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Government Internet Surveillance Up

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the sky's-the-limit dept.

Privacy 369

Harvey Manfrenjensenton writes "According to this story at Newhouse News Service, the assault on Americans' rights known as the Patriot Act, passed by Congress in October, has produced results that are as disturbing -- and rampant -- as could have been anticipated. Law enforcement used to need a court order to tap your phone, read your mail, etc. Now they just need a whim. ISP's and Telcos can barely keep up with the volume of requests by Feds wanting to read your email." EFF's analysis of the Patriot Act is good reading.

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369 comments

Surveil this you American bastards (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370498)

I almost kicked the ass of the whole USAF today!

Get it in you!

Re:Surveil this you American bastards (-1)

Pen1s Goat Guy (535580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370564)

Oh yeah, well, first reply to first post, homie! Get it in you.

Re:Surveil this you American bastards (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370622)

bah... sir, you have a goat on your penis.

Re:Surveil this you American bastards (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370646)

w00t! Good to see you still around d00d!

Grr. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370510)

Seeing things like this posted over and over annoys me quite often.

-PowerMacG4

Re:Grr. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370523)

Haha, nice English there... prepare to be modded into a steaming pile of-

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370512)

fp!! yess!

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370516)

Sorry, not quite (you ho)

Nationalism + threat = changing priorities (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370514)

Hitler knew this too well, and even said as much.

Re:Nationalism + threat = changing priorities (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370697)

Yah, but Hitler didn't know about Wil Wheaton. We would have witnessed a much more different turn out of events.

Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370515)

I run my own mailserver

Re:Good Thing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370608)

then you're obviously a terrorist

Re:Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370815)

Do the people who email you do it telepathically? What's to stop the three letter organizations (and the local yokels) from getting your upstream provider to spy on you?

Re:Good Thing (0)

ObeyTheWerejackal (571715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370882)

By making sure his email server is forwarding pr0n0 spam in huge volumes.

Good. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370517)

Sounds good to me.

I would glady trade my privelege of "online privacy" (whatever that means) in order to live safely in a world free of terror.

What makes you think that you have some inherent right to "online privacy" or "online freedom"? I don't see that in the bill of rights or the constitution itself, do you?

We are living in a new era. Get used to it. Or go somewhere else.

Delta is ready when you are.

Re:Good. (1, Redundant)

ari_j (90255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370527)

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: "He who would sacrifice a little bit of liberty in exchange for any amount of safety does not deserve either."

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370568)

There was oposition if i remember... but also much unscruplous use of the "terrorist fear"...

Now USA will have some more police state laws to overrule! And we all know how "easy" is that...

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370575)

Lazy...

To QUOTE Benjamin Franklin:
"He who would sacrifice a little essential liberty for a little safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."

...Bitch.

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370587)

Or to quote [quotegeek.com] Ben:
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.

Well said, but I prefer:

A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
-- Arendt Hannahs

Reading random quotes by activists and great thinkers can be very enlightening, I highly recommend The Quotations Page [quotationspage.com] , providing quotes since 1994 - quite inspiring.

Re:Good. (2)

ari_j (90255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370667)

Thanks for those resources...I'll consult them in the future...but not when I'm lynxing it. ;-D

Re:Good. (1)

kmellis (442405) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370883)

Arendt Hannahs
Um, that would be "Hannah Arendt".

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370612)

He who would sacrifice a little bit of liberty in exchange for any amount of safety does not deserve either.

This isn't about liberty, it's about privacy and convenience.

Re:Good. (2)

ari_j (90255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370655)

Where do you draw the line?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370869)

Note to self: Remember to use the Ben Franklin quote IN EVERY FREAKING STORY IN YRO to garner free mod points.

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370545)

Lookie the troll!

This bill or whatchacallit is never going to be repealed. It is and will continue to be yet another heartstring connected to the american public. Compare to the following idea. How many laws are passed "in the interest of protecting our children"? While helping to ensure the well being of those we love and protect, laws that are marketed on the basis of bait and switch have the potential for going too far morally and perhaps constitutionally. And that it what IMO we could be seeing.

Re:Good. (5, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370547)

What makes you think that you have some inherent right to "online privacy" or "online freedom"?

