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Obama Praises NSA But Promises To Rein It In

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the good-job-now-stop-it dept.

Privacy 306

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Josh Gerstein writes on Politico that President Barack Obama told Chris Matthews in an interview recorded for MSNBC's 'Hardball' that he'll be reining in some of the snooping conducted by the NSA, but he did not detail what new limits he plans to impose on the embattled spy organization. 'I'll be proposing some self-restraint on the NSA. And...to initiate some reforms that can give people more confidence,' said the President who insisted that the NSA's work shows respect for the rights of Americans, while conceding that its activities are often more intrusive when it comes to foreigners communicating overseas. 'The NSA actually does a very good job about not engaging in domestic surveillance, not reading people's emails, not listening to the contents of their phone calls. Outside of our borders, the NSA's more aggressive. It's not constrained by laws.' During the program, Matthews raised the surveillance issue by noting a Washington Post report on NSA gathering of location data on billion of cell phones overseas. 'Young people, rightly, are sensitive to the needs to preserve their privacy and to retain internet freedom. And by the way, so am I,' responded the President. 'That's part of not just our First Amendment rights and expectations in this country, but it's particularly something that young people care about, because they spend so much time texting and-- you know, Instagramming.' With some at the NSA feeling hung out to dry by the president, Obama also went out of his way to praise the agency's personnel for their discretion. 'I want to everybody to be clear: the people at the NSA, generally, are looking out for the safety of the American people. They are not interested in reading your emails. They're not interested in reading your text messages. And that's not something that's done. And we've got a big system of checks and balances, including the courts and Congress, who have the capacity to prevent that from happening.'"

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306 comments

Next time.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617737)

Vote Ron Paul and squash the NSA, the Fed, and all these stupid agencies that seek to turn our world into 1984 (which some people seem to take it like it was a documentary).

Re:Next time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617779)

Don't you mean Rand Paul? I think Ron is retired.

Re:Next time.. (0, Troll)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45617869)

In case you didn't get the memo, Ron Paul and Rand Paul sold out to big business years ago. They're just corporatists now, same as all the other politicians.

Re:Next time.. (1)

spikenerd (642677) | about 4 months ago | (#45617993)

In case you didn't get the memo, Ron Paul and Rand Paul sold out to big business years ago.

For those of us who may not have time to read all the memos, could you please provide some supporting details?

Re:Next time.. (-1, Flamebait)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45618161)

Just Google "Ron Paul Rand Paul sellout" and you'll get all the cake you can eat.

You do know how to use Google, I presume? Best not to make too many assumptions with you TEA party types.

Re:Next time.. (3, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 4 months ago | (#45618189)

You can Google that phrase for anybody and get tons of hits. I think the poster was asking if you had any examples that you researched and felt had credibility.

Not sure why you had to make the Tea Party dig.

Self-restraint (5, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 4 months ago | (#45617757)

Aka, tying the cat to the bacon. Clearly self-regulation is the way to go, after all it worked wonders for the financial sector.

Re: Self-restraint (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617785)

This. Mod parent up.

Re:Self-restraint (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617815)

yes they think we are stupid and Yes they right , wheres the Kardashians?

Re:Self-restraint (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#45617819)

And don't forget the reassuring warm fuzzy feeling one gets from the oversight of the courts and Congress... Evidently, we were shook up over nothing.

Re:Self-restraint (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 4 months ago | (#45617855)

And don't forget the reassuring warm fuzzy feeling one gets from the oversight of the courts and Congress... Evidently, we were shook up over nothing.

Oversight as in... Oops we forgot to oversee this here TLA.

Re:Self-restraint (4, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 4 months ago | (#45618217)

The problem is that Congress is basically powerless now (and you can argue whose fault that is.) They can make any recommendation they want from their oversight hearings, but it carries no weight when the president doesn't care and selectively enforces what he wants.

It seems that simply saying "I take full accountability" counts as some kind of action nowadays.

