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Panel Urges Major NSA Spying Overhaul

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the clean-it-up dept.

Government 242

wiredmikey writes "A board set up to review the NSA's vast surveillance programs has called for a wide-ranging overhaul of National Security Agency practices while preserving 'robust' intelligence capabilities. The panel, set up by President Obama, issued 46 recommendations, including reforms at a secret national security court and an end to retention of telephone 'metadata' by the spy agency. The 308-page report (PDF) submitted last week to the White House and released publicly Wednesday says the US government needs to balance the interests of national security and intelligence gathering with privacy and 'protecting democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law.' Panel members said the recommendations would not necessarily mean a rolling back of intelligence gathering, including on foreign leaders, but that surveillance must be guided by standards and by high-level policymakers."

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242 comments

Thank you (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733469)

Thank you Edward Snowden. Without your courage and patriotism we would not even have this level of change in effect.

Bah! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733527)

There is no change, those are only recommendations. Obama has yet to decide what to do. Even then it will take Congress acting to change much of it, assuming Obama decides to change anything.

Snowden has offered to help Brazil investigate US intelligence. Is that the patriotism you were referring to?

As to Snowden's fate, there are some other views [foxnews.com] about him [realclearpolitics.com] .

Re:Bah! (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45733569)

Snowden has offered to help Brazil investigate US intelligence. Is that the patriotism you were referring to?

Why, yes, Yes it is.
Any spying on Brazil was for economic reasons, probably at the behest of corporations, not due to any threat to the US.
   

Re:Bah! (5, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#45733715)

Yup, and as a consequence, Boeing just lost a 5 billion Dollar Brazillian aircraft order to the Swede SAAB.

You had it coming (5, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | about 4 months ago | (#45733781)

Yup, and as a consequence, Boeing just lost a 5 billion Dollar Brazillian aircraft order to the Swede SAAB.

Well, if the US government is spying on behalf of US companies, those companies cannot be trusted.
It's violation of the free market forces and clearly illegal. Their bids are obviously invalid.

The rest of the world owns Snowden a big thanks for exposing organized crime at this level.
And people in the US shouldn't worry about the money (from state-sponsored organized crime), but be ashamed of their country for the crimes you are committing against other (smaller) countries that considered the US to be their ally.

Be glad that Snowden exposed this, you have a chance to fix it now... otherwise what's next state-sponsored bribery, theft, sabotage of competitors, why not just invade a foreign country take all their gold? Laws must also apply when dealing with foreign citizens, countries and cooperations...

Re:Bah! (4, Interesting)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 4 months ago | (#45734273)

Then next time try to compete on the grounds of merit, not by spying of your customers and competitors. Spend more money in research and less in espionage. Isn't that what "capitalism" is all about?

Re:Bah! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733737)

Snowden has offered to help Brazil investigate US intelligence. Is that the patriotism you were referring to?

Why, yes, Yes it is.
Any spying on Brazil was for economic reasons, probably at the behest of corporations, not due to any threat to the US.

 

Smug AND clueless. Nice. Nice.

THE NEW CHINA-BRAZIL AXIS
http://prospect.org/article/new-china-brazil-axis [prospect.org]
"Last week, an interview at a Brazilian defense website revealed that China and Brazil had come to an agreement regarding the training of Chinese naval personnel on board the Sao Paulo, Brazil's only aircraft carrier. Brazil is one of the only four countries in the world to possess an aircraft carrier capable of launching and recovering conventional aircraft; the others are France, Russia, and the United States."

China Carrier Starts Second Round of Jet Tests
http://news.usni.org/2013/06/19/china-carrier-starts-second-round-of-jet-tests [usni.org]
"The People’s Liberation Army Navy has conducted a second round of jet tests aboard its aircraft carrier with its J-15 carrier-based fighter on Wednesday, according to a report from the Xinhua news agency.
The Chinese are being trained in carrier aviation —the most complicated military aviation operations — by a cadre of Brazilian carrier pilots."

Brazilian Nuclear Cooperation with the People's Republic of China
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/brazilian-nuclear-cooperation-the-peoples-republic-china [wilsoncenter.org]

Brazil, China build military industry ties
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2009/11/17/Brazil-China-build-military-industry-ties/UPI-86341258474208/ [upi.com]

Brazil builds Russian defense ties with missile plan
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/16/brazil-russia-idUSL1N0I61NC20131016 [reuters.com]

Brazil’s Iran Diplomacy Worries U.S. Officials
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/world/americas/15lula.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

Proposed Russian-Cuba-Venezuela Space Cooperation Raises Many Questions
http://jasonpoblete.com/2008/09/22/proposed-russian-cuba-venezuela-space-cooperation-raises-many-questions/ [jasonpoblete.com]

Yep, nooooo reason at all to be interested there.

Re:Bah! (3, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45733783)

LOL Brazil can buy whatever it feels it can afford on the international market. The upfront price and ongoing software, hardware maintenance costs are about all Brazil has to worry about.
The Brazilian nuclear work and advanced aerospace efforts are well known and very well understood by the USA - no nuclear weapons system but the US "let" Brazil keep working on nuclear subs and aerospace :)
As for links with China, Russia most countries will buy up any mil systems for sale gov to gov at any good price and with ongoing tech support, upgrades.
So no reason at all to be interested there, Brazil like any nation can buy into what ever it feels like unless bound by some international treaty e.g. nuclear.

