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National "Dragnet" Connecting at State, Local Level

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the story-you-are-about-to-hear-is-true dept.

Security 94

Squirtle tips us to a Washington Post story about the progress and expansion of N-DEx - the National Data Exchange. Developed by Raytheon for a mere $85 million, N-DEx is hailed as a unified intelligence sharing system, which will allow agencies to share and analyze data from all levels of law enforcement. From the Post: "Three decades ago, Congress imposed limits on domestic intelligence activity after revelations that the FBI, Army, local police and others had misused their authority for years to build troves of personal dossiers and monitor political activists and other law-abiding Americans. Since those reforms, police and federal authorities have observed a wall between law enforcement information-gathering, relating to crimes and prosecutions, and more open-ended intelligence that relates to national security and counterterrorism. That wall is fast eroding following the passage of laws expanding surveillance authorities, the push for information-sharing networks, and the expectation that local and state police will play larger roles as national security sentinels."

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94 comments

First thought. (4, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672934)

When I saw the title, my first thought was that the article was about the old Dragnet TV show and Sgt. Joe Friday. I must admit that I was very disappointed to find out I was wrong.

Re:First thought. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672944)

My first thought was Joe Friday dragging his slick tongue over my Frosty Poophole, and then pushing it into my anus.
 

Whereas I (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673440)

...was speculating about some political/social networking site for extremist drag queens; a sort or "Ru Paul meets Ron Paul".
Should I get more sleep?

Dragnet (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674350)

Somewhat offtopic, but you may be surprised(or not) to learn that, in the late nineties, Dragnet was #2 on High Times' [hightimes.com] top ten list of shows to watch while high (with #1 being the Simpsons).

Re:Dragnet (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678066)

Nice! Was it the original Dragnet with Jack Webb that I remember watching in the '50s or a modern copy?

Re:Dragnet (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694294)

Yes indeed. I loved that show when it was on Nick-at-Nite. My favorite episodes were the ones with the blue boy and the baby drowning in the bathtub unattended by its pothead parents.

Re:First thought. (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683876)

National "Dragnet" Connecting at State, Local Level

      what level does it connect at to become skynet?

First Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672936)

Up your ass [twofo.co.uk]

That's cool (3, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672938)

If we're lucky, in a few years Congress will impose limits on domestic intelligence activity after revelations that the FBI, Army, local police and others will have misused their authority for years to build troves of personal dossiers and monitor political activists and other law-abiding Americans.

Re:That's cool (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672952)

Well, so long as they use the information for covert purposes nothing will be done.. it's only when they use it to mount a coup that something will finally be done about it, and by then it may well be too late.

Re:That's cool (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673950)

it's only when they use it to mount a coup that something will finally be done about it
Now it appears I'm the one who needs more sleep, since I read that as "mount a cop".

Then I thought to myself, does he mean "mount" as in shag, or "mount" as in stuffed and hung on the wall of the cabin?

And then I realized my coffee is ready, and all became clear to me.

Re:That's cool (2, Insightful)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674692)

This is the government, they don't need to mount a coup. They already run things.

Re:That's cool (1)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674932)

This is the government, they don't need to mount a coup. They already run things.

They already have, we just missed it. Very clever of them to have gotten rid of the "by the people for the people problem" they were facing.

InnerWeb

Re:That's cool (4, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673114)

And if you're unlucky, you may for a few years see fast crackdowns on all challengers of the political establishment for various minor and unimportant crimes (which will later conveniently preclude them from running for public office), until the day you stop seeing a lot of unapproved challengers to the political establishment.

Then one day you may be asked to cooperate for an investigation of your neghbour, or to close down your blog, or something, and when you decline, someone may produce your file and say "see, there are these records about you here, your case hasn't quite made it to court but it will if you don't help, and since there's three of them, by statute no. 22, you get a very long sentence". So, you'll have the choice to cooperate or else. For many people that may be enough pressure.

Of course, I don't think that scenario is particularly likely in the US. Still, it seems the potential of harm from a comprehensive dossier the government has on people is enough to not let them have it, or at least have it cheaply.

Re:That's cool (5, Interesting)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673198)

Well, there are allegations that top government officials have been illegally using the secret dossiers that it already has [wikipedia.org] .

Re:That's cool (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674842)

I know, every time I hear about how much more experienced Clinton is compared to Obama, I think "they say that like it's a good thing". In hindsight the Nixon wasn't really as bad as the Clintons.

Re:That's cool (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674132)

Of course, I don't think that scenario is particularly likely in the US.
We are only one (false flag op) mushroom cloud away from that.

How about using that information to exclude dissidents from jury service BEFORE the summonses are mailed? It would save on mailing costs. The time taken for voir dire would practically vanish. This way only rubberstampers get to serve. When a dissident goes to vote and there are electronic voting machines (which will be mandated eventually), the unit goes through the motions, but the machine discards his/her vote, a la Stalin on silicon. How about linking dissent to credit score? There are either no laws prohibiting linking of credit to political dissent or should they exist these shall be disregarded for 'national security' reasons. Don't like the regime? Shut up or pay a higher rate or be declined!

