Breaking: FBI, NSA massively surveilling data from 9 Internet companies; Update: NBC News: Gov’t collecting data on “every call made in America”

posted at 6:25 pm on June 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, the Guardian reminded us that the NSA is still trolling our phone records for data mining.  Today, the Washington Post blows the cover on a massive surveillance program that until now only a few people had known about — until now.  And unlike the NSA phone-records surveillance, this one went after content at nine major Internet service providers:

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. …

The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Was this narrowly tailored to just a few terrorist suspects?  Not exactly:

But the PRISM program appears more nearly to resemble the most controversial of the warrantless surveillance orders issued by President George W. Bush after the al-Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Its history, in which President Obama presided over “exponential growth” in a program that candidate Obama criticized, shows how fundamentally surveillance law and practice have shifted away from individual suspicion in favor of systematic, mass collection techniques.

The PRISM program is not a dragnet, exactly. From inside a company’s data stream the NSA is capable of pulling out anything it likes, but under current rules the agency does not try to collect it all.

Analysts who use the system from a Web portal at Fort Meade key in “selectors,” or search terms, that are designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s “foreignness.” That is not a very stringent test. Training materials obtained by the Post instruct new analysts to submit accidentally collected U.S. content for a quarterly report, “but it’s nothing to worry about.”

In other words, they’re not collecting all the data — but they’re surveilling all of it.  Isn’t that a distinction without a difference?  They can look into anything transmitted or stored on or through the servers, and pick and choose what they keep.  Claiming that they don’t collect everything is somewhat akin to locking the barn door after the horse has bolted, no?  And those decisions are based on content, not merely access logs, as with the telecoms.

Note the start date of PRISM, because you’ll hear lots about that.  It started under Bush, but as the Post makes clear, has grown “exponentially” since then. If you want a measure of that growth under Obama, they provide it:

An internal presentation on the Silicon Valley operation, intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 articles last year. According to the briefing slides, obtained by The Washington Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.

With this in mind, one has to wonder why the DoJ bothered to seek warrants for e-mails of James Rosen and the Associated Press.  The government is literally looking at everything going through non-proprietary servers, and if you’ve already decided that Rosen in particular is a national-security risk in a leak investigation, it doesn’t take much rationalization to check the NSA stream on his work.

Contra the training materials, this is very much something to worry about — especially for the Obama administration.

Update: Jim Roberts at the New York Times emphasizes that this is about content:

I’m trying to think of anything online that doesn’t eventually pass through these servers in some fashion.  Can’t think of anything, which means that basically … Big Brother is listening.

Update Here’s a happy thought that follows from that one.  This means that the NSA and FBI have access to communications of the legislative and judicial branches — at least those that go through public servers, no?  Maybe Congress would like to invite Eric Holder up for another session really soon.  They’d better send it by carrier pigeon.

Update: If you ever want to visit all of your old e-mails and Facebook posts, you may want to book a trip to Utah:

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

No kidding.

Update: Not exactly a surprise, but noteworthy:

Update (AP): For what it’s worth, the powerpoint slides at WaPo look almost too cute to be true. This is among the most sensitive, politically explosive intelligence programs in the U.S. arsenal, one that’s apparently been kept secret for years, and someone in charge thought to put all the key information — participating companies, logos, information received, plus a prominent “Top Secret” marking — on one slide that could be leaked and would instantly blow the whole thing out of the water? That’s operational security at the top of the intel food chain? Not even code names for which companies are participating?

Update (AP): Gabe Malor and Ryan Gustafson note on Twitter that WaPo’s version of the powerpoint is cosmetically different from the Guardian’s. At WaPo, the PRISM logo has a white background; at the Guardian, it has a red background. Maybe that reflects different sub-agencies within PRISM? In that case, it looks like WaPo’s leaker and the Guardian’s leaker may be different people, which is news in itself.

Update (AP): What does this mean?

