22 Examples Of NSA Surveillance Creating Chilling Effects

from the more-evidence-of-how-it's-unconstitutional dept

In the EFF’s lawsuit against the NSA over domestic surveillance, the organization has filed 22 first hand examples of organizations which have directly experienced the chilling effects of the surveillance program, which the EFF reasonably argues shows how the program violates the Constitutional right to freely associate. There are numerous examples of public interest groups discovering that members or community members have curtailed communication, declined membership or used other ways of cutting off contact, as they now fear the threat of potential “guilt by association.” Once again, this is the kind of stuff that isn’t supposed to happen in America, and it’s another reason why the surveillance efforts are so pernicious.

“The plaintiffs, like countless other associations across the country, have suffered real and concrete harm because they have lost the ability to assure their constituents that the fact of their telephone communications between them will be kept confidential from the federal government,” EFF Senior Staff Attorney David Greene said. “This has caused constituents to reduce their calling. This is exactly the type of chilling effect on the freedom of association that the First Amendment forbids.”

These cases tend to take a while, but the chilling effects are happening now, are very real and are going to continue until the NSA is stopped from its overaggressive surveillance.

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Comments on “22 Examples Of NSA Surveillance Creating Chilling Effects”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I don't discuss stuff with ****

I have a friend ****, who is a campaigner and candidate for a political party in the UK.

I’ve told him at last face to face meeting, that emails will be short, he should avoid any personal stuff and NEVER send any passwords for his business website to me, (I sometimes fix bugs) on open email.

Because like a normal man, he talks about normal man stuff and among that is a wealth of bad personality trait data that can be used against him if he ever wins that seat in government.

Likewise his business passwords mean his accounts can be hacked and him financially disadvantaged.

So security 101, we don’t talk on open email, and over the phone, only face to face. GCHQ are not British defenders in this instance, they’re spying for a foreign power on Brit to Brit comms, they’re fully aware that they do it, and they make no effort to stop it.

Since I’m very against the NSA and GCHQ’s mass surveillance, (it will inevitably lead to a Putin style dictatorship by stealth), and since they are attacking opponents (arresting Miranda threatening journalists), it makes sense for him not to associate with me strongly on any comms graph.

Freedom of association? No.

Dave says:

Re: Re:

This has occurred to me on several occasions. Are the NSA employees/watchers quite happy to also be under blanket surveillance? Do they have some kind of exemption that us mere mortals are not privy to? At the last count, I believe we were all living on the same planet, so maybe we should all be subject to the same rules…..Ah, but who rules or governs the rule-makers?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I can tell you who isn’t watching the watchers – US Congress.


Alan Grayson:
Congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke. I should know, I’m in Congress

Despite being a member of Congress possessing security clearance, I’ve learned far more about government spying on me and my fellow citizens from reading media reports than I have from “intelligence” briefings. If the vote on the Amash-Conyers amendment is any indication, my colleagues feel the same way. In fact, one long-serving conservative Republican told me that he doesn’t attend such briefings anymore, because, “they always lie”.

There is no legal justification for imparting secret knowledge about the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities only to the 20 members of the House Intelligence Committee. Moreover, how can the remaining 415 of us do our job properly, when we’re kept in the dark ? or worse, misinformed?

Edward Snowden’s revelations demonstrate that the members of Congress, who are asked to authorize these programs, are not privy to the same information provided to junior analysts at the NSA, and even private contractors who sell services to foreign governments. The only time that these intelligence committees disclose classified information to us, your elected representatives, is when it serves the purposes of the “intelligence community”.

Anonymous Coward says:

35 terrorist attacks thwarted....


Suriname’s presidents son charged with Terror charges after agreeing to rent Hezbollah a base/weapons in Suriname. Why would a middle east group train people in South American to attack Netherlands???? For the air-miles?
On what passports? On what visas? How would they smuggle the arms they trained with in Suriname into the Netherlands??? How would Hzebollah know to contact the Presidents son in Suriname?

So many questions…. and a familiar answer:

“The US authorities say they have recorded meetings of Mr Bouterse with undercover agents and informants posing as Hezbollah operatives in Panama and in Greece.”

Not Hezbollah, US authorities.
Is that 36 terrorist plots thwarted now or 35?

Rapnel (profile) says:

Chilling effects? Hmmm.. You know what? I’d like to fucking fly again some day. I remember how it used to be to fly. I use to love fucking flying. I envy the people that can do it now without ending up in jail for kicking shit and punching people in complete disgust and contempt.

I use to like crossing borders too, before they became lawless and ruled by bands of thieves.

So many effects and so little time.

The authority aspect of my country has turned it into a right cunt. And I hope you’re fucking offended.

TPP’s next dick heads. I wonder what the specials are at the Corporate Sleight Cafe?.. NSA knows. And so does our fucking president. Fantastic leadership and transparency backed by top notch surveillance skills. -_-

Anonymous Coward says:

but it isn’t JUST the NSA but all USA security forces, including the adverse effects the ridiculous acts of TSA agents. even more important is that whoever is giving out the orders of what to do, the extent to take the ‘what to do’ and who is following those orders needs to come to the fore, be exposed and made to suffer the consequences of their actions. IF Obama is to be believed and he didn’t know half of what has been/is still going on, someone has put themselves above the supposed head of the nation and been giving orders.

Anonymous Coward says:

Time for the grown ups to take over...

The claims of the “damage” done to intelligence efforts and calls to prosecute whistleblowers and journalists by politicians and intelligence officials smack of the child that calls another a “tattletale” when a grown up is told that they were sticking their hand in the cookie jar without permission. Shouldn’t they have outgrown this sort of behavior by now?

Peter Jackson says:

We're Focusing on the Wrong Aspect of the Story

The most important aspect of this story is not really being discussed. With the development of quantum computers by companies such as D-Wave, etc., computer processors will be able to run thousands of times faster and store an order of magnitude more data than the largest supercomputers in existence today. Even a new book that discusses the implications of Rose’s Law, D-Wave Systems, and quantum computers in general (i.e., “On Computer Simulated Universes”). Someday there will be individual computers that will be able to basically mirror, store, manipulate, and mine all of the known present and past data that has ever existed on the Internet with relative ease.

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