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Trove of NSA Documents and FISC Opinions Declassified Thanks to EFF Lawsuit

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the what-is-truth dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 110

An anonymous reader writes "Thanks to an EFF lawsuit, the office of the Director of National Intelligence is releasing declassified redacted versions of various documents relating to the NSA's domestic surveillance activities. The documents are being released on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks." The EFF is hosting the documents, which are searchable. A few initial findings were posted yesterday evening; they include (thanks to another anonymous reader) the NSA illegally using phone data for three years, and evidence that Clapper knowingly mislead the public about metadata collection.

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We have met the enemy .... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820023)

And he is us.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820307)

So what are we waiting for?! Let's bomb the sh*t out of...us?

Re:We have met the enemy .... (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44820389)

I just did it.....
More is expected tomorrow. BR? And the next day too.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44820443)

Wait....more shit is coming :D, ooohhhh, this mexican food.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820789)

It's only good if it burns twice.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820409)

Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber were way ahead of you.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (2)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44820777)

Nope, as long as the NSA turns its surveillance equipment over to Russia there is no need for Tomahawks.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821529)

That is the second thought I had, the first being US turning over drones and resident war criminals to Russia (for safe keeping or destruction).

Re:We have met the enemy .... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about a year ago | (#44821723)

I sentence us to Bean Burritos at Taco Bell. After the meal the bombing will comence shortly after in the rest room.

Re:We have met the enemy .... (5, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about a year ago | (#44821591)

We have met the enemy, and he is [REDACTED].

The timing is impeccable (4, Insightful)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year ago | (#44820045)

Releasing the information on the anniversary of 9/11 can't be completely coincidental. On a day national security is rallied behind by those in power to protect us from another such incident it comes across as just a PR move to lessen the outrage if possible of those that will be up in arms over their activities.

Re:The timing is impeccable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820605)

Young Bush himself did predict that there would be another September the eleventh didn't he?

Re:The timing is impeccable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820641)

i suspect we'll have another next year too, and every year following it

Re:The timing is impeccable (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44820959)

"Young Bush himself did predict that there would be another September the eleventh didn't he?"

Yes, there's one every year, so prediction-wise it sucks.

Re:The timing is impeccable (4, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44821445)

To be fair, he probably had no idea there was one every year.

Re:The timing is impeccable (1, Flamebait)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44820677)

What outrage? Most people are going "yeah, whatever".

There is no big groundswell of people who are demanding "Stop doing this now."

Re:The timing is impeccable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820987)

I'm outraged and the USA will see a posting storm like none other before it... !!!!!

Re:The timing is impeccable (4, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#44820837)

On a day national security is rallied behind by those in power to protect us

Do not forget that, according to the sitting US President, the greatest threat to national security is cyber-attack. And one of the greatest weaknesses in our cyber armor is the damage the NSA has done to the cryptography standards that our citizens and corporations rely upon for infosec. Well intentioned though they may be, the NSAs actions have harmed national cyber-security.

Re:The timing is impeccable (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44820977)

If Obama actually said that, he's outright wrong. No matter what metric of "threat" you use, there's an example of something that scores greater.

Re:The timing is impeccable (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#44821137)

Re:The timing is impeccable (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44821203)

Yeah, any part of the military industrial complex making claims of unprecedented threats is par for course, and that doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Re:The timing is impeccable (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44821301)

In other news, [Group A] released a statement indicating that the biggest threat to national security today is [something Group A makes money from].

Re:The timing is impeccable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822139)

Re:The timing is impeccable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822063)

This aggression will not stand - the dude does mind! Lets bomb the mf-ers with some radioactive shit or at least lough at them

Re:The timing is impeccable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822385)

Translation: Our greatest threat is criminal incompetence.

He may just be right!

Will we expect charges? (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44820049)

the NSA illegally using phone data for three years, and evidence that Clapper knowingly mislead the public about metadata collection.

Should we expect criminal charges, or will we find out that since he lied to protect the politicians they'll go soft on this do nothing?