NBC News has confirmed from two sources that the PRISM program exists, but a government official says it is a data collection program rather than a data mining program.

They’re collecting the data but they’re not mining it?

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A record of all my 2am drunk texts…. crap!

@AsalamaTweetum

Opinionnation on June 7, 2013 at 12:56 AM

*record scratch sound*

When did the war end?

libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Obama told us Al Qaeda was all but dead and defeated numerous times during his re-election campaign, it must be true.

Daemonocracy on June 7, 2013 at 12:58 AM

From the reactions of Google and Apple, this story is beginning to take on the flavor of a “false flag” operation.

J_Crater on June 7, 2013 at 1:03 AM

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

do you know how petty and small you look right now? I don’t care if it’s Bush or Obama, but these digital dragnets should bother anyone that considers themselves an American, yet you rather fight over party affiliation. Republicans bad, Democrats good; does it go any deeper than that for you?

Daemonocracy on June 7, 2013 at 1:08 AM

another thing, if this is true, then anyone thinking of buying a Microsoft Xbox One better rethink their purchase. It has a mic, camera, browser, Skype, and can supposedly learn who you are and when you are in the room over time.

Daemonocracy on June 7, 2013 at 1:10 AM

My commitment to conservatism stems from my belief in natural law, human rights, and justice which provide me with a code of permissible human conduct, and from that code of conduct, a set of 3 objectives to pursue through public policy: morality, virtue, and nobility. That is my starting point. Not spending. Not federalist power struggles. Natural law.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 11:01 PM

So what you want are surveillance cameras so that the government can check if I act virtuously and morally in my bedroom.

You live in the wrong century. The time of the Salem Witch Hunts is over.

Gelsomina on June 7, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Hey Obama, if you’re listening – BLOW ME.
RSbrewer on June 7, 2013 at 12:48 AM

Well, he just might if you are into a threeway with Reggie.

LegendHasIt on June 7, 2013 at 1:12 AM

This is all so unbelievably stupid. Think about it.

The New York Times? The Washington Post? “Breaking” a story that pisses off everyone, yet can be pinned on The Patriot Act, and does no real political damage to Obama.

The media is successfully diverting everyone’s attention from the Real scandals going on.

Spliff Menendez on June 7, 2013 at 1:12 AM

yet can be pinned on The Patriot Act

The Patriot Act doesn’t allow for massive data collection on domestic parties. It is restricted to targeted collections.

If the PowerPoints of PRISM are real, what it outlines would not be authorized under the Patriot Act. That doesn’t say that there isn’t some other “understanding” that keeps this from being illegal, but PRISM would be illegal based on the Patriot Act.

J_Crater on June 7, 2013 at 1:19 AM

From reading around, the DOJ/NSA monitoring scandals have become so layered that I think they are beginning to blur together.

First, there was the FoxNews/Rosen call logs.
Then, the AP call logs.
Next, the Verizon call logs.
Then, the call logs of virtually everybody.
Then, the tapping into the servers of Apple/Google/AOL/et al

(I might have the first two out of order ?)

J_Crater on June 7, 2013 at 1:25 AM

So Obama has gleefully invaded everyone’s privacy without a shred of shame, orders of magnitude more than anything that Bush did which the left including Obama himself, wailed so furiously about..

if not for the serious nature of a warrentless search of virtually every American, the raging hypocrisy would almost be funny.

I never really paid much attention to the NYT’s and others screeching hissy fit over the Bush program, which Obama massively expanded, and I should have. I’m no longer a party republican, haven’t been for a while, I’m a conservative first. While voting D is never an option, I can see where I break with my old party.

When.. are rank and file democrats, ever.. ever.. going to put principle first?

When is being an American worth more to them than petty politics?

I can remember GOP heavy weights going against Nixon on principle, but not once a democrat doing the same on Carter, Clinton, Obama..