Economic freedom generates revenue; political freedom generates court costs.

To downmod is Streisand.

Re:That's cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22674226)

Well, if we notice the pressure and emergency Bush is throwing over the congress on order to pass the surveillance act extension, I might guess this scenario is VERY LIKELY to happen in the US...

Unapproved challengers (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677532)

And if you're unlucky, you may for a few years see fast crackdowns on all challengers of the political establishment for various minor and unimportant crimes (which will later conveniently preclude them from running for public office), until the day you stop seeing a lot of unapproved challengers to the political establishment.

I always assumed this was the reason for the HIPAA rule that allows law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access anyone's health records (and which AFAIK has not been challenged in the courts). Leaking a political candidate's health history can be just as damaging as any other info.

Re:That's cool (1)

dintlu (1171159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673838)

There's no such thing as a truly "law-abiding" American.

Re:That's cool (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677548)

Only because the damned legal code (combined federal, state, & local) is *so* huge and complex, even legal scholars (you know, those who dedicate their whole lives to reading the actual laws and relevant case law) can't agree on WTF many of the laws actually mean.

Re:That's cool (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674740)

Why would we want to limit the actions of the fatherland's patriotic heroes? You must be a collaborator with the enemy. ;)

In Some Back Server Room (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672946)

Sits a 1U server on a rack, it's processor fan whirring away. The LEDs' blink in the dark. On the server's harddrive sits thousands of files. One of those files is listed with a unique social security number, my social security number. In that file is my history, my financial records, my political record...my life. It is a dossier on me. This server room is located in the bottom basement of some old office building, in some city somewhere's in the USA.


I have no criminal record. My only crime is to criticize the government's more egregious policies. And is the above document safe from access? Who has the key to it?

Re:In Some Back Server Room (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676996)

I have no criminal record. My only crime is to criticize the government's more egregious policies.

It is not a crime, and most Americans have done this. Yours is not even a persecution mania, but simply that of greateness.

Re:In Some Back Server Room (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683972)

You'd be lucky if it was only on one hard drive. Likely it is redundantly fragmented across the RAID implementation on a cabinet-sized storage array, which is then replicated to one or more backup sites on a live basis.

No, your document is not safe from access. Any storage admin who has access to the storage array and SAN has access to your file. In a mix-up with LUNs, your file can be accidentally assigned to the wrong server(s) and circulated from there. There is also little to no chance encryption was used in any part of this process.

But what are the chances of it happening? I'd give it a 10% chance over the next 20 years, due to storage array upgrades, personnel turnover, and procedural changes. Is someone going to care when they see it? Will they remember it later? Will they keep a copy? It depends on whether they recognize you and how they feel about your activities. That is what will limit any breach, not technology.

A helpful guideline: (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672956)

I'm going to quote an old post [slashdot.org] from the "DMCA Abuse Widespread" [slashdot.org] article:

Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying . They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.

Re:A helpful guideline: (4, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673028)

that's not how it works. Rarely does some evil poltiical overlord try and make some BS law as a false front to do something shady. That's just in the movies. What usually happens is the person has good intentions and then someone later abuses it. That or someone hacks their system and steals all the information. Rarely do we ever see a "the government collected embarrassing info on me and put it on their myspace page for the world to see" like all the paranoid people fear, but boy do we hear the stories about way overly detailed and unnecessary databases getting hacked and all the data stolen!

Re:A helpful guideline: (4, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673154)

Really? What part of the PRO IP act as a recent example? Or how about this "no swear word" ordinance in a California town [usatoday.com] ? You'd call good intentions directly stifling the first amendment? You don't think this was the goal straight from the start, that now it has to be challenged to be proven wrong?

It's not an ordinance. (1)

chip_s_ahoy (318689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673508)

Mr. Gotta have his way. No, I don't live there. I just don't like liars.

Re:A helpful guideline: (0, Flamebait)

coldmist (154493) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673600)

You'd call good intentions directly stifling the first amendment?

Have you read the first amendment?

No, really. Have you read it?

Congress shall make no law...

It's a limit only upon the federal government. Not even the state governments, let alone a city government.

Vertical separation of powers. You'd think nobody in America understands how it is supposed to work anymore. How disappointing.

Re:A helpful guideline: (2, Informative)

base3 (539820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673942)

Right--that's why the Supreme Court has upheld State laws that deny their citizens rights under the Constitution, because the Constitution only applies Federally. Oh, wait.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674146)

" . . . the Supreme Court has upheld State laws that deny their citizens rights under the Constitution . . ."

That's the current reality, but even The Supreme Court can be wrong in interpreting the law.

Re:A helpful guideline: (2, Insightful)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674374)

That's the current reality, but even The Supreme Court can be wrong in interpreting the law.


Whether or not they are wrong is irrelevant. The Supreme Court has held that the Bill of Rights applies to state laws, whether you like it or not. And the states can't have laws that the Supreme Court has found to be unconstitutional.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675032)

My State's constitution recognized the Federal Constitution as superior, is there any that don't?

Re:A helpful guideline: (3, Informative)

wannabegeek2 (1137333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680624)

Uhhhhh...

