New Data Dump Shows Feds Massively Increased Spying On Who You're Talking To

from the well,-of-course dept

While the feds absolutely hate to reveal this kind of info, due to successful legal action by the ACLU, the Justice Department was forced to reveal information on how often they monitor electronic communications of Americans without a warrant — using what’s known as “pen register” and “trap and trace.” This kind of surveillance isn’t over the actual communications (that’s left up to the NSA, apparently), but rather just the info on who contacted whom. For various reasons, such information is considered obtainable without needing a warrant. Not surprisingly, the data shows a rather massive increase in such surveillance by the Justice Department.

The numbers are quite incredible:

In fact, more people were subjected to pen register and trap and trace surveillance in the past two years than in the entire previous decade.

And yet, whenever anyone suggests that maybe, just maybe, there should be a little bit of oversight on these kinds of things to prevent abuse, law enforcement freaks out. Perhaps that’s really because they know they’re widely abusing the ability to spy on communications, and they don’t want to have to admit it. The fact that it took a lawsuit just to get this information (which is required by law) to be released really says something about the state of surveillance by the federal government. And what it says is not good at all.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: aclu

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “New Data Dump Shows Feds Massively Increased Spying On Who You're Talking To”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
126 Comments
average_joe (profile) says:

And yet, whenever anyone suggests that maybe, just maybe, there should be a little bit of oversight on these kinds of things to prevent abuse, law enforcement freaks out. Perhaps that’s really because they know they’re widely abusing the ability to spy on communications, and they don’t want to have to admit it.

You just love to jump to the “ABUSE!” claim, don’t you? I remember two years ago you kept saying that *I’m* abusing the legal system for profit. Yet, you have never once produced any evidence that I have ever done anything like that (and you can’t produce that evidence, because it’s not true). Funny that. It’s almost like you just made it up whole cloth in some desperate attempt to lash out at a critic.

Have you ever considered that maybe you could look at the evidence first and then jump to the claim of “ABUSE!” second? Or are you just not wired to work any way other than backwards? I guess you’re satisfied with being the Yellow Journalist/Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh of IP “reporting.” Good on ya!

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That’s called an ad hominem.

It was certainly an ad hominem when he accused me of abusing the legal system for profit, even though he had zero evidence to back it up. My point is that Mike has no evidence here to back up this claim either: “Perhaps that’s really because they know they’re widely abusing the ability to spy on communications, and they don’t want to have to admit it.” He throws out the weasel word “perhaps,” but clearly he is spreading FUD and trying to discredit law enforcement. Where’s his evidence that “perhaps” this is true? Oh yeah, there is none. Just like when he attacked me for being an abuser without any evidence. Bottom line, Mike jumps to conclusions about people being abusers–just like a yellow journalist would. It’s not an ad hominem to point out the fact that he jumps to conclusions and works backwards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Oh, I get you vitriol now, It’s personal. Did “pirate mike” upset you some time in the past by calling you out on some weasel lawyer type activity and it stuck in your craw, choking you like a sudden realization of a life misspent?

Just what kind of weasel word is perhaps? I take it as a word that means something, like all others. It, in this instance, signifies that Mike is making a conjecture as to the possible reasons for the freakout.

“Perhaps” you should step back from your rabid hatred of Mike for a minute and think about the stupid shit you post on this site. You do end up looking like a fool, or should I say tool, most of the time.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s definitely personal. Mike has been very abusive to me, as well as to any other person who dares question the man behind the curtain. I’ve been abusive to him as well. Yet, I have apologized and admitted that I lost my cool. Mike has never once admitted any fault or apologized, nor do I think he ever would/could.

Nor does Mike ever engage anyone substantively who points out obvious errors in his “reporting” about copyright. He’s obviously not interested in getting at the truth about things. He’s more interested in spreading his anti-IP agenda, facts and reality be damned. I’ve never seen a man so willing to tear apart anyone and anything who dares to think differently than him, yet so completely unwilling to talk about his own beliefs. It’s truly amazing to watch.

