"Looking at 'data' at leisure" is the whole aim of the security agencies here and abroad. They don't want something they can dig through now; they want all the data so they can dig through it forever.
This has to do with a fundamentally broken mindset: Where you or I might temporarily suspect someone of something, for them suspicion is a permanent condition. Where you or I might try to investigate and, finding nothing supportive, shrug our shoulders and move on; for them, an inability to prove their suspicions means they do not possess enough information.
So they're horribly concerned that, if they don't possess all information forever, someday they might not be able to prove Abu Uba is a money-laundering drug lord terrorist, by digging through and discovering something Abu's great grandfather's cousin's best friend might have said.
Yes, we understand this is a completely blank piece of paper. But imagine if there had been the form of a search warrant here, and information about the person and place to be searched, and a probable cause, and a judge's signature: Then it would have been perfectly valid!
But...but...we pulled it out of a fresh ream, and everything!
But here's the question: would it protect Muslims?
It wouldn't surprise me a bit if, in its haste to punish Lenio, the Montana prosecutors never even thought of that. It also wouldn't surprise me, if a need for such a case comes up, the prosecutors hem and haw and plead helplessness.
Everything is image these days. Imagine one of our more modern corporations speaking about that:
"Sure we may have stolen $25 billion, poisoned 57,000 people, dumped our hazardous waste in 94 pristine lakes, evicted 90,000 people from their homes, filed 10,000 bogus criminal charges, recorded 15 million people in the privacy of their homes, bribed 5,000 politicians and etc., etc. "
"But that's not the problem. The problem is the EFFING PRESS KEEPS TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT IT!"
"See, if the EFFING press would just shut their EFFING yaps, our image management group would be able to make us look like sweet little angels."
(2) Intel fears as jihadis flock to encrypted apps like Surespot, www.channel4.com, May 26, 2015. The story is supposedly based on a "Channel 4 investigation". It's full of horror phrases as well: "ISIS...flocking to [Surespot]"; 115 ISIS-linked people (obviously "terrorists") involved; and etc. But it is more clear as to the real source: "Intel" (intelligence agenceies) and later, "police and security agencies". This has nice terrorist quotes:
* "If anyone wishes to sponsor the mujahideen... Contact me on my Surespot for safeways," * "If you want 2 ask questions about Islam, Hijrah [emigration], Jihad or Shaam [Syria]; Ask me on Surespot". * "Interested in Hijrah [emigration] to Islamic Lands don't know anyone need help. I was told to use Surespot."
Now how would Channel 4 know quotes like that? Oh, right.
(3) A nice post from Wilder's Security forums that is short and sweet: "Still testing. Just learnt Surespot is one of the favorite chat apps of ISIS people." Then it points to that first Daily Mail article.
(4) A "Jara Crook" Twitter pointing in turn to this article by National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism titled Transcending Organization: Individuals and “The Islamic State” , June 2014. This is probably the document that started the campaign against Surespot and contains this nice qualification at the end, "The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or START." DHS, sponsor. Evidence provided: None.
Get the drift?
This is what I think happened: DHS used its "consortium" to dump these stories into Daily Mail and Channel 4. And now that this important story made our oh-so-reliable and circumspect media...
...DHS used it to justify warrants against Surespot.
Now wouldn't that be clever, creating a news story to be used as evidence to get a warrant?
The problem with PCLOB is that it oversees secret surveillance programs. Citizens are concerned about those programs, and if HIC "punished" PCLOB for serving that role, there would be a political scandal.
But right now, there is little general concern about drones, which are largely perceived to be a "foreign thing". So PCLOB's letter on drone oversight provides a suitable non-surveillance excuse to pull PCLOB's teeth.
HIC would have had done the same if PCLOB's letter had suggested oversight of beach sand.
Good luck finding a country, Mr. Balkan. You'll find all the countries have information sharing deals with GCHQ and NSA in the hopes of keeping those agencies from spying within their borders; which is a forlorn hope because GCHQ and NSA are spying within their borders anyway. (They certainly are in Germany, which was already sharing all intelligence information.)
And now you've spoken your concerns, which means GHCQ and NSA have both realized you have Something to Hide™, so you've just been promoted into their respective Special Hyperattention for Incipient Terrorists™ lists.
I think there are ways to reign in government. All of these start with law that requires the courts to consider whether an individual charged as a traitor is justified by whistleblowing; in the same sense that self defense protects people who are attacked.
A simple question to think about, based upon the flight data map above: How many foreign terrorists were the FBI watching in Minneapolis?
After you've thought about it for a while, those of you worried about foreign terrorists, it might occur to you that the FBI seems to spend a lot of time watching United States citizens and not much time at all watching foreign terrorists.
Debate leads to thought. Thought leads to concern. Concern leads to action. Action leads to law. Law leads to privacy. Privacy leads to secrets. Secrets lead to terrorism. Terrorism leads to destruction. Destruction leads to ruination.
Come on, it's completely obvious: even one tiny little debate is just too dangerous! Must not have!
The NSA finally offended/scared enough people for the USA Freedom Act to threaten NSA's fief. Not that the Act would do anything useful, but NSA simply said, to itself, "It shall not pass!"
So their new strategy was simple: Stall. Get enough obstruction going in Congress to stall USA Freedom from passing. Stall on US Patriot as well, to keep USA Freedom proponents from getting a sense of urgency. Don't worry about US Patriot for the moment. Just stall.
Then, two days before expiration of US Patriot, they threaten to call Congress a bunch of pansies on national security. So now that it's too late for USA Freedom, Congress will give in, do the quick and dirty, and just renew US Patriot Act for another year.
So you might say it's fear mongering. To me it looks like a strategy they cooked up when USA Freedom reared its ugly head. The result will be exactly what they want: US Patriot rides again.