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More Details Emerge On Domestic Spying Programs

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the government-and-business-a-sittin'-in-a-tree dept.

Privacy 282

The feed brings us this NYTimes story giving new details on the telecom carriers' cooperation with secret NSA (and other) domestic spying programs. One revelation is that the Drug Enforcement Agency has been running a program since the 1990s to collect the phone records of calls from US citizens to Latin America in order to catch narcotics traffickers. Another revelation is what exactly the NSA asked for in 2001 that Qwest balked at supplying. According to the article, it was access to the company's most localized communications switches, which primarily carry domestic calls.

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282 comments

So what? This is old news! (0, Troll)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713278)

There, I saved some apologist troll from the trouble of posting a disingenuous, dismissive post treating more damning evidence of this administration's march toward a police state.

Re:So what? This is old news! (4, Insightful)

supervillainsf (820395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713464)

Didn't we have a different administration for most of the 1990's? I am pretty sure that Slick Willie was in the White House from 93 until the end of 2000. While I understand your comment, I think that as a group that is of the opinion that we are smarter than the masses, we really need to stop buying into the Democrat/Republican B.S. and remember that the vast majority of politicians, regardless of of party, are crooks, liars and cheats who hold the interests of their constituents fairly low on their list of priorities. Obviously that excludes election time, and then it's just a matter of how much crap they can shove down our throats to get reelected.

Re:So what? This is old news! (1)

SpaceWanderer (1181589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713508)

The Clinton administration was just as evil. Anybody remember the Clipper Chip?

False equivalence (4, Insightful)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713586)

Yes, I remember the Clipper Chip. Essentially, a government-supplied encryption scheme with a backdoor that a law enforcement agency could get a court order to take advantage of.

I find it difficult to compare that egregious bit of stupidity -- which was proposed and thoroughly shot to pieces in full public view -- with this secretive, shadowy, unaccountable program.

Re:False equivalence (2, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713822)

1. Skip obtaining court order.
2. ???
3. Profit!!!

Re:False equivalence (2, Interesting)

supervillainsf (820395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713890)

Public snafu's aside, the point being, since either Bush Sr. approved the DEA program and Clinton allowed it to continue or Clinton approved it, that our previous administration had some secretive, shadowy, unaccountable programs that bare a striking resemblance to the secretive, shadowy, unaccountable programs of the current administration. So while preemptively Old News-ing any Bush apologists it also seems that there might be some Democrat apologists that need to reevaluate the overall current state of our politics and politicians as well. This seems to me to be a much better course of action than our current system of voting for the lesser of two evils because the 3rd parties are viable and if you waster your vote on some green, the guy you really don't want to gain office might do just that.

Re:So what? This is old news! (2, Funny)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714022)

Well, I remember Clippy, and even arguing the free market and all, any administration that doesn't interfere with that damnable mascot being burned on millions of CDs did something wrong.

What part of "1990s" do you not understand? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713550)

Gee, where's your faux outrage now?

Re:What part of "1990s" do you not understand? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713816)

So . . .

I sat naked on the bench in the health club locker room, staring at the tiles on the floor between my feet, but really looking at nothing. I was waiting for Jamal to decide to come up and talk to me. He was this muscular teenage nigger who frequented the club and had ruined my life in the last few weeks. I was ordered to sit naked on the bench without a towel or anything to cover my nakedness. I had to keep my legs spread and my cock and balls visible for the anyone In the locker room who wanted a look. I knew instantly that it had been a mistake to sign up at the inner city health club which was eighty percent black, but It was near my house and cheap which was even more important.

The harassment had started on my first visit. Dark skinned, muscular black boys bouncing around the locker room with their huge dicks and pendulous sacks of balls swinging, high fiving each other and laughing and rapping, and there I was, this moderately built white guy of thirty two.

I will never forget coming back from the shower and one chocolate skinned thug of about eighteen let out a "weeeeeeeow" kind of sound and then said very loudly to me, loudly enough for all his pals to hear, "White man, how the hell can you fuck wit such a small dick?" They all roared with laughter and I turned bright red. Before I left that first time, I med Jamal. He eased up to me while I was packing my gym bag. He is one good looking darkie, I will say that for him. He flashed me a big white toothed smile and said he hoped I wasn't thinking of quitting the club. He said he was friends with the manager and they had my address and shit, and it would be really unfortunate if I decided to quit. Then he laid one large basketball player sized hand on my shoulder and said that he would see me at the same time the next day.

Well, that's how it started. It got worse each time I went to the club. Jamal and the other niggers got me to get towels for them, had me scrub their backs in the shower, even made me pick their dirty stinking jock straps up off the floor. They sent their filthy jocks and socks home with me to wash for them.

Now let me state here once and for all, that I am in no way at all gay. I don't think I ever even had a gay thought. So all of this really repulsed me. They would brush up against me so their big fat black dicks rubbed my body. They would make constant jokes about me being a faggot.

So I had it out with Jamal. I told him I was a single parent with a thirteen year old daughter and in no way gay, and I wanted to quit the club. That mention of my daughter was the biggest mistake of my life. Jamal demanded to see a photo of her. Her name is Crissy. After that, all they talked about was "Crissy the Cunt" in the locker room.

"Some fourteen year old school boy probably shoving his dick in her right now while you is at da club." They would say things like that. Jamal would ask, "Do you suppose she had ever sucked black dick?" I told them she was totally innocent, and they should keep their foul mouths to themselves. They beat the shit out of me.

I didn't go to the club for a week. All the windows were broken on my car, and my newspaper was stolen, and somebody pissed all over our door. I received a package at work, and when I opened it, there was a pile of shit in a box. I was going nuts with anguish. I thought of going to the police, but I knew I would face even worse if I did. So I went back to the club. That was two months ago. A lot had happened in those two months.

Now I sat waiting for Jamal to speak with me. He walked up, stark naked. The first thing I saw were his huge brown feet next to me. I looked up at his long muscular legs. How could I miss the seven inch flaccid dick, thick as a flashlight and the ball sack that looked like it had oranges in it. It was fucking obscene. His stomach was hard and tight. His ass was one of those round tight nigger bubble butts. His chest well defined with large nipples. He had a killer smile, thick nigger lips, and dark flashing eyes that often looked drugged. He had only recently gotten out of reform school for molesting a girl on the playground.

"So, my man, how's that little dick of yours hangin'?"

I spread my legs wider so he could see my pathetic shriveled white prick and small ball sack. If I didn't keep myself on display for them at all times, they would have a wet towel snapping session where my scrotum was the target. It hurt like hell and was totally humiliating.