Re:Bah! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734165)

Paranoid much? You buy stuff from China, Brazil buys stuff from China, everybody buys stuff from China. They're cheap, what do you expect? Ditto Russia.

In addition the US has proven they're less trustworthy than was thought in the past. That changes the value equation and people are looking for alternatives.

Re:Bah! (5, Informative)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 4 months ago | (#45734287)

Brazil is a sovereign country and they can cooperate with whoever the fuck they want. Wake up and smell the coffee. South America is no longer the United States' backyard.

Re:Bah! (5, Informative)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 4 months ago | (#45733615)

Fox news? You mean the same people who complain about too much government involvement until it's their kind of government involvement?

Also, we also have to thank Glenn Greenwald and we have to not-thank the US press for failing to be trustworthy enough to be government watchdogs.

Re:Bah! (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#45733833)

"Fox news? You mean the same people who complain about too much government involvement until it's their kind of government involvement?"

Well, apparently the majority of the public very much disagrees with you, because just lately Fox News has been absolutely stomping both MSNBC and CNN in the ratings.

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733873)

That just means people who don't watch FNC have better things to do with their time.

Re:Bah! (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#45733987)

"That just means people who don't watch FNC have better things to do with their time."

No, what it means is that more people are watching Fox News than MSNBC, CNN, and HLN combined [variety.com] .

Re: Bah! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734423)

Yes, and only old people and stupid people watch TV news anymore. I know more people with newspaper subscriptions.

Re:Bah! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733893)

The GP never said anything about ratings or popularity, he made a observation about changing their stance, on the border of hypocricy.

As for popularity, billions of flies eat shit. Does that mean that you start thinking eating shit is good for you too?

Re:Bah! (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#45733977)

"The GP never said anything about ratings or popularity, he made a observation about changing their stance, on the border of hypocricy. As for popularity, billions of flies eat shit. Does that mean that you start thinking eating shit is good for you too?"

I never said anything about thinking Fox News was good for me. I only mentioned ratings.

But since you brought it up: Who knows? If they started watching TV and offering political opinions, I might prefer their brand of shit to yours.

Re:Bah! (2)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 4 months ago | (#45734321)

Maybe that's because those other 2 suck so much. As an European that has been in the US on business several times, I find Fox News pretty amusing. I used to watch it for the laughs.

It's amazing (and scary) that so many people in the US take that sludge seriously. If you don't start doing anything about it, you're heading straight back into the Middle Ages.

Re:Bah! (1)

jma05 (897351) | about 4 months ago | (#45734433)

US cable news is to news, as professional wrestling is to wrestling. A lot of sound and fury and no substance. Good fun though. More entertainment products than information products.

> Well, apparently the majority of the public very much disagrees with you

No. Only the majority of cable news watching segment (for whom long form journalism is too much work). The total cable news viewership counts aren't anywhere near total public numbers.

Re:Bah! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733623)

The fact that a board was even set up to review the NSA's surveillance programs is change that would not have occurred without Snowden making a stand.

The patriotism I'm talking about is something obviously over your head. It involves sacrifice to uphold what is right, no matter who you might piss off in the process.

Re:Bah! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733699)

Cold fjord, is that you?

Re:Bah! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 4 months ago | (#45733827)

Snowden has offered to help Brazil investigate US intelligence. Is that the patriotism you were referring to?

He offered to help "wherever lawful and appropriate" [pastebin.com] -- Do you have have a problem with lawful and appropriate actions? Are you advocating that Snowden do something to violate the law?

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733979)

Dude! Did you link to misinformation and goverment propoganda! Panopticon my friend.

Those are not even recommendations (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45734203)

There is no change, those are only recommendations

The panel is a dog and pony show.

It's a circus-like entity to fool us into believing that "CHANGE IS COMING" while actually there will be NO CHANGE.

They understand that the people are VERY UNHAPPY about what NSA has done to us.

They understand that they can't go on doing the same old things the same old ways - but they also know that they have to CONTINUE TO DO THE SAME OLD THING, that is why they put up this fucking dog-and-pony panel publicly stating their so-called "82 recommendations" and hope that by doing so people will be "satisfied" and will not pay so much attention to what they do anymore.

I can bet every last penny that I have that at the end of it the SAME OLD THING WILL STILL BE DON and the only difference is that THEY WILL DO THE SAME OLD THING IN A NEW METHOD.

Or to put it another way --- even after Obama approved all the 82-recommendations (even if it's 820,000 recommendations) the end result will be SAME WINE IN DIFFERENT BOTTLES.

The only effective thing that we need right now is to CHANGE THE SYSTEM.

Anything short of that --- ie., keeping the same old system --- will not work, because it's be manned (and womenned) by the same batch of fuckers, and they will be continuing what they do.

Re:Bah! (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 months ago | (#45734339)

James Woolsey, a prominent member of the "Project for the New American Century". If anyone should be hanged by the neck, it's them - setting the country on its way to ruin since 2001.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45733551)

Plus 1.

With an honest president, this guy would get a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
This president will give him 3 hots and a cot.

Re:Thank you (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#45733603)

With an honest president, this crap would have been stopped long before a Snowden would have appeared.