I hate to point this out, but most State Constitutions mirror the Federal Constitution.

So, have you read the California Constitution? Really read it?

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

SECTION 1. All people are by nature free and independent and have
inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and
liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing
and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

SEC. 2. (a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or
her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of
this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or
press.


Sorry, but it really makes me cranky when someone uses the, "but that is a State law" argument. This is the United States of America, United being the operative word. In many cases the State Constitutions are more direct regarding our Rights than the Federal counterpart. Case in point, the Constitution of the State of Indiana.

Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.

Takes care of that pesky "militia" subversion of the intent of the Framers, doesn't it?

By and large most Americans don't expend a lot of energy trying to understand Vertical Separation of Powers in regards to our rights, as at the Federal level there really shouldn't be any.

"Amendment 10
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to
the people.
" The State Constitutions cannot be contrary to the United States Constitution, and in regards to the Rights granted by the Constitution cannot be more restrictive, but that's it. The rest of your Rights are reserved to your State, or yourself.

Neat concept, huh?

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681260)

Actually, it applies to all governments.

The US Supreme Court ruled so when it applied the 14th amendment to the others, requiring equal protection.

Re:A helpful guideline: (2, Interesting)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673632)

I might lose mod points on this, but can you please explain how swearing and freedom of speech are tied together. I don't think they are limiting what opinions you are permitted to express, rather that you chose a more civil tongue to do it in.

And to accuse someone of a subversive or alternative purpose will generally result in you losing the argument because you come off sounding like an immature paranoid. Rather, it's more valuable to raise sufficient awareness that people consider the protection against such abuse a requirement. And using the historical reasons for breaking up the FBI, Army, Police is a good starting point. But if they can address the abuse, then they get to proceed.

Re:A helpful guideline: (2, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674064)

I might lose mod points on this, but can you please explain how swearing and freedom of speech are tied together. I don't think they are limiting what opinions you are permitted to express, rather that you chose a more civil tongue to do it in.


It depends on your definition of "swear words". To use a George Carlin line, "You have bad intentions, bad emotions, and words." (in reference to the words you can't say on TV).

.. using the historical reasons for breaking up the FBI, Army, Police is a good starting point. But if they can address the abuse, then they get to proceed.


Ummm...No! All that will happen is they will abuse a part you didn't specifically address. Happens all the time. There is no way you can possibly address every abuse of a law. Take the DMCA (or any law designed to protect some "right") and look at the abuses never contemplated by Congress. They wrote the law with the intention of making it easier for a copyright holder to stop infringing content. They knew the take-down provisions would be abused. To say that situation was never contemplated is false since that was one of the warnings Congress was given before its passage. Yet they passed it anyway.

Re:A helpful guideline: (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674424)


"Obscene" language is a class thing. People from working class backgrounds frequently use such language - and why shouldn't I talk the way my parents brought me up talking? Whilst people from middle class backgrounds perceive certain words to be inherently offensive. This perception is never stated to be, but originates from, the belief that such language is of the lower classes.

You ask why choice of words is necessarily part of freedom of speech, but the censorship of "obscene" language is merely the repression of the language of one part of society by another part of society. Your term of "civil speech" shows you come from or have adopted a particular cultural viewpoint but this is not necessarily universal. This linguistic division in society along class backgrounds is real and to demand that someone adopt a different subset of language in order to put forward their views is to demand that they renounce their own culture in favour of the one with more power (to some extent). It is not acceptable to proscribe words on behalf of others. I have every right to talk in the language I am familiar with, rather than adopt some other group's mode of expression.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683338)

Fuckin' aye! Nice writeup.

One Man's Vulgarity is Another's Lyric. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675126)

I might lose mod points on this, but can you please explain how swearing and freedom of speech are tied together. I don't think they are limiting what opinions you are permitted to express, rather that you chose a more civil tongue to do it in.

Because you can't say "Fuck the Draft" if you can't say "Fuck". That slogan, worn on a jacket that some guy brought into a courtroom, got a guy charged with "disturbing the peace". The case went all the way to the Supreme Court. This happened in pre-9/11 America, and the Supreme Court [wikipedia.org] ruled that it was protected political speech. The ruling is good reading, and rebuts your opinion far more eloquently than I could.

So I'm just gonna take a shortcut: FUCK [wikipedia.org] censorship, fuck prior restraint, and fuck you! You're perfectly free to respond by politely inviting me to perform intercourse with myself, perform fellatio on myself, or perhaps (since you probably think I obviously suffer from recto-cranial inverseion, and you may even be right!) to perform both acts upon myself at the same time! Or you can just tell me to go fuck myself [wikipedia.org] . You're still free to do that. Even over the surveillance network known as the Internet.

MOD PARENT DOWN (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676848)

He's just some mother fucker coming in here with his mother fucking ideas, shitting all over the first amendment. What a fucking pussy cock bitch. Fuck! (Sorry dude, I couldn't resist ;)

To paraphrase what someone or another said sometime: "My right to offend you is more important than your wish not to be offended."

