Other Government Agencies Wanted Access To NSA Surveillance Data For Other Investigations... Including Copyright Infringement

from the seriously-now? dept

Going all the way back to 2010, we've talked many times about how much of the "debate" over "cybersecurity" was really a kind of turf war between the Defense Department (really, the NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, over who would control both the budgets and the information they were collecting. So it should come as little surprise to see the NY Times reporting that this turf war has been playing out behind the scenes with various other government agencies demanding access to all that sweet, sweet data it has on everyone for whatever their personal area of interest was -- including:
...drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and even copyright infringement
To its credit (and I can't believe I'm saying that), it appears that the NSA has rejected most of these requests, saying that those other issues are not high enough of a priority and they don't want to violate privacy rights (don't laugh). Still, given how much pressure is coming from other agencies of the government, you have to expect that sooner or later the NSA will be pressured into opening up the data to other parts of the government. In fact, part of the concern about CISPA and other cybsersecurity legislation wasn't just that it would put the NSA in control over such information, but that it also made it clear that government agencies would be free to share that data with each other, for almost any investigative purpose.

And, of course, that brings us to the "copyright infringement" bit. It's no secret that different parts of the government -- including the DOJ and ICE (a part of Homeland Security) have taken it upon themselves to act as if copyright infringement is a huge problem that they, personally, need to stop. The idea that agencies are even seeking access to the NSA's data to deal with copyright infringement claims shows just how incredibly obsessed they are. Copyright shouldn't even involve federal law enforcement in the first place, as it really should only be about civil cases between private parties. It was troubling enough that the government was deputizing itself to be copyright cops -- but to find out that they also wanted to use the data the NSA collects (which is already of questionable legality) in order to further work on their copyright obsession is downright ridiculous.

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  1. icon
    Nick (profile), 5 Aug 2013 @ 11:52am

    I was thinking this for weeks because I did not want to give anyone any ideas. But I should have known those sleazy bastards (the content lobby) would try to go this low.

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