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ask - what do you think caused the NSA to start collecting so much data?

raymorris (2726007) writes | about 7 months ago

13

raymorris (2726007) writes "Many people believe that the NSA collects far too much data, violating the privacy rights of the very citizens the NSA is supposed to protect. How did we get here? What specific structural or cultural changes can be identified that led some to believe it is okay to engage in this sort of broad dragnet surveillance as opposed to getting specific court orders for specific suspects?

Many people simply assign the blame to the opposite political party, which doesn't get very far in solving the problem and ensuring it doesn't happen again. Can we look at specific, identifiable factors and show exactly how they directly caused the intelligence community to get off track? For example, precisely which sections of which laws are being used to justify these programs, and what caused those laws to be passed? Is the surveillance directly authorized by law, or do the justifications require "creative" interpretation of the law?

In order to avoid getting into yet another fruitless political flame war and keep the discussion factually focused, please provide citations where possible."

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13 comments

A very old idea (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45757027)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_SHAMROCK [wikipedia.org]
As an exercise "all telegraphic data entering into or exiting from the United States"
You also had https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MINARET [wikipedia.org]
The you saw the Parallel construction with the NSA/DEA
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/dea-and-nsa-team-intelligence-laundering [eff.org]
The US and UK intelligence community was never off track, they just sold the public it was all for the embassy spies, WW2, Soviet Union and then later drugs, terror.
The only " justification" needed was for budgets and keeping other gov groups like the CIA, FBI away from funding and political leaders.
So you had the files and secret briefings per cleared political leader as 'oversight' - just enough to be on topic and to be seen as getting 'results'.
i.e. it was always a telco system built to be collected from. The tech press, academics, gov, legal experts thanks to Snowden finally 'have' to understand what junk they sold the world.
Whistleblowing was/is the only cultural change to expose vast illegal domestic surveillance :)
As for 'justify" - in the US it all falls under color of law and other legal mind games for generations cleared political leaders and generations of cleared staff.
The US Fourth Amendment in open court used by a good legal team great :)
http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/federal-judge-rules-against-nsa [freedomwatchusa.org]
http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/pdf/131216-NSA%20Opinion.pdf [freedomwatchusa.org]

thanks. It seems it's nothing new, has been happen (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45758527)

Thanks so much for that specific, relevant, and credible information.
It seems this stuff has been going on forever, that the spooks have always spied on the citizens to whatever extent technology allows. Occasionally, they get caught, it's a scandle, and Congress puts a stop to it for a few years. Then they start up again. I had asked "how did we get here?" The answer seems to be "we've always been here.". This latest round restarted in response to 9-11, but the same stuff was going on 10 and 20 years before.

Re:thanks. It seems it's nothing new, has been hap (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45758687)

Another good read is the EU report into the NSA/GCHQ efforts
http://cryptome.org/echelon-ep-fin.htm [cryptome.org] A good read from what was missing 'before' Snowden and the classic post WW2 efforts.

were you born yesterday? (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 7 months ago | (#45757327)

"Many people believe that the NSA collects far too much data, violating the privacy rights of the very citizens the NSA is supposed to protect. How did we get here? What specific structural or cultural changes can be identified that led some to believe it is okay to engage in this sort of broad dragnet surveillance as opposed to getting specific court orders for specific suspects?

Have you also noticed a human propensity to enjoy having slaves? From those with dark colored skin, to those used for sexual satisfaction? Have you ever heard about the Nazis? The East German Stasi?

Information gleamed from privacy violation is power. There are people out there that like the power. There are people out there that will use any and every real or imagined threat to justify them getting more of that power.

Liberty takes eternal vigiliance, including no small amount of blood sweat and tears. The reason we are where we are is that too few of my comrades here in the US were willing to shed blood sweat and tears so that the next generation would be better off than they are with the current mess. Sure, I can't do anything other than wave my hands as I say that, but then again, neither can the other side.

