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FISA Court Will Release More Opinions Because of Snowden

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the because-the-world-needs-more-heavily-redacted-documents dept.

Government 179

cold fjord sends this news from the Washington Post: "Call it the Edward Snowden effect: Citing the former NSA contractor, a federal judge has ordered the government to declassify more reports from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In an opinion from the FISC itself, Judge F. Dennis Saylor on Friday told the White House to declassify all the legal opinions relating to Section 215 of the Patriot Act written after May 2011 that aren't already the subject of FOIA litigation. The court ruled (PDF) that the White House must identify the opinions in question by Oct. 4. 'The unauthorized disclosure of in June 2013 of a Section 215 order, and government statements in response to that disclosure, have engendered considerable public interest and debate about Section 215,' wrote Saylor. 'Publication of FISC opinions relating to this opinion would contribute to an informed debate.' The ruling comes in response to a petition by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking greater government transparency. But because the ACLU already has a similar FOIA case pending in another court, Saylor wrote that the new FISC order can only cover documents that don't relate to that case." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Snowden's information leaks started conversations that should have happened a long time ago. Also, the privacy reform panel created by President Obama met for the first time earlier this week. It did not discuss the NSA's surveillance activities. [Two attendees of the Monday meeting said the discussion was dominated by the interests of major technology firms, and the session did not address making any substantive changes to the controversial mass collection of Americans' phone data and foreigners' internet communications, which can include conversations with Americans."

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Obama needs to pardon Snowden (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855281)

'nuff said.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855343)

Congress needs to impeach Obama.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855401)

Congress needs to impeach Obama.

Who do you think gave the Executive branch (NSA is part of that) the power via the Patriot Act to do this horseshit?

And you do honestly think it was the Obama Administration who got this shit going?

And don't get me started on why Obama kept it going, though, because I'll be vomiting "Hope And Change".

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855473)

Congress needs to impeach Obama.

Who do you think gave the Executive branch (NSA is part of that) the power via the Patriot Act to do this horseshit?

And you do honestly think it was the Obama Administration who got this shit going?

And don't get me started on why Obama kept it going, though, because I'll be vomiting "Hope And Change".

Well Congress would need to impeach itself. But that is something they can't do. So the only realistic option is to set free those motherfuckers and elect other politicians that will do the interest of the american people. And that means voting third party. It means not voting democrat or republican at the local level. It means start from the base and then go up to the top. It means get yourself interested in politics and do away with that stupid attitude of "nothing can ever change".

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about a year ago | (#44856881)

the only realistic option is to set free those motherfuckers and..

That sounds like it could be interpreted as a death threat. I hope for your sake, Mr Anonymous Coward, that you used a proxy while posting that, or you could easily end up with someone knocking on your door before long.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857491)

Buzz off, Troll. I see nothing in the AC's comment that could even be unreasonably misconstrued as a death threat.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855875)

Who do you think gave the Executive branch (NSA is part of that) the power via the Patriot Act to do this horseshit?

Citation needed

Every Congressman that was an advocate for the Patriot act has said what they passed did NOT allow spying on American citizens talking to American citizens. Its fairly black and white in the bill. Obama has ignored that part of the law, as he does with many other laws.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856255)

Of course they said that, in order to cover their fat asses. Do you think that kind of excuse-making is acceptable for a US Congressman?
Personally, I don't think it is.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (5, Insightful)

allo (1728082) | about a year ago | (#44856819)

why the fuck, does every american citizen say, that surveilance is okay, when its sure, that no american citizens are targeted? Are you really that hostile to foreigners? Here in germany, everyone against surveilance, is against surveilance everywhere. We hate your oppressive laws as much as ours.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (5, Informative)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about a year ago | (#44856961)

why the fump, does every american citizen say, that surveilance is okay when no american citizens are targeted? Are you really that hostile to foreigners? Here in germany, everyone against surveilance, is against surveilance everywhere. We hate your oppressive laws as much as ours.

Most of us americans who are against surveillance are against it everywhere. However, fighting against surveillance locally is currently the "low hanging fruit," especially since doing so was specifically prohibited by the law that all the agencies cite.

Also, as cynical as it sounds, spying on citizens violates our constitutional rights, while non-citizens don't have constitutional rights. So it's just an easier point to make.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857271)

There's another element. Foreign people are far away. It's harder to target them. Surveilling on them doesn't have as much of an effect. They get less out of it. There is more fuzziness as distance increases.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44857337)

while non-citizens don't have constitutional rights.

The constitution clearly differentiates between persons and citizens, and the majority of the constitution and bill of rights applies to persons.

Only select elements are limited to citizens.. some sections even refer to both such as "No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the united states."

The constitution, for the most part applies to all persons. It is a travesty that anyone thinks otherwise.

Naturally US law only applies within the US, but that means at the very least foreigners on united states soil or on united states controlled territory *cough*gitmo*cough* should have the full protection of the constitution.

