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Thread: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    There you go. The confusion is not whether the patriot act is constitutional. It is whether the mass collection of telephone meta data is constitutional. Congress is trying to clarify the patriot act to close down the mass collection. It is important to note that not a single arrest or conviction has occurred as a result of the mass collection. It doesn't even work. Personally I hate everything about the patriot act. I'm for government having to go to a judge for a warrant just like any police department has to do.
    Here's my understanding of the meta data collection and how it's accessed and how it's used. You're right - it's a mass collection of information, but information that's not viewed, listened to, or massaged. Then, when one of your intelligence agencies gets a lead, say the name of a suspected terrorist, they get permission from the FICA court to mine the data for information on that suspect. Once they get that information, likely including phone numbers used by and numbers called, the FICA court gives permission to mine on the basis of that other information. As a result, the intelligence agencies connect the dots between the initial suspected terrorist and his/her connections. And then the intelligence agencies monitor their activities.

    At no time is your information or mine or 300 million other individuals' information touched unless you have a connection to the suspected terrorist. For me, that's perfectly fine. I have no problem with letting multiple sophisticated computer systems massage electronic data to do the investigative work that would take tens of thousands of manpower hours to do if it could ever be done. If that keeps the bad guys guessing and us good guys safe, that's a trade-off I'm quite comfortable with. It's how my government this week stopped 10 Canadian young men and women from flying off to the Middle East to join ISIS and how your government did the same in California with two others. And those actions by the government didn't invade my privacy one bit.
    A Canadian conservative is one who believes in limited government and that the government should stay out of our wallets and out of our bedrooms.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    Here's my understanding of the meta data collection and how it's accessed and how it's used. You're right - it's a mass collection of information, but information that's not viewed, listened to, or massaged. Then, when one of your intelligence agencies gets a lead, say the name of a suspected terrorist, they get permission from the FICA court to mine the data for information on that suspect. Once they get that information, likely including phone numbers used by and numbers called, the FICA court gives permission to mine on the basis of that other information. As a result, the intelligence agencies connect the dots between the initial suspected terrorist and his/her connections. And then the intelligence agencies monitor their activities.

    At no time is your information or mine or 300 million other individuals' information touched unless you have a connection to the suspected terrorist. For me, that's perfectly fine. I have no problem with letting multiple sophisticated computer systems massage electronic data to do the investigative work that would take tens of thousands of manpower hours to do if it could ever be done. If that keeps the bad guys guessing and us good guys safe, that's a trade-off I'm quite comfortable with. It's how my government this week stopped 10 Canadian young men and women from flying off to the Middle East to join ISIS and how your government did the same in California with two others. And those actions by the government didn't invade my privacy one bit.
    I believe that's right. The problem is that you have to trust the government to keep things that way. I, for one, do not trust the government at all so I view every slippery slope as a very slippery slope. We have a fourth amendment to handle this sort of thing and it has served us well for almost a quarter of a millenium. I'd rather have a real court review these things than a rubber stamp FISA court handle it. It's a bad law.

    By the way, I think we should help people that want to leave the country to join ISIS. That gets them out of the country. Then we should shut the door to their return to make their choice a lifetime decision.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Fabulous View Post
    I will only speak for myself here when I say that what is in bold is NOT the reason I think The Patriot Act should be abolished. It should be abolished because it is an infringement of liberty, it has and will continue to be abused, and it gave rise to the practice of data mining.

    The very concept of data mining is evil.
    Exactly correct - the 4A exists for a reason.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMOSS View Post
    Well, you can opt out of their selling it.. but they still have it. And honestly, haven't you seen that merely going to a web site allows people to target you with specific advertisement, which you didn't opt in for?
    I would like to see more legal protection of our right to privacy from business interests, but the weakness of those laws and people's passive acceptance of those privacy invasions due to the convenience offered in return doesn't justify the government also invading our privacy.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    Here's my understanding of the meta data collection and how it's accessed and how it's used. You're right - it's a mass collection of information, but information that's not viewed, listened to, or massaged. Then, when one of your intelligence agencies gets a lead, say the name of a suspected terrorist, they get permission from the FICA court to mine the data for information on that suspect. Once they get that information, likely including phone numbers used by and numbers called, the FICA court gives permission to mine on the basis of that other information. As a result, the intelligence agencies connect the dots between the initial suspected terrorist and his/her connections. And then the intelligence agencies monitor their activities.

    At no time is your information or mine or 300 million other individuals' information touched unless you have a connection to the suspected terrorist. For me, that's perfectly fine. I have no problem with letting multiple sophisticated computer systems massage electronic data to do the investigative work that would take tens of thousands of manpower hours to do if it could ever be done. If that keeps the bad guys guessing and us good guys safe, that's a trade-off I'm quite comfortable with. It's how my government this week stopped 10 Canadian young men and women from flying off to the Middle East to join ISIS and how your government did the same in California with two others. And those actions by the government didn't invade my privacy one bit.
    Your understanding is incorrect. The huge amounts of telephone and internet metadata is analyzed by people and computers in an attempt to detect patterns that suggest illegal activity. In other words, everyone's private information is searched on the off chance a criminal will be found. That is clearly a 4th amendment violation.