What we have is an untold amount of information being collected and disiminated to foreign organizations with a reporter and internet salesman in possession of it to start their newest money making venture and the guy eho initially took the information it is offering to help other countries defeat the US inteligence gathering that is likely constitutional. What a mess we have

An honest POTUS will never live long (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 months ago | (#45734307)

With an honest president, this crap would have been stopped long before a Snowden would have appeared

America is my country and I know this for a fact - my country is famous for having its own presidents assassinated.

Abe Lincoln and JFK, remember ?

Only crooks can become the POTUS.

Honest ed will never last a day in La Casa Blanca.

Re:Thank you (5, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 months ago | (#45734357)

You forget to mention just how inept NSA turned out to be, both in its internal security procedures, and in their dealing with personnel.

I would be extremely surprised if, with that attitude, they didn't have swarms of bona fide foreign spies, Russian and Chinese and who knows what else. What better place to infiltrate than the one that does data mining on the entire country, yet cannot properly secure its own data banks? You don't even need to tap anything, just join and get the collected data out on USB sticks, like Snowden apparently did for years before he dropped the bomb.

Re:Thank you (2)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 4 months ago | (#45733695)

With an honest president, this guy would get a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I thoroughly believe this, but it's too bad none of us will live to see that happen. On hearing the election results, most of us would have dropped dead from heart attacks.

Re:Thank you (-1, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 months ago | (#45733745)

This president will give him 3 hots and a cot.

And he'd be right to do so. Here's the thing people don't get about Snowden: He's not a revolutionary, or a hero. He's a coward. Rosa Parks didn't flee from the bus when the police came for her; She sat right there and waited. When Alabama told Martin Luther King they would arrest him if he marched, he marched anyway, and then got arrested. In fact, if you look at the history of civil rights leaders -- they all went to jail for what they believed in. They did it willingly -- they didn't run from the authorities, they stood right out in the open and said: Come and take me, but your laws are wrong, and you are wrong if you do.

Snowden stole a lot of classified materials from his employer, and then fled the country. And then he released all of it. This wasn't about "exposing" the NSA -- anyone with half a brain realizes that the very definition of a spy agency is that it spies on people. "They were spying on americans!" Yeah, ok, and? "They were spying on the germans!" Yeah, ok, and? It's their job to watch for threats both foreign and domestic. It's right there in their mission statement. Public record.

Snowden's justification for his actions fall short of what a person truly concerned about civil liberties would have done. If I'm going to denounce my government's actions, I want the police to come. I want to be arrested, charged, and put on trial. And then I want a jury of twelve Americans to look me in the eye and say "You did wrong by us." And if I'm really sure this is a matter of human rights... I'm also really sure at least one of those twelve people is going to say: "You're right. The government was wrong."

Snowden is a coward, and 3 hot meals and a cot in a concrete cell is exactly where he needs to be if he really believes what he's shovelling.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45733799)

He hasn't released all of it. That's the only thing keeping him alive.
He's still alive to hold this dishonest administration's feet to the fire.

As much as useful idiots like you think it is more important to stand up and be muzzled in court and shipped off to solitary confinement in some forgotten corner of the prison system, the rest of us would like to hear the rest of the story about what this corrupt government is doing in our name.

Shame on you for suggesting stupid surrender instead of living to fight another day. George Washington is turning in his grave at your stupidity.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | about 4 months ago | (#45733815)

Yeah, and if that was what was going to happen, maybe Snowden would have stayed. Preferring to avoid torture followed by more torture followed by American prisonrape followed by some more torture does not cast a shadow on Snowdens heroic actions. He's certainly given up enough to prove his sincerity.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45733817)

Staying in the USA was not an option. The security clearance US legal system would have sealed out the press, left Snowden with a perhaps some security cleared political interest and a short list of expensive cleared legal teams.
Over time all his efforts would have been lost and nothing would have been public but for some note in the US press over some security case.
Snowden has helped expose junk encryption products been sold around the world and induced US law reform to slowly look into Constitutional rights :)

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#45733819)

"Rosa Parks didn't flee from the bus when the police came for her; She sat right there and waited."

Holy crap. Rosa Parks? Really? I count that as a weird modification of Godwin's Law.

Rosa Parks wasn't facing life in solitary in Federal prison. At most she faced a night in jail... she had not even actually broken a law. There's a pretty fucking big difference.

Snowden, on the other hand, could not have revealed this information he did to the American public without breaking some serious laws. The fact that he was tattling on far vaster breach of the law nothwithstanding.

"Snowden stole a lot of classified materials from his employer, and then fled the country. And then he released all of it."

NO, he did not. He release SOME of it, to journalists who were entrusted to sift through it and determine what was proper to release. He has not released "all of it", even to those journalists, much less to everybody else.

"If I'm going to denounce my government's actions, I want the police to come. I want to be arrested, charged, and put on trial."

And given the current state of government in the U.S., you'd be tried as a "foreign combatant", tortured in Guantanamo, and NEVER SEE A PUBLIC TRIAL. Good luck with that. You're living in the dreamworld that the U.S. used to be.

Snowden got vital information out to the American public in the only way he reasonably could. Berating him for that is not just unrealistic, it's asinine.

Godwin's Law (4, Interesting)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 4 months ago | (#45734299)

I count that as a weird modification of Godwin's Law.

