Today in NSA/FISA

The Post has a FISA story and some new NSA material that are worth a look. The FISA court judges are apparently butthurt because their secret court that approves almost every request for surveillance is being called a “rubber stamp”.

classified 2009 draft report by the National Security Agency’s inspector general relayed some details about the interaction between the court’s judges and the NSA, which sought approval for the Bush administration’s top-secret domestic surveillance programs. The report was described in The Washington Post on June 16 and released in full Thursday by The Post and the British newspaper the Guardian.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, took the highly unusual step Friday of voicing open frustration at the account in the report and court’s inability to explain its decisions.

“In my view, that draft report contains major omissions, and some inaccuracies, regarding the actions I took as Presiding Judge of the FISC and my interactions with Executive Branch officials,” Kollar-Kotelly said in a statement to The Post. It was her first public comment describing her work on the intelligence court.

The judges want to be able to release the legal justifications for their orders, if not the details of each order, which makes a lot of sense to me.

The Post also released some more slides from the PRISM presentation, and they have more hints about the “direct access” claim made in the initial coverage of the story:

Depending on the provider, the NSA may receive live notifications when a target logs on or sends an e-mail, or may monitor a voice, text or voice chat as it happens (noted on the first slide as “Surveillance”).

Germany is also upset over new revelations in der Speigel that the NSA bugged EU headquarters.






196 replies
  1. 1
    Cacti says:

    Any word on whether Ed “The Terminal” Snowden has shot himself in the balls yet?

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    HA!
    Just wait until der Speigel finds out that it wasn’t just that the NSA bugged EU headquarters – it’s that they also bugged the bathrooms.

    And if we find out that was actually true, would anyone really be surprised?

    The bottles are over here, and the genie’s are all over the damn place – probably, never to return.

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    Just as a matter of WTF, members of the FISA court and the court that reviews FISA decisions (in the unlikely event of a FISA denial) are appointed by the Chief Justice:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U....._of_Review

    I can’t see how anyone who claims to be a conservative would be OK with this.

  4. 4
    mistermix says:

    @Cacti: I think Snowden is hanging out with Hoss Cartwright.

    http://gawker.com/ex-u-s-gener.....-604516840

  5. 5
    Poopyman says:

    Germany is also upset over new revelations in der Speigel that the NSA bugged EU headquarters.

    I can ‘t believe they’d be surprised by the bugging, but I’m sure that seeing it in der Spiegel is what stings.

  6. 6
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    Watch Germany become a “hostile nation” quickly among the Balloon Juice commentariat.
    All that this story requires is a small revelation that all of this could actually be blamed on Bush. Immediately, the Snowden snark; Greenwald bashing; “spying agency spies, no surprise there” – all would change to full throated civil liberties defense here.

  7. 7
    Suffern ACE says:

    This revelation borders on treason. Actually no. It is treachery of the most hyperbolic sort. With expletives of all sorts. Our field agents at the EU are now in grave danger. Do you know how long it takes to infiltrate that place?

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    @Suffern ACE: It’s a hardship post. “Pleeeeze don’t send me to Paris!”

  9. 9
    jamick6000 says:

    @Cacti: you consistently drag down the level of discourse on this web-site.

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    @jamick6000:

    Awww…are you going to beg JC to ban me again, little flower?

  11. 11
    jamick6000 says:

    i’d bet our spying in europe has everything to do with helping our companies win government contracts over there. nothing to do with keeping anybody safe.

  12. 12
    Corporate shill says:

    @jamick6000: you consistently drag down the level of discourse on this web-site.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jamick6000:

    i’d bet our spying in europe has everything to do with helping our companies win government contracts over there. nothing to do with keeping anybody safe.

    On general principles, or on actual evidence?

  14. 14
    jamick6000 says:

    @Amir Khalid: in the early 2000s we spied on the french to help boeing win a contract over airbus.

  15. 15
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @jamick6000:

    Rather than eavesdropping on the EU for the purpose of government contracts, it just might be that the US wants to know the what they really think and plan rather than diplomatic speak.

    And no, I’m not justifying it; I certainly agree it has little to do with keeping us safe. I wonder how many other countries do this to the best of their capabilities.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    All we need to do is keep telling the EU and Germany and member nations that this isn’t important and that really they should be talking about Edward Snowden and how weird he is. Surely that will work.

  17. 17
    Steve Crickmore says:

    Obama finally got his wish that this is the most transparent administration ever, that he presides over a burgeoning Leviathan NSA, which systematically spies on everyone, including its own citizens, and allies, well beyond any concerns of terrorism. The most surprising and worrisome aspect of this scandal to me, is that so many so called progressive posters reserve their highest dudgeon, against those few, Winston Smiths’ who expose the state’s massive subterfuges, and not for those who have acquiesed, to go along with this charade.

  18. 18
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    This is one of those “honeypot” posts, isn’t it, mm? Wise move to collect them all here so other posts don’t get polluted.

  19. 19
    jamick6000 says:

    @Corporate shill: false. all of my comments are on-point, clearly writeen, incisive, insightful.

  20. 20
    Mandalay says:

    Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine said National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden showed its reporters “parts” of a secret document from 2010 that outlined how the US had placed devices in the two EU embassies and gained access to their internal computer networks.

    Der Spiegel is clearly not paying attention.

    A dozen BJ posters will surely come forward to insist that this is yet more old news from Snowden, and that they knew all about the 2010 document back in 2006.

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    And no, I’m not justifying it; I certainly agree it has little to do with keeping us safe. I wonder how many other countries do this to the best of their capabilities.

    Allies spying on each other is nothing new. The Brits and Israelis have spied on us for years.

  22. 22
    MomSense says:

    @Cacti:

    Allies spying on each other is nothing new. The Brits and Israelis have spied on us for years.

    And public comments by “aggrieved” parties are meant for public consumption. Something else we have known about for years are the ways in which allies work together, provide information to each other, and bypass the domestic laws that prevent them from collecting certain information.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    Depending on the provider, the NSA may receive live notifications when a target logs on or sends an e-mail, or may monitor a voice, text or voice chat as it happens (noted on the first slide as “Surveillance”)

    In hindsight, GG et al. overreached with the “direct access” claim.

  24. 24
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Cacti:

    I agree, it’s nothing new. Spying is as old as Nation States themselves.

  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jamick6000:
    You assert that US espionage in Europe is exclusively in the service of American commercial nterests. But instances of

    in the early 2000s we spied on the french to help boeing win a contract over airbus.
    are not conclusive proof of this:

    nothing to do with keeping anybody safe.

  26. 26
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mandalay: Do you think Germany spies on us?

  27. 27
    mistermix says:

    @Baud:

    In hindsight, GG et al. overreached with the “direct access” claim.

    Probably, but the claim that there is some kind of real-time access hasn’t been disproven in anything I’ve seen.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    European officials’ reactions :”It is abhorrent.”

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @mistermix:

    True, but hasn’t there always been some type of real time access to the communications network, regardless of the technology. To me, the more interesting debate concerns the legal framework that applies or should apply.

  30. 30
    Singular says:

    @Mandalay: Na, the defence for this one will be much simpler. It’ll just be “Spying happens. We spy on allies, they spy on us.”