And as to foreigners outside the US, that's more complicated. But at the very least tapping communications between any party on US soil and a party in a foreign state is violating the constitutional rights of the party on US soil, even if we don't assign any rights to the foreign party.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (3)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44857625)

Someone should have told the CIA this back in the 50's before they started listening in on international phones calls from the US in the Bahamas under the the legal concept of "we aren't on US soil, so the US Constitution doesn't apply to what we are doing".

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

jodido (1052890) | about a year ago | (#44857285)

Also it's stupid to think that they are spying "only on foreigners." Like they would tell the truth about what they're doing. Or, if they get a US citizen on the line, do they hang up?

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44857629)

No. When this happens, it is always deemed an "accident", and as such, is not a violation of the law AND they are permitted to keep using the information under the legal concept "because we can and you can't stop us".

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44857505)

why the fuck, does every american citizen say, that surveilance is okay, when its sure, that no american citizens are targeted? Are you really that hostile to foreigners? Here in germany, everyone against surveilance, is against surveilance everywhere. We hate your oppressive laws as much as ours.

I am an American citizen and I don't agree with surveillance on anyone like we are doing it. Mass collecting data? Sorry, not needed and way to costly. Plus it makes us (American citizens) look worse then we really are.

So don't lump me in with "every" American, or I will start lumping all you Nazi's together. I mean, German citizens.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44857509)

The overriding sentiment is we personally dont want to be watched, but its perfectly ok for the government to watch everything else. I am in total disagreement with this, but its the American sentiment.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857583)

Holy, comma, overload, Batman.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (4, Insightful)

FridayBob (619244) | about a year ago | (#44855755)

Although I voted for him twice, I agree. Since 2008 he has become less like the man of hope that was first voted into office and more like the man he replaced. In some ways, he's even worse. However, Congress will never impeach him, because as far as his impeachable offenses are concerned, the majority on both sides of the isle actually approves of that behavior. They are two sides of the same coin, working only for their donors while they play good cop/bad cop with the rest of us. The only solution I know of is: http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]

Re: Obama needs to pardon Snowden (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856877)

It's called checks and balances. Congress can share just as much blame for this mess as Obama is.

If Congress, the republicans anyways, weren't so focused on trying to repeal Obamacare, half of this crap would have actually seen the light of day.

And the other half, Democrats, have been soaking up donor dollars for the DOJ while DHS and ICE implement absurd IP, and draconian drug efforts.

Plenty of blame to go around here, across all manner of topics. The lot of elected politicians we have right now really does stink.

Re: Obama needs to pardon Snowden (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44857655)

No, the Republicans have NO interest in stopping this, because they were the ones who kicked it into high-gear under GWB by passing the Patriot Act.

If Obamacare wasn't around, they would just be working on killing other social programs, or just going "no' for whatever Obama says he wanted to do.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (3, Insightful)

jodido (1052890) | about a year ago | (#44857293)

And replace him with who? Has there ever been a president who didn't break any number of laws when it came to defending the basic interests of the US ruling class?

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44857489)

Congress needs to impeach Obama.

The Congress & Senate need to impeach themselves also for allowing this to happen during their watch.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (2)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#44855371)

Charge him and if the court finds him guilty then pardon him. It has been done before, just look to George W. Bush for guidance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_pardoned_by_George_W._Bush [wikipedia.org]

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#44855489)

just look to George W. Bush for guidance

Please don't.

Just pardon him and stop wasting government time and taxpayer money and frivolous dog and pony shows.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#44856693)

just look to George W. Bush for guidance

Please don't.

Just pardon him and stop wasting government time and taxpayer money and frivolous dog and pony shows.

You want a pardon issued to George W. Bush?

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855651)

Do you think they'll get around to a trial quicker than they've done for Manning or Hasan?

"You'll only be in solitary confinement for 3 or 4 years, followed by a nice quick trial. After the guilty verdict and sentencing, whoever's in office then will pardon you and you'll be free-as-a-bird.

Trust us, we're lawyers from the government."

That's your plan? Good luck with that.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855899)

There is absolutely no reasonable question that what Snowden did was illegal. In fact, there's little if any question that what he did at least borders on treason. However, that doesn't make it wrong. Courts rarely allow that to decide a verdict (pretty much only in a constitutional case, which this simply isn't), and unless the law changes drastically, Snowden would be a fool to come back to the US without a signed pardon in hand.

Courts don't decide if what someone did was right or wrong morally, they decide if it was illegal, which isn't the same thing.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856931)

Stop spewing nonsense. What the government is doing is undoubtedly illegal and Snowden should be protected under the whistleblower act as such. It has nothing to do with what he did as being right or wrong and has everything to do with what our law actually says when you look past the propaganda. Also, what Snowden did is nowhere near treason. Did you get this information of yours from Fox "News" by any chance? Perhaps you should turn the TV off and look up the definition of treason in the dictionary.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857303)

Did you get this information of yours from Fox "News" by any chance?

