Wake up to Domestic Surveillance

Discussion in 'Congress' started by flacaltenn, May 20, 2015.

  1. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The level of policy discussion about NSA and other surveillance programs is WOEFULLY lacking. But that is the case for most political discussions in this country today. Americans are NOT being served by the press or their elected representatives in that
    the vast majority of Americans have no idea what the terms "bulk data collection", metadata, or "data mining" imply. I'm gonna give you a couple things to contemplate and HOPE that you then become invested in understanding and fixing this problem.

    1) Data mining is the training of machines to recognize anomalous transactions between people or resources (when applied to monitoring terrorist activities). You cannot train a machine to recognize one anomalous transaction out of millions unless you've trained the machine to REJECT common normal transactions. To do that -- you NEED millions/billions of innocent transaction to "train on". Thus the need to do "bulk" collection. The folks (congresscritters, FISA judges) supposedly monitoring this activity probably have no real appreciation of this need. And to keep from the alarming the public euphemistically refer to metadata or anonymous data records. Anything with my phone number or bank information attached to it is NOT anonymous.

    2) When we are reassured that only "foreign" inbound or outbound data is a target for collection, they are depending on the laziness and general stupidity of the American public. Since NSA is allowed to forced ISPs thru "court order" to gain access to colllections, this implies that surveillance taps are being allowed at many of the carrier sites and indeed may include a room or building that is staffed by govt (NSA) folk much like in the past when major US telcos were in bed with NSA for now revealed collection on foreign soil. IN FACT, the whole distinction of DOMESTIC collection is a canard. You could take all the ephemeral metadata the Google builds over the day and flash it over to a mirror site in the UK within a few hours every night. At that point, all of the data are no longer subject to FISA restrictions or "domestic" collection laws. And this is one of the revelations that Snowden and other Civil Libertarians have been trying to get folks to realize. In fact, when Google or Verizon are tapped, they can be "reimbursed" for access to their servers or physical installations on their premises.

    3) I have no beef with NSA. They are a rare bastion of competence in a sea of govt bureaucracy. When their mission was to apply methods and practices to surveil our overseas threats, they could apply AWESOME measures. The American people do not want this extremely competent agency building massive new collection capabilities and analysis for domestic surveillance. Like that massive new building in Utah. That capability doesn't belong in political hands..

    Support MEANINGFUL changes to the Patriot Act in Congress NOW. And THINK about what you are not being told and you are not hearing in public debate.
     
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  2. Kosh
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    Kosh Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Have not seen you for a while, glad to see you back posting again.

    Even if you are an "evil" mod..

    ----------------------------------------------

    We will always be monitored by the government whether done in the US borders or outside the US borders..
     
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  3. Kosh
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    Kosh Gold Member Supporting Member

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    You have to remember that we have offices in other countries so we can monitor inside the US. It was a work around the laws.

    So even if the NSA can not do direct spying, it can be done indirectly via another country..
     
  4. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    Bump. Good topic, FCT. You're quite right, this needs exposure.

    Where da fuck ya been?
     
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  5. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    There was a lot sharing with foreign intelligence of overseas traffic. And we know that we can collect data in the UK (for instance) and share with their authorities , but until 9.11 and the Patriot Act, I seriously doubt that our goverment would openly allow collection of purely domestic data on our soil.

    The whole notion of DOMESTIC collection is a word game as I pointed out above. All that is required is to spool it overseas overnight and all of the Patriot Act restrictions are null and void. People will intuitively know this is possible, and then understand how they have been deprived of the understanding required to preserve their civil liberties and prevent government from acquiring such a nefarious capability.

    And yes -- this whole thing makes me a bit pissy... Nice to see ya again...
     
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  6. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Waiting for something important to talk about... :blahblah: And designing stuff for people.. I miss ALMOST everything about USMB. And if I take another sabbatical -- I'll be back on a regular basis.
     
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  7. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Members of Congress are more frightened of voters than terrorist, should Congress indeed act to place citizens' civil liberties above domestic security and another 9/11 occurs.

    And as long as voters care more about being given the illusion of 'security,' they'll not compel Congress to safeguard citizens' civil liberties.
     
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  8. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I really hate to quote authority in a debate, it's the details and the truth that matters, NOT who is for or against. But in this case --- It's hard to be on the wrong side of the Civil Libertarians who have studied the issue and done the math on how much liberty you give up for security. So when the ACLU agrees with Rand Paul and the major apologists for continued surveillance are Diane Feinstein and Peter King -- I stick with principles and avoid the morons.

    All you have to do is to look at WHO is trying to wake up America to the threat of putting those tools into political hands. I love it when the true Civil Libertarians turn on their colleagues -- Dont You?????
     
  9. irosie91
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    irosie91 Diamond Member

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    Hi FCT------still consider the caliphate an issue too
    trivial to mention?
     
  10. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    It's up there with THIS issue. Again, America is ill -informed to know who really understands the issue. I hear major media folks demanding that we take back Anbar tomorrow. But ya gotta ask WHO would we taking it back for? Same way they manipulate folks to look around this issue of Civil Liberties. Too much focus on WHO is speaking and not on what they might say to help you LEARN about the issue..

    Having an enemy with an address is huge strategic advantage aint it? . So let the caliphate reign... I'm laser focused on saving THIS country at the moment.
     
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