    Which is actually a lot better of an argument than all the shit spouted to justify the domestic spying. Like Snowden is weird, an egomaniac, a coward, undeducated, a traitor selling secrets, in the pay of GG and his shadowy overmasters, not a REAL whistleblower.

    And best of all, because it was just so obvious from the Patriot Act that this is what everyone had signed up to, so nobody can whinge now, fuck you very much :)

  31. 31
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mistermix: There’s a vast difference between “real time access to everybody” and “real time access to approved ‘targets.'” The whole reason the story took off was that first claim, which hasn’t been substantiated at all.

  32. 32
    Singular says:

    @Baud: If you receive notification when a “target” (for whatever reason) logs on and chats or whatnot, and then can monitor that chat, how the hell is that not real time access?

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    God damn. Now we’re at war with Germany too?!

  34. 34
    Onkel Fritze says:

    I guess I’m not surprised at anything anymore. Whart gets me is the sheer amount of hypocrisy.

  35. 35
    kc says:

    @Cacti:

    That wasn’t funny the first ten times you posted it, either

  36. 36
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Baud:

    To me, the more interesting debate concerns the legal framework that applies or should apply.

    The quote below suggests that the FISA court may be making up the legal framework as it goes along.

    It was created in 1978 to handle routine surveillance warrants, but these critics say it is now issuing complex, classified, Supreme Court-style rulings that are quietly expanding the government’s reach into the private lives of unwitting Americans.

    A spying apparatus overseen by Congress critters who understand little more than “foil terrorist plots” and “keeping us safe.” A court whose decisions are classified and not subject to challenge or judicial review. This is not a recipe for restraint or accountability.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @Singular:

    I believe the original claim was “direct access to the servers.”

  38. 38
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’ve never forgiven them for bombing Pearl Harbor.

  39. 39
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    The FISA court judges are apparently butthurt because their secret court that approves almost every request for surveillance is being called a “rubber stamp”.

    Awww…somebody call the waambulance.

    Okay, they’re not a “rubber stamp”.

    They’re a “Automatic Signature Printing Machine is used for signing cheques, documents etc. When the volumes are high. It can print signatures, Logos and dates on Single Sheet/ Cheque, etc. An Auto-feeder ensures smooth feeding of document at a very high speed.”

    IOW, they can be automated out of existence, with NO loss of capability.

  40. 40
    kc says:

    @NotMax:

    What a bunch of emoprogs! Firebaggers!

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Cacti:

    Haven’t heard anything about Snowden’s nethers, but Assange came across on This Week as a total jerk.

  42. 42
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Every day this issue continues and remains uninvestigated and not correctly fixed it will be that much worse for Obama’s legacy once he leaves office-especially if the GOP/American Taliban get back the reigns. And the clock is ticking.

    2014 will determine whether we still are the United States of America or the Universal Stasi of Amerika.

    Now look at who is your representative and senators are-and ask how they allowed this to happen on their watch.

    Choose wisely.

    And if you don’t agree with me, then I kindly refer you to Vir Cotto

  43. 43
    Bourne Freeh says:

    This is all small time – driftglass has the true blockbuster surveillance scoop.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    I would like to see debate about FISA reform for the reasons you mentioned.

  45. 45
    Singular says:

    @Baud: Point well taken. And GG did ramp up the language.

    But whatever it is, requests and then using a drop box system, notifications and then monitoring, then it seems like the access is real time and comprehensive, and that the companies involved can still claim “there is no direct access”. Without totally being lying sacks of shit.

  46. 46
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Singular: That’s what we call message queuing-not exactly 100% pure realtime, but covers 99.99% of many instances where I need immediate notification as opposed to waiting for the nightly batch to process.

  47. 47
    Jockey Full of Malbec says:

    @jamick6000:
    France is not exactly without stain when it comes to industrial espionage.

  48. 48
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Baud:

    I would like to see debate about FISA reform for the reasons you mentioned.

    AFAIK, the FISA Court is the only court other than SCOTUS whose decisions can’t be appealed. One big problem is that the targets of FISA requests are classified and the decisions of the court are classified. IOW, that’s some catch that Catch 22.

  49. 49
    Dolly Llama says:

    I had this guy for a political science class back in ’90 or ’91. He joked about the bugging of everywhere. Told a story about how they were guests in the Russian embassy in Germany back in the day and were in their quarters and his boss said to him “Marty, you know what I’d love right now? A big glass of Scotch with three or four big chunks of ice in it. Wouldn’t you?” Just a few minutes later, they get a knock on the door with a guy bearing two scotches.

    He also told the story about how Nixon was at a negotiating table with Brezhnev and spread all of his notes out before an aide frantically whispered in his ear to “cover up” from the cameras in the overhead light fixtures. So Nixon, realizing his mistake, dives out over the notes, practically does a belly-flop. And Brezhnev laughs and says “Don’t worry! The cameras were installed back in the days of the Czars.”

    I realize in both cases above, Hillenbrand was in “adversarial surroundings,” which might make those anecdotes a bit different from what we’re talking about now. But, still, it’s not a new thing. Maybe it’s advanced to an unacceptable degree, but it’s sure as fuck not a foreign concept in the diplomatic world.

  50. 50
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @kc: I disagree. Hell, I think it’s still funny now.

  51. 51
    Anya says:

    I don’t understand the purpose of spying on EU officials.

    Also, too, I thought Snowden said that his leaking was more targeted than Manning’s, so why is he releasing this type of information? What purpose does it serve other than to make things harder for our government?

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Singular: Snowden and Greenwald implied that there was no targeting, just indiscriminate hoovering up of all data on everyone. If targeting is too widespread or too little reviewed, well, by all means let’s do something about that. But that’s definitely not where the story began, or how it continues to be understood among the general public.

  53. 53
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Baud: None of you have this right.

    The NSA’s slide had written on it “Collected directly from the servers of these US Service Providers” followed by a list (all of the big ones, basically).

    The Guardian’s article, reporting what the slides said, contained “direct access to the systems of..” (those companies.)

    I’m sorry, but all of the people trying to make that into “overreach”, let alone gross journalistic negligence, are themselves overreaching.

    I’ve seen people argue that direct “access” ruled out that it could be a dropbox, that is, that “access” or “direct” necessarily made it the entire server and everything on it.

    To try to make sense of that, imagine this conversation:

    I couldn’t get those files on your server.

    “The ones in the dropbox?”

    Right, it said I don’t have access.

    “I wasn’t giving you access, just the files.”

    Um, I need access to them to get them. They’re on the server. So I need access to the server.

    “No, I just want you to download the files, not access the server”.

    We’re getting into Who’s on First territory here, I’m sorry.

  54. 54
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cacti:

    How will you ever know with your face buried in Der Fuhrur’s crotch?

  55. 55
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Anya:
    Anya, I think the purpose is to understand their strategies and try to determine whether or not it’s harmful to our economy so we’re better prepared to both negotiate and take corrective measures.

  56. 56
    piratedan says:

    @mistermix: I think that the “real-time” access would only be applicable when you’ve already made the case that there’s someone who’s a “person of interest” based on who they associate with or the types of things that they’ve shown to be interested in, otherwise it would seem to be pretty much worthless, true? Unless the NSA is really interested in my Stepmom’s plans to come out this summer for a weekend.