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

AMuse (121806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677582)

I'm not sure who the quote is from, but it goes: "If you can't say fuck, then you can't say fuck the government!".

Re:A helpful guideline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673300)

Rarely does some evil poltiical overlord try and make some BS law as a false front to do something shady. That's just in the movies. What usually happens is the person has good intentions and then someone later abuses it.
More likely, people in power like to create laws that expand their powers. That's a given. Later on, those same people or their successors look at the powers they've been given and decide to use them for "evil".

I guess you never heard of the (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673550)

Enabling Act?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933 [wikipedia.org]

And no, it was not the only time in history similiar measures were done, just the most famous.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/24/usa.comment [guardian.co.uk]

And now, I'm not saying it happened here or is happening here, but there are alarming paralells. You may be right, GWB has good intentions (such as they are) but it will be abused later.

It is not just in the movies -- it's here. (3, Insightful)

soren100 (63191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676464)

that's not how it works. Rarely does some evil poltiical overlord try and make some BS law as a false front to do something shady. That's just in the movies.
You mean you think that "bad guys" never seek political power? The founders of our country would have said that this was an incredibly naive viewpoint, since the "evil political overlords" were exactly the kind of people they expected to take power, make "BS laws" and do "something shady". Which is why they wrote the Constitution expressly to try to prevent that from happening.

You really think that even though "evil political overlords" can and did take power in Germany, Russia, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. etc, and delight in every kind of abuse possible in those places, that somehow those same "evil overlord" types are prevented from doing this in America?

What's really amazing is that the current rulers of the U.S. have publicly admitted torturing their victims and holding them without trial. They have also publicly admitted to mounting a massive campaign of unrestricted domestic surveillance, and entering into illegal partnerships with corporations to do it. Yet somehow you still think it "can't happen here" and even get modded "insightful" for it.

That attitude of "it can never happen here" is precisely why it is happening here.

It's even more insidious than that: (3, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673226)

'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying . They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.



Reality is even more insidious than that. They may not even be lying, but be completely honest and never use the law "that way" - but their successors eventually will.


It's just the same with agreements in a contract. Even if the original party will not abuse the terms, their successors will.

Re:It's even more insidious than that: (1)

riondluz (726831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687144)

fortunately for us all, our government, for all its resources and powers, have proven itself repeatedly to be incompetent both in using what it has and in its efforts to keep it secret.

wait for injustice (4, Insightful)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672966)

Now that the all the agencies are against the citizens, who will protect us from the government? and when will they realize they have gone too far? for sure, injustice will come before change

WAR IS PEACE (1)

SpaceWanderer (1181589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673032)

"a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting - three hundred million people all with the same face."

Re:War IS PEACE (1)

SpaceWanderer (1181589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673058)

Welcome to 1984. War is peace Freedom is slavery Ignorance is strength.

lazy ppl are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673120)

another day, another law, another scary news item

when are we going to turn the television off and come outside to meet together as one?

we are lazy losers

legalize marijuana

Re:lazy ppl are lame (1)

antonyb (913324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673156)

legalize marijuana
How is that going to help people switch off their televisions?

Re:lazy ppl are lame (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675296)

when are we going to turn the television off and come outside to meet together as one?
When you and every other pot-smoking hippy leave the bud alone and start taking regular practice at your local firing range.

Re:lazy ppl are lame (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676944)

Hey, how about you shutup about thing you don't know about instead? Ganja and guns are not mutually exclusive.

skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673134)

/me waits silently for skynet

The problem is... (2, Insightful)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673168)

The problem is that a cop investigating an ordinary crime has to sift through a very small haystack before he starts seeing some needles. With "National Security" "surveillance" they are mostly trolling ordinary people. Once they get this information on "us", they not only tend to keep it, but the powers that be almost always end up using it for their own purposes. Nixon and Hoover weren't weird aberrations (Despite the fact both were individually weird aberrations.) in American history, they are everywhere, among those who seek power in Government jobs.

law enforcement abusing new laws?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673170)

A member of my family, while obeying all traffic laws, and driving to dinner in a minivan, was recently pulled over and ticketed for "failure to yield to an emergency vehicle" after being followed for a couple of miles by a cop car with no lights or sirens on. It turns out that the state has recently raised the penalty for that ticket and the "reason" the van was being followed was because it's license-plate light was out. However the cop chose to write the $1000 ticket versus the (probably) sub-$100 ticket. Washington state, however is very, very, well known for using traffic cops as revenue builders. They also take home nice bonuses for exceeding quotas. It's such a messed-up system....

It may be cliche, but... (5, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673184)

... if the government is allowed to get away with this, the terrorists have won.

It's extremely difficult to take over a country where everything is decentralized and/or chaotic. You might inflict damage on one spot, but all the others just keep cooking along. US problems in Iraq are a good example of this.

Conversely, a society where every detail of every citizen's life is available in a centralized database (which is conveniently located in the same place as a strong central government) virtually begs to be taken over. You have only to take over the brain, and the rest of the body politic just keeps obliviously going about its business. The only difference is that there's a new boss raking in the profits.