Re:Self-restraint (5, Insightful)

Xiver (13712) | about 4 months ago | (#45618359)

When the executive branch of government refuses to enforce the law, the legislative branch's only real recourse is impeachment. Is that what you are advocating?

Strawman (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617899)

He is (of course) right that they're not spying "directly" on the American people, with an actual human being reading your emails, recording your online activities, and tracking your physical movements. But that's just a clever strawman. The goal is not to "watch" you (as your nosey neighbor does) -- the goal is to record you (as a computer would). The ultimate objective is to build a permanent profile on each and every citizen, so that IF and WHEN they have the political motive to prosecute you, all they have to do is press a few buttons, review your history, and select from any one of the thousands of laws available to prosecute you -- most of which are victimless crimes (crimes against the state), not crimes against other individuals.

Re:Strawman (2)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about 4 months ago | (#45618417)

so that IF and WHEN they have the political motive to persecute you, all they have to do is press a few buttons, review your history, and select from any one of the thousands of laws available to prosecute you -- most of which are victimless crimes (crimes against the state), not crimes against other individuals.

Substitution is also true. cheers,

Not interested in reading your text messages (5, Insightful)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 4 months ago | (#45617769)

...but one day they might decide they are, and there is nothing in place to stop them from doing that. Does President Obama really not understand why people are outraged? And no, you don't really have a system of checks and balances- you have the illusion that you do. What happens when people in the NSA does something wrong/unconstitutional? Do they get fired? Arrested? I didn't think so.

Re:Not interested in reading your text messages (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45617827)

They don't need to read the messages if their SNR graphs show you within 1 or 2 hops to a "terrorist". You'll simply be assumed to be one too and either arrested or a drone'll be sent to get you.

Re:Not interested in reading your text messages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618033)

They don't need to read the messages if their SNR graphs show you within 1 or 2 hops to a "terrorist". You'll simply be assumed to be one too and either arrested or a drone'll be sent to get you.

Now Amazon's plan to fly drones to deliver "packages" suddenly becomes crystal clear. Amazon, the enforcement arm of the National Security Agency, coming to a home or business near you.

Re: Not interested in reading your text messages r (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617873)

Don't forget the NSA likes to keep data around for a long time. So if in a few years, a friend of a friend joins an organization that has a similar name to a suspected terrorist organization, the NSA can go back and look at what you were saying now to try to incriminate you.

Re:Not interested in reading your text messages (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45617923)

Agreed. If they're not interested in reading out text messages, phone calls, etc. then WHY ARE THEY ARCHIVING THEM? Either he's lying, or the NSA is guilty of a huge waste of funds for something they don't need.

Re:Not interested in reading your text messages (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618263)

Because for them it's simply easier to store everything and filter/discard things later. Again, the valuable data is in the SNA graphs and location data that they get. In their eyes, that is more than enough data for them to put you on the terrorist wanted list.

Re:Not interested in reading your text messages (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618005)

I don't buy it at all. If they weren't interested in gathering information on citizens, why did they hide the fact that they were collecting data? I mean if they were doing nothing wrong, then what did they have to hide?

Re:Not interested in reading your text messages (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618447)

They are interested in gathering data on us, but the content of messages is just not as important as the metadata. That's why they won't really fight anyone challenging them over reading emails and text messages but will fight tooth-and-nail to keep sucking in the metadata.

Don't foresee much "reining in"... (5, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#45617771)

...when he starts out by saying that the NSA spying on US Citizens is all reasonable and proper, since they don't actually read your emails or listen to your phone calls.

Re:Don't foresee much "reining in"... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#45617803)

...and seeing that I am not a US citizen, I really don't appreciate the NSA and GCHQ snooping and will do my damndest to resist.

Re:Don't foresee much "reining in"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618029)

Go ahead. But keep in mind that it's the NSA's job to spy on foreign powers. We're upset that they're spying on domestic citizens because that's illegal for them to do.