It is highly likely that he did. That has been a parroting point of the right wing propaganda machine ever since the case broke after all.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44857405)

What the government is doing is undoubtedly illegal and Snowden should be protected under the whistleblower act as such.

What section of the whistle blower act specifically protects Snowden?

lso, what Snowden did is nowhere near treason.

disclosing the apparatus in which the country collect intelligence on enemies- foreign and domestic and monitors their movements is very close to treason as defined in the US constitution in "adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort". HE essentially aided the enemies of this nation which was put to the test with the embassy closings in which Al Qaeda in Yemen and others areas purposely shot orders over communication lines to see how the US reacted in order to determine which ones were compromised.

Perhaps you should turn the TV off and look up the definition of treason in the dictionary

The dictionary doesn't do shit. the definition for treason in the US is specifically defined in the US constitution and limited to that definition. As the GP said, it is close to that definition.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44857553)

WIth this same line of reasoning we could charge every employee of the NSA with treason as well. The NSA with their ILLEGAL activities have seriously weakened trust in the web and infosec as a whole.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#44856143)

Charge him and if the court finds him guilty then pardon him. It has been done before, just look to George W. Bush for guidance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_pardoned_by_George_W._Bush [wikipedia.org]

which was less than half of what his predecessor did [optmd.com] Presidental pardons have been a long standing tradition. Please don't act like W. Invented them.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#44856501)

Sorry. Wrong link. Damn copy and paste on a phone.

This should be correct: http://www.infoplease.com/us/government/presidential-pardons-1789-present.html [infoplease.com]

Bush pardoned 179 people vs. Clinton at 456. I was a little shocked to see that FDR pardoned almost 3400. Usually pardons are granted when a president is leaving office. Since FDR died in office during his 4th term, I was surprised it was so many.

I also see a lot of people bitching that Bush pardoned Scooter Libby, which isn't true. He commuted his sentence, which means he's still a felon and is supposed to pay a $250K fine.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

xtronics (259660) | about a year ago | (#44856455)

Why not charge both Bush and Obama - I think they both work for the same people. We don't even know who is really running the country - pretty obvious that the 'political theater', based on pro-big-business vs pro-big-government dichotomy, is just noise. After all, big-business and big-government people are one and the same. Use government to eliminate your competition - profit - hand some back to your partners in government - repeat.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44857333)

"It has been done before, just look to most of the recent presidents for guidance"

FTFY

It's been done by a lot of presidents. The pardon is probably one of the most powerful tools a president has and on their way out, it is often used liberally.

Not really (4, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44855483)

Obama is hardly going to pardon someone that outed his own criminal behaviour.

But what should be happening is a special prosecutor. Snowden would be easy to get back in the country, just give him immunity. I am sure he would be happy to come back and testify in a real court about the crimes he has knowledge of.

Re:Not really (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about a year ago | (#44855583)

And Congress's behavior and Bush's Behavior.....Fuck em all.

Re:Not really (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#44856753)

And Congress's behavior and Bush's Behavior.....Fuck em all.

Why? Aren't there enough of those bastards around already? Why breed more?

Save the immunity for anti-Snowden citizens. (-1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856221)

Let any citizen that wishes to punish Snowden do so without fear of prosecution or retaliation.

The NSA provides a valuable service to this country and should not be limited by red tape.

Re:Save the immunity for anti-Snowden citizens. (2)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44856319)

"The NSA provides a valuable service to this country and should not be limited by red tape." That 'red tape' is called the Constitution.

Re:Save the immunity for anti-Snowden citizens. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856583)

The Constitution isn't a handwave for Snowden's practices either. It doesn't magically make the argument any better (or worse) by invoking it.

Re:Save the immunity for anti-Snowden citizens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856371)

Yeah Mr Wild wild west lawlessness is speaking ! .. Why even bother to make a trial , give guns to everyone that wishes to participate and make it a hunt with the open objective of assasinating Snowden .. Way fucking idiotic .

No red tape ? .Respect by any agency of the US constitution is mandatory.It's not a f(*@(#* option. It's the Law and it's written in ink and it's the base of this country.
If they work outside and against the constitution then they are traitors to the People and should be themselves be accused of high treason prosecuted , jailed and if necessary executed like any other criminals .

Snowden is a hero to/of the People. Washington is where the real traitors are. In offices sitting in plush seats smoking cigars and eating breakfast at Tiffany's instead of working for us Citizens .

 

Re:Save the immunity for anti-Snowden citizens. (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#44856431)

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Aside from an overzealous use of commas it seems pretty clear that the US Gov can't just scoop up everything, or require the Telecoms to retain records so that they can see them later. First the data gets used because we have an immediate terrorist threat. Next week its use will be justified for other purposes in the same way that the Patriot Act has been abused.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856395)

Obama is hardly going to pardon someone that outed his own criminal behaviour.