"So, bro, is everything set up for tomorrow?" He stood close to me...so close that his huge flaccid hunk of fuck meat brushed my shoulder. His dick was so huge, it was just fucking obscene, and that was in its flaccid state. He had not showered yet, and his body reeked of the nigger stink of his workout.

"Please. Please don't do this. I know I agreed, but that was after you had beaten me almost senseless. Please, isn't there some other way?"

He lifted one leg and put his foot on the bench next to me. His gigantic balls swung back and forth in their fleshy sack.

"Dere is no other fucking way, man. You don't wanna even think of what we gonna do to you next time you disobeys us. Dere is no other way. Now it so happens dat I needs me a new girlfriend, and your pretty little daughter fills da bill."

I felt my stomach turn over. I tried to relax, to breath deeply, but I felt like I was choking. This teenage nigger thug was talking about my daughter. My little Crissy. My thirteen year old angel. He had announced to me that he wanted her to become his girlfriend! Jesus Christ!

At first I had bluntly refused, letting my anger and disgust show. All the niggers in the club gathered around me, about fifteen of them, and Jamal announced that I was racially prejudiced and didn't want him dating his white daughter. They started to slap and punch me.

"It's not that. Honest to God, I swear, it's not that you are black. It's that she is only thirteen. She's my innocent baby!"

Jamal roared with laughter. "Any bitch of thirteen is totally ready for dick! She probably sucking da boys at school every day anyway by now." He looked at the photo of her which he had taken from me. "Yeah, she got real cocksucker lips, she shore do!"

"Oh God no, she's just a baby." I was crying in front of all of them.

"No, daddy, you gots it wrong. She is a babe...not a baby. Dat pretty little pussy is ready for some nigger popping!" Half the niggers surrounding me were getting hard ons, and I don't there there was one under eight and a half inches.

For weeks I had argued, begged, pleaded, tried to bargain with Jamal, but he only wanted one thing. My daughter's virgin pussy. Once I stood up to them and told them I would go to the police. They had dragged me naked and screaming into the health club bathroom and forced me to eat turds out of the toilet bowl. I was sick for two days. The next time I went to the club, Jamal had made me suck his dick. That was the first time I saw it erect. Over twelve inches of throbbing leaking nigger cock. I had a panic attack and literally tried to run out of the club. They held me down on a bench and Jamal fed me his black fuck meat. His balls almost suffocated me. His dick choked me. He even made me suck his ass. What could I do? I agreed to let them have my daughter. I know, I am an awful man. A sinner. It is unforgivable, but I am scared out of my wits.

"So, tomorrow, I comes over to yo house dressed up real good. You introduce me to yo bitch daughter. Now when I sees her, dis is how I wants her dressed. A very tight tee shirt dat says printed on it, "I Love Nigga Dick!" She will wear no bra under it so I can see the tips of her budding little titties through the material. Den she is to wear her nice pleated cheer leader skirt like in da photo, only I don want her to wear no panties under it. From now on, yo daughter is forbidden to ever wear any panties. We want dat fresh young cunt and ass ready and available at all times. I want you to have some really top drawer booze at yo house ready for me. I am not sure what I will want, so you better have enough to satisfy me, whatever my taste might be. Who da fuck knows, I may want a cosmo, or maybe some of dat Louis XIII Brandy dat costs three hundred dollars. You better have it all. After I has a drink, you pretty little bitch and I gonna sit on da couch and get acquainted. Dat means you as da daddy get to watch me finger her cunt and play wit her titties. You gets to see her meet my big fat old dick and even lick and suck it a little. I always insists on sex on da first date, cause how else you know how a bitch perform, right? Shit, I insist on sex on every date. I mean dat is da only reason for da fucking date..to plow some pussy! Right? Otherwise I'd rather hang wit da home boys. Now she gonna be a little uptight and scared at firs...right? Specially when she see my dick and she know dat huge motherfucker is gonna plow her virgin twat! Oh yea, if she got any hair on her cunt yet, you make sure she shave it all off before tomorrow. I wanna see bald thirteen year old pussy."

While he said all of this to me at the health club, his dick got thicker and thicker and long strings of pre-fuck started to hang from the fat pisshole.

"Please don't hurt her...please." I was shaking in my naked agony.

"Hurt her? No why the fuck would I hurt my new girlfriend? I gonna love her. I gonna show her da pleasures of lovemaking. Shore, it gonna hurt a little da first time I ram my twelve and a half inch motherfucking dick balls deep into her tight little teenage pussy. Shore it gonna hurt when I pounds her as hard as I can, and den pull out and shove it as hard as I can up her little asshole. Shore dat gonna hurt a little, but dat is jus' part of growin' up. A her daddy, you understand dat. Right? Better to hab some nice boy like me who wants her for his girlfriend fucking her, den every boy at school who don't give a shit about her.

"Now don't you worry, I gonna take her into the bedroom to fuck her cunt and ass. I think dat is private. I mean, you can watch da first time she suck my balls and lick my dick and such. But fucking is between a guy and his girlfriend. I wants you dere at the start...at the sucking part, cause she is gonna be scared like I say, and you can calm her. Tell her it is a natural part of life, and she just gotta learn to please a man. She, she shoulda learned dat couple of years ago already. She is a late bloomer.

Now I am gonna want to use her bedroom for da first fuck,cause I wants to fuck her little bitch body in her teenage bed, wit all her teenage shit around. It will be so hot. But den, I is moving into your master bedroom. You can sleep on da couch. I wants a nice big bed and luxury for future fucks. I gotta fuck at least three times a day, usually more. Now of course I still going to be bangin' other cunt, but I will fuck your daughter regularly cause she is my number one girlfriend. My special bitch. I ain't gonna introduce her to my bros until after I fuck her for a week or so. Den when she broken in, I gonna share her with all da boys from dis here health club. Dere about twenty of us here as you know, so she gonna be pretty busy sucking nigga dick and getting ass and cunt fucked. We gonna do mos' of it over at yo house. You have lots of food dere at all times fo my brothers when dey comes over to fuck your daughter. Since she be fucking most every day all day and night from now on, I suggest you apply to home school her. Dat way, she don't even need to think about school and she can concentrate on nigga cock all da time."

"Please, please use condoms...." I had tears running down my face.