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370616)

That's an important point, there almost wasn't a Bill of Rights. When you make a list, even if you disclaim it with an entry that says that it isn't all inclusive, people will assume that the other rights just aren't as important. Part of the group that wrote the consitution didn't want a list, but the other part that eventually won, knew that if things were left to ambigous, it would be taken as license to do whatever the government wanted to do.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

benthesinister (574191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370567)

Because everybody has inherent human dignity. And part of that dignity is a right to keep your affairs your own. Also, I feel obligated to point out that the Bill of Rights and Constitution were written a *tad* before there was an internet. Oh, and let's not forget, a small group of people called the Supreme Court say we have a right to privacy. For some reason I trust them over an anonymous coward. If you fear terrorists so much that you'd let the government read your email, than truly you are a coward. We still live in an era where human life should have some meaning or value. Get used to it. Fascist. "Those who would sacrifice their liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." That's from your founding father. Why don't you read the Constitution before you start thumping it.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370751)

You say the Supreme Court declares there's a right to privacy? Well, considering that this is the same institution that (pick your flamebait) that promulgated the Dred Scott decision, Plessy vs. Ferguson (separate but equal), asserted corporations were citizens with equal protection under the law, approved forced sterilization of the retarded, and upheld the internment of the Japanese on the West Coast, I wouldn't be basing my claims on such a suspect source.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370609)

Fuck you closeminded sheep moderator fucks

Re:Good. (2, Interesting)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370808)

"Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt." -Patrick Henry, June 5, 1788

Re:Good. (2, Informative)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370898)

"Those who sell their liberty for security are understandable, if pitiable, creatures. "Those who sell the liberty of others for wealth, power, or even a moment's respite deserve only the end of a rope." -Patrick Henry

FP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370519)

nuff said i guess. i have no life.

Re:FP? (-1, Offtopic)

theNeophile (238938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370526)

Try 8th, ho

It is "USA PATRIOT Act" not "Patriot Act" (4, Informative)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370529)

From the bill itself:
(a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the
`Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001'.

"USA PATRIOT" is an acronym, and a misnomer at that. Lowercasing it only hides this fact, the proper name is capitalized.

Re:It is "USA PATRIOT Act" not "Patriot Act" (1)

_bobs.pizza_ (452394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370541)

more like the 'PARROT ACT', where the telco sits there listening to you, then repeats it verbatum to the Feds.

Re:It is "USA PATRIOT Act" not "Patriot Act" (2)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370553)

Yes but it's been called that to fool people into thinking that too support it is patriotic.

Re:It is "USA PATRIOT Act" not "Patriot Act" (1)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370607)

Yes but it's been called that to fool people into thinking that too support it is patriotic.
Exactly. The bill originators hid their intent behind an ironic acronym, whose expansion contradicts the name itself. If this isn't bad enough, news reporters are such are now beginning to drop the caps so the public doesn't have a clue "USA Patriot" is an acronym. The EFF has been pretty good about using the correct capitalization to avoid misleading, not so with news reporters.

You're doing a mistake yourself (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370662)

Why the hell is there a space? If it's an acroynm, shouldn't it be written "USAPATRIOT"?

Hello? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370531)

Think of the children. Or are you a terrorist?

If you're not with us, you're against us. And if you're against us, you must be dealt with quickly.

this is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370535)

GAY

feds asking isp's for access? (1)

Tigris666 (197729) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370554)

Surely the feds could quite easily gain some sort of access to put packet sniffers on an isp's network and read anyones email, without the need to ask the ISP's or Telco's.

If they can't I'd be very surprised.

Re:feds asking isp's for access? (1)

eqteam (322882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370641)

It is far easier to search a file system, then run a sniffer, flag a packet stream for a 'trigger' string, and then push/copy the email to a fed server. Besides, having a copy of an entire mailbox allows you to go back in time (depending on the situation) and look at other emails that might not have been flagged from a keyword search.

Seperately speaking, I have to wonder if the feds plan on paying those of us who are running our own email servers and don't have time (without taking time off of work) to comply with their demands. (I know... cold day in hell)

Only 18 years behind (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370555)

Hmm, we're only a little over 18 years behind Big Brother's forcasted schedule...Next we'll have video cameras on top of our computer monitors and TV screens...
What's that on top my monitor? A Web Cam! NOOOOOOOO! It has begun.

Not a joke? (2, Funny)

twentycavities (556077) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370556)


Wow. I thought the whole "patriot act" thing was a joke.

