NSA tracking cell phone locations

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Thesh
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NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Thesh » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:12 pm UTC

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nat ... story.html

Thet gist is that if you are American, they are not intentionally tracking your location, but they probably are anyway, and if you aren't American, then who gives a shit?
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby davidstarlingm » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:53 pm UTC

Anyone who was surprised by this, raise your hand.

Anyone with a hand raised, follow me. I have some snow in Alaska you might be interested in.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby leady » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:17 pm UTC

the UK police have access to this information, almost at will, for everyone, we don't even try to hide it :)

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:48 pm UTC

Yeah, locating people based on triangulation from towers is a pretty normal thing for emergency response in the US, this isn't something weird or sci-fi. The movie "tracking call" stuff is...not very realistic.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:58 pm UTC

This difference is that if you said this five years ago, you would be told to get your tinfoil hat. It's just nice knowing that I'm not crazy, plus it's nice to be able to pretend we have enough ammunition to actually do something about it.


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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zcorp » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:11 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:Anyone who was surprised by this, raise your hand.

Anyone with a hand raised, follow me. I have some snow in Alaska you might be interested in.

Every time one of these releases comes out someone says this...
Who cares if anyone is surprised, why even bring it up? It takes away from the confirmation of what is going on and that it is going on. Why change the conversation to if people were smart enough to know what is going on? It should be outrage that it is and how we much fix it, not quibbling about who guessed it was.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, locating people based on triangulation from towers is a pretty normal thing for emergency response in the US, this isn't something weird or sci-fi. The movie "tracking call" stuff is...not very realistic.

Everyone knew that if you stole a car, the cops might try to determine your location by pinging your cellphone.

Not everyone knew that if you drive your own car around, the NSA will harvest every location you've been to and try to match it up with the locations of foreigners to try and fabricate a guilt-by-association reason to investigate you for terrorism.

Some folks may have suspected it, and plenty of folks are now patting themselves on the back for being unsurprised, but now we know it to be true. And those of us who feel that this program is illegal can make that case to the courts.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:53 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, locating people based on triangulation from towers is a pretty normal thing for emergency response in the US, this isn't something weird or sci-fi. The movie "tracking call" stuff is...not very realistic.

Everyone knew that if you stole a car, the cops might try to determine your location by pinging your cellphone.

Not everyone knew that if you drive your own car around, the NSA will harvest every location you've been to and try to match it up with the locations of foreigners to try and fabricate a guilt-by-association reason to investigate you for terrorism.

Some folks may have suspected it, and plenty of folks are now patting themselves on the back for being unsurprised, but now we know it to be true. And those of us who feel that this program is illegal can make that case to the courts.

The FISA courts, even when they knew the NSA was violating their orders and were visibily angry at the NSA, stiill vote yes to continue the program. The courts are not going to solve this, the correct answer is the legislative and executive branch. Of course, now you're asking Congress and the president to work together...

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:00 pm UTC

sardia wrote:The FISA courts, even when they knew the NSA was violating their orders and were visibily angry at the NSA, stiill vote yes to continue the program. The courts are not going to solve this, the correct answer is the legislative and executive branch. Of course, now you're asking Congress and the president to work together...


The President won't support it, but there are people on the right and left who would. What we need is for the President to come out more strongly in favor of the NSA, in order to get the GOP to come out more strongly against it; then it should be easy to pass reform. If you can get enough Democrats to support it (which won't be Feinstein and her ilk), then it should be easy to do. I don't expect complete support on either side, but it's not unrealistic if you make it a Republican vs Obama issue to start, and then work for bipartisan support to could get a veto-proof majority.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby addams » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:42 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, locating people based on triangulation from towers is a pretty normal thing for emergency response in the US, this isn't something weird or sci-fi. The movie "tracking call" stuff is...not very realistic.

Everyone knew that if you stole a car, the cops might try to determine your location by pinging your cellphone.

Not everyone knew that if you drive your own car around, the NSA will harvest every location you've been to and try to match it up with the locations of foreigners to try and fabricate a guilt-by-association reason to investigate you for terrorism.

Some folks may have suspected it, and plenty of folks are now patting themselves on the back for being unsurprised, but now we know it to be true. And those of us who feel that this program is illegal can make that case to the courts.

It gets even weirder than your examples.
It is not so much that someone knows where you are or what you say.
What is done with that information?

Paranoid? No. I am not. No.

I was speaking to an old friend. She is knowledgeable about worldly things. She said, "Nothing new under the sun."
I disagreed. "The technology is new!"

She said, "New tools; Same horrible behavior for the same stupid reasons."

Those were not her exact words. She has a better working vocabulary than I do.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby davidstarlingm » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:36 pm UTC

Zcorp wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Anyone who was surprised by this, raise your hand.

Anyone with a hand raised, follow me. I have some snow in Alaska you might be interested in.

Every time one of these releases comes out someone says this...
Who cares if anyone is surprised, why even bring it up? It takes away from the confirmation of what is going on and that it is going on. Why change the conversation to if people were smart enough to know what is going on? It should be outrage that it is and how we much fix it, not quibbling about who guessed it was.

Not trying to minimize the problem here, just pointing out that this is the sort of stuff we should have been expecting ever since 9/11.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:02 pm UTC

Zcorp wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:Anyone who was surprised by this, raise your hand.

Anyone with a hand raised, follow me. I have some snow in Alaska you might be interested in.

Every time one of these releases comes out someone says this...
Who cares if anyone is surprised, why even bring it up? It takes away from the confirmation of what is going on and that it is going on. Why change the conversation to if people were smart enough to know what is going on? It should be outrage that it is and how we much fix it, not quibbling about who guessed it was.


Lemme stick my neck out a little bit and ask then.

The US Government uses giant cameras mounted onto satellites in space to spy on their foreign intelligence targets from SPACE... these cameras have more than enough resolution to see people moving around and track them. It is a known fact that this technology can see through clouds and track people at night. It was likely that these spy cameras were used in the Bin Laden mission for example, but we have eyes in the sky that are regularly tracking people without Cell Phone technology. Would anyone be worried about this technology? And if not, what is the difference between Spy Satellite technology vs Cell Phone tracking? I guess one doesn't require billions of dollars worth of rocket fuel and is therefore more efficient... but the concept of the US using unique spying capabilities against other countries is not exactly an unknown phenomenon. And unlike Spy Satellites, which have been approved for Domestic Use, these NSA capabilities are only authorized for foreign intelligence targets only.