Because he's either committed a criminal act, or he's just a stooge covering up for someone else.

Re:Will we expect charges? (1)

Dracos (107777) | about a year ago | (#44820179)

Expect? Yes. Will happen? Of course not. Criminality and cover-up are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Will we expect charges? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44820251)

Expect? Yes. Will happen? Of course not.

In which case you're confusing 'expect' with 'hope for' -- I mean 'expect' as in a realistic chance it will happen.

Criminality and cover-up are not mutually exclusive.

Not by a long shot -- but when the people who determine criminality are part of the cover up, you more or less have to conclude nothing at all will happen.

Re:Will we expect charges? (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44820545)

Do you expect the head of a spy service NOT to lie? This is at the top of the whole chain of problems with 'intelligence'.

The basic safety valve in the US approach to government isn't 'democracy' (which we aren't) or some sort of special affinity by a magical deity. It is the concept and application of checks and balances. Nobody can ultimately be trusted. No institution can be trusted for any period of time. You MUST have the ability to check the scope and application of any government department's mission.

An intelligence service beholden to no one with essentially unlimited funds is a scary monster indeed.

Re:Will we expect charges? (2)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44820845)

Do you expect the head of a spy service NOT to lie?

To Congress? Yes.

Re:Will we expect charges? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44821127)

You must be new here.

The NSA telling the 'truth' to the biggest pack of lairs in the country would bring up some scary philosophical issues.

Re:Will we expect charges? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44821497)

I wonder if the biggest pack of lairs is a national forest yet.

Re:Will we expect charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822127)

Re:Will we expect charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820861)

Unlimited donation cheques and bank balances is what drives corruption in the US.

Re:Will we expect charges? (2)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#44820467)

Of course, covering up for someone elses criminal act is itself a criminal act.
I think that legally opens up 'conspiracy' charges as well, but ianal, so that's just a guess on my part.

Re:Will we expect charges? (1)

fritsd (924429) | about a year ago | (#44821995)

Maybe you Americans can impeach and convict him, and sentence him to become... a talkshow host!!!! [wikipedia.org]

Re: Will we expect charges? (2)

um... Lucas (13147) | about a year ago | (#44822259)

How can those "stooge politicians"do anything? I mean, between the NSA and the DEA horizon program, it'll pretty much go like this:

Politician: you know, I think our laws have been broken and the intelligence community needs to be reformed.

NSA: that's nice. You know all those calls to your mistress? Want them leaked, because we've got them recorded. Heck we don't have them recorded, but since the public thinks we do, we could just splice together your previous conversations and make them sound damning enough

DEA: and 23 years ago you made phone calls to the girlfriend of someone we now know turned out to be a drug dealer or worse, a communist sympathizer. Your kids, too, appear heavily involved in the drug trade based on not who they call, but who their friends call.

Face it, anyone, even mother Theresa, can have their name dragged through the dirt from these guys. The amount of data they could feasibly have is just that damning of an amount... I just can't expect any meaningful reform when every politician knows full well that any skeleton from their lifelong closet could be turned loose on them at a moments notice...

So, when will heads roll? (5, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44820051)

The news is full of all sorts of illegal shit that the NSA and its lackeys have been doing for years, yet I haven't heard a peep about any hints of prosecution.

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

b&

Re:So, when will heads roll? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44820087)

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

That of course assumes that the DoJ would have any interest in pursuing this, and that the politicians who should have damned well known this was happening want to do anything but sweep this under the rug.

It's hard not to believe this was done without anybody in authority knowing it was happening -- at which point the only people who could prosecute for this are part of the problem.

Is this 'rogue agency stepping outside of its mandate', or just part of a bigger problem where government has decided the laws don't really matter?

Re:So, when will heads roll? (2)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44820297)

Except that there're virtually always young Turks or gadflies or other types looking to make a name for themselves or upset the applecart when those in power show signs of weakness.

Am I really to believe that there's nobody in this country with a badge interested in doing the right thing, for whatever reason?

