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House and Senate Reject E-mail Surveillance

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the sweet-of-them dept.

Privacy 260

vena writes "The Star Tribune reports the House and Senate today agreed not to allow email surveillance of American citizens proposed by the Total Information Awareness program. Additionally, negotiators agreed to halt all future funding on the program without extensive consultation with Congress."

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260 comments

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Excellent news! (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291018)


Does this mean I can stop using PGP?

Re:Excellent news! (5, Insightful)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291187)

It would be excellent news if Poindexter didn't have a track record
of lying to Congress about what he was up to. Maybe they can find
a good military officer, a colonel maybe, to make those reports
to Congress.

If I hold my hands in front of my face, you can't see me

Re:Excellent news! (1)

HMC CS Major (540987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291348)

No.

The more you use PGP now, the more they'll have to decrypt if anyone ever decides they need to know what you're doing.

Re:Excellent news! (5, Insightful)

skion_filrod (201359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291351)

It depends on if you are an American citizen or not:

"The program could be employed in support of lawful military operations outside the United States and lawful foreign intelligence operations conducted against non-U.S. citizens."

Then again, how do they know that you are an American citizen without reading your email and checking you up?

guess what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291020)

first? [1111111111...111111.com] Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!

About time... (2, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291021)

Yay! The good guys finally win one.

Suck on that, herr Ashcroft...

Re:About time... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291049)

A thinly disguised fp attemp Request moderation: DOWN

Re:About time... (4, Informative)

xyzzy (10685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291059)

They didn't *win* anything. All "they" are required to do is issue a report to congress in 90 days detailing the system's function and scope. They aren't required to stop anything, assuming they file the appropriate paperwork.

A better version of the article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/12/politics/12PRIV. html (the one cited by the poster is a boiled-down version).

Re:About time... (5, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291329)

We still won something very valuable. After 9/11 *everything* was going through without so much as a question. At least now our elected representatives are saying, "hold on a minute," instead of just rolling over. The victory is that someone, somewhere is remembering that we have something called rights and they're at least taking the time to see if they apply.

TW

Re:About time... (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291121)

hey cunt - please tell Tom Daschle to stop suggesting that we are not protected from terrorists if you don't want the government to be able to do anything about it. I have plenty of duct tape, but most of that is for your mom.

Re:About time... (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291229)

please tell Tom Daschle to stop suggesting that we are not protected from terrorists if you don't want the government to be able to do anything about it.

We don't *NEED* protection from terrorists, and the measures enacted so far have done *nothing* but strip us of the very conveniences and freedoms we would like to protect.

You might point out that we have had no real acts of domestic terrorism since September 2001. True. But how often did we experience such attacks *prior* to the WTC attack? And, even if we *did* expect something since that time, why would anyone bother? Ever seen the Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters are Coming to Maple Street"? That about covers it.

As much as I hate the "if we don't blah, the terrorists have already won", our attourney general, and the OHS, and TIA, all *embody* the ultimate goals of any potential terrorists. Why should *real* terrorists waste their time and effort doing what we will willingly, even beggingly, do to ourselves? Personally, I'd rather risk a quick death less likely than getting struck by lightning, than have the afforementioned whack-jobs supposedly "protecting" us make a long and sedate life not worth living. But then, I don't consider myself a sheep. If you like having Ashcroft herd you into a nice "secure" detention cells, by all means beg for more. But leave me the hell out of your plans.

Re:About time... (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291261)

You mean the "terrorists"?!? Just kidding...

First Post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291022)

FIRST POST!

WOOT!

NULL!

Ding dong, the witch is dead! (1)

Pravada (217899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291024)

Now all we need to do is get PATRIOT II thrown out...and the DMCA...and PATRIOT I...

what kind of drugs are they on? (0, Redundant)

pulse2600 (625694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291027)

Cause that shit must be good....for once, they're actually doing stuff in the interest of the public!!!!!

BTW, first post!

Double standards (4, Insightful)

flowerp (512865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291028)

Then, on the other hand they're spying on international communication lines as much as possible (Echelon, Echelon II, etc...). Of course that's perfectly legitimate for them because it hardly affects privacy of the American people.

Re:Double standards (3, Interesting)

aengblom (123492) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291084)

In most of the world we call different standards for different classifications "different standards".