But he does not need his quota of pardons for the likes of the perjuries of Eric Holder and James Clapper since they never even go to trial. So since the pardons are not even needed for the whole corrupt government machinery any more (Nixon actually still needed Ford's pardon to get off the hook), one might as well hand a pardon to Snowden rather than letting them go waste altogether.

Or maybe pardon a few murderers in the Barrabas tradition. Like the soldiers from the "Collateral Murder" video. Oh, I forgot, they are not prosecuted in the first place.

Re:Not really (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44857493)

Nixon actually still needed Ford's pardon to get off the hook)

Nixon didn't need a pardon to get off the hook. He needed one in order to put it behind the business of government. There was very little legal evidence of Nixon actually doing anything illegal at the time of the pardon.

The only real evidence against Nixon was a gap in tape recorded conversations and someone who was indicted for a crime taking a plea deal to lesser jail time if he connected Nixon and said the Watergate hotel breakin's were about campaign information. All the participants we know who was involved except the one (Dean) claimed it was about a prostitution ring that the democratic party organizers were running and using to influence donors. The claim was that proof existed that the party leadership would offer prostitutes to donors and congressmen and then use information about those sessions to either influence a vote or increase the size of donations.

As for the collateral murder video, most people who watched the unedited version see an entirely different accounting of actions and don't connect murder to it at all. Of course it takes a person to have an open and un-indoctrinated mind to view the entirety of the video and reach a sane conclusion which is why I said most.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855567)

What makes anyone think that Snowden would want to be pardoned? To come back to America? Fuck people, Snowden came to the understanding that all that America is now, is a corporate prison-camp, where the government is simply there to act as both a corporate litigator, and a regulator for the workers, aka 'the people'. Laws (in America) are no longer things that keep the peace for The People, but rather act as walls for a society where the rich get to walk on one side, and 'the people' have to stay on the other. Snowden saw Russia as a better alternative. Of course he's looking for another place to live, but I'll bet that only is because Russia is so cold.

Now what we need is someone in congress to take a stand and encourage others to do the same. Maybe we could enact a law that there has to be at least 10% homeless people (yeah, from the streets) in congress at any time.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855923)

Russia has only given him asylum for 1 year. After that, he might apply for more time, but I think it is unlikely that Russia will allow him to stay. The biggest worry for Snowden is that Putin could agree to hand him over as part of some outside deal with the US at anytime where it benefits Russian interests to do so. Take, for instance, the Syrian agreement. If Obama requested Putin to turn over Snowden as a good faith measure, I've no doubt Putin would agree to it. For Russia, Snowden is a bargaining chip.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855789)

Well, since Snowden hasn't been convicted of anything, Obama can't pardon him, I don't think. What needs to happen is for the DOJ to drop the espionage charges and work out a deal for Snowden to plea to some misdemeanor violation with a suspended sentence. What Obama really needs to do is direct the AG to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the NSA's criminality.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about a year ago | (#44857019)

Well, since Snowden hasn't been convicted of anything, Obama can't pardon him, I don't think.

People can be pardoned by the president for anything, whether or not they have been convicted.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44856139)

Actually what would be a lot more useful would be to have a process in place for the American public to pardon people it wants pardoned, and damn what the politcos want if they chose to pardon someone or a class of someones. That would act as a big check on abuse of power by people holding public office.

For example, I'd likely vote to pardon Snowden, all non-violent drug offenders, and almost everyone engaged in a consensual crime, or those currently incarcerated for a crime for which the law has since been repealed or struck down (ironically, just because you were jailed for having oral sex with your wife in Utah prior to 2003 when the law was struck down doesn't mean they let you out of jail if you had time left on your sentence).

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857021)

This is actually brilliant. But, how would it work? If the average person was able to vote for this, it would be such a big event that it would still need to be accepted and acknowledged by the very same corrupt government this is supposed to protect us from in the first place.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44856165)

The Nobel committee needs to give him a peace prize first.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44856231)

Were this to actually happen, I still wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he were to fall victim to an unfortunate "accident" upon his return to America.

Re:Obama needs to pardon Snowden (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#44856779)

Were this to actually happen, I still wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he were to fall victim to an unfortunate "accident" upon his return to America.

... or to collect his Nobel prize. FTFY

It must be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855291)

Set the interwebs free!!

Re:It must be done (1)

hebertrich (472331) | about a year ago | (#44856387)

build on the ideas of parallel internet using only private nodes. Article in Mother Jones gives the example of what the Greeks have done B.A.T.M.A.N. and other resources are available . Set yourself free of the internet owned by the companies and governments. Check it out.

Dear Edward, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855293)

Thank you for your service.

Hi, terrorist. (-1, Troll)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856199)

Unfortunately for you, the information will stop and your idol (and his helpers) will be put in his rightful place - a supermax prison in Colorado for a good chunk of his life.