Maybe, but can I just make a point about Godwin's Law? If the moment somebody mentions Nazis, the STASI, Pol Pot or any other extremist regime and is immediately "Godwinned", how are we to learn anything from these terrible historical precedents? If the actions of a supposedly democratic government really can be compared to Nazism, etc, then "Godwin's" is just a way to shut down debate about that. Just how badly does somebody need to act before the comparisons are apt? How will we know?

Personally, I think with the recent revelations about the NSA et. al., I think it's high time that Godwin's Law was at least reconsidered, if not outright repealed.

Re:Godwin's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734513)

I thought that Godwin's Law was simply an observation that in a given debate, the Nazis would eventually be brought up. I didn't think there was anything about it being the end of the discussion, just an observation that such a thing was bound to occur.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#45734333)

Whilst Snowden runs around free he is providing a solid message to other whistle blowers, it is possible to expose corrupt US government actions and survive. This if of course the main reason they target Snowden, not so much the criminal activity he exposed but emboldening others to similar actions. All those many others in similar positions need to spend some time looking into the mirror and decide what their heritage will be and what they will future they will be providing for future generations. When the government lies, cheats, steals and kills as is a threat to the democracy they are meant to represent, don't be a gutless coward or a servile minion, expose the crap out of them and bloody get away with it and that last part is just as important as the first part because it will encourage others to do the same. When enough follow suit, then it's the government criminals who end up behind bars and the whistle blowers who are free and celebrated as the heroes they are.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | about 4 months ago | (#45733835)

It is entirely unimportant whether he's a coward or not. He released information that needed to be released, and that had an effect.

"anyone with half a brain realizes that the very definition of a spy agency is that it spies on people" -- of course, but there are some important bits here:

1. For a long time, people thought it only spied on foreigners. Americans supposedly had a right to privacy and needed a court order
2. Then people figured out that Americans were spied on too, and tried to go to the courts to stop it. But the courts refused because you need to have evidence of it happening. And how do you get evidence of that a secret government program is spying on you?

It's ridiculous to pretend that Snowden didn't release anything new. If he didn't, why are we talking about this? Why is there a panel, and why is the industry trying to convince the US President to have it stopped?

Re:Thank you (4, Insightful)

Professr3 (670356) | about 4 months ago | (#45733845)

A) You're assuming that you'd be given a trial by jury, rather than branded a traitor (aiding the enemy) and either kept in guantanamo or tried in a secret court. They would hold you up as an example - head on pike, as it were - to all others who might dare to expose their illegal actions. If you look at the history of civil rights leaders, you'll find that Rosa Parks wasn't just some random hero who stood up for herself one day; she volunteered and was chosen by community leaders to be a test case. They picked their timing, circumstances, and people very carefully - both from a legal and a public-relations standpoint. Whistleblowers have no such luxury; they find incriminating information and are immediately presented with an ethical quandary and the necessity to act.

B) Why are you lambasting someone for not wanting to go to prison and face "enhanced interrogation methods"? He discharged his ethical duty by telling us what he found. He doesn't owe us a damned thing more.

Re:Thank you (2)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 4 months ago | (#45733875)

If I'm going to denounce my government's actions, I want the police to come. I want to be arrested, charged, and put on trial. And then I want a jury of twelve Americans to look me in the eye and say "You did wrong by us." And if I'm really sure this is a matter of human rights... I'm also really sure at least one of those twelve people is going to say: "You're right. The government was wrong."

You're going to get a lot of vitriol for this, so I'll just say this -- this organization broke a lot of laws and operated outside explicitly established court procedures in many cases. Why would they then choose to follow due process in prosecuting someone who in particular so thoroughly embarrassed them by bringing those same behaviors to light?

3 hot meals and a cot in a concrete cell is exactly where he needs to be if he really believes what he's shovelling.

It seems like he's living something like a modern-day equivalent of banishment.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#45733881)

This president will give him 3 hots and a cot.

Rosa Parks didn't flee from the bus when the police came for her; She sat right there and waited.

She didn't have to worry about extraordinary rendition to an extraterritorial prison like Gitmo, where case law has indicated that constitutional guarantees don't apply. He would potentially have to also worry about being killed by the U.S. government outright, as other U.S. citizens have been, for example, in Afghanistan without due process of law: http://rt.com/usa/us-government-drone-killing-660/ [rt.com]

When Alabama told Martin Luther King they would arrest him if he marched, he marched anyway, and then got arrested.

And then was assassinated as soon as it was convenient, afterwards.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733973)

Yes, he's such a coward for openly releasing this information without trying to obscure his identity.

Snowden is far more brave than you or most Americans.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 4 months ago | (#45733983)

Nonsense, the founding fathers of the United States didn't issue their Declaration of Independence then submit themselves to arrest, they would have all been taken to a tree and hung, and we'd still be British subjects today.

What Rosa Parks did was an act of courage, but she also wasn't committing a capital offence either. The founding fathers were. Snowden may not be executed for his crime, but he would spend the rest of his life in prison for it.

Yea, I'd rather not do that either.

Neither Rosa Parks nor Martin Luther King were facing a life prison term. If they were, they might have behaved differently.

Re:Thank you (5, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 4 months ago | (#45734001)

Snowden's justification for his actions fall short of what a person truly concerned about civil liberties would have done. If I'm going to denounce my government's actions, I want the police to come. I want to be arrested, charged, and put on trial.

