NSA Review Board Now Accepting Public Comment On Policies NSA Won't Talk About

from the weirdest-definition-of-quid-pro-quo-ever dept

If you've got anything you'd like to say about the NSA's surveillance programs, now's your chance. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has announced via its official Tumblr (a sentence that no one could have predicted would ever be written), I CON THE RECORD IC ON THE RECORD, that it is accepting public comments on a variety of subjects, which will be handled by the NSA Review Group.

The Review Group is seeking public comments on all matters that the President has directed it to examine, namely, how in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States can employ its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while respecting our commitment to privacy and civil liberties, recognizing our need to maintain the public trust, and reducing the risk of unauthorized disclosure. Comments can be provided via reviewgroup@dni.gov. The deadline for public submissions is October 4, 2013.

The comments you provide to the Review Group will be used to inform the group’s deliberations.
There's no doubt that asking for public comment is a step in the right direction, but it asks more of the public than the NSA's willing to reciprocate. What the public is looking for is transparency. These programs have been shrouded in secrecy, governed by secret laws and regulated only by various ineffective forms of "oversight." People want to know what's actually happening and the DNI has responded by asking them to comment on policies and programs no one's officially provided any information on. What is out there is the result of Snowden's leaks and had nothing to do with the NSA (or the administration) looking for a public "debate" or "discussion." Asking for public comments is good, but it's of very limited usefulness if the agency continues to hold its cards to its chest.

With those limits in mind, here's an equally lengthy paragraph detailing what the NSA Review Group isn't interested in reading.
[Group] will review all comments prior to posting and will not post comments that contain vulgar or abusive language; personal attacks of any kind; offensive terms that target specific groups; spam or comments that are clearly “off topic”; commercial promotions; information that promotes or opposes any political party, person campaigning for elected office, or any ballot proposition; reports of criminal or suspicious activity - if you have information for law enforcement, please contact your local police agency; unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries; solicitations for contracting or commercial business; or any claims, demands, informal or formal complaints, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notices or processes.
Presumably, the NSA has the ability to harvest comments like these during its regular collection efforts, and considering the amount of email its has archived, probably has enough penis enlargement/home business opportunities squirreled away to last several hundred lifetimes. Classy broadsides via social media ("F*** you in the face, NSA! #privacy") presumably have also been collected and are awaiting aggressive querying should a terrorism suspect suddenly be only a hop or three away from you thanks to a friend's careless misdialing of an overseas number.

Commenters also should keep in mind that the review board reserves the right to post your comment in full as part of the public record.
[T]he Review Group may determine it appropriate to the public debate to post your comments publicly. Accordingly, any personal information you provide in the comments, or in an address or signature block, may be disclosed. Providing a comment is voluntary, and implies your consent to publication of the comment and any personal information contained in it.
How quaint. A privacy concern. In other words, while the NSA may find your inclusion of an address block extraneous, thousands of other internet users (mostly /b/ denizens) may find private info much more illuminating. So, be careful with that. Also keep in mind that this ultimately heads to James Clapper, as Obama has decided to place a confirmed liar in the "bottleneck" position. All roads lead to Clapper. Govern yourselves accordingly.




Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    vegetaman (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    Straight to the point.

    [snip]how in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States can employ its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while respecting our commitment to privacy and civil liberties, recognizing our need to maintain the public trust, and reducing the risk of unauthorized disclosure[snip]

    It's fucking simple, assholes. Don't spy on us.

     

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

  2.  
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    mattarse (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    Why do we need to comment for them - can't they just scan what they have and get the comments?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Techdirt Is Awesome :-), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    Very Talented Writing :-)

    "Classy broadsides via social media ("F*** you in the face, NSA! #privacy") presumably have also been collected and are awaiting aggressive querying should a terrorism suspect suddenly be only a hop or three away from you thanks to a friend's careless misdialing of an overseas number."

    ROTFL!!! Sad but true. Best-written sentence I've read all year!!!

     

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

  4.  
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    Beta (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    "[Group] will not post comments that contain... reports of criminal or suspicious activity - if you have information for law enforcement, please contact your local police agency..."

    I'm not sure that my local police have the necessary jurisdiction.

     

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

  5.  
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    wiz74, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    Back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSR!

    Growing up in the 60's, I was taught that the evil Soviet Union spied indiscriminately on their citizens, maintained files on everyone and what they were up to. It warms my heart to know that the country I loved has turned into the Evil Empire because we're scared to death of a few terrorists. Now we learn that you've figured out how to break into my bank records and can even spy on trade secrets in business. Guess it's time to put a red star at the top of the US Capitol building and be more up front about what we've become. I'm glad my father, who fought against this crap in WWII, didn't live to see this. He wasted his time.

     

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

  6.  
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    Anonymous, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 6:56pm

    Re:

    Here's something for them to scan... *extends middle finger*

     

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

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 7:20pm

    Waste of time.. They can listen in on someone bitching about them anytime they please. They can also lock you up and seal the records and keep the press clear while they ass fuck you with a chainsaw.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    Again half hearted attempts at feel goods but not really serious about addressing the core issues.

    This is nothing more than what "We The People" has turned out to be. There have been several sticky ones the administration refuses to address.

    This is just another example at coverup attempts and stalling.

    It again shows why you can no longer trust the government to do the right thing. You can no longer trust them to honor the law. You can no longer trust them to tell the whole truth without lies and misdirection.

    It is time to cut the funding from the NSA. It is time to consider criminal investigations into how deep this rabbit hole runs and who should be charged. It is time to remove the senior staff members and see if the rest like their job well enough to keep it if it is restored but before that there needs to be an independent investigator, not a member of the vested interests to go over this mess with a fine toothed comb.

    Not everyone in the US is a terrorist. Not everyone talking on a phone is of interest in investigations. Most people understand plain English but not the redefined words being used to cover up the actual acts they are doing.

    It is plain that there is no meaningful oversight, no meaningful hold backs, and no meaningful regard for the purposes and intents of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This needs to end. Permanently.

     

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

  9.  
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    Postulator (profile), Sep 6th, 2013 @ 1:38am

    One assumes that everyone who provides a "public comment" will be thoroughly investigated over the next several months.

     

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

  10.  
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    Guardian, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    lolwhat

    how can i ask a question or give an opinion if you have not told me what you are doing or something i can opinion-ate on...um LIKE how about start with ....that issue...and we can continue next time

     

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

  11.  
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    MARTIN KAPLAN, Sep 8th, 2013 @ 12:27am

    NSA SPYING

    Stop it, and fire every fucker who ordered it or allowed it to go on!

     

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


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