Somebody is seriously pissed off about the Obama administration’s iteration of the national security state

The Obama administration has sprung a gusher. This is pretty remarkable. In the space of three days, we have learned (so far) that

  1. The National Security Agency has been collecting complete call records on Verizon users (and probably all the other telcom customers as well) for perhaps seven years;
  2. The National Security Agency is vacuuming user data, including audio and video conversations, directly from the servers of some 40 internet-based companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and others (notably, not Twitter); and,
  3. The US President has drawn up a list of cyberwarfare targets in a directive that reads very much as though it is intended to be used.

More, please. Also, I hope The Guardian is more enthusiastic about defending Glenn Greenwald than they have been about Julian Assange.

11 thoughts on “Somebody is seriously pissed off about the Obama administration’s iteration of the national security state”

  1. Ah, it just seems like yesterday, we were damning the government for not identifying and apprehending 19 mooks who had come into the country in broad daylight and learned to fly jetliners into tall buildings. Want to know who I’ve called and when? Have the fuck at it. It’s a different world.

    1. Except the government had identified at least some of the hijackers as bad guys well before the fact, and knew they were in the states, and lost track of them because the agencies didn’t play sufficiently well with one another. That’s not to mention that better cockpit doors could have scotched the deal as well. So because those people fucked up and the airlines didn’t want to spend a little extra money, we have to put up with this shit? Not buying it.

  2. Yeah, better doors. Better walls, higher and thicker, would work too, for a while. I don’t buy it. You’re either ahead of the curve or behind it. I’d like to go back to a simpler time, too, Weldon.

    1. It doesn’t have anything to do with simpler times. A whole bunch of stuff had to go wrong in order for that attack to succeed. How this translates into the need to shitcan the constitution and give the people who fucked it up carte blanche to invade everybody’s lives eludes me. If I wanted to live in East Germany I would’ve moved there while it was still up and running.

  3. East Germany? A little hyperbole? As you, yourself, pointed out over at reddit/botf, we’ve known about this for 7 years and the tool involved is the Patriot Act. As for it being unconstitutional, as Chief Justice Hughes (I think) asserted, “the constitution means what the court says it means”, and so far the courts in general don’t seem to have a problem with it.

    Having said that, I didn’t and don’t like the Patriot Act any more than you did and do. I think the government should be required to show cause before a judge for monitoring specific numbers much as they have to do to justify a wire tap but that requires the judge to actually use some judgment and there is no guarantee of that.

    But it ain’t East Germany.

    1. No, it isn’t East Germany and it won’t be until it is, at which point what do you do.

      They’ve apparently been doing this (the phone records thing) for seven years, according to Feinstein, but we haven’t known they were doing it. This seems to have been what Sens. Wyden and Udall were exercised about, although the other deal, the Prism program vacuuming up all the internet communications, seems worse to me.

  4. Maybe I misremember, but I think the internet vacuum is only outside the U.S. I haven’t decided what I think about that yet.

    1. Ostensibly the Prism deal only collects domestic info from people communicating with someone outside the country — something I do almost every day and I’m sure tens of millions of other people do as well — but is there some reason we should think this is true?

  5. It’s Good that Barack and his people know what we say! People who say bad things deserve to be clapperclawed into the cornfield.

    1. Hey, Ink. Somebody on the Reddit BotF thing asked me to invite you to stop by there, but when I tried to email you it bounced. Site is here, if you didn’t already know:

      Yes, it’s every bit as double-plus good under Obama as it was under Bush. At least now all our torturing is done by licensed medical professionals.

  6. Well, thank goodness the Tsarnaevs at least weren’t unduly importuned by the Obama administration’s data-grab.

    I already read the Botf/Reddit doings on occasion, thanks. I still haven’t gotten over the sack of the Fray temple and the Diaspora.

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