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NSA Chief Keith Alexander Takes His PRISM Pitch To YouTube

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the we're-bad-not-terrible dept.

Privacy 165

Daniel_Stuckey writes "There's definitely something strange about the video's attempt at looking/sounding like a NOVA episode. Alexander, who defended the agency at Black Hat this summer and recently announced his retirement next year, takes care to emphasize the agency's privacy compliance precautions and oversight. 'We have not had any willful or knowing violations in those programs,' he says referring to sections 215 and 702 of the Patriot Act, which relate to the telephone metadata and PRISM programs respectively. 'There have been [violations] in other programs, but not in those two.'"

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165 comments

Have they not worked it out yet? (5, Insightful)

Afty0r (263037) | about 6 months ago | (#45253725)

All the lies and deceit that has come along from them so far means that WE. DO. NOT. TRUST. WHAT. YOU. SAY.

Your words are pointless, because you are almost certainly lying. "How do you know when an NSA spokesman is lying?" "His lips are moving"

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253899)

What makes you so sure? At this point the most deceitful thing they could possibly do is tell us the truth. No one would believe them and the truth would be more hidden than ever!

Ok except the old people who get all their news from the TV. They'd believe it's all a good thing, for king and country and so on. But except for that...

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 6 months ago | (#45253927)

"What makes you so sure?"

The same way secret wars, drone strikes, and secret assassinations make us sure the U.S. government is hiding a fuck-tonne.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253933)

Again, what did they internally call those privacy violations of partners / love interests? LOVEINTEL? SIGLOVE?

Yeah, "we know no violation" my ass.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45254439)

Apparently, those were associated with a different program... How many different programs are there? That's a state secret, citizen! Are 'violations that even our internal affairs flunkies can't pretend away automatically re-classified as part of PROJECT BAD-EGG, which is the only program with any history of violations? Gosh no! Could we just classify each distinct login by every single analyst as a 'program' in order to say that we have a 100% record on shutting down programs with violations associated? Well, it's a big namespace, so why not?

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 6 months ago | (#45255535)

I've got mod points, and I was gonna mod sI4shd0rk's comment "Interesting", but instead I'll put a note here for the benefit of others that I must admit I find your comment rather sexy as well.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45255789)

well they were associated with the program that pulls out the data from the database where PRISM puts it - so there were no violations in the PRISM ;). ...seriously though, isn't this guy admitting publicly that NSA broke the law, by admitting violations of which nothing were done about but washing his hands because "it's not prism"...

They are preaching to the sheeples ... (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 6 months ago | (#45254857)

All the lies and deceit that has come along from them so far means that WE. DO. NOT. TRUST. WHAT. YOU. SAY.

Don't you get it yet ?

They are using Youtube, a place where the sheeples congregate

They are NOT talking to the people like you and me --- they are talking AT the sheeples

As long as the sheeples in America ( and the world ) believe their lies, and the sheeples do believe them, NSA will get to continue their deceits without any hindrance

I've worked it out... (5, Interesting)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 6 months ago | (#45254991)

What makes you so sure?

That they are STILL trying to hide something BIG? Years in the telecom and ISP business, NSA-watching since the Internet went global and way before. I am one of those people who might have become a spook, though I am glad I did not [breakfornews.com]. From its all-to-brief brief mention in David Kahn's The Codebreakers [1967] [wikipedia.org] which I carried around as a kid like some overstuffed bible, my interest was piqued by James Bamford's Puzzle Palace [1982] [wikipedia.org] which introduced the world to the topic of the 'piggyback slurp' and laid out directly NSA's intentions to tap the world. The whole world -- Charter be damned -- from the start.

A few anecdotes from good friends in the telecommunications trade who alluded to special cordoned-off spaces within AT&T's Magens Point cable terminus in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, drunken conversation in bars with reminders not to speak of such things... a rather suspicious 'underwater landslide' fiber outage between St. Thomas and Puerto Rico c.1995, which I suspected at the time might involve a submarine because a telco friend noticed that after all his voice circuits were back there was an eyebrow-raising 'unusually long period' before the data circuits came up, even though they were physically interspersed and not supposed to be broken out at the carrier level... circumstantial stuff, sure. Pure speculation is as fascinating as the real thing.

Since then, revelations about Room 614A and Hepting vs. AT&T [eff.org], the little mouse who could have roared all the way to the Supreme Court, had they not declined to hear the case.

I'm not talking about individual stakeouts or FISA warrants or occasional 'oopsies' of a few domestic intercepts. I'm discussing large scale Tier 1 total interception of data with selective routing and forwarding of target traffic onto side channels via 'dark' or leased fiber on a scale that is approaching 'total'. This includes voice too: terrestrially trunked cell calls and landline (there is practically no difference these days, it's all turkeyfart compressed).

Which is why I posted here back in June my theory that PRISM slides were made as part of a limited hang-out [slashdot.org]. I came to this conclusion because I found the allegation that Internet service providers named grant direct back-doors to NSA to be preposterous (and still do, too much risk of exposure by now). The purpose of the hang-out was for Google and company to discredit the allegations honesty to relegate it to 'hoax' status... and provide a topic that diverts attention away from the total-tap-slurp operation.

Steve Gibson of Gibson Research has come up with another theory that I find interesting, it may fit Occam's Razor better than my own. He presented it recently in Security Now #408: The State of Surveillance [grc.com], audio and full transcript available. GOOD STUFF. His angle is that "direct access to their servers" means all unencrypted SMTP-mail and HTTP from tap points directly upstream. It is all about fiber and taps. Taps are about splitting light... and that is what prisms do.

If you have a good traffic tap and encrypted intercepts, add a bit of coercion for the providers to divulge their private SSL keys and they can replay the past SSL sessions they have gathered.

It is time for everyone to learn about and implement Perfect Forward Secrecy [qualys.com].

Thar be dragins in our midst. Slay them.
NSA and the Desolation of Smaug [slashdot.org]

Many thanks ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45255307)

Many thanks for your most wonderfully informative article !!

If this world has more sharp minds like you them Smaug wouldn't be able to continue their deceit, like they are doing now

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253937)

Given the panoply of available user interface systems, including the venerable keyboard, as well as possible... upgrades or organ replacements they could use to ensure supremacy over the common folk [You can't be sure it'll still have a heart or breathe normally in a few years after all], I would suggest amending this.

How do you know when an NSA spokesman is lying?
He, She or It is existing.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254655)

Thanks to you, I tried to imagine NSA getting upgraded to ensure supremacy with the venerable keyboard, and now I can't get rid of the image of Gen. Alexander doing that video while simultaneously spamming /. and chatting using those hands [tumblr.com].

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 6 months ago | (#45254105)

Don't you get it? If they say it often enough, people will start believing it. All they need is enough people who believe it.
It works for companies with advertising. It will work for them as well.

This is your new and improved Freedom. Better then the old one.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (2)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 6 months ago | (#45254619)

So if they say nothing, you can sit there and whine that they have no transparency and refuse to even communicate about their operations, but if they do, then it's all bullshit. So really, it doesn't matter what they do at all at this point because you will say that it's all bullshit. In effect, you've given them every incentive to not change at all.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (3, Insightful)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 6 months ago | (#45255049)

In effect, you've given them every incentive to not change at all.

No. I think people just want them to do more than just talk. I think people want them to stop what they're doing.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (2)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 6 months ago | (#45255205)

And how would they prove that they did more than talk? They can't. So, if they came out and said they were going to make a bunch of changes to eliminate illegal spying, you wouldn't believe it anyway. Lets just be honest here...it's a no-win situation for them no matter what. Lets not pretend otherwise.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (2)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 6 months ago | (#45255511)

And how would they prove that they did more than talk?

By actually supporting policies that will help prevent nonsense such as this from happening to begin with.

Lets just be honest here...it's a no-win situation for them no matter what.

And they have only themselves to blame. Actually, people with a bit of knowledge of history are always cautious of the government by default.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (1, Insightful)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 6 months ago | (#45255681)

Yeah I'm sure you'd believe them if they suddenly started supporting such policies.

As for the "they have only themselves to blame", you're wrong. The government should have arranged independent oversight long ago.

In any event, thanks for proving my point. They have no incentive to change at all. I sure as fuck wouldn't.

Re:Have they not worked it out yet? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45255983)

What we see in that video, is an attempt at damage control. NSA has taken several hard hits over the past months, and they are "reaching out" in an attempt to lull the herds.

By a strange coincidence (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253753)

when accused thieves an murderers are in the dock, they always assure us they are innocent too. "I may have done some minor thing, but not what I am accused of. Definitely not." And they generally believe it. Mental gymnastics should be an olympic sport.

Much ado about nothing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253775)

People are wringing their hands over an automated system that might see your super secret facebook Like of the latest Lil Bub video, meanwhile conservashits and rethuglicans are destroying this country with their partisan horseshit, anti-science, and jeezus crap. Why can't we focus on the problem which is the Right in this country and leave meaningless tripe like this out of the headlines?

Re:Much ado about nothing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45253879)

Because that's far from the interests of anyone who could shift the focus on things that matter. Why the hell should the powers that are keep us from bickering over whether or not someone's imaginary friend's opinion should matter on whether or not someone may fuck someone else? As long as this keeps people sufficiently distracted they won't bother looking at any problems that might actually matter.

Re:Much ado about nothing (4, Insightful)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 6 months ago | (#45254205)

People are wringing their hands over an automated system that might see your super secret facebook Like of the latest Lil Bub video

Yeah! Who cares if they spy on everyone and blatantly violate the constitution? No big deal. No government has ever abused their powers or used information to their advantage. Also, laws are unchanging and always just, so what could possibly go wrong?

Re:Much ado about nothing (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45254725)

Umm... That is sort of the American left's mantra. The Constitution is a living document which meaning changes as society changes and holding it to strict interpretation is obsolete. Why would you think they would be concerned with protecting it or it's enforcement or the ramifications of it?

That is something the American right and/or people who actually give a fuck about this country simply do not understand. Hell, even many on the left who do care don't understand it but follow that ideology to some degree because it is convenient to their other goals. There are entities who care fuck all about the constitution, what limits it places on the government's abilities (unless they conveniently need them at the moment), as long as their version of whatever makes it through. Expecting them to care is simply foolish.

Seriously, we just had a law passed (PPACA) that couldn't survive on it's own merits constitutionally and the Supreme Court had to rewrite a penalty provision to become a tax penalty that completely bypasses the 5th amendment's due process of law clause in order to force it into compliance with the Constitution and the American Left are championing it as a great victory over the mean terrorist republicans. Despite 16 million people with insurance loosing that coverage due to the strict grandfather clause in the law, Despite massive increases in premiums for those who get to keep their insurance, despite companies dropping employee hours to avoid full time employees, despite companies dumping retirement coverage onto medicare and the exchanges, despite companies dumping spousal coverage if they work because they can get insurance elsewhere now, we have an administration that rewards it's political allies by giving unions and large companies waivers and delays but will not delay the mandate for the common man even though the exchanges are completely messed up right now. And you expect them to understand or care about anything other then their agenda.

Now stop bothering me, I gotta find out what Brittany is doing next.

Re:Much ado about nothing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254903)

If we're supposed to understand the gibberish you just wrote to be able to understand the law then we are all fucked.

Re:Much ado about nothing (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45254939)

It's ok, I don't expect much from you. You are not supposed to understand anything I wrote in order to understand the law. Everything I wrote about the law was either because of the law or something that happened to the law and not the law in and of itself. What you are supposed to understand is the fucked mindset that sites behind the entire enterprise resulting from the law's passage, it's manipulations in order to be claimed constitutional, and it's impact on society due to it's implementation.

If you don't understand that, I can do nothing for you. Perhaps you could ask your mom to help you or something.

Re:Much ado about nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45255419)

Just typical TeaScum ranting. Ignore it

Re:Much ado about nothing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254731)

Because Slashdot is not just the US market. Europeans feed off of every single crumb, every tidbit of how the US sucks. The anti-US sentiment is to a point where whole court systems justify their existence on dragging Google, Microsoft, and other US firms into litigation, just because they are US companies.

Yes, the US is not a perfect country, but Europe forgot how shitty life behind the Iron Curtain and how that curtain would have moved west if it wasn't for the US.

Now, all Europeans remember is how shitty the US is, and they want to "cast off the bonds" like their parents did when the Soviet Union collapse. However, there is no US made wall to tumble down. Unlike the USSR, US tanks will -never- move against European countries, so the US is an easy target to ridicule. An enemy keeps politicians in office, and unites people.

Europe has a lot of its own problems that they stick their head in the sand about. The US is absorbing the brunt of attacks by Middle East combatants, but there can come a time where German and French cities can be just as easy to hit as Boston or New York City once the US is no longer the sacrificial anode. Once the US is out of the picture, it only is a matter of time before the Eiffel Tower suffers the same fate as the Twin Towers at the hands of Al Qaeda .

So, Europe can dis the US all they want, and tout their newfound "freedom" from the USA with a traitor as a hero, but the NSA is not a modern-day Stasi. Europeans are not disappearing from their homes. However, the Stasi is an old memory. Younger people cannot relate to being shot at if one even mentions leaving their city or country.

Enjoy it while it lasts. Europe has become a babe in the woods thinking it has paper dolls for enemies rather than what lethal threats really exist past the clearing of the farmstead. Once the US and Israel are out of the picture, the hatred of the Middle East will focus westward, and Europe has no clue of how to handle true terrorists except for appeasement.

Re:Much ado about nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254793)

Because Slashdot is not just the US market. Europeans

Why does this matter? The grandparent post is about American politics...

Re:Much ado about nothing (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45255997)

Wow - it's clear that YOU aren't partisan! Thank all that is holy for that!

And, with that my sarcasm detector is bitching about the OUTGOING sarcasm!

Bullshit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253777)

Like you'd do anything but lie to us anyway.

Willful or knowing violations (5, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 6 months ago | (#45253783)

So, just involuntary and ignorant violations, then.

Re:Willful or knowing violations (5, Interesting)

AftanGustur (7715) | about 6 months ago | (#45253903)

So, just involuntary and ignorant violations, then.

I see what you did here and more people should be doing this, listen to what words he uses and then think, "why is he using these words and could he be trying to sidestep the truth with the use of selected words."

Because that's that he is doing!

Re:Willful or knowing violations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254285)

Naturally, there's a clause in the constitution and bill of rights that says it's okay to violate basic human rights (all men are created equal, not just usaonians) as long as it's unintended or they are really really sorry and they mean it.

Re:Willful or knowing violations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254511)

No, they used a contractor....so of course it was someone else.

Oversight is an intereting word. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253791)

Later on he could claim the opposite of what you think he meant.

Children (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253793)

The NSA thinks you are a child that needs their protection, and you don't know what is best for you. That's how they think of the people who vote.

He lied ... (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#45253825)

... to Congress. Why is he not in prison?

Re:He lied ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253873)

Because he's above the law?

Re:He lied ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253895)

Because that would make Barry look bad.

Re:He lied ... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253973)

The DOJ is responsible for enforcement of that in Washington DC. Eric Holder, who has also recently lied to Congress, has informed the DC police to not prosecute just as he told them not to do the same to him before.

Re:He lied ... (4, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#45253999)

. . . because the NSA has collected enough poop on every member of Congress and blackmailed them. J. Edgar Hoover did this back in his days, as well.

Congress is afraid of the NSA.

Re:He lied ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254369)

What does congress have to do with he being in prison? Doesn't your justice system work?

Re:He lied ... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 6 months ago | (#45254599)

This is why we need a new Continental Congress to basically "overwrite" the current one. All of these assholes should be up against the wall for a cleansing ritual.

Re:He lied ... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#45255433)

That's insane. Congress has the ability to shut down the NSA at a moment's notice. If they were all being blackmailed, they'd just get together and announce that the NSA is blackmailing them, that's it's anti-democratic, and so they're shutting it down. They can override any veto. If the NSA were to respond by releasing dirt on everyone, it would just prove Congress's point.

