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US Set to Use Spy Satellites on US Citizens

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

Privacy 513

duerra writes "A plan to use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law-enforcement missions is moving forward after being delayed for months because of privacy and civil liberties concerns. The plan is in the final stage of completion, according to a department official who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about it. While some internal agencies have had access to spy satellite imagery for purposes such as assisting after a natural disaster, this would be the first time law-enforcement would be able to obtain a warrant and request access to satellite imagery."

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First bitches (0, Offtopic)

professional_troll (1178701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414328)

You all suck bitches!

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414338)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
US set to use goatse on US citizens [goatse.ch]

W00t. 1st post (1, Interesting)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414342)

Is anyone here surprised...I mean, anybody ???

Re:W00t. 1st post (0, Troll)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414352)

Ehrm... You missed.

Re:W00t. 1st post (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414372)

Is anyone here surprised...I mean, anybody ???
Yes - The government is admitting to using spy satellites on its own citizens. I find that very surprising.

And yet, the ISS gets a budget cut... (3, Interesting)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414556)

Funny how they can afford spy satellites to peep in on the citizenry, but budget cuts [google.com] are hampering the ISS. Maybe we can build a few more spy satellites to protect America and let those useless weather satellites crash into the ocean next.

Re:W00t. 1st post (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414558)

Yes - The government is admitting to using spy satellites on its own citizens. I find that very surprising.
It's now too late to be surprised. It's too late for anything. Now the Government is so comfortable, so complacent admitting they are doing things like this, it just means that it is too late to change anything. It's over. Forget democracy, your vote will have no effect in changing this.

Just be thankful you are not in an evil totalitarian regime, like the UK.

Re:W00t. 1st post (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414914)

Just be thankful you are not in an evil totalitarian regime, like the UK.
...yet.

The difference is, we are still clinging to our 2nd amendment - so at least we still have armed revolt as an option. The UK doesn't even have that.

Either way, it's probably a good time to start learning Chinese.
=Smidge=

Re:W00t. 1st post (5, Funny)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414948)

Either way, it's probably a good time to start learning Chinese.

Or Canadian.

Re:W00t. 1st post (0, Offtopic)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414452)

W00t. 1st post. Is anyone here surprised...I mean, anybody ???
No, somebody's got to get it, might as well be you.

But seriously, as long as they require a warrant for it, is there a problem with this?

Re:W00t. 1st post (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414538)

if they can do it WITH a warrant, they have already shown they will circumvent the warrant process when it's suits them. be it a valid use or not.

Re:W00t. 1st post (5, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414682)

The process is a little different to what you might think. These imagery birds produce a constant stream of pictures every time their solar panels are lit up with sunlight, a few less if in shade. Obviously areas of interest can be pinpointed as the satellite passes overhead, but these things rarely float around idle.

A warrant might give some imagery weenie the legal go ahead to distribute specific files, but that doesn't mean the pictures are only taken when a warrant is present. Over the years 'real time' has expanded to include 'sifting' through huge amounts of data storage to pick out not only a location of interest, but also a time of interest.

If the warrant doesn't include a time frame, then you can bet your backside it will be assumed to mean an unlimited capacity to view any imagery for the location of interest until the warrant expires.

Depending upon the acquisition method and storage, you might only have a few days of historical info, or you might have years.

Ex 3 letter agency drone typing.

Re:W00t. 1st post (1)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414970)

Does the term "judge shopping" mean anything to you?

Good. Can you really trust an American? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414350)

I mean, seriously, they spy on themselves. Perhaps they should be spied on then.

Oblig. (5, Funny)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414354)

1984? Shit, America is making Orwell look like an optimist.

Re:Oblig. (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414456)

1984? Shit, America is making Orwell look like an optimist.


Only if they can use the images without a search warrant.

Re:Oblig. (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414752)

Only if they can use the images without a search warrant.

Yeah, because that's been a huuuuuge hurdle to clear lately.

I keep asking you people: What purpose does this pedantry serve? Maybe I'm overthinking this. Maybe you're just a karma whore.

Re:Oblig. (1)

ynososiduts (1064782) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414478)

I think Orwell should've tilted his book 2084, probably is going to be true by then.

