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Government To Release Hundreds of Documents On NSA Spying

samzenpus posted 1 year,17 days | from the in-today's-spying-news dept.

Security 123

Trailrunner7 writes "In response to a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Department of Justice is preparing to release a trove of documents related to the government's secret interpretation of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The declassified documents will include previously secret opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The decision by the Justice Department to release the documents is the second legal victory in recent weeks for the EFF related to the National Security Agency's intelligence collection programs. In August, the group won the release of a 2011 FISC opinion that revealed that the court ruled that some of the NSA's collection programs were illegal and unconstitutional. The newest decision will result in the release of hundreds of pages of documents related to the way the government has been interpreting Section 215, which is the measure upon which some of the NSA's surveillance programs are based. In a status report released Wednesday regarding the EFF's suit against the Department of Justice, attorneys for the government said that they will release the documents by Sept. 10."

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Wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770603)

That is a lot of [REDACTED]s.

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770639)

to the extent that the remaining text is pointless. That's the point.

QUICK - THEY'RE ON OUR TAIL! (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771045)

Release the Chaff [globalsecurity.org]

Re:QUICK - THEY'RE ON OUR TAIL! (0)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771131)

Execute Order 66

Re:QUICK - THEY'RE ON OUR TAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772641)

Wing Attack Plan R?

God I'm getting old.

Slum dog Obummer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770973)

Hope and change you can believe in!

Brought to you by Glorious Leader Obummer's Ministry of Truth.

Re:Slum dog Obummer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772793)

If they change a lot of text to "[Redacted]", how is that not change?

As far as I remember, the slogan was just "Change". Not "Change for the better".

Re:Slum dog Obummer (1)

liamevo (1358257) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772815)

Dislike Obama all you like, but jesus christ, are you 12? Obummer? Really?

Re:Slum dog Obummer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44773255)

Yeah, get it right: it's Obomber now. :p

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771117)

They can probably release faster if their printers not constantly out of toners printing all black pages.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771291)

time to buy stock in sharpie

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771751)

Damn! You beat me to it! I was going to say: How much will be redacted?^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^Mcensored^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^Mblotted out?
You will get all the documents you want, but not all the information you want. Technically all the words are still there, but some of them have nice pieces of black blocks over them.

Foreign (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772343)

What part of 'Foreign' does the NSA and their lawyers not understand? It must be a publiek skooling thing, no child left behind and all that...

It's the law! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770621)

So they won't hold back on the dodgy stuff. I trust them!

Re:It's the law! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770881)

Yeah these motherfuckers lied to the congress, what makes us think they won't lie to everyone else?

Re:It's the law! (4, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771055)

Google yourself the term "Limited Hangout".

It was certain they'd do this, the same second that Snowden hit the wires.

Re:It's the law! (1)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771097)

Google yourself the term "Limited Hangout".

It was certain they'd do this, the same second that Snowden hit the wires.

Released hundreds, millions under wraps.

Re:It's the law! (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771017)

The check is in the mail.
It's only a cold sore.
I won't cum in your mouth.
Really - this is ALL we at the NSA are up to.

Re:It's the law! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771167)

If you do switch those up you might get arrested!

Put the first and second parts of each one on index cards and switch them for endless fun!

Yeah, that's the ticket (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770657)

Drown 'em in paperwork. That'll keep 'em busy for a few years. In the meantime business is just humming right along.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770691)

Drown 'em in paperwork.

No, that's not it at all.
EFF has to battle in court to receive secret interpretation of the law. That's not "paperwork", that's the law itself.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (1)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770857)

With that comes much needed law reform and an amazing rediscovery of the Fourth Amendment.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770993)

Drown 'em in paperwork.

No, that's not it at all.

EFF has to battle in court to receive secret interpretation of the law. That's not "paperwork", that's the law itself.

... do ALL interpretations of laws have to be PUBLIC? Should all lawyers start blogging the advice they give their clients? Or should it only apply to judges? Does it apply in certain cases, or all of them like a judge talking about law over lunch?

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771053)

do ALL interpretations of laws have to be PUBLIC?

You bet. If the practical interpretations are not public, how do you know if you're about to cross that line?