Re:He lied ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254329)

The least we could do is to take his YouTube production and get someone with rendering software to put him in an orange jumpsuit.

Re:He lied ... (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | about 6 months ago | (#45254727)

... to Congress. Why is he not in prison?

Because whistle blowers get put in prison these days.

Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45253843)

It's nice that you say so. The problem is: I don't believe you. I cannot. There is no oversight whatsoever concerning your actions. You say that no transgressions happen, that's nice. But let's say I assert that I'm no terrorist, does that mean you stop spying on me? No. Why? Because you cannot verify that I'm not.

So why the hell should I believe you without any kind of evidence or any kind of ability to verify your claims?

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253967)

Don't forget that they've been hard at work redefining everything from "what torture is" to "what does or does not count as a violation of the law".

You're not violating anything if you've forced people to rewrite the rules for you.

Except people, but it's quite obvious they've never cared about those.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 6 months ago | (#45254061)

So why the hell should I believe you without any kind of evidence or any kind of ability to verify your claims?

Pffft .. because you're a gullible twit of course. You should definitely believe what the government tells you, after all .. you can trust the government.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254333)

There are times when you can trust the government. If we all give $100 to the government to build a road, the road gets built. They can't lie about the road existing. If the road doesn't get built, the politicians get voted out of office. Yes, there can be corruption, etc, but this isn't much different from the private sector.

The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that the stuff the liberals spend money on can be audited. Security and defense, OTOH, is a gigantic black hole. Guess where most of the lies come from?

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#45254357)

But let's say I assert that I'm no terrorist

Exactly what a terrorist would say. You're going on the super-duper snoop list.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45254373)

Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it
It's nice that you say so. The problem is: I don't believe you. I cannot. There is no oversight whatsoever concerning your actions.

In view of the first part of your statement, can you back up the claim that there is no oversight whatsoever? That seems to be an assertion without evidence.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254477)

Even your precious FISA court admitted it can't provide oversight (we all knew that from the ridiculous warrants it signed off on, but still).

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (2)

penix1 (722987) | about 6 months ago | (#45254601)

That's where you are conflating these issues. PRISM was engaged in without even FISA warrants. That is what they mean when they say "warrantless wire tapping". This isn't FBI Security Letters we are talking about here. This is a wholesale fishing expedition.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45255111)

Well, then... even more reason to say that there is no oversight. Either way, cold bootlicker was wrong.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45255211)

In view of the first part of your statement, can you back up the claim that there is no oversight whatsoever? That seems to be an assertion without evidence.

No one here likes you.

No one here believes your bullshit.

Why do you persist ?

Are you a masochist, or are you really just so goddamned stupid that
you don't understand when you are unwanted ?

Get lost, you sorry little turd.

Re:Assertion without evidence - dismiss without it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45255901)

In view of the first part of your statement, can you back up the claim that there is no oversight whatsoever? That seems to be an assertion without evidence.

DIE

Surprise (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253881)

A pathological liar telling lies. You should be scared shitless that slime like this have so much power.

Re:Surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254027)

A pathological liar telling lies. You should be scared shitless that slime like this have so much power.

Obese Americans scare me more. How can you possibly let it get that bad?! For fuck sake, take control of your life you lardasses!

Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public? (4, Insightful)

guanxi (216397) | about 6 months ago | (#45253923)

Doesn't this amount to the Department of the Defense propagandizing directly to the U.S. public? What is acceptable and what is not?

I can see press conferences, announcements, and factual information, but when does it become an attempt to persuade the public?

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254231)

They are just trying to win your hearts and minds :P~

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 6 months ago | (#45254397)

Didn't you notice that he'd retired? So he's not (officially) a government spokesman.

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#45254483)

Didn't you notice that he'd retired?

I did not notice this, for the simple reason that it hasn't happened. He has announced his intention to retire next year.

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45254767)

He has retired next year.

In case that doesn't sound right, it is because he hasn't retired yet, he will be retiring in the future. So officially, he is still a government spokesman until he actually does retire. And that is only a given if he doesn't make some deal to continue as one after retirement.