  57. 57
    MattF says:

    @Anya: It’s employment for the spies. No, seriously– it’s an example of the ‘streetlight effect’– the drunk looking for his keys looks under the streetlight because that’s where he can see things. Also, in the US, ‘spying’ is more or less the same thing as ‘reading the newspaper,’ so it’s not a very strenuous activity.

  58. 58
    kc says:

    @A Humble Lurker:

    I expect that’s all the encouragement he needs to keep spamming the comments.

  59. 59
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    I hope this was snark:

    How will you ever know with your face buried in Der Fuhrur’s crotch?

    Otherwise it’s an amazingly disgusting comment. Sounds straight out of “Paulbot Land”.

  60. 60
    piratedan says:

    @pamelabrown53: gotta start using “snark tags” // :-)

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: “Systems” vs. “servers” makes a difference too, though. At least in the non-techie media. IMHO “systems” without some kind of adjective before it suggests “all the computers,” while “servers” does convey that kind of totality. Maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s at least a little different, at least in tone. “Systems” sounds ominous.

  62. 62
    Joey Giraud says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    The fact that so many people here jumped aboard the Everybody Hate Edward Snowden bandwagon is disgusting.

    Bunch of freaking tools, bootlickers, good Germans.

  63. 63
    Anya says:

    @pamelabrown53: They’re our alias, their strategies are not meant to target us. They might have bad policies like the austerity but that’s already in the open, no?

    @MattF: I guess this makes more sense. They’re addicted to spying.

  64. 64
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Joey Giraud: Going back and adding “bootlickers” and “good Germans” was a nice touch.

  65. 65
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Anya: Agree, that they’re not targeting us but understanding their long-term plans can adversely effect us. I know I sound more supportive than I am because I actually feel ambivalence.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: They’ve been fighting The Great Semantic War ™. Between the parsing and the Rumsfeldian “known knowns” it’s been interesting.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Yes, you are a Paultard. That makes you my enemy.

  68. 68
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Hill Dweller

    The classics are still the best.

    I’m always impressed with the effectiveness of a full-court-press mainstream media smear campaign. You can get all kinds of “free-thinkers” and “independent minds” to parrot nasty stuff about a person they never met and know next to nothing about.

    Did you know that Julian Assange is a creepy, misogynistic jerk, a sociopathic narcissist, an evil yet incompetent hacker, and an obnoxious, annoying poseur with bad breath and a small penis?

    That’s what “they” say….

  69. 69
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I have no use for either Paul. Not a libertarian.

    Consider new glasses. That might help that myopia issue you have.

  70. 70
    Ash Can says:

    @Joey Giraud: I’d positively adore Edward Snowden if he weren’t such a fucking clown who had made an otherwise necessary and overdue discussion into a carnival sideshow, and if his supporters were the least bit tolerable.

    Honestly, the number of commenters on this thread who are all agog over international spying is…cute. Being old enough to remember the Cold War and the days of the CIA being caught with its paws not just in surveillance but in out-and-out assassinations abroad, and having studied international relations years ago on the post-graduate level, I can’t help but be amused. As is the case with trying to reason with creationists or climate-change deniers, I’m sure that the attempt to tell people here that this kind of spying has been going on for ages and that none of it started under Obama will hit an impenetrable wall of “That can’t possibly be true,” and fall to the ground in utter futility. Nonetheless, I’m pleased that the original post is at least a step in the direction of examining the actual issue, which is how, and how much, we as a nation want to change the way our security agencies go about doing business, why, and what the actual ramifications of any changes would actually be.

  71. 71
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Ash Can:
    Good comment, Ash Can. BTW, I wish people were as hair on fire outraged by the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the avalanche of voter suppression laws coming down the pike.

  72. 72
    Cacti says:

    @jamick6000:

    all of my comments are…clearly writeen

    Fail.

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Good comment, Ash Can. BTW, I wish people were as hair on fire outraged by the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the avalanche of voter suppression laws coming down the pike

    Brogressives like Cole and Mistermix won’t have any worries about their right to vote being under siege.

  74. 74
    ruemara says:

    They’re butthurt? I wish they were more than butthurt because they are a rubber stamp. I simply don’t believe that they’re getting such a consistently strong set of potential terror suspects that they never have a reason to deny a request.

    Not surprised about the EU, in fact, I feel like a lot of the “surprise” is feigned. Seriously, you’re surprised that even friendly nations spy on each other? Um, ever read any history?

    And yes, Assange is a creep and a jerk and Snowden is egomaniacal freak who had no problem working for the security state until 2009 when something mysterious happened. As long as the conversation is about these two carnival barkers, then that’s all I’ll ever think about them.

  75. 75

    Oh, I bet they’re shocked, shocked in Germany. They got the ball rolling back in the Thirties using cards and IBM machines to keep track of the Jews. Does anyone really doubt that they’ve got their own net?

  76. 76
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Ash Can:

    Well that’s kind of the point, you just called a guy you’ve never met a “fucking clown.” And it’s the media making a “sideshow” out of him.

    I’m in my fifties, old enough to remember the Cold War too. Did you then, and do you now, think that the Soviet Union was hellbent on destroying America?

    How much do you accept the prevailing narrative?

  77. 77
    Singular says:

    @Ash Can: Nobody, but nobody, in the whole thread, has suggested that Obama is responsible for the current situation.

  78. 78
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @ruemara:

    And yes, Assange is a creep and a jerk

    Media smears work. Don’t feel bad, your foolishness is as common as the salt of the earth.

    Bless your heart.

  79. 79
    Singular says:

    @Bob In Portland: If you were joking, fair enough but not all that funny.

    If you weren’t then that’s just a fucked up comment in so many ways. I’d explain why but you wouldn’t give a shit anyway.

  80. 80
    ruemara says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd: Fuck your heart. He is a creep and a jerk, you ridiculous, patronizing, internet crusader. Name one thing WikiLeaks has even changed. One thing, beyond giving you one more poster for your wall of libertarian heroes.

  81. 81
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    We have only so much hair to incinerate. Choose your issues to taste.

    I find angry-mob-mentality more base and repulsive then sneaky voting rights sabotage.

  82. 82
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @ruemara:

    If you need me to educate you about Wikileaks and the value of whistleblowing, then you *are* lost.

    I’m not a libertarian.

    I am an American however.

    You sound like a German.

  83. 83
    Rex Everything says:

    Greenwald spoke about the NSA at the National Socialism Conference in Chicago on Friday.

    The reason he was invited to speak, of course, is that socialists are a bunch of libertarians.

  84. 84
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Heh. Good one.

    Color TV was invented long ago, yet some folk keep seeing black and white.

  85. 85
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Well, I actually think that the reduced circumstances of the former Soviet Union, aka Russia, is more hellbent on embarrassing the U.S. instead of destroying it. All this Snowden shit is domestic propaganda, designed to distract their population from their serious civil rights, freedom of speech and press abuses. Glad that Snowden could assist/snark.

  86. 86
    gogol's wife says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Snowden has set back the cause of freedom of thought and speech in Russia quite seriously — and that means people who are in ACTUAL DANGER OF BEING THROWN IN PRISON. It’s extremely distressing to me, as I have friends there.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Did James Ball (whose byline you’ll see on quite a bit of the Snowden/NSA coverage at The Graun) smear Assange, too?