Not double standards.

The double standard is if Britain watches over the U.S. similarly and then we "exchange" the information about each other's population

Greetings, from most of the world (2, Informative)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291305)



In most of the world we call different standards for different classifications "different standards".

Not double standards.


Uh... not in my "most of the world". Not in Webster's Dictionary's "most of the world" either:

Main Entry: double standard
Function: noun
Date: 1894

a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially : a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men


One group would be americans, another group would be foreigners. Double means you have two specific standards and the contradiction is when you purport them to be general.

Re:Double standards (0)

aalex675 (628367) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291085)

I think that should get stopped as well. Who was it that said the great quote about how they came for everyone else and he didn't help because it wasn't him but when they came for him no one helped. I wish I could remember the quote because I just butchered it...

Re:Double standards (1, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291122)

on the other hand they're spying on international communication lines as much as possible [...] because it hardly affects privacy of the American people.

Well, you have to look at this in a reasonable way. First off, overseas, the laws are different. If the US could consult a foreign court in order to get a wire-tap or anything else similiar to the way it is done in the US, there might not be a need for Echelon. As it is, the laws in foreign countries are not as flexible. That means, they don't have much choice but to spy illegially.

Re:Double standards (5, Insightful)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291293)

"It [echelon] hardly affects privacy of the American people"

Interestingly, that was one of the reasons that PGP export was allowed: American companies operating abroad had to use easily-breakable encryption, becuase it was all they were allowed to take to their worldwide offices. Of course, that meant that the government of any country they operated in could decrypt their comms, and tip-off native companies in competition with them.

Not that the US would ever sink to such depths... *cough*arms-sales-contracts*cough*

Finally, someone in congress read the constituion (5, Interesting)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291031)

"Hey, bob, this thing we all swore to uphold, are they serious?"

How much you want to bet this gets tacked on to the next "patriot" style bill?

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291032)

first post

TIA clothing available... (2, Interesting)

cjustus (601772) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291033)

On that note... You can get your cool clothes [cafeshops.com] ... Any proceeds beyond the basic cost of each product will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Re:TIA clothing available... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291197)

You mean the same ACLU that supports NAMLBA?.. (North American Man Love Boy Association or something to that effect)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,77006,00.htm l

Give your money to the EFF instead. Support only responsible non-profits.

Re:TIA clothing available... (3, Funny)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291332)

Including Total Information Awareness thongs...

When they say they want to know everything, they mean Everything.

On second thought... (5, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291034)

I guess even they couldn't stomach the idea of reading other people's spam.

Too bad, they could have compared prices on herbal viagra.

No TIA? No problem. (5, Insightful)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291037)

They won't let the Pentagon spy on Americans? That's OK, I'm sure we can find somebody else to do it for us, and return the favor to them, since we are allowed to spy on foreigners.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Just don't lie to me, pal. Not that I'd know if you were.

No really, we're the good guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291218)

Look, we PROMISE not spy on your email.++

++All promises are null and viod.

Look, these guys passed the Patriot Act, the Patriot Act II is on the way. Seeing little token announcements doesn't make up for writing laws in secret.

If they really are concerned for people's safety, they'll concede they are unable to protect us, and lift all gun laws so we can protect ourselves without their interference.

If this isn't enough of a crisis to lift gun ownership restrictions, then this isn't a large enough crisis to suspend constitutional rights.

Doesn't that make sense? they're telling us to buy duct tape and plastic now. Is that the best they can offer, telling us to roll ourselves up in tape and plastic and wait to die?

not asmiable in court. (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291355)



We all know the US monitors its citizens like it or not. the problem comes when this information has to be used in court. It is not admisable as evidence if the information was gathered unlawfully. This is the reason they are trying to get it passed as a bill.

I guess their... (2, Funny)

Xandar01 (612884) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291041)

personal emails may be a little to spicy.

Re:I guess their... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291144)

They can read all my mail if they like. I'm sure they can use a larger penis and would LOVE to go through my 500 spam messages I get per day.

Perhaps a little teen sex might be just what our government can use.

"Perhaps a little teen sex " (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291213)

Gee, I don't know. Perusing the papers over the past couple of decades that seems to be one of the things they're pretty well stocked up on in Washington.