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 6 months ago | (#45255045)

He has announced his future retirement, he is not presently retired.

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 6 months ago | (#45254699)

Doesn't this amount to the Department of the Defense propagandizing directly to the U.S. public? What is acceptable and what is not?

I can see press conferences, announcements, and factual information, but when does it become an attempt to persuade the public?

Oh, you didn't hear? They repealed the law that forbade the US government from using it's (formerly) foreign propaganda tools and assets domestically against US citizens.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130715/11210223804/anti-propaganda-ban-repealed-freeing-state-dept-to-direct-its-broadcasting-arm-american-citizens.shtml [techdirt.com]

http://reason.com/24-7/2013/07/15/with-ban-repealed-us-aims-propaganda-mac [reason.com]

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/17/1224321/-U-S-Government-Repeals-Ban-Opens-Floodgate-to-Mass-Agitprop-Meant-for-Domestic-Consumption [dailykos.com]

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3043041/posts [freerepublic.com]

What I find interesting is that we see publications as politically/ideologically diverse as Daily KOS and Free Republic both highly critical of this travesty.

If only people would stop looking at only what they differ on and unite on what they agree on. That's how the government and their lackeys plays people. They stir up wedge-issue shit, create a carefully-crafted narrative, and push it through the various communications medias to enrage and divide people and suck all of the oxygen out of the air for public discussion about actual meaningful oversight, reform, and accountability of government and the political class.

I guarantee that even as a white male in his mid-50s, I and a 16-YO black or Latino gang-banger in the 'hood STILL have far, far more in common and agree with each other's views far more across the board then either of us would with the average Washington D.C. politician or apparatchik, regardless of political party.

Instead of, for instance, arguing over "racism" over the Trayvon/Zimmerman incident, how about holding those responsible for the 35% black unemployment rate and the generally crap economy that had Trayvon and has many more like him out on the streets instead of working a job and raising a family, responsible for their actions or lack of, and craft some practical solutions instead of trying to start a race war.

Same thing with Chicago/Detroit gun violence...treat the cause not the symptoms. Hold the politicians responsible for the high poverty & unemployment in those cities and others around nation responsible for the crime, violence, and hopelessness it breeds instead of attempting to shift the blame to 2A rights and individual gun ownership.

Always watch the other hand. Do you really think any of those politicians and political apparatchiks give a single damn about gun deaths or racism? All any of them (outside of a couple of pariahs of the mainstream party-establishments) actually care about is securing and increasing their wealth & power by increasing and broadening every aspect of their control over YOU.

Welcome to "Serfdom, 21st-Century Style!".

Strat

Re:Should DoD be propagandizing directly to public (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45255047)

I get propaganda from both sides in my mailbox on a daily basis. The left's arguments appeal to one's intelligence, the right appeals to emotion. However, when you think about it, both sides want the same thing: Working government, a safety net should shit happen, protection against crime, raising their kids in a better place than they were raised in, and so on.

However, the education system in the US is pitiful and corrupt. Doing like France and going to a voucher system is one idea, but what it would result is a "Schools Corporations of America" company splitting off and ending up being the only game in town, so one trades failed public schools run by the government for failed schools run by a private company that is not accountable to anyone.

Because of this, it is easy to divide the US into the two regions. Because if you live in the country, you are defending your livestock against coyotes and bobcats [1], you have to have a firearm with you. The fear of being defenseless against wild predators [1] causes them to flock to the NRA. On the other hand, you have people who live in the city who might see a feral cat once in a while, and have no clue about rural life, nor care. Their concern is gun violence, so to them, getting firearms off the streets is their main thing. Politicians know that gun control is a black/white polarization issue, so they can hot-button that, while the people ignore the fact that their working conditions get worse, there are trade agreements which favor foreign companies that have no pollution controls, that the police are taken off the streets so a new stadium can be bought.

So, while both sides piss on each other about abortion and gun control, the pie shrinks for everyone involved. Banks move their money overseas and refuse to lend in the US (same banks who happily accepted US tax dollars for a bailout), taxes become more and more regressive, and cities become more and more hostile to people working.