Jamal roared with laughter. "Condoms? Shit...no. We never use condoms. It ruins da fuck. Dat little bitch gonna be pregnant in a couple of weeks at mos'. You gonna be da grand daddy of a nigga chile! And who knows. She young. If she stay tight enough and cute enough, maybe we fuck her for three or four years, you know, pass her around, pimp her out. Shit, she still young enough. She could hab five or six nigga babies! We don' allow no abortions. She gonna breed. Now my brothers and daddy be comin' over lots to fuck her too, so you better have lots of keys to yo house made, or jus' leave the fucking place unlocked. She don't leave da house without permission. I would hate it for both of you if some black bro comes over for a good hard fuck, and she not dere! Now I know you worried about her. Don' be. After a few days of getting nigga dick, she gonna love it so much, dat all she gonna live for. I seen it in young white bitches lots of times. Someday she gonna thank you for all dis. I mean how many girls her age so lucky to get ten to fifteen black cocks a day? Long as her pussy and asshole hold up, she be happy. One thing, she gonna hab to be a really good cocksucker, cause One thig is dat when da boys in my hood meet up wit guys from other gangs...we got dis thing. We hab our girlfriends suck da cocks of all da members of the other gangs, as kind of a peace signal, you know, a sign dat we is kewl and everything is okay. So she gonna pretty much hab a dick in her mouth twenty-four seven for da next few months. She gonna be sucking on nigga dick even when she getting fucked by my bros. Dis house gonna be pretty packed full of black boys! Now, after a bitch has sucked fifteen to twenty dicks a day, she often get a real tired jaw and swollen lips and a sore tongue, so you gonna have to tell her no matter how tired she get, da last dick of da day she suck, gets jus' as good a suck as da first one in da morning. You gotta make sue she understand that. I can't have no bad reports from rival gangs dat my bitch can't suck!

Now we gots one more problem. Da little bitch gonna be so busy getting fucked and sucking dick, she ain't gonna hab no proper time to clean up da dicks after dey fuck her cunt and ass! You know it da bitch's job to clean a dick wit her mouth after a brother fuck her. I mean, you can't expect a brother to walk around wit pussy slime or ass juice on his dick. But she gonna be so busy, she ain't always gonna hab time to clean up, so you my friend is going to have to step up to da plate to help her. You gonna be the official dick cleaner. You gonna lick and suck da dicks clean after dey fuck yo bitch of a daughter. I want you naked on you hands and knees at all times around da house, ready to lick and suck dick clean. And you gonna do a fine job too, I just know it. You get all dat stink off da cock. Maybe you can entertain da brothers waiting next in line to fuck yo daughter too by lickig dere balls and assholes. I never thought of dat until just now. Hot damn, dat is a good idea, ain't it? So dey don't get bored while dey waitin. And den, to keep your daughter fresh and tight, after every three or four fucks, you gonna crawl in and suck the nigga cum right outta her pussy and asshole. Think how great dat is. You gonna get to suck some thirteen year old pussy and asshole! How lucky is dat? You gonna clean out her cunt real good with yo tongue so it is ready for da next nigga.

We gonna be da happiest family you ever seen! Now come on, white boy, suck my dick, can't you see it dripping all over da floor?"

I put my mouth over the head of the huge leaking hunk of fuckmeat, and resigned myself and my daughter to our new destiny.

Re:What part of "1990s" do you not understand? (2, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714050)

Gee, where's your faux outrage now?

There's plenty of outrage to go around. Don't break this into red vs. blue BS. What part of "2001" don't you understand?

Support the constitution and the 4th Amendment no matter what year it is, and no matter what party is currently in "control".

Re:What part of "1990s" do you not understand? (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714262)

Well, there needs to be a little red verses blue. When news of this first happened Bush claimed there was nothing wrong with it and that the previous administration had done the same. Of course that was adamantly denied while at the same time that same administration or elements of the former Clinton administration fueled the outrage over the programs.

A good majority of why America is pissed about this is because the people who denied doing it. It is only fair that the american public knows that portions of their outrage was a direct manipulation by people just as guilty if not more so. There actually is something to be said about a something that has been done before and not declared illegal. It directly gives other people who know about it the impression that it is legal. But that isn't the point.

The point is that a good majority of people were nothing but tools for certain people to gain some political advantage. Not only were they manipulative, but they lied in th process of doing the same. How can you trust the rest of the stuff they are claiming you should be outraged over? And I think the biggest shame of it all is the fact that people aren't legitimately outraged by these things on their own without lies and manipulations from one side attempting to gain a political advantage. Who in the two party system is actually the lessor of two evils?

NYT Sob Story was Better than Yours. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713684)

FTFA:

Two decades ago, telephone calls and other communications traveled mostly through the air, relayed along microwave towers or bounced off satellites. The N.S.A. could vacuum up phone, fax and data traffic merely by erecting its own satellite dishes. But the fiber optics revolution has sent more and more international communications by land and undersea cable, forcing the agency to seek company cooperation to get access.

Not without a wiretap warrent, I hope. It's amazing what kind of cooperation a warrent will still get. So, this is a nice excuse if you don't think about it very long.

Secure communications are not just a Constitutionally protected right, they are a prerequisite for business.

Re:NYT Sob Story was Better than Yours. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713742)

I love your sig. Nothing screams "I'm an annoying zealot" like that dollar sign.

Re:NYT Sob Story was Better than Yours. (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714064)

I think you're missing the cleverness of it. The dollar sign looks just like an S with a line through it. The insult is custom-tailored to Microsoft, being one of very few corporations that not only likes money, but also has an S in its name.

"to Latin America" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21714310)

That's NOT domestic, unless I missed the news about annexing all of Latin America.

yeah (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713282)

One revelation is that the Drug Enforcement Agency has been running a program since the 1990s to collect the phone records of calls from US citizens to Latin America in order to catch narcotics traffickers.

...thereby winning the war on drugs once and for all. ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Re:yeah (2, Informative)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713366)

100's of pounds of reefer madness just entered the US from Canada while you wrote your message.

Re:yeah (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714080)

Proving the GP's point. If there are that many fans of anti-weed propaganda, mission accomplished ;)

Re:yeah (3, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713732)

There are no drugs in this country. Anyone who tells you any different is lying. The War on Drugs was won in 1998 after a long, determined effort on the part of various federal and state agencies. If you persist in spreading rumors of the existence of illicit substances in this country, you will be asked to report to your local Reeducation Center for instruction. Thank you!

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21714222)

I know your just joking but during the late 90s cocaine use in North America plummeted along with violence as well.

While I believe some drugs should be legal (Cannabis, Heroin, LSD, etc) I think some should still stay illegal and be completely eradicated like cocaine which can cause major problems within a society.