I can almost see how the Justice Department could have been purged so effectively that no junior prosecutor is willing to stick his or her neck out for something like this. But even in all fifty states and the territories? No first-term Representative from Hicksville's 52nd district willing to demand a Congressional investigation?

Nobody!?

b&

Re:So, when will heads roll? (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44820395)

Except that there're virtually always young Turks or gadflies or other types looking to make a name for themselves or upset the applecart when those in power show signs of weakness.

Sure there are, but since you'd be trying to prosecute the head of a federal agency (or near to it), you'd likely need the help of the Attorney General of the US.

And if he's decided (or been told) that it's not in the national interest to do this, it simply won't happen.

A junior prosecutor can't file charges his boss tells him he's not allowed to charge. He'd basically get fired or removed from the case.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not disagreeing with you that someone should be charged -- I'm just of the opinion that as a practical matter it might be impossible for someone with the right jurisdiction to do anything about this to either have or exercise the will to prosecute.

And I vaguely recall that the feds retain the right to basically say "you have no standing to sue because we said so". I have no idea of what entity could undertake this and be in any way free of being shut down by the feds who cite national security.

The deck is unfortunately stacked against anybody who wants to prosecute this, since it could mean taking on the entire federal government.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (2)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44820583)

That didn't stop Archibald Cox [wikipedia.org] ....

b&

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44820591)

And I vaguely recall that the feds retain the right to basically say "you have no standing to sue because we said so". I have no idea of what entity could undertake this and be in any way free of being shut down by the feds who cite national security.

Yes, you are thinking of the Federal Tort Claims Act [wikipedia.org] . They're the dealer AND the house rolled up in one.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820783)

you'd likely need the help of the Attorney General of the US.

Or congress. Both the Senate and House can hold hearings and basically push the issue to the point where there will be trials. Everyone should be writing their representatives and senators with a letter to the effect of:

The NSA's activities are not acceptable in a free society and it's not acceptable for this to be swept under the rug. No other issue is important to me. Either you use every available power of your office to ensure that those responsible are criminally prosecuted or I will make it my life's work to see that you are never elected again.

FWIW, I have written letters similar to those to my representatives, though somewhat less blunt. Unfortunately, I come from a district and state that's liberal enough that my representatives are pretty marginalized, and so are unlikely to get much traction when suggesting anything radical.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (2)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#44820855)

And I vaguely recall that the feds retain the right to basically say "you have no standing to sue because we said so".

The general principle, inherited from common law, is called "sovereign immunity", and it means exactly what it sounds like--one could only sue the king if he agreed that one could do so.

As the centuries creep by, the general trend in the U.S. has been toward a weakening of sovereign immunity. But it's a slow process, and in my opinion the concept should have been mostly discarded 100 years ago. (I say "mostly" because governments are big fat targets for lunatics, so I don't object to, say, an independent panel of citizens who would review claims in order to toss the obvious bullshit before allowing it to clog up courts and waste taxpayer dollars.)

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#44820907)

Sure there are, but since you'd be trying to prosecute the head of a federal agency (or near to it), you'd likely need the help of the Attorney General of the US.

And if he's decided (or been told) that it's not in the national interest to do this, it simply won't happen.

A junior prosecutor can't file charges his boss tells him he's not allowed to charge. He'd basically get fired or removed from the case.

Perhaps we should do a Kickstarter -- raise $2m to compensate a DoJ prosecutor for risking throwing away his career.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822833)

Which is why the right to bring private prosecutions is a cornerstone of a free country. Although they have fallen into disuse, as far as I know there is no legal bar to bringing such a prosecution in the US. All you need is money and a lawyer.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820413)

People don't want to go have a spontaneous vacation in sunny Guantanamo bay and know damn well that if people are willing to break the law like this they will happily disappear you for trying to resist in an effective manner.

Bitching on the Internet is not considered effective for the most part.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44820157)

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

They've all been mysteriously disbarred. By a secret ruling, of course.

