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NID Admits ATT/Verizon Help With Wiretaps

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-can-hear-you-now dept.

United States 299

Unlikely_Hero writes "National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has confirmed in an interview with the El Paso Times that AT&T and Verizon have both been helping the Bush Administration conduct wiretaps. He also claims that only 100 Americans are under surveilance, that it takes 200 hours to assemble a FISA warrant on a telephone number and suggests that companies like AT&T and Verizon that "cooperate" with the Administration should be granted immunity from the lawsuits they currently face regarding the issue."

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Lawsuits? Aren't they forgetting... (4, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328549)

We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company.

Care of a little 1992 movie called Sneakers. (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329581)

"Are you interested in C TECH ASTRONOMY?"

"We're interested in all kinds of astronomy."

Unless (3, Insightful)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328561)

The President grants executive powers to do what he wants. Seriously though, it shouldn't even really be one U.S. citizen that they do this with. When does the fear mongering to get broad reaching government powers end? I'm so damned tired of it, and this country has slid so far downhill in the last 5 or so years due to it. Just about every other nation looks at the U.S. in a bad light these days because we're prudish, invasive, annoying, and hipocritical. I'm getting to the point where I want to purge the entire administration from the lowest congressman all the way up and start over. Take out the special interest groups, no corporate sponsorships for campaigns, and get rid of the all the harpy lobbyists. I'm just so sick of it.

Re:Unless (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328611)

purge the entire administration
Like Stalin did?

I think I hear the Secret Service calling you...

Re:Unless (1, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328615)

Just about every other nation looks at the U.S. in a bad light these days because we're prudish, invasive, annoying, and hipocritical.

Hate to break it to you, champ, but it's been that ways since 1789. It ain't going to change anytime soon.
We've liberated the French two times and they were selling Stinger missiles to Saddam during the arms embargo via the 'oil-for-food' program, promulgating the largest fraud in world history.
We cut off their cash cow...of course they're pissed.

Same things happening with Russian and Iran.
You don't think this hatred is idealogical or that these countries don't spy on their own citizens, do you?
Or are you a naive libera...oh, nevermind.

Re:Unless (3, Insightful)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328761)

We've liberated the French two times and they were selling Stinger missiles to Saddam during the arms embargo via the 'oil-for-food' program, promulgating the largest fraud in world history.
Can you please remind me who put Saddam in place at first?

Re:Unless (2, Informative)

workindev (607574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329497)

Simple. It was the Baathists who overthrew and exiled Arif in 1968 who put Saddam into power.

Re:Unless (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329683)

A regime change supported by the CIA during the cold war to fill a power vacuum left by the French and British colonial empires when they no longer were capable of playing the role of superpowers in the mideast. Give me a break. Europe has been mucking around fighting wars in that part of the world since before the sack of Baghdad by the sons of Genghis Khan. When Europe finally self destructed as a power in the Middle East due self-immolation in WWII the US had to pick up the pieces to prevent the Stalinists from overrunning Eurasia. Now all of a sudden this was a bad thing to do? Give me a goddam break. If this is the grasp of history that is prevalent in Europe your educational system is MUCH worse than is generally believed.

We are having and will continue to have major stability problems in the Middle East because of the mess Europe left behind when they ran home with their tails between their legs in the 40's and 50's. Unfortunately, and as usual the US is left to pick up the pieces and pay the bills in both dollars and lives. Now we are hearing COMPLAINTS from the Europeans on how it is being handled? Well, it is YOUR mess, get in there and clean it up.

What a bunch of hypocritical idiots.

Re:Unless (4, Insightful)

turbofisk (602472) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328789)

Of course there is a lot of truth in this... France did have a lot of presence in Iraq and made a bundle, but the *people* are pissed about something else. Saying that the world is pissed out of envy and money is just pure bs. There is the whole spectrum your carelessly choose to ignore. How about invading a sovereign country, killing thousands of civilians and generally destabilizing the middle east even more while doing some cowboy shit about terrorists are behind every stone and thus any measure is ok. Generally you have polarized the world as well, either your with us or your against us. Saddam was a dictator and we can't have that... All while supporting other countries who are run by dictatorship. Of the top of my head: Using capital punishment on your own citizens is a biggie. Degrading taliban and terrorists to Enemy combatant and thus denying them the rights of the Geneva Convention. No trials either. By doing this, imo you have let the terrorists destroy what you are trying to defend - freedom. And at the same time those who are whistleblowers get the sharp end of the stick for doing just that, ensuring that illegal stuff doesn't pass. I'm from Sweden and there is a general resentment that just wasn't there during the Clinton era.

Re:Unless (0, Offtopic)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329593)

Dude, Clinton lied about BJ. We can't have people that LIE in POWER. Seriously.

Re:Unless (3, Insightful)

oojimaflib (1077261) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328811)

Just about every other nation looks at the U.S. in a bad light these days because we're prudish, invasive, annoying, and hipocritical.

Hate to break it to you, champ, but it's been that ways since 1789. It ain't going to change anytime soon. We've liberated the French two times and they were selling Stinger missiles to Saddam during the arms embargo via the 'oil-for-food' program, promulgating the largest fraud in world history.
That's hypocritical demonstrated. Any volunteers for the others?

Re:Unless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329583)

What was hypocritical about it?

Well?

It's nice to toss around accusations like that, especially when you get modded up for it, but how about pointing to exactly what was hypocritical instead of relying on the oh so trendy anti-US sentiment?

I have a feeling I'll be waiting for a long time for you to support your accusation.

Re:Unless (-1, Flamebait)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328893)

Libera... wait, you're using the American definition of liberal aren't you?

Amusing you Americans throwing around statements about naivety. Your whole country seems to be a pretty gullible lot. You were played like a twenty dollar whore, and half of you still don't realize it it. It'd be hilarious, really, if not for the people that hat to die because of that charming american airheadedness.

The reaction you exhibit is amusing. Caught with your pants down, you look around frantically to others you can throw blame on. The last best tactic available to you. "But.. but.. but... BOBBY STOLE COOKIES YESTERDAY, I SAW IT", you exclaim, your guilty willy waving free in the wind.

Anyway, it's not just France and Russia. We don't like you up here in Canada either. From what I can tell, Indians, Indonesians, Europeans (in general), South Americans, and Africans all think you're assholes too. Well.. at least you have Poland (actually, you don't.. most of the poles I've met think your country is full of assholes).