Is liberalism that much a disease they can’t ever put basic human decency first?

seems so.

mark81150 on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 AM

never really paid much attention to the NYT’s and others screeching hissy fit over the Bush program, which Obama massively expanded, and I should have. I’m no longer a party republican, haven’t been for a while, I’m a conservative first. While voting D is never an option, I can see where I break with my old party.

I have to think, what is really missing here is context.

Bush pushed the patriot act in the wake of 9/11. Everyone, liberals included, expected another attack at any time. Bush, perhaps too much so, (but only perhaps) carried the fight to them.

Obama, while telling everyone Al Qaeda was finished, and giving Al Qaeda quarter so as to regroup, has decided to set his sights on American bitter clingers.

There is no comparison here.

WryTrvllr on June 7, 2013 at 2:15 AM

Mission Accomplished!

John the Libertarian on June 7, 2013 at 2:55 AM

There is no comparison here.

WryTrvllr on June 7, 2013 at 2:15 AM

No,. didn’t mean to imply there was, just that I should have paid more attention. The debate over the Patriot act never factored into my thinking much at the time. Now they tell us… “hey, it’s all Bush’s fault”.. and once again we’re stuck having to explain to people why it’s not.. Just wish I had paid more attention so the argument would be easier, than having to go back and look it up.

mark81150 on June 7, 2013 at 3:28 AM

First, I wish to say hi to those folks watching through PRISM, and second I want to say just how sick and depraved this nation that once stood strong for freedom, has become.
Every one of those millions of American lives lost in the fight to protect America and bring the very concept of freedom to the world, has been desecrated and wasted.
That we tolerate this now, is but certain proof that we’ve long ago reached the bottom of the slippery slope (the results will be horrific) and the end of a western civilization that was derived from the Judeo-Christian belief in the dignity of man with rights given to him only by his Creator.

Make no mistake; we did this evil to ourselves.

Don L on June 7, 2013 at 5:06 AM

J_Crater on June 7, 2013 at 1:25 AM

So they were tapping everything. Seems clear enough.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Hey, Obama, you’re the worst president in American history.

The IRS sucks. So does the EPA, the NSA and just about every alphabet federal outfit there is.

Oh, and I’m a public school teacher. And I hate the union.

Come and get me, you jack-booted thugs.

Grace_is_sufficient on June 7, 2013 at 5:38 AM

So what you want are surveillance cameras so that the government can check if I act virtuously and morally in my bedroom.

You live in the wrong century. The time of the Salem Witch Hunts is over.

Gelsomina on June 7, 2013 at 1:11 AM

FYI, the Salem witch hunt didn’t involve the bedroom so much as it involved the court room and a bunch of teenage girls claiming that people were possessing them.

And as for wanting cameras in the bedroom, I already said they’d likely be ineffective. But if you’re asking whether or not I’d enact laws about activities like say, adultery, rape, or underage sex, the answer is you bet.

Stoic Patriot on June 7, 2013 at 5:39 AM

Has anyone got a list of scandals?

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Has anyone got a list of scandals?

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 5:41 AM

I’ll give it a whirl:

Old scandals
Solyndra
Fast & Furious

Current scandals
Benghazi
IRS
AP / Rosen
EPA-FOIA
Sebelius Solicitations
Phone Record Monitoring / PRISM

Stoic Patriot on June 7, 2013 at 5:51 AM

I’ll give it a whirl:

Old scandals
Solyndra
Fast & Furious

Current scandals
Benghazi
IRS
AP / Rosen
EPA-FOIA
Sebelius Solicitations
Phone Record Monitoring / PRISM

Stoic Patriot on June 7, 2013 at 5:51 AM

Under the Old Scandals list, there are about six that you could add in there which have to do with Obamacare. Or, you could just put Obamacare and leave it at that.

Theophile on June 7, 2013 at 6:13 AM

I went to a VPN and PGP email security years ago people.

Everyone should as well.