Hell, they've got so much of it they even let their cigars in on the excess action.

KFG

Yayhooray for vena! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291047)

You asshole I hate you! QBN whore.

love,
fwis :P

Skewed perspective? (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291048)

From the article: Lt. Cmdr. Donald Sewell, a Pentagon spokesman, defended the program, saying, "The Department of Defense still feels that it's a tool that can be used to alert us to terrorist acts before they occur." He added, "It's not a program that snoops into American citizens' privacy."

How can it not be a program that snoops into American citizens privacy? From past experience, I've found that the other issue is that once databases are available, they will be tapped for a variety of purposes not originally envisioned or intended.

Re:Skewed perspective? (2, Interesting)

xyzzy (10685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291072)

Well, whether it can or can not is rather open to interpretation, unlike the IRS, which can freely snoop into people's privacy (!!!)

Re:Skewed perspective? (5, Funny)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291146)

I liked this quote better:

"Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., senior Democrat on the subcommittee, said of the program, "Jerry's against it, and I'm against it, so we kept the Senate amendment." Of the Pentagon, he said, "They've got some crazy people over there."

No shit.

Trading intelligence (2, Insightful)

dtldl (644451) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291052)

Still, this can easily be sidestepped by the old intelligence trick of you watch our citizens, we'll watch yours, then trading details with a friendly country.

Mods on crack (0, Redundant)

mlyle (148697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291242)

And this is redundant why? I see nothing similar in posts above. And this is a time-honored trick that intelligence agencies use to get around limitations in their charters.

Sense at last (5, Funny)

Herby Werby (645641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291053)

all your mail are not belong to us

A sigh of relief (1)

chong (67651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291054)

Its nice, in this era of DMCA, corporate powerbroking, lobbyists, and general mistrust of government persons (as either incompetent or something more devious) to see our constitutional values and the system of checks and balances showcased positively.

I guess I should say thank you.

No need to spy on my email.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291055)

I'll quite happily turn myself into the nearest police station and admit that I earn money working from home whilst looking at hot girl-on-girl, aided by my generic Viagra and playing with 12 inch weener.

Nice (3, Funny)

creative_name (459764) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291057)

Finally! The black car [slashdot.org] in front of my house is going to leave!

One down ... (1)

PitViper401 (619163) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291060)

One down, three to go ...

The Original Article from Last Night . . . (0, Offtopic)

Tiro (19535) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291061)

This is funny, /. cites the Star-Tribune, some obscure Wisconsin paper.

Perhaps they missed the article in the New York Times last night?

I hate to be a pretentious citer of the Times, but come on. The guy who wrote the article found in the Star-Tribune is a writer for the New York Times! So just cite the original paper.

So, here's the link to the original: http://nytimes.com/2003/02/12/politics/12PRIV.html

uhm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291089)

it's an article about your online privacy, and you want slashdot to link to a site that requires registration...

OK BUDDY! KEEP ON TRUCK'N!

Re:The Original Article from Last Night . . . (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291114)

Actually the Star Tribune is a Minnesota paper, based in Minneapolis. As its reach is far and wide (I have seen it in Chicago, and Idaho), I would beg to differ with your view that the StarTrib is "some obscure Wisconsin paper."

I hate to point out the obvious, but come on - there are links to Jesse Ventura, Paul Wellstone, Minnesota poll, Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate on the left side.

Re:The Original Article from Last Night . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291115)

First, the Strib is in Minnesota. You'd think that that would be easy to figure out, that information being listed in their header and all. Guess that nasty illiteracy problem reared it's ugly head again, huh?

Second, the NYT link requires a account to view. Why go to all the trouble with that like when you could display the same article *without* requiring an account? Seems pretty simple to me.

Re:The Original Article from Last Night . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291140)

I don't know, it's kind of nice to read it from a paper that doesn't require an online subscription. And it clearly attributes it in the column.

BTW, its Minnesota, not Wisconsin, though the paper services most of Minnesota and portions of western Wisconsin. With a readership of 1.5 million I wouldn't exactly call it "obscure" either. Sure small compared to the NYT, but much friendlier to read online.

TIA suspended ? (1)

silverbolt (578120) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291064)

"They agreed to halt all future funding".