Don't forget to register as a patriot [whitehouse.org] !

No real surprise (4, Interesting)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370561)

America is the land of individualism and extremism. You can't just have a little, you want the whole enchilada, and who cares if anyone else goes hungry. So it's no suprise that the government, given a little power, immediately begins to abuse it. In America, we abuse everything -- food, drugs, the law, other people, etc. We lionize the "rogue cop who doesn't play by the rules," yet this is the guy grabbing us on the street and shaking us down for ID for no good reason. People think, hey I've got an important job to do, so it's OK if I stretch the rules. So of course the FBI and other law-enforcement types will do that. I remember reading an article about the cameras that they put all over England, and how the people who run them have a deep respect for the authority they are wielding and the limits they are supposed to respect. In the US, there's no way those guys would have any restraint. OK, so I'm ranting, but the point is, that the US culture does not lend itself to granting a great degree of unchecked power to any group, be it government, corporate, whatever.

Re:No real surprise (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370660)

Mmmmm.... enchiladas..... *slobber*

Re:No real surprise (3, Informative)

jcenters (570494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370661)

I agree with you in that Americans take everything too far: from "super-sized fries to gas-guzzling SUVs.

However, I must disagree with what you say about the camera operators in England. I read a story (probably on here) about how they often abuse the cameras to watch young women as they walk the sidewalks, often "following" one they particularly like.

GREAT POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370741)

pitty the crack smoking moderations said it was a troll.

Re:No real surprise (5, Informative)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370752)

"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State." -- Heinrich Himmler

Moderation is out of control on Slashdot! (0)

H-1B_visas_suck (573220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370772)

How the hell does this get moderated to Troll? All outspoken political thought gets moderated to nonexistence at Slashdot. I suggest we set our browsing level to -`1, as that is where the good posts are, along with the First Post nuts.

The definition of "unchecked power" (2)

leereyno (32197) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370807)

Tyrrany

Add a header (2, Insightful)

Sebby (238625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370569)

Have your email client add a header to the emails sent out with a nice message to the FBI.

Re:Add a header (-1)

robsmama (416178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370906)

Cool,

Can I do that in outlook? That would be sooo cool.

MOM

a subject was specified. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370571)

I like to scrape peoples' faces off with a rusty cheesegrater, then feed them to my pet rats. how will this act help me?

Re:a subject was specified. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370592)

The FDA and OSHA will be on your ass within days. Prepare to file a boatload of forms to get your face-grating facility up to code. You can forget about using that rusty grater, that's for sure.

Obvious... (2, Funny)

Drakula (222725) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370574)

At first I thought it was wierd that there was no "OBVIOUS" tag in front of this headline. Then I realized this isn't FARK [fark.com] ...

No sweat (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370577)

YOU can get your permit, but can you get your education? I will always allow you to read my email if you are willing to crack my encryption.

If you intercept my signal and crack my encryption, then you deserve to read my meaningless email.

Bomb. Revolt. Overthrow. Just a few keywords to keep em busy :D

Re:No sweat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370629)

forgot some key words
Muslim
USA
Islam
Sex Monkeys
G. Bush
Sheep

Re:No sweat (0)

ObeyTheWerejackal (571715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370918)

Penis Vagina Gaping pink asshole dripping ass-butter Nipples

It is not about reading your e-mail (5, Informative)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370583)

Telcos can barely keep up with the volume of requests by Feds wanting to read your email.

No, they still need a judge to issue a warrant in order to read your e-mail. The article is about things that do not need a warrant, which includes who is sending you mail and who you are sending mail.


The telephone companies and the post office have been giving out this information for decades without a warrant.

Re:It is not about reading your e-mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370703)

A. This is a semantic difference. You are a nitpicker, QED.

B. You also forgot to refer to your source, so you are an unsubstantiated nitpicker at that.

Re:It is not about reading your e-mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370744)

There is a certain creativity inherent to Slashdot stories, so you can forgive the author for some poetic license, or at least for paraphrasing. For the sense-of-humor impaired, here is the material text from the article:

These companies and Internet service providers face an escalating barrage of subpoenas for subscriber lists, personal credit reports, financial information, routing patterns that reveal individual computer use, even customer photographs.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE FACTS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370761)

don't worry about the facts of a story. This is slashdot. Facts don't matter. Only the opinions of the editors...