    If you don't consider you metadata private please prove your sincerity by posting a copy of your phone bill in this thread.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    I would like to see more legal protection of our right to privacy from business interests, but the weakness of those laws and people's passive acceptance of those privacy invasions due to the convenience offered in return doesn't justify the government also invading our privacy.

    While the weakness of the laws doesn't justify the government also invading our privacy, I am as concerned, or more so with the corporate use. ..
    Knee-jerk anti-government sentiment is not a viable political philosophy.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Your understanding is incorrect. The huge amounts of telephone and internet metadata is analyzed by people and computers in an attempt to detect patterns that suggest illegal activity. In other words, everyone's private information is searched on the off chance a criminal will be found. That is clearly a 4th amendment violation.

    If you don't consider you metadata private please prove your sincerity by posting a copy of your phone bill in this thread.
    I believe you're wrong. "Patterns" don't materialize out of thin air - searches for them initiate from some other form of intelligence operation. Someone may become a suspect and then his/her information may be fed into the database to determine who he/she is in contact with or what websites, etc. he/she has visited. And the content of emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. is not routinely reviewed. What would be the purpose?

    I think you're exaggerating the extent of the monitoring. It is the collection of data that is massive - the review of data is targeted.

    Irregardless, posting my personal information on this site is far different from my personal information being collected by the government in the performance of their mandated and legislated functions.

    And I would note, just in passing, that I believe this is the second time you've challenged a poster to put their personal information on display in this thread and I believe you'll find that doing so is in contravention of the site's rules.
    A Canadian conservative is one who believes in limited government and that the government should stay out of our wallets and out of our bedrooms.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    I believe that's right. The problem is that you have to trust the government to keep things that way. I, for one, do not trust the government at all so I view every slippery slope as a very slippery slope. We have a fourth amendment to handle this sort of thing and it has served us well for almost a quarter of a millenium. I'd rather have a real court review these things than a rubber stamp FISA court handle it. It's a bad law.

    By the way, I think we should help people that want to leave the country to join ISIS. That gets them out of the country. Then we should shut the door to their return to make their choice a lifetime decision.
    Exactly. And if government could be trusted, or if men were angels, as one of the framers said, we wouldn't need a constitution. The people's bill of rights was added to safe guard civil liberties, because government can't be trusted. In fact, we wouldn't have need of any checks and balances if government could be trusted. Does anybody remember senator Church, and his committee, which investigated the NSA in 1976, and the conclusions they made concerning the NSA's fantastic ability to be abused such was the technology that the government had developed. And that was 40 year old technology, one might only imagine what may be going on now.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I believe you're wrong. "Patterns" don't materialize out of th
    in air - searches for them initiate from some other form of intelligence operation. Someone may become a suspect and then his/her information may be fed into the database to determine who he/she is in contact with or what websites, etc. he/she has visited. And the content of emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. is not routinely reviewed. What would be the purpose?

    I think you're exaggerating the extent of the monitoring. It is the collection of data that is massive - the review of data is targeted.

    Irregardless, posting my personal information on this site is far different from my personal information being collected by the government in the performance of their mandated and legislated functions.

    And I would note, just in passing, that I believe this is the second time you've challenged a poster to put their personal information on display in this thread and I believe you'll find that doing so is in contravention of the site's rules.
    If the medadata was only used to target individuals based on evidence from other sources they could easily obtain warrants. It is the lack of such evidence that makes the legalization of bulk data collection necessary.


    Information is either private and worthy of legal protection, or it is public. The challenged to post phone bills is directed at anyone and everyone who claims that phone Metadata is not private information. So far no one has backed up that claim by proving they are willing to share their data with the public.

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    Re: FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    If the medadata was only used to target individuals based on evidence from other sources they could easily obtain warrants. It is the lack of such evidence that makes the legalization of bulk data collection necessary.


    Information is either private and worthy of legal protection, or it is public. The challenged to post phone bills is directed at anyone and everyone who claims that phone Metadata is not private information. So far no one has backed up that claim by proving they are willing to share their data with the public.
    To my knowledge, the mass collection of data is by way of the Patriot Act but direct access to any specific data in the collection is still governed by warrant through the FISA court. If I'm wrong, you'll have to do more to convince me.

    Secondly, as to your challenge to post personal/private information - nothing personal, but I trust the government far more than I trust you or anyone else on this or any site. The government already has an abundance of my personal data as part of tax collection, driver's licensing, passports, banking information, etc. I've never had any concern that this information is being used improperly or illegally.

    I have no such confidence that you would be any more trustworthy than the Nigerian Princess who needs my bank account number to secure the funds she's moving out of her country.
    A Canadian conservative is one who believes in limited government and that the government should stay out of our wallets and out of our bedrooms.

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