The sad thing, is this has worked for centuries in the US South, and it probably will continue working for the long term future.

[1]: Good luck convincing a pack of mixed coyote/feral dogs which have -zero- fear of humans to leave your chicken coop alone without a couple blasts from a shotgun. Try to go at them with a knife, and they will bring you down in a heartbeat.

You willfully and knowingly recorded my calls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253981)

So FUCK YOU and all the people who say it's the NSA's job to spy on me because being a foreigner makes me a terrorist risk.

Re:You willfully and knowingly recorded my calls (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 6 months ago | (#45254091)

NSA's job to spy on me because being a foreigner makes me a terrorist risk

Being a foreigner has nothing to do with it, nor does terrorism. Those are just excuses to excercise extreme control.

After over 50 years of perverse corruption, the US population is finally waking up to the fact that the US political system is a hot bed of plutocratic corruption. The very few people pulling the strings are totally shit scared of the population realising this, so they're trying to keep a lid on their carefully manufactured system falling to pieces. They do this by monitoring the population's communications and pointing the boney finger of 'terrorism' at anyone who speaks out.

It will take more than that.. (5, Interesting)

Rigel47 (2991727) | about 6 months ago | (#45253985)

Secret program approved by secret courts run by a guy who has no qualms about lying under oath. Sorry but your credibility will only return once you get rid of FISA courts and replace yourself with someone who doesn't consider people who disagree with mass surveillance as being filthy, disobedient children. Massive ass that you are. And yes, he did make that comparison. [theverge.com]

Building a police state - admit it to yourself? no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254039)

Of course he thinks its okay.

He's not going to sit there and say to himself - I'm building a police state and imposing it on hundreds of millions of people.

Thanks Alexander, I feel much better (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 6 months ago | (#45254043)

We have not had any willful or knowing violations in those programs,' he says referring to sections 215 and 702 of the Patriot Act

That's good news. It's just the NSA spying on me. I was getting worried for a moment.

The entire program is a violation (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254051)

How about that for starters? It's about time to end martial law after 9/11!

The patriot act is about as patriotic as the Federal reserve is federal...

We have not had any willful or knowing violations (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 6 months ago | (#45254111)

"We have not had any willful or knowing violations in those programs"

Just violations caused by incompetence.

On a more serious note; doesn't the leaking of the very existence of the programs count as a willful and knowing violation of the program?

He's being tossed to the wolves (4, Informative)

hazeii (5702) | about 6 months ago | (#45254119)

Outlived his usefulness, and being allowed to hang himself in the court of public opinion.

Check the like vs dislike counts on youtube (157 vs 9,993 at the time of writing).

Re:He's being tossed to the wolves (1)

Scott Ragen (3378093) | about 6 months ago | (#45254735)

No. The NSA are just getting a list of dissidents that oppose their views. Although I wonder why, I thought they already had that information.

...but I'm innocent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254131)

yeah, sure, that's what they all say!

Not convinced (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254135)

When Comrade Alexander posts the full log of his phone calls and visited websites for the past year he might earn credibility amongst the proletariat. No harm done, because it's only metadata, right?

useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254247)

How does the CIA tolerate these incompetent troglodytes? Why do we fund this department of the government? It's completely useless.

Citizens' arrest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254323)

Why is this not an option?

Dear NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, (2)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 6 months ago | (#45254335)

It's very nice of you to take the time and sit down and try to explain your actions. It's clear that you believe that the NSA has a set of duties and those duties require or even demand the sort of wide-spread surveillance that has, willfully or not, broached a very core aspect of your own self-worth. In trying to defend your actions, you make it patently clear that you know you've done something wrong. Unfortunately, the position you are in does not inherently give you the perspective on why so many people are upset with your actions. So, let me try to walk you through exactly why people take issue with the NSA and other members of the US Federal Government in their course of action against the people of the world.

