NSA Insists It Needs All The Metadata, While Eric Holder Says He Was 'Concerned' About It Even Before Snowden

from the yeah,-right dept

Earlier this week, as we've noted, the leaders of the Intelligence Community fought hard for their metadata, arguing that they were "necessary" and under no circumstances would they give up their precious metadata. They even made nonsensical arguments, including suggesting that if the NSA doesn't get to keep the metadata it's actually worse for Americans' privacy. And of course, it seems a bit bizarre that the NSA is so focused on this when it's pretty clear that the program hasn't been particularly useful in stopping terrorism.

Of course, a day later, after these representatives from the Intelligence Community made it abundantly clear that they had no interest, whatsoever, in giving up their metadata, Attorney General Eric Holder suddenly announced that the administration has been concerned about the metadata collections since before the Snowden leaks, and that the administration wants to "work with Congress" as Congress considers legislation to stop bulk metadata collection.

Of course, the idea that anyone in the administration was legitimately concerned about the bulk metadata collection is pretty laughable given everything they've done to defend it, including having the representatives from the intelligence community go to the PCLOB on Monday suggesting that all hell would break loose without their precious, precious metadata. It seems that Holder's statement is much more about the administration seeing the writing on the wall with the USA Freedom Act, and realizing that it now wants to pretend that it's been thinking about cutting back on the bulk metadata collection all along.


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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    Too much "of course". Avoid meaningless conjunctives.

    Also watch comma-tizing: not necessary when meant to be read instead of pause in speaking; make it: "A day after these representatives from the Intelligence Community made it abundantly clear that they had no interest whatsoever in giving up their metadata..." (Though, as you repeat this thought in each paragraph, it's actually doubly redundant.)

    Anyhoo, why is it necessary to tell us Holder is lying? Is he still breathing? Then he's lying. -- Or to imply that NSA is under pressure when it's not? -- And when did this turn into sheerly political blog? Where's the tech? -- And why no mention of Google's party barges? That's gotta be the biggest innovation of the year, something no one else has ever done.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

      Re: Too much "of course". Avoid meaningless conjunctives.

      Too much "nonsense". Avoid meaningless forum posts.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

      Re: Too much "of course". Avoid meaningless conjunctives.

      Also watch comma-tizing...[blah blah blah]...it's actually doubly redundant.)



      Is it just me or does it seem like Blue offering writing critiques is kind of like a priest offering sex counseling?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re: Too much "of course". Avoid meaningless conjunctives.

        More like a vegetarian offering advice on how to cook a steak.

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 10:38am

      Re: Too much "of course". Avoid meaningless conjunctives.

      Why do you think you can offer tips on spelling, grammar and punctuation when you have a piss-poor grasp on them all? Comma-tizing? WTF does that even mean?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Nip it in the bud, call it a day

    Of course they're going to backpedal now - that's their last resort.

    I say fuck 'em - they had their chance years ago to fix this mess, and they decided keeping it a secret was a better solution.

    I hope Congress fucks them over good.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 8:56am

      Re: Nip it in the bud, call it a day

      I hope Congress fucks them over good


      And after that, we need to fuck Congress over good -- it's at least as responsible for this as anyone.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:08pm

    Forget terrists, think of the children!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

      Re: Forget terrists, think of the children!

      If Snowden is not brought to the government's version of justice, dead children will pave the streets.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 7:09pm

      Re: Forget terrists, think of the children!

      I wonder if the CIA distributes pedo material the same way they get Swiss bankers to drink-drive?

      I bet they do.

      I wonder if that's the leverage they have over some of the apparatchiks defending spying on their own people for the NSA.

      It's probably easy, target visits a porn site (99% of men do), swap a few pictures with a MITM attack, confront the minister or senior civil servant with the logs.

      They have all the mechanisms in place, it must be quite easy to gain leverage over allied politicians, ministers etc. that way.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 7:58pm

        Re: Re: Forget terrists, think of the children!

        Image you are a UK minister. Like most men you look at porn because you're biologically programmed to like pictures of woman doing stuff. Like most ministers you pretend porn is vial and evil, because that's how you get elected.

        CIA wants to turn you into an apparatchik, so they do their 'redirect' attack, the one they use to MITM Google in one of the leaks. CIA redirects them to a kiddy porn server in Orlando, now the logs of both GCHQ and NSA show them visiting a kiddy diddling site.

        CIA man visits minister and explains the shock and outrage at finding this, but assures minister that he's a good man and therefore the CIA won't tell.