And to all those jackasses who like to say, "If you have nothing to hide, what are you afraid of", I'd simply ask in return, "Are you really stupid enough to believe the information a government collects on you is always accurate?"

These dipshits can't locate 10 million illegal aliens, and they found out the Berlin Wall was coming down on the evening news. But you trust them to notice you're not the same guy as the one with a similar name and SIN who likes to rob banks half way across the country?

If somebody doesn't put some reins on these bastards right quick, we're going to find out there's worse things than losing a city or two to terrorist action.

Re:It may be cliche, but... (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675832)

These dipshits can't locate 10 million illegal aliens, and they found out the Berlin Wall was coming down on the evening news. But you trust them to notice you're not the same guy as the one with a similar name and SIN who likes to rob banks half way across the country?

You can't have your cake and eat it too! If you want them to be able to work effectively to protect you, you have to allow them to do their jobs efficiently with modern tools. Despite some of the Coplink marketing in TFA, the nDex system is about police departments coordinating the same data they've always stored. Stuff like "this guy Joe used to rob 7-11 stores in town A with a machete. If someone robs a 7-11 in neighboring town B with a machete, it might be worth asking Joe a few questions." That's not Orwell, that's basic police work.

Re:It may be cliche, but... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681070)

Sorry, I don't buy it. In my experience, the greatest impediment to effective policing isn't the tools they have available, it's laziness, stupidity and territoriality. I'll be the first to tell you there's incredibly good cops...I know several. But a lot of police would rather see a law enacted that utterly destroyed one of your rights than spend 15 minutes getting exactly the same results "the hard way".

And as for "having my cake and eating it too, you've really, really got it wrong if you think I value safety above freedom. Freedom is always paid for in blood. The ugly difference in today's world is that it's often innocent blood that gets spilled. Doesn't matter. You still have to make the choice.

Your example is perhaps a better one than you realize. The police already have everything they need to catch Joe with the machete. They're also very, very territorial and notoriously slow to share information with other jurisdictions. If you think breaking down barriers that were specifically erected to protect the civil rights of law-abiding civilians will help with that situation, you're dreaming. If I may paraphrase your closing remark, "That's not basic police work...it's Orwell."

Re:It may be cliche, but... (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683232)

Sorry, I don't buy it. In my experience, the greatest impediment to effective policing isn't the tools they have available, it's laziness, stupidity and territoriality. I'll be the first to tell you there's incredibly good cops...I know several. But a lot of police would rather see a law enacted that utterly destroyed one of your rights than spend 15 minutes getting exactly the same results "the hard way".
Agreed that these are impediments to progress. Policemen are people too. And territoriality is a HUGE impediment to progress. But there are things that just cannot be thoroughly done via a couple old-fashioned phone calls. The world is just too big.

And as for "having my cake and eating it too, you've really, really got it wrong if you think I value safety above freedom.
I'm not ascribing any values to you personally (I don't know you). But I am responding to the part of your original post which complained that those "dipshits" can't locate illegal aliens and heard about the Berlin wall on the news. If you're choosing to cut their abilities to do these things in exchange for more freedom (and that is a fine choice that I actually agree with) then don't bitch about them having limited abilities and call them dipshits.

The police already have everything they need to catch Joe with the machete.
No, they don't! Police A != Police B. The only way they already have everything they need is if they DO share across jurisdictional borders.

If you think breaking down barriers that were specifically erected to protect the civil rights of law-abiding civilians will help with that situation, you're dreaming.
Lack of cross-jurisdictional data sharing was not specifically erected by anybody! It just grew out of a growth in data (corresponding to a growth in population among other things) and a general expectation that as the rest of the world (including the "bad guys") evolve with technology, so must the public safety agencies.

Re:It may be cliche, but... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686834)

I REALLY wish I had time to do this in detail. Here's a couple of quick points. 1. I'm calling the various security agencies dipshits because if they can't use the tools they already have and the billions of dollars we already give them every year to find 10 million missing lawbreakers or to notice that the Berlin Wall is coming down before the rest of us see it on TV, then nothing else we give them is likely to improve their performance all that much. If you think the powers these agencies already possess are "limited" in any real sense, I don't think we have much more to talk about. When was the last time the FISA court turned down a request? I'll save you the research time. The answer is, "Never". 2. "Lack of cross-jurisdictional data sharing was not specifically erected by anybody!" I guess that would explain why the CIA is forbidden by statute from conducting domestic operations, and why access to data collected by the IRS is severely limited by various statutes specifically enacted for the purpose. There's more examples, of course; many more. I'll leave it to you to find them. Hint: Start with ATF, but don't stop there. 3. The data-sharing mechanisms to catch good ol' Joe already exist. A certain amount of cross-jurisdictional traffic already takes place. Check your facts. Sorry, gotta fly.

In confusion there is profit (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684746)

It's extremely difficult to take over a country where everything is decentralized and/or chaotic. You might inflict damage on one spot, but all the others just keep cooking along.

Russia falls to Lenin. The Third Republic to Hitler. China to Mao.

In the nineteeth century, how many enfeebled regimes in Asia and Africa fell without a whimper to the imperalist European?

