Daily Show Takes On NSA Surveillance: It's A Little Weird That Feds Didn't Have To Break Any Laws To Spy On Everyone

from the making-the-point-nicely dept

John Oliver has temporarily taken over The Daily Show's host chair while Jon Stewart is off making a movie, and the NSA has given him a fair bit of material to kick off with. In last night's episode, he did a fantastic job highlighting just how ridiculous the position is of those who defend the NSA, saying:
"I think you're misunderstanding the perceived problem here, Mr. President. No one is saying you broke any laws. We're just saying it's a little bit weird that you didn't have to."
That's a much funnier and more clever way of highlighting the point we made yesterday that the real scandal may be how much of what was done was technically "legal." Oliver also covers James Clapper lying to Senator Wyden and the fact that the FISA court has become a rubber stamp. It's a good bit all around (and, yes, we know that The Daily Show's web stream is not available in many non-US locations -- blame Viacom if you can't watch this):
For all the hope by some that this story isn't going mainstream, it seems to have gone very, very mainstream.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2013 @ 3:45pm

    MORE MILK!!!!!!

    Milk it, Mikey!!! No one milks this more than you. Nobody.

    Be sure to run away rather than discuss anything substantively! Don't break your chicken shit streak.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2013 @ 3:48pm

    CBS Evening News had quite a story about Google's snooping and e-mail scanning. Everyone should save a little bit of their outrage as these sorts of disclosures come out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Jun 2013 @ 3:53pm

      Re:

      Why? Google's spying isn't a real problem, in that it's completely optional, and Google doesn't have a military or police powers. Anyone outraged by it needs to just stop using their services.

      Governmental spying is genuine problem, well deserving of outrage.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      out_of_the_blue, 11 Jun 2013 @ 4:16pm

      Re: Google is a specific danger to pirates:

      Go to depositfiles.com, view page source, and search for the google.

      (Hmm. Won't allow javascript I copied in here.)

      You can't avoid that, it's the captcha. At the very least, if you wish to use that file locker -- I haven't checked others recently, but Google is getting in EVERY site -- then you MUST "allow" Google to track you...

      Now, you say so what? WELL, kids, the THE EVIL MPAA can as easily as the NSA get your IP address from Google! And come after you with exact knowledge of what file you downloaded, which in any US court will be enough probable cause to raid your house. -- Though they're not yet, that I know of, all the code is in place. So if you're going to worry about the MPAA and them controlling you, at least consider what MPAA plus Google COULD mean for your pirating. All corporations are alike in being utterly amoral, and Google will rat you out in milliseconds for pennies. -- I figure they'll probably automate it to just send you a bill for the download plus a heavy fine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2013 @ 4:53pm

        Re: Re: Google is a specific danger to pirates:

        Dear blue,

        You are actually starting to sound like you came out of the blue book.

        Anyhow, I don't care, you know what Google and the MPAA joining forces would mean to me?

        Nothing, zilch, nada, every single time a break copyright law it can't be tracked by digital means either because it is encrypted and anonymized or because is done by the sneaker-net.

        Further pirates have been shaming law enforcement for over 50+ years, bootleggers even longer than that.

        Even criminals have been doing well like drug traffickers that build their own submarines and have their own fucking radio stations and networks.

        Wanna know why that is?

        Because people don't want it to stop, is that simple without public support there is no government, army, police force or piece mouth that will change that, it was true thousands of years ago and its true today, independent of your morals and opinions those things will continue to exist until people either disappear or get bored with it.

        See blue, this is not of consequence for any pirates the people complaining are the ones that actually try to follow the law, which I am starting to think is a waste of time.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2013 @ 3:53pm

    ACLU lawsuit

    No one is saying you broke any laws.


    ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of NSA Phone Spying Program, ACLU Press Release, June 11, 2013
    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.

    [...more...]


    ACLU v Clapper Complaint [PDF].

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Jun 2013 @ 3:55pm

      Re: ACLU lawsuit

      That lawsuit is about constitutionality. It doesn't assert that laws were broken, but rather that law that they followed is unconstitutional.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2013 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

        It doesn't assert that laws were broken

        You didn't read the complaint. See para 36.
        The Mass Call Tracking exceeds the authority granted by 50 U.S.C. § 1861, and thereby violates 5 U.S.C. § 706

        You trying to claim 5 U.S.C. &sect 706 isn't a law, Fenderson?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 12 Jun 2013 @ 10:06am

          Re: Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

          Thanks for the correction.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2013 @ 10:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

            RTFA is a standing joke on /.    (And, as you know, RTFM came before RTFA.)

            Fact is, I know that the majority of people won't click through on links.

            I probably ought to have rewritten the press release, but I had just gotten through reading the complaint myself, and in that mood, I tend to prefer to let other people's words speak for themselves—rather than immediately trying to put a spin on 'em.   … Possibly a fault of mine.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2013 @ 4:20pm

        Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

        For your convenience… 50 § 1861 and 5 USC § 706

        ;-)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 12 Jun 2013 @ 10:36am

        Re: Re: ACLU lawsuit

        That lawsuit is about constitutionality. It doesn't assert that laws were broken, but rather that law that they followed is unconstitutional.

        The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Just because it's not statute doesn't mean it's not law, right?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    horse with no name, 11 Jun 2013 @ 10:14pm

    mainstream

    For all the hope by some that this story isn't going mainstream, it seems to have gone very, very mainstream.

    Actually, it's quite good that it's going mainstream, because it's making the boys crying wolf look totally out of touch. If everything that was done was legal and within bounds, then all the paranoid "they are listening" tin foil hatters will pretty much have to shut up and eat it.

    The other thing it does is make people like Wyden look pretty bad, considering they apparently had extensive knowledge and for a long time basically looked the other way. Only because of a document leaker are they back on it, otherwise it would still be out there and they would still be not talking about it more than just that.

    It seems like there is plenty of egg on faces all over congress, even Wyden and friends, who could have made it all public years ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2013 @ 12:07am

      Re: mainstream

      The other thing it does is make people like Wyden look pretty bad, considering they apparently had extensive knowledge and for a long time basically looked the other way.

      Now that's funny. He's been out there raising the alarm about this for years, and you think he looked the other way? He's the one guy who had been making noise about this.

      You're incredibly clueless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2013 @ 2:38am

      Re: mainstream

      What it means that the people on your side managed to spend enough money on lobbying to bring laws in, and now you're crowing that all the laws are in due to moral high horses or some similar bullshit.

      Sucks to be you, though, that your moral high horseriders also happen to include John Steele, Evan Stone and Andrew Crossley.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2013 @ 4:20am

    'No one is saying you broke any laws. We're just saying it's a little bit weird that you didn't have to."'

    that's because members of Congress are more interested in getting the days business out of the way so they can go back to doing nothing, than actually doing their jobs! they are supposed to be keeping the people safe! that entails making sure that different bills that are introduced wont do harm! to just give the 'go ahead' to everything that all law enforcement agencies want is a recipe for disaster, and that's exactly what we now have! the 2 most important things that must come out of this are

    that there is never again anything in the remotest way similar to this allowed to happen

    that whoever was behind the requests for this type of spying activity be held accountable. no one in their right mind wants to have data on every living soul world wide, nor can there be any legitimate reason for wanting that amount of information on that amount of people!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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