Re:Oblig. (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414520)

I'm not waiting till 2084 -- I'm making a tinfoil sombrero tonight!

Re:Oblig. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414544)

2084 is a bit optimistic.

I predict that WW3 will be in about 15 years. We'll call it the Freedom Suppression War, the one where the corporations & elites remove whats left of out rights. Just like Terminator, Matrix but with humans ruling over other humans.

Anyone know John Connor or Thomas Anderson?

Re:Oblig. (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414610)

I think Orwell should've tilted his book 2084, probably is going to be true by then.
No. It's mostly true today, especially in the UK. Hopefully by 2084 there will be a revolution and the fascists will finally be out of power. Considering how fat, drunk, and apathetic most of the population is, the revolution sure isn't going to be anytime before then.

Re:Oblig. (1)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414862)

Just watch out for the Ground Roving Unit Network Terminators (GRUNTs)

Re:Oblig. 1984 in the UK (5, Informative)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414502)

Over on this side of the pond we don't need no stinkin spy satellites.....

Every major city & town is already 90% covered by CCTV. You can't walk from one side of the street to the other without appearing on a CCTV system.

We're already covered.. Say cheese :-)

Re:Oblig. 1984 in the UK (3, Funny)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414606)

stinkin spy satellites.....
Ahhh... so that's where the outer-space smell comes from...

Re:Oblig. 1984 in the UK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414838)

Congratulations, yanks. After rebelling 500 years ago, you're back under mother-rule with the rest of us. Hope you enjoyed that freedom while it lasted, time to come back in the house for supper!

Re:Oblig. (3, Insightful)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414568)

The people don't realize the power they have yet when acting in Unity. They divide us with fictions.

Superdelegates control spy satellites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414798)

Ok, perhaps not...
But the superdelegates can overrule the majority in the "democratic" primary.If you disapprove, here you go:

http://www.petitiononline.com/Superdel/petition.html [petitiononline.com]

Re:Oblig. (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414876)

Oh, bullshit. Assuming a warrant is obtained and proper procedure is followed, I don't see the problem with this. It's certainly easier than police surveillance.

1984 one giant step closer... (2, Insightful)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414356)

And the sheep do nothing about their masters in the government as all their liberties are taken away one by one.

Re:1984 one giant step closer... (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414550)

We just haven't had a single button to click to bring change. That is going to change. The key is creating awareness and destroying the illusions that they have created. The illusion of scarcity is one.

Re:1984 one giant step closer... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414578)

And the sheep do nothing about their masters in the government as all their liberties are taken away one by one.

Exactly what freedom is being taken away here? This won't give them access to anything they couldn't get other ways. If the info can be gathered by satellite, it can be gathered by aircraft. Much more detailed info can already be gathered by stakeout. Even without the current administrations assults on personal liberty, this wouldn't rank as something to be concerned about.

Re:1984 one giant step closer... (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414806)

Ok, it is easy to blather on (blah blah blah sheep blah cattle blah blah), but seriously, what the hell are we supposed to do? It isn't like I don't vote. It isn't like I don't write my senators and congressmen long, thought out, well worded letters.

It seems like the only option is to leave... yeah... where they require a passport for you to cross the canadian border on foot. Where a passport takes months to get. Where even if I go, I pretty much can't take my most valuables (AKA my computer), because they will likely look all through it or even take it.

Seriosly. We are already too far gone. Nothing can be done.

If only... (5, Funny)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414358)

I'd be all for this, if I was allowed to use its search engine and see what I did after I went to the bar last night. ..

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414474)

"Her" name was Simone. She loved you long time.

Re:If only... (1)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414512)

You sure? I quite clearly remember impressing every one with Shakespeare quotes.

It went "hrrnhhgh, a hrrnhgn, ye bastad"

Re:If only... (1)

mouko (1187491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414584)

I'd be all for this, if I was allowed to use its search engine and see what I did after I went to the bar last night. ..

Don't you mean "whom?" *looks at satellite image* UGH! You were right! What the hell is that?