 

Criminals aren't home users (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713304)

Of course they balked at being asked for access to the home records,

Criminal gangs, cartels and organisations are not individual customers and must have a business account with the phone company.

Re:Criminals aren't home users (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713580)

Why would a gang lease business lines? Do you think they would be running a PBX and stuff?

Hello, this is the Bloods' central Orlando office. How may I direct your call? ;)

Re:Criminals aren't home users (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713738)

Gang members, and political opponents, work in offices with PBX's.

Re:Criminals aren't home users (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714200)

Are you talking about mafia? When I think of "gangs," I don't think of a particularly large organization. Maybe I don't understand what you are talking about...

Re:Criminals aren't home users (4, Funny)

Tore S B (711705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713914)

Why, oh WHY wasn't this modded "Funny"? "INSIGHTFUL"?! Ironically, I feel compelled to yell "GET SERIOUS!"
I can just picture the conversation at the local drug cartel:

A cartel boss hangs up his cellphone after ordering the murder of several interfering policemen.
Boss: We need a phone line for our new location
Henchman: Sure thing, boss. Which fake name should I register it under?
Boss: ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY MAD!? THAT IS A VIOLATION OF THE TERMS OF SERVICE! Murder, fine, extortion, fine, but VIOLATING TELEPHONE COMPANY TERMS OF SERVICE AGREEMENTS!? We're not IDIOTS here! THIS IS A BUSINESS, and we have to REGISTER AS SUCH!

frost frost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713308)

frost ? post?

In Communist America.. (5, Insightful)

delire (809063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713364)

Of course if this were a story about Government abuse of civil liberties in China, as applied to privacy, people would be decrying it as immaculate example of that failed, corruptible political system we call Communism. In America it just defers to "Well what have you got to hide, bad guy?"

Describing America in the context of Democracy becomes increasingly difficult.

Re:In Communist America.. (4, Insightful)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713474)

A democracy (ideally) follows the will of the majority. America is afraid. They are willing to trade liberty for security. Don't get me wrong, I still have high hopes for the next POTUS. But if the people do not change their mind and keep thinking that the mini-mall in a sleepy rural Oklahoman town is a "potential-terrorist-target", the terrorists have already won.

Re:In Communist America.. (2, Informative)

Beastmouth (1144447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713678)

A democracy does not ideally follow the will of the majority. Ideally, it follows the law. The Constitution of the United States is set up to protect the rights of the minority, as are the rules of the American gov't. Don't conflate the will of the people with what you hear from the speaker on your television.

Re:In Communist America.. (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713876)

That's not a democracy you're describing.. it's a constitutional republic. Which, ya know, is probably a heck of a lot better than a pure democracy, but seeing as the majority of Americans don't even know the difference between the two, what hope is there?

Re:In Communist America.. (2, Informative)

zuddha (1109433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713796)

While it's very likely that you mentioned Oklahoma simply for its redneck stereotype, I just wanted to point out that there actually is a sizable air force base [wikipedia.org] in Midwest City. Nobody really thinks that Jenks or Kellyville are "potential targets".

Re:In Communist America.. (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714058)

Don't forget that Oklahoma has already been a terrorist target [wikipedia.org] . We can cut them a little slack for being a bit more jumpy than everyone else. Al Qaeda might not give a rat's about hitting anything in Oklahoma, but it might not be so lucky from the next nice Christian veteran boy.

Re:In Communist America.. (2, Interesting)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714108)

I second that. I've been in this country for two weeks and it seems that the homegrown lunatics outnumber the foreign lunatics by a factor of approximately infinity. The mall in Omaha, both churches in Denver, that teenager in Las Vegas... My sample size is growing disturbingly fast. Sure, they haven't hijacked any planes, but if the goal is terror, then all it takes is one of the above crazies opening up in a mall/church/bus stop.

Re:In Communist America.. (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714302)

What it comes down to is that anyone with a strong (well fanatical) belief in a given cause, be it religious, political or a combination is potentially a threat.

The problem is its hard to find a unique brand (for want of a better word) that can be used to lump them all together, a brand that is both visible without having to strike up a conversation with a member of a group and also significantly different from the societal norm. Domestic terrorists generally don't have this common brand (their main common trait is the commission of violent acts). They have many aims, some of which may be supported in some way by sections of society (anti-abortionist groups for example) and are of varying backgrounds, hold different religions and political beliefs and can be of any race or ethnicity, worst of all some of them are contradictory. So domestic terrorists are hard to label and hold up as a single unified evil.

Islamic/International terror groups however are significantly different from normal American citizens, they hold views that are not shared by any significant portion of US society (although I'm sure that in general some (or even many) Americans would agree with some of their aims if they were sufficiently aware of them, and if their methods were not violent). They can be linked together and can be pointed at as a cohesive group (Al-Qa'ida, Al-Qa'ida sympathisers, a branch of Al-Qa'ida, Al-Qa'ida affiliated etc..) even if they are not. It is much easier to sell a threat if it comes from a world wide, well organised, well funded, shadowy group with a single name and generally a single ethnicity.

So if you accept that, it is possible to write off domestic acts of terror as criminal whilst Islamic/International terrorism can be portrayed as warfare and as such Islamic terror can be fought and defeated by war (The War Against Terror). In reality steps should be taken to mitigate both, as both potentially pose a threat although those steps should be proportional and balanced so that you are not stripping the rights and privileges of citizens in the name of protecting them.

In short, its easier to get people worried about potential attacks by Islamic/International terrorists and get their support for counter terror legislation that is beneficial to the state, but detrimental to the populace. It is also easier to show that the policies in place are a success and so justify continued measures, after all there have been no attacks since 11 September 2001. It is much harder to prevent domestic terror attacks (which is probably impossible in the US given the diversity of the US population and level of access to firearms and ) and have to explain why attacks are still occurring.

I am not saying that Islamic/International terrorists are not a threat, or that domestic terrorism is a massive threat, but I would suggest that there are more effective methods of dealing with both than declaring war on one but not the other.

Re:In Communist America.. (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713912)

But if the people do not change their mind and keep thinking that the mini-mall in a sleepy rural Oklahoman town is a "potential-terrorist-target", the terrorists have already won.

They aren't going to. Just talk with any shit kicker in Peachtree Mall in Columbus, GA.

These people live their lives in irrational fear. Many are still afraid that the Russians are going to come and take their bibles away.