  89. 89
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    I think you’re right about that. Russia under Putin is no buddy of the U.S., but I guess I would never have expected him to be either.

    International power politics is alive and well.

    I don’t think Snowden is very significant except for the fact that Washington is obsessed with him.

    What he revealed is very significant; it’s one thing to “know” the NSA is spying on America, it’s another to have your nose rubbed in proof.
    People are pissed at Snowden for forcing them to confront their own lazy cynicism.

  90. 90
    Onkel Fritze says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd: Does calling you a ‘Fucktard’ sound German to you?

  91. 91
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Accusing anyone of sounding like a German, I.e., Nazi, is so beyond the pale that you sound like a Fifth Columnist or a Paulbot. This sudden surge of blinding outrage pales in comparison to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and the flood of voter suppression laws.

    Don’t you think it will be harder to confront and change the laws that legalize excess and secrecy of the NSA, if we don’t focus on something as fundamental as voting rights?

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    I am kind of fascinated how blind Snowden’s defenders are to their own privilege, particularly the ones who swear that revelations about the US spying on foreign countries is totally going to affect the 2014 elections.

    Fellas? The people who care most about this story are white 5%-ers like yourselves, because the digital divide is real and still exists, particularly for Latinos and African-Americans.

    Why exactly are poor and rural Americans supposed to care more about your internet access than about their own voting rights that were just gutted by the Supreme Court?

  93. 93
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Interesting article. James Ball never explains his motivation for joining WIkiLeaks, fourth paragraph in refers to “antisemitic WikiLeaks activist Israel Shamir” without any background, and is pretty incoherent overall. Not quite sure what his overall point is, other then to state at the end that he thinks Assange is wrong for using WikiLeaks money for “his personal defense,” as if the charges and the pressure from America to extradite him have nothing to do with WikiLeaks activities. There are also *a lot* of very tendentious characterizations of Assange’s actions, and a completely disconnected and unsupported assertion that WikiLeaks dumped info indiscriminately.

    So yes, this is a smear job. James Ball joined for three months, left and wrote a smear piece.

    I hope he was well paid for his service.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    What he revealed is very significant; it’s one thing to “know” the NSA is spying on America, it’s another to have your nose rubbed in proof.

    What “proof”? Both the Washington Post and the Guardian have re-edited their original stories to remove the early claims of widespread, wholesale, warrantless spying. This is why the conversation has turned to FISA — there is no proof that warrantless spying is going on, so people are turning their attention to the warrant process.

  95. 95
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Don’t you think it will be harder to confront and change the laws that legalize excess and secrecy of the NSA, if we don’t focus on something as fundamental as voting rights?

    Good point. I don’t know. I’m not a libertarian, so I don’t pack that silly belief that the only or best way to fix government overreach is at the point of a gun.

    But voting rights and all aspects voting has been a back and forth ground fight ever since the first elections held. I’m not saying I’m not concerned, it’s just that I expect that people will fight back pretty quickly. The principle of equal voting rights is too hard to demagogue. ( well, unless you’re a Republican and know you’re in a minority but want to win anyway )

  96. 96
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    FSM forbid that you ever look into it yourself, amirite?

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    There’s this magical device called “the internet” where you can look up Israel Shamir. Here, let me Google that for you. You can even look at his very own website!

    ETA: It’s pretty funny to see someone who refers to other commenters as “good Germans” refuse to Google one of Wikileaks’ major supporters, who also happens to be a Holocaust denier.

  98. 98
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I didn’t know about those retractions, but at least with the WP I would be skeptical about anything they say.

    I guess any “proof” can be questioned. It’s just paper ( or digital data. ) after all.

    You do know that it’s pretty common practice to get retroactive rubber-stamp warrents for wiretaps if the tapping comes to light? Makes the whole business of warrents a bit of a fig leaf.

    Hmmm. Jake Tapper… what does *he* do at nights?

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    I didn’t know about those retractions, but at least with the WP I would be skeptical about anything they say.

    You were not skeptical of their original story, but you are skeptical of their retraction of the claims of that story?

    Well, I guess you’re going to believe what you want to believe, so there’s no point in trying to present any facts to you.

  100. 100
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    I didn’t know about those retractions,

    Jesus Fuckin’ Christ, the number of naifs commenting on this thread is unbelievable- literally unbelievable.

  101. 101
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh right, here you go again with your dumb, people don’t have internet access, so they don’t care deal. First off, they are spying on phone conversations as well, and I believe almost everyone has phone access, so you ridiculous only internet point is invalid.

    Also, you keep on spouting off on one small detail being re-edited while trying to make it sound like the entire story has been de-bunked, which is misleading.

    But keep it up, the NSA likes having people like you to do their work of misinformation.

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    Hmmm…who to believe has better captured the essence of this issue? BJ authoritarians, or people who fight every day for the cause and issue of privacy and law.
    Damn, that’s a tough one.

    The Criminal N.S.A.
    “The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. “

  103. 103
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Israel Shamir, a Russian born Jew ( converted, it’s true, ) who fought for Israel in the 73 war… and an anti-Semite because he’s opposed to the actions of the Israeli government related to the Palestinians.

    Norman Finklestein, another Jew opposed to the actions of Israel, doesn’t rather care for Shamir.

    People inclined to speak unpopular truths are generally spotty people. Fringe people, people with issues. Diogenes was not looking for a socially secure, conventionally successful and widely admired man. He was looking for an honest man. So he scoured the hobo camps and internet chat rooms.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if “credible” people, people with authority and wide respect from their tendency to follow the rules, if those people spoke unpopular and uncomfortable truths instead?

  104. 104
    Socoolsofresh says:

    Also, as predicted, love how the tribalists, when confronted with someone who cares about being spied on, immediately assumes libertarian!!! and then proceeds to shout RON PAUL until blue in the face!

    Only libertarians care about privacy! This is why you guys never fail to amuse me.

  105. 105
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Thank you, Mnemosyne: you are my hero. This off the charts outrage bears no relationship to to everyday Americans seeing their rights eroded and their issues ignored.

    Instead we have a convergence of paulbots and emoprogs who can’t even see how their privilege keeps them focused on utopian ideals while ignoring, instead of growing, how our ascending coalition that will provide the numbers to evolve to the next tiny step of a more perfect union.

    It’s long, it’s hard and the best we can do is make progress and pass it forward to the next generation.

  106. 106
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @pamelabrown53: oh right, voting rights act! Aka, please direct your outrage to something that doesn’t make the Democratic Administration look bad.

  107. 107
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Whooosh! Right over your head. Here, I’ll add the emphasis you seem to require:

    Why exactly are poor and rural Americans supposed to care more about your internet access than about their own voting rights that were just gutted by the Supreme Court?

  108. 108
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Find your mirror? Good for you.

    Really, some of us don’t spend every minute on these matters.

    And a couple of mainstream papers changing their stories isn’t very important. The first story is often the most honest.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if “credible” people, people with authority and wide respect from their tendency to follow the rules, if those people spoke unpopular and uncomfortable truths instead?

    You mean like if Colin Powell hadn’t worked to cover up My Lai or if he had stood before the UN and said, “Yeah. We got bupkus.”
    Those kinds of credible people?
    Instead of the creepy jerky types.