To put in bluntly, the people of the world have various rights. One of those very core rights is the right to privacy. That is, a large part of the dignity, self-respect, and general humanity of a person comes from their ability to be alone and unique in their thoughts and beliefs and often even actions. Yet the very notion of the NSA and other such government bodies is to do away with privacy in the name of some higher purpose. The argument invariably degenerates into a black and white question of which right must be given up: a right to life or a right to privacy. The very fact that such a position is taken is the very problem.

You see, the world is not black and white. The world isn't even greyscale. It's a lush and beautiful world that expands well outside the visible spectrum. Yet as much as humans are blind to the ultraviolet and the infrared, you have set yourself up to believe in the most perverse of visions that leaves you nearly blind. You denigrate the people you are entrusted to protect and in doing so demonstrate that you are actually worse, in many ways, to the actual enemies of those people. For the enemies of the people actually see them as people. Your actions treat them as little more than sheep or fodder. The former may slaughter hundreds of people, but your actions pave the way in justifying the slaughter of millions.

Now, I say all the above with the hope that you don't take it the wrong way. I do think you started out with noble intentions. But the road to hell is paved with noble/good intentions. What you need to measure your actions by are what you actually are doing. You cannot turn to the ends to justify the means. You cannot argue that the violations that do occur are infrequent so are acceptable. In the end, as cliche as it may seem, you need to look at these words and really think behind the meaning behind them. And maybe, if you can muster a little privacy of your own, while you try to deny it to us, you can look upon your own life when you retire and how your actions will affect you once you are no longer the one in command of these forces that you have taken part in unleashing upon the world.

In the end, as much as I wish you well as a person, the question you should be asking in presenting such a statement to the public isn't "How can I live with myself?" but "How can the people of the world live with what I've done to them?". I don't really know the answer to that question. I do know that of all the people who do exist, you are the best position to be the forefront of actually fulfulling your actual duty and not merely the letters of the memos or reports presented to you that have been used to justify your actions. Instead of changing the American people, your time would be better spent in changing the Agency you're entrusted to be in charge of and are actually able to change.

PS - The sad fact is, thanks to the likes of Edward Snowden, I have a good deal of confidence that you, the NSA, will receive this comment even though it was never sent to you because you will not be certain with 51% accuracy that I'm American. That is, put simply, beyond distasteful and horribly disrespectful of the 95%+ of humanity that is not American that you treat with contempt in your actions.

Re:Dear NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#45254425)

Nice. But don't expect too much. The psychopath that had this position before is still justifying abduction and torture and seems to even be proud of them. The real problem is of course how anybody in power can step so far outside of common human decency and not be called out on it.

Re:Dear NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 6 months ago | (#45254505)

The real problem is of course how anybody in power can step so far outside of common human decency and not be called out on it.

Who watches the watchmen?

In this world, no-one. Which is why they don't care.

Sailor Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254381)

As I was glancing over the headline I read it as 'PRISM Power' and was wondering why Slashdot had an article about Sailor Moon.

Snowden hat no access to PRISM and phone metadata? (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#45254403)

Somebody seems to be lying here. Maybe the guy that thinks his agency is perfect, despite massive evidence to the contrary?

some of his bullshit will stick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254547)

The government probably hope that some of his bullshit will stick... and it probably will with some people.

phone content (2)

bigfoottoo (2947459) | about 6 months ago | (#45254617)

At 16:17 in the video notice that Alexander says, "no content in the metadata program." He could have said, "no content" to the question of collecting phone content. Instead he had to add, "in the metadata program." This begs the question: Is there some other program under which the NSA is collecting the content of our phone calls?

The Enemy Within: General Kenneth Alexander (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45254871)

General Alexander gives a wonderful expose' of the 'Mind Think' within NSA today.

NSA Today, operates on a presumption that World War II (WWII) has no end! and has not ended!

For NSA the terrors of WWII are alive and killing well today on American streets, in American Schools, and American Offices.

To KILL the THREAT, General Alexander says to KILL the Source, i.e. American Citizens. American Citizens constitute in

General Alexander's Mind Think IS the greatest threat to the Presidency Of The United States Of America IS the American Peoples,
and they MUST be killed and slaughtered at ALL COSTS. This will be the Crowning Operation of World War II by the hands of General
Alexander.

GOD BLESS General Alexander.

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