How can e-mail be evidence? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370585)

If I feel like e-mailing my friend that "his midnight plutonium shipment to pier 27 will be delayed until 1:30am" just for the heck of it, can I? Or will the feds knock my door down within 10 minutes?

Re:How can e-mail be evidence? (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370685)

This would only worked if you lived on a coast, you stupid sack of shit.

Re:How can e-mail be evidence? (0)

tg_schlacht (570380) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370696)

If I feel like e-mailing my friend that "his midnight plutonium shipment to pier 27 will be delayed until 1:30am" just for the heck of it, can I? Or will the feds knock my door down within 10 minutes?

Do this often enough and it'll be like the little boy who cried wolf. They'll be like "Who's it from? Oh, fuck, it's HIM again. Just put him in the spam filter."

Re:How can e-mail be evidence? (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370912)

In an email to my father, I called Janet Reno "the domestic enemy I swore to defend against when I took my oath of enlistment." The FBI was at my door two days later, with a copy of my email in hand. Interestingly, they only had the lines I wrote; the lines I quoted were blanked out. Two months later, they testified before Congress that they only monitor the email of people who are already under surveillance for other reasons. I guess they found out about that parking ticket...

Bush, Cheney, and Asscroft owe Bin Laden Big Time (3, Insightful)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370588)

They have been able to push each and every pet policy of theirs in the name of "homeland security" and patriotism.

Quoting Samuel Johnson, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

S

Re:Bush, Cheney, and Asscroft owe Bin Laden Big Ti (4, Insightful)

catsidhe (454589) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370614)

Quoting Samuel Johnson, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."


Quoting Ambrose Bierce, "with respect to Mr. Johnson, I submit that it is the first."

Re:Bush, Cheney, and Asscroft owe Bin Laden Big Ti (2)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370729)

Quoting Ambrose Bierce, "With all due respect to an enlightened lexicographer, I submit that it is the first."

Email, email, email.... (2, Interesting)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370590)

I just wish I could convince my friends to use PGP when sending me email. That would solve most of the problems.

Re:Email, email, email.... (1)

QuodEratDemonstratum (569501) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370611)

Where's your public key?

Re:Email, email, email.... (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370624)

Hehe, I don't have one... But I used to, and it's not like anyone ever used it anyway :)

Re:Email, email, email.... (1)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370625)

Stretching this a little... what prevents the government from banning encryption unless the encryption uses keys from big corporations. Kinda like outlawing a radar detector. Weirder things have happenned -- people in some countries get arrested for harboring "dangerous literature".

The solution to this problem cannot be a hack or a fix. Instead, it has to be more fundamental than that.

S

Re:Email, email, email.... (2)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370678)

what prevents the government from banning encryption unless the encryption uses keys from big corporations.

The first ammendment, the second ammendment, the ninth ammendment, the tenth ammendment, the fourteenth ammendment...

But in any case, as far as I'm concerned I've always assumed that everyone was reading all my e-mails and listening in on all my phone conversations anyway. And I always will, no matter what laws are passed to try to stop people from doing it. That's actually one of the reasons why I post on slashdot with my real name. To remind myself that I am not really anonymous. Slashdot knows who is making the posts, and as far as any real security, that means everyone knows.

Laws are the "hack" solution. Strong encryption is the real solution.

Re:Email, email, email.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370789)

The point is that we shouldn't need laws to specifically prevent invasion of privacy. The laws should specifically allow invasion of privacy in very limited circumstances. Kind of like they used to...

Re:Email, email, email.... (1)

Angelo Torres (119850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370843)

Laws are the "hack" solution. Strong encryption is the real solution.

Laws and Encryption can complement each other to provide more security/privacy than either could alone. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you enjoy security/privacy as long as you use encryption, regardless of what laws are passed.

Re:Email, email, email.... (2)

extrasolar (28341) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370743)

Then we can all go on freenet and use anonymous identities. Its supposed to be resistant from attack by the government.