Fuck Secrets, and Fuck People who think Secrets are necessary.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771235)

Yep. Otherwise you might as well be dealing with the Pirahna Brothers.

"I had transgressed the unwritten law!"

"And what was that?"

"I don't know. He wouldn't tell me. "

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (4, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771201)

News flash: Court decisions that have the force of law are NOT covered in any size, shape, or form by attorney-client privilege. Stop making an ass of yourself.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (1)

gVibe (997166) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771907)

Yes. And all lawyers should be put to death for no good reason. Charge me $100K to write a letter, I'll show you.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772785)

... do ALL interpretations of laws have to be PUBLIC? Should all lawyers start blogging the advice they give their clients? Or should it only apply to judges? Does it apply in certain cases, or all of them like a judge talking about law over lunch?

Yes. Or rather, "case law is a bad system".

It should NEVER be unclear for a citizen what is legal or illegal in any situation.

The existence of layers is a symptom of a problem with the legal system. It indicates that the law is obscure to a point where it requires an expert to figure out what you should do. If that is the case you can't expect regular citizens to be able to follow the law. If you can't expect regular citizens to follow the law.. well, then everyone is a criminal so you don't really need to law anymore.

Not only should all interpretations of the law that has been tested in court be public, there should also exist an accessible version in simplified language.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771999)

And what about the other agencies involved in when it comes to spying? I doubt that you or many people actually believe the NSA is the only one. I would lean towards the NSA begin a filtering point, or a sacrificial lamb to keep everyone from knowing how deep this whole spying game really is.

And do you really think the NSA is going to release "documents" on its spying programs? It is pretty obvious they are going to release what the general public, media/press has already known.

The EFF has done nothing, to be honest it is getting really old the lack of effort of the EFF to report this stuff long before someone else leaks it, the only time anyone does anything (and not even then) is after is becomes a media circus, do they throw there hands in the air and say "oh my god, we should do something",

a day late, and a dollar short..

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770935)

Not drowning them in paperwork, because the army of people pouring through the documents as they are released will alert the EFF of anything that looks funny... The power of crowd sourcing caused solely by the importance of the issue.

The problem will be redaction and if we can trust these documents will be the real ones.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770951)

Drown 'em in paperwork. That'll keep 'em busy for a few years. In the meantime business is just humming right along.

Dear Mr./Mrs. Concerned Citizen,

        This is your [EXPLETIVE] job. If you rely on others regurgitating things to you in how-to-think chunks, take the concerned look off your face, you are a fraud.

P.S.
Same advice I would have given politicians yammering about having to read the Affordable Care Act.

Re:Yeah, that's the ticket (1)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771103)

Drown 'em in paperwork.

Hang 'em with hemp (rope).

Re: Drown 'em in paperwork. (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771227)

You're funny, but that stopped being true about say 5 years ago - with the rise of social media came even better crowdsourcing, so we'd have that stuff split open in under a month.

NOW they tell us (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770661)

Somewhere in Moscow, a lone man can be heard saying, "What?!? All I had to do was ask? Damnit!"

Re:NOW they tell us (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770867)

Re:NOW they tell us (2)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770915)

Somewhere in Moscow GRU, FSB, SVR, siloviki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silovik) are wondering is this just all a generational political fight between CIA and NSA contractors for political power?
Play the optics until the trap becomes clear.
Their endless hunt for cleared US staff goes on. All the online resumes with code words and colour pictures are found and sorted. Short on cash, a hidden past, just needing a new friend...

Re:NOW they tell us (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771815)

That would explain the magically convenient discovery of general Petraeus' infidelity by an FBI agent's warrantless access to an e-mail account on a whim. They get Petraeus fired, the CIA in turn exposes the NSA and the FBI's involvement in setting up the NSA's taps on the U.S. and the rest of the world. I know you wanted to say it, but didn't. And I don't give a fuck if Snowden is the next Emmanuel Goldstein, I'll suck his cock. And I'm totally hetero.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:NOW they tell us (2)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772277)

No that thing was obvious. A turf war escalated and the FBI showed they had more muscle. There's no point trying to tie other things into the chaos of what are effectively rogue agencies, they may as well be medieval Italian city states or mafia families. Trying to starve them of funds just ends up with stuff like North selling weapons to terrorists that had killed over a hundred US marines less than a year before the deal.