Now all they need are the mind-control lasers. (-1, Offtopic)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414366)

(fnord)

Starting now? (5, Insightful)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414396)

Does this mean they are just now starting to do this or just now admitting to doing this? ;)

This is a threat to national security (0, Offtopic)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414416)

This is a threat to national security because it would allow a small group to take control of the United States with the ability to silence any opposition. A small group has already taken over the country but we still have just enough capability to take back control and transfer power from the few to the many. Oil dependancy is a threat to global security by the way. Support it when it is time. http://www.oneclickrevolution.com/ [oneclickrevolution.com]

Stephen King dead at 60 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414420)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - horror/fiction writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details yet. I'm sure we'll all miss him, even if you weren't a fan of his work there's no denying his contribution to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Well, not exactly the first time. (2, Interesting)

cunina (986893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414422)

It's well known that the FBI used satellite imagery to observe Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber, before arresting him.

FEMA MAC (4, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414430)

While some internal agencies have had access to spy satellite imagery for purposes such as assisting after a natural disaster


Get it right. The "internal agencies" is FEMA. See:

http://www.gismaps.fema.gov/ [fema.gov]

The GIS specialists don't have direct access to classified data but instead are given polygons of requested data which is based on those satellite images. Only the military, NSA, Other Security Agency has access to the output of the sats directly.

Plain view? (1)

link5280 (1141253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414438)

So does this redefine the plain view laws?

Re:Plain view? (3, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414488)

So does this redefine the plain view laws?


The article only mentions it briefly, but it seems to be subject to the same plain-view laws as helicopters and airplanes.

Re:Plain view? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414724)

Except that the sattelites have the ability to see through the walls/roof of your house where police planes/helicopters do not. It's not in "plain view" if you have to use millimeter wave radar, x-rays, muons, neutrons, or other advanced/exotic systems.

Re:Plain view? (1)

hobbesmaster (592205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414576)

What kind of satellites do they get access to? Is it better than the civilian "spy" satellites that have their output on google maps? Is it better resolution than a pair of mk1 eyeballs in a police helicopter (or cessna) flying a few hundred feet above your house?

They've won. (1)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414440)

Ben Franklin said that those who trade liberty for safety deserve neither. The fascists have won. We elected them. It's our own damn fault.

Re:They've won. (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414476)

No they haven't there is a plan, and it involves slash dot.

Re:They've won. (1)

evil9000 (72113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414516)

Yep.

Tyrany is ever vigilant and never sleeps.

Liberty is to be fought for and cherrished.

Re:They've won. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414546)

>> "Ben Franklin said that those who trade liberty for safety deserve neither."

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" This statement was used as a motto on the title page of the book "An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania" (1759) of which Richard Jackson is believed to be the primary author. It was very likely Franklin, who in the Poor Richard's Almanack of 1738 wrote a similar proverb: "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."

Details: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin [wikiquote.org]

Misquoting Ben Franklin... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414792)

In that quote, Franklin is excoriating Quakers in Pennsylvania who have given up "essential liberty" in order to make themselves less of an immediate target to raiding tribes who supported the French in the French and Indian War (known in Europe as the Seven Year War, IIRC).

Here it is: [franklinpapers.org]

In fine, we have the most sensible Concern for the poor distressed Inhabitants of the Frontiers. We have taken every Step in our Power, consistent with the just Rights of the Freemen of Pennsylvania, for their Relief, and we have Reason to believe, that in the Midst of their Distresses they themselves do not wish us to go farther. Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Such as were inclined to defend themselves, but unable to purchase Arms and Ammunition, have, as we are informed, been supplied with both, as far as Arms could be procured, out of Monies given by the last Assembly for the King's Use; and the large Supply of Money offered by this Bill, might enable the Governor to do every Thing else that should be judged necessary for their farther Security, if he shall think fit to accept it. Whether he could, as he supposes, "if his Hands had been properly strengthened, have put the Province into such a Posture of Defence, as might have prevented the present Mischiefs," seems to us uncertain; since late Experience in our neighbouring Colony of Virginia (which had every Advantage for that Purpose that could be desired) shows clearly, that it is next to impossible to guard effectually an extended Frontier, settled by scattered single Families at two or three Miles Distance, so as to secure them from the insiduous Attacks of small Parties of skulking Murderers: But thus much is certain, that by refusing our Bills from Time to Time, by which great Sums were seasonably offered, he has rejected all the Strength that Money could afford him; and if his Hands are still weak or unable, he ought only to blame himself, or those who have tied them.
Franklin is slamming those that have given up the "essential liberty" of arming themselves in the face of "insiduous Attacks of small Parties of skulking Murderers".