Re:In Communist America.. (3, Insightful)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713534)

It isn't fascism when we do it.
Remember it.
Make it your mantra.
Keeping repeating it enough and maybe it'll be true but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Re:In Communist America.. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713706)

There is no virtue in telling anyone what to do. The very act means that they must have lacked some supposed virtue in the first place. Democracy is not the most-bestest form of government, it is the least offensive form of government(apologies to Sir Winston Churchill who said it better - "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.").

Describing The United States of America in terms of freedom still works pretty well, but man, people sure don't seem to care that much. I mean, do people really consider it a victory every time a law gets passed? I'm not some psychotic ultra-libertarian, but the whole 'as little government as is necessary' thing seems like a pretty good idea.

Re:In Communist America.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713950)

Imagine a group of psychotics deciding how to run a prison:

  • No matter how much you dislike it, might makes right.
  • We could have a gang war every time we want to decide something but wars are so damn devastating.
  • It's simply more efficient to ask each gang leader whether or not they are willing to go to war over a particular issue, then calculate who would most likely win the war. It will likely be whichever side of temporary allies is bigger.
  • Some gangs are bigger than others so they should get more votes to reflect their ability to win a war unaided.


All of this is designed to avoid bloodshed. If it is perfectly run then the result will be a peaceful prison.

As it turns out, this is pretty much how the UN works.

Support your local EFF (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713376)

A hearty "Hip! Hip! Hoorah!!" for the tireless people at the EFF [eff.org] , who are taking the legal action against this archetypal Orwellian programme to systematically trawl US citizens' private communications. Disclaimer, I'm not an American citizen, but the fact is that American standards are promulgated as the benchmark against which others are judged. (Admittedly that's not exactly a universally accepted position, but let's leave that aside for now :) ) So to that extent, if I in my country find my own government is doing something similar (as I'm sure they are; we don't have a specific law against it, and we do have some useful facilities in that respect), we can at least use the argument that "Look, this is so bad that they don't even allow it in the United States any more!" (Yeah, the positioning on that's also, uh, evolved in the last few decades...)

So, my point: before posting a rant about the fascist big brother state that rules from beyond the centre of the Ultraworld, for heaven's sake take some actions to register your protest, and to work against it. This is the real freedom for which more abstract things like the right to not have your comms intercepted by the government. No-one's going to kick your door in at 5am and drag you off to Cuba for it, not yet anyway -(sadly I have to now include the disclaimer "unless you're very unlucky" :( ) There are 300,000-something EFF members and many more supporters, and we haven't ALL been arrested, not yet anyway ;)

Please, stick your hand in your pocket and send 'em $30 or whatever you can. Join, if you can afford it [eff.org] .

We now return you to the Soviet Russia jokes, tinfoil hat conspiracy theories and hair-splitting arguing the toss about the precise spec of the optical splitters being used in San Francisco.

DONE. Thanks for the reminder! (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713774)

I joined the EFF as soon as memberships were offered. (One of the key events that spurred the founding of the organization was the Secret Service raid on my publisher, Steve Jackson Games.) My original membership card is #127.

Through the years I've let the membership lapse now and then. For a while, the EFF's fights included marginal things like pushing ISDN connections. Hard to get excited about.

But now . . . they have a real fight. I just rejoined at the $100.00 level.

Re:Support your local EFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713966)

> Please, stick your hand in your pocket and send 'em $30 or whatever you can. Join, if you can afford it [eff.org].

What, and get disappeared for material support of a terrorist organization?

> No-one's going to kick your door in at 5am and drag you off to Cuba for it, not yet anyway -(sadly I have to now include the disclaimer "unless you're very unlucky" :( ) There are 300,000-something EFF members and many more supporters, and we haven't ALL been arrested, not yet anyway ;)

Precisely my point. I stopped donating to the EFF after 9/11. Not because I think they are a terrorist organization, but because it's only a matter of time before they piss off the Government to the extent that they get designated as one.

Laugh at my paranoia if you want. As you point out -- you now have to include the disclaimer "unless you're very unlucky" and "not yet anyway". Six years ago, that would have gotten you laughed off the Intarwebs.

always done this for international (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713394)

The Govt has ALWAYS maintained the ability to do this for international calls. Old FDR did it, probably every administration since the beginning of telecommunications has done this.

Dicks? Yes.
Surprising/News? No.

Re:always done this for international (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713874)

The Govt has ALWAYS maintained the ability to do this for international calls.
what part of "mostly domestic" do you not understand? Domestic means here not there, and us not them.

To avoid NSA, use this method... (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713398)

...and the method is [Osama] bin Laden's method. It works! You know why I believe it works? It's because despite millions offered for his head, he's eluded capture since 2001, though he still continues to communicate to his lieutenants.

And he's not just wanted by any government. He's wanted by the so called "most powerful country on earth."

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (2, Funny)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713494)

I don't think Al-Jazeera is interested in broadcasting my taped message to my father.

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (4, Funny)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713498)

I'm sorry, I'm American, and I've got to ask: Who is Osama bin Laden?

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (0, Offtopic)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713538)

I'm sorry, I'm American, and I've got to ask: Who is Osama bin Laden?
--
Ron Paul [ronpaul2008.com]: Hope for America

You can find more information on him here [ronpaul2008.com] . Section "War and Foreign Policy" paragraph 5.

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21714020)

He's the guy that organized the attacks carried out on US soil back on Septe... OMG IRAQ! MUSHROOMCLOUDS! BOMB NOW!

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713512)

That brings up an interesting question: What *is* his method?

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (2, Funny)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713696)

You know what? I am not sure either, all I know is that his method works.

It's now time for a disclaimer, so here we go:

I do not know what I am talking about.

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713894)

It's now time for a disclaimer, so here we go:

I do not know what I am talking about.
You should probably put that in your sig.. or maybe it should just be added to the Slashdot FAQ.

Re:To avoid NSA, use this method... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713960)

It is the same method Linus uses.

How realistic are these programs? (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713402)

Come on, now. The seriously bad dudes out there running major operations aren't (usually) dumb enough to pick up the phone and chat away about their to-do lists. I'd think the use of commodity encryption software and computers has probably replaced a lot of insecure communications channels for these people, leaving the feds to pick up the low-hanging fruit. Sure, you might nab man number 137 on the totem pole o' dealers through a wiretap, but you're not going to be troubling the guy at the top of the food chain.

I'd imagine this applies to all sorts of bad guys, whether they're slinging coke by the truckload or plotting terrorist acts. That begs the question: what's the real value of these surveillance programs?

