Lawmaker Who Said Snowden Committed Treason, Now On The Other Side Of Metadata Surveillance

from the karma dept

Rep. Aaron Schock is frequently referred to as a "rising star" in Congress, but this week, the Associated Press reported on a scandal involving Schock and his use of taxpayer and campaign funds for things like flights on private jets (owned by key donors) and a Katy Perry concert. Frankly, I think some of the "scandal" here is a bit overblown. But what struck me is part of how the AP tracked these details about Schock down:
The AP tracked Schock's reliance on the aircraft partly through the congressman's penchant for uploading pictures and videos of himself to his Instagram account. The AP extracted location data associated with each image then correlated it with flight records showing airport stopovers and expenses later billed for air travel against Schock's office and campaign records.
In short, the metadata brought Schock down. Of course, as we've been describing, anyone who says that we shouldn't be concerned about the NSA's surveillance of metadata, or brushes it away as "just metadata," doesn't understand how powerful metadata can be. As former NSA/CIA boss Michael Hayden has said, the government kills people based on metadata.

But it does seem noteworthy that Schock was one of those who claimed that Ed Snowden's leaking of how the NSA collected metadata on nearly everyone amounted to treason. I wonder if he still feels that way...

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 2:39am

    Hypocrisy thy name is politician

    I wonder if he still feels that way...

    Most likely, and in fact he'll probably just pull a Fienstien(or however her name is spelled), and throw a fit about having his personal data exposed like this, while continuing to see nothing wrong with the government doing the same thing to the public at large.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 10:42am

      Re: Hypocrisy thy name is politician

      I actually don't see hypocrisy here; just a different value system.

      It seems to me that he really really values the government metadata collection system, and thinks that metadata is a really valuable commodity -- which is why he painted Snowden as treasonous, as his revelations gave away the game. He would likely see this use of metadata to track his movements as being supporting evidence of the damage Snowden did by revealing that the government was doing this.

      Yeah; hypocritical to us, but if you think of the government as something that does whatever it can to keep us safe, and ignore the abuses, it makes a kind of twisted sense.

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

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy thy name is politician

        "It seems to me that he really really values the government metadata collection system, and thinks that metadata is a really valuable commodity"

        And I think that everyone agrees with him on that point. If the metadata wasn't valuable and sensitive, nobody would care about the government scooping it all up.

        His hypocrisy is in the discrepancy between him saying that government metadata collection isn't an invasion of privacy, except when he's become a victim of it. Then it is.

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy thy name is politician

        ... Yeah; hypocritical to us ...

        No, hypocritical is not what I was thinking. Boneheadedly ignorant stoopid is more like it. Why is anyone listening to this person who's obviously just surfing the social milieu with nary a clue about all the tech. stuff his advisors natter on about?

        Why are there so many of this sort extant nowadays?

        I look forward to the day we can Google a person's YouPorn history. Let's get the nasty done with upfront, and we can then move onto more substantive issues.

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

      • icon
        GEMont (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 6:14pm

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy thy name is politician

        "....but if you think of the government as something that does whatever it can to keep us safe..."

        Damn. That was good.
        Best laugh I've had this week in fact.
        Keep up the great comedy stuff.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 3:17am

    The NSA fanboys in the Government won't change opinions unless some of their friends suffer real damage from the hands of the secret services due to surveillance. A misinterpreted call, ambiguous metadata and a shot to the head. They believe they are immune to those things.

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

  • icon
    cypherspace (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 4:06am

    Even if you do think this scandal is overblown, remember that both corruption and the appearance of corruption are corrosive in their effects. That and if a pleb like you or I did this sort of thing as part of employment we'd be screwed.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 9:03am

      Re:

      That is a profound observation. But a corruption that is a question of lapse of judgement, overbilling and bad practices is a lot less serious than the ethical violations he has been pursuing.

      Normal people will see any kind of corruption as willful and malicious. In most cases, though, it is a lot more grey. Perception is usually based on media coverage rather than the complete picture. As with any legal matter, the question becomes black or white when media are reporting on it.

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

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 9:13am

        Re: Re:

        "As with any legal matter, the question becomes black or white when media are reporting on it."

        And when people are thinking about the issue, even if the media aren't reporting on it. Most people are concerned with what they consider to be right and wrong. For most, there's only a slim band of grey separating those two things.