Two people prior to Snowden trusted the system, went through the official channels, and faced the music; William Binney [wikipedia.org] and Thomas Drake [wikipedia.org] . They were harrassed and prosecuted by the executive, marginalized and ignored by the major media. Their most significant achievement was making it clear to Snowden that he could not trust our legal system to seek truth and justice nor the old guard of the fourth estate to do its investigative duty.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734021)

And he'd be right to do so. Here's the thing people don't get about Snowden: He's not a revolutionary, or a hero. He's a coward. Rosa Parks didn't flee from the bus when the police came for her; She sat right there and waited.

Ok, we can apply this inspired all encompassing logic to American soldiers, no? "Just stand still, fire your weapon, then cop it sweet." A coward ducks and weaves like a dirty dog.

Now I say an old Chinese proverb to you. It doesn't matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches the rat.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734081)

It's their job to watch for threats both foreign and domestic.

Hold up. One second. The NSA was tasked [austinlinks.com] with foreign COMINT. Now you can argue that they meant to include foreign threats on domestic soil, but you've got an uphill battle to suggest that it requires surveillance of American citizens on American soil.

The COMINT mission of the National Security Agency (NSA) shall be to provide an effective, unified organization and control of the communications intelligence activities of the United States conducted against foreign governments, to provide for integrated operational policies and procedures pertaining thereto.

Re:Thank you (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 4 months ago | (#45734501)

And he'd be right to do so. Here's the thing people don't get about Snowden: He's not a revolutionary, or a hero. He's a coward.

Accusations of "cowardice" are the confession that you have no argument to make. Play the ball, not the man.

You do know that there were NSA whistleblowers before Snowden? Oh, no you don't, they rarely get reported.

It looks like Snowdens "cowardice" was the right thing to do.

Re:Thank you (2)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 4 months ago | (#45733779)

With an honest president, this guy would get a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

With an honest president the programs would have been shut down upon his taking office like he promised. Snowden even cited the president's lack of follow-through (to put it delicately) as a major motivation for his decision to take action.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733637)

Partyvan!

Bah, humbug (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 months ago | (#45733713)

It does f-all to the NSA spying outside the USA, which includes me. So I will continue to do my damndest to make things difficult for them. There is no law that commands a foreigner to submit to foreign gubmint spying.

Re: Bah, humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734471)

We don't care, Eurotrash. How abouy you worry about your own government spying on you for once instead of just impotently bitching about the silly Americans. Are you really so arrogant that you think that foreigners would be at the top of the list to address grievances for? Get a fucking clue and mind your own fucking business for once. If you don't want to be spied on, then get your own government to stop cooperating and collaborating with foreign powers to spy on you. Or would that mean admitting you have fault? That sure does seem to be a terribly hard thing to do these days.

Re:Thank you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733729)

Don't worry, Barack will just clap his hands over his ears even hard. I imagine he skulks around like Gollum muttering to himself "not listening, not listening!"

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733767)

I am having a hard time modding your post because I don't know if this /. article is NSA PR or not. *shrugs*

first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733479)

ac first post. Help meeeeeee.

Retention, but not collection? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733491)

These are political reforms: it may look like something has changed, but it's business as usual.

Cool thing about panels. (4, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 4 months ago | (#45733497)

They only make recommendations, nobody has to implement them.

Police chiefs do this all the time for police corruption. Look I'm putting a panel together to look into these problems and make recommendations. See! I'm doing something about it! Oh, the Union/Mayor/DA/etc wont agree, sad panda, I tried, vote for me again....

Playing the public like fools.

SSDD

Re:Cool thing about panels. (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45733639)

Yes Thanks to Snowden we have an understanding for the ~"3" now known ways into some tame US .coms:
1. Muscular: to collect data from US .com trunk lines (unencrypted).
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/nsa-hacked-yahoo-google-cables/ [wired.com]
2. Collecting from between your browser to the US .com internet service.
3. Prism: Asking for the data from the US .com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program) [wikipedia.org]
Expect to see the usual sock puppets trying to avoid the "making clear that it will not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial encryption" aspect on page 22 of the linked pdf or the http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/16/nsa-phone-surveillance-likely-unconstitutional-judge [theguardian.com] ongoing US law ref or aspects.
A huge PR stunt to show one part of the collection side is now 'over' and can be quoted as been legally 'fixed'.

4th amendment? (3, Informative)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 4 months ago | (#45733505)

I notice it says the goal is to "protect democracy*", but doesn't seem to mention the Bill of Rights or, specifically, the 4th amendment.

Telling, although not surprising.

* - It's possibly worth noting here that the United States is a republic, not a democracy.

Re:4th amendment? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733825)

* - It's possibly worth noting here that the United States is a republic, not a democracy.

The checks and balances for said republic set up by our founding fathers have suffered greatly since we began. Starting with the always ignored ban on standing armies. The assault on states rights and the balancing power of the states is perhaps the greatest harm compounded by the ending of state appointed Senators, the creation of the previously banned Federal Income Tax and all the federally funded programs there after used as a sword over the states heads. The creation of the Federal Reserve and accompanying errant money policy decisions and excessive inflation due to delusional beliefs in bad economics theories. etc etc

Huge differences between the Federal government getting the bulk of its funds from the general public and business then handing out large chunks of it to the states to follow their orders rather then having to rely on the good graces of the states giving it funds to operate. Makes major differences in appointments to judgeships etc when Senators are directly purhased, er elected then appointed by their state officials and therein answerable to their state and its citizens to a greater degree. With the old method "Senator Disney" would have had to come from California or Florida if such a label were to be placed on anyone instead of a poor state's senator's election being regularly funded by corporations unrelated to the state they represent.