  110. 110
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We’re *all* going to believe what we like, M.

    And you don’t seem to have many facts either, just links to mainstream press articles.

    We’re all watching this from a distance. My primary beef is the way that people parrot smears about a person they don’t really know.

  111. 111
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Corner Stone:

    exactly.

    It makes complete sense to me. The only people willing to speak hard truths are those with little to lose.

    And they tend to have other problems. That doesn’t make such truth as they may speak not true.

  112. 112
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I am kind of fascinated how blind Snowden’s defenders are to their own privilege, particularly the ones who swear that revelations about the US spying on foreign countries is totally going to affect the 2014 elections.

    You raise some good points. The places where we should start making inroads are also places where the internet is, at most a form of entertainment and/or email. Most of the people in them, militia types and rabid anti-choicers excepted, aren’t worried about the NSA because they aren’t doing anything that would merit NSA’s close attention. This is about as much of a game changer as NEA funding levels.

  113. 113
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Again, internet access, maybe not, but they do have phone access! And that was the initial story, the trawling of Verizon, if you forgot. So you and M should stop trying to make this an internet only issue, its misleading.

  114. 114
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Really, some of us don’t spend every minute on these matters.

    No, you spend about a minute staring at the lede in a Greenwald column and thousands of minutes thoughtlessly spewing them back, never mind that the column was edited shortly after you did your staring. Don’t try to paint others as pedantic just because you’ve got no ability to actually keep up on the relevant bits of information pertaining to topics you feel you should discuss.

  115. 115
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    utopian ideals

    Sorry, I don’t consider restraint of governmental power to be a Utopian ideal. It’s a very realistic principle.

    You don’t have to be a libertarian to “get” the problem of government spying on it’s citizens.

    You do have to be a bit of a fool to accept the lame excuse of it being for your own good.

  116. 116
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Also, please stop trying to make spying on everyone across the world as an only white male privilege issue. In fact, it involves everyone, so you are just using loaded terms just to make your dumb point sound good.

  117. 117
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    SFW if they’ve got the most amazing- even free- internet and phone service when they’ve had their votes snatched away?

  118. 118
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I don’t have to paint you as a pedant, you *are* being pedantic.

    I consider your “important news” to be a trivial distraction. You’re one of those people who like to throw trivia into a disagreement and pretend that trivia is pivotal to the issue, while deriding others for not being “in the know.”

    I read here a lot more then I bother writing here. You, on the other hand, seem to have little reason to leave your machine and get out of the house.

    Try it once in a while. Your ass will thank you.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    People are upset that the US is spying on other governments? Jesus Fuck, that is the whole purpose of foreign intelligence agencies.

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: It’ll be an interesting Supreme Court case that hinges on the meaning of “surveillance.” Also on whether the records of network usage are yours or the providers’. I think we need something like an Internet privacy law, or an Internet Bill of Rights, to provide more protection to people on whom no court has approved any kind of surveillance. And also something to backstop the FISA Court to check its drift towards rubber-stamp status.

  121. 121
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    So it’s unimportant that the WaPo and The Guardian retracted their initial reporting pertaining to the Snowden leaks?

  122. 122
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My conscience was stricken when I realized the spy agency I was working for was full of spies!

  123. 123
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Also, I don’t like the idea that the FISA Court is appointed solely by the Chief Justice. That seems like a terrible idea. It’s kind of like how if you oppose the death penalty you get dismissed from the juries of capital cases. I’d be happier knowing that people ideologically opposed to the Chief Justice were also involved in approving these orders and programs.

  124. 124
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I definitely am not happy about a number of things regarding domestic surveillance – the FISA court’s rubber-stampiness being high among those things – but I really don’t see the point of being bothered by countries spying on one another. As long as nation-states exist, it will happen.

  125. 125
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    read here a lot more then I bother writing here. You, on the other hand, seem to have little reason to leave your machine and get out of the house.

    Really? Look for my name on this blog from Monday through yesterday- I think I chimed in with a couple of comments on the football threads. I spend a fuckload more of my free time reading on topics like this- from various sources- than I do typing about ’em here. You might spend little time typing about ’em, less than I do, but you spend a fuckload less time reading and thinking about ’em than typing about ’em- and that’s your problem, not mine.

  126. 126
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Pop Quiz:

    1) Name one government agency that has been right over 1800 times in a row.

    2) Name one member of Congress whom you’d trust to properly set up your home wireless network.

    Answers:
    1) The NSA, according to the FISA court. These guys whould start a religion.

    2) Are you kidding? When you say “network” to a Congresscritter they think of their array of lobbyists and log rollers, butt kissers and bagmen.

  127. 127
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Socoolsofresh:
    Socoolsofresh, please explain how how ensuring equal and easy access to the polls is a partisan value? Except if you’re a Paulbot.

    Listen, I’m white, gay and a lifelong liberal. While nothing about me has changed, I’m sick of a few white privileged sanctimonious ass-holes plucked from the movie “Reds: insisting how I define first principles in a complex universe.

  128. 128
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Srsly. If that’s appalling, then we ought to have been living in a state of chronic appalledness for centuries. ETA: By “that” I mean the notion that agents for one government go to another one, eavesdrop on what’s going on, and report back.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Pop Quiz:

    1) Name one government agency that has been right over 1800 times in a row.

    2) Name one member of Congress whom you’d trust to properly set up your home wireless network.

    1. Pass.

    2. Mark Pocan.

  130. 130
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Pretty much. There might be some significance to it, but not that much.

    Don’t pay so much attention to the story tellers and their stories, watch the actions of those in power.

    Snowden is a wanted man, the media is obsessed with him, the government is threatening Ecuador with economic punishment for offering asylum.

    Sounds like the revelations have some credibility.

  131. 131
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, I think I’ve gone through the looking glass. Where have these people been?

  132. 132
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    The media is obsessed with him because they think it hurts a Democratic president.

  133. 133
    lojasmo says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Considering he’s a libertardi buffoon, what’s not to hate?

    What kind of fuckkng spy gets stuck in the Moscow airport?

  134. 134
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Don’t pay so much attention to the story tellers and their stories, watch the actions of those in power.

    Than how do you know to say jackshit about it? Did this come up on the floor of the House or the Senate?

    You really are a disingenuous sonnuvabitch, ain’tchya?

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    @gogol’s wife: And the admin is doing everything in its power to accentuate that notion. They climbed on top of a tall ladder and are shaking their fist at the world over this guy.

  136. 136
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Voting, counting votes, all that has been and will always be a contentious issue. The Voting Rights act was a victory for democracy, but it wasn’t a Constitutional amendment, unfortunately.

    You’re right to be concerned and I doubt anyone here thinks the SC decision is good news. Fixing it will be another battle in an eternal war.

    As is rolling back governmental overreach. An eternal war. ( metaphorically, of course. )

    Two issues, pretty far removed from each other. Wish we could elect the permanent bosses of the national security apparatus.

  137. 137
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Pocan would at least read the instructions. Looks like a good guy.

  138. 138
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    Don’t @gogol’s wife:

    The media reaction has nothing to do with Obama, or partisan politics.

  139. 139
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Thanks for the link, gogol;s wife.