Re:NOW they tell us (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772669)

Because obviously this would all have turned out the same way if there had been no leaks.

Feeding Us What They Want Us To See (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770667)

They cannot be trusted. They'll only feed us what they want us to see and nothing more. They'll deny that they do much more, and even will tell us they've curtailed some efforts.

They are the government. They lie. They cannot be trusted.

Re:Feeding Us What They Want Us To See (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770781)

You all voted lawyers in. Bitch about the money as much as you want, vote fraud is tiny (even considering florida in 2000) compared to the number of folks who vote for lawyers.

Re:Feeding Us What They Want Us To See (4, Funny)

foniksonik (573572) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771785)

[An extraterrestrial robot and spaceship has just landed on earth. The robot steps out of the spaceship...]
"I come in peace," it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard." ...

"It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

"No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"

"What?"

"I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"

"I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."

Ford shrugged again.

"Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it."

Suitably redacted of course (1, Redundant)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770737)

Just redacted enough to make them useless.

Re:Suitably redacted of course (1)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771107)

Just redacted enough to make them useless.

Then redact the NSA!

Yawn... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770751)

I'll wait for the same, but unredacted docs that Snowden releases.

Re: Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770823)

Will we ever see all the docs that Snowden has so bravely taken. Surely a good chunk of the really bad stuff is his personal insurance policy, or am I way off the mark here?

SO WHAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770771)

http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/1lsvip/us_and_uk_spy_agencies_defeat_privacy_and/

http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/1lt3g1/feds_beg_ny_times_pro_publica_not_to_reveal_that/

WE KNOW YOUR DOING WRONG and NOW YOU TRY AND CRY WOLF

Americans too dumb anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770827)

One can hope the release will finally wake Americans up to the wrongs of their oppressive government but I doubt it. More likely we will see their Nobel Peace prize winning assassin feed them more of the 'but it makes you safer and of course you can trust your government' BS.

Re:Americans too dumb anyway (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771105)

Our government isn't oppressive. It generally doesn't have to be, as we're usually more than willful in our ability to distract ourselves. Think along the lines of Bread and Circuses and Brave New World. The "news" is reporting that some stupid socialite bimbo was all over some singer with a sexist song after some other singer bimbo got nearly naked on stage for her part of his performance. Other "news" is reporting on some stupid gal who had sex on camera with some stupid guy that had sex with some pathetic gal that has tested positive for HIV, and the only close-to-relevant part is that the original gal was engaging in sexual exchanges with a guy that wants to be mayor of a really big city.

We don't have to have an oppressive government; we're fat-and-happy to the point that we don't care what our government does as long as our big-screen TVs provide us with enough sensationalism to keep us occupied by the 24 hour "news" cycle.

The sad thing, really, is that I expect that the vast majority of people are so boring that there isn't even anything interesting to know about them by watching them.

Re:Americans too dumb anyway (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772221)

Define oppression the way some of us do, and your argument falls flat.

Re: Americans too dumb anyway (1)

TWX (665546) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772773)

Okay, define it, in as many words as you need. Mind you, I look on what's going down as being potential for later oppression, not occurring oppression, especially from the Federal level. I expect that state or local levels will actually infringe or outright oppress with much greater likelihood affecting my life than the Federal government will in practical matters. What they're doing is wrong, but it hasn't reached a level that causes behavioral changes in the bulk of the population. Once it really does that in earnest then use of the word applies.

Re:Americans too dumb anyway (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772435)

The sad thing, really, is that I expect that the vast majority of people are so boring

Thank heavens for that, you were starting to depress me.

what's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770853)

what's the point of surveillance when everyone knows that you are doing it?

your intel is worse then useless because you are hearing what they want you to hear

supposedly the nsa has our smartest people

this doesn't seem all that smart

Re:what's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770891)

It doesn't matter if it is smart. People want voyeurism dammit! Voyeurism! .... I mean "transparency."