TX-96 on June 7, 2013 at 6:25 AM

Checking in for my daily data collection.
Good Morning NSA.

dddave on June 7, 2013 at 6:46 AM

From the reactions of Google and Apple, this story is beginning to take on the flavor of a “false flag” operation.
J_Crater on June 7, 2013 at 1:03 AM

Oh yeah… Google… The company that denied they were working with China… Then made a big PR stunt out of thumbing their nose at China’s spying laws… Then quietly implemented them…

Skywise on June 7, 2013 at 6:55 AM

An Ode to the Obama Administration:

Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers
In everybody’s pie
Love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

–Don Henley, “Dirty Laundry”

Grace_is_sufficient on June 7, 2013 at 7:36 AM

A government that has been shown to use the force of government against its political enemies i.e. IRS, EPA, ect., but we can trust them that, they are only monitoring the internet for terrorist plots. Well I wasn’t much of a conspiracy theorist but maybe things should be revisited. Did they have something on Judge Roberts? Did they have something on Romney who came out as a tiger in the first debate and was a sheep in the next two? The voter fraud in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Perhaps it is nothing but….

train on June 7, 2013 at 7:48 AM

Heh… the Beltway IRS lawyer that directed the attack of conservative groups has decided to ‘retire’.

Tres surprise…

So much for calling him before a committee…

CPT. Charles on June 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

People, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Does your phone or tablet have a GPS?

Does your phone or tablet have a camera (or two)

Does your phone or tablet have a microphone?

Can these components be activated or utilized remotely? Remember, it’s a computer in there.

Don’t say it can’t happen.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Oh and in case someone attempts to claim this is about terrorism we can easily prove it is not.

Nidal Hassan

The Boston Bombing.

No, this is about political power. They don’t give a rat’s a$$ about protecting the American people. This is about control.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Has anyone used the new banking feature that lets you deposit a check by taking a picture of it with your cell phone?

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Confirmed. America’s biggest enemy is its government.

The French took care of that problem a while back. If you’re working for the government you may consider getting a different job.

TerryW on June 7, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Saw Rove on Greta last night. She asked him if Bush had done as much collecting of data as Oblamer does now. He gave a sorta non answer, claiming he hadn’t been privvy to that info back in the day, but that whatever is being done now was ok cuz it’s in the interest of security and for our own good. How else are we going to find the bad guys except listen to every conversation from everybody. Even he didn’t sound convinced. She brought up that the Rooskies gave us the Boston hat guys and they never figured it out. This is just like the tsa wanting to use the body scanners on everybody until they didn’t. Now the machines are sitting in a warehouse and we’re paying for the storage. Somebody make a mint on those things.

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 8:21 AM

The price of our personal safety is not worth the loss of our priceless liberties. This must end.

rplat on June 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Nice that this is finally mainstream. We’ve known about it for a while.

Kanyin on June 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

When did The Washington Post and NBC learn this? I’ve hated The Guardian for 30 years, and now I have to be grateful to it?

cbenoistd on June 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I was surprised months ago that we aren’t already in open war.

At this point, I’m saddened, and pretty sure that we, as a once free people, have thrown away the sacrifices others have made on our behalf, and are simply going to bend over and say, “thank you master, please feel free to find new and inventive ways to f*ck us up the a$$.”

We not only fail to live up to their sacrifice, we don’t deserve the freedom and country they died to give us, nor do we have the intelligence, the will, or the fortitude to do a damn thing but whimper about it.

Our best and brightest and strongest leaders either sell us farther down the river, or if they even stand up and do cry ‘tyranny’ – even using the word! – simply sit back down, mumble, and talk about how we fix a broken and rigged system by… playing along by the rules of the broken and rigged system. Yes, having seen that the three-card monte guy is cheating and stealing their money, and knowing they can never win, they suggest we all keep playing… harder. Great f*cking plan.

Midas on June 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

When did The Washington Post and NBC learn this? I’ve hated The Guardian for 30 years, and now I have to be grateful to it?

cbenoistd on June 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

We think alike and at about the same time …..