  140. 140
    jamick6000 says:

    @Cacti: it’s irony you boob

  141. 141
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Right, just like the opposition to WikiLeaks. There’s no fucking way that there might be unintended consequences to Snowden’s leaks. Never mind that Assange gave unredacted copies of the Manning dump to Israel Shamir, who then shared ’em with the dictator in Belarus, who, in turn, killed and/or imprisoned democratic dissidents. Nothing bad could come of the Snowden leaks at all. Nope. Not a damned thing. Because Snowden is obviously so much more farsighted than Manning and Assange.

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    First off, they are spying on phone conversations as well, and I believe almost everyone has phone access, so you ridiculous only internet point is invalid.

    They were looking at cell phone metadata. Thanks for proving my point that you’re so insular that you actually think everyone has a cell phone. Try driving 50 or 100 miles away from the nearest interstate highway in a rural area and see what kind of reception you can get on your Verizon phone.

  143. 143
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I’ll cop to being a son-of-a-bitch anytime, but I’m ingenuous as all hell.

    The Senate and the House isn’t the “power” I’m referring to. I mean the powerful people in Washington who don’t have to worry every few years about losing their jobs.

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Sounds like the revelations have some credibility.

    I don’t doubt that Snowden’s revelations about US spying on foreign countries have some credibility — from what Snowden himself said in his interviews with the Hong Kong papers, he was primarily upset about that spying and CIA activities overseas.

    The revelations with less credibility are those of domestic spying (ie within the US and/or on US citizens). Do you think the US is pursuing Snowden all over the globe because of the domestic spying allegations or because Snowden has information on our spying on Russia and China and promptly ran to Russia and China with that information?

  145. 145
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because of the domestic spying. Reason: the whole affair is quite public and the MSM is all over it.

    If Snowden had been an actual traitor, working for the Chinese or Russians and carrying intelligence for sale, the government and it’s MSM assets would be very quiet about it.

    This isn’t a matter of international espionage, it’s a matter of managing the minds of the domestic masses. Americans accept spying on foreigners, they don’t like being spied on by our own.

  146. 146
    Cacti says:

    @jamick6000:

    it’s irony you boob

    Attempt to save face fail.

  147. 147
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Never mind that Assange gave unredacted copies of the Manning dump to Israel Shamir, who then shared ‘em with the dictator in Belarus, who, in turn, killed and/or imprisoned democratic dissidents.

    That’s a wild story. Easy to make up and easier to repeat.

    About as credible as a tinfoil hat.

  148. 148
    lojasmo says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    voting rights have been back and forth

    Wrong, bucko. Until very recently voting rights have been progressively liberalized and extended.

    Read some history. I would suggest taking a few years off of this blog to do so in order for you not to make yourself look any more foolish.

  149. 149
    Mnemosyne says:

    Here’s a recent Reuters story about Switzerland demanding an explanation of Snowden’s claims that the CIA manipulated a Swiss banker to get inside banking information.

    But the only reason the US is pursuing Snowden is because of his domestic spying revelations, not because he’s releasing information about foreign spying. Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    If Snowden had been an actual traitor, working for the Chinese or Russians and carrying intelligence for sale, the government and it’s MSM assets would be very quiet about it.

    Yes, they would have been very quiet as Snowden gave his public interviews to newspapers in Great Britain, Hong Kong, China, and Russia. Are you actually this stupid?

    This isn’t a matter of international espionage, it’s a matter of managing the minds of the domestic masses. Americans accept spying on foreigners, they don’t like being spied on by our own.

    ‘Fraid not. By Snowden’s own statements, it’s all about international espionage. Other than the very first “revelations,” everything else has been about international spying on China, Russia, Switzerland, and now Germany.

    If you don’t want to believe Snowden, that’s fine, but it kind of knocks the supports out from your claims that he’s totally truthful about domestic spying if you’re going to say that his much more far-reaching claims about foreign spying are false.

  151. 151
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @lojasmo:

    I’m probably older then you, and don’t need to do my homework on this issue.

    Voting rights have been expanded overall since the founding of the country, but voting practice has been ebb and flow.

    Did you know there was a ten year span after the Civil War when a number of southern states actually allowed blacks to vote?

  152. 152
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    The Senate and the House isn’t the “power” I’m referring to. I mean the powerful people in Washington who don’t have to worry every few years about losing their jobs.

    But you didn’t get the the narrative from these unspecified people. You got it from Greenwald (at The Graun) and Barton Gellman and Laura Poltras (at The WaPo). You may have gotten them second- or third-hand, but they are the reporters who put the story out there in the first place. The thing is that the story changed, but the narrative already had a life of its own, retractions be damned (sort of like this), and you’ve been regurgitating that narrative- Greenwald’s, Gellman’s and Poltras’ narrative, not the narrative of the, “…powerful people in Washington…,” here

    That being the case, you’re not being ingenuous about it at all. You’re being disingenuous to us and, possibly, to yourself.

  153. 153
    Cacti says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    Did you know there was a ten year span after the Civil War when a number of southern states actually allowed blacks to vote?

    Uh huh, right up until the Dixiecrats regained their political power in the late 1870s and it was back to business as usual.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    I actually would not be at all surprised to find out that the US is using FISA warrants in order to spy on foreign embassies and consulates inside the US. Again, that would not be unusual behavior by a host government, but it would still be embarrassing to have the details revealed.

  155. 155
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    this interview?

    Hardly “all about international espionage.” Pretty tangential in fact.

  156. 156
    Heliopause says:

    Germany is also upset over new revelations in der Speigel that the NSA bugged EU headquarters.

    Here’s another one from Spiegel. I love this part: “One top secret document also states that while Germany may be a partner, it is still also a target of the NSA’s electronic snooping… The only countries that are explicitly excluded from spying attacks are Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.” What an incredible coincidence. The only countries on earth that are trusted are the anglo ones.

  157. 157
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    When asked, WikiLeaks has never denied its relationship with either Shamir or his son, nor has Assange, personally. Shamir’s gone as far as calling himself WikiLeaks’ representative in Russia, and the organization has never denied it.

  158. 158
    Cacti says:

    @Heliopause:

    The only countries that are explicitly excluded from spying attacks are Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.” What an incredible coincidence. The only countries on earth that are trusted are the anglo ones.

    Poor Germany. Always the victim.

  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    More… Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years

    More… Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’

    EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden
    Jun 23, 2013

    EXCLUSIVE: Snowden reveals more US cyberspying details
    Jun 23, 2013

    EXCLUSIVE: US hacked Pacnet, Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator, in 2009
    Jun 23, 2013

    SNOWDEN LEAVES HONG KONG ON COMMERCIAL FLIGHT TO MOSCOW
    Jun 23, 2013

    EXCLUSIVE: NSA targeted China’s Tsinghua University in extensive hacking attacks, says Snowden

    Because the US hacking into Chinese telecom companies operating in China and other Asian countries has nothing to do with foreign spying at all. Neither does US hacking of computers at Chinese universities. Even the “Snowden reveals more US cyberspying details” story is about the US spying in China, not in the US.

    But the US spying on China has nothing to do with foreign spying! It’s all about spying in the US! Somehow!

  160. 160
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I have no “narrative.” Snowden is in the news. He revealed some kind of “proof” that the NSA is wiretapping Americans. People I respect ( Dan Ellsberg, Bruce Schneier ) consider the revelations credible and important. I haven’t looked at the documents, probably because they’re not easy to find. If you have a direct link, please post them.