Seriously, none of these people can realistically prosecute anything. They have all been compromised and it would bring down the house of cards. And this is how things will remain as long as we continue to sell our votes in support of the current system.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820475)

And this is how things will remain as long as we continue to sell our votes in support of the current system.
I don't know about you, but I voted for Change in 2008. Protip: it doesn't help much.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820161)

The news is full of all sorts of illegal shit that the NSA and its lackeys have been doing for years, yet I haven't heard a peep about any hints of prosecution.

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

b&

Uh, you mean "head of the justice department" Attorney General "Fast and Furious" "repeated perjury before congress" Eric Holder? You don't really think he would want to act as if that kind of felony was considered objectionable and start prosecuting his fellow cronies?

That would not just require balls but rather balls and chains.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about a year ago | (#44820203)

I really wish we'd just prosecute Holder for his perjury and be done with it.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821703)

I really wish we'd just prosecute Holder for his perjury and be done with it.

We? The responsible person for prosecuting this kind of perjury is the Attorney General. He has investigated himself and let the matter drop.

It would seem that you seriously underestimate the open cynicism with which this corrupt government is being run.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44820167)

The second the trials start (if any ever do) I fully expect to see the Nuremberg Defense [wikipedia.org] in heavy usage. And in this case, the courts will almost certainly let that stand.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820883)

Great! Prove that someone ordered you to do something, and the charges can be shifted to that person. If that person was also following orders, then repeat the process. Even if everything get's attributed to one person (not a scapegoat...orders only move down the heirarchy, so charges can only go up) who spends the rest of his life in prison, that will be meaningful and will help prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44821381)

You have a lot more faith in the court system than I do if you believe it would go anywhere remotely related to the direction you describe.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44820173)

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

In private practice, most likely. It's not that they were fired from the DoJ per se, but they were told that it would be better for everyone if they just went away quietly.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820245)

When the rest of the US wakes up to the fact that the EFF is not just another government institution.
Maybe it is the three letter acronyms making the populace look the other way in boredom, or maybe they just can't get past two letter acronyms (TV).

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44820625)

When the rest of the US wakes up to the fact that the EFF is not just another government institution.
Maybe it is the three letter acronyms making the populace look the other way in boredom, or maybe they just can't get past two letter acronyms (TV).

Maybe you should stick to the two letter places....

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820281)

The news is full of all sorts of illegal shit that the NSA and its lackeys have been doing for years, yet I haven't heard a peep about any hints of prosecution.

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

b&

Balls?

Your Rights were neutered long ago. I suppose there are those who never fully opened their eyes from the anesthetic.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44820423)

Your Rights were neutered long ago.

It was self inflicted. Should we prosecute ourselves? I think all citizens, not just those in the military or public office, should be required to take the standard oath on upholding the constitution on their 18th birthday.

Raise your right hand...

Heh, it would give probable cause to arrest anyone who votes for a democrat or republican.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44820685)

They're too busy chasing after precocious people with libertarian ideals that could threaten the establishment and bullying them into suicide.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year ago | (#44823609)

They're too busy chasing after precocious people with libertarian ideals that could threaten the establishment and bullying them into suicide.

As well as going after Aaron Swartz [aaronsw.com] and bullying him into suicide. (Or by "libertarian ideals" do you mean "ideals supportive of civil liberties" rather than "free-market ideals"?)

Re:So, when will heads roll? (2)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year ago | (#44820699)

Where're(sic) the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

They've all been sent mp3s of their latest phone calls to their bookie/mistress/whatever as a reminder.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821873)

This. 1000 times over.

It's had to imagine how anyone can possibly stand up to the NSA at this point.