        The law has no concern about right and wrong. Its only concern is whether or not the law was followed (according to whatever interpretation of the law that a judge can be convinced of).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 5:51am

    Collection of MD can obviously be problematic, but to be fair it should be noted that merely collecting such data is not in and of itself harmful. It is the later, more laborious step of data analysis where harm can be caused.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 5:57am

      Re:

      No. Just no.

      This is the same bullshit argument put forth by the IC.

      Get. A. Warrant. Then collect.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        Just so we're clear on this...

        This is not a "get a warrant" scandal. This is a "don't overshare" scandal. Or a "scrub your data beforehand" one.

        Be good. If you can't be good, be careful. An adage to live by. An adage to get reelected by.

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

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:23am

      Re:

      Oh yes, it is.
      - It changes your behavior
      - It allows anyone retroactively to do data-analysis (Like for when the USA enacts Sharia-Law and looks for people who cheated on their husbands the last 20 years...).
      - It's wholly, completely, incompatible with the state of law. And the state of law happens to be the basis for democracy. So it actually destroys democracy.
      - It provides a database as a target for abuse (by the collectors themselves, AND by third-party hackers).

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re:

        The, big brother looking over your shoulder 24/7 feeling

        It is why i speak up, it angers me to no end that some folks presume they have such authority over others, and worse, that its already implemented with no human rights discussion whatsover,

        Its like the proverbial gun to the head, the threat of force should you not consent to doing as they say if you think their doing a bad thing, all roads lead to force in this.........this thing here, with the surveilance, is the proverbial whip, discipline the animals until they do as their commanded under their own violition.........people behaving a certain way because they know theres fucking bastards out their who think they can survey everyone in everything as long as they fucking like........its boardering on freespech suppression, with plausible deniability because of its passive nature.......assuming they dont go beyond passive intimidation

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 9:16am

      Re:

      "merely collecting such data is not in and of itself harmful."

      I could not disagree more. Just as with data, the mere collection of metadata is harmful even if that data is never looked at ever again.

      Also, I strongly disagree with differentiating between payload data and metadata for these types of discussions. For privacy and security purposes, there isn't much of a difference.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      ...are you a moron?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:10am

    Lets not forget, our intel voyeurs stalkers have alot more access to many more things and continue to gain more access to more things.........in comparison, i'd say what these guys did doesnt even come close to what our intel voyeur stalkers illegally have access to.......yes ILLEGALLY.......not at one point have i given my consent, and i dare say others have'nt too

    Im starting to understand these folks have a warped mind in this, that they believe that their doing good, something new, .............this is over simplifying it, but just because you can do it, doesnt mean you should.....especially when your shitting on everybodies rights by doing it......how does that look like, your boses are suppose to be the ones that protect our rights, if their not doing that, then what fucking worth are you........how does that look like, when you give yourselfs so much more authaurity then a single individual, and your NOT doing your job of protecting rights

    Your suppose to be the last line of defence, whether to DEFEND a nation, or defending an individual, with individual resources against amoral companies WITH THEIR RESOURCES.......NOT turn into corporate government, theres to much corruption for trust in our respective governments.........you need to clean your house, THOUROUGHLY..........then MAYBE, just MAYBE, folks MIGHT, start THINKING, that you mean, REAL change

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

  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:20am

    Maybe this ought to be done with all these bozos...put up a website and post all their metadata...then we'll see what happens...

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

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:22am

      Re:

      That sounds like a good idea. Do it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:57am

      Re:

      Yes, that does sound like a really good idea, as long as its done in the spirit of bringing awareness to defensive security i.e. patches/updates/vpn/encryption etc etc

      Maybe when their on the wrong end of the barrel they might get an inclination of what it feels like, instead of simply toeing the line without any serious fucking critical thought whatsover.......and maybe start directing some of that empathy towards the people, should any exist, instead of the few you can benefit from personally

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

      • icon
        Datahedron (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re:

        Perhaps it's just me, but saying ".. as long as it's done for [insert requirement/prerequisite/justification here]" defeats the whole purpose of freedom of speech.

