FISA Court Rubberstamps Yet Another Renewal Of NSA's Collecting All Your Phone Data

from the rubber-stamp-inked-and-ready-to-go dept

In a move that will shock no one, the FISA Court has, once again, reapproved the NSA's request to collect metadata on pretty much every phone call. The Director of National Intelligence put out a statement once again trying to defend this, and noting that it's appealing the one court ruling against the program (which is true, they filed an appeal this morning).
It is the administration's view, consistent with the recent holdings of the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York and Southern District of California, as well as the findings of 15 judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on 36 separate occasions over the past seven years, that the telephony metadata collection program is lawful. The Department of Justice has filed an appeal of the lone contrary decision issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The announcement also pays lip service to the White House's task force's findings that the program required significant changes claiming that the intelligence community is "open to modifications to this program." Yeah, right. We'll see just how open they are when the changes are actually proposed.
Nevertheless, the Intelligence Community continues to be open to modifications to this program that would provide additional privacy and civil liberty protections while still maintaining its operational benefits.
Um, what operational benefits? The task force, multiple Senators, a federal judge and a variety of others have also noted that there are no benefits to the program. None have been shown.

Either way this is just more fluff from the intelligence community. They'll throw some bones to people, pretending to agree to meaningless modifications while fighting hard against any real change to the program. And pay attention, because you can bet that within any change they'll sneak in some other change that undermines it all anyway.


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  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 1:53pm

    Huh...

    Didn't the FISA court say "we're not a rubber stamp court, stop calling us that!!"?

    Sure doesn't seem that way.

     

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  2.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 2:10pm

    I backed Obama in the primaries in large part because he was a constitutional lawyer and I saw our civil liberties being eroded. I was impressed that he was one of the few Senators willing to stand up to government surveillance. What happened to that guy?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    I backed Obama in the primaries in large part because he was a constitutional lawyer and I saw our civil liberties being eroded. I was impressed that he was one of the few Senators willing to stand up to government surveillance. What happened to that guy?

    Not sure which is worse, people still voting for an R or D, or the fact that you believed in a politician?

    I saw Obama coming miles away, why didn't you? Obama is not much different than Bush.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re:

    And not just a politician, but a lawyer as well.

     

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  5.  
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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 3:18pm

    This was not rubber stamped

    I am proud to announce we will no longer accept rubber stamp approval. The process was deemed to time consuming. We now use Microsoft Word which automatically inserts a new date on the approved letter. Ty

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 3:26pm

    "...while still maintaining its operational benefits."

    -James Clapper

    So in other words, we'll support any change so long as it doesn't involve limiting our spying an way, shape, or form.

    I know exactly what the alleged felonious liar means by his statement. He's talking about storing all the meta data on private company servers (AT&T Verison), and querying the meta data remotely over the internet. Or better yet, have the NSA employees stationed at AT&T and Verison buildings, do it locally.

    If course anything that requires "warrents" and "strong probable cause", is an unacceptable restriction standing in the way of the NSA and AT&T's meta database.

    That would interfere with the "operational benefits" of bulk unconstitutional spying, and would be an "unacceptable modification" to the unconstitutional spy program.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 3:30pm

    > Um, what operational benefits?

    Economic espionage benefits, blackmail material benefits, etc. But of course they can't admit to any of that.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 4:08pm

    basically, we might just as well all pack up and ship out! i reckon even Afghanistan would be safer than staying in the USA! there isn't one judge involved in this shit that isn't doing exactly as the security agencies want! if ever it were found that they were being 'encouraged to give these disgraceful decisions, they ought to be shot as traitors!! they certainly are not doing a single thing to help protect the people or the country! all they are doing is handing everyone and everything over to a Police State. when ever it ends, and it will do eventually, just as all governments do that try to completely control and/or destroy the people, this is going to end very badly! no citizenship is going to be dictated too continuously and/or have all the rights as human beings removed!

     

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  9.  
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    F. Quattrone, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 4:44pm

    Re:

    I don't know what happened to that guy. I could see that he was no different from Bush in the first term, and that Romney was pledging to return to the Bush years. 2012 was a Bush vs. Bush election, telling me clearly our democracy is a sham.

    I didn't waste my time voting. It is now pointless. Real change will come from other means. Neither party represents YOU. They know it, and you need to know it. And as people become aware of it, it tends to explain why the NSA is watching all of us.

     

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  10.  
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    Pfrazier, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 4:48pm

    Get over it already

    How do you think they could figure out what the terriost were doing reading tarot cards. Are you really that naive? Either you get blown up or you keep your chater to yourself. Stop using the phones if you want to keep your chatter a secret. I'm sure after all this televise information from the media. The terriost will certainly stop using theirs and may even learn sign language.

     

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  11.  
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    toyotabedzrock (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 5:21pm

    Ending this program could be a nice bonding exercise for Congress.

     

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  12.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 6:35pm

    Isn't this the same court that has statements from its own membership saying they were lied to?
    Or did they classify those statements from the FISA court, like thee classify the FISA rulings from the public.

     

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  13.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 6:51pm

    I'm not quite sure which is more likely at this point, that the FISA 'judges' have been offered insanely lucrative 'employment opportunities' down the road as long as they continue to blindly back the NSA, or that the NSA has pointed out that there are things those 'judges' would really rather not go public, things the NSA just might have(or have the ability to manufacture), but that said things will stay private as long as the 'judges' continue to cooperate.

    Either way this is just another instance proving what a joke the FISA 'court' is, showing them to be, once again, nothing more than a sham 'court' that does nothing but agree with the ones who own and control them.

     

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  14.  
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    GEMont, Jan 4th, 2014 @ 8:42am

    Spying on the World has Vast and Amazing Benefits

    "...there are no benefits to the program. None have been shown."

    Well there really are a whole bunch of benefits to the progams, absolutely rooms full of benefits in fact, but well, to show them to the public would be the same as incriminating one's self, you see and, well, we can't have that now can we.

    Point is though, he aint lying.

    The NSA and its contractual buddies in commerce, organized crime and industry have been reaping a serious shit load of benefits from the global surveillance programs for years.

    You would be amazed just how hospitable an Anti-American Iraqui Official can be to a visiting US corporation head, after you've shown him a dosier of him and his girlfriend's telephone conversation transcripts, their private emails and an album of telephoto pictures of them doing the dirty through the windows of various meeting places.

    Its just that anything that benfits the NSA in any way, is pretty much automatically gonna be detrimental to everyone else on earth... so showing all those accrued benefits - or for that matter, any of those accrued benefits to the public.... that's not gonna happen.

    But amazingly, he aint lying on this particular aspect.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 7:15am

    > ...that the telephony metadata collection program is lawful. The Depar...

    Yet they don't speak to the unconstitutionality of it all...

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 7:51am

    Cangaroo court issues cangaroo orders.

    Somehow, I think, there is dirt on these cangaroo judges in Snowden docs. Just wait, till that hits the fan.

     

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

  17.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 10:22am

    Re: Get over it already

    How do you think they could figure out what the terriost were doing reading tarot cards.


    How about the way they used to do it, which was at least as effective as spying on literally everybody. How about actual investigative work?

    Your response of "just stop participating in society if you don't want to be spied on" isn't just misguided, it's downright impossible.

    This mass spying, even if it were effective, is corrosive to society and bad for the nation. The ends don't always justify the means, particularly when the means are more damaging than what the ends are trying to prevent.

     

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


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