Right of privacy and the Constitution (4, Interesting)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370594)

The following passage seems relevant

Findlaw - Rights Retained by the People [findlaw.com]

(emphasis added)

The Ninth Amendment had been mentioned infrequently in decisions of the Supreme Court4 until it became the subject of some exegesis by several of the Justices in Griswold v. Connecticut. There a statute prohibiting use of contraceptives was voided as an infringement of the right of marital privacy. Justice Douglas, writing the opinion of the Court, asserted that the ''specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.''
Thus, while privacy is nowhere mentioned, it is one of the values served and protected by the First Amendment, through its protection of associational rights, and by the Third, the Fourth, and the Fifth Amendments as well. The Justice recurred to the text of the Ninth Amendment, apparently to support the thought that these penumbral rights are protected by one Amendment or a complex of Amendments despite the absence of a specific reference. Justice Goldberg, concurring, devoted several pages to the Amendment.

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

Re:Right of privacy and the Constitution (2, Interesting)

StArSkY (128453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370675)

What is the purpose of government... as a whole. To administer, and to implement the wishes of the people. The FBI is a department of government and as such should fall under the same moral and ethical obligations.

Surely the fact that information is sent electronically should mean it is treated no differently from paper or phone calls.

Does the government have the right to open mail addressed to you? Does the government have the right to listen to your phone calls?

The answer is yes of they have "reasonable" grounds to suspect you have or will commit a criminal act.

The solution is not specific legislation or objection based upon medium, but an application of exsiting pronciples to a new meium.

Rousseau was right. (1)

kaosrain (543532) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370598)

What the French philosopher Rousseau said was true at the time (during the Industrial Revolution), and apparently it still is.

"Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate?"

Bad News (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370599)

Connect from host: departmentjustice02.erols.com/208.58.140.194 to TCP port: 21

I don't run an ftp server, never advertised one, never been into any sort of warez, just have a mail server. And I see that in my logs. What the fuck is going on?

Pubscanners. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370870)

Someone h4x0r3d a wingate and is scanning for pubs. Calm down, it happens to all of us.

that's why you use email from non-us corps (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370600)

the company that hosts my email is in taiwan, try and catch me coppers!

I hope the feds don't go after them for talking (2)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370602)

I'm pretty sure that all of these ISPs got instructions from the Feds not to tell anyone about these requests. I know they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, but I'd worry about being harassed by the justice department for talking about this stuff to the press, which someone has obviously been doing. This is especially true if the CIA gets involved; they can be pretty vindictive.

The proposal, made by Albert Gidari (An "expert" on technology law who represents people? There are names for experts who represent people. To call them an "expert" implies a certain nonbias.) that ISPs need to be held indemnified for violating your privacy if the government asks them too, is an insult.

Interesting... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370643)

I didn't notice any increased surviellance.

Hey...if they wanna see my nudie pic collection...that's their business...it's not like I encrypt the fucking things.

Please stop... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370647)

- good read(ing)
- nice read
- must read
- interesting read
- fun read
- .....

All the writing skills of a day care center newsletter....we don't care for your advice on what 'kind' of read it is. Never.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370699)

I just have to say that the nic Harvey Manfrenjensenton is awesome! I haven't seen A Fish Called Wanda in a long time.

Return to McCarthyism (2)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370700)

"The war on terrorism is basically a war of intelligence," Scowcroft said. "Every time they move, every time they get money or spend money, there's a trace, somewhere. What we need to do is get as many of those traces as we can and put them together into a mosaic which will allow us to uncover the al-Qaida network."

So basically, screw privacy and due process, we have evil commie spies ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H excuse me, terrorists to ferret out!

Re:Return to McCarthyism (1)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370787)

Time wind back for 18 years. We are now at "1984". ;-)

We need a technology response, not a political one (2)

argoff (142580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370708)


What we need is a real technological solution, not a political solution
to prevent this intrusion of our privacy - and even more it should be
something doable in the USA and not rely on over-seas servers, because
that is only a short term solution that could bend to political and
military pressure. Even more importantly, it should be an infrastructure
where we can engage in commerce and transactions in a fair way without 3rd
party intervention or involvement. The solution should be indistinguishable
from other random and legitimate communication, verify-able for accountability, but untraceable to defend against coercive force.

Disturbing thoughts... (4, Insightful)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370745)

A few things I found noteworthy...

The amount of subpoenas that carriers receive today is roughly doubling every month -- we're talking about hundreds of thousands of subpoenas for customer records

...HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS!!! There are hundreds of thousands of suspected terrorists or people with involvement in terrorist activities in the US each month??

"The war on terrorism is basically a war of intelligence," Scowcroft said. "Every time they move, every time they get money or spend money, there's a trace, somewhere. What we need to do is get as many of those traces as we can and put them together into a mosaic which will allow us to uncover the al-Qaida network."