Re:Hi, terrorist. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44857529)

Unfortunately for you, the information will stop and your idol (and his helpers) will be put in his rightful place - a supermax prison in Colorado for a good chunk of his life.

How is your job at the NSA working out Seth?

Re:Dear Edward, (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856517)

Dear Edward,
Thank you for your service.

And Dear Mr. Clapper,
Compartmentalization is good for security, but if things are so compartmentalized that nobody in your organization knows whether it's committing crimes or not, you need to re-read your history. It's not a defense to say you only put people onto transportation, unaware of the destination. It's not a defense to say you only drove a trains, unaware of its destination. It's not a defense to say you only processed prisoners, unaware of their source. Sorry for the Godwin, it's the only precedent I know of, because the NKVD/KGB did a better job of keeping their ecrets, although the Katyn massacre comes to mind.

My point is that it's not a defense to only realize now that this was a conversation that has to happen. It happened. On your watch. Your organization used to be the whitest of white hats. Blindingly white that we couldn't see what it was doing, so we pretty much had to trust that you were having this sort of conversation all along. Up until a point, based on material as recently as 25-30 years ago, it looked like you probably were. Somewhere along the line, you stopped having that conversation. Somewhere along the line, you turned into domestic law enforcement. Somewhere along the line, you failed to uphold the ideals we still thought you had. You need to find the root cause of that failure, and you need to root it out, before the types of people that make the atrocities associated with police states are permanently entrenched within your bureaucracy. It may already be too late. Good luck, sir.

Yours, Another AC, who is also grateful for Mr. Snowden's service.

The citation needed (3, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44855327)

or other comments about the data sets been too big or not for domestic use are now history.
Snowden has moved the crypto debate into the 21C and lets hope the next generation of students and professors learn something about trusting their codes and the hardware 'offered'.
Skilled US legal teams will start talking with academics and law makers. Overtime more will become clear and the rest of the world can start thinking about the products they import or who they trust data to.

What a waste of government effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855361)

The NSA has just released a document that contained nothing but "first post". How curious, what could it mean?

Re:What a waste of government effort (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855425)

The NSA has just released a document that contained nothing but "first post". How curious, what could it mean?

It could mean that you are a nigger, coon, jigaboo, or porchmonkey.

What a waste of taxpayer resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855387)

The NSA just released a document containing only the words "fristy pisty". What could it possibly mean?

Public interest (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#44855395)

>" 'The unauthorized disclosure of in June 2013 of a Section 215 order, and government statements in response to that disclosure, have engendered considerable public interest and debate about Section 215,' "

Well, yeah, amazing isn't it? That is the way a democracy is SUPPOSED to work. It DOESN'T work properly when tons of things are all held in secret.

I suspect that at least half what is currently kept secret from the public is unnecessarily secret. And probably much more than half of what is left could at least be shared with Congress committees.

Re:Public interest (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44855543)

I suspect that at least half what is currently kept secret from the public is unnecessarily secret. And probably much more than half of what is left could at least be shared with Congress committees.

Congress, all of it, and the Senate, too, should be informed of what the executive branch does. Withholding information about the government itself from legislators is irrational.

Re:Public interest (3, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#44855795)

>"Congress, all of it, and the Senate, too, should be informed of what the executive branch does. Withholding information about the government itself from legislators is irrational."

Although I totally agree with you, the Senate and the House of Representatives are both parts of Congress. :)

Re:Public interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855629)

We could fix it by making secrets illegal. I mean, America was only ever great because it was a nation that was acting as The People. But slowly slowly, it became regulated, and then government corruption took over. Now what we have is a bunch of rich people dictating to each other how they're going to stay rich, while 'The People' have just become 'the people', even to a lot of the people.

The government is supposed to just be a group of elected 'The People' to sort out the needs of 'The People' and fix things that were broken, or add new things that needed to be added, much like a maid or butler would do at a person's house. But in this analogy, it'd be like, your house-keeper(s) sealed off a room in your house, that they tell you they need for brooms, mops and stuff. But they stress a concern that the chemicals in that room could kill your children, so they lock the door to it, and they keep the key for themselves, deeming you unfit to keep the key from your children. Next thing you know, they're adding onto your house, many thousands of sq. ft., and again, it's a locked part of your house, you cannot get in. Next thing you know, there are hundreds of people 'working' in your house, doing things that you don't understand, many will not even talk to you as you pass them in, again, your house. Eventually, they banish you into your bedroom, and you are no longer permitted to walk around in your own home. Also, you can't drink or smoke. They change the colors of each room, and they begin to use only the biggest AC units and heaters to keep the place cool or warm. All the while, you're still working your regular 8-5 job that you hate in order to pay all of the bills.

Ok people, that's what's happened in the good ole US of A. Just a reminder. Edward Snowden only pointed out what many of us already felt must be so. Yeah, thanks for pointing it out Edward, but it's still useless knowledge if we (The People) don't act on the reality that it points out.