Re:what's the point (1)

causality (777677) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771145)

what's the point of surveillance when everyone knows that you are doing it?

You never read 1984 or you didn't fully comprehend it.

The message is, "you will fall in line, or we WILL find you". The patient and therefore smart move is to set up the surveillence infrastructure first, get people used to the idea, and then become a more oppressive government. The only power governments have over their own citizens is against people who break the law.

Re:what's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771467)

I sort of have to dispute the last point you make, "the only power governments have over their own citizens is against people who break the law."

You probably had to sign up for compelled military service at one point. I'd call that "power". And I won't even go into all the harassment and abuses that the executive branch could heap upon a victim if they felt like it, with total impunity.

Heck, I could probably be disappeared to Gitmo without due process the way things are now.

Re:what's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772393)

If you could blackmail 10% of the population into doing your binding, you'd get enormous power over the 90% left. And it's actually more likely they can blackmail 90% of the population.

Re:what's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772807)

They can blackmail all of the population. You don't need dirt on people to be able to blackmail them, you only need to be able to convincingly threaten them and if you want to do it with information, the information still doesn't have to be correct.

Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44770899)

They will lie again.

Gov't releases evidence about illegal spying... (5, Funny)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770911)

Today the government, under the Freedom of Information Act, released further evidence to its illegal spying on American citizens. However, it still adamantly refuses to actually stop the agencies from continuing in these actions. "I don't think it's our place", a Senator - insisting on anonymity - said.

"Yeah", one NSA agent was overheard saying. "It's no big thing that this information is out there. It's not as if we care what the people think anymore."

In response, the FBI announced it intends to one-up the NSA by revealing they shot Kennedy. "The NSA are just a bunch of Johnny-come-lately amateurs when it comes to screwing over the citizens of America. We've been doing illegal wiretaps for decades. And don't get me started on the fun stuff we did back under Hoover's administration; it's about time we got recognition for all that work!"

Asked if he worried that these relevations might have unexpected consequences, he said "Nah; it's obvious that the average citizen is so apathetic that we might as well flaunt our villainy. Anyway, what can they do? We have the power, the guns, the money. Let them whine on YouTube; we'll get to them soon enough."

A nearby CIA agent refused any comment as he drove off in what appeared to be an Area-51 flying saucer.

Re:Gov't releases evidence about illegal spying... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771275)

In response, the FBI announced it intends to one-up the NSA by revealing they shot Kennedy.

I think that the only proper response to that would be "Get in line!" [theonion.com]

Re:Gov't releases evidence about illegal spying... (1)

gVibe (997166) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771883)

That's funny right thar, I don't care who ya are.

Good luck with that (3, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770921)

They already intentionally lied to the congress [slate.com] and suffered no consequences even after that was found out. What are the odds of what they show is the real full documents or just a redacted, partial, totally false or even a bunch of pages filled with loren ipsum? They already proved that deserve no trust and that don't care at all about it.

I have an advance copy (4, Funny)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770925)

In REDACTED the US Department of Homeland Security REDACTED REDACTED and, under the direction of REDACTED, REDACTED of the National Security Agency, implemented REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED to REDACTED, REDACTED and REDACTED. Additionally programs were setup to REDACTED REDACTED and REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED using REDACTED. The methods included REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED as well as REDACTED REDACTED.

Signed,
Fuck You Citizens

Re:I have an advance copy (1)

CamD (964822) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771727)

The full text [theonion.com] .

Been there, done that (3, Funny)

ronmon (95471) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770945)

Re:Been there, done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771077)

Nice shirt, lol!

http://www.localemttraining.net

Great! (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770953)

If we can piece together any meaning from what's left after all the giant magic marker redactions.

Re:Great! (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772321)

It's happened before. Enough stuff was released with documents quoting each other and different redactions that the unredacted stuff was reassembled. Redaction only works if consistently applied or if there is no duplicate information.
One USSR example of linked secret documents was an order for all documents about a mass grave to be destroyed. That order about document destruction listed the location of the mass grave and some other details about the information that was presumably in the destroyed documents. When you tell people in government run groups to break their own rules you get that sort of creative way of obeying orders while giving themselves a way out when the next leader wants to know where the bodies are buried (in that case literally).