You better start digging through the internet now. It's gonna take a while to pull up dirt on every country in the world. I'm sure you'll find SOMETHING, and I'm sure that something will make you feel better about the horrible things your country has done, and you won't feel the need to really come to terms with it or apologize for it.

-Laxitive

Re:Unless (2, Funny)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329113)

Oh you poor misguided canuck, I do believe you'll be singing a different tune when the Russians come for the oil buried under the artic. Yes, the parent poster was using the American definition of liberal, as in cares too much about what a bunch of european snobs(who care so much about carbon emissions, then use a fleet of private planes to fly to a mountain top retreat to hold a summit) think. Don't get me wrong the other party in the US is no picnic either, they've got God on their side.

Re:Unless (3, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329387)

Well, here's an apology: I personally apologize for being an American and not doing more to stop our government from it's recent brainless actions, including invading Iraq, causing a rise in terrorism world-wide, and putting the breaks on democratic reforms in our own country, and others through our own terrible example to the world. I voted against Bush both times, donated $100, to the EFF to help them sue AT&T, and ran bushshitlist.org for a while, to help educate people about his mistakes. And I'm no Republican hater - my favorite president since I've been alive is the Bush Senior.

Fortunately, even we Americans eventually wise-up. Bush is the most hated president in America since I've been alive (early 60's). I don't bother running bushshitlist.org anymore, because even the National Enquirer now publicizes the stupidity of many of this administrations actions. I've found that Americans fall into several groups, and we have very little mobility between them. The 'religious right' is hard-core in the Bush camp, making up 18% of Americans, and the majority of Bush's remaining meager support. Both Democrats and Republicans split about 20% of Americans that I call "glass eaters": smart people who would rather eat glass than criticize a president from their own party. There are also plenty of stupid people in every country, and we Americans are no exception. You gotta love Brittney Spear's support of Bush, for example. You also gotta love the stupidity of the Dixie Chicks attacking Bush. The dumber of us let actors and performers affect our opinions, and we tend to elect them to high offices. Then, there's a minority of Americans who can make up their own minds, and have at one point supported a Republican or a Democrat, based on their performance. This last category is the largest group, but unfortunately the others tend to outvote us.

All that said, America is still the world's greatest country, in my not so humble opinion. We've just got some clean-up work to do.

Re:Unless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328981)

I suppose I shouldn't mention that the USA put Saddam into power in the first place.

Re:Unless (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329087)

Please, can we stop using the word "we" as a substitute for "government"? Do you honestly not see the danger in labeling government decisions as "ours"? At best, "we" means "majority" -- and I hope I don't have to point out that even this is rarely the case. Hell, even "majority" only has to mean 50.1%. Hardly a case for using the blanket pronoun "we".

Let's cut to the chase. If you and the government were the same thing, then why does government need guns to control you? You don't need guns to control yourself, do you?

Re:Unless (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329131)

And you were selling chemical weapons to him during the iraq-iran conflict. What the hell is your point? We're talking about NOW, not 15 years ago.

Re:Unless (2, Interesting)

b04rdr1d3r (1079225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329177)

I am not going to comment on the rest of your post (others have already replied), but this "We've liberated the French two times" thing has got to be corrected. While it is an undisputed fact that France would never have been freed from the Nazis without the intervention of the US during WWII, the role the US played in WWI is much smaller... the US only entered the war in 1917, and did not send enough troops to achieve anything the Brits and the French (and the other allies) would not have been able to achieve (albeit at a greater human cost for their side, and with more time). The US contributed to the victory of the Allies in WWI, but certainly did not liberate France !!

So that makes it OK? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329539)

The French did it so it's cool if we do it? I used to try that argument when I was 10 years old, and nobody was falling for it then either.

Re:Unless (2, Insightful)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329623)

>Just about every other nation looks at the U.S. in a bad light these days because we're prudish, invasive, annoying, and hipocritical.
Hate to break it to you, champ, but it's been that ways since 1789. It ain't going to change anytime soon.

If I parse your response correctly, you appear to be acknowledging that the US has been prudish, invasive, annoying and hypocritical since 1789, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

While there is an element of truth there, I'm not sure that is something to be proud of...

We've liberated the French two times

FWIW, French intervention was required in order for the American Revolution to succeed.

Besides, the Americans were YEARS late joining WWI and WWII. The US made an important contribution, but why the delay in getting involved, if these wars were so important? I believe it was Churchill who said that the Americans never get involved in a war until they have determined which side is going to win...

and they were selling Stinger missiles to Saddam

So? It is speculated that GWB's grandfather made his fortune selling ammunition to the Nazis. Arms manufacturers will sell to anyone with money. If they were ethically inclined in the first place, they would probably not be dealing in weaponry.

during the arms embargo via the 'oil-for-food' program, promulgating the largest fraud in world history.

Fraud larger than Enron or Worldcom? I hope not, because the oil-for-food program was overseen by American administrators...

You don't think this hatred is idealogical or that these countries don't spy on their own citizens, do you?

So, because they do something bad, it's OK for your government to do something bad too?

Or are you a naive libera...oh, nevermind.

What a witty retort. I was going to make a remark that all neo-cons were inbred rednecks, but I suppose that would be equally understood as well.

Re:Unless (4, Funny)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328647)

Hey, fed up with [windows|USA] why not try [Linux|UK]?

...and I bet this is never nodded funny by the Americans ;-P

Re:Unless (2, Interesting)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328669)

I'm so damned tired of it, and this country has slid so far downhill in the last 60 or so years due to it.
Fixed. Remember the Red Scare? Shit, Prohibition? How far back should we go? Hell, we were probably fearmongored into breaking away from the British Empire.

Re:Unless (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328713)

I'm just so sick of it.
And I'm going to sit here on my ass and whine to Slashdot until things improve!

Re:Unless (3, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328735)

The President grants executive powers to do what he wants. Seriously though, it shouldn't even really be one U.S. citizen that they do this with. When does the fear mongering to get broad reaching government powers end? I'm so damned tired of it, and this country has slid so far downhill in the last 5 or so years due to it. Just about every other nation looks at the U.S. in a bad light these days because we're prudish, invasive, annoying, and hipocritical. I'm getting to the point where I want to purge the entire administration from the lowest congressman all the way up and start over. Take out the special interest groups, no corporate sponsorships for campaigns, and get rid of the all the harpy lobbyists. I'm just so sick of it.
It's not that the government shouldn't wiretap their own population. Of course, they should be able to. The FISA courts are secret so that they can get warrants to do this sort of thing. It's when the government doesn't bother getting the warrants that things get illegal.

