James Clapper Says They're Just Trying To 'Understand' Tor To Keep Terrorists From Killing You

from the why-so-afraid-people? dept

Ah, the inevitable misleading bullshit response from James Clapper to today’s revelations about the attempts to hack Tor is the usual doubletalk and propagranda we’ve grown accustomed to from the confessed liar. The short version is that they’re just trying to “understand” Tor, because if they don’t you’ll probably die from terrorists.

The articles accurately point out that the Intelligence Community seeks to understand how these tools work and the kind of information being concealed.

However, the articles fail to make clear that the Intelligence Community’s interest in online anonymity services and other online communication and networking tools is based on the undeniable fact that these are the tools our adversaries use to communicate and coordinate attacks against the United States and our allies.

In other words: we decimate your privacy, because we care. Sorry, Clapper, we’re just not feeling that caring spirit out here in the public. It sure seems like you’re a creepy big brother, using any and all methods to distort this discussion and debate, while seeking to collect any and all information you can get your hands on “just because” it might possibly be useful someday — and with little to no concern for how that impacts everyone else.

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Comments on “James Clapper Says They're Just Trying To 'Understand' Tor To Keep Terrorists From Killing You”

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Why not address the factual assertions being made instead of engaging in a personal attack at the speaker?

The factual assertions were made in the reporting. It is Clapper who has engaged in personal attacks on those who question his fiefdom.

The assertions that Clapper has made are false. He claims they’re trying to “understand” Tor? That’s not true. They’re trying to crack it to spy on people. The documents reveal that they view any Tor communication as being worth classifying as foreign, since they can’t confirm they’re US. That’s ridiculous and not what the law allows. That is, rather than prove non-US person, the NSA defaults to non-US unless proven otherwise. That’s backwards.

Look, I know that you want to be seen as little Mr. NSA defender, and that has lead you to making blatantly false statements that I and others have called you out on repeatedly, but I’m being serious in suggesting that perhaps you should think twice about your desire to give such an obvious blowjob to the NSA.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Hey dumbass, that little snowflake only relates to posts within that specific article. And the anonymous poster referred to had the FIRST comment.

Masnick is pathological liar and sociopath. It’s been documented for some time now. He actually thinks we’re supposed to believe that he can immediately figure out who someone is by a couple sentences they write. Uh-huh.

He violates anonymity by looking at IP addresses. And he’s too much of a sleazy coward to admit it. This is no secret.

You bozos are failing miserably at every bit of paid-Google-shill propaganda you throw out there. You’re the laughingstock of the web.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Your own comment is deliciously ironic. We ALL know who you are, not by looking at your IP address but because you say exactly the same stupid things over and over and over again, proving Mike’s point. Your lack of imagination, or credibility, or ability to present an argument, is a source of continuous amusement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You seem to be saying that the NSA should leave online traffic alone and do nothing unless it is known up front that a specific piece of traffic is associated with a “bad guy”. In an ideal world this would certainly hold sway, but ours is not an ideal world. Obviously your opinion is more nuanced, but the nuance you intend is not readily apparent from the broad strokes by which you discuss this and related issues.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nice attempt at a rewrite. The NSA should stop interpreting law in a box. They have the means to determine and better protect American communications. They chose not to respect their abilities and instead to beef up the muscle in acquisitions and access. Then they toss and receive information over the walls of nations to and from their friends.

They believe that all of the communications that comprise all the voices of all of the people are, at the end, theirs alone to do with as they please. That is not a dignified human existence. That is not a mission, done in the name of this country, that people should be standing behind.

“With liberty and justice for all – the liberties we allow and the justice we deliver. Don’t let us fucking see you doing things we don’t like.. and that whenever we decide not to like it.”

I’ll tell you what, between the UK and the US and CA and AU and NZ, God save the queen, there is a streak of fucking utter madness that seems to prevail when protectors and enforcers get to decide anything and everyone lets them. And in secret no less. It’s not a recipe for disaster, it’s a poison pill. Do you really want to swallow that?

ldne says:

Re: Re:

Why not address the factual assertions being made

What factual assertions? There aren’t any. Osama Bin Laden, held up as the epitome of terrorist leadership, refused to even have a telephone, let alone use TOR. All of his communications to his underlings were written on paper and delivered snail mail style by courier to someone else who emailed them in code through standard email services and the Feebs had a free tip off about the Boston bombers from the Russians along with plainly visible clear-net youtube postings of jihadist videos by one of them after the warning and they still didn’t catch them. That’s because these programs aren’t looking for them

JMT says:

Re: Re:

“Why not address the factual assertions being made instead of engaging in a personal attack at the speaker?”

Calling Clapper a liar is not a personal attack, it’s a statement of fact about a person who was bound by law to tell the truth to Congress and did the opposite, and continues to do the same to the public. It does not “taste great” to call him a liar, it’s a sickening truth.

And exactly what assertions are “unanswered”? If you have a point, why not make it?

Anonymous Coward says:

we operate within a strict legal framework that prohibits accessing information related to the innocent online activities of US citizens.

