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:

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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:44pm

    The sadness...

    The sad part about this is that if Biden were president right now, we'd be fighting SOPA while Biden has us at war with China over copyright infringement.

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

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

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

  3. icon
    Karl (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:43pm


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

  4. identicon
    NSA & US corporations, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    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.” [...]

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

  5. identicon
    Oliver Starr, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Maybe we should

    have access to Obama's telephone records.. what would it tell us if we knew every number he called, every number that called him and the duration of each call.

    I mean if it's okay for him to surveil us like that, then shouldn't we have the same rights?

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Biden?

    Its Jackyl and Hyde, or a werewolf.
    Probably with hints of dissociative disorders and schizophrenia.

    Parallel reality?

    Political science is not an exact science and probably was founded by Dr. Peter Venkman.

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

  7. icon
    Karl (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 6:55pm

    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:

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 7:32pm

    "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.

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

  9. icon
    Trails (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    One deceptive bit

    So Obama keeps going on in that video about how they have only "phone numbers without names attached to them". That's bullshit, reverse 411 is a publicly available service. It's trivial to resolve phone numbers to names.

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

  10. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 8:58pm

    I really want to have every pundit going on and on about how we need this and it keeps us safe to have the records collected about them made public.

    The sheer terror in their eyes should tell us everything we need to know.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 9:42pm

    Two turds that belong in a toilet.

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

  12. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 10:33pm


    We posted that story this morning. No need to repost it. s-to-us-government-before-it-patches-them.shtml

    Also, if you want to submit articles, please use the submit option.

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

  13. identicon
    Pixelation, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 11:14pm

    Modest encroachment

    I love Obama saying it is a modest encroachment on privacy. Encroachment Creep. A description of what is happening and a new name for Obama.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 3:34am

    If All people can,t see in Obama soon All people real Loose there Jobs
    Specialy Looseing there Family who is in War if I Was Obama he
    Real be Next Line With spainsh people who Dones,nt speack
    Any American words Obama real be Prime Target

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    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.

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

  16. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 15th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Biden?

    I'm so glad that you mentioned this. Biden has been a problem for a very long time.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    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.

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

  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Cluck cluck!! Keep running away, Mikey. Bawk bawk!!!! If you EVER grow testicles and decide to actually defend the shit you say, I'll be there ready to tear you down. Bawk!!! We both know that you're too scared to do it. We both know why.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're just getting sadder and sadder. I wonder when you'll hit bottom. Maybe you'll just keep going, though.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:03am

    This one is even better.

    Candidate Obama vs. President Obama.

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

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