HOW LONG HAS THE WASHINGTON POST BEEN SITTING ON THIS STORY?

THEY ONLY FELT COMPELLED TO PUBLISH WHEN THE GUARDIAN BEAT THEM TO IT!

Carnac on June 7, 2013 at 8:53 AM

test

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 8:57 AM

James Bamford (Body of Secrets) has been telling us of the NSA efforts for quite some time. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

hurricain on June 7, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Hey, does Prism have any info on any phone calls or internet activity by Obamuh during the hours when he was off the grid while Benghazi was blowing up? Anything on the activities of the incompetent band of idiots that runs his SADministration?

stukinIL4now on June 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

All those phone ‘records’ the NSA is harvesting likely includes your text messages. And SMS are pretty easy to archive for future use.

Maybe the government is just into porn and are just collecting sexting messages for their ‘personal’ use.

Dasher on June 7, 2013 at 9:08 AM

The market for Hadoop virus coding just went through the roof. Delivery of the virus into PRISM is simple … PRISM will do it for you.

Carnac on June 7, 2013 at 9:12 AM

I really don’t know what to say. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

The difference between ‘mining’ and ‘collecting’ is the data would be pulled from provider servers for ‘mining’, ‘collecting’ means either the providers are sending the data to the nsa, or more likely the data traffic is being physically routed to make a ‘hop’ through nsa servers.

Mashman on June 6, 2013 at 10:18 PM

No, the difference is political…one sounds better than the other.

You may know a definition, but bureaucrats will use whatever word makes them look inert.

right2bright on June 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

FYI, the Salem witch hunt didn’t involve the bedroom so much as it involved the court room and a bunch of teenage girls on a natural form of LSD claiming that people were possessing them.

Stoic Patriot on June 7, 2013 at 5:39 AM

FIFY.

Dunedainn on June 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

They’re collecting the data but they’re not mining it?

Mining the data was the job of the Obama campaign.

AZCoyote on June 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

On Monday, the Court ruled that government could seize the DNA of those that it arrests even if such arrests were illegal. In a fiery dissent read in the courtroom, Justice Antonin Scalia boomed reminding Americans that:

‘At the time of the Founding, Americans despised the British use of the so-called ‘general warrants’—warrants not grounded upon a sworn oath of a specific infraction by a particular individual, and thus note limited in scope and application.’

At the time, I implored some surprising subjects to consider what they were applauding and to what it could lead. Some accused me, once again, of being part of the ‘black helicopter crowd.’ Many of those voices went into stunned silence upon the release of the blockbuster story in The Guardian about the metadata of tens of millions of Verizon customers being gathered under a warrant by the Obama administration. The massive surveillance state created under the Bush administration pursuant to the ill-conceived Patriot Act and now given the Obama seal of approval makes the Founders’ concern about the oppressive intrusiveness represented by the deposed King George III’s ‘general warrants’ appear quaint. So, it was with some surprise that those that ‘got it’ on Monday with the Maryland v King decision have totally failed to see the problem with the Surveillance State.

With All Due Respect, Andy McCarthy…

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM

The will of the people in that election was clearly violated, even if you can justify the action of the Supremes in blocking a full recount in FL.

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:13 AM

The Supremes blocked that by a vote of 7-2.

But I’m sure you can justify the actions of the All-Democrat Florida Supreme Court, which injected itself into the case without your “candidate” even asking him, and who then re-wrote Florida election law after the election had taken place.

That was also a clear violation of the rights of the people of Florida. And the purpose of it was to steal the 2000 election for the Democrat candidate in the Sunshine State.

Z-

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Linked Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda 5 years before the first 9/11.

Dismissed.

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Absolutely amazing you can make that statement

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Just reading the exact text of the 1998 DOJ Indictment of bin Laden. You on the other hand are just parroting what you Leftist teraching assistants told you at the time.