And nothing will change (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | 1 year,17 days | (#44770995)

... because you can't ask government to hold itself accountable for breaking the law.

Re:And nothing will change (1)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771123)

... because you can't ask government to hold itself accountable for breaking the law.

But as the government's employer, you can fire them, then try them in a court of law/grand jury.

Re:And nothing will change (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771249)

+1 funny. Yeah, sure we can.

Re:And nothing will change (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772851)

... because you can't ask government to hold itself accountable for breaking the law.

But as the government's employer, you can fire them, then try them in a court of law/grand jury.

The government's employer ... that must be those who pay the government to do what they want, right? That would be the big corporations. And they probably will not be upset about the NSA as long as they get their share of trade secrets of their foreign competitors. Quite the opposite, they'll say "keep up the good work."

I wonder what they'll hide (1)

RyoShin (610051) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771033)

Okay, so we're getting "hundreds" of pages. Even if they're heavily redacted, it's a start. But anyone thinking that the government's documents on this only number in the hundreds is incredibly deluded.

So even if this sheds light above and beyond the Snowden leaks (either now or future), I'm sure they have plenty of stuff about the NSA, FISC/A, and more that they are withholding us. Maybe we'll get an idea of what that is once the EFF and others finish reading through all this...

Re:I wonder what they'll hide (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771297)

Okay, so we're getting "hundreds" of pages. Even if they're heavily redacted, it's a start.

Of what? A war on toner? If all of the bad stuff is redacted it only serves to make it look like they are being open and responding to a FOI request when they are not. This doesn't mean anything yet. Until we actually see how redacted the documents are. I"m sure 99% of the information will be missing.

Is SELinux vulnerable? (5, Interesting)

DMJC (682799) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771067)

We know the NSA has been promoting security standards that they can hack into. We know they've been pushing weaker security at standards organisations etc. Could SELinux which was developed by the NSA be vulnerable to this sort of attack? Could the NSA have a backdoor into Linux itself? I know that Linux should be the only alternative to Windows/OSX at this point for people trying to avoid NSA spying, but could Linux itself be vulnerable to the attacks the NSA can launch on other platforms?

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771129)

Personally I didn't trust SELinux for that reason period. Then trusting the makers of the Clipper chip would be like trusting a convicted child molester as a baby sitter.

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (2, Insightful)

jhol13 (1087781) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771481)

Could SELinux which was developed by the NSA be vulnerable to this sort of attack?

Yes, it could.

Could the NSA have a backdoor into Linux itself?

Yes, they have, as does Chinese, Vupen, etc. Whether to call them "backdoors" or "just a random security holes" is left as a philosophical discussion.

but could Linux itself be vulnerable to the attacks the NSA can launch on other platforms?

Yes.

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771517)

I know that Linux should be the only alternative to Windows/OSX at this point for people trying to avoid NSA spying...

Yeah, Linux is totally the only alternative. Right...

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771757)

I know that Linux should be the only alternative to Windows/OSX at this point

What's wrong with BSD?

Of course, there's always this [seclists.org] issue which I haven't seen mentioned recently. The fact that nothing similar has come forward on Linux is concerning to me....

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (2)

ghost_templar (3044481) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771865)

Relax already. The code for SELinux is freely available and I can guarantee you, well vetted by now. If it had a backdoor, someone would have noticed. I would have thought Linux users of all people, knowing the benefits of open-source code, would be less likely to be showing knee-jerk reactions about this sort of thing.

Be paranoid sure, but sometimes a bit of thought and logic can make you rest easy at night. It's a shame a well-designed security architecture is now tainted simply because it has the acronym NSA associated with it.

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (1)

durin (72931) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772015)

Sure it's well vetted. But consider that you often don't know by whom. Lots of eyes on code does open up the potential for having a few Byzantine generals.

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (1)

ghost_templar (3044481) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772195)

Yeah I suppose that's true. But then you start to go down the path of wondering just how much of your system CAN you trust. What if your compiler, or the compiler used to build your distro, was compromised without anyone's knowledge? There's a famous paper about the issue (https://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf) and it's hard to believe at least someone wouldn't have attempted a nefarious use of the concept. What if some of the microcode which directly controls your hardware has been compromised, before it was even sold?