Re:Don't foresee much "reining in"... (5, Insightful)

Black LED (1957016) | about 4 months ago | (#45618111)

Just being a non-US citizen doesn't make a person a foreign power. Spying on the governments of other countries, fine. Spying on the citizens of other countries is just as bad as spying on US citizens.

Re:Don't foresee much "reining in"... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618403)

We're upset that they're spying on domestic citizens because that's illegal for them to do.

Wrong. I'm upset at the fact that they are weakening security systems used by everyone to spy on foreign powers. Simply because one would have to be a complete moron to think that criminals and foreign governments aren't going to find and use those same implanted weaknesses against others.

Did anyone else read this as... (5, Insightful)

yakovlev (210738) | about 4 months ago | (#45618277)

'The NSA actually does a very good job about not engaging in domestic surveillance, not reading people's emails, not listening to the contents of their phone calls. Outside of our borders, the NSA's more aggressive. It's not constrained by laws.'

I read this as a VERY carefully worded line that rather than saying "the NSA is actually pretty reasonable" really says "if you think what we're doing in the US is bad, you should see what we're doing overseas." It practically comes out and says that they're doing all of those things "outside" the US borders. He also implies that all of the metadata collection that is done domestically is just fine.

Based on this, I would suspect that some program that the NSA agrees costs more that the intelligence gathered is worth is going to be cut, but overall nothing is going to change.

Re:Did anyone else read this as... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618299)

Of course the NSA is doing all of those things outside of the US. They even have their Five Eyes buddies helping them out as well.

Check sand ball ants is (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617773)

And we've got a big system of checks and balances, including the courts and Congress, who have the capacity to prevent that from happening.'"

Because that's working wonderfully, isn't it?

Not restrained by law? (1, Troll)

skovnymfe (1671822) | about 4 months ago | (#45617787)

How is the NSA not restrained by law when operating outside the USA? Does this mean that there are no laws outside the USA? Does this mean I can finally kill anyone I want without repercussions, because I don't live in the USA? Europe, fuck yeah!

Re:Not restrained by law? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#45617801)

How is the NSA not restrained by law when operating outside the USA?

He meant "US law" when he said "law". The NSA is not bound by US law outside the USA.

Which is pretty much true of EVERY spy agency in the world, if you (properly) substitute "country of origin" for "US"....

Re:Not restrained by law? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45617853)

He meant "US law" when he said "law". The NSA is not bound by US law outside the USA.

Which is total bull. US Citizens have been arrested for laws US they've broken outside of the US. Also, people who aren't even citizens of the US have been extradited for breaking US laws.

Re:Not restrained by law? (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 4 months ago | (#45617897)

True, although that's not the default. Extradition, mostly for computer crimes, is based on the somewhat dumb theory that if something happens to an American computer, the perpetrator was "in" the USA for legal purposes, even if he or she has never actually visited the USA and has nothing to do with the country. There is also a small category of explicitly extraterritorial laws; for example, it's illegal, under U.S. law [wikipedia.org], for an American to travel to another country for the purpose of underage sex, as defined in the U.S. statute. Most laws aren't extraterritorial, though. If you murder someone in Germany, you won't be prosecuted under American homicide law, but German law. And if you smoke pot in a coffee shop in Amsterdam, you aren't violating U.S. drug laws.

Re:Not restrained by law? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45617931)

Extradition, mostly for computer crimes, is based on the somewhat dumb theory that if something happens to an American computer, the perpetrator was "in" the USA for legal purposes, even if he or she has never actually visited the USA and has nothing to do with the country.

Or over copyright infringement, breaking the DMCA, etc. The US has attempted to extradite a number of people over that.

Re:Not restrained by law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618093)

Extradition, mostly for computer crimes, is based on the somewhat dumb theory that if something happens to an American computer, the perpetrator was "in" the USA for legal purposes, even if he or she has never actually visited the USA and has nothing to do with the country.