What's more worrying is that the "recording" doesn't even have to be legitimate. Since it's known that such recordings exist, there's no reason to believe that if one were "leaked to the press" that that particular recording is fake. Then the whistle-blower gets mud slung at them by the press and is relegated to being a "crazy trans-sexual terrorist" or a "disgruntled high-school dropout who dated a stripper" and the American public blissfully writes the whole thing off, since they didn't want to pay attention to it to begin with.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820765)

Unfortunately, that district attorney now goes by the name of Two-Face.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820947)

That would be an improvement as there is a 50% chance that Two-Face actually uphold the law.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44820853)

So let's elect a president that will select a DOJ that will prosecute these guys.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#44820863)

The news is full of all sorts of illegal shit that the NSA and its lackeys have been doing for years, yet I haven't heard a peep about any hints of prosecution.

Oh, come on, now, that's an exaggeration. Surely you've heard the politicians calling for Edward Snowden to face charges.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44820871)

Actually, the percentage of illegal 'shit' the NSA does is turning out to be very tiny overall. Less than 1%

It should be stopped, but let's not go on like that's all they do.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44821667)

Actually, the percentage of illegal 'shit' the NSA does is turning out to be very tiny overall. Less than 1%

Actually, we probably know about 1% of the illegal shit that the NSA is doing.

FTFY

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821839)

Your right. The scary part is that most of what they do isn't considered illegal.

Re:So, when will heads roll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821895)

Where're the prosecutors with the balls to hold the watchers accountable?

Apparently they've got kids [forbes.com]

Re:So, when will heads roll? why should they???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822113)

The prosecutors would do it only if profit is guaranteed. On top of that the general public does not see what the fuss is all about. After all it is only about shit that it i.e. general public willingly gives Zuckerberg and other assholes for further processing. How can anybody blame NSA at least it has some sort of goal that shall theoretically be of some good to US of A.

And they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820079)

"Everyone is so screwed... hahahaha"

Didn't we know that by now?

captcha:cartel

Oh look (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820145)

NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/11/nsa-americans-personal-data-israel-documents

Re:Oh look (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about a year ago | (#44820759)

Well, we are all good and totally fucked now, aren't we?

Re:Oh look (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821119)

I write pig fucking erotica and now the jews know about it. Dammit!

Re:Oh look (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821139)

They just gave US citizens' info away TO FORIEN GOVERNMENTS

Of course they were collecting (3, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#44820189)

I'm not sure how they, or anyone, can claim they weren't, and aren't now, siphoning every phone call and email yet are somehow able to target specific individuals or look for keywords.

If you're looking for keywords, then obviously you have to search everything. If you're looking for a specific word in a document, you have to search the entire document. You can't pick and choose.

The same with digital communications. Unlike a copper wire to someone's house where you can place a tap or read mail destined only to their address, you have to look at all traffic and then filter. Thus, you have to look at everyone's email and listen in on every phone call to find what you are looking for.

I barely qualify as geeky let alone as an expert, but even I know you can't claim to somehow, miraculously, target one individual's traffic in the stream while ignoring everyone else.

Re:Of course they were collecting (1)

trevc (1471197) | about a year ago | (#44820291)

You do not qualify as a geek at all.

What's the problem? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820331)

I run a email spam filter. The server looks at every email body/envelope I receive and learns from it to identify spam. All major email providers do it and no one ever accused them of spying. Google even goes one step further and offers ads based on the email context.

  Is spam filtering spying? Is it bad?

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821183)

riight.. because you are an unknown 3rd party that noone in the email transaction knows about..

crappy argument much?

Where's the hole in your head? (5, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year ago | (#44821235)

Will a Google SWAT team show up at your house based on emails about hydroponics? No, but one from the DEA might.

Facebook and Google want to sell ads. Whereas the government wants to prosecute people with illegally gathered evidence, as when the NSA feeds data to the DEA. Pretty fucking serious difference.

Re:Of course they were collecting (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#44820415)

Well, I could envision a system where all the data is collected, searched through, and anything that didn't contain certain target phrases (or was to/from target individuals) was ditched. This would mean that the data was collected but not stored. Slightly better than the "collect and store everything" that apparently the NSA has done. Not by much, mind you, but a bit better.

Of course, any such system would also need to have real checks and balances in place to prevent abuse. Not "Court Rubber Stamp" but an actual process where you would need to present actual evidence showing why you needed to see all of the data John Smith was targeting. Sadly, such a checks and balances system would never be put into place or would quickly be watered down for "National Security Reasons" until it was back to "Court Rubber Stamp" again.

Re:Of course they were collecting (1)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about a year ago | (#44821039)

Of course, any such system would also need to have real checks and balances in place to prevent abuse.

There can't be any effective checks and balances to such a system. In fact, such a system shouldn't exist at all.

Re:Of course they were collecting (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44821165)

If the police came to your house and walked through looking for drugs and then told you it wasn't a "search" because they hadn't found what they were looking for... would you agree that wasn't a search? This is unconstitutional in every way.

Re:Of course they were collecting (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44820679)

How do you think the router works? No, don't tell, the router does not miraculously target the one individual's traffic....it happens by magic.

Re:Of course they were collecting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820793)

Bigger concern is of who has access to the information and how legal it is to use in court - not if information is stored/processed or not (we've lost that game as soon as storage and data entry become cheap)

Same goes for any type of surveillance such as audio and video surveillance.

Re:Of course they were collecting (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#44821175)

The router does not look at the contents of each packet, only the headers. The router doesn't care where the packets are going to, or where they are coming from, it just finds the best path to the next router (if necessary).

Re:Of course they were collecting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821755)

I'm not sure how they, or anyone, can claim they weren't, and aren't now, siphoning every phone call and email yet are somehow able to target specific individuals or look for keywords.

If you're looking for keywords, then obviously you have to search everything. If you're looking for a specific word in a document, you have to search the entire document.

On an offtopic tangent: no, you don't have to search the entire document but can skip quite a few characters when you're looking for a specific word. That's what Boyer-Moore is good for. Let's suppose I am looking for the word "Thistle". I first look at the seventh character of my document, and if it is "q" I never need to look at any of the first six characters.

Re:Of course they were collecting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821887)

The same with digital communications. Unlike a copper wire to someone's house where you can place a tap or read mail destined only to their address, you have to look at all traffic and then filter. Thus, you have to look at everyone's email and listen in on every phone call to find what you are looking for.

Wrong. You get a search warrant and go to the person's phone/internet provider. The phone/internet provider then does a tap, namely splits out a copy of that person's phonecalls or internet traffic. That's what you have to work with then.

Of course, we are talking about judicially warranted and lawful searches here. If your aim is to illegally tap whoever you can think of without oversight, you'll need to hijack the whole traffic instead of asking for a targeted tap from the provider.

A criminal needs to get all and sort out the interesting stuff himself. A lawful and constitutional investigation would only receive the actually warranted data from the provider.

18 USC 1001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820277)

Send all the lying bastards to Federal "Pound Me In The Ass" prison.

Hardly... (1)

mlauzon (818714) | about a year ago | (#44820387)

Declassifed when they're redacted!

GOOG and AAPL innocent as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820469)

On the this day, there's a slashdot article [http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/09/11/1343232/court-declares-google-must-face-wiretap-charges-for-wi-fi-snooping] about Google having to face charges for simply sniffing public WIFI. Apple has been griefed for locally storing a year's worth of user location data. As a fanboi of both, I'm wondering why there's no comparison between these "offensives" and the NSA/CIA's offenses and reallocation of forgiveness? Why can't we let our big corporations off the hook (for much more minor offenses) as well? Or if that's impossible according to ... who? ... why aren't our bad government entities being held to the same laws and constitution?

-- Mr. Goog & Aapl fanboi

The NSA uses Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820603)

The NSA is COOL!

Oh yeah! (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44820649)

A real treasure trove [artlex.com] we got here...

The only way to sort out this mess (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820747)

is if we re-enact public executions for our politicians.

mislead, misled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821521)

See also: plead, pled (not pleaded)

Sad though how many Americans don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822227)

Never ceases to amaze me how many Americans seem to think the loss of their Constitutional rights is no big deal though. It's great that the EFF got these docs released but America needs an whole attitude adjustment overhaul .

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