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More surveillance
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Jun 30, 2013, 08:23 PM
 
This time, we are tracking those dangerous terrorists in the EU government.

Released by Der Spiegel (a German news site), the NSA bugged the EU offices in their Washington mission, their United Nations offices, and hacked into the computer network for a Brussels building. Which just happens to house the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council. Basically, hacking into their Senate building to read all their emails.

(story posted in English)
Information obtained by SPIEGEL shows that America's National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions. The information appears in secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A "top secret" 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington.
Now, EU officials are questioning upcoming free-trade negotiations with the US, and officials are demanding explanations. Along with assurances the spying programs are discontinued. The US would have been listening into the EU negotiatiors as they discussed strategy.

And German federal prosecutors are looking into criminal angles to the violations of German citizen rights - the documents show the NSA was targeting and intercepting millions of internal German citizen communications.

Violating their Washington mission is a lot like bugging a foreign embassy. It certainly violates the diplomatic agreements we have with other countries. If we don't honor the integrity of their embassies, why should other governments honor our embassies? And how can we complain of China hacking into government computers, when we were doing it on a larger scale to our own allies? Plus "closely" monitoring our citizens, of course.

Snowden needs a hero's medal more than ever, for exposing systemic corruption. The rubber-stamp FISA court obviously isn't proving an effective roadblock. Without meaningful oversight and limitations, this has turned into a surveillance wet dream. No limits, no controls, unlimited budget. We need to put the participants on trial, not the person who finally exposed this to the real government of America - the citizens.

Ars coverage
CNN coverage
NBC coverage
ABC coverage: couldn't find any
the guardian (UK) coverage
CBS coverage
Al Jazeera coverage
     
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Jun 30, 2013, 08:30 PM
 
Assuming it's true, this really shows the scale of hubris we're talking about.

Not that the NSA would do it, but that they didn't think it was necessary to make it plausibly deniable.
     
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Jul 1, 2013, 10:20 PM
 
I think this is because we're (the collective) preoccupied with living. We have to have a great deal of faith that our government will be good stewards of the public trust. I want to believe this and still do believe that there's a peaceful and necessary coexistence between government and people, but the boundaries have to be clearer. I think the government has become too large and too complicated for experts, let alone we lay people who elect the brains behind this organization. I think there's been success in defining such lamentations as extreme, right-wing fascism. For others, it's apparently enough -- to want to believe badly enough.

meh... when it's all said and done it's pretty much enough for me too.
ebuddy
     
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Jul 3, 2013, 06:15 PM
 
Heard it put forward the fallout from this is really why the NSA is mad at Snowden.

I have trouble seeing the terrorists who use Verizon being tipped-off as being even closely comparable to pissing-off every "ally".
     
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Jul 3, 2013, 07:33 PM
 
There is a long history of groups the U.S. government considers sponsors of terrorism (Hezbollah, for one) using their "public welfare" activities to attempt to influence various governments, and the EU as an organization isn't immune to that sort of pressure. Knowing when Organization Y may be setting up a conference with the EU minister for "giving money to the downtrodden", say, could be useful. Monitoring a number of Europeans who have lengthy histories of ties with terror organizations isn't far off the mark, either. Der Spiegel doesn't mention specific individuals, nor specific EU diplomats, but would anyone here wager against the targets being more likely to be "sympathetic to certain groups" rather than say Chancellor Merkel?

So somebody's panties are in a wad for (again) having proof that the U.S. wants to keep tabs on people who may be likely to try to do harm to the U.S., and apparently actively ignoring the fact that there are plenty of anti-American groups throughout Europe, and many of those are sympathetic to a variety of groups who practice or advocate terrorism - at least against the U.S. And remember, Germans generally don't like ANYBODY keeping tabs on them; much of Germany is off limits to Google Street view because individual Germans don't even want the front of their house to be visible to other people... It seems that this isn't so much a "revelation" as more sensationalism.

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Jul 3, 2013, 07:42 PM
 
Is it actively ignoring or is it a belief the cure is worse than the disease?

I've certainly done no ignoring. Privacy has a price. That price is bad people get to be private too.
     