Ah. Since they can’t tell if Tor users are US citizens, they have to install malware on tor users machines to determine whether or not they are US citizens. Makes perfect sense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The key word there is “innocent”. After they’ve installed the malware and decrypted data from a US citizen, they’re required to delete it — unless they want to use it as evidence to press charges.

Really, then, they have to install malware on Tor users’ machines to determine whether or not they are “innocent” US citizens. If they’re “guilty” US citizens, the strict legal framework does not apply.

KissMyWookiee (profile) says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 4th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

That was exactly my thought!

The US Navy developed TOR for their agents to secretly communicate.

Anything the NSA wants to know about TOR can be answered by them… though one government department talking with another government department is just too easy and doesn’t waste enough public funds.

PopeRatzo (profile) says:

Clapper has to go

James Clapper has to step down from government service or be fired immediately. We can’t have people with this kind of disregard for basic civil rights in a position of power.

The problem is, there’s nobody – not Republican, Democrat or Libertarian who is currently in government who will force the issue because either they’re already benefiting from the Surveillance State or they hope (as in the case of Rand Paul) to someday benefit from the Surveillance State.

This is the most important issue regarding government we have. If we can’t roll back this police state, no other civic involvement matters.

Anonymous Coward says:

The alleged felonious liar sure does have a lot of BS in his response.

He says the NSA is only interested in foreign communications. Tor is designed to bounce traffic all over the globe. There’s no way for the NSA to filter out domestic communications from foreign communications. Plus, all Tor traffic is encrypted, and we know the NSA stores all encrypted traffic.

Then he states the NSA is “abiding by the law”. Except, it’s pretty clear these domestic spying programs are unconstitutional. Constitutional law trumps all other law. Therefore, the NSA is not operating within the law.

Finally, he states, “recent leaks have painted an inaccurate and misleading picture of the Intelligence Community”. These leaked documents were written by the NSA, themselves! If the NSA’s own documents are painting a bad picture, then the NSA has no one to blame but themselves.

I love how Clapper states he’s doing what the American public wants. What a lie! I don’t want my entire life stored in a database.

To sum up Clapper’s statements. “Liar liar pants on fire!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Had Clapper been smart, he would have ducked and kept himself out of the public spotlight. Instead he’s been right in there helping make the whole mess stinker, if that was possible. Claiming legality is not the same as being legal. We have examples piled upon examples of laws made that were not legal and when court finished with them they were no longer laws. NSA representatives claiming legality are in the same boat; that is it is legal till it ain’t.

There has never been a doubt in the public’s mind about how legal this spying business is when vacuuming up all of the electronic data passing the internet, or about grabbing cell phone data. Rest assured sooner or later it’s going to boil down to just how legal it is.

In the meantime, Clapper and Alexander have to go. They are the prime reason why the NSA has gotten so far out of hand and why they have lost all creditability with the public. Creditability will not be reestablished with the present senior staff. They are the ones that have so damaged it. There remains no place for them in their present positions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NSA image

From a PR standpoint, the NSA are now known by the public they can not return to the shadows, so if they are to operate with the confidence of the american people they need to be seen to obey the laws of the land, they need to look like the people control them, they need to rehabilitate their image. some form of apology, some rolling heads, for the sake of the mission and nation that’s Clapper and Alexander. These two if they were true patriots and believed this tracking needed to continue the would stand down, perhaps in Clappers case since he committed perjury before a senate committee going for a short unpaid vacation in jail will pull the heat out of NSA’s PR disaster, Its for the best of the agency. I mean I don’t expect the NSA to stop collecting, but maybe during the proscution of Clapper, and if something can be found Alexander. The distraction will give NSA a chance to hide the illegal stuff and claim they are reformed, and get back to business as Usual. The bosses become pawns, their sacrifice will let the NSA to stay in the game.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Once the Republicans and Democrats stop their little pissing contest and return government operations back to normal, someone needs to add another petition to the We the People website in addition to the one calling for Snowden’s pardon, this time calling for the indictment and prosecution of Clapper and Alexander for civil rights violations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Constitutional trumps all other law EXCEPT International law.

And this is why in the end, all this NSA spying will be ruled illegal. The NSA does not have the mandate to collect nilly willy all American communications just because they can. They are violating their very mandate on what they are supposed to be doing.

It has been said before, “Alexander does first and then looks for justification afterwards in pertaining to laws”. This is why the NSA is doing what it is doing. It has been given it’s marching orders by Gen Alexander and Gen Clapper and both have to go.

Anonymous Coward says:

The majority of the population are not terrorists and have never been such other than by the redefining of the English language by the NSA. There is no need to collect everyone’s data to make one huge haypile to play hide the needle.

The NSA has already demonstrated they can’t use the data intelligibly even when it is pointed to them of likely terrorist such as what happened with the Boston bombing.

Making up reasons to look into everyone’s life just because they can figure a way to do that is not their mission. Their mission is to find those outside the US whom they might have concern with. Those are not the same things and the are at very much opposite ends of what they are supposed to be seeking.

All this should tell you as has been mentioned before that our government believes it’s population is the real enemy. I’ve a problem with that.

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