Extradition exists so that a bullet that leaves a gun in Mexico and kills a man standing in the USA results in murder charges instead of a declaration of war. Had the Taliban extradited Bin Laden, they would still be in power in Afghanistan.

Re:Not restrained by law? (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 4 months ago | (#45618271)

Instead of extradition, wouldn't it be better to have agreements in place with other countries where the criminal is tried by their own legal system? That would be less biased because it removes any motivation based on retaliation/revenge and more fair because it doesn't have the requirement that everyone has to know the laws of all countries (obviously only if they were outside of the country with the grievance).

Re:Not restrained by law? (4, Funny)

Black LED (1957016) | about 4 months ago | (#45618151)

Extradition, mostly for computer crimes, is based on the somewhat dumb theory that if something happens to an American computer, the perpetrator was "in" the USA for legal purposes, even if he or she has never actually visited the USA and has nothing to do with the country.

Funny how the NSA doesn't hold themselves to the same standard when they infiltrate systems outside of the USA.

Re:Not restrained by law? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618333)

Just to add, as a US citizen go work in another country but don't follow the US tax laws and see just how much you are not bound by US laws when you return. I'm sure you'll be surprised by how much that statement is false when the IRS comes a knocking...

Re:Not restrained by law? (2)

Black LED (1957016) | about 4 months ago | (#45618423)

I have been doing that for years without concern. I pay taxes to the government where I live, not to a place where I gain nothing from it. It would be very difficult for the IRS to actually prove that I had any taxable income.

Of course my case might be a bit different because I don't intend to ever return to the US.

Re:Not restrained by law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617807)

Nope, you can still be extradited for breaking the law even outside the country (ex. going to Thailand for illegal kiddy sex, etc.) or even by not even being a citizen of the country because you're a plebe.

Re: Not restrained by law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617837)

You do realize there are two completely different groups who are outraged for different reasons, right? As a US citizen I'm outraged at the illegal surveillance of my fellow countrymen, but it is their job to own your non-US ass with respect to eavesdropping. Your outrage is irrelevant to me.

You don't hear us whining about GCHQ, Frenchelon, DGSE, etc do you? And yes, within their respective limits they do the same sorts of things the NSA does.

Re: Not restrained by law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618255)

To be fair, we were whining about GCHQ.

Re: Not restrained by law? (2)

Black LED (1957016) | about 4 months ago | (#45618311)

Speak for yourself. I don't want ANY entity, whether it is a government, corporation or person spying on me.

Re: Not restrained by law? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618431)

You do realize there are two completely different groups who are outraged for different reasons, right? As a US citizen I'm outraged at the illegal surveillance of my fellow countrymen, but it is their job to own your non-US ass with respect to eavesdropping. Your outrage is irrelevant to me.

Short-sighted nationalism. *sigh* You do realize that their efforts aimed at spying on "teh terrists" are weakening security for everyone, right? Enjoy the blackhats and hostile foreign governments using those same backdoors against you.

You don't hear us whining about GCHQ, Frenchelon, DGSE, etc do you?

You might not be but I know plenty of US citizens that are. I am outraged because the NSA is using groups like the GCHQ and their other Five Eyes buddies to skirt around the domestic surveillance laws.

I was dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618009)

I thought the Constitution applied to *people*, but apparently it applies to *American people* and only then if they find out about the Constitutional violations.

And I thought we had a democracy in Europe, but somehow, the last decade, they don't seem to be working for the voters. Really bizarre behaviour, with leaders trying to cover up a foreign country spying on its people. For example Barosso handed the US all our SWIFT bank transaction data for nothing in return, it was weird, like he was a spy working on the inside.

Now I find that the NSA has got all this surveillance data on our politicos, and it all makes sense. They *do* work for a foreign power. They *are* acting under duress. We *don't* have a democracy. We are living in the modern version of 'East Europe', only instead of an East Europe with fake democracies controlled by a Russian spy agency, it's a West Europe with fake democracies controlled by an American spy agency.