But I guess my bottom line answer to you is to not underestimate the human desire for power. Or the willingness to lie, cheat, steal, and far worse to keep and gain more power. As the elder generation dies off, memory of how bad it was under the Stasi will be forgotten, and the temptations to return to that level of social control will resurge. Read history; else repeat.

thanks, it seems is is nothing new, they've always (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45758511)

Following the links you provided, then other links from there, it appears this stuff has been happening, on a large scale, for a long time.
They'll do it for a while, then it becomes public and Congress stops it for a little while, then it starts up again.
I originally asked "how did we get here" and it seems the answer is "we've always been here" The spooks have always spied on the citizens to whatever extent technology would allow. Most recently, it was restarted I response to 9-11, but it had been going on ten years before that as well.

Thanks again for your informative response.

that reply was meant for ahuxley (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45758515)

My reply was meant for ahuxley, who provided specific, credible, and directly relevant information.

Re:that reply was meant for ahuxley (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45758671)

Ty ray, I try :) another link would be the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Awareness_Office [wikipedia.org] news, when found out, just dives back deeper into mil, gov under new cover names, funding mix.

Remember when Cheney shot that guy in the face? (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 7 months ago | (#45757539)

and remember how completely and utterly above the law his subsequent behavior made him appear? And then do you remember when the guy he shot in the face publicly apologized to Cheney over the ordeal? And then do you remember how freaking hilarious the next episode of the daily show with Jon Stewart was? I'm not saying that was when it started. But it's a good mile-marker on the road to lawlessness to note.

Re:Remember when Cheney shot that guy in the face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45757839)

I'm assuming this is some kind of sarcasm or your Thorazine medication has worn off. Your rambling has nothing to do with the topic.

Re:Remember when Cheney shot that guy in the face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45758483)

Oh c'mon. It wasn't *exactly* sarcasm. The article question itself was just plain silly. As if it was any particular law or situation that led to these issues. What led to these issues is that humanity is invariable attracted to orwellian big brother style social control unless philosophical education provides enough resistance to it. And the long string of Bush/Cheney incidents which ought to have resultted in criminal prosecution were legitimate justice at play... I mean really, go watch that episode of tdswjs, it was freaking hilarious. If you request it, I'll try to provide you a download link to my local cache. I mean really, the man shot a friend in the face (incidentally I believe it was a long time lawyer friend who had some concerns about the executive branch overstepping it's constitutional authority), and then Cheney didn't feel the need to go to the police afterword. This man acts more above the law than I do. And that is saying a lot.

there are reasons that they get away with it (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45758567)

You correctly point that the various administrations who have done this, including the Bush administration, should have had consequences, but they didn't. The citizens have, for at least 70 years, allowed the government to flagrantly violate the law. Why? What causes the people to accept this? Why aren't people up in arms? Heck, presidents have been RE-ELECTED after getting caught clearly violating the Constitution. Why do we vote for the guy after we know he's done this stuff? There's something more going on here then "they want power". First, we GIVE them the power. Secondly, politicians want to be liked. They want a legacy. No president wants to be remembered the way Nixon is remembered. Yet they keep doing this spying that frequently results in a big scandal. Obama is on his way out soon - his power is over. Why doesn't he uphold the Constitution as one act of creating a positive legacy?

a better question may be "what effects will this h (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#45758541)

Now that AHuxley has documented that the spying is nothing new, that we didn't "get here" cause we've always been here, I'm wondering about a different question. What does the latest round of revelations about it mean? Based on what's happened when this kind of thing has been revealed in the past, what consequences or results should we expect from this round of spying and relevations of spying?

Re:a better question may be "what effects will thi (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#45758771)

None, the best you can hope for is a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee [wikipedia.org] again.
The US justice system is getting very clear on the legal standing of a vast domestic surveillance network.
Your getting the same rights you always had 'read' back to you in open court.
Will we see another round of State Secrets, retroactive immunity or new color of law efforts and a huge sock puppet drive to make it all seem nice?
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