“Perhaps” is a weasel word because it allows him to impugn and discredit law enforcement without any actual facts to back it up. When called out on it, he can claim, “I said ‘perhaps’!” It’s a common tactic amongst the tinfoil hat demagogue types. “Perhaps” Mike should base his claims on facts. I know, I know. That’s crazy! It’ll never happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

This is interesting, there have been a few occasions where a larger part of this community has pointed out where Mr. Masnick was wrong (with very valid reasons to back it up) where he kept insisting there was no issue.

I can’t recall the article, but it was about how google maps and how people don’t like having pictures of their home nicely indexed on google maps. Masnick suggested that anyone can drive by your home & take pictures there’s no problem by putting all this online & making it easily accessible.

I and a whole lot of people disagree with this, I’d link to the article but I can’t find it.

So while I agree with a lot of things, I (and many others) definitely aren’t just sheep believing everything Mr. Masnick says.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Yes, because we know you’re the victim in this and that you yourself have NEVER been extremely rude to Mike, Leigh or anyone else on this site. /s

Please, get off your cross already. What is apparent for any and all to easily see about you AJ is that you can dish it out but you can’t take it. You’re always the first to denounce others for making insulting comments and yet you’re also (almost always) the first to enter an article and leave an ad hom laden comment about Mike. And it happens day in and day out.

So yes, it is quite egotistical of you to go “but but but Mike started it”. He may have, I honestly don’t know. But I doubt it, and I definitely doubt you didn’t have it coming or say something first.

But the part that matters is “grow the fuck up”. Get over it, move on, etc. But the truth is you don’t want to.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I said it already in the comments to this very article. I have been rude to Mike in the past. Absolutely. It was wrong of me to act that way, and I’ve let my emotions get the best of me. I’ve acknowledged that it was wrong, and I’ve apologized. I get a lot of shit from a lot of people on TD–more so than probably any other person–and sometimes it gets to me. I’m only human.

Mike on the other hand has never once even acknowledged that he’s been rude to me, much less apologized. Nor do I think he ever will. I would greatly value that apology.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“I get a lot of shit from a lot of people on TD–more so than probably any other person–and sometimes it gets to me. I’m only human.”

You’re such a sniveling weasel Joe. You expect us to believe you were rude because everyone was rude to you? How can you be so deluded? People are rude to you because you’re rude to everyone. You get shit because all you do is fling shit. The odd nugget of knowledge you bring doesn’t even come close to excusing you from you rest of the crap you regularly dump here in an ongoing effort to stroke your own ego and assert your imagined superiority.

“Mike on the other hand has never once even acknowledged that he’s been rude to me, much less apologized.”

Mike has acknowledged his behaviour towards you multiple times, including today, and explained why you deserve it, and I don’t recall anyone disagreeing with him. Are you forgetful or do you willfully block facts from your mind when they don’t line up with your latest claim of terrible treatment?

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I pointed out that Mike had no basis for claiming that “perhaps” there was abuse here, just like he claimed with no basis that I in fact abuse the law for profit. Do you not understand analogies? That’s not thrusting myself into the comments. That’s me pointing out a flaw in Mike’s position. I know you can’t stand it when anyone challenges him.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“Do you not understand analogies?”

Do you not understand that analogies and egotism are not mutually exclusive? Do you not understand that, of all the possible analogies you could have made, your choosing your own personal affront is what I’m referring to? Do you not understand this steady defense of such egotistical behavior is in itself egotistical? Do you not understand that starting dismissive sentences with “do you not understand” is haughty in a way that one might say is egotistical?

“That’s not thrusting myself into the comments.”

That’s true. And by true, I mean completely false on a scale that is laughable.

“I know you can’t stand it when anyone challenges him.”

Oh, yeah. I’m really concerned. Whenever someone “challenges” Mike my nipples shrivel into innies and my sphincter quivers in anger.

Why don’t you just post the link to the Techdirt comments that created this supposed affront to demonstrate your point. I, for one, would love to see it….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

While I agree that this article has a negative undertone towards law enforcement I don’t think it’s entirely unwarranted.

As you can see by the pretty graphs (aka evidence) and their past reactions it’s quite obvious they’re spinning out of control and need a reality check.