Franklin is referring to bearing arms as an essential liberty. And he says that those who give up that essential liberty has only himself to blame for getting victimized by raiding parties.

Re:They've won. (1)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414910)

Well, you know, family values and now the economy are the only important issues.

Re:War on America (0, Redundant)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414652)

It is also writen in future history there is one thing they did not anticipate. The Internet and the (R)evolution (Our) Evolution all minds are connected, all collaborate and accentuate wisdom and intelligence, and there is a manifestation of collective will and control http://www.oneclickrevolution.com/ [oneclickrevolution.com]

Re:War on America (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414846)

Maybe you could sell your website better by not sounding so nutjobby.

Maybe not.

Re:War on America (0, Troll)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414746)

The fact that the person you quoted doesn't even understand that this country is a secular nation by appropriate mandate of it's consitution - and instead acts like it's a theocracy in his statement - disqualifies his opinion from any validity. At that point he becomes a Christian Supremacist.

Then his quote gets nutty - In conclusive his a christofascist conspiracy theorist nutback.

Re:War on America (0, Troll)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414766)

erg.. nutbag even

When did the US become suspects? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414468)

When did we, US citizens, become automatically suspect by our government? :/

The linked article talks about the DHS wanting to spy on US citizens because they think we're terrorists or something. Sure, I want a new government right now, but I want to get it by voting and participating in politics.

And how long will this language remain? (4, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414472)

. . . this would be the first time law-enforcement would be able to obtain a warrant and request access to satellite imagery.

With the way things have been going, I'm surprised they're still even pretending to care about due process. And really, I wouldn't have a problem with law enforcement gaining access to spy satellite photography as long as they can only get it after supplying evidence to establish probable cause that a specific person committed a specific crime in a specific time and place. But I'm very concerned that little requirement is going to fall by the wayside and they'll be able to spy on citizens waiting for anybody to slip up.

Slippery slope indeed . . .

Re:And how long will this language remain? (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414640)

Umm... just a quick note here...

You are inferring a dependency or an order in time that doesn't seem to be strictly in the text you quoted.

It's

a) Obtain a warrant
b) request access to satellite imagery

The conjuction was "and"... not "and then" nor "in order to".

There will be times, of course, when due to urgency or an emergency that the authorities must get data as fast as possible. But I'm certain we'll create up a Fast Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in order to make it feasible to get warrants in some reasonable period of time after the fact...

Surely, no responsible administration would have any issue adhering to that... um...

Yeah... we're doomed.

Re:And how long will this language remain? (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414860)

really, I wouldn't have a problem with law enforcement gaining access to spy satellite photography as long as they can only get it after supplying evidence to establish probable cause that a specific person committed a specific crime in a specific time and place.

Wait, did you seriously just say "I'm okay with omnipresent surveillance"? Oh boy, do you need a smack upside the head with the Constitution.

And how long will this language remain?

Like the Bush administration has been paying any attention to the letter of law? Let's be clear here: Bush's wiretapping program was NEVER legal or constitutional.

On a site note: god, I wish the press would develop a backbone and stop using 'anonymous government sources which are not authorized to speak'. News-fucking-flash to the press core: the only reason they're talking to you is because the people in power want the information to get out, but "unofficially" so nobody's held accountable; they're controlled leaks. Learn to start printing, "John Smith, head of Blah Blah, refused to comment."

I am a member of the US Intel community. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414492)

I am posting AC for reasons apparent. I'm not giving out classified, or doing any kind of whistle-blowing here, but please understand that there are reasons for things.

You can think I'm a cog somewhere in the machine, or that I'm just buying into the "party line", or even that I've been deceived by my own leaders, but understand this: We know what we're doing and if you think you can glean the reasons for things like spy satellites and other intel collection platforms from press releases, "leaks", "public information", and the other little tidbits that fall through the cracks into the public, you're dead wrong.

Re:I am a member of the US Intel community. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414624)

We are anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Re:I am a member of the US Intel community. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414888)

We take pictures now too. Wheeeee!

Re:I am a member of the US Intel community. (5, Interesting)

bryce1012 (822567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414730)

Sir or Madam:

First, let me thank you for your service to our country. I am sure that you folks "in the trenches" are hard-working, honest individuals, and as patriotic as any one of us could hope to be. With that said, I urge you not to take it personally when I say: "WE DON'T WANT YOUR HELP."

There are bad things in the world. I recognize that, and I am glad to hear that there are people like you working to keep me safe from those things. Surly you must realize, however, that no matter what you and the rest of our government do, some element of danger will still exist... but in the process, we are being stripped of the very freedoms that we as Americans used to hold absolutely sacred.

Look at it like this: I have an 18-month-old son. My wife and I made sure when he started crawling that we had those safety plugs in floor-level outlets, we put some cabinet locks on the cupboards with the dangerous substances, and we put gates across the stairwells. We did these things because there are real dangers around our house that we can very easily mitigate. Of course, there are also dangers that are harder to deal with -- for example, he could fall off the sofa (and has). Does this mean we should get rid of all the furniture, because he could fall off? Maybe we should just take the furniture out of his room, and keep him in there 23 hours out of the day. Perhaps some form of restraints?

Obviously, I can't make the world perfectly safe for my son. My job as a parent, then, is to try to strike that balance between keeping him reasonably safe and giving him the freedom to learn and grow. Similarly, it's the job of the government to keep myself and the rest of the American citizenry reasonably safe, while still giving us the freedoms we value so much.

This administration, in my and many others' minds, has crossed far past that balance point. The safety this sort of program would grant is certainly a good thing, but the cost is just too high. Thanks, but no thanks.

Re:I am a member of the US Intel community. (3, Insightful)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414920)

A Government should never be seen as a parent.

Re:I am a member of the US Intel community. (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414840)

You're missing the point. No one is concerned that the spy satellites are used to conduct actual counter-terrorism and counter-espionage intelligence and surveillance. That's fine. The problem is that every little bit of technology in the last few years has been openly abused to conduct drag-net surveillance of innocent American Citizens.

I don't care if you're truly Intel, someone pretending to be, or just on crack. The point is that "Trust us, we know what we're doing" is not the proper response to "what the hell do you think you're doing?" Your stance that we cannot know what the Intelligence community is doing is just as irrelevant to the problem. The set of *possible* uses (as opposed to the set of actual uses) is very well known, and the problem is around the potential for abuse. Even a technology's potential for abuse is not necessarily a problem, if the users and wielders of the technology are known to abide by accepted laws and standards. The problem really is in the last few years, it has been shown that there are enough shitbags in the Intelligence community and those using its reports that these technologies are guaranteed to be abused.

I'll be damned if I consent to drag-net type intelligence gathering on citizens that are supposed to be presumed innocent.

"If the Patriot Act had tits I'd buy it a steak." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414494)

Funny line from Showtime's Weeds as law enforcement viewed infrared images of a grow from a drone.

Getting less and less funny.

The Military and related defense technology needs (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414526)

The Military and related defense technology needs to be put under collective control. Individuals that can be bribed, corrupted, or work against the interests of the "all" cannot be allowed to control it. A great battle is about to be fought, in each individual mind, between truth and fiction.

It's of no consequence (1, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414532)

It's of no consequence. Obama's time has come. He will will beat Hillary Clinton in the primary, emerge battle tested and go on to beat John McCain in November as the demoralized conservative base of the Republican party sits this one out. If Obama wins in November he will begin the process of righting the ship.

If your tired of your privacy rights being trampled on by the government and if you're sick of having our laws written by lobbyists, stop bitching and moaning and do something [barackobama.com] about it.

Re:It's of no consequence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414594)

Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.

We will get fooled again.

If a major political party supports a candidate, you can be sure they've checked with their masters before allowing them to become viable.

Re:It's of no consequence (4, Interesting)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414630)

Wow....all hail the Second Coming. Messiah Obama. He will magically rescue us from all our ills...

Look, I love the guy, and he is heads above anyone else in this race. But don't think for a second that he's going to represent some wholesale shift in government policies. He'll be corrupted and compromised, at least to some extent, by the realities of D.C. culture and by those who wield the real power. (Hint: it's not in the White House. Think big bureaucracies with three initials. Not to mention nine people in ugly black robes.) Once power is obtained, those who yield it tend to be quite reluctant to let go of it.

Will we be better off under an Obama presidency? Hell yes, no doubt. Will all government corruption and Constitution-gutting cease? When pigs fly. It's always about choosing the lesser of the evils.

Re:It's of no consequence (1)

DigitalWallaby (853269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414894)

My guess is, if he wins the nomination, someone will make an assassination attempt just prior to the November election. There's just too many groups out there to whom Obama would be a threat, both philosophically and economically, and not just the neocons either.

For one thing, there are still large racist groups in the US who would have members quite happy to take a shot at Obama. I would think there are some large business groups in the US who would be quite happy to see it happen.

Re:It's of no consequence (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414678)

I agree he is the one least infleunced the least by the Status Quo.

Re:It's of no consequence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414856)

You're so fucking wrong, and you have no idea. He is the one most influenced by the status quo. The media sets the status quo, and he's the only one who is *completely* beholden to the media. At least McCain and Hilary have something to stand on. Obama is only who the press has made him. Remember that the people championing him are the same ones who are championing such abominations as the DMCA, copyright for life, and mandatory content filtering on your PC.

Re:It's of no consequence (4, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414786)

Look, I might even vote for the guy, but if he or any other presidential candidate, if elected, manages to undo even a fraction of past wrongs done unto the People---and I'm not just talking about what has changed in the past eight years---then I will eat my socks.

Show me an executive and a bloc of legislators who would willingly relinquish powers. A few examples notwithstanding, these sorts of people don't make it into government. Not here and now, anyway. The principles embodied in our primary charters, those from the Enlightenment, are res non gratae to modern politics. If acknowledged at all, they are given lip service. The judiciary upholds the principles sometimes; but without a constructive force creating new law to rebuild them, all we have is case law, which is a crapshoot.

Re:It's of no consequence (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414852)

Any politician that promises to "Lead" is likely to take us off where he thinks is best. Even if it's against the will of the people, because "Clearly they don't know what's best for them." Unfortunately, this basically describes all of them these days.

Re:It's of no consequence (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414866)

Obama won't be able to give us our rights back, but at least when he's in office the Republicans will be back to trying to limit the power of the government for the first time in eight years.

Re:It's of no consequence (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414924)

The only specifics I could find on his website are how much he plans to increase entitlement programs. We all better hope there's no need for a military if he gets his way because he'll have to gut the military more than Clinton did to pay for the social programs.

Re:It's of no consequence (0, Troll)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414992)

You actually believe Obama will do something about your privacy and freedom? ROFLMAO! You are so naive. Look at who voted this crap in? The Republicans don't have a majority in Congress, so you can't blame them this time, now can you?

The Republicans are bad enough, but the Democrats, though, are the worst type of nanny-statist, socialistic fascist assholes.

How about actually reading what it is (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414564)

That is, if you even care [dhs.gov] .

Given the level of comments to this article so far, I'm guessing that is not the case.

This is part of the spirit of the mandate of the sweeping Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which prioritizes information sharing, including between federal, state, and local entities, and enabling state/local/tribal governments to leverage federal intelligence resources across the spectrum.

Interesting quote (2, Insightful)

g1zmo (315166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414614)

Under no circumstances, for instance, would the program be used to intercept verbal and written conversations.

No, that phase was already implemented.

Two movies come to mind (3, Interesting)

microbee (682094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414656)

There are two pre-911 movies that I think everyone should watch: The Siege [yahoo.com] and Enemy of the State [yahoo.com] .

Many things have become true, or look like they'll become true after 911.

What is the point (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414670)

What is the point where, the actions the Government takes to stop crime, becomes more of an issue than the crimes itself? Which would you rather risk, the malicious intentions of a few extremely aggressive and moderately armed/equipped criminals, or the malicious intentions of many moderately aggressive and lavishly equipped "Public Servants?"

Quickbird and submeter CIB.... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414714)

...is nothing to get excited about.