Re:Public interest (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44856297)

I mean, America was only ever great because it was a nation that was acting as The People. But slowly slowly, it became regulated, and then government corruption took over.

When will Americans stop believing that fucking Disneyland fairytale, honestly it's worse than listening to someone rant about their fucking horoscope. America, like many empires before it, has had moments of greatness and vision, but lets not pretend the life of a commoner was better in the 17/18/19th or even the first half of the 20th century. Just ask any black grandfather or white grandmother about how great life was in the 50's and 60's.

Re:Public interest (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44856531)

"No secrets" can only work if everybody's room is open, I'm not sure how anyone else feels about toilet doors, but I'm kind of fond of them, I even went on strike in the 80's to have them returned after the factory boss had removed them because he wasn't "paying people to read the newspaper".. :)

Seriously, how the hell do you expect the cops to execute a search warrant if the subject of the warrant knows the cops are coming before they have even left the fucking court room? Or do you expect burglars to start emailing the cops their "to do" list? Really, some of the shallow thinking expressed on Slashdot makes Mao's ideas about human nature look almost sane in comparison..

Re:Public interest (2)

Pav (4298) | about a year ago | (#44855683)

Clapper has lied through his teeth many times before. Can anyone say this is any less false and self serving?

“Espionage is illegal and the clandestine service’s job is to break those laws without being caught. Espionage is deceptive, covert, underhand. It is probably the second oldest profession in the world.” This is a quote by Justice Robert Hope from his "Hope Report". This was released after Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam instigated a Royal Commission into the Australian secret service which unearthed (amongst other things) their involvement in Salvador Allende's overthrow. As an aside Gough, who was also a left leaning democratically elected leader, had already been deposed before this report came out in a highly irregular fashion in what was called "The Dismissal" [wikipedia.org] by Govenor Sir John Kerr, who apparently was known as "our man Kerr" by the CIA (according to convicted spy Christopher Boyce.

Re:Public interest (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44856283)

No doubt the CIA would want the conservatives to win over Whitlam. However, I was at HS when Whitlam was elected, there's no doubt he has left many admirable legacies, not the least of those being cheap effective UHC. IMHO he lost that election because he stopped talking about his agenda, he assumed voters were as outraged as he was and would rise up to correct the "injustice". What he should have done is call the election himself when it was clear there was a double dissolution. It was a strategic blunder on Whitlam's part, had he followed the rules and called the election himself, I'd dare say he would have won a second term.

But he didn't, he dug his heels in and refused to do the "honourable" thing that a PM is expected to do when the government's agenda is gridlocked by a hostile senate. The process demands there has to be an election one way or another. Whitlam's bloody mindedness in refusing to call an election when he had the chance gave the opposition the constitutional weapons to do it the "hard way". Had he followed the constitutional process "the dismissal" then the opposition would not have been able to paint him as a "sore loser" who was throwing a tantrum because his "communist" ideology had been overruled by the democratic process.

An election takes a few months to organise, by the end of it people like me who would have voted for him were sick to death of hearing how "unfair" it was he had to be subjected to another general election. Basically he fucked up because he took the dismissal as a personal attack as opposed to a legitimate political move by the opposition. He was seen to be arguing with the "umpire" by basing his whole campaign around Kerr's (legitimate) decision to force an election. It was an ugly aberration in an otherwise charming and witty personality, voters punished it accordingly, just as they did when KRuddy's "god complex" became apparent in the recent election..

Re:Public interest (1)

naasking (94116) | about a year ago | (#44856189)

I suspect that at least half what is currently kept secret from the public is unnecessarily secret.

I suspect much more. The past two administrations have classified more documents than all previous administrations combined.

Re:Public interest (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#44856477)

But look at all the people who have been reprimanded or jailed for classifying documents that should remain open to the public.

Oh, there aren't any.

Interesting how he claims we should be (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855397)

having these conversations (referring to Clapper) when he was the one actively LYING about the extent of activities under his jurisdiction.

So: We should be having these conversations, but I actively lied about it to avoid having these conversations.

My general experience is when people are lying about things in response to very direct questions, they're usually doing it to hide activities that they know they shouldn't be doing.

Compartmentalize (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44855471)

General Alexander's games only work because he can tell one story to one group of people, and another story to another.

The 5 eye allies get to see intelligence from abroad and don't see the surveillance of their own people, their companies and their politicians, and so think they are 'special', not spied up, protected and private, even as they spy on their own people for the NSA.

The FISA court was told stories about how NSA was using its warrants and how essential those warrants were. I suspect FISC never authorized storage of everything. Rather it probably authorized collection of everything, filtering out just the terrorist related and storing of that. But once General Alexander had access to all the data, he didn't need to throw it away, because FISC would never know he kept it and who is powerful enough to stop him?

Dianne Feinstein, seems to have been told all manner of court orders are needed and the data has never been abused (she said it as though she believed it). Perhaps she was shown snippets of terrorist info, and the occasional tip about her political rivals, but never shown her own record, or all the abuse of data stories, or the surveillance of ordinary Americans for reasons other than terrorism.