So yeh, not restrained by law. I admit it, I was dumb.

In the UK, if you speak out Keith Vaz claims you don't love your country! William Hague suggests you are a likely terrorist. Cameron sort of mutters to himself as if he's ashamed at what he's become.

Re:I was dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618363)

Silly boy. Laws only apply to the plebes and you only have rights insomuch as you can pay the millions to the politicos in order to protect them.

very few politically brave become president (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617789)

they all play it safe by making this country less free in order to ensure no terrorist attack of any kind is does not happen on their watch. Maybe we all are to blame since we the people do not want to pay for the price of freedom which is a little risk.

Re:very few politically brave become president (3, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#45617895)

AC is correct. This lies directly at the doorstep of the voter though, and is part of no grand deception. If the last few million citizens paying attention would be willing to vote for an honourable candidate, meanwhile ignoring his/her slaughter in the media, we wouldn't wind up with these polished anchorman-like leaders with opinions that change with each campaign stop. I can only assume we are very comfortable electing folks who are really skilled at telling us what we want to hear.

Re:very few politically brave become president (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618071)

If the NSA had been doing their job prior to 11 September 2011, the terrorist attacks on the United States of Amerika would never have happened. I still am of the conviction that the US Government allowed the attacks to occur as a pretense to passing legislation to curtail the freedom of all people.

Re:very few politically brave become president (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45618373)

The NSA was doing their job. The Bush Administration was simply too busy formulating plans to attack Iraq to care about the warnings.

NSA feelings hurt, apparently (2)

korbulon (2792438) | about 4 months ago | (#45617793)

"Poor poor widdle NSA. There there. You can't play with all your toys anymore, but gold star for you!"

Duh (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45617797)

They are not interested in reading your emails. They're not interested in reading your text messages. And that's not something that's done.

More misdirection. Of course they aren't interested in those things, they want the more valuable location data and other metadata so they can build huge tracking database and SNR graphs.

The NSA are a wonderful example of... (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 months ago | (#45617839)

...something both Demublicans and Repocrats may decry in public but can't resist using once in power.

In that respect Obama is Bush III.

Re:The NSA are a wonderful example of... (2)

plover (150551) | about 4 months ago | (#45617871)

That, and his use of "instagramming".

I seriously misunderestimated him.

Re:The NSA are a wonderful example of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618013)

Can't resist using? In the same way an auto mechanic "can't resist using" his socket wrench. Mass surveillance is one of the tools they use to expand their own powers. That is what it's designed for. That is the entire objective: to expand the business of government, in terms of both power and revenue, and ultimately profit from this expansion (indirectly and under the radar of course).

Obama himself VOTED IN FSVOR of this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617859)

Obama voted for the snooping even before he was president!

And then he himself decided to extend the law!

Come on, how stupid does he think we all are?

Confusion of Amendments (5, Insightful)

korbulon (2792438) | about 4 months ago | (#45617863)

'Young people, rightly, are sensitive to the needs to preserve their privacy and to retain internet freedom. And by the way, so am I,' responded the President. 'That's part of not just our First Amendment rights and expectations in this country, but it's particularly something that young people care about..

This is a former constitutional lawyer saying that privacy concerns are a First Amendment concern. WT-actual-F? This is clearly Fourth amendment territory, but oh well. I mean, this is the president after all: we don't need facts when we have authority.

Also, the suggestion that this issue is all the more vital because young people care about it? What smarmy nonsense. It's a bloody constitutional crisis being characterized as an MTV award.

Re:Confusion of Amendments (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 4 months ago | (#45618007)

It's both. We have already seen stories about media self-censoring due to the surveillance. In addition, there's a chilling effect on association when people know they are always being watched.

Re:Confusion of Amendments (5, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 4 months ago | (#45618051)

'Young people, rightly, are sensitive to the needs to preserve their privacy and to retain internet freedom. And by the way, so am I,' responded the President. 'That's part of not just our First Amendment rights and expectations in this country, but it's particularly something that young people care about..