Re:How realistic are these programs? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713448)

That begs the question: what's the real value of these surveillance programs?
Job security, baby.

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713602)

Mod parent funny, but it kinda makes a point. Job security for both sides, if you think about it, since it's going to be largely ineffective at nabbing anybody serious but it does pay the rent for the dudes listening in. If we're gonna spend money on monitoring programs, I'd like to see some of that government-issued rent money going to a larger pool of field agents out there gathering real intelligence.

Re:How realistic are these programs? (2, Insightful)

witte (681163) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713900)

> what's the real value of these surveillance programs?
The establishment wants to stay on top of the game.
They don't give a shit about your so-called rights.
I know that sounds harsh, but there you have it.

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713942)

You missed my point, which is simply this: The "establishment" (whoever they are) isn't staying on top of the game through these programs; they're of little to no actual use when it comes to combating large-scale illegal operations. See my other post regarding augmenting human intelligence programs.

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714166)

It's the government. Since when has 'not working' ever mattered to whether they continued doing what they are doing?

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714300)

Since an apathetic public stop actively monitoring and caring about what their elected officials were doing... oh, wait...

To quote: "Democracy is a system of government wherein the people get no better than they deserve."

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713908)

I'd imagine this applies to all sorts of bad guys, whether they're slinging coke by the truckload or plotting terrorist acts. That begs the question: what's the real value of these surveillance programs?

That's easy, to keep track of political protesters.

Falcon

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713954)

I'm hoping you meant this as a "funny" comment. If you didn't continue to the following reply...

Gotta call bullshit on this one; political protesters aren't exactly difficult to find. There's a couple of guys who post up outside my base every morning with signs, for example. The point of protest is (usually) to make your position known in as public a manner as possible.

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714066)

Gotta call bullshit on this one; political protesters aren't exactly difficult to find

The point of protest is (usually) to make your position known in as public a manner as possible.

Don't be dense. When the GP says "keep tack of", he doesn't just mean tracking their movements, and you know it.

Re:How realistic are these programs? (2, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714088)

Gotta call bullshit on this one; political protesters aren't exactly difficult to find. There's a couple of guys who post up outside my base every morning with signs, for example. The point of protest is (usually) to make your position known in as public a manner as possible.

There's a difference between simply seeing protesters and keeping track of them. In the early 1800s the US Supreme Court went so far as to say anonymity was an important part of the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech clause. If a person could not reasonably expect to remain anonymous then they didn't really have freedom of speech, if a person thought what they said could be used against them then they may not speak freely. I think that applies more today than it did then. Both Hitler and Stalin would have loved to have the power to track people the US has today to track protesters.

Falcon

Re:How realistic are these programs? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714278)

Let me put a different spin on things. I somehow doubt Martin Luther King, Jr. walked around thinking the federal government wansn't keeping tabs on him; his convictions were strong enough that he didn't care if he was being monitored. Is anonymity important? Hell, yes. Is anonymity a reasonable expectation when you're engaged in public protest? Fuck, no. If you're willing to publicly state a position on a volatile issue of any nature, you had better be prepared to be watched by the masses and the feds. If your personal conviction in your position isn't strong enough to support that, you should probably avoid speaking publicly. The masses make a huge deal of demanding transparency in the lives of their elected officials... why should an outspoken citizen who garners public attention with his views be any different?

Re:How realistic are these programs? (2, Interesting)

Unlikely_Hero (900172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714014)

That's because the DEA doesn't really care about stopping drugs. They care about getting some guy, even if the is #137 on the totem pole, to justify their extravagant funding (any amount over $0 is extravagant).

The DEA is a government jobs program.

90s !?!?!? (1)

charon79m (690215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713434)

What? I thought this was all Bush and his neocon evil-doers! Sorry, had to get that out of the way. Now let's drop he partisanship and all work together to get back our liberties.

Re:90s !?!?!? (1, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713750)

Well, "neo" means "like or similar to" and I don't see these neocons being anything like actual conservatives. Maybe we should call them uncons instead, since they're unlike real conservatives and like unconstitutional things, and they've certainly conned us.

Personally, I think more of them should just be "cons", as in convicts. Probably, when Bush is out of office and all the dust settles, a few of them will be. A few, just enough to make us think that some kind of justice was done. Still, I don't know how many life sentences one should receive for throwing away some thousands of lives, some few civil liberties, and a few trillion dollars of public funds, but whatever.

Re:90s !?!?!? (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713808)

The 'neo' part of 'neocon' (or neonazi, neoclassical etc...) means 'new', as in 'new conservatives'.

Well, "neo" means "like or similar to" (4, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713932)

Actually "neo" does not mean that. Neo [onelook.com] means new or modern ie "neoconservative" means new conservative. Neo is good for neologisms [onelook.com] or new words.

Falcon

Re:Well, "neo" means "like or similar to" (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713980)

Yeah well, it sounded good when I said it anyway. Maybe next time I'll try without the beer.

Re:Well, "neo" means "like or similar to" (1)

cmacb (547347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714032)

Well, it should mean "New Conservative", but look at who it is often applied to an you will see that it is used in a totally different way. If I explained what I think the algorithm is I'd get modded into oblivion.

Suffice it to say that I think people who use this word regularly should be asked to spell out what they actually mean, and if they say they mean "new" then they should be asked how long the person to whom they have applied the label has been a conservative, my guess is that in most cases they don't even have a guess.

Re:Well, "neo" means "like or similar to" (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714122)

Well, it should mean "New Conservative", but look at who it is often applied to an you will see that it is used in a totally different way.

Actually it depends on what meaning of "conservative" that is used. Some say conservativism and neoconservatives supports small government. However liberals, as in Classical Liberals [wikipedia.org] , were originally in support of small government.

Falcon

Re:Well, "neo" means "like or similar to" (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714296)

So ... what you're really saying is that none of us know where any of these people stand anymore.

That's reassuring.

Re:90s !?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713976)

Neo means "new"...sorry, had to say it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo [wikipedia.org]

missed this (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714002)

Personally, I think more of them should just be "cons", as in convicts. Probably, when Bush is out of office and all the dust settles, a few of them will be. A few, just enough to make us think that some kind of justice was done. Still, I don't know how many life sentences one should receive for throwing away some thousands of lives, some few civil liberties, and a few trillion dollars of public funds, but whatever.

It's not just "cons", conservatives, who costs many lives and civil liberties. Bush's direct predecessor, Clinton, bombed Serbia back to the middle ages based on false and fack intel. Some mass graves had been shown to be staged for the west. Meanwhile the KLA, Kosovo Liberation Army [wikipedia.org] was raising funds by dealing with opium, much like the Taliban is today.