This is too much for this box but only a small portion of the problems that came from a relatively few changes and all claimed to be for other reasons.

Re:4th amendment? (0)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 4 months ago | (#45733849)

"* - It's possibly worth noting here that the United States is a republic, not a democracy."
It's not worth noting that at all since it implies that it is not a democracy BECAUSE it is a republic, which makes no sense.

Is it worth noting that you mother is a slut, not a whore?

Re:4th amendment? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#45733855)

"I notice it says the goal is to "protect democracy*", but doesn't seem to mention the Bill of Rights or, specifically, the 4th amendment."

The following really isn't a troll. It is a sincere and serious comment.

After some discussion with others about this issue, it appears to me that Mr. Obama genuinely thinks anything HE does is "democracy".

Re:4th amendment? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45733857)

It's possibly worth noting here that the United States is a republic, not a democracy.

It's both, get over it. Specifically it's a representative democracy, as opposed to a direct democracy.

Re:4th amendment? (2)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#45733985)

Why do so many people seem to have difficulty with the words "republic" and "democracy"? They're not mutually exclusive. The US is both - it is a republic with democracy. The fact you're banging on about the Bill of Rights and don't seem to even understand what sort of government you have speaks volumes about your education and arrogance.

Won't make a difference (4, Insightful)

Darkk (1296127) | about 4 months ago | (#45733511)

Let them revamp NSA. It won't make a difference. What they will do is spill off some new top secret division that only top brass knows about. This won't change a thing.

 

Re:Won't make a difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733595)

OK, Negative Nancy.

Dear NSA: Stop attacking US corporations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733535)

Dear NSA.

Stop attacking US citizens. Stop attacking US corporations. You are doing more economic harm - in terms of revenue to cloud providers like Google, Cisco, IBM, and others - than the terrorists you're supposedly defending us against. It's bad enough they got your bosses to parlay $1-2B in damages to NYC and DC real estate into a faileld $1-2T military campaign, but the US economy can recover even from an insult like that. What you've been doing threatens the viability of the last growth industry the country has. If you throw us tech companies under the bus in your insatiable drive for more surveillance power, it's a cinch that your next boss, or your next-next-boss, or your next-next-next-boss, turns you into the very thing you've been trying your damndest to believe you haven't become. Do you really hate us for our freedoms the same way the terrists do, or the commies did? Without compromising your oath of secrecy, find people with grey hairs or bald heads about why they opposed the USSR and the DDR, and ask them why they fought the cold war. You've been fighting a war against "the terrists" (long after they've been effectively eliminated as a potential existential threat) so long you've forgotten why you were fighting in the first place. Please. Just. Stop.

Your faithful observer, Anonymous Coward.

Re:Dear NSA: Stop attacking US corporations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733547)

Wait until something happens where they get the justification for this work...

Re:Dear NSA: Stop attacking US corporations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45734109)

Like the Boston Marathon?

Without looking (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45733541)

The report is slashdotted, at the moment, but I would be willing to bet this is pretty much a white-wash, with no meaningful
changes, by insiders giving up stuff they don't need, or which no one could prove they have anyway, while protecting
everything they really want to keep, and largely ending up with the status quo.

I have no faith in an internal review in general and certainly not from this administration (the self proclaimed most transparent administration in history).

Regardless of what they say, you know this won't change till someone goes to jail. We need Judges impeached for violating their oath of office, we need career NSA brass fired 5 levels deep, we need bulldozers and wrecking balls to converge on Bluffdale Utah. We need every single request for corporations to turn over records to have a warrant issued by a non-secret court and the company empowered to notify each affected individual no later than 6 months after the request. If you can't build a case for arrest in 6 months its probably becaus they haven't done anything wrong.

This report deserves an immediate trip to the waste basket, and a "Warren Committee" empowered in its place.

Re:Without looking (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 4 months ago | (#45733635)

Amen!

The people should build a statue of Snowden next to Lincoln's with those words on a plaque underneath.

And then...

General Alexander: 'Guantanamo? That seems like a demotion!'

Prosecutor: 'You won't be on that side of the fence, asshole!'

Re:Without looking (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45733869)

Yeah, you only need to read the full sentence (abbreviated in the summary) to see how things will 'change':

....an end to bulk retention of telephone "metadata" by the spy agency, by keeping those records in private hands subject to specific queries from the NSA or law enforcement.

We pay the EFF to read this, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733549)

Recommendation 18
We recommend that the Director of National Intelligence should
establish a mechanism to monitor the collection and dissemination
activities of the Intelligence Community to ensure they are consistent
with the determinations of senior policymakers. To this end, the Director
of National Intelligence should prepare an annual report on this issue to
the National Security Advisor, to be shared with the Congressional
intelligence committees.

They recommend that intelligence agencies do what policymakers tell them to do... and write a report about how they're doing what they're told!

Gah.

We might think about not spying on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733571)

Recommendation 20
We recommend that the US Government should examine the
feasibility of creating software that would allow the National Security
Agency and other intelligence agencies more easily to conduct targeted
information acquisition rather than bulk-data collection.