It seems to me that the full power of the US intelligence community has had more than enough time to uncover terrorist organizations operating in the US. I understand that it is much, much more difficult to conduct investigations in other countries, but the domestic investigations are getting ridiculous. What is really disturbing, is the way that the "al-Qaida network" is turning into a real-life Immanuel Goldstein....and we must take any and all measures to find him, no matter what it takes.

well what do we expect... (2, Funny)

PhunkyOne (531072) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370750)

This ties in wonderfully with the brilliant idea from the Feds to use Microsoft Passport. One really bad idea deserves a companion.

Perhaps there's a silver lining (3, Insightful)

FredBaxter (158979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370759)

Quoting from the article:

"The problem that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face is not insufficient information -- "they are choking on information," Dempsey said. The deficiency is in targeting and analysis. The Patriot Act was based on "the assumption if you pour more data into the system, then the picture would become clearer, and I think that's a false presumption," Dempsey said."

Not only are ISPs and others having a hard time dealing with the flood of requests, but it seems Uncle Sam doesn't have the resources to crunch the data it's currently getting. This might be good in so far as it may someday make law enforcement more selective of the information they collect, or perhaps we'll all just be on file indefinately. Someday when they dig up Indiana's Arc from the storage they'll find thousands of hard drives full of emails and chat sessions.

Just my $.02

reading my email (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3370778)

I know a student here from Iran (my girlfriend has a friend dating him) almost every time he emails me (we both use Yahoo email) my browser security gets switched "on" then "off" (i have it set to warn me when switching from-to secure mode)it switches with no page change (i have to acept the changs the way i have it set)
then i go to yahoo mail....never has happend with any email except from him.

Real terrorists are smarter than that (2, Insightful)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370811)

This is just an excuse for spying on the US public (gee I'm glad I live in oztraya where similar legislation won't b passed for another couple of weeks). Serious terrorists use encryption, and hide their tracks. They have fake names. I'm not suggesting they can't be caught, but not that easily. The main thing the USA PATRIOT act will do will deter wannabe luser terrorists (the script-kiddies of the terrorist world), and depressed high schools from blowing things up. For a little while at least.

Canada... (3, Funny)

YoungHack (36385) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370831)

At Truman State University there were fliers put up for a "town meeting" to discuss the then-new Patriat Act. I don't think I'll ever forget them. They said in large words:

CANADA
Looking better than ever...

USA PATRIOT Act (4, Informative)

ajakk (29927) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370873)

I know that it is against the grain here at Slashdot, but how many people here have actually read the provisions in the USA PATRIOT act? After hearing everyone on here complain and complain about it, I was sure that it was going to be a crock when I actually started analyzing it. Personally, I like almost all of the changes that the Act introduced, and I have been amazed at the clarity that the bill has.

For example:
The computer tresspass statute. This statute says that law enforcement doesn't have to get a warrant to eavesdrop on a computer tresspasser if they have the permission of the owner of the computer (very generalized). Think about what the problem was here. Somebody calls the FBI and says that a hacker had broken into their computer. The FBI could not watch what the hacker did on the computer, even with the permission of the owner of the computer, because it was assumed that it violated the privacy of the hacker. Come on. You have to admit that is pretty silly. Do you want the FBI to have to take several hours to draft and get a warrant signed in a situation such as that?

Next, much of the changes in how email is handled was changed so that the laws are the same with email as it is with telephone. It is pretty easy for the FBI to find out who you are emailing. But it takes quite a bit more work for them to actually read your email. This is congruant to the ability of the FBI to get a Pen tap/trace on a telephone to find out who you are calling, compared to requiring a warrant to actually listen in on your calls.

It is amazing to note people's perception of the DoJ. The FBI and the US Attorneys are not some huge govt. agency listening in on everyones phone calls and reading everyones email. They are an overworked, underpaid agency doing its best to combat crime within a wierd, confusing legal system. Of course they overstep their bounds sometimes, but the amount of good work that they do with the miniscule resources and respect they have is amazing.

I for one say good job!

Orwellian??!?!!?! (3, Interesting)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3370895)

Anything named the "Patriot Act" has to be bad for you. I personally am frightened everytime I hear the term "Homeland Security" reminds me too much of being in Nazi Germany, or Oceania.
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