This is a former constitutional lawyer saying that privacy concerns are a First Amendment concern. WT-actual-F? This is clearly Fourth amendment territory, but oh well. I mean, this is the president after all: we don't need facts when we have authority.

Also, the suggestion that this issue is all the more vital because young people care about it? What smarmy nonsense. It's a bloody constitutional crisis being characterized as an MTV award.

I came here to say the same thing. His obvious misunderstanding of the Constitution in this and other contexts kind of makes me question the whole "constitutional scholar" label.

Re:Confusion of Amendments (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618219)

From a legal theory standpoint, there's plenty of ammendments to go around.
      The First for the chilling effect monitoring has on folks willingness to say what they feel.
      The Fourth for the pesky limits on searches.
      Articles 1-3 on checks and balances.
      Maybe Ammendment 10 on right reserved for the people.
      Probalby many more for someone expert in the Constitution, like Mr. P is suposed to be.
      The most worrysome for me in this area is the willingness to bend laws to be what is convienient.
            NSA may be quite restrained in this area compared to other parts of the Exec branch.
      Having your own botique courts secretely ruling that the bends are ok is a part of this.

From a practical standpoint, assuming that the NSA has folks with the best of intentions,
      there are still consequences for false positives.
    The recent article about the no fly list and confusion between a good and bad org seems a good example.
    Fortunately, there appears to be a good judge on top of it.
        Unfortunately, two folks appear to have been put through an unnecessary ringer with few consequences.

From a practical, human nature standpoint, this is concentrating a scary amount of power in one place.
    Fortunately, it appears we have really good folks in the NSA, but this may not always be so.
      The idea behind the Constitution was not to depend on the honor of the particular folks in charge,
          but rather the rule of law.
      This final area may eventually be our downfall.

Re:Confusion of Amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618273)

I'm not even from the fucking US of A and I understand your Constitution better than your President pretends to. Frightening.

Translation (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617877)

"1. The things that the NSA does are proper and justified.
2. We will strive to reduce the improper and unjustified things* the NSA does."

*Nothing

Checks and Balances (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617913)

1. Always remember who writes your checks.
2. Keep the bribes you get from all sides roughly balanced.

Got to protect our instagramming! (5, Insightful)

Christopher Joseph (3455763) | about 4 months ago | (#45617967)

How belittling it is to couple one of our most essential rights with the phrase "texting and-- you know, Instagramming". No, Mr. Obama, that is not why we want our privacy. We want our privacy because it was guaranteed to us. Any reason other than that is more reason than you deserve. I want my privacy because I have a RIGHT to privacy. End of discussion. It's appalling to see how this presidency completely obliterated some of our most important constructs: separation of powers, federalism, inalienable rights, etc. Barack ran a campaign on transparency. His administration has been the least transparent in decades. The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistle blowers then all other administrations combined. He promised to close Guantanamo, claiming that "going around laws" was just as bad as breaking them. Yet, he defends dragnet surveillance because it was done "outside our borders". Self-restraint. You have to be kidding me. This is literally infuriating.

As a foreigner.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617969)

Let me just say that I'm not exactly wretched with guilt over not respecting the IP of US companies, seeing as my data apparently is fair game to the US.

Very much this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618141)

On the other hand... I'd be hard pressed to find "IP of US companies" which I had a desire to "own".

#badbios - probing for deeper looks at (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617981)

#badbios - probing for deeper looks at
----
@Clive Robinson

A lot of people are wondering why dragosr was the only one to run across this malware. In fact, he wasn't. The people who were before him were mocked and most threads closed and either deleted or shuffled to areas of message boards where Joe Q public couldn't see it and question this for themselves. [some] Major Anti-Virus companies included.

Users didn't want to know, companies didn't want to know. Unless you were "known" in the field, like dragosr, and even then, you are handled like you may be retarded or just need a vacation.