In the twentieth, to the bandit, the warlord, the tinpot dictator of the banana republic? [wikipedia.org]

Should have named it FLEX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673248)

Federal Law Enforcement Exchange.

Obscure? Check out Jason K. Chapman's The Heretic. I like that book.

Re:Should have named it FLEX (1)

DrFruit (1178261) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676194)

Federal Law Enforcement Exchange

Shouldn't that be FLEE?

Which makes it sound like an advise.

overlords (1)

bandersnatch (176074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673268)

I, for one, welcome our new Dragnet overlords.

Why Sergeant Friday! So nice to see you!

On another note, coming soon to a government office near you:
"Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have NOT been changed to protect the innocent."

SMRT (3, Funny)

kidsizedcoffin (1197209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673322)

FTA: "Some officials avoid using the term intelligence because of those sensitivities." Well that certainly is a relief.

Sharing itself isn't the problem - control is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673358)

The laws for these sharing activities are immature.

There is a simple principle underneath all this sharing: criminals should not be able to hide behind borders. However, the laws governing data acquisition as well as how such data is retained are simply immature and too young to have any teeth.

To make matters worse, it appears governments do not realise the economic value of privacy - that is, until sufficient people migrate from a nation. Having said that, it striokes me that there may be a secondary motive at work - making industrial espionage easier - in other words, a nation preferres ANOTHER one to have weak privacy and security so it can take whatever it wants. I can see that sort of idea lie at the foundation of things like ECHELON.

To make this mess worse, the laws and rules governing the retention and access to this information are, well, crap. If you read the UK Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (RIPA) you'll have to look pretty hard to find any obligations on behalf of the "collecting" agent to keep the data safe. In other words, if you're a banker in London and get served with a RIPA warrant you may see a repeat of the Liechtenstein mess where governments put themselves above the law (another Very Bad development, started by the Bush administration). As soon as a government puts itself above its own laws (in the above case by handling stolen goods - the excuse is totally irrelevant) you can positively no longer speak of a democracy. Worse, it amplifies the possibility for this to happen again - a crime has been publicly handsomely rewarded.

Almost like re-electing Bush..

The tree of liberty (4, Insightful)

leereyno (32197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673474)

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The only thing worse than criminals are rogue agents of the state, acting under color of authority, to undermine the rights of their fellow citizens.

Thugs and goons are bad enough, but they're 10 times worse when given a badge.

A good friend of mine once said: Most cops are NOT pigs, but an awful lot of pigs pursue a career in law enforcement. The older I get, the more I understand just how right he was.

At the end of the day, the only thing that stands between us and the would-be tyrants of the world is our willingness to oppose them, with deadly force if need be. Liberty and power are two sides of the same coin, and in the real world political power comes from the barrel of a gun.

There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.

Re:The tree of liberty (2, Insightful)

colonslash (544210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674174)

At the end of the day, the only thing that stands between us and the would-be tyrants of the world is our willingness to oppose them, with deadly force if need be. Liberty and power are two sides of the same coin, and in the real world political power comes from the barrel of a gun.

Good luck with that deadly force thing.

The Iraqi and Afghanistan wars (I use the term loosely) have cost around $3,000,0000,0000,000.00 [timesonline.co.uk] so far. How can you take up arms against a government which is willing to use those types of resources? I believe the ratio of dead Iraqi/American in this conflict is on the order of 100/1 (it is much less with documented numbers http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ [iraqbodycount.org] http://www.google.com/search?q=dead+iraqi+count&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a [google.com] , but with these numbers it is still over 22:1). Just how do you propose using deadly force against something like that?

I think the boxes line needs some revision. With the type of money out there to buy the votes, individual votes in the ballot box have little impact. I am 33, and I have never been in a jury box. I don't see the ammo box as a viable option. However, the soap box is getting more and more powerful. Here is a draft for others to pick apart:

There is one box to be used in defense of liberty: soap. But other boxes can be a lot of fun.

Re:The tree of liberty (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675556)

> I think the boxes line needs some revision. With the type of money out there to buy the votes, individual votes in the ballot box have little impact. I am 33, and I have never been in a jury box. I don't see the ammo box as a viable option. However, the soap box is getting more and more powerful. Here is a draft for others to pick apart:
>
>There is one box to be used in defense of liberty: soap. But other boxes can be a lot of fun.

No, you missed the point.

The soap box is moot. Because it costs a billion dollars to buy the presidency, we're permitted to rant and rave on our soap boxes, because nobody who matters is listening. That's a good thing; freedom of speech doesn't require anyone to listen. Letting your population blow off steam by saying "The King is a Fink!" lets them vent their frustrations without actually changing anything. Probably for the best, since most changes that come from mobs tend to suck :). NSA's logging this post, and filing it away against whatever database holds political opinions. So I get a little tickmark by my name that files me under "harmless crank, still confused by the recent Slashdot change that makes some Anonymous Cowards start at zero, and other Anonymous Cowards start at -1". BFD.

The ballot box is next. We could vote out all incumbents, and within two or three electoral cycles, they might start listening. But let's get real - that's probably not going to happen. Plus, the election system itself has been compromised by the use of non-verifiable electronic voting. So, that one's toast.