Much less get ones panties in a wad over.

wow, out of my tax money? (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414720)

I mean, can we pay for this like how GoogleMap does it? Every Pay-Per-Click for `terrrrist` receives 2 cents. I see future in this.

hmmm (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414726)

I think it is time to start having a serious national (and worldwide) discussion about the nature of information and who has the rights to what.  I mean, after all, a satellite is in some ways no more than a glorified helicopter when it comes to surveillance.  On the other hand, controllers on the ground build a database of what it's seen, so that events can be traced back in time.

These issues are obviously only going to become more common, and it would be nice for once to anticipate moral and ethical issues ahead of time, instead of waiting for someone to abuse it as we usually do.

In related news... (2, Funny)

CmdrRickHunter (1142731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414764)

In related news, sales of Green Laser Pointers have shot up 200%. Favorites now include several models 5 or 10 mW on the side of decidedly unsafe! Gov't looks into sunglasses for spy satalites

Re:In related news... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414940)

And subscriptions to Sky & Telescope:Satellite Edition have gone up by 400%.

But that's because the page count has now doubled.

satellites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414778)

I will make it a point to go outside every morning, raise my arm to the sky and extend my middle finger for the satellites. I will cheerfully say "Good Morning, Mr. President."

damn, the summary is dead on for once (1)

tacokill (531275) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414790)

Ok, I read the article and wow....it says exactly what the summary lays out. Very directly, in fact. It's very clear what the intentions are as they are spelled out in the Associated Press article.

I was expecting some nutjob blogger but this is actually on the AP newswire with attribution (Eileen Sullivan [leadershipprofiles.com] ) so it has some credibility.

This is disturbing because....it's...just...so...blatant. :(

What about Google Earth, you OK with that too? (4, Interesting)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414814)

I understand the outrage at having our government use spy satellites to spy on us, but I haven't seen anyone complain about Google virtually doing the same thing. If anything, we think it's cool, and applaud all the numerous 'mashups' that have emerged and whatnot.
For that, we volunteer all kinds of information, because it's not The Man(tm).

At least the government is still trying to convince detractors of this program that they'll ask for warrants and whatnot; Google does it with impunity, daily, and you think it's cool!

Wake up, people. Be consistent in your positions. If you're going to whine about how The Man(tm) is trying to make 1984 look like child's play, then complain about Google basically doing the same exact thing, with *YOUR* help (but in a much cooler way).

Re:What about Google Earth, you OK with that too? (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414966)

You have a point. But on the other hand, Google doesn't try to keep Google Earth it a damned secret like the government is with this sateelite, which to me, is a clear sign they were going to use to use it for ill.

Re:What about Google Earth, you OK with that too? (4, Interesting)

GiMP (10923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414982)

There is a difference between google's 10 year old, blurry images that can hardly see houses and military satellites that are practically live feeds, and can count the hairs on your head... unless you wear a hat.

who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22414842)

I think it would be very hard to argue that a citizen has a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding anything that a spy satellite might pick up. Therefore, I do not see any possible privacy or civil liberties concern.

The War on Some Drugs (2, Insightful)

peccary (161168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414850)

is at least part of what this is about. Should make it much easier to find hidden fields of cash crops. I don't see needing a warrant to be a real impediment: "Your Honor, we have a confidential informant that tells us that there is a 1/4 acre plot of pot plants somewhere in the Adirondack National Forest. We could just go fly a plane over it for a few days at a cost of $2000, or we sure could use those high-res satellite photos."

From what I've seen, the Google Earth photos are good enough to locate a clearing in the woods, but not good enough to differentiate pot from, well, weeds.

Remember (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414918)

Your are all "work units"

Re:Remember (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414938)

GAH!!.. You are all "work units"

Wait for it.... (1)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414964)

"If you're not going anywhere you shouldn't be, then what do you have to worry about?"

I hereby give you permission to stalk anyone who says the above non-sarcastically.

Finally!!! I'll have my freedom! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22414994)

Now when I put on a tin foil hat, and start making rude signs at the sky and gesticulating angrily at random, I'll be able to point out that it's not paranoia!!! I wonder if I'm committed will I be able to obtain a warrant to get images that will prove I'm not paranoid and dillusional? After all if someone's taking the pics I'm not just imaging things am I!?
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