I am guessing that this program is going to come back soon under another name. I bet the backers are going to be the same.

Not quite over yet (5, Interesting)

DalTech (575476) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291067)

From what I read in the article, the house and senate have voiced oposition. But it goes on to say, "The only obstacles to the provision becoming law would be the failure of the conferees to reach agreement on the overall spending bill in which it is included, or a successful veto of the bill by President Bush." Looks as if it could still go through.

Thank god... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291070)

I was worried about people seeing my love letters to CowboyNeal. That he NEVER RESPONDS TO

Re:Thank god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291227)

That he NEVER RESPONDS TO


To which he never responds.

Re:Thank god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291309)

That's because he was forwarding them to me!

It wasn't until reading your heartfelt letters that I realized a beowulf cluster was really a euphemism for "Barbarian Night" at the Blue Oyster.

Then I finally figured out that the ???? in

. Write love letter to CowboyNeal.
. ????
. Profit!!

meant "Sell forged sexually-charged replies to CmdrTaco for blackmail purposes."

And exactly what Soviet Russia does to you in that situation? Ah tovarish, you are not wanting to know!

Big Deal (1)

koan (80826) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291075)

This smacks of being "tossed a bone" email is nothing as far as I'm concerned the privacy violations begin with the phone (cell and land line) and go to what I buy.
Those are the things I care about.

great! (1)

dakers27 (631152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291078)

It could link such different electronic sources as video feeds from airport surveillance cameras, credit card transactions, airline reservations and records of telephone calls. The data would be filtered through software that would constantly seek suspicious patterns that says it all right there, guilty until proven innocent

Do no believe it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291093)

Oh sure, the government won't be snooping on our e-mail. That's just what they want you to believe! Lull you into a false sense of security while Ashcroft views each and every piece of porn spam filling your inbox.

ALL e-mail is archived (5, Informative)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291096)

Even if they don't look at it right now, they can always change the laws later and go back and read your e-mail then.

Storage is cheap, and tape is cheap. The one protection you might have is that they only have backups on tapes and that the tapes go bad after a few years. But if they back up onto optical media, they basically have a record of all your e-mails for all eternity.

Heck, I run a mail server and a backup server for my company. It's really handy when an IMAP user accidentally deletes an e-mail. I can just go back and restore that mailbox for them. Even for something a year old.

The point is, just because the law says you are safe this instant doesn't mean squat. All that you do is recorded. If you don't like that, then use something like nonymouse.com and/or PGP.

Guess I souldn't have flamed that spammer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291152)

Heh. Told them my dick was already 18" long and don't they have anything to make it smaller?

Re:Guess I souldn't have flamed that spammer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291183)

Heh. Told them my dick was already 18" long and don't they have anything to make it smaller?

Sure! Just chop off the excess inches!

Re:Guess I souldn't have flamed that spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291247)

That's reminds me of the plot to "Deep Throat".

You see, Linda Lovelace has a condition where her clit is in her throat, and she can only cum while giving head. And the man's wang has to be at least 8" to reach it.

So she meets this guy and they fall in love, but she tells him "the man I marry has to have an 8 inch cock".

He's all upset and going "oh no, oh no, I'm only 4 inches from happiness"

So he goes to the doctor to see if anything can be done.

He comes back and he's all excited.

He whips out his footlong and goes "The doctor says I can have it cut down to whatever size I want!!!!!"

not too sure... (5, Interesting)

vena (318873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291246)

i was under the impression that you cannot prosecute people for acts committed before they were made a crime. anyone have any info on that?

Please stand up... (3, Insightful)

aengblom (123492) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291097)

Has anyone actually accomplished anything through e-mail? (Other than enlarging appendages, of course)

I think this amounts to more of "ignoring the massive amounts of nothingness" than a privacy win ;-)

Re:Please stand up... (3, Insightful)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291199)


Maybe, but that's kinda like saying that the majority of phone calls are personal and of no consequence to national security. That may be true, but you still don't want anyone listening in. Privacy is privacy. Would you let the government put a camera in your house, even if it was only trained on a dusty corner of the floor? Just because the information is inconsequential, doesn't mean its not yours alone.