No company should surrender private communications to the government without a warrant. And if they do, the public can sued them.

Re:Unless (0, Troll)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328919)

No company should surrender private communications to the government without a warrant. And if they do, the public can sued them.


So if the Japanese had discussed the attack on Pearl Harbor amongst themselves but over AT&T phone lines, you're arguing that AT&T should have conspired with the Japanese to keep the attack secret? There's no kind of warrant that applies to foreign enemy powers. Warrants are for criminal prosecutions. Also warrants are issued by judges, and judges are constitutionally excluded from issues involving the waging of war.

Re:Unless (3, Informative)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329079)

No company should surrender private communications to the government without a warrant. And if they do, the public can sued them.


So if the Japanese had discussed the attack on Pearl Harbor amongst themselves but over AT&T phone lines, you're arguing that AT&T should have conspired with the Japanese to keep the attack secret? There's no kind of warrant that applies to foreign enemy powers. Warrants are for criminal prosecutions. Also warrants are issued by judges, and judges are constitutionally excluded from issues involving the waging of war.
no, that's not what the GP is saying. There would be no conspiring involved, because until the warrant was issued (and served) AT&T would have no way of knowing what was being said over their lines.

Re:Unless (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328829)

Seriously though, it shouldn't even really be one U.S. citizen that they do this with.

What he said was that they monitored less than 100 people inside the US. I think it's unlikely that those people include any US citizens.

Re:Unless (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328987)

What he said was that they monitored less than 100 people inside the US. I think it's unlikely that those people include any US citizens.
You assume AT&T and Co. are telling the truth. Do we have any evidence that *ONLY* 100 people were spied on? You also assume that the people who were spied on where not US citizens.

Re:Unless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329061)

The President grants executive powers to do what he wants. Seriously though, it shouldn't even really be one U.S. citizen that they do this with. When does the fear mongering to get broad reaching government powers end? I'm so damned tired of it, and this country has slid so far downhill in the last 5 or so years due to it. Just about every other nation looks at the U.S. in a bad light these days because we're prudish, invasive, annoying, and hipocritical. I'm getting to the point where I want to purge the entire administration from the lowest congressman all the way up and start over. Take out the special interest groups, no corporate sponsorships for campaigns, and get rid of the all the harpy lobbyists. I'm just so sick of it.

I agree and concur. I ask you to please please please look for yourself into Dr Ron Paul who is running for President; he is the only pro liberty, pro freedom, pro constitution, pro privacy candidate. He is the only one who wants to shrink the Fed in all forms.
McCain already tried with his anti 1st amendment laws to regulate speech (money) in Washington and it FAILED. It only got worse under the corrupt Republicans and now, as we are seeing with the earmark game, corrupt Democrats. McCain himself has admitted his reforms failed!

The ONLY, yes ONLY, way to remove the special interest (be it healthcare to defense) in Washington is to remove the Money from Washington. Yes, the Fed must be made MUCH smaller and thus, the influence it has will wain.

The ONLY candidate who wants to do this is Dr Ron Paul. If you support Obama, Clinton (both took lobby money from RIAA), Guliani, McCain, Romney, neo cons et al, then you continue to support the status quo; a slide to larger, more invasive Federal government.

A full purge will not work, because the massive influence in Washington is still in place. Only by removing the money in Washington, will the size of the Fed be reduced, will the corporate and other special interest's influences wain.

An excert from one of Dr Paul's letters... http://www.dailypaul.com/node/1542 [dailypaul.com]

Freedom brings us all together. We can all agree on leaving people alone to plan and live their own lives, rather than trying to force them to obey at the point of a gun, as runaway government does. Instead of clawing at each other via the warfare-welfare state, people under liberty can cooperate in a unity of diversity.

There is no need to use government to threaten others who have different standards, or to be threatened by them. Looking to our Founders, our traditions, and the Constitution, we can build, in peaceful cooperation, a free and prosperous society. ...

Unconstitutional government has created a war crisis, a financial crisis, a dollar crisis, and a freedom crisis. But we don't have to take it. We don't have to passively accept more dead soldiers, a lower standard of living, rising prices, a national ID, eavesdropping on our emails and phone calls, and all the rest.

We can return to first principles, and build the brightest, most brilliant future any people on earth has ever aspired to. Help me teach this lesson. Help me campaign all over this country, in cooperation with our huge and growing volunteer army. Help me show that change is not only possible, but also essential.

Re:Unless (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329223)

You are single-handedly destroying (with your carpet bomb Ron Paul spam) any chance Ron Paul had with this crowd. I hope you're proud!

ATT / Iphone impact... (0, Redundant)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328565)

now I'm afraid to put subversive music on the damn thing.... oh geez, I had some Cat Stevens, that's like a red flag...

what do you do about searching without a warrant (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328571)

Several sys admins I know tell me that they routinely get phone calls from folks in the law enforcement community asking for copies of emails and other surveillance. When they ask for a warrant or a national security letter, they never hear back again. How cooperative are we supposed to be? I realize that 200 hours is a lot of work, but how else can we stop freelance investigations and abuse?

Re:what do you do about searching without a warran (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328759)

Fsck that. Someone comes to me from law enforcement or from anywhere in the federal government asking me for copies of e-mails, my first response is going to be "Warrant?".

What are they going to do? Put me in jail for exercising our Constitutional rights? Bring it on! Hope you have fun with the media circus and the ACLU breathing down your necks.

Re:what do you do about searching without a warran (1)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329137)

Fsck that. Someone comes to me from law enforcement or from anywhere in the federal government asking me for copies of e-mails, my first response is going to be "Warrant?".

What are they going to do? Put me in jail for exercising our Constitutional rights? Bring it on! Hope you have fun with the media circus and the ACLU breathing down your necks.
No... Gitmo isn't a jail. It's a detention center for "terrists" and they'd probably say that you were "supporting terrists" and have you made an unperson

Re:what do you do about searching without a warran (1)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329371)

What are they going to do? Put me in jail for exercising our Constitutional rights? Bring it on! Hope you have fun with the media circus and the ACLU breathing down your necks.

Possibly put you in gitmo where you will an ermm.... have an accident, never to be seen again. Just another missing person I suppose.

Re:what do you do about searching without a warran (5, Informative)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329057)

I'm stealing this from training I went to at LISA [sage.org] last year: you tell the LEO (law enforcement officer) politely, but firmly, that as company policy you're happy to help, but all such requests must be directed to the legal department.