They'll look into looking into the possibility of not making a permanent record of every time I take a shit! What True Preservers Of Freedom these folks are.

Nothing has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733609)

They still want bulk data collection. Only now there will be some more bureaucratic hurdles:

Recommendation 35
We recommend that for big data and data-mining programs
directed at communications, the US Government should develop Privacy
and Civil Liberties Impact Assessments to ensure that such efforts are statistically reliable, cost-effective, and protective of privacy and civil
liberties.

Re:Nothing has changed (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#45733697)

LOL your Forth Amendment is reduced to been cost-effective and your rights might only be statistically protected as "civil liberties" ? So only one frame from your webcam was kept on file?

Re:Nothing has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733769)

What protections do you have in your country? You don't mention that.

Re:Nothing has changed (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#45733993)

Aaah - the old "but they're worse!" line of defense. It doesn't matter what protections other countries have - the US screams loud about how awesome and free it is, yet it appears from the evidence it's far from either.

Re:Nothing has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733753)

They're a bit better than that, but not much.

Recommendation 4
We recommend that, as a general rule, and without senior policy
review, the government should not be permitted to collect and store all
mass, undigested, non-public personal information about individuals to
enable future queries and data-mining for foreign intelligence purposes.
Any program involving government collection or storage of such data
must be narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest.

Which seems toothless ('general rule', 'senior policy review', 'non-public'). Current NSA practices seem to fit this bill - they've all signed off on it.

Recommendation 5
We recommend that legislation should be enacted that terminates
the storage of bulk telephony meta-data by the government under
section 215, and transitions as soon as reasonably possible to a system in
which such meta-data is held instead either by private providers or by a
private third party. Access to such data should be permitted only with a
section 215 order from the Foreign Intellience Surveillance Court that
meets the requirements set forth in Recommendation 1.

This is the strongest recommendation in the whole document, as far as I can tell.

Re:Nothing has changed (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 4 months ago | (#45733809)

You must read it like a lawyer: "should not be permitted to collect and store all mass, undigested, non-public personal information about individuals to enable future queries and data-mining for foreign intelligence purposes. Any program involving government collection or storage of such data must be narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest."

That means "non-mass" "digested" or "public personal information about individuals" can be stored. Information on social networks is public. So are business records, like what your phone company charged you to call someone or what you're doing with your credit card. Then after a veiled lie that they won't collect it, they then say "Any program involving government collection or storage of such data must be narrowly tailored to serve an important government interest." See what they did there? And they will declare whatever suits them is an important government interest, like economic espionage.

Re:We pay the EFF to read this, right? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#45733629)

Lol.. not only that, they are suggesting the watchers watch the watchers to make the report.

Re:We pay the EFF to read this, right? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733681)

Recommendations 37 thru 46 all seem to be designed to prevent another Snowden

Recommendation 37
We recommend that the US Government should move toward a
system in which background investigations relating to the vetting of
personnel for security clearance are performed solely by US Government
employees or by a non-profit, private sector corporation.

Recommendation 38
We recommend that the vetting of personnel for access to classified
information should be ongoing, rather than periodic. A standard of
Personnel Continuous Monitoring should be adopted, incorporating data
from Insider Threat programs and from commercially available sources,
to note such things as changes in credit ratings or any arrests or court
proceedings.

Recommendation 39
We recommend that security clearances should be more highly
differentiated, including the creation of “administrative access”
clearances that allow for support and information technology personnel
to have the access they need without granting them unnecessary access to
substantive policy or intelligence material.

Recommendation 40
We recommend that the US Government should institute a
demonstration project in which personnel with security clearances
would be given an Access Score, based upon the sensitivity of the
information to which they have access and the number and sensitivity of
Special Access Programs and Compartmented Material clearances they
have. Such an Access Score should be periodically updated.

Recommendation 41
We recommend that the “need-to-share” or “need-to-know” models
should be replaced with a Work-Related Access model, which would
ensure that all personnel whose role requires access to specific
information have such access, without making the data more generally
available to cleared personnel who are merely interested.

Recommendation 42
We recommend that the Government networks carrying Secret and
higher classification information should use the best available cyber
security hardware, software, and procedural protections against both
external and internal threats. The National Security Advisor and the
Director of the Office of Management and Budget should annually
report to the President on the implementation of this standard. All
networks carrying classified data, including those in contractor
corporations, should be subject to a Network Continuous Monitoring
Program, similar to the EINSTEIN 3 and TUTELAGE programs, to record
network traffic for real time and subsequent review to detect anomalous
activity, malicious actions, and data breaches.

Recommendation 43
We recommend that the President’s prior directions to improve the
security of classified networks, Executive Order 13587, should be fully
implemented as soon as possible.

Recommendation 44
We recommend that the National Security Council Principals
Committee should annually meet to review the state of security of US
Government networks carrying classified information, programs to
improve such security, and evolving threats to such networks. An
interagency “Red Team” should report annually to the Principals with an
independent, “second opinion” on the state of security of the classified
information networks.

Recommendation 45
We recommend that all US agencies and departments with
classified information should expand their use of software, hardware,
and procedures that limit access to documents and data to those
specifically authorized to have access to them. The US Government
should fund the development of, procure, and widely use on classified
networks improved Information Rights Management software to control
the dissemination of classified data in a way that provides greater
restrictions on access and use, as well as an audit trail of such use.