About your specific quote, my guess is Mr. Masnick is getting tired of seeing law enforcement abuse the rights & try to spy as much as they can get away with. I don’t think the conclusion he draws is far fetched at all.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Perhaps” the technology is catching up such that law enforcement has better tools and access to records to combat crime. “Perhaps” it was crime that was spinning out of control and these graphs show that law enforcement is starting to more effectively take the offensive. Without more (like evidence of actual abuse), these graphs don’t tell us much about how much abuse is happening.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Well I don’t think that crime is a major problem, and I don’t feel that it is such a big concern that we need to give up our right to privacy. Some level of law enforcement may be necessary, and it certainly is in some parts of the country, but right now I am much more concerned about law enforcement violating my rights than I am some random criminal attacking me.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the numbers you dial on your phone or the addresses you send an email to.

Bullshit.

That information must necessarily be given to intermediaries who make the connections for you.

Yes, and I’m perfectly happy to share it with those intermediaries – the private companies that need the information in order to make it work.

Sharing it with the government is a whole other thing. If the government needs it for legitimate law enforcement requests, I’m fine with that – thats what warrants are for. But these are warrantless intrusions into our private lives by the government. Even worse, thr ACLU had to take the government to court to get this information, which the government was supposed to make available according to the law.

Maybe in your fascist paradise, you think this is okay, but I do not. (Sorry for the insult, but you spent the week calling me a hippie, so deal with it.)

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

How many times have you called Mike a pirate apologist?

Has the proof of that ever materialized?

Really?!?!? The proof can be found here: http://www.techdirt.com

Can you point to a single article where he sided with the artist/author whose rights were being violated by pirates? Nope.

Yet I can point to thousands of articles where he defends the pirates, claims that piracy causes no harm, tells people they should embrace piracy, hyper-focuses on anything a rights holder does while giving pirates very little scrutiny, etc.

This blog is the No. 1 pirate-apologist blog on earth.

You guys are too much.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ok, if you want to play it that way.

The proof that you are a abusing the legal system for profit can be found here:

http://www.techdirt.com/user/average_joe

It’s in there, in the middle of those 2000+ comments you made. Anyone that denies it is stupid.

Also, the proof that ancient cultures on Earth had contact with alien astronauts in the past is in Stonehenge. I mean, just look at it, the proof is RIGHT THERE.

(this is the part where you realize that your argument makes no sense, say you are sorry, and we all move on with our lives)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Oh, you failed to find the proof that you are a abusing the legal system for profit from the evidence I presented? Then maybe there is some sort of problem with you.

But never mind, I’ll give you another chance, the same way you gave Mike a chance so many times before:

Prove that you are not abusing the legal system for profit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You are making various fundamental mistakes (which means I’ll never be able to convince you):

1. How are you so sure they actually violate these rights? There’s *lots* of circumstances where we can freely use copyrighted material without asking permission / paying. Fair use ring a bell?

2. About more blatant piracy: The cost of punishing pirates the way the MAFIAA is doing is *HUGE*. It’s basically dismantling all our freedoms just to get those damn free loaders. Mr. Masnick and others rightfully say that they do not care enough about copyright to give up their fundamental rights.

3. Reality. The point is to make a living, what does it matter if a few people get your stuff for free? If you have plenty fans willing to pay for what you create and you don’t have to dismantle our fundamental freedoms then what’s wrong?

4. This blog has tons of examples of how people combat piracy without taking away our fundamental freedoms/ privacy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

See Joe. And this is why a lot of people don’t respect you and never will.

He didn’t even insult you that badly, just pocked your semi-profession (and not even that badly at that). Then you come back with “asshole”. See, the ADULT thing to do would be to just ignore the comment aimed at you entirely. Not even respond to it. But oh no, not you. So basically, you bring it on yourself.

You took your shots at Mike, got called out on it, climbed up on your cross, and all the while saying people are being mean to you, you kept giving them reasons to be disrespectful to you. And it’s more hilarious because you kept saying you’re not egotistical, yet here we are. Half the comments are about you and your weird obsession with Mike and how he apparently picks on poor little ol’ you.

