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Thread: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

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    Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    There is a huge difference between looking at an envelope from a letter sent by an individual compared to looking at every envelope from every letter in the country, entering the to and from data in a database, and then doing analyses of that data. The difference is that one act impinges on two people's privacy in a limited manner, the other provides extensive information on every resident of the country. If all of a person's mail or e-meil to and from information is analyzed it is possible to determine:
    • where that person banks
    • which credit cards they use
    • their political affiliations
    • their religious affiliations
    • the type of work they do
    • their friends and family
    • their hobbies
    • their shopping habits


    Do we really want the government to have all of this information on all of us and and and use it to to find patterns, affiliations and trends? Can we trust them not to look at the content of selected messages without

    In my view, it is more likely that that the public will be harmed by elements in the government abusing this information and power than the public being harmed by a terrorist attack because we didn't do it.
    Bubble bursting notice: we already do that: MICT & MCP. These USPS programs are decades old. If they want to document my junk mail, have at it..

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    I never said that everyone who disagrees with me is evil.

    Anyone who is, or was, employed as a contractor or government employee to be part of these surveillance operations (that would include FISA judges) has a financial and professional conflict of interest that makes the neutrality of their position unlikely. We know what they are going to say in advance, unless they are one of the very few who are willing to be a whistleblower.

    There are many lawyers who are advocates, professors, writers, commentators etc. that you can quote to support your claim that most lawyers think these recently revealed practices are constitutional. If you can't find them, then it appears that your claim was fabricated.
    What claim? That there are legal experts that disagree with you? I'm sorry but federal judges are indeed legal experts. So that's not fabricated.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhat View Post
    Bubble bursting notice: we already do that: MICT & MCP. These USPS programs are decades old. If they want to document my junk mail, have at it..
    Past programs or practices do not justify new rights abuses, even if they are similar.

    James J. Wedick, a former FBI agent, said of MICT, Its a treasure trove of information. Looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena.[1] He also said the program "can be easily abused because its so easy to use and you dont have to go through a judge to get the information. You just fill out a form.

    MICT is different, although it was also a secret until recently. MICT "enables the Postal Service to retroactively track mail correspondence at the request of law enforcement. It was created in the aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks..."* not decades ago.

    Other differences: "The US Postal Service does not maintain a massive centralized database of the letter images.......the scanning machines at the mail processing centers only keeps images of the letters they scan. The images are retained for a week to 30 days and then destroyed."*

    These differences are significant. Specific info only is made available to law enforcement, it is not retained and kept in a database, so there is no data on the entire populace available for analyses. It is much less of an invasion of privacy than the programs retaining phone and internet information.

    I could not find anything on MCP.

    *Wikipedia

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    They over ruled the Defense of Marriage Act recently.

    I don't have time to list more, but it seems like they modify or strike down at least a couple of federal bills nearly every year.
    Thanks for that. Yes, it is a rare event. I wish it were routine, because the legislative product is really lousy.

    The court can't really modify a law, it can either strike a part of it, or the totality of it. Sometimes, like Roberts just demonstrated recently, even though a bill is not proposed as being a tax, the court can call it a tax.

    Sophistry? By all means, but so it is c. 2013 in the United States of Oligarchy.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    What claim? That there are legal experts that disagree with you? I'm sorry but federal judges are indeed legal experts. So that's not fabricated.
    You originally said that "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional." You have no evidence to support that claim.

    Federal judges are legal experts, but if they are FISA judges then they have a conflict of interest.

    "Proceedings before the FISA court are ex parte and non-adversarial. The court hears evidence presented solely by the Department of Justice. There is no provision for a release of information regarding such hearings, or for the record of information actually collected.....Chief Justice John Roberts appointed all of the current (as of 2013) judges, only one of whom was nominated by a Democratic President."

    To be accurate it seems that your original statement "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional" should be changed to:

    "Based on the presumed continuing use of these programs, we can assume that a least one of the eleven FISA judges concluded that the programs are constitutional based on the information the government provided the courts."

    That is not even close to a consensus of "many (most, frankly) legal experts."
    Last edited by Hard Truth; 08-06-13 at 06:39 PM.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Thanks for that. Yes, it is a rare event. I wish it were routine, because the legislative product is really lousy.

    The court can't really modify a law, it can either strike a part of it, or the totality of it. Sometimes, like Roberts just demonstrated recently, even though a bill is not proposed as being a tax, the court can call it a tax.

    Sophistry? By all means, but so it is c. 2013 in the United States of Oligarchy.
    I meant "strike a portion of a law" when I said "modify" it. It is a modification, but you are correct that they can't do a rewrite or add provisions to a law.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    You originally said that "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional." You have no evidence to support that claim.
    Well, considering that no one with the power to do anything about it has considered it so, you're gonna have to face that fact. Or is that just a coincidence? Maybe a conspiracy?

    Federal judges are legal experts, but if they are FISA judges then they have a conflict of interest.
    Why? They could just as easily say no to these programs and still have their job.

    "Proceedings before the FISA court are ex parte and non-adversarial. The court hears evidence presented solely by the Department of Justice. There is no provision for a release of information regarding such hearings, or for the record of information actually collected."
    Good job, wiki.

    To be accurate it seems that your original statement "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional" should be changed to "based on the continuing use of these programs, we have to assume that a majority of the eleven FISA judges concluded that the programs are constitutional based on the information the government provided the courts." That is not even close to a consensus of "many (most, frankly) legal experts."
    What consensus are you aware of? The fine legal minds at debatepolitics.com?
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
    -GK Chesterton

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    Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Past programs or practices do not justify new rights abuses, even if they are similar.



    I could not find anything on MCP.
    Maybe that's called legal precedent...


    Bottom line is that while you don't agree with them, these various programs are all legal & constitutional, that's why they continue to exist.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhat View Post
    Maybe that's called legal precedent...


    Bottom line is that while you don't agree with them, these various programs are all legal & constitutional, that's why they continue to exist.
    These secret programs can be considered legal and constitutional because one FISA judge, hearing evidence from the government only, ruled that they are. Even the Supreme Court has been known to reverse its own wrong decisions, so that is not very convincing evidence of constitutionality in my view.
    Last edited by Hard Truth; 08-06-13 at 07:47 PM.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    ...What consensus are you aware of?...
    I made no claim that there is a consensus You are the one who said "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional" without presenting a shred of evidence.

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