But what we're mainly concerned about is the fact that an agency that claims its doing this to combat terrorism can't seem to come up with much evidence that its programs are working. The NSA has deprived us of civil liberties while delivering next to nothing in terms of security.
No, that's not what I'm mainly concerned about. I don't care if the program(s) work. I don't care if the surveillance allows DHS, the NSA, the CIA and the FBI to thwart 50 attacks each.
I care that people without provable guilt are being searched and their records/papers retained without due process of law, and without a warrant having been obtained as a result of sworn testimony.
I'm most concerned that the federal government is depriving us of civil liberties. Period. Full Stop.
Haven't I read right here on this very blog that we could prevent a lot more crime by installing cameras on every corner and stationing police in every home, but that approach is simply unacceptable?
Ask any motorcyclist who's been riding for more than 15 years or so, and this kind of behavior will bring back (not so fond) memories.
Any gathering of more than, say, a dozen bikes would draw the attention of the local constabulary. There were a handful of times I saw cops going down a line of bikes, taking down license plate numbers and sometimes checking VINs.
Not for any enforcement action ... simply because there were a lot of bikes around, and that meant danger.
Never mind that I, and the people I rode with, didn't belong to motorcycle clubs (in the gangster sense), and the most illegal thing we did was ride too fast.
But actions taken during Occupy Wall Street show that the PD's agenda usually means treating protesters (as well as anyone with a camera) as criminals. And attempting to "unmask" participants in an Anonymous rally lumps all attendees in with the activist group, even if many of them have never actively participated in any illegal activities. It also shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Anonymous' "structure," i.e., there is none. There's no "head" to capture and mount on the metaphorical wall. There's also no "tail" to drag off to HQ and sweat down in hopes of it offering up higher-ranked members.
I'm wondering when the NSA surveillance will have its "Bork Blockbuster" moment. For those with short memories, it used to be legal to share video rental history data ... until Robert Bork's video rental history was revealed during his confirmation hearings.
Now that every conversation in Washington DC (the 202 area code)has been monitored, will Congress finally realize that they are targets too? After all, they are simply citizens, USPs to the NSA.
what would be outrageous is police arresting and attorneys general prosecuting people using ordinary computers under the bad wording of this statute--NOT the bad wording itself. The bad wording does not necessarily or even usually produce the conceptually possible bad result based on the bad wording. This is one reason we have judges--they typically don't let cases move forward that fall outside reasonable interpretations of the law (and yes, this happened in all the criminal CFAA cases too, but let's leave those alone for now).
Relying on prosecutorial discretion is a really, really bad idea. Just ask the kid who got bailed out on $500,000 for a stupid rant on Facebook, or Aaron, or Weev, or pretty much anybody that the government has decided holds views that are objectionable or contrary to good order and discipline within the state.
This is another data point in the argument against, "I haven't done anything wrong. Why should I care if the NSA monitors my every utterance and online post?"
And for the Dad-haters - maybe, just maybe, the Old Man is hoping that others will learn, by the example of his son's incarceration, of the dangers of posting "casual" threats.
Used to be, if you were in a "bad part of town," you'd keep your mouth shut about the way someone was dressed or how hot a woman looked - the local denizens might just inflict some instant justice on you for your freedom of expression.
Now, the thugs wear suits (or uniforms) and use the courts, rather than their fists.
Who knows where the emails, names, and addresses of those who "Signed" the site have ended up.
I don't mind standing up for my rights - I'll even stand up publicly. But it truly sucks when online "protests" are vulnerable to potential redirection of personal information.
Don't use real info, and the "signatures" won't be taken seriously.
Use real info, and Google only knows who gets copies of that info.
Even if the SSL error I got is benign, the issue remains: just because "FightForTheFuture" says they're protesting, who's to know?
ERROR MESSAGE FOLLOWS
You attempted to reach www.fightforthefuture.org, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as *.heroku.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of www.fightforthefuture.org.
It only takes a couple of minutes to let your voice be heard.
Better yet, call your elected representatives' offices on your cell phone, and inform the person who answers that the call is being logged by the NSA.
"Refining," as in "making better." Not as in "never been done."
A large American insurance company uses a HUGE database of policyholders, claims, physicians, and other data. Their fraud division routinely mines this data for connections that imply the possibility of fraud. On a simple level, it's "If a policyholder in the zip code 90210 has a claim for back injury as a result of auto accident and sees this doctor, investigate." In reality, it's far, far more complex.
With the metadata the NSA has been collecting, at a simple level, it could be "Trace the connections involving three international calls, within 24 hours, of this bank of numbers of "known terrorists."
So a Chechen-descended American citizen calls home, then calls his girlfriend, who calls her brother, who contacts a veterinarian, who is the same one I call for my cat's excessive hairball. The calls are each unrelated, but I am now "tagged" as being in the communication chain with the Boston Bomber.
But "I have nothing to fear, so why should I care?" Well, through sheer coincidence, I'm now linked with the terrorists. And should another unlikely coincidence occur, I could well wake up to quasi-military police kicking down my door to ask some questions.
The NSA has these new-fangled things called computers, that allow them to look at the data faster than humans can. Depending on what these "computers" are told to do (by people called "programmers"), the computers may be able to compare the call data and make unexpected connections.
I wonder if there's a list of protesters' phone numbers somewhere.
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