[shakes head in amusement]

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

This takes me back to last year when Angry Joe had his complete emotional breakdown and started insulting everybody indiscriminately… then started calling everyone a Big Meanie for being abusive to him! Hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜€

“I’m not being rude, I’m just calling you mindless idiots! That’s not rude at all! Also, the law! And apologize to me! You big MEANIE! Abuse!”

“Help! Police! Murder!”

“I have a law degree!”

Then he ragequit and started cowering under the Anonymous Coward nickname to pretend that he wasn’t reading this site anymore. Every second of his life, not being able to stand not knowing if we were saying something behind his back.

My, how they’ve grown… ๐Ÿ™‚

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This has to be one of the most idiotic comments I’ve seen this week.

Can you point to a single article where he sided with the artist/author whose rights were being violated by pirates? Nope.

This is a highly leading question. What do you mean by “violated by pirates”? Even if this is so, it’s not even relevant to your point. This is not an anti-, or pro-, piracy site. The question is, what evidence is there that the site is pro-piracy?

Yet I can point to thousands of articles where he defends the pirates, claims that piracy causes no harm, tells people they should embrace piracy, hyper-focuses on anything a rights holder does while giving pirates very little scrutiny, etc.

Find me one single article where piracy is defended as a justified activity or that advocates that people engage in it. I’ve been reading the site for years and haven’t seen such a thing, but I’ll admit that I don’t read every single article.

Where you may be getting confused is when there are articles talking about the damage IP laws are causing to society in general (and artists and labels in particular) and ways to operate in a an environment where piracy is a thing without causing such damage.

To acknowledge that piracy is a factor and to offer ways to work with that fact is a long way away from saying that piracy is wonderful.

bratwurzt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Pattern? Like someone calling you out on your logo and you swiching it and basically not saying a thing?
Like calling sharers (that is me, I share) pirates and thiefs? Deliberately confusing theft and infrigement? Like LYING about not finding a single article “where he sided with the artist/author whose rights were being violated by infringers” (FTFY) when he has a whole page dedicated to help them adapt to reality of today (Step 2)?

If I could spell hypocrisy and irony with one word, it’d be your middle name.

JaseP says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The very fact of monitoring is abusing the system. Masnick doesn’t need to go any further than that. The Constitution sets out a relationship between the State and the People. Gov’t in the US is supposed to govern by consent of the People.

It’s layed out in the themes presented in the first 10 Amendments. Those Amendments were, basically, an apologetic appeal to the People by the “Founding Fathers” as a way to assure them that the new State would not be set up in tyrannical fashion. It was only after they were proposed and ratified that the Constitution gained popular appeal with the People. That was what the Federalist Papers were all about…

Whenever Gov’t acts in a way that is contrary to the “Bill of Rights” the People are, and should be, justifiably concerned. Why should the Gov’t be able to pry into my, or anyone else’s, private affairs without probable cause and a valid warrant?! I can’t think of a valid reason,… only some invalid ones…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s all about him. It always has been and always will be. Mike has slighted him in the past and he is a one trick pony. On his deathbed he will utter the words “pirate mike done me wrong, please sky daddy send him to an eternity of damnation.”

Then he will close his eyes and his lips will curl up in a little smile, confident in the knowledge he is going to a better place. A place where everything everywhere is monitored, licensed, and redacted without end.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s not all about me. I’m pointing out that Mike is spreading FUD on this, claiming that “perhaps” there is abuse. But he has no evidence of abuse. Wouldn’t it be more productive to write about things for which he has evidence? You know, shouldn’t he be held to the same standards that he holds everyone else?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s an opinion piece (like all of the articles here), not an exercise in investigatory journalism. Judge it by what it is.

It’s not even a very radical opinion. I rather suspect that the vast majority of Americans are sympathetic to it. His point is that given the long and rich history that law enforcement has of abusing such powers, that there is a large increase of exercising such power increases the likelihood that it’s being abused and we should be on guard about that.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“It’s not all about me.”