Obama was told all sorts of warrants are needed, and kept talking about telephone calls, as if that was the limit of the surveillance. To tap a US telephone, its done by computer request, and apparently a very large portion of US calls are routinely recorded without a warrant. They only need a warrant if they decide they need a warrant after listening and concluding both parties are American. But who would know if they didn't flag it? No one. General Alexander says only 300 selectors in 2012 were searched, yet the NSA 'auditor' says 20 million searches a month against the big database.

David Cameron was probably told only the terrorist data is filtered out of the UK feed and then the rest thrown away. But it isn't, it's kept and handed to Israel on presumably others. Used for commercial and political surveillance, there's no special relationship with 5 eyes, only 4 idiots deluding themselves and betraying their countries.

DEA thinks it's given hot tips in secret, which is why it needs to cover up the source, in reality it could well be party to falsify a crime, or covering an entrapment, or coercion. Who knows!? Because the evidence is never examined, instead a false cover story is examined in court.

Each party thinks THEY are not being spied on and only get to see OTHER people's data. General Alexander plays a very compartmentalized game to keep it so. As the FISC court saw the leaks, so it see that the FISA warrants don't correspond to the reality and want them released.

If you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide. But 'wrong' in the free world is supposed to mean 'illegal' not 'upset someone powerful'. The courts are there to protect people and if they did that, and the NSA ignored the court and did its own thing, then its time we knew. FISC court is happy to let people see what it authorized, so let see how the reality and the warrants correspond.

Open source security is a failure (3, Interesting)

Pav (4298) | about a year ago | (#44855501)

After the Snowden revelations about security standards subversion I've been casting fresh eyes over the state of OSS security - parts are truly dismal. It may or may not actually be related to the NSA, that's immaterial really, but things are waaaay overcomplicated and flawed. For example, standard "wisdom" on OpenLDAP configuration is to never verify client side certificates, and I haven't seen anyone suggest specifying a olcTLSDHParamFile (which is required for perfect forward security). The whole idea of negotiating both encrypted and non-encrypted connections over one port is flawed - not only can a small configuration error cause all traffic to be suddenly in the clear, but a misconfigured client will send passwords in the clear no matter how locked down the server end is (although of course they won't connect successfully). OSS needs to get back to the Unix philosophy of keeping things simple... but it's in large players interests (be they big businesses or NSA or ???) to keep things so complicated the weekend hacker can no longer stay secure let alone make a useful contribution.

Closed source security is a failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856665)

NSAKEY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSAKEY

The problem is the spooks from every government trying to subvert security and encryption processes.

I'm shocked, shocked! (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44855841)

Two attendees of the Monday meeting said the discussion was dominated by the interests of major technology firms

Fancy that.

Re:I'm shocked, shocked! (-1)

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Re:I'm shocked, shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856661)

Two attendees of the Monday meeting said the discussion was dominated by the interests of major technology firms

Fancy that.

grumpy-cat-GOOD.jpg

The government doesn't give a fuck about its citizens and I'm not naive enough to believe that'll ever change. But it does give a fuck about money. When the only thing still growing in this economy is tech, and the government begins to realize the extent to which NSA's post-9/11 policies have placed that growth at risk, it just might start to give a fuck. Defense contractors have a lot of money to buy lobbyists, but tech companies can buy legislators too.

And how will this be positioned? (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#44855967)

FISA Court Will Release More Opinions Because of Snowden?

Nope. Any releases will be made as part of the administration's drive to increase transparency while retaining the tools needed to protect against the terrorists. It's not coming because of public pressure or legal challenges. No siree, not like last time:

https://www.eff.org/mention/obama-administration-dishonestly-wants-public-believe-it-voluntarily-declassified-secret-nsa [eff.org]

This time they'll be truthy. We can be certain of course that this information would have been released even if Snowden hadn't kicked-off this shit-storm. After all, isn't this the most transparent administration, with unprecedented levels of openness? Must be true - it says it on the White House site:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment [whitehouse.gov]

Edward Snowden is like Santa Claus! (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44856065)

Edward Snowden is like Santa Claus! He know whether you've been good or bad, and the presents just keep coming like clockwork!

No Credibility (4, Insightful)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about a year ago | (#44856099)

The problem is that the government has no credibility. How do we know what they release are the real documents? And they can still [redact] it to the point of uselessness.

Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (-1, Flamebait)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856163)

After Snowden's in prison, do the same to those whom have aided and abetted the release of such information - including those at the Washington Post(if the NSA does its job right, that newspaper should have wished that it had done the right thing by not publishing national secrets).

Given the evidence that he not only broke his trust to keep secrets, he also did so in a manner that harms this country entirely. If there should be any pardons and praise, they are to be reserved for anyone who may be prosecuted in bringing Snowden to justice. In addition, reward and protect them from any retaliation that may occur from any Snowden fanatics.

Of course, this won't all go well with those that worship Snowden as some idol and not rightfully consider him as a betrayer of one's country. However, I do not recognize any value in destroying the country or ensuring that it cannot protect itself from threats within and without.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (4, Insightful)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#44856523)

After Snowden's in prison, do the same to those whom have aided and abetted the release of such information - including those at the Washington Post(if the NSA does its job right, that newspaper should have wished that it had done the right thing by not publishing national secrets).

Given the evidence that he not only broke his trust to keep secrets, he also did so in a manner that harms this country entirely. If there should be any pardons and praise, they are to be reserved for anyone who may be prosecuted in bringing Snowden to justice. In addition, reward and protect them from any retaliation that may occur from any Snowden fanatics.

Of course, this won't all go well with those that worship Snowden as some idol and not rightfully consider him as a betrayer of one's country. However, I do not recognize any value in destroying the country or ensuring that it cannot protect itself from threats within and without.

Harmed the country or harmed the Administration? Which is the greater harm: revealing to our enemies that they are being spied on or hiding from every American that they are being spied on?

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (-1, Flamebait)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856713)

Harmed the country or harmed the Administration?

In this case, both - as all parties involved are US citizens.

Which is the greater harm: revealing to our enemies that they are being spied on or hiding from every American that they are being spied on?

The former - as this method of disclosure did not allow for any protection of any secrets save for those that would allow for Snowden's capture and prosecution.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857431)

Somehow you don't think our foreign enemies (and non-enemies) had no idea they might be a target for espionage? You're not too bright if you think the former is a greater harm to this country than a violation of its constitution.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856537)

Finally! Someone who gets it.

Of course, this won't all go well with those that worship Snowden as some idol and not rightfully consider him as a betrayer of one's country. However, I do not recognize any value in destroying the country or ensuring that it cannot protect itself from threats within and without.

Couldn't agree more. I found out that my brother had been raping his own daughter, and I did not recognise any value in destroying the family or ensuring that it cannot protect itself from threats within and without. My cousin wanted to get the cops in, so we threatened her to keep her quiet. The relative (unnamed for obvious reasons) has promised to stop raping his kid, and the family avoids the scandal and serious financial loss that'd come from him being convicted.

You know what's frustrating? The journalists at the post probably broke now laws, but we know they should be arrested for something. Just like my cousin - the whistleblower who risked ruining my entire family for the sake of one girl who's probably not going to be raped much anymore. How will we have an America to hand to our children if we don't allow the government what it needs to protect itself and us? If my niece could stop crying for a minute I know she'd agree.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857533)

Christ, I hope this is sarcastic. Hard to tell, being the internet and all.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856543)

However, I do not recognize any value in destroying the country or ensuring that it cannot protect itself from threats within and without.

"Threats within" meaning its citizens which are apparently not part of the country any more. And how are the citizens supposed to protect themselves from the real threat within, namely a fascist totalitarian surveillance government, if they are not supposed to know about it?

When has the U.S. ceased to be a democracy? When has it been taken out of the hands of its citizens and handed over to a secretly acting ruling class? When has it become the country of blockwarts that you don't want to see "destroyed"? What's in it for you? Can you tell on your neighbors? Do you have access to their files or phonecalls? Are you being paid to write those articles?

The U.S. has become a country where one can't rule out any of those possibilities, and you want it to stay that way and consider it a betrayal of the country if people work against it even after the democratic means to do anything about it have been sabotaged and/or removed.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856667)

When has the U.S. ceased to be a democracy?

When it decided to be a constitutional republic.

The specific knowledge disclosed by Snowden was knowledge that was not necessary for the public to know, no matter what it was.

On the other hand, once Snowden starts speaking about who helped him and how, as a result of the US interrogating him, that should be public knowledge.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857571)

When has the U.S. ceased to be a democracy?

When it decided to be a constitutional republic.

Well, for one thing the government is wiping its ass with the constitution, so that does not seem to account for much. And a "republic" is supposed to represent the public, but how do you represent somebody who does not know what's cooking?

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856585)

You are a pathetic sheep retard shill. I think you enjoy licking boots you fucking coward piece of shit. You'd have helped Benedict Arnold you statist slave cunt.

Edward Snowden == Benedict Arnold (-1, Flamebait)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44856607)

Given that both betrayed the country in similar ways, they're no different than each other except for Snowden getting the praise for the deed.

Re:Edward Snowden == Benedict Arnold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857145)

We get it. You're being paid off. Give it a rest already.

Re:Prosecute, convict, and imprison him first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856785)

Methinks thou art sarcastic, what with the libertarian .sig and all.

YUO FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856287)

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Release all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857231)

How do we know that the court will release any opinion that matters? They can still be kept a secret. Companies are not allowed to share their NSLs. How do we know that the court is not under a gag order?

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