Re:Please stand up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291273)

A) Joke
B) I was commenting on Congress's motivations, not the need for privacy :-)

-aengblom

Meanwhile... (1, Informative)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291098)

...the Bride of USAPATRIOT [com.com] is on the sidelines, with Johnny Ashcroft and his minions rooting for it. One step forward, four steps back. But hey, anything goes as long as you can make the public vagely believe, or even not dispute too much, that it'll help them get Osama Bin Laden.

Re:Meanwhile... (2, Funny)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291208)

But hey, anything goes as long as you can make the public vagely believe, or even not dispute too much, that it'll help them get Osama Bin Laden.

Who? Didn't Hussein blow up the Maine, shoot Archduke Ferdinand, stage the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, invade Poland, sneak attack Pearl Harbor, drop nukes on Japan, invade South Korea, cause the Gulf of Tonkin incident, run drugs into the US via Columbia, blow up the Marine barracks in Beirut, and shoot down TWA 800?

The program is already in place and running (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291107)

If you think the Pentagon will actually stop this program, you're dreaming. They have had monitoring systems in place for years on all the major internet hubs. They don't give a damn what you have to say about it either.

the best part about this story (2, Funny)

vena (318873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291109)

is that i can't spell AT ALL and the editors fixed all my mistakes :)

Crazy people (-1, Troll)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291116)

Of the Pentagon, he said, "They've got some crazy people over there."


These would be the ones planning on executing thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, and condemning probably the same number of allied servicemen to horrific deaths? No shit.

Re:Crazy people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291307)

Saddam would just execute them anyways. After they're raped and tortured to his liking, that is.

Do you realize Iraq's regime actually has government-licensed rapists? They have little ID cards that read 'official violator of women' with saddams little official seal on it. If you oppose Saddam, they come and rape your mother/wife/daughter.

Anyone who defends the current Iraqi government on 'moral' grounds is a hypocritical asshole. Like the French government (which has 4 billion dollars invested in Saddam and his promise to allow them access to southern oil fields).

Yay! (1)

Jack William Bell (84469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291117)

About time we could score one for the good guys. Now, how do we keep this from coming back?

All I have to say is... (0, Offtopic)

lasmith05 (578697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291123)

YATTA!!

Great news! But why am I still worried? (5, Informative)

HawkinsD (267367) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291126)

This is indeed wonderful news, and can be taken as a victory for people who worry about the potential for the abuse of this kind of aggregated personal information.

But there are still many, many other ways in which personal information is aggregated and analyzed, without the benefit of an oversight committee, or even significant regulation. So I'm still worried.

And I have another creeping worry: what if convicted felon Poindexter might have actually done some good with his (admittedly grotesque, and probably wildly impractical) database?

I mean, I'm always the first to howl about how those who give up freedom to gain a little security deserve neither, but does anybody else wonder about this? I mean, things are getting a little tense in the world these days.

Re:Great news! But why am I still worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291162)

well the FBI had all the info needed prior to 9/11, so now they will just have more info they can refuse to act on.

im almost not worried about the Feds doing anything, they are incapable of using the high quality info they have now, why would they if they had more info.

they are lazy beuracrats, and nothing, not every database networked together is going to change that

Re:Great news! But why am I still worried? (0)

byrnespd (531460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291292)

-> And I have another creeping worry: what if convicted felon Poindexter might have actually done some good with his (admittedly grotesque, and probably wildly impractical) database? I mean, I'm always the first to howl about how those who give up freedom to gain a little security deserve neither, but does anybody else wonder about this? I mean, things are getting a little tense in the world these days. - So Obviously you missed the entire point of Franklin's quote. Go ahead, give up your freedom.. See if it does anything to deter terrorists, or if you ever get it back.

Considering... (2, Insightful)

nyc_paladin (534862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291158)

that corporations already monitor emails and internet activity of their employees where most people log on to the internet. This may not mean much except for those with AOL accounts.

not quite... (2, Insightful)

joebeone (620917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291163)


This can still be over-ridden by an executive order of the president... which sounds likely in the "name of national security" and our orange alert level [whitehouse.gov] .

What I really want to know is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291164)

[text removed by line eater v9.3 - thanks for shopping with the NSA!]

Wonder what the Whitehouse thought? (2, Insightful)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291167)

The action was praised by Democrats and Republicans and by outside groups on both the political right and left.