We're at the jury box stage now. It's not you sitting in a jury defending someone else's freedom. It's also a jury deciding your fate. Although the most serious crimes never make it to court (this Administration effectively placing itself above the law), for most of us, our liberty is defended by the jury system. When you're in court on some trumped-up charge, the jury can still find you innocent. "Your honor, we don't accept that the prosecution's evidence was legitimately gained. We find the defendant Not Guilty by reason of lack of evidence."

The point of Ed Howdershelt's quote is that the ammo box is the last resort. Most of the time, even a "successful" revolution leaves liberty worse off than it was before the shit hit the fan. The people of America revolted against the King, and got Washington -- but the people of Russia revolted against the Czars, and got Lenin and Stalin for their troubles. China fared similarly poorly. For every East Bloc country that democratized itself, a dozen tinpot dictators sprung up in Africa and the Middle East.

America-1776 was the lucky exception, but it's emphatically not the historical rule. The ammo box is Pandora's box: once opened, all its horrors are let loose into the world. The box is supposed to stay closed until everyone has been tried everything else, and nobody feels they have anything left to lose. We're pretty far past the tipping point, but we're still decades away from that stage.

Re:The tree of liberty (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675920)

"They've got us by the balls, what can we do?"

"The only VIABLE option is to bitch and whine some more."

Yes, that very much sounds like something one would expect to hear on the internet, where people think whining and moaning about something actually HELPS! It doesn't.

And the VERY LEAST you need bodies in the streets non-violently INTERRUPTING BUSINESS AS USUAL (if you don't interrupt the flow of money, you'll not accomplish a thing) on weekdays in major cities. Anything less will be blown off as if it's, well, nothing more than empty bitching and whining.

And as for that little bit of wisdom regarding Iraq, while you correctly point out that it's not wonderfulness and sunshine over there, you never mention the fact that they HAVE SUCCESSFULLY stopped the most powerful military on the face of the Earth from fulfilling their "cakewalk" of a land/resources grab. Yes, the price is high, but the things that really matter don't always come at a discount.

Re:The tree of liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680986)

The problem is, we are fast approaching box 4.
Take the current political race. The question has quickly gone from "who will provide the best defense of liberty" to "who will do the least damage to it".

Oh, this is good (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673820)

Whole new layers of self-important morons sticking their nose in your business in the name of national security.

Slashdot (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673904)

Slashdot: News for nerds. Stuff that matters. All we know are the facts, ma'am.

Heh... (5, Informative)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674018)

I've actually worked (albeit very briefly) on Indiana's part of this system, iDex. At my previous job, I worked on a police department records management system, and we had to write code to "plug in" to this National database. The odd thing about this is that we had to write our software to work in 4 different states (IL, IN, NY, SC) and each state (of course) does their data collection differently. So I'm not sure the database will be entirely useful, as some states will contribute one thing to one data field and some states will contribute something entirely different.

However, the scary part is, even if you call in to *report* a crime, your name goes into the system. I know this because our software kept track of every individual (criminal or otherwise) that was entered into it, and, to my knowledge, all data from the system was passed on to the iDex application.

Since when? (1)

kcdoodle (754976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674958)

This level of interoperability has always existed.

National Crime Info Center [wikipedia.org]

I think they even got stuff with interpol.

J Edgar Hoover started it.

Re:Since when? (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675530)

NCIC doesn't track much more than a national list of stolen vehicles and outstanding warrants. It's a service the FBI runs and makes available to local police departments.

SCMODS (2, Funny)

joeslugg (8092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674972)

Elwood: "I'll bet they've got SCMODS."

Jake: "SCMODS?"

Elwood:
"State.
  County.
  Municipal.
  Offender.
  Data.
  System."

Won't be abused? Think National Security Letters (2, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675350)

This /. article follows closely on the heels of the reports that the FBI has continued to abuse the National Security Letters, despite being caught the first time about 5 years ago. (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Senate-FBI.html?ex=1362373200&en=64cbc1e08db5f5bf&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)

Consider that the national security letter abuse and data dragnet are concurrent with illegal government wiretaps and recent concerns about DNA profiling (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/health/24dna.html).

Observe, also, that Congress, no matter which party holds the majority there, is clearly uninterested in checking the excesses of the executive branch that oversees the FBI/CIA/NSA/Homeland Security. And it's not a partisan issue, since Bill Clinton began some of the steps that Bush has expanded on, and which either Hillary or McCain would continue.

I submit, fellow citizens, that we are quickly approaching a crisis in our democracy, when we each shall have to decide how important our freedom is to us, and what we're going to do about it.

It's Just NIBRS (2, Informative)

lexbaby (88257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675466)

This is nothing new. N-Dex is simply replacing NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting System) with the new NIEM (National Information Exchange Model) XML standard. Take off the tin foil hats everyone.

Re:It's Just NIBRS (2, Insightful)

castoridae (453809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675912)

Finally! Somebody mod parent up please. I know this is /. but the nerd-FUD is getting out of hand on this one!