The legal dep't will look at it and decide what to do, and then you do it. They know their job, you know yours; they don't make decisions about storage capacity or OS support, and you and I don't make decisions about constitutionality or legality. And if/when you've got the information they're looking for, you pass it back to the lawyers and they hand it over to the LEO.

This covers your ass, your company's ass, and the LEO's ass (assuming you or your friends aren't being socially engineered). Any LEO should be happy to talk to the lawyers.

Now, all that said...I realize that this leaves out questions of conscience. If Mark Klein [wired.com] hadn't had spilled the beans, we'd have been a lot longer finding out about this problem. But as a rule, I think those situations are rare; most law enforcement stuff is <handwave>your garden variety stuff -- robbery, fraud, yadda yadda</handwave> (sorry, no citation to back that up) -- and the odds of being involved in something truly offensive is pretty slim. I hope it stays that way.

Re:what do you do about searching without a warran (1)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329391)

Very good point, Any *Honest* LEO should know to go straight to the legal department anyways.

Due Process.. (4, Insightful)

lionchild (581331) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328579)

There's a reason it takes over 200 hours to assemble what you need to get a wiretap warrant. Due proccess is meant to insure that honest people have privacy preserved, and that the resources we have are being focused on those who really are potentially criminial.

Is it perfect? No, probably not. But it's what we have setup now and short-cutting due process isn't the answer to finding a better way.

Re:Due Process.. (4, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328659)

Indeed. Due process is a concept often forgotten in this day and age, but it was one of the foundations that the United States were founded on. Do things right, or don't do them at all I say.

Re:Due Process.. (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328703)

There's a reason it takes over 200 hours to assemble what you need to get a wiretap warrant. Due proccess is meant to insure that honest people have privacy preserved, and that the resources we have are being focused on those who really are potentially criminial.

The problem is that this isn't being required for prosecuting criminals; it's being required for spying on enemies abroad.

Re:Due Process.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328793)

it's being required for spying on enemies abroad.

Except for the whole 100 Americans part. Which are only abroad if you're claiming that I leave the US when I enter my house, and are only enemies after a trial for treason as explicitly set forth in the Constitution.

Re:Due Process.. (1)

lionchild (581331) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329043)

If the lawsuits that "will bankrupt this [telephone] companies" are filed by enemies abroad, then I suspect that this wouldn't be an issue. However, these lawsuits are being filed by native-born Americans. So, that begs the question: Why are we not following Due Process for a native-born American, if we're only requiring this warrantless wiretap for spying on enemies abroad?

Re:Due Process.. (1)

machinelou (1119861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328707)

I bet the Bush Administration's use of executive privilege is really starting to irk Al Qaeda. I mean, it's got to take what, 600 hours of martyrdom training just to get a single mission pulled off these days? Jeeze..

Am I nuts or has tinfoil really become necessary? (2, Insightful)

bjk002 (757977) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329099)

short-cutting due process isn't the answer to finding a better way.

When did we the people give permission to a company (ANY company), the right to spy on us? IANAL but my god everything I do know about law treats a corporate entity as a person when it comes to political speech, etc... How can one person legally spy on another? Short answer: They CAN'T!!

This is NOT about due process at all, this is about constitutionally protected RIGHTS! Where is the outrage? How can we be sitting here on /. even having this conversation? We should all be in the streets of DC shutting the capitol down until this S**T is resolved. Have we become so comfortable in our lives here in the US that we really just don't care anymore at all?!?

The NID and his cronies can get these warrants retroactively, due process only enters into it after our rights have been violated in the first place. STOP CRYING ABOUT HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR THE WARRANTS! What the **** does that have to do with the color of the sky? I don't care if it takes you 40000000000000 hours to get your warrants, I pay taxes to pay for that. But I guess I'm another nut job who cries every time the wind blows. Fine...

I won't be unreasonable. I'll live with retroactive warrants.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll live with a company of my government's choosing being allowed to conduct surveillance on me without consent or due process.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll pretend I don't notice camera's in every public place, satellites looking down on my every move, and a government funded spy agency directed at its citizenry.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll choose not to remember that my president (or any of his friends) are at any time able to label a citizen as an Enemy Combatant and lock them away without access to the courts.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll shut my mouth while the president is allowed to conduct war againsst anyone he chooses, regardless of intent or purpose, despite the will of the people.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll just swallow my frustrations as my government provides HUGE tax incentives and monies to HIGHLY PROFITABLE companies run by friends of political figures.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll just not pay attention as our government writes more and more laws in an attempt to control behavior and actions of it citizens.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll just ignore that more and more of our citizens are being locked away in prisons for arbitrary crimes and that our prison system has a greater percentage of the population housed within those prisons that any other time in history.

I won't be unreasonable. I'll just look the other way as we round up classes of citizens and non-citizens and place them in camps so as to protect the public.

...

I won't be unreasonable. I'll be quiet as our once great and noble country is thrown away at the behest of those who have managed to dupe the public into believing that they are at all in control of themselves anymore.

I cry for our children and the mess we have ALL made.

Re:Due Process.. (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329231)

200 hours is a looooong time for something like that. FISA needs updating big time.

ECHELON (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328589)

has you by the balls anyway, so it's irrelevant.

My guess.... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328629)

200 hours? I bet he's just simply lieing or uses some bullshit metric.

Re:My guess.... (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328671)

He probably means 200 man-hours, like 20 people working 10 hours. BFD!

Not at all misleading... (1)

kennylogins (1092227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328633)

If I'm not mistaken they can start the tap and apply for the warrant retrocactively within a few days. I'm sure they didn't mean to be deliberately misleading or anything. :/ Par for the course from Faux and our beloved dictators.

Um, wha? (5, Interesting)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328641)

200 hours to get a FISA warrant? No, the FISA system is pretty well documented. If you come to the judge with the right level of evidence, it takes a matter of a pen stroke.

They might be claiming it takes 200 hours to get that level of evidence but that is very misleading. It took less than 14 hours for the FBI investigators persuing Zacarias Moussaoui to apply for his FISA warrant.

Re:Um, wha? (4, Insightful)

OpenGLFan (56206) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328745)

Agreed. They're not doing 200 hours (or even 200 man-hours) of paperwork -- it shouldn't take a Master's Thesis to get a FISA warrant.

In fact, the admission that they have to spend an additional 200 hours gathering evidence is a clear admission of wrongdoing on their part. Our Constitution provides security against arbitrary searches and seizures; if it takes 200 additional hours to gather enough evidence to form a mere suspicion of wrongdoing, then the initial justification for the wiretap must be fairly flimsy.