Here is one of dozens of reports:

LCD Monitor Broadcasts Noise To Radio! Why? (FRS)
http://forums.radioreference.com/computer/255488-lcd-monitor-broadcasts-noise-radio-why.html [radioreference.com]

Final post in that thread:

"BOTTOM LINE: No matter WHAT you do, all devices that use electricity will emit some sort of interference in the air and there's nothing you can do about it without unplugging/turning it off. "

including:

"Have you noticed any nondescript white vans or black helicopters in your neighborhood?

What do you do or have you done to make "them" take such an interest in you that "they" have to bug you?

You need a bigger tinfoil hat, perhaps a full body suit."

Another thread:

Gpu based paravirtualization rootkit, all os vulne

http://forum.sysinternals.com/gpu-based-paravirtualization-rootkit-all-os-vulne_topic26706.html [sysinternals.com]

This:

U.N. report reveals secret law enforcement techniques

"Point 201: Mentions a new covert communications technique using software defined high frequency radio receivers routed through the computer creating no logs, using no central server and extremely difficult for law enforcement to intercept."

http://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes.pdf [unodc.org]

http://www.hacker10.com/other-computing/u-n-report-reveals-secret-law-enforcement-techniques/ [hacker10.com]

I think this is something which has been brewing for years, but "forces" beyond our sight have managed to stifle any serious investigation into the technology. Some have announced they are retreating to ancient technology of the 70's and 80's, others are looking towards open source hardware and software combinations.

Is it time Wireshark included audio monitoring as well? Off to play with a recording device and Audacity.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/11/friday_squid_bl_402.html#c2751193 [schneier.com]

Which kind of Obama promise? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617983)

The kind where I can keep my insurance plan or doctor? The kind where this administation will be transparent? Maybe the kind where gitmo is closed? The kind where ACA saves me money instead of raising my rates 200%? Huh, I guess there's really only one kind after all.

Obama is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45617999)

A tool

Re:Obama is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618269)

All the suckers voting for Mr. Hope and Change have been slapped in the face on the first day of his presidency. Obama invokes Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela while he bows and scrapes like a slave to the plantation owners. Barack Obama is a fraud and should be arrested and prosecuted for treason as well as high crimes and misdemeanors. Residency as Club Gitmo should be his reward.

Hey Obama! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618039)

"Outside of our borders, the NSA's more aggressive. It's not constrained by laws."

and how is that working out for your foreign relations?

"'I want to everybody to be clear: the people at the NSA, generally, are looking out for the safety of the American people. They are not interested in reading your emails. They're not interested in reading your text messages. And that's not something that's done. And we've got a big system of checks and balances, including the courts and Congress, who have the capacity to prevent that from happening.'"

but it is done and has been proven by FOIA Requests! and when no one else can see that system of checks and balances in action how do we know its working properly? this is getting ridiculous, between the politics over privacy and climate change and the wall street crowd run amok, maybe the preppers have the right idea.. good bye slashdot, im joining the preppers because even if they are wrong i still win!

Re:Hey Obama! (4, Insightful)

Squiggle (8721) | about 4 months ago | (#45618355)

"Outside of our borders, the NSA's more aggressive. It's not constrained by laws."

and how is that working out for your foreign relations?

This. I find it appalling that this is seen as acceptable. The surveillance power that is now possible is not equivalent to anything we've seen before and changes the nature of the "lawless" foreign surveillance. Surveillance of foreigners used to mean having them spy on you when visiting their country plus some high value target monitoring in their own countries, but the cost and risk of surveillance enforced the selective nature of it. To treat every foreigner like an enemy is madness. For the most part non-US citizens felt that the US was an ally or at least harmless. Now the day-to-day decisions of all those people will take into account that the US is actively working against them. It won't be long before that is ingrained into the culture, tools and business practices of the rest of the world. Imagine the US being thought of as a worldwide Stasi: the day-to-day the common sentiment amongst the rest of the world will be "%*$k the US".