    I doubt you have such a link, and you’re working off the official narrative.

    Believe it or not, I stopped reading or caring about Greenwald when he moved to the Guardian. He’s no hero of mine.

  161. 161
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    His relationship is “associated.” Not a “founder,” as claimed by James Bell, not a core member. Merely a fellow traveler.

    And what of it? Your wild story is still just a wild story.

  162. 162
    jamick6000 says:

    @Cacti:

    Attempt to save face fail.

    cool, using “fail” as a noun. another atrocious post by you.

    Log off.

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    The Republic of Ireland will probably be surprised to hear they’re not considered an English-speaking country anymore (which is what I assume you mean by “Anglo”). Or are you narrowing it way down so that even those pesky Celts aren’t “real” Anglos?

  164. 164
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You know, and I know, and Snowden doubtlessly knew, that the U.S., China, Russia and others are constantly hacking into each others computers. The means are well known to the experts in each country, and there’s not much Snowden could provide to anyone in the way of technical assistance to avoid such attacks that more expert people don’t already know about. This isn’t like revealing the Enigma machinery, or passing off Cold War era codebooks.

    When real traitors reveal real secrets to foreign governments, you don’t have respected American civil liberty types jumping to defend them.

  165. 165

    […] more at Balloon Juice, Gawker, Juan Cole’s Informed Consent, […]

  166. 166
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    I have no “narrative.”

    Well, I’d ask if you’re really so dumb as to not know what “narrative” means, but judging from your statement describing international spying as “tangential” to that SCMN link you posted, there’s no need.

    Snowden is in the news. He revealed some kind of “proof” that the NSA is wiretapping Americans.

    See that second sentence there? That’s the narrative you keep on pushing. That’s the narrative that was originally pushed in The Graun and The WaPo, until it was retracted by both. It took the WaPo less than 24 hours to walk it back, and a bit longer for The Graun to do the same.

  167. 167
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Cacti:

    That would be the “ebb” part of ebb and flow.

  168. 168
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    …there’s not much Snowden could provide to anyone in the way of technical assistance to avoid such attacks that more expert people don’t already know about..

    And you know this to be true HOW, exactly?

  169. 169
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    So you’re claiming that Snowden did not release any evidence or proof of NSA wiretapping ( or collecting and storing phonecall meta-data ) at all?

    Or perhaps you’re saying that these mainstream press people are saying that he didn’t? After saying he did?

    Are you claiming that the secret information Snowden released concerned foreign surveillance only?

    That would be quite a shift in narrative

    I have no personal narrative about this. I’m not theorizing or making my own connections, I’m just applying some critical thinking to the prevailing narrative.

    Check yourself before accusing others of stupidity.

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    The means are well known to the experts in each country, and there’s not much Snowden could provide to anyone in the way of technical assistance to avoid such attacks that more expert people don’t already know about.

    I will admit, I don’t have much technical expertise, so I will have to assume that your technical expertise outweighs mine and you are an expert in overseas hacking and cryptography since you can make that blunt statement that there’s no way Snowden could possibly have given them useful information on that front.

    However, Snowden could quite easily embarrass the US in public by exposing the extent of the spying. Oh, and look, that’s exactly what he’s done!

    When real traitors reveal real secrets to foreign governments, you don’t have respected American civil liberty types jumping to defend them.

    You do if those real traitors mislead the respected American civil liberty types about what information they have. I’ve been suspicious of Snowden ever since I read this line in the Washington Post:

    To effect his plan, Snowden asked for a guarantee that The Washington Post would publish — within 72 hours — the full text of a PowerPoint presentation describing PRISM, a top-secret surveillance program that gathered intelligence from Microsoft, Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley giants. He also asked that The Post publish online a cryptographic key that he could use to prove to a foreign embassy that he was the document’s source. (emphasis mine)

    I think those people you respect were misled by Snowden and that there’s not much “there” there when it comes to domestic spying. The meat of what Snowden had was always the foreign spying, and that’s always what he knew was valuable, which is why he wanted the WaPo to publish his cryptographic key along with the story.

    ETA: Sorry, forgot to link to the story I quoted.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    So you’re claiming that Snowden did not release any evidence or proof of NSA wiretapping ( or collecting and storing phonecall meta-data ) at all?

    He did not release any evidence or proof of warrantless NSA wiretapping. That was the original claim, and that is the part of the claim that has been debunked — there is no evidence that the NSA wiretapping Snowden was talking about was done without a warrant.

    That’s why the conversation has switched from wholesale, warrantless information gathering to FISA and its weaknesses — as far as anyone can tell, including people like Daniel Ellsberg, the information gathering Snowden was talking about was done using FISA warrants.

  172. 172
    Cacti says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    That would be the “ebb” part of ebb and flow.

    There was no ebb. The reconstruction era governments were an aberration, and as soon as truly representative governments returned to the southern states, you had another century of second class citizenship for African Americans.

  173. 173
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    No time to answer myself (I’ve got an informal wake to go to attend), but read what Mnemosyne wrote.

    @Mnemosyne:

    TYVM!

  174. 174
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Being that the Angles and Saxons came to post Roman Britain from what is now Germany, it’s kinda odd to not call Germans Anglo. There’s even a part of Germany called Saxony.

  175. 175
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The crypographic key was most likely a public key part of RSA encryption and serves to prove the documents belong to the person who provides the key. The private part of the key can’t be determined by the public key, but only the private key can encrypt the data that the public key decrypts.

    I don’t know why the bolded part of his quote makes you suspicious. It’s pretty understandable that a guy would want to take credit for something he thinks is a good thing.

    But this quote from the story certainly helps to explain why the government wants to capture him and smear his reputation along the way.

    Snowden wanted “to embolden others to step forward,” he wrote, by showing that “they can win.”

  176. 176
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Cacti:

    The VRA of the sixties expanded the franchise. Later, bigots discovered new voter suppression techniques.

    Ebb, meet Flo.

  177. 177
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The Washington Post saying that the warrentless wiretapping claim has been debunked and the proof is not authentic….

    That doesn’t really carry much weight.

  178. 178
    lojasmo says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    records of network usage are yours or the providers

    Records of network usage beyond your computer clearly belong to the providers.

    If you don’t believe me, try pirating a movie off the internet. You’ll find out smart quick that those records are provided to the owner of the licence to the movie.

  179. 179
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I was wondering who would be the first to parse this little bit of information and you didn’t let me down.

    You’ll have to ask the NSA why they don’t trust the Irish. Otherwise, the large countries where white speakers of English as a first language are the majority are the ones they do trust.

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    So now we’re into the phase of this issue where white privilege accounts for anyone who’s still interested in learning more.