100 americans denied due process (0, Redundant)

bugi (8479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328649)

Only 100 Americans? That's 100 Americans denied due process, even secret due process.

Re:100 americans denied due process (2, Insightful)

folstaff (853243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328705)

It didn't say 100 Americans. It said 100 people living in this country. They are most probably not citizens and they are not entitled to the same rights as citizens.

Generally, I find fellow citizens are less likely to try to kill us. Cut me off in traffic, sure, destroy the local water plant, no.

Re:100 americans denied due process (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328843)

Darn, I don't know why I keep expecting accuracy from stories posted to slashdot. Grr.

However, even ignoring the rights of non-citizens, I must wonder how many of those "100 people inside the United States" are citizens. Why don't they just say 100 non-citizens if that's what they mean? Do they apply due process, even secret due process, to citizens?

Re:100 americans denied due process (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328847)

First, non-citizens are afforded, or supposed to be afforded, most of the same rights as citizens. For example, you have the right to protection from unlawful search and seizure, you can't be compelled to testify against yourself, etc. Actually, it was only until fairly recently that non-citizens also had the right of habeas corpus. This is required to prevent retaliation from other nations.

Most people confuse being asked to do something with being told to do something. For example, they CANNOT compel you to give fingerprints [as a tourist] to the USA. They just can't. By that same token, entry is NOT A RIGHT for non-citizens/residents, and they can send you packing. But people confuse that with "oh look see, we don't have the 4th amendment here!" Which is just not true.

Second, the unibomber was a citizen. Most neo-nazi, skinhead, kkk, and other violent organizations are also made up of citizens.

Third, stop watching FOX news. Their garbage is spewing out of your brain.

Re:100 americans denied due process (1)

folstaff (853243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329141)

Second, the unibomber was a citizen. Most neo-nazi, skinhead, kkk, and other violent organizations are also made up of citizens.
And what shared trait exists between your examples and islamist extremist? They want to change the US to their world view and are willing to kill people to do it. Because these people are citizens and in the US, we have recourse. The kkk has been sued nearly into oblivion. The unibomber is rotting in jail.

Isn't it reasonable to listen in on someone from a foreign country in the US communicating with known terrorists in the Middle East? How much of that conversation are you willing to miss? If it is your duty to protect US citizens (their lives and privacy), does that change your answers?

Re:100 americans denied due process (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329349)

No it isn't reasonable because you don't create a civilized society by acting uncivilized.

Sure, if you know for a fact that some dude is a terrorist, or deals with people you know for a fact is a terrorist. All go. But if you just think they are ... where does it end? Oh, muslim, must be one of them A-rab terrorist.

More so, how do you want to be treated when you visit other countries? "do unto others as ..." sound familiar?

Anyways, tourists in the states HAVE RIGHTs despite what the local population might think.

Re:100 americans denied due process (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329481)

Yes, non-citizens are generally afforded the same legal protections.

However, as the NSA is not conducting criminal investigations, that is entirely irrelevant. If you think a foreign enemy agent in America shouldn't be spied on without a warrant, you need to stop watching CNN. Their garbage is spewing out of your brain.

Re:100 americans denied due process (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329521)

If you KNOW they are spy, then deport them from the country. The problem is laws like this are used to survey people you "may think might be" enemies.

The "we have to act all tough to defend our lives" is nonsense. You don't see Canada, or most of Europe randomly violating the rights of people, yet I don't even know the last time there was a terrorist attack in Canada, oh maybe the FLQ in the 60s/70s.

And yes, Canada has a "spy agency," but I have yet to read about them violating peoples rights.

Re:100 americans denied due process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328863)

Sure. Put me in jail because I was born in another country.

I know another guy who had a similar idea in the middle of the last century, he just took it a few steps further.

Stop the alarmist bullshit. Not every foreigner is a terrorist, treating them like terrorists doesn't improve matters.

Re:100 americans denied due process (4, Informative)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329227)

It didn't say 100 Americans. It said 100 people living in this country. They are most probably not citizens and they are not entitled to the same rights as citizens.

Generally, I find fellow citizens are less likely to try to kill us. Cut me off in traffic, sure, destroy the local water plant, no.

Funny... I don't remembering anything in the constitution that says that "civil rights are only for citizens" my understanding was that the laws applied equally to everybody in the country, Citizen, visitor, illegal alien.

I find the concept that "They are not entitled to the same rights as citizens" a very common, and disturbing concept.

That being said, there are some very specific rights, that are explicitly awarded to citizens (see the 26th amendment), for example the right to vote. the fact that other rights don't explicitly state that they are for citizens, would very strongly imply that they are for all people in the country

You're claiming this is from experience? (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329311)

How many times has your local water plant been destroyed by non-citizens?

Re:100 americans denied due process (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328765)

Except that it is not 100 Americans, it is less than 100 people in the US. That is a subtle, but important difference. It doesn't necessarily make it right, but it is significantly different than 100 Americans. This topic has enough disagreements on principle, that it is important to get the facts right. That difference that I pointed out makes a difference as to what principles are violated (or not)by this wiretapping. Mis-stating the facts makes it harder to find common ground. Mis-stating the facts also increases the likelihood of people dismissing valid arguments because they no longer trust the person making them to not distort things.

Still using that tired, sad old line? (4, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328657)

Even as he shed new light on the classified operations, McConnell asserted that the current debate in Congress about whether to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will cost American lives because of all the information it revealed to terrorists.

"Part of this is a classified world. The fact that we're doing it this way means that some Americans are going to die," he said.

This is ridiculous. It seems reasonable that shadowy international criminal figures assume that their conversations are being monitored. Presumably they know that they're targets of one of the world's most technologically advanced intelligence agencies. That's not even counting the fact that most recent incidents of terrorism [wikipedia.org] have been homegrown, and as likely to be about abortion [cnn.com] or good ol' anti-government paranoia [wkrn.com] as they are about U.S. support for Israel. [cnn.com] If it's taking you 200 hours to get a warrant, Mike, then perhaps the government could find some wasted money [wikipedia.org] that might be better spent fixing our overburdened legal system.

Every time the courts point out that the Constitution might have some bearing on this administration's actions, the "dead Americans" flag gets waved. Nothing new here.