Nice to see some soundness of mind (for a change)

Ummm, what? (1, Interesting)

DaytonCIM (100144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291177)

Lt. Cmdr. Donald Sewell, a Pentagon spokesman, defended the program, saying, "The Department of Defense still feels that it's a tool that can be used to alert us to terrorist acts before they occur." He added, "It's not a program that snoops into American citizens' privacy."

*cough* Bull$hit *cough*

Of course it "snoops" into American citizens' privacy, that's the primary mission of DARPA and TIA.

It's like saying the gun I'm pointing at you won't kill you.

Congress doesn't care about you (5, Insightful)

jpnews (647965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291180)

They care about themselves. The executive branch is increasingly refusing to even CONSULT with Congress regarding these admittedly outrageous plans. But you'd be wrong to think that they're blocking this because they give a shit about your rights. They just want to be included... to make sure they have a hand in everything. In this case they're just exercising their right to refuse to fund ANY project in an attempt to get the WH to play ball with them. Otherwise they're going to take their ball and bat and go home, I guess.

Pessimistic (3, Insightful)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291182)

'agreed not to allow email surveillance of American citizens'
Maybe they did it not in the interests of the public but simply because they don't want the FBI reading their email. It just seems more likely to me that, as a group, they are motivated more by self-interest than anything else.

John Poindexter (1, Funny)

Elequin (137149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291184)

From the article:
"One important factor in the breadth of the opposition is the fact that the project is headed by retired Adm. John Poindexter. Several members of Congress have said he is an unwelcome symbol because he was convicted of lying to Congress when he was President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser. That his conviction was reversed on the grounds that he had been given immunity for the testimony in which he lied did not mitigate congressional opinion, they said."

Oh, suuuure you promise it wouldn't be used to violate citizens' privacy. We believe you.

My faith in America has been restored. (1)

Qwaniton (166432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291196)

Just when I thought that the United States was starting to fall into an unabortable tailspin to a fascist's wet dream, I see this article and my faith in the American Way has been restored.

Not totally restored, mind you. That will happen when King George II [mailto] is dethroned. But this is a very good thing for all those out there who still believe in democratic/republican Constitutional American government.

But still. Viva Americana!

Old news (-1, Offtopic)

spazoid12 (525450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291198)

A funny thing happened on the way to the Bureau of Old News... I submitted the same story last month:

2003-01-24 21:02:42 Senate Blocks Funding for Pentagon Database (yro,news) (rejected)

Of course, now I'm apparently grousing...which is far worse than Slashdot's constant duping.

---
Karma - am I supposed to care?

Uhmmm.... what are "lawful" military operations? (2, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291206)

From the article...
The program could be employed in support of lawful military operations outside the United States and lawful foreign intelligence operations conducted against non-U.S. citizens.
I'm a little fuzzy on what "lawful" military operations could possibly mean... Almost any military operation would be illegal in a country that it was being performed upon. For example, in countries that offer their citizens a right to privacy and security of person, I can't see how something like this *would* be legal in those countries.

I have a middle-eastern last name, does that mean I'm going to be watched?

I would say more, but I'm liable to start on a rant that could start a whole mess of arguments I'm not interested in pursuing.

Big Brother never Sleeps (3, Insightful)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291222)

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Most of us are snoozing while Big Brother is hatching all sorts of nefarious plots to own us.

I don't like this (1)

phoenix_orb (469019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291262)

If you read the article, how much more additional funding is needed? The equipment is already purchased, the systems are in place. Yes, they need to pay for expansion, and upkeep, (In other words the rest of the ROI), but that usually is much easier to get than the initial purchase.

Frightning indeed

Action (3, Informative)

faeryman (191366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291271)

This is a good step!

I just got done writing 4 letters to my Congressmen about the Pariot Act 2 and war with Iraq. I know it is easier to post online about how something should be done, but it only took about an hour to go out, get stamps and envelopes, and write.

Perhaps take this as a chance to thank your Senator/Representative for voting against this (if they did!), and maybe even let them know your views on the Patriot Act 2, etc.

Find your Senator [senate.gov]

Find your Representative [house.gov]

Correct me if I'm wrong (4, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291278)

but this acticle only says a provision has been made that the surveillance information is not to be used against American Citizens and the bill is likely to pass unless Bush vetoes it or the spending is not approved.