So stop commenting about yourself. I DARE YOU to make a series of comments in a post and not mention yourself once. I don’t think you’re capable, but I’d be a pleasant surprise

“II’m pointing out that Mike is spreading FUD on this, claiming that “perhaps” there is abuse. But he has no evidence of abuse. “

Until you can figure out the difference between an opinion blog and a court of law, you’re always going to struggle to make a useful point here. There is no need to present evidence of actual abuse in order to make a suggestion that given the long history of abuse of private info by governments, combined with the pretty sold factual info in the graphs, that abuse is very likely to be taking place. You’d be an ignorant fool to think otherwise.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Laws are there for the benefit of the people, not to accomodate Law Enforcement. This means that Law Enforcement should abide by the law, just as the average Joe is expected to do. If I see that Law Enforcement doesn’t respect the law, why should I? See where this could be going? Trust lost = state in decline

Yep, law enforcement must abide by the law. No please explain how law enforcement using a “pen register” or “trap and trace” without a warrant is illegal.

I’ll give you a hint:

This case presents the question whether the installation and use of a pen register constitutes a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, made applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. ***

Given a pen register’s limited capabilities, therefore, petitioner’s argument that its installation and use constituted a “search” necessarily rests upon a claim that he had a “legitimate expectation of privacy” regarding the numbers he dialed on his phone. This claim must be rejected. ***

We therefore conclude that petitioner in all probability entertained no actual expectation of privacy in the phone numbers he dialed, and that, even if he did, his expectation was not “legitimate.” The installation and use of a pen register, consequently, was not a “search,” and no warrant was required. The judgment of the Maryland Court of Appeals is affirmed.

Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979).

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

He is a lawyer wannabe, for the rest of his life he will ignore anything and everything that is right, just for the sake of what is ‘legal’. All rational thought left awhile ago.

Which is rather disappointing. I used to defend AJ as a rational thinker back when he tried to make actual legal arguments and actually had discussions. These days its just all insults and accusations. =(

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

” All rational thought left awhile ago.”

Yeah, some time back when he started derailing “Funniest/Most Insightful” threads with “why won’t you debate me?!”

I agree though. There were times when AJ would actually come off as reasonable, but he could flip from article to article from perfectly reasonable to slinging ad homs like a madman. Nowadays he just slings ad homs and moves the goal post whenever he tries to come off as “wanting to have a discussion”, which happens whenever someone proves him wrong on a given point. “Well, what I meant to say and was referring to/asking about was…” Because we’re all supposed to read his mind and address any and all future points he MAY bring up eventually, so that he isn’t ever wrong (even when he is).

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe, just maybe, they have found this to be a particularly effective way of dealing with terrorists threats, and that the general lack of terrorist activities these days are in part because of this?

Oh wait, you preferred it the old way, right? I know about 2500 people who would disagree with you if they were around to do so.

average_joe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Maybe, just maybe, they have found this to be a particularly effective way of dealing with terrorists threats, and that the general lack of terrorist activities these days are in part because of this?

Wait. You think law enforcement is actually enforcing the law and keeping us safe? Blasphemy! Did you not get your allotment of anti-government/anti-authority Kook-Aid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Worse than that, I actually think that air traffic controllers keep planes generally a safe distance apart, and that the FDA occasionally reviews drugs before approving them.

Worse yet, I think that law enforcement types generally operate with good faith and good intentions. Not all the time, not every case, but generally.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

” I actually think that air traffic controllers keep planes generally a safe distance apart, and that the FDA occasionally reviews drugs before approving them.”

Have you been paying attention?

“law enforcement types generally operate with good faith and good intentions. Not all the time”

Those put in places of authority and provided with deadly force should be held to a much higher standard than those who are not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Have you been paying attention?”

Yes, have you been reading? “generally”. There are exceptional cases, but when you consider the number of flights in the US each day, and the number of controller actions during those flights (even a short haul flight, up and down, would deal with 5-10 different controllers) I would say that generally they do a good job.

Now, the media tends to dwell on the exceptional cases, so people like you are deluded into thinking that planes are flying into each other and dropping out of the sky with regularity. It’s the same way Mike builds a case against patents and copyright, by highlights the very small percentage that don’t go right.

