Senator Biden Teaches President Obama A Lesson About NSA Spying From The Past

from the if-only-he'd-listen dept

The folks over at the EFF have put together a nice “debate” video, showing a clip of then-Senator Joe Biden angrily denouncing warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, spliced with President Obama defending the latest NSA surveillance leaks to show a “debate” between the two. I think Biden wins, hands down:

Filed Under: , , , , ,

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 “Senator Biden Teaches President Obama A Lesson About NSA Spying From The Past”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The sadness...

I’d like to see Obama impeached for all the illegal acts his administration has committed (most of which he must have known about, at the very least), but that would mean Biden would be president, and we know he’s even more of a copyright maximalist than Obama.

I wish there were a way to impeach them all.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Biden?

D’oh! Hit return by accident.

The sad part about this is that Biden has one of the worst political records in history when it comes to privacy.

In fact, it was some of Biden’s legislation that spurred Phil Zimmerman to create PGP. When he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he introduced two bills: the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act, and the Violent Crime Control Act. Both contained this language:

providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications

According to Zimmerman, “It was this bill that led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups.”

Of course, Biden didn’t stop there. Details are here:

NSA & US corporations says:

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.

These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency. […]

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world?s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. […]

If necessary, a company executive, known as a ?committing officer,? is given documents that guarantee immunity from civil actions resulting from the transfer of data. The companies are provided with regular updates, which may include the broad parameters of how that information is used.

Intel Corp. (INTC)?s McAfee unit, which makes Internet security software, regularly cooperates with the NSA, FBI and the CIA, for example, and is a valuable partner because of its broad view of malicious Internet traffic, including espionage operations by foreign powers, according to one of the four people, who is familiar with the arrangement.

Such a relationship would start with an approach to McAfee?s chief executive, who would then clear specific individuals to work with investigators or provide the requested data, the person said. The public would be surprised at how much help the government seeks, the person said.

McAfee firewalls collect information on hackers who use legitimate servers to do their work, and the company data can be used to pinpoint where attacks begin. The company also has knowledge of the architecture of information networks worldwide, which may be useful to spy agencies who tap into them, the person said. […]

The information provided by Snowden also exposed a secret NSA program known as Blarney. As the program was described in the Washington Post (WPO), the agency gathers metadata on computers and devices that are used to send e-mails or browse the Internet through principal data routes, known as a backbone.

That metadata includes which version of the operating system, browser and Java software are being used on millions of devices around the world, information that U.S. spy agencies could use to infiltrate those computers or phones and spy on their users.

?It?s highly offensive information,? said Glenn Chisholm, the former chief information officer for Telstra Corp (TLS)., one of Australia?s largest telecommunications companies, contrasting it to defensive information used to protect computers rather than infiltrate them.

According to Snowden?s information, Blarney?s purpose is ?to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence,? the Post said. […]

Lawmakers who oversee U.S. intelligence agencies may not understand the significance of some of the metadata being collected, said Jacob Olcott, a former cybersecurity assistant for Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. ?That?s what makes this issue of oversight so challenging,? said Olcott, now a principal at Good Harbor Security Risk Management in Washington. ?You have a situation where the technology and technical policy is far outpacing the background and expertise of most elected members of Congress or their staffs.? […]

Anonymous Coward says:


“Vice President Joe Biden said there has been no ‘substantive damage’ to the United States by Julian Assange in the whole WikiLeaks scandal. He says it has been embarrassing, but you can’t prosecute people for embarrassing the United States. If that were true, Joe Biden would be serving life in prison.” ?Jay Leno


God I need some humor after all this NSA nonsense.

Anonymous Coward says:

what Biden said then and what he is up to now are totally different things. like a lot more people, i am of the opinion that he was behind the raid on Dotcom in NZ, all to simply please buddies he has in the entertainment industries. i am beginning to think now that this business with the entertainment industries is a giant smoke screen, designed to take peoples eyes off the ball. although the surveillance that these industries are after is supposedly to try to keep a grip on who is downloading copyrighted content without permission, once that measure has been implemented, who else do you think is gonna be all over it like rash? exactly! the government and law enforcement agencies and not just from/in the USA but from much further afield. the idea is to let the entertainment industries get the blame for this massive encroachment on to peoples freedom and privacy when the ultimate, underhanded intention is for the others mentioned to be using it! i mean, come on! if the entertainment industries were specifically after control of customers, the easiest, cheapest and quickest way would be by listening to and giving what customers want. do that and the number of illegally downloaded games, movies and music would plummet! the industries know that, so why keep going down the road they are? it cant be to get control of the whole internet because there are too many others that would be willing and able to stop them. the only answer i can think of is what i said above. then consider the amount of accusations of hacking that are thrown out by the USA, particularly in the direction of China. the USA is doing far more than any other country, so are employing the ‘attack is the best form of defense’ stance to throw everyone else on to the back foot. now the cat is out of the bag, and also considering that the gutless UK government is right up the USA arse, prepared to say whatever they have to back up the USA, the internet surveillance strategy can continue from there.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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 »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

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