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Jul 4, 2013, 04:26 PM
 
You're not one of the people making a huge deal about specific issues like the above. It's the ones, like Der Spiegel's reporters, who selectively "report" details without context or other details, and make it sound like Uncle Sam is snooping in your trash bin (in the house), when as I suggested earlier, there is a far more benign possibility.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 9, 2013, 04:00 PM
 
What context could completely set aside the leaks? The NSA scandal has become a global debate (global context), and the reports are certainly of interest to the public. The NSA has removed the privacy of everyone on the planet, American citizen or not. In the process, they have broken longstanding laws against domestic surveillance without a warrant or probable cause, ignored the presumption of innocence, and ticked off foreign countries. Their failure to place limits on their activities (self oversight) meant they spied on our allies as much as our enemies. And this is having consequences.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, has *admitted* lying to Congress in the past. Lying to Congress is a 5-years-in-jail Felony. Congress's (mostly closed) intelligence hearings were supposed to be the last public oversight, and even that was undermined. So the Director of National Intelligence today is an uncharged Felon. I believe convicted felons are forbidden from most government employment.

I'm not understanding the lack of concern. A free country requires an informed electorate. We have at least one leader who has admitted to a crime, and many others (including the President) who have given repeated deceptive statements. Meanwhile, the whistleblowers are pursued relentlessly (including grounding a presidential plane which has diplomatic immunity), while no charges are brought against our politicos. And while the US has championed the Right to Amnesty, this apparently only applies to favorable situations.

I'm finding these reports of great concern, and exactly the kind of information we need for the next election.
( Last edited by reader50; Jul 10, 2013 at 03:23 AM. Reason: corrected James Clapper office)
     
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Jul 9, 2013, 04:20 PM
 
Perhaps the mainstream media is involved in this conspiracy? THEY are the ones who've been spewing propaganda, mis-leading the electorate and lying for to good of the radical left. NBC has been caught multiple times editing audio to fit their agenda, dolts like Maddow, Matthews et al spew opinions stated as facts and after years of this BS they have lost most of their viewers who won't try and find accurate news or at least less biased BS. What you end up with is people who don't know any facts, can't discuss the details of most news stories, and have screwed priorities because of all the social programming. Union teachers are indoctrinating little kids to be liberal stooges and currently also to be afraid of guns, and to think guns are bad.
     
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Jul 9, 2013, 04:52 PM
 
If Maddow and Matthews have lost their viewers, they're hardly in a position to dupe the masses.

Which is it?
     
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Jul 9, 2013, 05:13 PM
 
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
     
Clinically Insane
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Jul 9, 2013, 08:05 PM
 
Sorry, that's classified.
     
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Jul 9, 2013, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If Maddow and Matthews have lost their viewers, they're hardly in a position to dupe the masses.

Which is it?
Who?

maddow clue - YouTube
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
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Jul 10, 2013, 02:55 AM
 
Guardian coverage - James Comey confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee. He's to become the next head of the FBI.
But Comey declined to criticize the broad, ongoing collection of the phone records when senators asked if they should be scaled back.
...
"I can only say with confidence that it's very important for the next director to continue the transformation of the FBI into an intelligence agency," Comey told the Senate panel.
...
Several senators, particularly Democrats, found Comey's waterboarding answers curious: "That was in a memo you approved," noted Al Franken – but none expressed opposition to Comey's nomination.

Instead, Comey's hearing, nearly three hours long, occasionally seemed like a coronation. Blumenthal said Comey enjoyed "very solid support" on the committee.
Emphasis added.

Say what? I hadn't heard of this before. We're transforming the FBI from a police backup and investigation service targeting crime, into a domestic intelligence service targeting enemies of the state? Hasn't that been tried before?

Police agencies Investigate crime.
Intelligence agencies spy on enemies.

Looks like he'll sail through his confirmation. Even with the leaks and surveillance scandal in full swing. Anyone still not concerned?
     
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Jul 10, 2013, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If Maddow and Matthews have lost their viewers, they're hardly in a position to dupe the masses.

Which is it?
they are only 2 of many who work for NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NPR, CNN, etc etc etc.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jul 10, 2013, 11:55 AM
 
So, you mean grandpa?
     
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Jul 10, 2013, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Police agencies Investigate crime.
Intelligence agencies spy on enemies.
There is a clever idea, dunno where it came from, that in fact the police should not investigate crime. They should prevent and respond and then hand it over to another 'body' with different powers for investigations. Separation of duties.

I have no idea how this would/could work in the democratic first world, but I like the reasoning.
     
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Jul 10, 2013, 04:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
There is a clever idea, dunno where it came from, that in fact the police should not investigate crime. They should prevent and respond and then hand it over to another 'body' with different powers for investigations. Separation of duties.

I have no idea how this would/could work in the democratic first world, but I like the reasoning.
That's the way it should work, internally. Patrol officers respond (they don't protect directly, as they can almost never respond in time), while the detectives investigate. Unfortunately, most departments don't have the resources to make that work properly.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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