The fact is is the US had supported coups against democratically elected governments and supported dictators throughout the 1900s.

Falcon

Re:missed this (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714114)

Don't get me started on Clinton.

The cynic in me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713460)

The cynic in me wonders why this story was published at 9pm EST on a Saturday night. Not just any Saturday night, the weekend before Christmas where most people have office Christmas parties or are otherwise occupied.

Nah, must be a coincidence.

---

I was about to post this as is, but the CAPTCHA for posting as Anonymous Coward is "congress" [tinypic.com]

Re:The cynic in me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713700)

Please check your nose for resemblance to a male reproductive organ.

there's 2 ways to look at this (-1)

deft (253558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713560)

My first inclination is to exclaim that I cant believ that they have been doign this for years.... but on the other side, if this has been happening with the drug war for years, and I havent felt a difference in my life at all, to some extent I have to aknowledge that this does not effect me personally in a negative way, and could very well have benefitted me to some extent.

That said, I think the constitution is non-negotiable, so when i say "hasnt effected me" i am referring to the day to day reality of my life, not the theorhetical erosion of rights, which do need to be defended.

Re:there's 2 ways to look at this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713760)

You're saying this "could very well have benefitted you"?!? Specify exactly how, please.

AFAICT, the only thing the war on drugs successfully accomplished in MY life was to increase the cost of drugs so much that the only way a lower-class American could pay for them was to commit property crimes. Thus I can personally thank the war on drugs for my car and mail getting stolen, and having to change my bank account. Hooray!

Without the war on drugs, someone in my neighborhood would have been using drugs while holding down a low-wage job. I'm certainly glad that nightmare scenario was avoided!

Re:there's 2 ways to look at this (3, Informative)

Derek Loev (1050412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713974)

As far as the war on drugs [wikipedia.org] comment goes, it may not have affected you in a negative way, but I doubt it benefited you either (or anybody). Something like $500 billion spent and has there been any serious improvement?

Criminals aren't concerned (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713666)

These spying operations are both unconstitutional, and a complete waste of taxpayer time and money.

Black marketters (i.e., criminals) have wisened up to the fact that the telephone, and the Internet, is not a safe way to communicate. Many of them are even weary of the keyboard, since tapping into a keyboard with a stroke logger has been used to put some people away.

The drug war amazes me. Powerful interests involved in the profiteering over private medicinal use co-opt the security organizations to battle their competition. And yet few people call for the end to the drug war. The masterminds have long walked away from using technology that is easily spied on. The software, and hardware, that the masterminds use is far and away more powerful than most of the pro-privacy stuff I use. While I'm sure that the security organizations are continuously working to hack into the newer systems, they'll constantly lose ground to that battle.

Even the lesser members of the underground are moving away from open communications. Technology isn't cheap, but it's cheaper than jail. It's a wonder that people have faith in our security forces, who will always be one-step behind. As far as I'm aware, many of the ex-government security technologists are likely working for the other side (it's much more profitable). If I was truly profit-motivated, I'd likely do it myself, considering the amount of money that is available for someone tech savvy who is willing to provide the latest and greatest hardware and software to stay ahead of the security forces. Of course, morally I'm opposed to such work, but not because it is illegal. It just doesn't interest me to be part of the organizations of that sort. I'd rather do things morally, the law be damned.

So what is the end purpose of all this technology? It isn't safety for the citizens. I can only think of one reason, mostly conspiratorial, for the money and time spent: the learn how to use it for the powers that control the security forces. They all have their fingers [giulianipartners.com] in the pie, and by using taxpayer money for their research, they get the best of both worlds. Yes, it sounds like NWO-Alex-Jones mumbo-jumbo, but it's the only answer I can think of as to why we continue on with these programs.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713704)

just perhaps, the reason people aren't calling for an end to the war on drugs is that most of them don't have this dogmatic belief that drugs are good. Those of us who have buried friends know how dangerous it is. Yes, I've buried friends. Yes, I've watched friends self destruct. Nope, never seen anyone make their life better with meth. Fortunately, I figured out faster then them that staying clean was a better option. I wish the first hit wasn't so easy to get; Mel would be alive now. Fuck you for supporting the fuckers who killed her.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713736)

I've had a friend buried over abusing drugs. It wasn't pretty, but neither was their life that led them to drugs. It was doubtful that they were conned into using something they were warned about. Sad, yes, but also reality.

What's worse is that I have more friends who are addicted to prescribed Vicodin and Percocet. My late Brother-in-Law was addicted to prescribed Oxycodon. Some of the friends I know who pop pills are upper middle class mothers and fathers. I see people abusing alcohol, too. But it isn't my place to control their choices, and it surely isn't my place to tell people what they can take if they have a good relationship with a doctor who isn't out for a quick buck by Big Pharma.

That Brother-in-Law that was addicted to Oxycodone had late stage MS. He was told by many people to smoke pot, but he didn't want to break the law. Sad, too, because it really looks like pot has lesser side-effects than the legal stuff.

Sorry about your friend. Maybe if you have time, you can post something on a blog somewhere detailing what pushed her (or him?) to even think about drugs as an escape. All the methheads I've met have the same story: families ignore them, they were never good enough, and they had no one who cared enough to catch their downfall before it happened.

Please, grieve for your dumb friend in private (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713740)

your emotions make you stupid.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713810)

Before you mock those who question the "war on drugs", be sure that this "war" is actually helping overall. Between ths silly criminalization of pot, and the active campaign of drug dealers facing court in ratting out anyone who looks like they might be sale-able, innocent or not, the war itself has a lot of innocent casualties. When my friend a few years back, despite being in California, couldn't get pot to help their AIDS suffering, or my friend in chemotherapy couldn't get pot to help their appetite, I was in touch with their families while they suffered and died.

You don't have to support terrorism, or meth use, to think that the "war" approaches used against them simply aggravate the problems, waste billions in needed reouseces, and kill innocents.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713924)

Nice false dichotomy, asshat. No one's implying that drugs are good. There's an extremely pertinent quote from Charles Stross' Singularity Sky, but since I'm not going to take the time to search a 350 page book for you, here's the paraphrased version: "It's not that this is particularly good, it's that the alternatives are unspeakably worse." That is to say, drugs suck, but the ever-growing invasions of liberty and privacy call for to fight them (justified because the last ones didn't work) are even worse.