Taken to its extreme, you basically can't trust ANY software or hardware that you didn't build yourself. So what then? May as well give up on technology by that point. The only realistic choice we have is think logically, rationally, and decide on what level of protection we can live with, and what's within the realms of danger and what's likely to be compromised.

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | 1 year,17 days | (#44772463)

could Linux itself be vulnerable to the attacks the NSA can launch

That's the most awesome question ever. Likely to spark a heated debate with an incredibly obvious answer.

Lulz, nice one.

Re:Is SELinux vulnerable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772877)

What about the Debian SSH key problem? Do you know for sure that it wasn't sneaked in on behalf of the NSA?

EFF (1)

fred133 (449698) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771185)

So, what's the EFF using for email these days?
paper and pencil via carrier pigeon?
just curious..... :)

Here's a Sample (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771281)

I already know what they're gonna say:

Here was a block of asterisks in the shape of a piece of paper, but the junk filter got me. So, visual funny gone, stupid rant added. Anyways, the whole thing will be mostly black lines and some page numbers, maybe part of some letterhead.

and so on

* Hopefully this will get around the "junk" filter - I mean, I'm displaying a visual representation here, /.. Alas, the technology to differentiate between meaningless spam and an approximation of what a gov't document will look like isn't there yet. Maybe a linked image would do? But no one follows the links

Re:Here's a Sample (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772113)

As much as they are botching things lately it will probably be redacted with black boxes over the actual text. Don't use the copy and paste trick on it though or you run afoul of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Even Odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771359)

The documents will contain header information with the body blacked out - redacted entirely.

Face facts. The greatest enemy of the Federal Government (unelected government) and the NSA and the President (and O Biden) are the legal citizens of the United States of America.

cloaked in plain sight. (1)

Revek (133289) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771373)

What way better to hide your transgressions.

At G-20 Obama To Putin (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771399)

"Give me Snowden, and I'll give you all the Syrian peoples lives in exchange. Well? Do we have a deal?"

Re:At G-20 Obama To Putin (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772901)

Putin's answer:

"I don't care about the Syrian people. And when you attack Syria, I'll have a good argument for the Syrian government that it needs to buy more Russian weapons. Of course I'll publicly complain about your move. But as long as you don't remove the Syrian government, I do not really have any problem with it."

Anything new being released? (3, Informative)

mendax (114116) | 1 year,17 days | (#44771451)

I wonder how much of this stuff is already out in the wild thanks to Edward Snowden's efforts. Not much point if all this shit turns out to have already been released. It wouldn't surprise me if a good chunk of this is old news.

Re:Anything new being released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772471)

My penny is on the stuff being nothing of consequence, stuff that makes them look like inept now and then, and some made up things about thwarting this and that attack here and there that sort of vague stuff.

the government is spying on ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771755)

Don't you realize how typical that is?
ME, I'm fuckin NOBODY, i'm boring, i even pay taxes. You think these guys are playing 007 and have trillions of dollars of cool computer shit to hunt down some maniacal madman?
NO, this is the equivilent of the fat ole bastard at the DMV processing your license. THIS is your government.
Carlos Danger wants to run for office and people will vote for him. Because at least he never worked for the DMV.
By the way, have you ever actually met anyone that works for the IRS?
So have some pity on the poor bastard that has to sit in a cubicle all day making 5 copies of my 40,000 page dossier. Then he sits there with a black magic marker and redacts some much shit that it becomes obvious i am a HUGE threat to national security.
Now go talk to your neighbor, you know, the one who says "well he's gotta be guilty of something"
fuck! we are fucking fucked!

Section 215? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44771811)

Anybody else in California do a double-toke, errr.. double-take on that?

sept 10th will come and go (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 days | (#44772213)

without any significant release of data...

the excuse will be... "we ran out of toner, evidently photocopying pages of blackened text uses a LOT of it. we'll try to get more apportioned in next year's budget, but the actual time frame is up to congress''

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