Daily Show Takes On NSA Surveillance: It's A Little Weird That Feds Didn't Have To Break Any Laws To Spy On Everyone

from the making-the-point-nicely dept

John Oliver has temporarily taken over The Daily Show's host chair while Jon Stewart is off making a movie, and the NSA has given him a fair bit of material to kick off with. In last night's episode, he did a fantastic job highlighting just how ridiculous the position is of those who defend the NSA, saying:
"I think you're misunderstanding the perceived problem here, Mr. President. No one is saying you broke any laws. We're just saying it's a little bit weird that you didn't have to."
That's a much funnier and more clever way of highlighting the point we made yesterday that the real scandal may be how much of what was done was technically "legal." Oliver also covers James Clapper lying to Senator Wyden and the fact that the FISA court has become a rubber stamp. It's a good bit all around (and, yes, we know that The Daily Show's web stream is not available in many non-US locations -- blame Viacom if you can't watch this):
For all the hope by some that this story isn't going mainstream, it seems to have gone very, very mainstream.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    MORE MILK!!!!!!

    Milk it, Mikey!!! No one milks this more than you. Nobody.

    Be sure to run away rather than discuss anything substantively! Don't break your chicken shit streak.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:48pm

    CBS Evening News had quite a story about Google's snooping and e-mail scanning. Everyone should save a little bit of their outrage as these sorts of disclosures come out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Glen, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    Seriously dude, you don't have enough intelligence and wit to discuss what color the sky is. Please just go away, LOSER!!!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    Re:

    Oh I get it now. You couldn't find a real job so you're just doing SEO for Big Milk.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    ACLU lawsuit

    No one is saying you broke any laws.


    ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of NSA Phone Spying Program, ACLU Press Release, June 11, 2013
    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.

    [...more...]


    ACLU v Clapper Complaint [PDF].

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    Why? Google's spying isn't a real problem, in that it's completely optional, and Google doesn't have a military or police powers. Anyone outraged by it needs to just stop using their services.

    Governmental spying is genuine problem, well deserving of outrage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    Re: ACLU lawsuit

    That lawsuit is about constitutionality. It doesn't assert that laws were broken, but rather that law that they followed is unconstitutional.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Nor do you have to use a cellphone. Good point, thanks.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    aveRAEG_joe having a nervous breakdown. Good times.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

    It doesn't assert that laws were broken

    You didn't read the complaint. See para 36.
    The Mass Call Tracking exceeds the authority granted by 50 U.S.C. § 1861, and thereby violates 5 U.S.C. § 706

    You trying to claim 5 U.S.C. &sect 706 isn't a law, Fenderson?

     

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  11.  
    icon
    Killercool (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Cellphone? Where did you get the idea this was about cell phones?

    No, cell phones are just included.
    Cell phones, all data; any and all email; landlines, who, when, and how long.

    How are you supposed to avoid that level of scrutiny?

     

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  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Winner! LOL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Carrier pigeon

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Google is a specific danger to pirates:

    Go to depositfiles.com, view page source, and search for the google.

    (Hmm. Won't allow javascript I copied in here.)

    You can't avoid that, it's the captcha. At the very least, if you wish to use that file locker -- I haven't checked others recently, but Google is getting in EVERY site -- then you MUST "allow" Google to track you...

    Now, you say so what? WELL, kids, the THE EVIL MPAA can as easily as the NSA get your IP address from Google! And come after you with exact knowledge of what file you downloaded, which in any US court will be enough probable cause to raid your house. -- Though they're not yet, that I know of, all the code is in place. So if you're going to worry about the MPAA and them controlling you, at least consider what MPAA plus Google COULD mean for your pirating. All corporations are alike in being utterly amoral, and Google will rat you out in milliseconds for pennies. -- I figure they'll probably automate it to just send you a bill for the download plus a heavy fine.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

    For your convenience… 50 § 1861 and 5 USC § 706

    ;-)

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    Re:

    Excuse me. You are confusing to me. I read many pages here and you talk about "milk". I do not read any other talk about "milk". I do a search for what is "milk" but this is not helping. Please explain what "milk" is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re:

    and KFC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can only imagine the faith of those after they are intercepted, but I am pretty sure there is a French recipe for those somewhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Google is a specific danger to pirates:

    Dear blue,

    You are actually starting to sound like you came out of the blue book.

