast spying apparatus is now being turned on? I bet every single NSA employee that has clearance to so much as make a cup of coffee is having their data gone over with a fine tooth comb. They now have to deal with the fact that every move they make, every hotel they check in to, every email they send or phone conversation they have, every purchase of groceries with their credit card is going to be looked at by an analyst. Is this guy going to leak? Is he a Snowden sympathiser? How can we find leakers before they get away? That's going to be the big questions on their mind. And god forbid an NSA employee starts up Tor, sends something using PGP or books a flight to Hong Kong.

They know that there are limits to how tight they can make internal security. So monitoring their own staff as closely as they do terrorists is the logical next step. Perhaps they were already doing so. Snowden was pretty damn paranoid so it obviously wasn't out of the question even before what he did.

If you're a part of the US national security apparatus, you can pretty much kiss your personal privacy goodbye right now.

Re:so basically, what we knew (1)

pinkstuff (758732) | about 8 months ago | (#44582825)

The question left is, what are we(the people) going to do about it?

It is a very serious question. At what point do westerners say enough is enough and overthrow governments, or at the very least hold people accountable and arrest them?

Re:so basically, what we knew (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 8 months ago | (#44582835)

I vote for dissolving the NSA and DoHS.

I second this. But admittedly, that's only a small start of all the parts of our government that ought to be dissolved.

Re:so basically, what we knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582937)

First, we need to think of what to do to protect Snowden...

SURPRISE! (2, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 8 months ago | (#44582279)

I would like to meet someone (adult) that's surprised by these news.

I would like to know his answer to the question: "At which point in human history and in which location has a government not spied on its own citizens?".

I often wonder if people understand what "secret" means.

Re:SURPRISE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582439)

It's easy to claim "duh" when facts confirm suspicions, but such is not always the case.

With that disclaimer said, I think a "duh" is well warranted here.

Re:SURPRISE! (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#44582465)

Just walk in the street... most of them will be surprised that you tell that, and then they go back to their normal lives, forgetting about this. Even if worried, the next time Obama shows up and tell them to relax that everything is fine and give fake promises they will accept that without discussion, not doing anything against it, and surely keep voting for the same party as before, that whichever it was won't do anything against this, and a lot towards getting more power/funds to this.

Re:SURPRISE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582873)

I would like to meet someone (adult) that's surprised by these news.

Look through forums form last year. In every thread when someone points out what the government is doing there will be a dozen numbskulls that calls them tinfoil-hats.
Probably the same kind of people that now says that this isn't a big deal and that thinks that Snowden is a traitor and should be punished.
If we didn't have people like that then it would actually be possible as a united people to put pressure on the government.

Brazil (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 8 months ago | (#44582281)

Anyone else reminded of the Tuttle/Buttle debacle in Brazil?

Re:Brazil (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#44582325)

Yes, that is a nice one! Best part is the bureaucrat-speak they cover it in. The fascinating thing is that such a scenario seems to be more and more plausible.

So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582297)

Seriously. Do you think any federal employee will get sent to prison or dismissed?

The NSA and its employees pose a similar problem as Guantanamo, just the reverse. Do you really want all of these people run around in the wild after all that happened? You cannot dismiss or punish them because it would just turn their special knowledge and skills against you in the long run.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about 8 months ago | (#44582323)

If they violated the law, lock them up.

Then again, they probably have enough blackmail on the congress critters to keep their program hush hush.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582733)

Then again, they probably have enough blackmail on the congress critters to keep their program hush hush.

Come on leakers, do your Patriotic duty see that there is nothing left the public doesn't already know about your Congress critters. There is a very long history of secrets being held against bureaucrats and politicians by such agencies of the government and others who bribe or hold sway over those agencies and/or the agencies do it for them just so they have that against the one making the request. Congress critters need to figure out that if those agencies don't exist then they can't be used against them and more importantly, they can't harm the public They are the major reason that the world has come to hate the US so much in the last century. It is not so much how they gather their information, what they do with some of it is always much worse. They also regularly manufacture such information and/or heavily influence public activity around the world.

Re:So what? (3, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#44582361)

I doubt that. If the scandal continues to grow, as it looks likely to, these people will not have a lot to add to what is already known.

No, the main hurdles to neutering or disbanding the NSA are the strategic goals it serves, namely profiling of the population down to individual level, the intended chilling effects that come with blanket surveillance, and possibly a critical supporting role in establishing a totalitarian system. Being able to get rid of "undesirables" by tipping of law-enforcement (and these days it is almost impossible not to do something illegal when being online in the US) is also highly desirable. In addition, results from economic espionage must pay for a significant part of its operational budget.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582489)

supporting role in continuing a totalitarian system.

There, ftfy.

Re:So what? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#44582607)

Remember the phrase too big to jail [rollingstone.com]? Even known what they are doing they will be getting immunity ("or else bad things could happen").And things won't change, money talks, and makes enough noise to mute every citizen voice.

Quote from the story (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 8 months ago | (#44582317)

“You look at a number in absolute terms that looks big, and when you look at it in relative terms, it looks a little different.” I guess this means, if you look at it from the relative perspective of how many people we spy on, over 2000 isn't really that great a number.

Re:Quote from the story (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 8 months ago | (#44582409)

Oh, I thought it was something different: "It looks like we got caught spying on a couple thousand Americans illegally, but if you compare how many times we were caught to how many times we committed the crime, that's a drop in the bucket."

It's similar to how Goldman Sachs is absolutely devastated when they have to pay a $500 million fine with no admission of wrongdoing - it takes them a full 3 days to get that money back.