Of course, privacy groups had outrage against the use of Spy Satellites in domestic situations 6 years ago, but the outrage isn't anything quite like what is happening now. So the inconsistency of things seems a bit off to me... I guess "Cell Phone" might make this whole thing sound personal. But you know... if you so much as step outside your house, spy satellites can watch your movements. With this Cell Phone thingy, all you need to do is turn off your Cell Phone. On the other hand, you can't exactly stop a Spy Satellite from seeing you as long as you're outside...

Now, if you're against all forms of foreign intelligence gathering, I'll let you know that the political climate is not exactly on your side. The US Congress and the President are regularly informed by the general spy network, and they use that information to help shape US Policy. It is in the interest of Congress and the President to continue spying on foreigners so that they can make better decisions. Its not like these guys only use CNN or Newspapers to get their news, they rely on spies and other intelligence gathering techniques.

I also understand the concerns of non-US Citizens who will criticize the US for this sort of behavior... or for not putting restrictions on the spies here or there... but that is an implementation detail as far as I'm concerned. I've heard rumors of new treaties that are being drawn up between France and the US for example due to these new revelations. Basically, if your country has a concern about "allies spying on allies", take it up with the State Department. The US treats certain allies as "off limits" as far as spy capabilities goes. And if you're in a non-friendly US Country... well, tough luck. The line has to be drawn somewhere, and I'm frankly fine with the US spying on non-friendly countries. After all, the $10 Trillion mistake that is the Iraq War is basically attributed to an intelligence failure. (The prediction of Weapons of Mass Destruction, of which there were none). If Intelligence were better, then maybe the US wouldn't have made that mistake. I can't say that I'm against spying as long as it is a "properly checked and balanced" attribute of the US Government.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby sardia » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:30 pm UTC

This would make some sense, except there's the issue of NSA and military directly violating orders from the executive and judicial branches in favor of doing whatever they want. At the very least, we should break those bureacracies in so that they obey orders instead of this insubordination crap we're getting.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby addams » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:49 am UTC

sardia wrote:This would make some sense, except there's the issue of NSA and military directly violating orders from the executive and judicial branches in favor of doing whatever they want. At the very least, we should break those bureacracies in so that they obey orders instead of this insubordination crap we're getting.

Direct or Indirect Insubordination?

Did you read about the code on the US nuclear warheads being deliberately set at 00000, when the ordered security was implimented?
That was called what? Malicious Compliance?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malicious_compliance

If your subordinates are true believers, then you might not have much by way of problems no matter what you order.
If your subordinates think you suck and want to do what gets them more money and or status. Well...(fuck)

edit: Breaking something that is already broken might be a waste of time, at best.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby morriswalters » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:21 am UTC

Out of the mouth of poets. :lol:

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zamfir » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:50 am UTC


Of course, privacy groups had outrage against the use of Spy Satellites in domestic situations 6 years ago, but the outrage isn't anything quite like what is happening now. So the inconsistency of things seems a bit off to me... I guess "Cell Phone" might make this whole thing sound personal. But you know... if you so much as step outside your house, spy satellites can watch your movements. With this Cell Phone thingy, all you need to do is turn off your Cell Phone. On the other hand, you can't exactly stop a Spy Satellite from seeing you as long as you're outside..

Spy satellites can track some people some of the time, cell phone daa can track almost everybody almost all of the time. In hindsight even. The 'turn off your cell phone' just reinforces that point: tracking cell phones works best against people who are not taking counteractions, and quickly becomes difficult against people who spend effort and money on precautions.

So it's perfectly reasonable to be more concerned about cell phone tracking than about spy satellites.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby elasto » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:17 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Spy satellites can track some people some of the time, cell phone data can track almost everybody almost all of the time. In hindsight even. The 'turn off your cell phone' just reinforces that point: tracking cell phones works best against people who are not taking counteractions, and quickly becomes difficult against people who spend effort and money on precautions.

So it's perfectly reasonable to be more concerned about cell phone tracking than about spy satellites.

Yes.

Comparing this to spy satellites is silly. It's like saying "the government could send a team of spies to tail you all day every day to work out where you're going, so what's the issue?"

Pointing a spy satellite at someone is a use of valuable resources that the government will only undertake if they have strong, preexisting intel to do so. The same is true for dispatching a team of spies to tail you. Whether or not they seek a warrant to do it is of lesser importance therefore; The major 'check and balance' is that resources are limited so they aren't going to do either on a whim.

This, on the other hand, is a pure fishing expedition - trailing everyone all the time, innocent or guilty. The fact they do it rubber-stamped (or, more likely, totally warrantless) becomes much more significant therefore.

And turning off your cellphone is not a perfect defense as the article points out: Doing so 'red-flags' you - with the software sophisticated enough to be able to spot patterns of people turning their cellphones on and off in a synchronized fashion. And you shouldn't have to do that to protect your privacy anyhow: A big point of having a cellphone is so people can call you!

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby morriswalters » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:13 pm UTC

elasto wrote:And turning off your cellphone is not a perfect defense as the article points out: Doing so 'red-flags' you - with the software sophisticated enough to be able to spot patterns of people turning their cellphones on and off in a synchronized fashion. And you shouldn't have to do that to protect your privacy anyhow: A big point of having a cellphone is so people can call you!
You want to ride on the train but you don't like the price of the ticket. Would that be correct? You carry a radio transmitter and believe that no one will track it if they think they want to? And if the government said they weren't doing it, you would believe them?

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby elasto » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:23 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
elasto wrote:And turning off your cellphone is not a perfect defense as the article points out: Doing so 'red-flags' you - with the software sophisticated enough to be able to spot patterns of people turning their cellphones on and off in a synchronized fashion. And you shouldn't have to do that to protect your privacy anyhow: A big point of having a cellphone is so people can call you!
You want to ride on the train but you don't like the price of the ticket. Would that be correct?

Huh? No, I don't believe I should sacrifice liberty for security, if that's what you mean, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

At the least I expect my government to offer me the choice of how much liberty I am willing to give up for security - and if I was outvoted by my fellow countrymen then fine. What's unacceptable is an unchecked power grab by the already most powerful organisation in the world.

You carry a radio transmitter and believe that no one will track it if they think they want to?

I expect private companies to track my phone because it's impossible for a phone to work without it. However I expect my government to stand up for my data privacy rights and stop any private company abuse - eg. passing on my data without my explicit permission. Many European countries have extensive data privacy laws so this isn't some pie-in-the-sky utopian dream.

And if the government said they weren't doing it, you would believe them?