  181. 181
    Jo-E Jer-odd says:

    Finally; WikiLeaks statement on Israel Shamir, for those here who truck in smear by association

    Israel Shamir has never worked or volunteered for WikiLeaks, in any manner, whatsoever. He has never written for WikiLeaks or any associated organization, under any name and we have no plan that he do so. He is not an ‘agent’ of WikiLeaks. He has never been an employee of WikiLeaks and has never received monies from WikiLeaks or given monies to WikiLeaks or any related organization or individual. However, he has worked for the BBC, Haaretz, and many other reputable organizations. It is false that Shamir is ‘an Assange intimate’. He interviewed Assange (on behalf of Russian media), as have many journalists. He took a photo at that time and has only met with WikiLeaks staff (including Assange) twice. It is false that ‘he was trusted with selecting the 250,000 US State Department cables for the Russian media’ or that he has had access to such at any time. Shamir was able to search through a limited portion of the cables with a view to writing articles for a range of Russian media. The media that subsequently employed him did so of their own accord and with no intervention or instruction by WikiLeaks. We do not have editorial control over the hundreds of journalists and publications based on our materials and it would be wrong for us to seek to do so. We do not approve or endorse the writings of the world’s media. We disagree with many of the approaches taken in analyzing our material. Index did contact WikiLeaks as have many people and organisations for a variety of reasons. The quote used here is not complete. WikiLeaks also asked Index for further information on this subject. Most of these rumours had not, and have not, been properly corroborated. WikiLeaks therefore asked Index to let us know if they had received any further information on the subject. This would have helped WikiLeaks conduct further inquiries. We did not at the time, and never have, received any response.

  182. 182
    JWL says:

    George Bush, Dick Cheney, and democratic party officials committed treason by engineering the 2003 Iraq War with the use of big lies.

    Anyone who trusts the NSA (et.al.) with the power to surveil such as they now wield– and I doubt we know the half of it– is an utter fool, or else a domestic enemy of our republic, our democracy, and our liberty.

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jo-E Jer-odd:

    I don’t know why the bolded part of his quote makes you suspicious. It’s pretty understandable that a guy would want to take credit for something he thinks is a good thing.

    Really? You have no idea why wanting to provide a cryptographic key that he can use “to prove to a foreign embassy that he was the document’s source” might make someone a little suspicious of his motives? Only an innocent man would want to prove to a foreign embassy that he was the source of the information?

    The Washington Post saying that the warrentless wiretapping claim has been debunked and the proof is not authentic….

    That doesn’t really carry much weight.

    Again, the Washington Post was one of two papers that originally broke the story. So you believe the original story, but not the correction? Aren’t you still putting your trust in the Washington Post by believing the original story?

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    You’ll have to ask the NSA why they don’t trust the Irish. Otherwise, the large countries where white speakers of English as a first language are the majority are the ones they do trust.

    Yes, I’m sure the only possible reason we trust Canada is that they’re majority-white. Good catch.

  185. 185
    Elie says:

    @lojasmo:
    You got that right. My guess is he will be there a while

  186. 186
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cacti: Gonna be a while before that gets old.

  187. 187
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud:

    In hindsight, GG et al. overreached with the “direct access” claim.

    In foresight, it wasn’t that hard to predict.

  188. 188
    different-church-lady says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    …it will be that much worse for Obama’s legacy once he leaves office…

    No longer having re-election to threaten him with, the poutragers turn to threatening to undermine his “legacy”. Like Obama gives a shit about that?

  189. 189
    sam b says:

    This is depressing. I’ve been a regular site visitor for years, hardly ever posted. I try to stay out of debates because I’m not an American and really just want to be reminded sometimes that there are Americans who are saner than their mainstream political dialogue would suggest.

    This is depressing because the majority of commenters here seem desperately eager to justify authoritarianism, and it’s really really hard for me to believe it’s anything other than tribal defensiveness — whether of your President or your country, I don’t know. This sure as shit was not the tone of discussions when Bush was in power. It’s also a little sickening how casually a lot of you disregard the concerns of non-US citizens.

    Beyond that, there’s a lack of imagination behind the ‘what do I care if they read my Facebook updates?’ comments. You don’t care now, because you don’t have any reason to fear persecution. You’re the one whose privilege is showing. Imagine Bush III is in the White House and you’re a lefty organiser whose efforts pose a threat to significant economic interests. Do you trust no one will be reading your emails in anything other than the national interest? Do you feel safe?

  190. 190
    Corner Stone says:

    @sam b: Damn. SNAP!

  191. 191
    Singular says:

    @sam b: Yup.

    I don’t know what the fuck is going on here. I always thought that, for the majority of BJ readers, principles actually mattered. Instead, where this issue is concerned, just because it happened to come to light on Obama’s watch, we get an outpouring of vitriol. Everyone is either taking potshots at the messenger or pretending it doesn’t matter.

    As others have commented, if this had happened during a Romney presidency the tone would be sooo different.

  192. 192
    Corner Stone says:

    @Singular:

    I don’t know what the fuck is going on here. I always thought that, for the majority of BJ readers, principles actually mattered.

    Oh, man. That was a good one.
    I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

  193. 193
    Elie says:

    @sam b:

    Oh please

    ” I thought you guys were special and you’re not–you are just people who are stupid because you don’t think just like me”

    Its always nice to know that hours of patient presentation of one’s views and why those views are held can be summarized and completely dismissed as though they never happened. But hey —

    Have a goodnight —

  194. 194
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elie: Well, you are a moron. One of the stupidest people I have ever encountered. So inadequate, in fact, that I have often considered if you are a performance artist just fucking with us here.
    So, if not, dismissing any “thought” you may have should be de rigueur for pretty much any one else with room temp IQ’s or better.

  195. 195
    Elie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I could care less what you think and I assumed a fool like you would say exactly that. Don’t talk to me anymore.

  196. 196
    Li says:

    @Mnemosyne: From Miram-Webster’s Dictionary:

    Warrant:
    b : a precept or writ issued by a competent magistrate authorizing an officer to make an arrest, a seizure, or a search or to do other acts incident to the administration of justice

    Note that in every case, a warrant is singular. You can’t have an arrest warrant for “Every male over the age of 20 in our precinct.” or for “ALL phone records from Verizon for millions of people.” because that is definitively not a warrant, it’s something else entirely.

    Really, at this point the only thing the NSA defenders have is the wholesale redefinition of words. ‘Warrant’ becomes a blanket authorization from a secret court rather than a specific claim with a defined crime from a public one. ‘Collect’ becomes the act of viewing data which is already collected, rather than the act of collecting the data.

    If you except the double-plus-good redefinition of words the NSA has been pushing, then indeed they have not been collecting the records and data of Americans without a warrant. But if you don’t embrace their newspeak, then they clearly have been. And even if you embrace their newspeak, they admit to ‘collecting’ (i.e. viewing) the data of Americans if you use encryption, or have ever made an overseas call, or they make a ‘mistake’ and think you are 51% foreign or something.Then they have the right to listen to all of the phone calls you’ve made to ‘determine’ if you are indeed an American. Which would be hard to do if they didn’t have them stored somewhere.

    Just to back this up, the new datacenter in Utah has over a yottabyte of storage, by most estimates. The real number is classified, of course. That’s a trillion gigabytes, which means for each and every man, woman and child on earth, they have 143.4 gigabytes of storage available for. . .what? At this one data center! Metadata alone wouldn’t take 10mb! If they aren’t storing the content of every phone call, skype chat, and vine video we make, there is no justification for this level of storage space. And since they have conveniently redefined ‘collect’ to mean ‘read and interperet’, they are free to collect everything on all of us all of the time, particularly working in concert with their UK counterparts.

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