Re:Quote from the story (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 8 months ago | (#44582493)

Except when they say a single violation was using Washington DC rather than Egypt. That does not necessarily imply that it was a single unique number that was analyzed. If they say were using a broad term against 202 err.. then they spied potentially on tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals privacy and data. Say they scanned for the term NSA or Secret Intelligence etc... This is why you don't give the government this much power.

So where are the criminal charges? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 8 months ago | (#44582341)

Oh that's right. Asking our government to hold itself accountable is farcically funny...

Re:So where are the criminal charges? (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 8 months ago | (#44582507)

Plus they have the luxury of saying: This was a mistake done by an employee of a third party company. There is no federal crime it is a corporate mistake.

Blah blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582351)

Boring, nothing to see here, moving on...

Waht? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582383)

Didn't you get the memo? German minister of the interior, Friedrich, has declared the debate resolved. He has us know that everything was lawful and that we need not worry. Why are you still discussing this?

Sneakernet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582385)

Time to go back to "sneakernet" and face-to-face communications. Since we now know that even encrypting your data may not be a fool-proof way to secure our communications from prying governement/corporatocracy eyes.

We might as well shred the Constitution and start over again. Our governement "by the people and for the people" doesn't abide by it anyway. :-(

Re:Sneakernet (1)

operagost (62405) | about 8 months ago | (#44582919)

Returning to the Articles of Confederation, but solving the funding problem should do it. All the social programs should be moved to the state governments, where they belong.

Breaking down the penalty (4, Interesting)

spacepimp (664856) | about 8 months ago | (#44582451)

2776 for one year = 27,760,000 USD fines. Although this sort of mass scale violation should be considered a larger crime.
2776 with five years per violation is 13,880 years of jail time.

However consider more closely that these errors likely affect thousands to tens or even hundreds of thousands citizens privacy. instead of looking at all information from Egypt they looked at all of the communications for Washington DC. Extrapolating those numbers out to the reality of how much private information and how many people were illegally spied upon by the NSA and you can safely say this would bankrupt the executive branch pretty quickly.

Re:Breaking down the penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582781)

... bankrupt the executive branch ...

And to whom, will the NSA pay a fine? This is the same as secret court, which hears only the prosecution.

Re:Breaking down the penalty (1)

mjm1231 (751545) | about 8 months ago | (#44582999)

Um, when a government agency pays a fine, who do you think picks up the tab? And who are they paying the fine to?

I can see it now: "Due to an unexpected increase in revenue of 27,760,000 dollars, the NSA budget has been increased."

"Broke the rules"? (1)

trawg (308495) | about 8 months ago | (#44582545)

Broke the rules? Overstepped its legal authority?

Is that the euphemism we're using now for "broke the law"?

test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582561)

this is most very important Cipto Junaedy http://jeni-roxy.com/cipto-junaedy-penulis-gramedia-mega-bestseller/

One Good Federal Prosecutor (4, Interesting)

some old guy (674482) | about 8 months ago | (#44582573)

Back in the day, all it took was one honest U.S. Attorney to see something like this and get a grand jury to indict the culpable officials, acting independently of corruption from above. Hell, a good lawyer could probably make a grand jury case for a RICO indictment against the whole administration.

Re:One Good Federal Prosecutor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582901)

POTUS can not be indicted, they can only be impeached by the grea$ed wheels of the House of Representatives and tried by the grea$ed wheels of the Senate. That was oriiginally part of the balance of power as the House of Representatives was elected and the Senate appolinted by their states. Who is the new Senator(s) Disney?

Can we really afford or want an entirely $ vs. $ government?

Re:One Good Federal Prosecutor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582929)

Very true. But which administration? Who was "at the helm" or "wearing the helm" when this decision was made?

Re:One Good Federal Prosecutor? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582957)

U.S. attorneys are employed by the department of justice. The head of the department is Attorney General Eric Holder, on record for multiple perjury before congress in the context of clandestine operations. Do you really think Holder will give the "goahead" to indict him and his cronies?

Think again.

The system works! (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about 8 months ago | (#44582595)

See, they told us about it! Surely we can trust them. Don't worry next month we'll get some new tidbit after this calms down, as they "turn up the heat a little more".

technology (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582601)

Nice sharing! reading such article [technologyexplores.com] in an inspiring i like your post because its very informative and awesome.keep providing such kind of good post.once again thanks.

New amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582623)

Maybe we need a new amendment to make all of this legal ? Because clearly it's not going to stop. If you've done nothing illegal, you don't have to worry, right ?

Don't forget to thank (1)

portwojc (201398) | about 8 months ago | (#44582625)

Two other groups that need to be thanked for all of this is the DoJ and the journalists. If the DoJ hadn't had gone and obtained the phone records of some journalists this would have probably been quietly brushed aside. You know cause the journalists don't want to get shut out but now all bets are off and the news agencies are happy to report on things that effect them.

clever (5, Insightful)

Triv (181010) | about 8 months ago | (#44582657)

The findings conveniently move the goalposts - it implies that the issue is that the spying is being done incorrectly, not that it's being done at all; if it were done "correctly" we would never know, which was the NSA's original win condition.

Yep. We're fucked.

Re:clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582885)

standard tactics... "mistakes have been made"

Language Matters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582707)

It's not just on Slashdot, but generally in the press.

They broke laws, not just 'rules', yet the words 'illegal', 'law', 'constitutional rights' are nowhere to be found in the press coverage.

I am Shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582771)

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

I'm shocked, shocked to find that lying to congress, spying on Americans and trampling the constitution is going on in here!

2008? Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44582905)

Who was president in 2008, at the time that "broad new powers" were granted? Or more importantly, who was vice-president in 2008? And, how many connections might he have had within the intelligence community? And equally importantly, who is president in 2013 and gets to deal with the fallout generated by the poor decision-making abilities of previous administrations?

I smell a pattern. It's probably the sweat stains in someone else's shirt this time.

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