    Anyhow, I don't care, you know what Google and the MPAA joining forces would mean to me?

    Nothing, zilch, nada, every single time a break copyright law it can't be tracked by digital means either because it is encrypted and anonymized or because is done by the sneaker-net.

    Further pirates have been shaming law enforcement for over 50+ years, bootleggers even longer than that.

    Even criminals have been doing well like drug traffickers that build their own submarines and have their own fucking radio stations and networks.

    Wanna know why that is?

    Because people don't want it to stop, is that simple without public support there is no government, army, police force or piece mouth that will change that, it was true thousands of years ago and its true today, independent of your morals and opinions those things will continue to exist until people either disappear or get bored with it.

    See blue, this is not of consequence for any pirates the people complaining are the ones that actually try to follow the law, which I am starting to think is a waste of time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Jun 11th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re:

    And besides, silly Google, they can't keep out the NSA, even if they thought of trying to. Silly, sillies.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re:

    You can leave Google and go to Yahoo or MS etc. and find that they do the same thing, but claim to do it more ethically.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 10:14pm

    mainstream

    For all the hope by some that this story isn't going mainstream, it seems to have gone very, very mainstream.

    Actually, it's quite good that it's going mainstream, because it's making the boys crying wolf look totally out of touch. If everything that was done was legal and within bounds, then all the paranoid "they are listening" tin foil hatters will pretty much have to shut up and eat it.

    The other thing it does is make people like Wyden look pretty bad, considering they apparently had extensive knowledge and for a long time basically looked the other way. Only because of a document leaker are they back on it, otherwise it would still be out there and they would still be not talking about it more than just that.

    It seems like there is plenty of egg on faces all over congress, even Wyden and friends, who could have made it all public years ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If the government caught on, they would start training archers asap

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 12:07am

    Re: mainstream

    The other thing it does is make people like Wyden look pretty bad, considering they apparently had extensive knowledge and for a long time basically looked the other way.

    Now that's funny. He's been out there raising the alarm about this for years, and you think he looked the other way? He's the one guy who had been making noise about this.

    You're incredibly clueless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 2:38am

    Re: mainstream

    What it means that the people on your side managed to spend enough money on lobbying to bring laws in, and now you're crowing that all the laws are in due to moral high horses or some similar bullshit.

    Sucks to be you, though, that your moral high horseriders also happen to include John Steele, Evan Stone and Andrew Crossley.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 4:20am

    'No one is saying you broke any laws. We're just saying it's a little bit weird that you didn't have to."'

    that's because members of Congress are more interested in getting the days business out of the way so they can go back to doing nothing, than actually doing their jobs! they are supposed to be keeping the people safe! that entails making sure that different bills that are introduced wont do harm! to just give the 'go ahead' to everything that all law enforcement agencies want is a recipe for disaster, and that's exactly what we now have! the 2 most important things that must come out of this are

    that there is never again anything in the remotest way similar to this allowed to happen

    that whoever was behind the requests for this type of spying activity be held accountable. no one in their right mind wants to have data on every living soul world wide, nor can there be any legitimate reason for wanting that amount of information on that amount of people!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

    Thanks for the correction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

    That lawsuit is about constitutionality. It doesn't assert that laws were broken, but rather that law that they followed is unconstitutional.

    The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Just because it's not statute doesn't mean it's not law, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

    RTFA is a standing joke on /.    (And, as you know, RTFM came before RTFA.)

    Fact is, I know that the majority of people won't click through on links.

    I probably ought to have rewritten the press release, but I had just gotten through reading the complaint myself, and in that mood, I tend to prefer to let other people's words speak for themselves—rather than immediately trying to put a spin on 'em.   … Possibly a fault of mine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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