“Those put in places of authority and provided with deadly force should be held to a much higher standard than those who are not.”

Ahh, so you want them to no longer be human, to have no emotions, no feelings, and no nothing. Call in Robocop.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Ahh, so you want them to no longer be human, to have no emotions, no feelings, and no nothing. Call in Robocop.

That’s quite a leap, going from “held to a higher standard” to “robocop”.

The fact is that police must be held to a higher standard of conduct, and be subjected to a high degree of oversight, precisely because we give them exceptional powers that are easy to abuse.

It’s not that all cops abuse their powers, but that when the small percentage do, the consequences are significant. not just to their victims, but to the ability for honest cops to do their jobs.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“the media tends to dwell on the exceptional cases, so people like you are deluded into thinking that planes are flying into each other and dropping out of the sky with regularity.”

Wow – what are you smoking? I am not the one who is delusional.

Sorry – I’m not all that comfortable with generalities where specifics are more appropriate:
– Generally, we prevent airplanes from flying into each other … well isn’t that special!
– And, the FDA occasionally reviews drugs before approving them – this really improves the level of confidence.

Now you might reason that the above is an endorsement for pre-flight anal probes – but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think that law enforcement types generally operate with good faith and good intentions.

Gallup Poll ?Confidence in Institutions?, June 7-10, 2012

I am going to read to you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one — a great deal, quite a lot, some or very little?

?????…

The police

26% Great deal
30% Quite a lot
28% Some
15% Very little
1% None
* No opinion

56% Great deal/Quite a lot

?????…

The criminal justice system

11% Great deal
18% Quite a lot
41% Some
26% Very little
3% None
1% No opinion

29% Great deal/Quite a lot

?????…

abc gum says:

Re: Re:

re: increased warrentless spying and attempts to hide it

AC -> “Maybe, just maybe, they have found this to be a particularly effective way of dealing with terrorists threats, and that the general lack of terrorist activities these days are in part because of this? Oh wait, you preferred it the old way, right? I know about 2500 people who would disagree with you if they were around to do so.”

Logic fail. This fails so badly that it could be used in the classroom as an example of logic failure. Thank you for your contribution to to the curriculum.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Clearly, my rock is to be praised for stopping terrorism!

“Most people in America right now think of Iraq as a dangerous country. Now, if I were to stand up, I might get killed. But to us, behind this wheel it’s pretty safe. So to us, Iraq is a safe country. Right here, I feel pretty safe. Do you feel safe?” – Lt. Nathaniel Fick
“Pretty Safe, I guess.” – Evan Wright
“See? It’s all Relative”

From Generation Kill, by Evan Wright

It is, as always, relative. Your rock is saving you, and I hope my freedom is saving me. Yet I fear that your rock is protecting you a little better than my freedom is at the moment.

gyffes says:

Hah

Here we see average_ho arguing… with himself. Go away, funny little man, big people are talking.

As to the question of whether “the feds” have achieved anything via their well-documented wiretapping (illegal and otherwise), that’s pretty-well settled: every “terrorist” bust the FBI has conducted in the last 10 years has been nurtured, fed, watered, encouraged, supplied and in some cases almost entirely peopled by.. the FBI! Woo! “Let’s make us some terrists to nail!” must be on all the tshirts they hand out at initiation.

This is bogus and egregious. And just because some damned judge somewhere said it was legitimate doesn’t make it so: sometimes, judges are later viewed as having.. *gasp* erred.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hah

Average_Joe should probably look a little bit inside himself and take a step back. If it is true that “pirate Mike” (Whoever that is?) has wronged Average_Joe I would suggest that Average_Joe finds a legal angle and gets it overwith that way, contact “pirate Mike” (If he actually exist!) and sets up a meeting to mend the wounds or see a psychologist to get some tools to treat this severe trauma. Only then, can we hope for a better discourse in the discussion.