Interesting that all the FUD comments come at 3am after this article was posted, and all the "voices of reason" come during daylight hours. Just saying...

Re:It's Just NIBRS (1)

foofooboy (541081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22689012)

It's NIBRS with names, narratives, IDs (SSN, DL, etc..) it is everything you can find on an incident report.

Not too scared... (3, Informative)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676862)

What the heck is N-Dex?
N-DEx: Law Enforcement National Data Exchange
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/ndex/ndex_home.htm [fbi.gov]

I've actually heard this term around vendors once or twice. It's on the horizon, but not being sold at the moment. Heck, we'd be happy to get out of Uniform Crime Reports and into National Incident-Based Reporting System. Trust me. Its not the cops or the police agencies that want those things. They like to keep their data in their black box and share it with no one. It's the various folks at the federal/state level and the newspaper people that like to compare how your police department is doing with the neighbors that drives this. NIBRS is all about crime stats so that those that like to compare crime stats have more columns of information to compare.

There was a program called RPIS that died still born that was one of the precursors to this. It was mainly aimed at drug task forces to share intel data. It never really went anywhere. No one at our agency every entered anything into the system.

I've heard N-Dex in connection with NIBRs. The way its talked about is using those crime stats and sort of generating a "weather map" of crime stats or at least trying to predict future crimes based on current crime trends at more than just the local level. I think that sounds really cool in theory. I have serious doubts that they'll get and keep it up though. This sounds like something the feds will work on for a few years and will die off in 5 or so years. I'll wait until vendors start pushing N-Dex as a selling point or the state suddenly requiring it before I'm interested in it for our agency.

Discourage cooperation for the common good (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676978)

By increasing the paranoia in the U.S., and inviting even more partisan usage of this type of "intelligence sharing" for political gains, this will engender an even more crass, selfish and base society in the U.S. Things are already heading in that direction.

Research has discovered, as if common sense weren't enough, that "free" societies that are governed by transparency and the rule of law have much more cooperation in regards to helping others and the common good.
See http://www.physorg.com/news124046352.html [physorg.com]

As technology and legislation continue to erode the societal norms and Constitutional Righst that Americans(over 30) have been used to, you will continue to see a degrading of the American social fabric.

Fear, and the quest for personal gain above all else will be the new norms.

James Madison quote time (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677010)

Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.

Holy White Wolf, Batman! (1)

Count Fenring (669457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677020)

So... Raytheon's latest products include a death ray and a system for organizing your spy data? Methinks the real world Pentex I spy, else maybe a New World Order?

To those who aren't huge roleplaying dorks, I apologize for the inconvenience.

what is national security anyhow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22677970)

Is it:
1) reducing the likelihood that I get killed by a terrorist?
2) reducing the likelihood that a "large" number of people get
killed by a terrorist.
3) reducing the likelihood that buildings get destroyed by ..
4) reducing the likelihood that government buildings get destroyed by ...
5) ... other random infrastructure...
6) ...money gets stolen...
7) ...the country gets invaded and controlled by ...
8) Guaranteeing that what a country needs and wants is available at
a reasonable price (oil for instance).
9) Trying to make other people behave like us.

or what?

Maybe we need a slashdot poll.

If I understand the goal, then I could
understand where the cost is worth it and whether the goal is being
met. (to prove the goal is being met I should be able to look at
testing results, just like testing anything that's supposed to prevent
something from happening)

Cheney went after Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22678232)

Supposedly in those files, there's a report of a secret
Zed Team, that was formed to capture Obama for rendition
to a sympathetic Eastern European nation.

Cheney believed that with the right techniques, he'd be
able to get Obama to spill his guts about planning to
take control of the United States government.

The Zed Team was given clearance by the Justice Dept, as long
as no steroids were used.

Loi informatique et liberté (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681484)

Why is it that some countries have had laws dealing with this for the last frigging 30 years [wikipedia.org] while others still can't put 2 and 2 together ?!? Basically it says that government agencies can collect whatever they want, but they are forbidden to merge their files/databases with other agencies. If you have a _social security_ number (= medical record), it can't be matched to your identity card number. And can't be matched to your tax account. And can't be matched to your bank account. Or you driver's license. Etc... You need to give more paperwork for anything gov-related, but it's also harder to have your identity stolen. And nobody gives a fuck that we have mandated ID cards.

Would you look at that... (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684468)

You know, I've always wanted to know how in the hell a nation could allow something like the KGB to form. Now I still don't know, 'cause the spying-on-your-own-citizens has never been so thorough. Maybe China comes close, or even the Netherlands, but information systems like this...?

not really what they claim (1)

foofooboy (541081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686456)

N-Dex is no where near being complete. I have talked to the guys running the project and it isn't even scheduled to be complete for another 8 years. It isn't going to collect anything that isn't publicly available already through a freedom of information request at your local Law Enforcement agency. It is not an intelligence system, it is a historical records system with names and locations attached. Don't be scared, just don't get your name on an incident report, and you won't have an issue.

There are only a handful of states with similar systems that would be ready to push data to N-Dex within the next 5 years.

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