        Minister can't go to MI5 because Parker could be a CIA apparatchik (he is doing an attack on the free press FFS). Indeed he can't get help at all, because all it takes is ONE apparatchik among the people in the know and he is gone.

        It may sound fanciful, but the mechanisms are already in place. Also read a few leaks. The plan to attack Greenwald & Wikileaks.

        http://www.thetechherald.com/articles/Data-intelligence-firms-proposed-a-systematic-attack -against-WikiLeaks/12751/

        The leverage they got over a Swiss Banker:

        http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-describes-cia-tricks-2013-6

        The weird way ministers are behaving.

         

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    JCDavis, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    Metadata is the key to their haystack

    Of course they need the metadata and their made-up three hop rule, because without those, they wouldn't be able to get a rubber stamp warrant to listen to the full conversations and read the full emails that they have in storage. The metadata isn't otherwise useful, but without it they have nothing at all, and their haystack will just sit there, unexploited.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    congress... I don't trust congress. I don't personally know anyone who works in congress and I don't trust anyone who I don't know.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

    Pure unadulterated CYA bullshit! Or, I have seen the prevailing winds and they are a gathering storm that will bury me in shit, of coarse.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Cue the NSA whining about the administration throwing them under the bus in 5...4...3...2...1...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 6:56pm

    HTTPS on France, Spain Germany

    We had leaks showing USA spying on Internet traffic of France, German, Spain, Italy etc.

    Then we had leaks claiming the spying agencies of those countries assisted in that spying.

    Then we had leaks showing USA told GCHQ it could break HTTPS encrypted traffic. i.e. Industrial, government, medical, political and lots of other sensitive data on these countries.

    So I just realized, that the French, German, Italians etc. were not in among the leaks.

    Hypothesis:
    The spy agencies of allies agreed to tap data that contains mostly their own countries comms, on the basis that only unencrypted traffic could be viewed by the NSA.

    So when the spy agencies were busy spying on their own countries, did they know about the 2010 breakthrough in encryption cracking the NSA had done?
    Were they assured by the NSA only unencrypted traffic could be read?

     

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    JerryH, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 7:46pm

    NSA MANDATE?

    The NSA mandate has always been to exceed it.

    "Breaking the law" can always be remedied by lawyers
    has always been their thinking.

    So continue to be "shocked and appalled" and vice versa.

     

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    Citizen, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 9:10pm

    Fuck You, Eric Holder

    Eric Holder is a scumbag. Aaron Swartz. Kim Dotcom. Ed Snowden. No amount of water can ever wash the blood from Eric Holder's evil hands.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 9:19pm

      Re: Fuck You, Eric Holder

      Perhaps the attorney general is beholden to other powers too.... It's not like they do the dirty work personally... Hey, did you read about the shakeup at the non lethal weapons directorate recently?

       

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    out_of_the_blew_janet_renos_monster_cock, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 10:29pm

    You know what concerns me?

    Clowns & Pecan Pie

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 1:50am

      Re: You know what concerns me?

      Know what concerns me... murder, an entire agency committed to sedition and a gov that thinks killing off its citizens is a good idea

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2013 @ 11:39pm

    These laws seem written to stop intelligence agencies from spying on politicians, more than stopping them from spying on average citizens.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 2:22am

    Interesting. Why does the Executive need the help of the Congress to contain something they can extinguish fairly easily since it's within their own sphere? It is very simple: issue an executive order stopping it. They are not interested in stopping it at all.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 2:47am

      Re:

      Yeah.... the executive creates the false flags... and nothing will change. There is a fake debate for the public and a bunch of false flag shootings. AKA terrorist "capture"/kill operations. They WANT to kill a bunch of people off... Because they can

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 3:08am

    seeing as how everyone knows what an out and out liar Holder is, i would have thought he was the last person to try to put out this latest line of bull shit!!

     

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    Jim Anderson, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 6:04am

    Eric Holder

    Eric Holder knew about this situation and he did nothing. He was concerned but did not propose any changes to then existing policy. Eric if you know about a problem and have some authority to prevent the problem then you are part of the problem. It could be his concern was what was being done didn't go far enough. If Obama could get a replacement confirmed Holder and several other members of the cabinet would be looking for new cushy establishment jobs.

     

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    toyotabedzrock (profile), Nov 7th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Its about the numbers

    Without free access to the metadata they cannot justify adding thousands of people to their investigative lists and would then have to admit they do not need the same level of funding.

     

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