        Why does there have to be a reason, to exercise our freedom of speech? Those who are collecting our metadata (the alphabet soup crowd), don't have ANY reason to be doing it, other than their desire to do so. What gives them the right to collect and use our MD "because we wanna..", and yet, restricts us, or anyone else, from doing the same without justification?

        Remember, they keep telling us that this collection of all things digital, is completely harmless, and that, despite there being no demonstrable need, they're just doing it for our own good. Shouldn't that go both ways?

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

    • identicon
      Joe Publius, 24 Feb 2015 @ 8:50am

      I can't remember where I read this, but there was an article that essentially espoused this idea.

      The reason legislators and the intelligence community are okay with spying on everyone is because they treat, and often legally, makes themselves immune to it. It means that even if they did care about unintended consequences, they'll never understand them, because they can't experience it.

      The article was memorable because it related it to a design principle of having the people work with their own products to experience the quality first-hand. That way a better perspective is learned.

      It has the snappy term of "dogfooding".

      Congress and the IC really needs to eat their own dogfood. If they won't do it voluntarily, then maybe the public needs to do it for them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 6:29am

    Shock
    "How did this happen"
    Number 2
    "Metadata"
    Shock
    "Oh!Well how bad is it"
    Number 2
    "Not as bad as it could have been, we can deal with it i think"
    Shock
    "Ok, good! I'll pretend im ok with this, and reinforce the the bullshit i "believe" in, and who knows, maybe ill get some brownie points"
    Number 2
    "You're my idol"

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

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 7:11am

    Assuming this is illegal ...

    We seem to be running into a fair number of corrupt politicos falling afoul of utter basics.
    ... with flight records showing airport stopovers and expenses later billed for air travel against Schock's office and campaign records.

    Was this guy unaware that airliners loaded with paying customers are monitored to death in the Americas? How can this story even be news?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 7:35am

    the Associated Press reported on a scandal involving Schock and his use of taxpayer and campaign funds for things like flights on private jets (owned by key donors) and a Katy Perry concert. Frankly, I think some of the "scandal" here is a bit overblown.
    Well it's interesting to me, anyway. I've voted against judges for violating ethics policies by spending campaign money on aftermarket car upgrades and magazine subscriptions. I mean, if they can't keep their own finances straight/above-board...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 9:47am

    Virginia

    Virginia's former Governor and First Lady didn't get away with this kind of stuff.

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

  • identicon
    Bill Owen, 24 Feb 2015 @ 9:51am

    Headline

    That headline is not helpful, I read it and thought he had reversed his position.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 9:57am

    And cue some little noticed rule change attached to a must pass bill that no one will notice a single added page in the other 2000 pages they didn't read making it a crime to gather/use metadata about Congress.

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

  • icon
    mr. sim (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 10:19am

    as my drunken grandpa used to yell
    "karma's a witch, who turns against her friends faster than her enemies."

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 24 Feb 2015 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      ... karma's a witch, who turns against her friends faster than her enemies.

      I think ya done the lady wrong and if she actually existed, would be deserving of an apology. I see her as demure and demanding only her due. Comply!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2015 @ 2:47pm

    Hoist by his own petard

    Delicious!

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

  • identicon
    0jr, 25 Feb 2015 @ 7:04am

    snowden is zuckerbergs cousin and rockafellas grandson and are probably dual citzens to isrealhell

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

  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:01pm

    This is a big deal because he took undeclared donations in the form of private jet flights. This has influence on his decisions.

    Libertarians can reject reality all you want but history shows how easy it is to influence a lawmaker.

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

  • icon
    tqk (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:07pm

    This is a big deal because he took undeclared donations in the form of private jet flights.

    He billed the taxpayer for them, proving once again just how cheaply a politician can be bought.
    Libertarians can reject reality all you want ...

    As opposed to you commie freetards, or whatever you want to call yourself. Don't wave that Libertarian stick around if you haven't a clue what it means.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 11:16am

    Once again, I should point out...

    ...our version of a democratic system to elect people who govern with integrity and wisdom does not work, given that our only choices, our only options are reduced to people who lie to cover their own asses and believe the law does not apply to themselves.

    We'd be better off with a Social Security number lottery.

    Seriously.

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

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 9:36pm

    Shoe. Meet the other foot.

    Sometimes the universe just tosses you a truly meaty bone for no apparent reason.

    This is one of those times and it has made my day.

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


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