Point is: AJ is far too focused on sabotaging to actually discuss the content of the articles in itself without implying some malicious intend on “pirate Mike”.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re: Hah

Perhaps the “perhaps” was said with tongue in cheek, because as we all are aware there have been egregious over stepping of bounds in this realm … remember the retroactive laws which authorized telco wiretapping?

Oh, I’m sorry – were you only addressing one little aspect of the whole entire picture? Yes, was using my broadbrush – my bad.

vastrightwing (profile) says:

Symbiotic relationship

Consider the relationship of enforcement agencies and crime. Enforcement agencies want to get bigger and have their budgets increased each year. To do so, they need to justify that by showing an ever increasing threat of some kind. Therefore, I conclude that the very enforcement agencies must not only tolerate a certain amount of crime being perpetrated, but also must find new crimes or worse possibly encourage crimes in order to sustain their enforcement model going forward. I know this is a very cynical view, however, it’s in line with Mike’s premise that our domestic agencies are forever reaching further and further into the bag to find new threats domestic, foreign or otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

funny how i expected to get a sudden rise around 2001 when 9/11 happened but it’s actually much later

Perhaps linked to decrease in NSL abuses?

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, ?A Review of the FBI’s Use of Nation Security Letters: Assessment of Corrective Action and Examinantion of NSL Usage in 2006?, March 2008

Gregg says:

Years ago my work place was invaded with video surveillance cameras and people got upset with them. There was theft and there was abuse of the video cameras. Both sides fought and I understand the employees side, and I understand the employers side. in the end I just always assumed there was a video camera on me at all work places.

The same concept applies today with the internet. There are valid arguments for both sides.

But I’m not going to weigh my opinion in on the argument instead I’m going think like my old job, I’m going to assume that someone is always reading my emails, posts, blogs and status.

It’s not right, but it works. I think everyone should write more and more boring stuff to read and send it to everyone to continue with the same boring stuff. Eventually there will be a critical mass of boring stuff bringing the spy guys to suicide ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

instead … I’m going to assume that someone is always reading my emails, posts, blogs and status

Q:How can you tell that the Stasi has bugged your apartment?

A: There’s a new cabinet in it and a trailer with a generator in the street.(*)

?

(*)(Explanation for Western readers: This is an allusion to the underdeveloped state of East German microelectronics.)

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s not right, but it works.

But it doesn’t work. If you really operate as if everything you do on the internet is monitored, then that means there is quite a lot that you would avoid saying on the internet, even in communications not intended for general reading.

Which means that the internet cannot be used for free communication. Which means that the internet is without value except as business infrastructure and a media delivery platform. Which means that the internet is a colossal failure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Completely derailed...

by average_joe. Who cares? Go cry to your mommy.

Subject at hand, increased electronic surveillance. You really didn’t need “proof” in this form to substantiate the fact that our electronic communications are being “tapped” in numerous forms by our own government. The very simple fact that any large data center has a government presense in the form of allocated disk space for them, in some cases going so far as to have their own secured room at the location, should have been a dead giveaway.

In the past 3 years I’ve visited a half dozen data centers at which there have been rooms with taped over door-windows that have been dedicated to our government. You don’t think we need systems at every major data center just to back up government information do you? They’re snooping at every location they have this in place. It’s not conjecture, it’s not jumping to conclusions, it’s a simple fact. If you’re a tech guy in the trenches at these places you can ask and you get a straight answer; “We’re monitoring the data flow at this location.” It isn’t warranted or targeted, its a very broad system of monitoring with who knows what algorithms in place.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory and its not some hidden agenda, its very “in your face” within these data centers. There’s no hemming or hawing or political attempt to avoid the truth at all. Welcome to the new order, you may not like it, but its not going to change unless our government changes and that’s more than a little unlikely. The general public doesn’t seem to care at all, only a very small minority of the population really pays any attention to this stuff at all. Hell, most of the population is willing to give up their privacy completely if they can save $.67 on an online purchase! At least I believe that’s what one of the relevant studies showed. If the average citizen of the US is willing to give up all their private info online for saving less than a single dollar what makes anyone think they’re going to care about this, especially enough to actually try and do anything about it? *shrug*

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...