Chilling (4, Interesting)

DFDumont (19326) | about 4 months ago | (#45618117)

"Outside of our borders, the NSA's more aggressive. It's not constrained by laws"

Uhm, I guess the laws of foreign countries, and international law don't apply to our spy organizations. I'm also sure the constraint of our laws (1st Amendment, 4th Amendment) can be ignored at will as well. After all we are just trying to find all the terrorists, right ?!? (You know like the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles - https://www.eff.org/press/releases/five-more-organizations-join-eff-lawsuit-against-nsa-surveillance)

As Ben Franklin put it, "They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

We need to simply shut down the NSA altogether, burn their records in effigy, and recall every elected official who ever voted in favor of their activities, or their funding.

Protect the rights of others (2)

jbrown.za (2935583) | about 4 months ago | (#45618139)

By accepting that the NSA is allowed to spy on anyone who is not American, without any limitations, the American people have let the genie out the bottle. This allows the NSA to gain access and capabilities that are then turned inwards to spy on Americans as well.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” - Abraham Lincoln

The 3 Great Lies (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 4 months ago | (#45618185)

(1) I love you
(2) The check is in the mail
(3) I promise I won't XTY &% &%RF *&MOH

I couldn't say the third one. But Obama is adding to the list

"It's not constrained by laws" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618187)

Citation needed. If the NSA spies on me, I know a few Dutch Laws that disagree.

If the sentiment seems to be that the NSA can do fuck all they want oversees, because no "American" law prohibits them, then there are a few national treaties we the Dutch like to burn in public.

Pretty Offensive (5, Insightful)

Gerald Williams (3433353) | about 4 months ago | (#45618229)

'Young people, rightly, are sensitive to the needs to preserve their privacy and to retain internet freedom. And by the way, so am I,' responded the President. 'That's part of not just our First Amendment rights and expectations in this country, but it's particularly something that young people care about, because they spend so much time texting and-- you know, Instagramming.' The fact that the President thinks our desire for privacy and network neutrality is predicated on the ability to text and 'Instagram' other people is a little offensive, and just shows that he doesn't get it.

The Next Snowden Leak (1)

spain (612172) | about 4 months ago | (#45618261)

From the summary:

They're not interested in reading your text messages.

So, who thinks one of the next leaks will involve the NSA reading and data-mining our text messages?

"They're not interested in reading your text..." (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 4 months ago | (#45618295)

Really...
Then why the fuck are they still doing it?

The spying isn't the biggest issue (4, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#45618301)

The actual spying isn't the biggest issue I have with the NSA (and GCHQ and ASIO and the others), the biggest issue is the way that these agencies are doing things that deliberately weaken computer security in the name of making it easier to spy on people.
Things like backdoors in who knows what software. Or pressuring software vendors under the table not to fix things that the NSA is using to spy. Or their various proposals for "key escrow" over the years. Or the potential compromise of security related algorithms and protocols (dual-ec-drbg for example is suspect and going back there were questions when the key-length of DES was made shorter by the NSA)

And lets not forget the cryptographic export controls (which still exist and can still be an impediment even if they have been wound back a bit) and what the government did to Zimmerman over PGP.

"Young people are sensitive..." -- not really. (5, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#45618343)

A have a friend who teaches political science and history at a state college. He has been asking his students how they feel about NSA surveillance and the majority opinion is summarized "I have nothing to hide, I'm not doing anything wrong, if it increases safety it's OK."

It doesn't sound to me like a lot of "young people" are taking a very strong civil-liberties position on this. The school he teaches at is a smaller state school (ie, not the main, big-name state university) so the student body tends to be more "mainstream" than the more leftish bias you might expect at the "prestige" main campus.

And when I raise the issue among my 40-something adult peers it's surprising how little people care and the "Where's your tinfoil hat?" look people give you.

of course he praises them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45618455)

who else has the coordinates of every person on the earth for his autonomous attack drones?

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