And while we're on the topic of meth, do you want to know how this small aspect of the war could actually be won? Stop the twelve factories in the world that make pseudoephedrine. Of course, while there is probably no invasion of privacy and freedom so insane it hasn't been proposed in the War On Some Drugs, don't you dare suggest that Phizer & co make a sacrifice for the cause by using something that's possibly a bit less effective or profitable.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714040)

don't you dare suggest that Phizer & co make a sacrifice for the cause by using something that's possibly a bit less effective or profitable

and don't you dare suggest that I should have to pay more for some alternative because a few assholes like to abuse the cheaper substance.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (4, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714272)

Would you rather your rights to privacy and liberty mostly-disappear the moment anyone suspects drugs might be involved, as they do presently? My proposal might not be optimal, but it's one hell of a lot better than what we're trying to do now.

On the other hand, this whole thing is arguably null: Psuedoephedrine's optical isomer is just as effective at relieving congestion, can't be turned into meth, and has fewer side-effects to boot. You have three guesses which bunch of dickbags are sitting on the patent.

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (1)

maeka (518272) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714180)

And while we're on the topic of meth, do you want to know how this small aspect of the war could actually be won? Stop the twelve factories in the world that make pseudoephedrine.

The Birch Pseudoephedrine Reduction and Red Phosphorus methods are not the first, and will not be the last, recipes for cooking methamphetamine. Just because pseudoephedrine is the popular precursor today does not mean it is needed.

P2P was the proper precursor before it was tightly controlled, and a switch can easily happen again, most likely to phenylacetic acid, if pseudoephedrine supplies get pinched. A switch is probably easier today than in the past, as an ever larger percentage of the meth entering the United States is coming from large labs in Mexico. Those labs and their professional chemists should find a recipe switch easier (and faster) than the rural domestic production of the 60's and 70's.

 

Re:Criminals aren't concerned (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714068)

Fuck you for supporting the fuckers who killed her.

      Although perhaps there was more to it than that. There's a reason you were able to get out, and Mel wasn't. Addiction isn't just about the drug, it's about the user's mental health problems which keep them in a pattern of drug use. While I agree that no illegal drugs actually make people smarter and more productive (they just make you think you are), the drugs are not wholly to blame. Depression, socioeconomic problems/frustrations, anxiety, impulsive behavior, post traumatic stress disorder from childhood events like rape, incest, domestic violence - and the conditioning we have all received towards instant gratification in this modern world - these factors also have a huge impact on whether a person will destroy themselves with drugs or not.

      It's not just about the drugs and the people who sell them. There is a huge demand for drugs, and as long as these social problems exist, there always will be. Blame the dealer if you want, but he's just running a business. Put him away and you just give his competitor more market share. IMO money would be better spent trying to fix the root of the problem, addressing people's mental health. But who can afford a full time psychologist? Only the rich.

How many Bothan spies had to die... (2, Funny)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713784)

How many Bothan spies had to die to get us this information? God knows that the Democratically controlled Congress didn't do shit to get this information.

Re:How many Bothan spies had to die... (-1, Flamebait)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714006)

Are you suprised? As long as 41 Republicans remain in mindless lock-step with Dear Leader, anything and everything will be filibustered. As long as 34 Republicans remain in lock-step with Dear Leader, anything and everything that isn't exactly what Dear Leader wants will be vetoed.

Re:How many Bothan spies had to die... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21714096)

As long as 41 Republicans remain in mindless lock-step with Dear Leader, anything and everything will be filibustered.

Sure. But make them haul out the cots and phone books and start reading aloud on national TV, let's have a proper filibuster. Make them look like the obstructionist fools they are.

As long as 34 Republicans remain in lock-step with Dear Leader, anything and everything that isn't exactly what Dear Leader wants will be vetoed.

True. But there's nothing (except lack of spine) to prevent Congress from passing the same bill again and sending it back. Again and again, if necessary. If Leader obstructs the bills from becoming law, whose fault is that?

Say what you want... (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713818)

Okay, so Google is the all-seeing eye, grabbing up bits and pieces of data from the people who use it - yes, I know. That said, they did sponsor one talk that I found very interesting, and now seems like an appropriate time to share it. Policy@Google - Digital Search & Seizure [youtube.com]

How much is it going to take for people to stand up against this? Lots of people may be upset and complaining about it, but as Thoreau said: "The are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

Smoking gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21713838)

"Early" 2001, February 2001, like before the Clintons had left the grounds, as Nacchio has said all along- PRIOR to 9/11! If you read the text of the latest FISA [loc.gov] bill that includes retroactive immunity, it says they would drop civil suits only for spying AFTER 9/11. Plus, the amendment says it would have to be shown they didn't think it was illegal because the Bush administration said it wasn't, and last time I checked, the executive branch doesn't make the law...unless you count signing statements.

begging the question (1, Insightful)

dingDaShan (818817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21713944)

Why does this post assume that domestic spying happens? Does domestic spying assume spying on US persons (including US citizens, green card holders, etc)? The government isn't allowed to spy on US persons in the US or abroad - see 4th amendment or EO 12333. Even if a US citizen lives in Iraq, NSA cannot monitor their calls. Conspiracy theorists point out that spying centers are in the US, but that doesn't mean they spy on US citizens, and especially not "surveillance" (as the article claims), which is a systematic monitoring. The NY Times article is written with a lot of assumptions and the article also notes that the details are not really known about any of the cases. What does this mean? It means, that the article is based largely on speculation.

Re:begging the question (3, Insightful)

Unlikely_Hero (900172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714042)

I think you're confusing how things are supposed to be with how they actually are.

It's time for Bush to respect the constitution (0, Troll)

stupidpuppy (955515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714148)

Whether it's a Russian Bomber in international airspace, Osama in a cave in Pakistan, or a blog on the internet, Bush needs to read the constitution, which requires the US government to get a warrant before collecting information on any of these things.

This isn't to mention Bush's greatest threat to the constitution. The Bush administration has been using Satellites (in Space) to spy on other countries -- even our enemies -- without first getting warrants. And I won't even get into the rampant (warrantless) newspaper reading that goes on in the CIA and NSA and up the ladder straight to the white house.

It's impeachment time. The sheeple of the US need to stand up and do what's right.

Re:It's time for Bush to respect the constitution (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21714280)

I'm tired of people calling for impeachment every time they get annoyed at a President. He hasn't broken any laws, and the NSA, CIA, FBI and any other three letter agency does not have to get an approval from the president. Please take a high school government class and pay attention. The president has very little real power.
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