Re:Still using that tired, sad old line? (0, Troll)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328867)

If it's taking you 200 hours to get a warrant, Mike, then perhaps the government could find some wasted money [wikipedia.org] that might be better spent fixing our overburdened legal system.
I think you misunderstood.

He's not saying the legal system is overburdened. He's saying it requires 200 man hours (8.33 days) to "assemble" the paper work and proof needed to go before a judge and get a warrant.

In other words: it sucks they have to do so much work in the name of due process.

200 hours isn't an excuse to shortcut the Constitution, and unless they're actually going out and doing investigative work as part of those 200 hours, IMO they need to get a consultant to help them streamline their processes. They must have some serious inefficiencies going on.

Re:Still using that tired, sad old line? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329287)

He's not saying the legal system is overburdened. He's saying it requires 200 man hours (8.33 days) to "assemble" the paper work and proof needed to go before a judge and get a warrant.

Ah, I hadn't considered the figure as man-hours. If the guy needs more staff, isn't it his job to get them? I'm sure Congress would have an easier time authorizing more hiring then trashing the Fourth Amendment.

Of course, that assumes they find it difficult to do so in the first place. Oh well.

Re:Still using that tired, sad old line? (2, Interesting)

Richthofen80 (412488) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329273)

This is ridiculous. It seems reasonable that shadowy international criminal figures assume that their conversations are being monitored.

Wait, so because potential terrorists know their conversations are monitored, we shouldn't bother monitoring them? that's a pretty weak argument. Yes, terrorists and their funders/enablers etc code their conversations [counterterrorismblog.org] , but the codes can be cracked. Conspirators and criminals still need to communicate, and it would hurt, not help, an investigation to not monitor them.

During the second world war, each side knew the other was monitoring the communications of the other. but the communications were valuable to the war efforts, so each side eavesdropped, and eventually broke the codes. Just because the Germans or Japanese knew the Allies were intercepting their communications doesn't mean that intercepting them lost any value.

Re:Still using that tired, sad old line? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329685)

Wait, so because potential terrorists know their conversations are monitored, we shouldn't bother monitoring them? that's a pretty weak argument.

That's not my argument at all, so I don't see why it's relevant.

Where, exactly, did I say that we should not be monitoring potential terrorists? There is already a mechanism for doing so (that doesn't fall afoul of the Constitution). We should be using that, and if it's taking Mike McConnell's people too long to do their jobs, then maybe it's time for competent management.

Also, I take issue with McConnell's waving of the "dead Americans" flag. My point is that the terrorists assume their conversations are monitored whether we explicitly state it or not, so accusing Congress of killing Americans by their concern with the monitoring program's constitutionality is...sadly, just more typical rhetorical shitheadedness from this adminstration.

Just because the Germans or Japanese knew the Allies were intercepting their communications doesn't mean that intercepting them lost any value.

That's my assertion as well. Mike McConnell, on the other hand, disagrees with you.

Yeah, I'd suggest they cooperate, too... (1)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328661)

...if I was in his position (National Intelligence Director). Unfortunately, if they promise one thing and then do the opposite, telecos are going to be sued. That's pretty obvious, I should think.

AT&T and Verizon have both been helping the Bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328675)

Gee, like they hindered the previous administrations....

Trustworthy (1)

rocketjam (696072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328689)

You can trust us.

100 current, or 100 total? (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328715)

Is that 100 presently under surveillance? or 100 total who have been under surveillance?

Re:100 current, or 100 total? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329455)

what they meant to say was only 100% of Americans are under surveillance

A few names from the list... (1)

schmaustech (766915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328723)

Here are a few names of those 100 being monitored:

Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Gore, Kerry and Carrot Top.

Police State? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328751)

Any of you morons who constantly whine about fascism get a knock on your door in the middle of the night lately?

Thought so.

But it sure makes your sad, pathetic lives seem more important when you whine and seethe about it.

In a real police state, speaking "truth to power" earns you a trip to a prison, mental institution, or a ditch in an empty field.

Assholes.

Immunity?! (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328757)

He also ... suggests that companies like AT&T and Verizon that "cooperate" with the Administration should be granted immunity from the lawsuits they currently face regarding the issue.

Yes, of course. Putting big business above the law is a tried and tested way to ensure their continued complian^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hgood behaviour and respect for the law.

(My current sig feels particularly appropriate today.)

Separation of Powers (2, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328769)

FTA:

But when the ruling had to be renewed in the spring, another judge saw the operations differently. This judge, who McConnell did not identify, decided that the government needed a warrant to monitor a conversation between foreigners when the signal traveled on a wire in the U.S. communications network.

This is insane. Besides the fact that no sane individual would come to that conclusion, no one but the legislature has the legitimate power to make that decision. The administration has sworn a duty to disregard unconstitutional declarations of judges on this or any other court. If this administration won't stand up to that responsibility, I can't imagine any other administration will in this day and age.

Here We Go Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328775)

A complete Bitch Fest.

What the hell does this have to do with "News for Nerds"?

The unanswered question... (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328819)

Any Bush supporters out there? Ok, asking for a Bush supporter on Slashdot is probably like walking into a Microsoft board meeting and asking how many people run Linux. ;-)

Still, every time this subject comes up, I ask the same series of question and I have yet to get a reply from any Bush supporters (even when there are Bush supporters replying to the topic). The question is: Would you like the next administration to have unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping capabilities? What if the administration was run by Hillary Clinton? Would you trust her to use it properly and not abuse it.

Even if you ignore any current abuses of the system (as I'm sure Bush supporters do) and assume that Bush just has our best interests at heart, you can't say the same about the next administration. Or the one after that. To give any branch of government unchecked power is extremely dangerous. It's not a matter of *will* it be abused, but *when will* it be abused. That's why the Constitution set up 3 houses of power (Congress, President, Courts) and gave them the ability to check each other's power. (e.g. Congress can make a law, President can veto it, Congress can override the veto, Courts can strike it down, Congress can pass it as a Constitutional Amendment.) Unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping is unconstitutional and the only way it's being pushed forward is through major FUD. (Americans *WILL DIE* if you don't let us do whatever we want to do!!!!)

Re:The unanswered question... (1)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329107)

Bingo. I don't like what Bush has done -- but I would not trust anyone, including myself, with that kind of power. I've got my political heroes, but I'd be just as nervous about giving them this ability.

Re:The unanswered question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329173)

Jason asks:

Would you like the next administration to have unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping capabilities?

If it meant that we could capture and kill terrorists who are intent on killing us (i.e. Wahabbanists and their ilk) before they can collect on their 70 virgins - then yes!