The only obstacles to the provision becoming law would be the failure of the conferees to reach agreement on the overall spending bill in which it is included, or a successful veto of the bill by President Bush.

Is therefore safe to assume the Pentagon feels entitled to surveil the rest of the worlds population on the off chance they may spot a terrorist at some point ? I'm not trying to flame here but the article seemed a little short on fact and I am unclear as to the levels of surveillance the bill supports in its current form. If I understand it the overall plan has not actually been killed, just subjected to more congressional oversight and currently exempts American Citizens

For once, a reason to thank my senator (4, Interesting)

hether (101201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291289)

According to a slightly more inclusive NYTimes article [nytimes.com] I read on this earlier today, one of Iowa's senators - Charles Grassley - co-sponsored the bill. I wrote him a letter this morning thanking him for it. It's the first time ever I've felt like I had a reason to do so.

I appreciated his quote from the article,

"Protecting Americans' civil liberties while at the same time winning the war against terrorism has got to be top priority for the United States. Congressional oversight of this program will be a must as we proceed in the war against terror. The acceptance of this amendment sends a signal that Congress won't sit on its hands as the TIA program moves forward."

WHAT THE FSCK? (3, Interesting)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291295)

So the US Government can't tap e-mails of suspected terrorists, but the RIAA can drag you into court just because they say they have a .txt file to "prove" you downloaded stuff.

Greeeeeeeeeeat. I LUV this country.

Re:WHAT THE FSCK? (2, Interesting)

praksys (246544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291353)

So the US Government can't tap e-mails of suspected terrorists...

Not quite, it just means that they still need to get search warrants before they start reading their e-mail (inside the US anyway - once it leaves the US it's fair game for the NSA).

That is unless (1)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291303)

You are the RIAA in which case feel free to not only look at web traffic but look at peoples HD's..

Does this mean I can stop running spook? (5, Funny)

Rocko Bonaparte (562051) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291312)

All of my friends have been asking me why I keep randomly throwing spy USCOI Mena bluebird virus Sears Tower electronic surveillance Vince Foster White Water ASPIC industrial espionage Semtex CBNRC Mossad Juiliett Class Submarine all these strange words into my emails. It's from spook, a military asset class struggle AUTODIN Mafia MDA genetic cryptographic South Africa Crypto AG keyhole Rubin Medco eavesdropping Chobetsu little emacs script that adds high-risk words to my emails. The theory is, the extra traffic of false-positives will overwhelm any Steve Case North Korea Cohiba computer terrorism PGP SCUD missile AIMSX ARPA CISU arrangements class struggle chameleon man ISEC security espionage effort by the government to gamma Uzi FIPS140 bemd assassinate CDMA ANDVT Elvis USCODE 22nd SAS threat Bletchley Park colonel industrial espionage csystems monitor email traffic.

Does that mean I can stop doing this now? My coworkers think I chameleon man SWAT PGP JFK ANZUS top secret Cohiba USCODE Delta Force ASDIC virus assassination Noriega World Trade Center cryptanalysis have Tourettes.

Doesn't Go Far Enough (2, Insightful)

PingXao (153057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291317)

What scares me about all this is that in the future they can start this activity by just repealing the legislation that prohibits this surveillance in the first place. Someone needs to step up and get a consensus that this is flat-out unconstitutional and declare it as such, and make it clear that this kind of surveillance will never be allowed. Furthermore, anyone who proposes such a program should be expelled from the House or the Senate for violating their oath.

they lied (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291318)

--they lied about not knowing about patriot act 2, and they are slipping in various provisions of it inside other unrelated bills. The email surveillance will go on same as you can imagine. This is typical government triple speak. It's getting pretty weird out in dotgov sieg heil land.

Darn it all! (5, Funny)

Iakona (649806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5291336)

I was hoping to send some nice emails in arabic like:

Jihad to Microsoft! Linux has risen in an explosive blaze of fury! I like VX works. Food tastes good with ricin it. Death to BUSH using new hedge trimmers. 90% off swedish made penis enlargers! (Which is what they're really looking for)

which implies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5291337)

that all house and senate members who voted this way use email as their private illicit affair communication medium of choice. ;)
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