My wish would be for a society where individuals within government are held to account if they lie under oath or break their own laws just like if a private citizen does. No, the powerful are rarely held to account for their criminal acts - but if everyone is defeatist, if the powerful are granted a free pass then it certainly will not happen.

It's like not standing up to a bully. They will only grow more arrogant.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby morriswalters » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:43 pm UTC

I don't disagree with how you feel about it emotionally. I understand what you want. I question if it is a realistic expectation of what you can expect to get.
elasto wrote:I expect private companies to track my phone because it's impossible for a phone to work without it. However I expect my government to stand up for my data privacy rights and stop any private company abuse - eg. passing on my data without my explicit permission. Many European countries have extensive data privacy laws so this isn't some pie-in-the-sky utopian dream.
Indeed it is not. Your belief that it is meaningful, may on the other hand, be slightly naive.
elasto wrote:My wish would be for a society where individuals within government are held to account if they lie under oath or break their own laws just like if a private citizen does. No, the powerful are rarely held to account for their criminal acts - but if everyone is defeatist, if the powerful are granted a free pass then it certainly will not happen.
You may wish what you please. It isn't always a matter of the powerful beating up on the weak. If you frame the question that way it gives you a false sense that it is simple, and it is not. First and foremost understand that what these people do, they do, because they believe they must do it to protect you. The truth of that is not important, what is important is that they believe it is. And not everyone involved is wealthy or powerful. Certainly the young technocrats that staff the agency aren't.

But real threats exist. The people behind those threats exist. They are different from you only in the sense of how they view the world. They work, communicate, text, and have dreams and expectations. In other words they are members of the crowd. To find them and deter them, once they exist, means that you need to be able to filter them from the crowd. You do that by looking at everyone and what they do. I don't know of any other way to do it.

Given that, it might be helpful to decide exactly what it is that you wish to protect. With the understanding that it may be unreasonable to expect given the public nature of smartphones, that you can, or expect to have, the degree of privacy I did in the era before the technology.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby addams » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:18 pm UTC

What about the Four Freedoms?
Can the Four Freedoms make any sense in this Real World of Global Communication?

The Freedom from Fear.
Spoiler:
Is everyone frightened?
What are we frightened of?

The Freedom from Want.
Spoiler:
Who Wants What?
What do you want, this time?

The Freedom of Speech.
Spoiler:
What did you say?
I heard that!
The desire to censor is followed by the desire to procreate?

Freedom of Worship.
Spoiler:
Good God. Who is God, today?


oh. The Four Freedoms is from a speech given in the winter of 1941.
The president of the US read it into a microphone.
It was printed in news papers and it made its way into magazines.

It was read out loud by The People. Not everyone could read it.
Some people, just, listened. There is a Norman Rockwell Mural of The Four Freedoms.

I like the darned thing. With the internet, everyone can see it.
https://www.google.com/search?q=the+fou ... B500%3B281

What if someone vandalized it? There would still be photos of it, on the internet.
I thought those thoughts had been codified by time. I was told in no uncertain terms that those ideas are too controversial.

If I talk about the Four Freedoms, it is considered to be Radical?
Was it Radical Thought at the time?

It was. It was Revolutionary. The People seemed to like the idea.
But; It was a different time. All most no one had the internet in 1941.

The great depression had left The People a little stunned.
Some were stunned one way. Others were stunned a different way.

With or without war, this Nation wanted to turn toward the Four Freedoms.
It was time. Like growing up? What happened to us? We let those Blondes on FOX news do all of our thinking for us?

Blondes are a lot of fun. Stunningly beautiful and perky people.
Remember Cronkite?

Spoiler:
I Do! See? I am too old to be alive.
Some kind of Nuts. I read about the Greek Baths. I don't remember them.

I think I remember a world without the electronic voice.
Electricity is a Good Idea! I like it. It is Noisy.

Humans are a noisy species. Like geese on a good day.
Like those big scary monkeys on a weird day.
Like fucking Crocodiles on all the other days.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:06 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
morriswalters wrote:
elasto wrote:And turning off your cellphone is not a perfect defense as the article points out: Doing so 'red-flags' you - with the software sophisticated enough to be able to spot patterns of people turning their cellphones on and off in a synchronized fashion. And you shouldn't have to do that to protect your privacy anyhow: A big point of having a cellphone is so people can call you!
You want to ride on the train but you don't like the price of the ticket. Would that be correct?

Huh? No, I don't believe I should sacrifice liberty for security, if that's what you mean, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

At the least I expect my government to offer me the choice of how much liberty I am willing to give up for security - and if I was outvoted by my fellow countrymen then fine. What's unacceptable is an unchecked power grab by the already most powerful organisation in the world.


The NSA is only authorized to do these collections in foreign countries. None of these revelations should be a concern at all to any US Citizen. For the collections that end up collecting data about US Citizens (and citizens of various allied countries) that travel abroad, there are procedures that prevent further investigations.

Proof is in the pudding. Snowden is painting himself as some sort of internal whistleblower who pulled out all this data by himself while he was in the NSA. The truth is quite contrary: most of the data that he's releasing to the public are from the NSA's self-reporting procedures and self-reporting databases. The NSA tracks how often it accidentally tails US Citizens abroad and reports it to the FISA courts and the various Intelligence Committees. The reason the FISA Courts are doing jack shit about any of these "revelations" is because they know about it already (and are satisfied with the NSA's self reporting policies / procedures). The NSA knows it isn't perfect when it comes to privacy and security, but that is why they're tracking these statistics.

Zamfir wrote:
Of course, privacy groups had outrage against the use of Spy Satellites in domestic situations 6 years ago, but the outrage isn't anything quite like what is happening now. So the inconsistency of things seems a bit off to me... I guess "Cell Phone" might make this whole thing sound personal. But you know... if you so much as step outside your house, spy satellites can watch your movements. With this Cell Phone thingy, all you need to do is turn off your Cell Phone. On the other hand, you can't exactly stop a Spy Satellite from seeing you as long as you're outside..

Spy satellites can track some people some of the time, cell phone daa can track almost everybody almost all of the time. In hindsight even. The 'turn off your cell phone' just reinforces that point: tracking cell phones works best against people who are not taking counteractions, and quickly becomes difficult against people who spend effort and money on precautions.

So it's perfectly reasonable to be more concerned about cell phone tracking than about spy satellites.


Perhaps for non-Citizens. But one of these are authorized for domestic use, and the other is not. As far as US Citizens are concerned, the cell phone tracking shouldn't concern them.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zcorp » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:24 pm UTC

edit: Spoilered stuff as I was writing before reading the most recent posts. It seems it just comes down to this though:
KnightExemplar wrote:Perhaps for non-Citizens. But one of these are authorized for domestic use, and the other is not. As far as US Citizens are concerned, the cell phone tracking shouldn't concern them.

This is such pathetic nationalist bigotry it enrages me.
American citizens shouldn't give a shit about what we are doing to the world huh?
Congratulations sir, you are the fucking problem with American foreign policy. People like you are why so many other countries are right to hate and fear America.

Spoiler:
Now, if you're against all forms of foreign intelligence gathering, I'll let you know that the political climate is not exactly on your side. The US Congress and the President are regularly informed by the general spy network, and they use that information to help shape US Policy. It is in the interest of Congress and the President to continue spying on foreigners so that they can make better decisions. Its not like these guys only use CNN or Newspapers to get their news, they rely on spies and other intelligence gathering techniques.
It is not, and I'm not advocating removal of all intelligence gathering. Suggesting it is a pathetic strawman, and you should feel stupid for doing so.

Instead of being a moral leader in the world, we have assassinated, installed dictators, used other people to fight our wars and left them to pick up their ruins afterwards and many other atrocities. We don't care about the world, don't know how to make ourselves safe and are creating enemies all through out it because of bad our foreign policy has been for about the last 50 years. More pathetic than our foreign policy has been our intelligence gathering groups for the last 50 years. Leading us into wrong wars, frequently failing those assassinations, failing to prevent the assassination of our leaders, failing to get actionable intelligence on the USSR, being so misinformed about the USSR that they believed them to be an economic powerhouse as their economy was crumbling.

No sir, I'm not against intelligence gathering. I'm against an institution that has consistently failed at doing their job and when they are good at gathering information more harm seems to come of it than good. Incompetent and corrupt people are not who we should be giving more power to.

After all, the $10 Trillion mistake that is the Iraq War is basically attributed to an intelligence failure. (The prediction of Weapons of Mass Destruction, of which there were none). If Intelligence were better, then maybe the US wouldn't have made that mistake. I can't say that I'm against spying as long as it is a "properly checked and balanced" attribute of the US Government.

Love that thought process.
"Sorry we have disappointed you for the last 50 years, sorry for those wars, failed actions, failed defense, and torture that have made so much of the world hate us, but I promise we will do better if you give up more of your rights to us, and let us spy on other countries in stupid and unjust ways, even if it will make them hate us more, maybe we can do something good. This time instead of having little information about our theoretical enemies, we will have lots of information about millions of entirely unrelated people that I'm we can think through, even if we haven't accurately thought through most of our actions since our inception. Trust us, cause even if we don't understand what we are doing wrong if you allow us to spy on everyone I'm sure we can find some way not to fuck up."

Beyond all of the privacy problems of domestic surveillance and how that affects our world, no one paying attention to past behaviors should put any trust into what these organizations are doing. We even already know of recent corruption of 'secret' power that they are using.


Spoiler:
KnightExemplar wrote:Stuff

Zamfir and Elasto already covered how these two action/programs are not equivalent.

But I wanted to add a little bit to that. One of the things you describe is active surveillance, meaning that even past initial set up it requires human action to enact the gathering of varied data. While a passive one, such as this, does not. It can an does collect data on lots of people with no active interaction from people.

This creates a few problems that active surveillance does not. It challenges the intent of our laws, privacy and is more likely to lead to corruption.

Legally it creates 3 problems, it changes the effect of a warrant, it will have significant impact on the need of warrant and allows enforces to enforce with much greater latitude. First, It changes the effect of a warrant by allowing enforcers to to look at a long history of past behavior, and while this might lead to gaining information on the law the enforcer is looking for the subject to be breaking it is certain to give the enforcer some information on some other law the individual broke in their past. As talking to any enforcer is always a bad idea when you are under investigation giving them access to other information even trivial traffic laws allows a prosecutor to build a stronger case. Second, besides the obvious that warrantless wire tapping is warrantless, it allows any individual with access to look for anyone and find ways to incarcerate, detain or otherwise reducing their freedom. If this story is true. it is just one example of enforcers abusing their power to prevent oversight of their behavior. This however isn't what I mean by greater latitude. Imagine a world where every time you drove over the speed limit by even 1 mph you got a ticket for speeding. Now, this will probably result in getting more reasonable traffic laws than we have in America, hopefully ones that care about human safety more that income, but in the mean time we have a system that is enforcing at a rate that the law never intended or imagined. Then due to the time and effort it would take to reform the laws millions of individuals would unjustly get hit by bad a bad and broken legal system. That our enforcers have more loyalty to enforcing the letter of the law, using that for their own gains or are even forced to meet quotas by enforcing petty laws shows a massive failure in their group think. They simply can't be trusted to hold this power, nor our broken legal system.

As for privacy, I'm sure you are fairly familiar with the arguments here but just to add a little detail. This article is scary. American's should already be ashamed of our culture of silence. Our lack of interest in what is going on in the world, what we are doing to the world and most specifically how it is not acceptable in almost every social occasion to talk about not only world politics but national and local. This compounds this embarrassing aspect of our culture.

Corruption is also a far more likely to be rampant with a passive surveillance system. For me to spy on my neighbor, wife, children or that hot girl over there in an active system would require a noticeable change in resource allocation, when everyone is always being spied on it is much each to gain information I shouldn't have. We've already seen this corruption with what has leaked so far. That the temptation is far greater than the individuals doing the data gathering.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Perhaps for non-Citizens. But one of these are authorized for domestic use, and the other is not. As far as US Citizens are concerned, the cell phone tracking shouldn't concern them.

This is such pathetic nationalist bigotry it enrages me.
American citizens shouldn't give a shit about what we are doing to the world huh?
Congratulations sir, you are the fucking problem with America. People like you are why so many other countries are right to hate and fear America.


Perhaps the problem with this argument is that you don't want to listen nor understand my point of view. The US has enemies, and we cannot afford to give rights to our enemies. For our allies, we can create treaties and afford them the same rights (or even more... in some cases).

Besides, if you've got some issues with a bit of spying that the US does around the world, let me remind you of the flying death cannons we regularly deploy over Pakistan and Afghanistan (and for a short time, over Libya). For better or for worse, this country has decided to perform military operations against entities of other countries. I'm simply being a realist. Worrying about cell-phone privacy rights when we're busy bombing the living fuck out of countries is insane. The NSA is ultimately a branch of the DoD, a military-led spy agency. I guarantee you that they are using those powers to pick out targets in every active-military zone. Who to kill, who not to kill, and whether or not it will make a difference. It is the reality of the military-actions that this country has decided to perform.

The discussion of whether or not we perform military action in various countries is its own debate, and needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. But restricting the NSA's spy capabilities in general will include restricting them within warzones. The NSA's capabilities are often restricted by two things: US Law and International Treaties. NSA cannot spy on the US, and a list of other countries as per those international agreements. Besides, we've caught Russian spies trying to influence Congress, and Chinese-sponsored hackers trying to steal data from private US Companies. IIRC, even some of our allies (Israel: see Jonathan Pollard) have been caught performing spying missions against the US.

Some countries aren't going to play fair against us, and we shouldn't play fair against them either. After all, intelligence gathering is the bread-and-butter of foreign policy. From battle and war decisions (who and what to bomb in northern Pakistan / Southern Afghanistan) to even figuring out who the heck is spying on us... the answers are all in these branches of intelligence gathering. (Often times, you don't get leads on spies when they are already inside of the country. Instead, our own spy agencies learn about foreign programs against the US, and we can use knowledge of our enemy's programs as leads to track down those who are spying inside of the US.) If you expect the US's foreign policy to be the best that this country can provide, then you will ultimately support intelligence operations. Otherwise, we are going to fall behind the curve of the other countries (allies and enemies alike) who perform these operations.

--------------

Lets take these abstract programs and make them concrete. It is the best interest for the US (as well as the world) to know the precise state of the Iranian Nuclear Program. Without detailed information on the Iranian Nuclear Program, I guarantee you that Israel would have performed a "first strike" against Iran by now. Israel simply does not want to be in range of nuclear missiles from a hostile country. They don't even want that to be a possibility. (I bet you Israel is spying on the US to ensure that we remain open and honest to them about Iran's capabilities)

Would you be supportive, or against, performing spy operations in Iran to determine more precisely how far they are along? With more information, we can stall Israel for more time, and potentially come up with the peaceful situation that is evolving now. Damn the privacy rights if Iranian citizens if it gives them more time against an Israeli first strike.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zcorp » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:33 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Perhaps the problem with this argument is that you don't want to listen nor understand my point of view.

Or perhaps you are a bigot, who doesn't understand the harm our foreign policy has caused the world. You've bought down so hard on propaganda you don't even seem to realize how much our actions have caused us to create our enemies.

The US has enemies
And i want to stop creating more. But you don't care about what we do to the world, it is not a concern of an American citizen apparently.

Besides, if you've got some issues with a bit of spying that the US does around the world

Not only are we not doing a bit of spying and you know that, we are so bad at it that we get caught all the time. Also our 'a bit' of spying doesn't matter if the people assessing that intelligence are as dumb as our NSA and CIA have been.

let me remind you of the flying death cannons we regularly deploy over Pakistan and Afghanistan (and for a short time, over Libya). For better or for worse, this country has decided to perform military operations against entities of other countries. I'm simply being a realist. Worrying about cell-phone privacy rights when we're busy bombing the living fuck out of countries is insane.

No you are being a bigot and idiot. Simply because we also have weapons that threaten many of our enemies does not mean we shouldn't care about the other things we do that piss off other countries. We are failing to be a moral authority in the world, we are failing to make it a better piece. This isn't because we have enemies, this is because we are so good at making them. We are so good at being bigots and idiots.


The NSA is ultimately a branch of the DoD, a military-led spy agency. I guarantee you that they are using those powers to pick out targets in every active-military zone. Who to kill, who not to kill, and whether or not it will make a difference. It is the reality of the military-actions that this country has decided to perform.
What part of what we have decided to perform and how that has failed so much are you not understanding?

That we decided to perform much of our covert actions over the last 50 years is exactly the reason American's should be ashamed of our military intelligence.

There was just a day morning the 50 years of JFK's assassination and instead of talking about why the world might be mad at us enough to do such a thing we focus on 'magic bullets' and the 'great he did' never a mention of dozens of attempts to kill Castro at his orders that almost certainly led to our enemies deciding to try and assassinate our leaders. We need to talk about and take responsibility for our actions instead of pretend we are doing nothing wrong.

NSA cannot spy on the US

They can and do, there is just a question on how legal it is. Have you even been paying attention?

Let me also point out the question in our media hasn't been how right it is, it has been how legal it is. Just another thing we should be ashamed of. That we stop once we have answer the question on if it is legal rather than if it is right is pathetic. Water boarding is legal right, who cares what the fall out is, its legal we can do it. That is our military intelligence at work, that is how thoughtless and stupid they are. WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

Some countries aren't going to play fair against us, and we shouldn't play fair against them either. After all, intelligence gathering is the bread-and-butter of foreign policy.

And we are terrible at both. Largely in part because of bigots like you who don't care about the rest of the world, caring about the rest of the world is not someting 'American citizens should be concerned with.'


It is the best interest for the US (as well as the world) to know the precise state of the Iranian Nuclear Program.

More important is not giving them a reason to want to nuke anyone. But you don't care about that, you just view anyone who hates us cause we install and protect their brutal dictators as an enemy huh?

Maybe we need to stop being bigots so the world doesn't want to blow us up?
Last edited by Zcorp on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:57 pm UTC, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Thesh » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:37 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:NSA cannot spy on the US

Apparently you have neither read the article in my OP, nor have you been awake for the past 12 fucking years.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:22 am UTC

Yes ZCorp, I don't fucking care about anyone. Thats why I spend my time arguing on this forum about world issues and the political states of various countries. :roll: :roll: :roll: I'm nothing but a tool for the greater power, woop woop. Now, does anyone actually want a sane discussion with me??

Thesh wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:NSA cannot spy on the US

Apparently you have neither read the article in my OP, nor have you been awake for the past 12 fucking years.


http://www.archives.gov/federal-registe ... 12333.html

Executive Order 12333 establishes the boundaries of the various federal intelligence agencies.

Collection within the United States of foreign intelligence not otherwise obtainable shall be undertaken by the FBI or, when significant foreign intelligence is sought, by other authorized agencies of the Intelligence Community, provided that no foreign intelligence collection by such agencies may be undertaken for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons;


The NSA is not allowed to undertake any spying (even of foreign intelligence) within the US. Only the FBI has that authorization. Under very particular cases, agencies may participate on US soil but only if it can be proven that such cases are not about any domestic activity of US Persons. And BTW: A US Person is anyone within the US, including illegal immigrants. US Citizens who are traveling abroad are also considered "US Persons".

Perhaps I worded it incorrectly before. More precisely worded: The NSA is not authorized to collect any information on US Soil.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Nordic Einar » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:39 am UTC

The police aren't authorized to racially profile people, and yet we have massive, massive racial inequalities within the criminal justice system.

You'll forgive us if powerful institutions promising us with a wink that they aren't abusing their power doesn't feel all that reassuring.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby addams » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:51 am UTC

I think someone might be breaking the rule about surveilling US persons.
To be fair to the world; Why not us?

The fact that each person with a cell phone can be found it not a bad thing.
What is done with the finding?

A little transparency, please.
The operation logs. Where are those operation logs?

If we get to look at the nuclear data other nations have;
Then they get to look at our operations data.

Real live people have been hurt and killed and of course, I know it is war.
But; For the love of God! What fucked up things are we ok with?

Am I hearing the statement correctly? The US has enemies?
There is no measure too extreme to protect us from our enemies?

Why would those AssHoles be interested in me?
I think I have been targeted more than once and I don't like it.

I would like to have those operations logs opened to an international group to examine and clean up.

Are the Americans above all international law?
Are the Americans above domestic law?
Is there any law other than the physical laws of Force and Might that constrain the agents of the US?
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zcorp » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:55 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Yes ZCorp, I don't fucking care about anyone. Thats why I spend my time arguing on this forum about world issues and the political states of various countries. :roll: :roll: :roll: I'm nothing but a tool for the greater power, woop woop. Now, does anyone actually want a sane discussion with me??

Again with the strawmen.
what a wonderful world you live in where any criticism of you is someone being insane, where the US government isn't corrupt, lying and abusive. I wish we could all live there with you.

Instead I'll keep calling you on being a bigot because apparently you believe this: "Perhaps for non-Citizens. But one of these are authorized for domestic use, and the other is not. As far as US Citizens are concerned, the cell phone tracking shouldn't concern them"

Until you want to correct this moronic statement you have no hope of having a sane discussion as your beliefs are anywhere close to respectable.

Thesh wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:NSA cannot spy on the US

Apparently you have neither read the article in my OP, nor have you been awake for the past 12 fucking years.


http://www.archives.gov/federal-registe ... 12333.html

Executive Order 12333 establishes the boundaries of the various federal intelligence agencies.

Collection within the United States of foreign intelligence not otherwise obtainable shall be undertaken by the FBI or, when significant foreign intelligence is sought, by other authorized agencies of the Intelligence Community, provided that no foreign intelligence collection by such agencies may be undertaken for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons;


The NSA is not allowed to undertake any spying (even of foreign intelligence) within the US. Only the FBI has that authorization. Under very particular cases, agencies may participate on US soil but only if it can be proven that such cases are not about any domestic activity of US Persons. And BTW: A US Person is anyone within the US, including illegal immigrants. US Citizens who are traveling abroad are also considered "US Persons".

Perhaps I worded it incorrectly before. More precisely worded: The NSA is not authorized to collect any information on US Soil.
[/quote]
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How do you hope to have a 'sane' discussion on this topic when you are wholly ignorant of what has been happening.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby LaserGuy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:33 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Would you be supportive, or against, performing spy operations in Iran to determine more precisely how far they are along? With more information, we can stall Israel for more time, and potentially come up with the peaceful situation that is evolving now. Damn the privacy rights if Iranian citizens if it gives them more time against an Israeli first strike.


I think you're missing the point here. The entire reason that Iran is a threat to the United States at all is because of several serious foreign policy disasters by the United States against that country over the passed sixty years. If the CIA hadn't helped unseat a democratically elected government in favour of a dictator back in '53 (something they have a habit of doing) to advance US oil interests in the region. We backed the guy for the next twenty-five years, and offer said dictator asylum in '79 revolution, triggering the hostage crisis. In the Iraq-Iran war, when we realised our buddy Saddam was losing, we gave him chemical weapons to use against the Iranians. Later, American warships skirmished directly with Iranian warships, which ultimately culminated in the US shooting down a civilian jetliner and killing all 290 people on board. Iran hates us because did some terrible shit to them.

The United States foreign policy is entirely dominated by short-term interests, and completely oblivious to any long-term strategic thought or planning. We have no problem spying on our allies or interfering with their elections or whatever as long as it advances some short-term goals, with no thought to the fact that such actions generate ill will that could come back to haunt us later. Saying "damn the privacy rights of Iranian citizens" is all well and good now that we've done such a good job of making them openly hostile to us; why does it make sense to do the same to the Germans, French, Canadians, Brazilians, etc.? Is the information we're getting so valuable that it is worth the risk one of those countries could turn into the next Iran?

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:35 am UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:Anyone who was surprised by this, raise your hand.

Anyone with a hand raised, follow me. I have some snow in Alaska you might be interested in.


Hey, I'm currently in Alaska! I have all this freezer space since I bought 6 freezers from that other guy. How much of your snow can I fit in these freezers?

LaserGuy wrote:If the CIA hadn't helped unseat a democratically elected government in favour of a dictator back in '53 (something they have a habit of doing) to advance US oil interests in the region.


Actually, it was to support British oil interests.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby ucim » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:39 am UTC

quoted by KnightExemplar, (presumably) executive order 12333 of the US wrote:Collection within the United States of foreign intelligence not otherwise obtainable shall be undertaken by the FBI or, when significant foreign intelligence is sought, by other authorized agencies of the Intelligence Community, provided that no foreign intelligence collection by such agencies may be undertaken for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons;
I am not a lawyer, and don't even play one on TV. But if I were such a one, and my client wanted to evade the intent of these writings, I would have them argue that

1: The intelligence gathered was not done for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of US persons,

2: Nothing in this quote requires intelligence gathered that might happen to concern the domestic activities of US persons to be destroyed,

3: Once gathered, nothing in this quote prevents such information from being used in any manner consistent with national interests.

So, I would argue that it would be legal for the US to track and record all cell traffic, for the purpose of identifying and tracking foreign threats. It would be legal for the US to correlate all this information with any other information available, for the purpose of defending against such foreign threats, and if any activity of interest showed up, by happenstance, that concerned US persons, it would not be against this particular rule to take action based on it.

I'm sure this line of thinking has occurred to the actual lawyers involved. I would need to defer to actual lawyers to say whether it actually has any legal traction, and to actual politicians to say whether, legal or not, it would be possible to get away with at the level of the alphabet agencies. However, if the case were that it would be possible to pull these shenanigans, I doubt any politician who is in a position to know this would admit it to us ordinary folk.

I'm glad I'm not a lawyer!

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby morriswalters » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:17 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I think you're missing the point here. The entire reason that Iran is a threat to the United States at all is because of several serious foreign policy disasters by the United States against that country over the passed sixty years.
Whatever we might have done, it can't be undone now. And it is naive in the extreme to think that what Iran does is strictly related to our past treatment of them. They may hate us, but they hate others in the region as well. There is a large sectarian component ,and power dominance games. And the Europeans don't have clean skirts on this issue.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zamfir » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:27 am UTC


Zcorp, calm down or step away from the thread.

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby Zamfir » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:37 pm UTC

While we had this debate whether spy satellites are creepier than phone tracking, the satellite people issued a statement on the issue:

Image
Apparently, they proudly see themselves as a world-devouring tentacled monster. Makes one wonder how the phone tracking people see themselves :)

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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby addams » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:46 pm UTC

There is not one thing a bunch of internet Philosophers can do about Satellites nor cell phone tracking.
Both of those things are Good Things. Those are both gifts from humanity to humanity.

What are you really afraid of?
Me? oh. The people that have the right and responsibility to use that information In Secret.

Hey! Opening the Operations Logs would be boring to The People?
People love that shit. It has been an art form for a long time, now.

People watch torture and murder and cruelty and the distain of the powerful for the powerless and stay riveted to their screens.
It would be No Big Deal to have The Truth exposed. People see that stuff in their living rooms, almost daily.

The idea that the people that have been targeted by the US are simply people.
Flesh and blood real people. Some of them quite fine people.

It is not that 'They'', the NSA and DHS, have information. It is what is done with that information.
US citizens and others have been Targeted, Tortured, Inprisoned, ech. the whole laundry list.

The people would not be damaged by knowing the truth. The People would be damaged by being told they have be Wrong?

How did The People of Germany go from so very supportive of those that were protecting them
to humble humans working together for the Good of one another and The World?


What does The Media tell us about us? What do we tell each other?
I know for a fact that some of the Germans told one another and me, "Yes. Those terrible things happened. The People, the noble and good people, did not know."

That was an ego preservation technique. It is quite useful.
Many of the people that lived in Polynesia were unaware of the WW.I WWII was a mild inconvenience for some.
Spoiler:
The Cold War rocked their worlds. ech. There are always victims in War.


I think I am angry at The People. Not all of them.
But; The men and women that do The Job; What kind of a culture produces such Ruthlessness?

I was told, "Leadership Matters."
Who are our Leaders? Who says what is done with the Information?
It is all fun and games for the individual agents? Is it good to Like Your Job?
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:45 pm UTC

Zcorp wrote:Do you live a hole?
How do you hope to have a 'sane' discussion on this topic when you are wholly ignorant of what has been happening.


I am quoting US Law and Executive orders from fucking memory, and you're calling ME the ignorant one? Holy fucking shit dude. Just because you've read a couple of articles in a newspaper or watch CNN for a little bit does NOT make you an expert on the subject. Read Dunning-Kruger Effect until you understand what the hell is going on in this thread.

I'm quoting Executive Order 12333 because it is the document from which the NSA draws its authority. And if you can't even fathom an understanding of why that is relevant to the argument, I don't even know how to continue this discussion.

ucim wrote:
quoted by KnightExemplar, (presumably) executive order 12333 of the US wrote:
I am not a lawyer, and don't even play one on TV. But if I were such a one, and my client wanted to evade the intent of these writings, I would have them argue that


Under US Law, you'd probably be correct. However, a lawyer wouldn't understand. A bureaucrat understands however. Ask any bureaucrat, and they can tell you the difference between US Law and EOs. Executive Orders are very different from your typical US Law. First of all, Presidents unilaterally create Executive Orders, without assistance from Congress. These documents are the commands to the various agencies, fully internal to the Executive Branch, directly from the President himself (or one of the past Presidents). And secondly, whereas the standard language of US Law is a blacklist of things. (ie: US Citizens are allowed to do everything, except this list of things), the standard language of US Executive Orders are a whitelist of things to do. If an activity is not explicitly stated in an Executive Order signed by the President, bureaucrats are not allowed to conduct that activity.

This is why Bureaucrats complain about red tape so much, because if your authority isn't explicitly written down in a document somewhere, you are not allowed to conduct your activities.

In contrast, what most people deal with is US Law that has been codified into the US Code. Unlike Executive Orders, US Law is written by Congress, and is read as a giant list of blacklisted activities. Prosecutors can only convict you of a crime if it is written down explicitly in a law. You cannot "break a law" unless it is explicitly written down.

----------------------------------------

And now that yall understand the importance of Executive Order 12333, lets go down to the specific sections where the NSA draws its power from. Remember that the NSA is a branch of the Department of Defense.

1.11The Department of Defense. The Secretary of Defense shall:
(a) Collect national foreign intelligence and be responsive to collection tasking by the Director of Central Intelligence;
(b) Collect, produce and disseminate military and military-related foreign intelligence and counterintelligence as required for execution of the Secretary's responsibilities;
(c) Conduct programs and missions necessary to fulfill national, departmental and tactical foreign intelligence requirements;
(d) Conduct counterintelligence activities in support of Department of Defense components outside the United States in coordination with the CIA, and within the United States in coordination with the FBI pursuant to procedures agreed upon by the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General;
(e) Conduct, as the executive agent of the United States Government, signals intelligence and communications security activities, except as otherwise directed by the NSC;
(f) Provide for the timely transmission of critical intelligence, as defined by the Director of Central Intelligence, within the United States Government;
(g) Carry out or contract for research, development and procurement of technical systems and devices relating to authorized intelligence functions;
(h) Protect the security of Department of Defense installations, activities, property, information, and employees by appropriate means, including such investigations of applicants, employees, contractors, and other persons with similar associations with the Department of Defense as are necessary;
(i) Establish and maintain military intelligence relationships and military intelligence exchange programs with selected cooperative foreign defense establishments and international organizations, and ensure that such relationships and programs are in accordance with policies formulated by the Director of Central Intelligence;
(j) Direct, operate, control and provide fiscal management for the National Security Agency and for defense and military intelligence and national reconnaissance entities; and
(k) Conduct such administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as are necessary to perform the functions described in sections (a) through (j) above.


There are only two forms of collection allowed from the Department of Defense: Foreign Intelligence, and military-related foreign intelligence. The DoD is fully authorized to build equipment, conduct research, and various overhead costs associated with this task.

The NSA's authorizations are further restricted to the NSA specific section in this order.

1.12Intelligence Components Utilized by the Secretary of Defense. In carrying out the responsibilities assigned in section 1.11, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to utilize the following:

[SNIP out the DIA stuff in part (a)]

(b) National Security Agency, whose responsibilities shall include:
(1) Establishment and operation of an effective unified organization for signals intelligence activities, except for the delegation of operational control over certain operations that are conducted through other elements of the Intelligence Community. No other department or agency may engage in signals intelligence activities except pursuant to a delegation by the Secretary of Defense;
(2) Control of signals intelligence collection and processing activities, including assignment of resources to an appropriate agent for such periods and tasks as required for the direct support of military commanders;
(3) Collection of signals intelligence information for national foreign intelligence purposes in accordance with guidance from the Director of Central Intelligence;
(4) Processing of signals intelligence data for national foreign intelligence purposes in accordance with guidance from the Director of Central Intelligence;
(5) Dissemination of signals intelligence information for national foreign intelligence purposes to authorized elements of the Government, including the military services, in accordance with guidance from the Director of Central Intelligence;
(6) Collection, processing and dissemination of signals intelligence information for counterintelligence purposes;
(7) Provision of signals intelligence support for the conduct of military operations in accordance with tasking, priorities, and standards of timeliness assigned by the Secretary of Defense. If provision of such support requires use of national collection systems, these systems will be tasked within existing guidance from the Director of Central Intelligence;
(8) Executing the responsibilities of the Secretary of Defense as executive agent for the communications security of the United States Government;
(9) Conduct of research and development to meet the needs of the United States for signals intelligence and communications security;
(10) Protection of the security of its installations, activities, property, information, and employees by appropriate means, including such investigations of applicants, employees, contractors, and other persons with similar associations with the NSA as are necessary;
(11) Prescribing, within its field of authorized operations, security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling and distribution of signals intelligence and communications security material within and among the elements under control of the Director of the NSA, and exercising the necessary supervisory control to ensure compliance with the regulations;
(12) Conduct of foreign cryptologic liaison relationships, with liaison for intelligence purposes conducted in accordance with policies formulated by the Director of Central Intelligence; and
(13) Conduct of such administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as are necessary to perform the functions described in sections (1) through (12) above, including procurement.


So the NSA is not only restricted to the requirements of the DoD, but also this section here. The NSA specifically is only authorized to conduct activities that collect foreign signals intelligence, or foreign military signals intelligence. The NSA solely exists as a tool for the DoD.

LaserGuy wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Would you be supportive, or against, performing spy operations in Iran to determine more precisely how far they are along? With more information, we can stall Israel for more time, and potentially come up with the peaceful situation that is evolving now. Damn the privacy rights if Iranian citizens if it gives them more time against an Israeli first strike.


I think you're missing the point here. The entire reason that Iran is a threat to the United States at all is because of several serious foreign policy disasters by the United States against that country over the passed sixty years. If the CIA hadn't helped unseat a democratically elected government in favour of a dictator back in '53 (something they have a habit of doing) to advance US oil interests in the region. We backed the guy for the next twenty-five years, and offer said dictator asylum in '79 revolution, triggering the hostage crisis. In the Iraq-Iran war, when we realised our buddy Saddam was losing, we gave him chemical weapons to use against the Iranians. Later, American warships skirmished directly with Iranian warships, which ultimately culminated in the US shooting down a civilian jetliner and killing all 290 people on board. Iran hates us because did some terrible shit to them.

The United States foreign policy is entirely dominated by short-term interests, and completely oblivious to any long-term strategic thought or planning. We have no problem spying on our allies or interfering with their elections or whatever as long as it advances some short-term goals, with no thought to the fact that such actions generate ill will that could come back to haunt us later. Saying "damn the privacy rights of Iranian citizens" is all well and good now that we've done such a good job of making them openly hostile to us; why does it make sense to do the same to the Germans, French, Canadians, Brazilians, etc.? Is the information we're getting so valuable that it is worth the risk one of those countries could turn into the next Iran?


Your brief history lesson is indeed accurate, but it changes nothing about the current situation of world affairs.

Israel wants to conduct a first strike against Iran, specifically to destroy their bomb making capabilities by military action. The US has convinced them to hold off on their attack as long as Israel has extremely detailed information on the Iranian nuclear program. In part, US Intelligence seems to indicate that the bomb isn't an eminent threat quite yet. After all, SOMEBODY (*cough*cough* Israel *cough*cough*) has already started assassinating civilians (aka: Iranian Nuclear Scientists)

Isolationists claim the right thing to do is apparently pull out of the Middle East entirely, and watch Israel conduct a first-strike against Iran. Isolationists claim that the US isn't helping the situation at all. Perhaps... from a purely selfish perspective, they're right. Iran has no ability to strike at the US, or even Europe. It is impossible for the future Israeli/Iranian war to really effect the US. But is that really the right thing to do? I personally believe the right thing to do is to continue pushing aggressive intelligence operations against Iran, share that intelligence with Israel to buy more time, and then hope that the peace talks and sanctions convince the Iranian People to stop building the bomb.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

morriswalters
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby morriswalters » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:14 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:This is why Bureaucrats complain about red tape so much, because if your authority isn't explicitly written down in a document somewhere, you are not allowed to conduct your activities.
Well, I don't know. Without doing any research, I can think of times when the government and it bureaucracies have simply ignored what anyone said if they felt they could get away with it. The recent revelations about nuclear launch codes, the FBI's tendency to do black bag searches which were illegal under any number of laws at the times when they were done, and so on. If the activity is conducted away from sight and without the public's knowledge, then in effect there are no restrictions at all. The NSA's actions are bad because the only oversight, until Snowden dumped the files, was from a small circle of people who have the tendency to have self reinforcing ideas of the correctness of their actions.

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sardia
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Re: NSA tracking cell phone locations

Postby sardia » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:While we had this debate whether spy satellites are creepier than phone tracking, the satellite people issued a statement on the issue:

Image
Apparently, they proudly see themselves as a world-devouring tentacled monster. Makes one wonder how the phone tracking people see themselves :)

I prefer these ones:
http://animalnewyork.com/2013/awesome-t ... -missions/
Image
Looks nice, but reminds me of those mirror universe episodes where all the good people are bad and colors are reversed.

In addition, cute and friendly actually makes it worse IMO.
Image
My god, what did that bear sell his soul for to work for the NRO.

Edit: Found this wikipedia entry with all 40ish patches, 1 for each satellite.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NRO_Launches


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