What if the administration was run by Hillary Clinton? Would you trust her to use it properly and not abuse it.

I trust the military/CIA/NSA/etc lifers to do the right thing for the country as I've known many during my careeer. In spite of what Kos and others say, the President does not have unlimited power. Bush does not control hurricanes or the economy. Neither will Hillary when she becomes President. The machine can and will drag it's feet when necessary.

But Americans WILL indeed die (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329187)

Only WITH the FISA, they'll get to die of torture/self-inflicted starvation while wearing an orange jumpsuit in Club Gitmo while under "suspicion of terrorism". It's much nicer. I mean, who the hell woudl think that the FOreign Intelligence Suveillance act would need to stay restricted to surveillance of FOREIGN nationals? By the way, War is Peace and we have always been at war with Oceania....

Re:The unanswered question... (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329401)

Any Bush supporters out there? Ok, asking for a Bush supporter on Slashdot is probably like walking into a Microsoft board meeting and asking how many people run Linux. ;-)

Yes, I'm a Bush supporter. Also, Linux sux. ;-)

Still, every time this subject comes up, I ask the same series of question and I have yet to get a reply from any Bush supporters (even when there are Bush supporters replying to the topic). The question is: Would you like the next administration to have unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping capabilities? What if the administration was run by Hillary Clinton? Would you trust her to use it properly and not abuse it.

Yes, the next administration should have "unsupervised" warrant-less wiretapping capabilities of our foreign adversaries. It's a basic constitutional power as commander-in-chief. Would Hillary abuse it? It would probably take her all of 20 minutes to start wiretapping Republican congressmen if she thought she could get away with it. But if she did, someone would hopefully inform on her, and she would get impeached. But the legitimate power to spy on our foreign enemies without involvement of the judiciary is fundamental to the office, and I wouldn't change that, no matter who the president was.

Even if you ignore any current abuses of the system (as I'm sure Bush supporters do) and assume that Bush just has our best interests at heart, you can't say the same about the next administration. Or the one after that. To give any branch of government unchecked power is extremely dangerous. It's not a matter of *will* it be abused, but *when will* it be abused. That's why the Constitution set up 3 houses of power (Congress, President, Courts) and gave them the ability to check each other's power. (e.g. Congress can make a law, President can veto it, Congress can override the veto, Courts can strike it down, Congress can pass it as a Constitutional Amendment.) Unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping is unconstitutional and the only way it's being pushed forward is through major FUD. (Americans *WILL DIE* if you don't let us do whatever we want to do!!!!)

Yes, the checks and balances in the Constitution are essential. But making up new ones that aren't in the Constitution is less constructive. (For example, in what you said, the courts do NOT have the legitimate power to arbitrarily strike down a law.) Besides shared powers, which are many, there are other powers which are isolated within a single branch. One of those is the power to command the military, including military intelligence, which is vested in the president. The check on this power is in the legislature. They established the NSA, the CIA, and the military branches themselves, and the rules under which they operate. In its daily operation, the president has sole command of these operations, including spying operations, but the legislature can yearly adjust funding, as well as modify various regulations which govern these organizations. No where in this balance of power is the judiciary involved. For them to take over any part of this power, or for the legislature to attempt to transfer any of this power to them, is an abuse of the Constitution.

Re:The unanswered question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329587)

Good lord do you need a civics class. Just because lil' bush and lil' rove say it's true doesn't make it so.

Re:The unanswered question... (1)

workindev (607574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329695)

The question is: Would you like the next administration to have unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping capabilities? What if the administration was run by Hillary Clinton? Would you trust her to use it properly and not abuse it.

Absolutely. While I may fundamentally disagree with Hillary Clinton (along with most of the other Democratic contenders), I do believe that she had good intentions and wants the best for the country. I don't think she would abuse it, just as I don't think that the Bush administration is abusing it.

Even if you ignore any current abuses of the system (as I'm sure Bush supporters do) and assume that Bush just has our best interests at heart, you can't say the same about the next administration. Or the one after that. To give any branch of government unchecked power is extremely dangerous. It's not a matter of *will* it be abused, but *when will* it be abused. That's why the Constitution set up 3 houses of power (Congress, President, Courts) and gave them the ability to check each other's power. (e.g. Congress can make a law, President can veto it, Congress can override the veto, Courts can strike it down, Congress can pass it as a Constitutional Amendment.) Unsupervised warrant-less wiretapping is unconstitutional and the only way it's being pushed forward is through major FUD. (Americans *WILL DIE* if you don't let us do whatever we want to do!!!!)

I think you are seriously mis-characterizing the policies of the Bush administration. Nobody has given the Executive Branch "unchecked power", and the Bush administration hasn't asked for it. The so-called "warrantless wiretap program" came with the blessing of both Judiciary committees in the legislature, and is subject to regular review by those committees. Even the FISA court agreed to let the program continue. There is nothing "unchecked" about this, so not only would I be comfortable with future administrations conducting these kinds of searches, I sincerely hope that they do.

Understandable Misunderstanding (4, Insightful)

Spamsonite (154239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328839)

There is understandably a tremendous amount of misunderstanding by the American people about how collection targets are designated, and there is a large body of law that governs how the process must take place. While it is true that almost any transmission of data, voice or otherwise, through this country can be monitored, the sheer scale of daily communications quickly renders random sampling useless. Call records are not call recordings - can you imagine just how much storage would be required to save for posterity the billion or so phone conversations that happen each day in this country? Even running a simple query on a database containing recent activity (not the conversation, just the fact that a call happened) can take hours. It is simply not done, both for time and practicality reasons - and because collecting on a non-designated target is very highly illegal.

Every intel collector and analyst is trained from day one in the law, whether they be military or civilian. They can all quote the name and contents of the document that governs the ways the NSA and our government may designate intel targets both within and without our own borders. Anyone who collects on a target that has not been sanctioned from on-high, even if it is his or her own phone number, is on a fast track to prison.

The targets that are being monitored within our own borders are so because the trail from overseas led back here. Known terrorists, affiliates, fund raisers, materials providers, etc., made calls to people here in the USA, or people in the USA called them. The foreign phone would already be under surveillance, and of course the connection to the USA should raise questions for any sane law enforcement agency. The law provides for monitoring US citizens in this and other very narrowly-defined cases, though they must still be officially designated as targets, which is not a simple process. Even the warrantless taps only give a day or so of leeway, the government must prove in a hurry that they really need to be listening in or all data must be purged.

And perhaps the most important reason that you can go through your day without worrying if someone is listening in to you asking your Aunt Bea to bring her special blueberry pie to the family reunion is that analysts are Americans and have Aunt Bea's too, and they have the same expectation of privacy that you have. If they participate in a big-brother system that monitors our populace at a whim, then it's only a matter of time before that system grows and starts to eat its own.

The intel community is a very paranoid place - both about what others are doing, but incredibly more so about that activities of its own members.

wHY ADMIT? (4, Interesting)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328883)

Do you think the NID just let this slip? Of course not. He's whining and preparing an excuse for the next missed intelligence.


The fundamental problem is that civil liberties are barely permit after-the-fact punishment of criminals. Many get off because their liberties were violated. That's OK, because the criminal justice system doesn't need to convict everyone, it just needs to act as a deterrent.


Using the criminal justice system to prevent wrongdoing [terrorism] is not what it was designed to do. Preventative vs investigative. Airtight vs failure-tolerant. It requires unusual actions and far greater intrusion into liberties (esp privacy). Some [frightened] people are willing to sacrifice others liberties (and perhaps their own). Others are not. A fundamental conflict between different people. Politicians can exploit this and choose whichever side they wish.


Personally, I will not give in to the terrorists. I will not become fearful.

Re:wHY ADMIT? (1)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329307)

Man, I wish I had mod points... I think that is the most insightful comment I've seen in the entire debate about the "war on terror", and the subsequent erosion of civil liberties.

You last sentence is the root of the whole issue:

Personally, I will not give in to the terrorists. I will not become fearful.
I think you've hit the nail right on the head... and I think I just found a great slogan for a protest sign (and a new .sig)

The Key: Under FISA warrants (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20328897)

He said spying on 100 people under FISA warrants. The issue is those they are spying on without a warrant. The issue is the dragnet style data collection they use.

A simple lesson needs to be taught (4, Insightful)

kwandar (733439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20328989)

... put their executives in jail. I wouldn't stand by and acquiesce to illegal activities, why should they be allowed to, irrespective of who asked?

Illegal surveillance of Americans (2, Insightful)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329007)

Who are these Americans that are under surveillance? What a load of crap. No America citizen should be under surveillance by the government unless they got these people on film building bombs or something or records proving they plan to commit terrorist acts.
Nixon pulled this when he was in office. Misusing the FBI and CIA to spy on Americans who did not agree with the Republican party.
I cannot say the Democrats are any better. Clinton used the IRS to harass those he hated as well.
I said it before and I will say it again...if I get one of those National Security Letters, it will be posted right here on slashdot.org and I will take out an Ad in the local paper, get it on dailykos.com, anyone who'll take it. I ain't afraid of these Republican/Christian government fucks.

HEEEELLLLLLL NO! (5, Insightful)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329049)

suggests that companies like AT&T and Verizon that "cooperate" with the Administration should be granted immunity from the lawsuits they currently face regarding the issue."
If a company illegally gives information (hypothetically about me) to the government, as part of an illegal plan. Not only should I be able to sue their pants off (to the point where I can pay not only for my kids' college education through to 5 PHDs, but also afford to pay to have an OC-3 line run right to my house) but they should be brought up on criminal charges.

Enough already with this "You so something bad for us and you're safe" bit.

Soap (check) -> Ballot (Check) -> Jury (Forbidden by Law) -> Ammo?

I'm not one to advocate for violence, but ya'know... when you have eliminated the impossible (or ineffective in this case) whatever remains...

this makes me mad

Re:HEEEELLLLLLL NO! (2, Interesting)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329533)

If a company illegally gives information (hypothetically about me) to the government, as part of an illegal plan. Not only should I be able to sue their pants off (to the point where I can pay not only for my kids' college education through to 5 PHDs, but also afford to pay to have an OC-3 line run right to my house) but they should be brought up on criminal charges.

Based on what damages? I'm just curious. If you found out that AT&T helped the NSA listen to your phone calls, would that cause you $1 million in emotional damage or something?

Immunity ? Why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329067)

Maybe I'm mis-understanding something here, but why do those TelCos need immunity in the first place ?

If there is nothing wrong with their cooporation to the requests of the "Bush Administration" or other gouverment agencies they have got no nothing to worry about (Hmm .. where have I heard that line before ... :-) )

But if they actually are performing an illegal act by their cooperation than they should be punished just like any other citizen who would do anything of the same.

Mind you : those TelCos are one of the last lines of defence to our privacy/right not to be harassed, and they should take that responsibility very serious.

To add it all up this indemnification looks to be nothing more than a way to get TelCos to agree much faster to even clearly illegal requests, as they than have nothing to fear anymore.

Purjury or Aid & comfort?.... (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329267)

The NID & his cronies have layed down a lot of depositions & testemony in court where they've claimed that confirming/denying these allegations would aid terrorists. So do we get to charge them with purjury since the NID just confirmed it within a week of spouting the line in court, or do we get to send the NID to Gitmo for aiding terrorists?

How sad some of you are (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329299)

The ones that think that this is ok disgust me. You say we must prevent the next attack, we must save innocent lives. News flash for you we are all going to die. Another news flash for you in America you are thousands of times more likely to kill yourself because of your poor eating, poor lifestyle, no exercise habits then you are by a terrorist.

Yet we will sacrifice your rights and others to be protected from the slim chance of dying via terrorist but if anyone then wants to stop you from eating bad, banning smoking, forcing you to exercise you will scream bloody murder.

Why will you give up your basic fundamental rights to "feel protected from the bad guys" with barely a chance of it every happening but will kick and scream if we want to remove the cigarette and big mac from peoples mouth that kills 1+ million a year?

Re:How sad some of you are (1)

knewter (62953) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329715)

Because fuck you, it's my big mac.

Amendment IV (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329329)

Amendment IV [cornell.edu]
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Big Brother immunity clause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20329693)

"suggests that companies like AT&T and Verizon that "cooperate" with the Administration should be granted immunity from the lawsuits they currently face regarding the issue."


Actually, no. Either the [government] activity is legal or not, no need for special protection. If a telco is worried about lawsuits, I'd suggest challenging the legality/grounds for the cooperation request, or face the music. The government, the telco, and the general population are equally bound by the same laws. In theory anyway.

A nice fat Big Brother immunity clause would be convenient though. "Ummm, no officer, I didn't actually break into the car, a guy with an official badge asked me to search it for him." It''s not difficult to see how that could get out of hand.

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