Recommendation 46
We recommend the use of cost-benefit analysis and riskmanagement
approaches, both prospective and retrospective, to orient
judgments about personnel security and network security measures.

Re:We pay the EFF to read this, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733733)

The EFF replies:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/12/historic-ruling-federal-judge-declares-nsa-mass-phone-surveillance-likely

Snowden saved The Constitution that Obama defiled (5, Interesting)

Brendan_Jones (3452957) | about 4 months ago | (#45733557)

> privacy and 'protecting democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law.'

LOL. As if they give a damn about any of those things!

Obama has set the dogs on Snowden (forcing down Evo Morales's plane like a Bond villain to try and catch him), but Obama has also violated the US Constitution itself. How much more serious can you get?

On the campaign trail Obama referred to himself as "a constitutional law professor" so he can't claim ignorance. Yet there is no penalty for him violating it; After years of accumulated abuse it'll eventually weave it's way to the US Supreme Court who will say "So don't do that then." What sort of a deterrent is that?

So what does happens when you give a left-leaning spokesmodel unfettered power and no accountability? SCOTUS J Brandeis on Absolute Power: "The objections to despotism and monopoly are fundamental in human nature. They rest upon the innate and ineradicable selfishness of man. They rest upon the fact that absolute power inevitably leads to abuse."

When the US founding fathers wrote the Constitution they wisely recognised the dangers of a despotic government, having just fought a war with one. The problem the US faces today is that despots ignore the law, and face no penalty for doing so.

What about internet metadata? Physical traffic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733579)

Just fucking kill the NSA completely. We don't need them in the least. Stop it. Just stop.

Overhaul? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733591)

You don't need overhaul. Just throw it away.

Not going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733647)

I don't believe any kind of "overhaul," laws, rules, pledges or courts can restrain the NSA. The opportunity is too enticing. The solution can only come from technlogical means. IOW, remove the opportunity through a better encryption infrastructure and lesser reliance on the goodwill of the service providers.

One effective legal means against an overreach by the NSA would be the reinstatement of the First Amendment. The NSA should not be allowed to put a gag order on people other than NSA employees. If NSA comes to visit, you should have the right to say it publicly.

What is going to happen: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733787)

There will be a re-structuring keeping the same scope, tech, technicians, policy, actions, etc.

But all departments and responsibilities will have changed. Files will be misnamed and lost. Due to the restructuring no one will be able to get hold of anyone or anything or attribute specific responsibility. It'll all lead to a massive white-washing and plausible deniability for everyone involved on the side of the NSA, randing from the cleaning personal to presidents.

You're gonna need a tan on those things! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45733807)

"Brill: The government's been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the forties. They've infected everything. They get into your bank statements, computer files, email, listen to your phone calls... Every wire, every airwave. The more technology used, the easier it is for them to keep tabs on you. It's a brave new world out there. At least it'd better be."

Fuck that, shut them down. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 4 months ago | (#45733943)

This organization has proven that they have no regard at all for the law. One of the fuckers actually told a reporter a few days ago that he thinks the first amendment should be "revised" to make the NSA's job easier.

NSA apparatchiki have committed billions of felonies, and continue to do so as we speak. The only remedy that will make them stop is to disband them altogether.

-jcr

"Within the Rule of Law" (2)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 4 months ago | (#45734233)

"surveillance must be guided by standards and by high-level policymakers"

So, if I'm reading this summary correctly, the only real problem is that our chickenshit congress never tripped over its own feet in a rush to hand the executive branch these exact powers in some most-assuredly extra-patriotic piece of legislation? All the issues with this law will go away if it gets a stamp of approval?
On a second note, why is it that nobody seems to mind (or make laws against) treating the inhabitants of other countries to police-state surveillance, including the heads of sovereign states?

Privately held metadata must also be done right (1)

freax (80371) | about 4 months ago | (#45734297)

The text recommends that Congress should end such storage [bulk telephony metadata] and transition to a system in which such metadata is held privately for the government to query when necessary for national security purposes. How will that privately held system be described? How many years does the private providers and private third parties need to keep records around and more importantly which records? Can under the recommendations of the panel a E-mail provider like Lavabit exist that keeps records in encrypted form and has a business model of destroying all records and traces on request of their customer? Under which circumstances must they surrender the customer data over to the government? Can they inform their customer about such an event?

None of these safeguards pro privacy would make legitimate surveillance of suspected wrongdoers where consequences of their actions can harm a lot of innocent civilians or government personnel any harder or impossible (I think the word terrorist is inflated to the point of being meaningless, so I refuse to use it for this purpose).

Before 9/11 we didn't have extreme amounts of such dangerous wrongdoing activity more than after 9/11, yet secret services where extremely much more careful with the privacy of innocent citizens before 9/11 than after. Is the claim that before 9/11 citizens didn't communicate (because electronic communication was less than today), and therefor the 'changing world' implies more communication so more surveillance needed and less privacy allowed? Because if that's the claim of the head of secret services to why he changed the United States in a surveillance state, my counter argument would be that it's idiotic and that being an idiot he shouldn't have such an important role in society. Then again, he offered his resignation last summer. I guess that's the least he should have done.

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