6 Responses to NSA: Greatest threat to freedom and democracy in world history

  1. aussie says:

    Let us not panic.

    They are collecting META DATA. That means they have records of phone calls
    * made from and to what numbers
    * the locations of those phones (if mobile) at the times of the calls
    * how long the calls were

    There is nothing there about the CONTENT — your phone provider does not record your conversations. They MAY keep records for a while (typically 90 days) of SMS messages.

    For internet, meta data would include what web sites were accessed from particular IPs, and when. Most IPs are dynamic so this doesn’t precisely tie it to any particular person.

    Content posted to those sites (eg this reply I am now making on this blog) may or may not be recorded by the internet provider, usually not. If it is, it would be on transaction logs kept for a few days and not indexed. Searching these is a lot more than “just a few keystrokes” even for engineers of the companies concerned. Where they need regular access they may write an interface to make it easier for themselves, but every place is different so NSA would have to write thousands of interfaces, and then know which one to look for YOUR posts in. Really a lot easier for them to hack the website you posted to. There’s been nothing published to indicate they are asking for transaction logs, only for TRAFFIC logs.

    Email is a different story. Meta data once again is ONLY which account sent/received mail to/from which other, and where they logged in from to do it. NOT THE CONTENT. They would have to go back to the provider with an order to get copies of all mails I sent to you. If they were deleted they’d never get them because deleted means deleted from storage.

    So, what would they know?
    A particular mobile phone made calls to mobiles registered to X, Y and Z at certain times. This phone was used on X date from a location very close to Z (ie suspicion you visited them). Every time you called them was followed by a flurry of calls from them to other people.

    IF the phones are all unregistered disposables, they have nobody to tie any of them to. They still don’t have any of the content. Listening in would have to be done in real time, ie by the time the meta data shows them something suspicious it is too late for them to listen in.

    All this does is let them map out your whereabouts, who you rang and what sites you looked at. It doesn’t give them access to anything you said or wrote or your embarrassing medical records.

    • First, I am extremely concerned but I’m not panicking.

      Second, I plead guilty to being unclear.

      When, for whatever reason, the NSA decides to focus on a particular person or a particular telephone number or IP address, it can determine the identity of every entity with whom that person, business or organization had contact during a particular period of time. From that point forward, it can monitor and record communications.

      • Malisha says:

        Long ago, I realized that I had not only no privacy but no other freedoms either, because all of my “freedoms” were capable of being wiped out with a single swipe of a judge’s pen without my even having notice of opportunity to be heard. This was the condition of a person (in my case, a mother, but it wouldn’t matter) who did not have the money to hire lawyers to RESTORE freedoms that had been taken without due process. I even had a conversation on the phone with Laurence Tribe, speaking about the fact that RESTORING freedoms improperly taken or even righting wrongs that were based on fictions that did not even have evidentiary bases (i.e., rather than tapping my phone and reporting, in violation of my privacy rights, that I had said certain things to a terrorist somewhere, they simply announced, without any factual background whatsoever, that I had said and done things that I had never said or done) was not automatic and that there was in fact no procedural method for me to initiate any action to restore them.

        It was Kafkaesque and irremediable. Federal courts charged with the protection of constitutional rights simply had to say, “We don’t have jurisdiction.” Other courts simply said, “this was determined by a court order so we cannot ‘go behind’ the court order.” Etc.

        We don’t have freedom in this country. Face it. I called it denial of the life interest (in freedom and fundamental fairness). There is no concept of the “life interest” in American legal history. Liberty interest, yes; property interest, most of all YES YES! Life interest? uh…well, …

        Tribe said to me, “You don’t need a novel constitutional theory. What you need is a good lawyer who will work for YOU and ONLY for YOU for a full year.”

        I said, “I can’t afford that.”

        He said, “I know that.”

        I said, “so without that million dollars, I have no self-executing constitutional rights at all.”

        He said, “Right.”

  2. racerrodig says:

    All things considered, I’m thinking the right wight hate group already has some info…..on somebody, which is why there seems to be a lack of Justice in this country.

  3. There is no way to underestimate the seriousness of this threat.

    As J. Edgar Hoover well knew, possession of private information about people gives one power to control or destroy them.

    Imagine what would happen if the right wing hate machine acquires access to this information.

    Even if someone had nothing to hide, political enemies could spin it to create a suspicion of misconduct that could destroy a job opportunity, a career, a promotion, a run for political office or a life.

    • looneydoone says:

      Very informative was the Guardian’s 01 Nov 2013 37 minute interactive release;
      “What the revelations mean for you”

      I’ll see if I can find the link on return from lunch with friends

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: