The U.S. government has been looking and often gathering and collecting data on almost every phone call, website visited, and credit card transaction we make. In case you want to get caught up one this issue which hit the news world hard yesterday, this article on the National Security Agency (NSA) program called Prism is a good quick start. Here's a juicy quote of a quote from the article:

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

While it's hard to feel happy about this, could it be necessary to prevent another 9/11? If it did prevent something like a nuclear device being detonated in Chicago killing a million people, would it be worth it? Does this revelation give the bad guys notice that they need a new way to stay in touch?

Obviously, a government needs some secrecy, but how much is too much?

Tags: Agency, FBI, NSA, National, Security, data, mining, privacy, secrecy

Views: 905

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

They only need to succeed once

That's why I said " I think we have to worry more about the criminals who will - WILL - learn to beat the system than the people behind a desk trying to prevent them from doing so."

It's a never-ending game of cat and mouse. 

I think we have to worry more about the criminals who will - WILL - learn to beat the system than the people behind a desk trying to prevent them from doing so.

Here is how the system works, Belle.

The NSA must get a warrant before searching and seizing the personal effects of an American citizen. To get a warrant they must (1) specify who they are going to search (2) demonstrate probable cause to believe that person has committed or is about to commit a crime (3) specify where they are going to look, and (4) specify what they are looking for.

It is a crime under "color of law" doctrine for a person to use the power of a governmental agency to willfully deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution. Not getting a warrant to search and seize electronic personal effects violates the Fourth Amendment: a criminal act.

The NSA-- or at least those in charge who ordered them to do it-- are criminals who beat the system. And they are the ones sitting behind the desks. Who stops them?

The NSA-- or at least those in charge who ordered them to do it-- are criminals who beat the system. And they are the ones sitting behind the desks. Who stops them?

I respectfully disagree Gallup's Mirror. What evidence do you have to say they are criminals? I know you have experience in this field but so do I. Perhaps we come from different perspectives given our background. The alternative is to allow the "real" criminals to not only get smarter and wiser but to also remain unchecked. The rules have changed and we have no choice but to play the game or we will be attacked. It's simply that simple. You are coming perhaps from a legal/technological perspective, I am coming from a law enforcement and security perspective. This is nothing new and I'm sure you probably have a good reason for your claims but I would sincerely like to know what alternative you would propose. What could be an alternative that would protect us and simultaneously keep within the boundaries of the 4th amendment without giving away our secrets? 

The people behind the desk are following orders. The people making the decisions are the ones who should be scrutinized. Who do you trust more, the guys behind the desk or the guy willing to strap on a grenade and detonate it near your family? While I do not believe that the system is perfect I hardly believe they'll ever have a special interest in hearing any of my phone calls or reading any of my emails. I have nothing to hide. So they call listen and read all day, they aren't going to find anything.

It's happened in history before, even before technology. The subversives of Argentina in the not so distant past for example. That may be what it's coming to - true - I am willing to entertain that idea and change my mind if I can see some evidence of that, but....I'll take my chances and let the men in uniform do their job until I see otherwise. I am not really big into conspiracy theories. I don't think you're necessarily suggesting that but I do think that there is a very fine line between violating our rights and protecting us at the same time. The world has changed and we must keep up with it.

I do not know what alternative would be appropriate that would not violate the 4th amendment in some way without jeopardizing the secrecy that is needed to not "blow" the operation of finding the criminals. The ones that want to kill us that is.

"I do not know what alternative would be appropriate that would not violate the 4th amendment in some way without jeopardizing the secrecy that is needed to not "blow" the operation of finding the criminals. The ones that want to kill us that is."

What secrecy? as i have said any terrorist or criminal with half a brain already knows about this , and has done for years. There are also easy  free ways to defeat large dragnet surveillance programs. The only people they seem to  have been worried about keeping this secret from is the general law abiding public who considered all the evidence showing they have been doing this to be just another conspiracy theory. And also being able to mantain deniability towards friendly governments.

Knowing that it's being done is one thing. I had a pretty good idea something like this was going on ever since I heard about Echelon. However, info about how it was being done wasn't out there and could hint at ways to get around it. Just sayin'...

What about tor? It is the most popular privacy application in the world and is only somewhat  vulnurable to very specific methods of attack  that are not really feasable in the real world . Even china's only way of combating tor is by making it virtually impossible to connect to , and they have internet laws and policing that would make the NSA cream their pants in desire.

Unseen- and exactly what information has been released that offers hints to get around it. No technical information has been released such as their search algorithms , or keywords they look for. About the most sensitive information that has been released is that google and facebook etc are not safe. And any terrorist who updates hes facebook page with " i hate my life, just got an F in my IED class"  is likely more of a danger to himself and fellow terrorists than anyone else.

...and exactly what information has been released that offers hints to get around it.

I don't know and I doubt if the government is highly motivated to tell us, for obvious reasons. 

Apparently, The Guardian will publish more of what Snowdens says is classified material, so we may know more soon.

What secrecy?

There are things that go on every single day Rocky that you never hear about on the news, never show up online or get reported to the public. Our men and women in uniform don't complain or make a fuss about it. They deal with it for the sake of keeping you safe. The secrecy is the fact that these things happen - daily. You haven't lost sleep over it because you simply don't know about it. If you knew you would lose sleep over it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

I agree with you to a degree here. But this is not the secrecy under discussion. There is a difference between not telling us every detail and not even letting us know what the government is doing at all. 

And virtually no terrorist nor criminal with half a brain was surprised by this leak. The only people generally surprised about this leak are the general public.

Who do you trust more, the guys behind the desk or the guy willing to strap on a grenade and detonate it near your family?

Seriously? The chances of dying from accidental food poisoning are larger.

That level of irrational fear is exactly what terrorists hope to accomplish, and depend on to keep going.

Government is looking to fight the next boogeyman ideology war. The War on Poverty didn't work out, the War on Crime didn't work out, the War on Terror didn't work, so now they need to find the next war to justify their infringement of our rights. So they will tell you its all in the safety of "national security".

RSS

Support T|A

Think Atheist is 100% member supported

All proceeds go to keeping Think Atheist online.

Donate with Dogecoin

Members

Blog Posts

Zella Mae Jarrett

Posted by Philip Jarrett on April 19, 2014 at 11:35pm 2 Comments

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Into life hacks? Check out LabMinions.com

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service