DISMISSED-

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I went to a VPN and PGP email security years ago people.

Everyone should as well.

TX-96 on June 7, 2013 at 6:25 AM

That is understandable, but remember that there is no such thing as security which cannot be broken. From the articles excerpted above, we learn that the government has almost reached completion on their new, massive facility devoted to breaking encryption and other forms of security, and that the NSA has already made massive leaps in being able to break previously “unbreakable” codes.

Your data is still being collected whether you funnel it through a VPN and encrypt it with PGP or not. And even if they can’t decrypt some of it right this second, they will eventually be able to.

The solution here is not technological countermeasures on the part of the citizenry, valuable though those may be. The solution is for the government to get out of the business of spying on its citizens. IOW, time to roll back the tyranny.

Shump on June 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Our best and brightest and strongest leaders either sell us farther down the river, …

Midas on June 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

No, they are not our best and brightest leaders. The founding fathers were.

vnohara on June 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

the gov’t has been collecting records on every call made in America

So, during the 2012 election, Obama had access to Romney’s phone records?

Is this a BFD?

faraway on June 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Maxine Waters said:

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” said Representative Waters. “That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

petefrt on June 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

So, during the 2012 election, Obama had access to Romney’s phone records?

Is this a BFD?

faraway on June 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Another question along those same lines.

Think about all the people who communicate with their attorneys through email in Privileged conversations. Where is the Privilege if there is a 3rd party accessing and storing the content of those conversations?

To me that is no different than a prosecutor being able to have a tape recorder in the room when an attorney is conferring with his client. Granted, to be truly analygous the prosecutor would have to lock the tape in a vault and could only listen to it if it was a foreign national or suspected terrorist, but what keeps someone else from accessing that protected communication in the future?

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Today 7:42am: Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents

petefrt on June 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

This is why this is such a big deal!

It doesn’t matter if anyone is looking at the information collected on citizens, the mere act of collecting (seizing) it causes issues. This is a hacker’s wet dream. One location storing data on nearly every single American Citizen.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Today 7:42am: Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents

petefrt on June 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

The NSA ‘scandal’ is a squirrel created by the Left. They want to use this get rid of the Patriot Act, to split the Right, and to deflect the other scandals.

faraway on June 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Linked Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda 5 years before the first 9/11.

Dismissed.

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Absolutely amazing you can make that statement

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Just reading the exact text of the 1998 DOJ Indictment of bin Laden. You on the other hand are just parroting what you Leftist teraching assistants told you at the time.

DISMISSED-

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Ooops!

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Not just every cell phone call being made – as reported yesterday/this morning – every phone call, every text message, every video & photograph uploaded on the internet, every on-line purchase/sale, every idea (patents, etc…), every credit card purchase…

The government is tracking DAILY every phone call
– WHO you call, how often you call them, from where you call them, how long you talk to them, where THEY are…
– Credit Cards / Financial: They know how much money you earn/receive, how much you spend, how much credit you have, when you use your credit card, how often you use it, what you use it for…your purchases tell them your preferences & lifestyle – everything they need to know about you…

The government is now effectively in EVERY aspect of your personal life…

————

The facility they are building/using is 5 times larger than the Capitol Building & is capable of storing Collected phone calls/text messages/video/photos/FaceBook Posts, credit card info, etc info collected DAILY on EVERY single American citizen for several YEARS!

————

….Will the Last American Out Please Bring the Flag?!

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I don’t even feel safe to comment here anymore.

John the Libertarian on June 6, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I’m seriously thinking of adding “Surveil This, Bitches” to all my online communications. They can’t intimidate us if we don’t let them. It’s the same reason I carry an engraved metal version of the Bill of Rights in my breast pocket whenever I travel.

RobertE on June 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

The NSA ‘scandal’ is a squirrel created by the Left. They want to use this get rid of the Patriot Act, to split the Right, and to deflect the other scandals.

Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS/ATF/FBI/EPA/DHS going after TEA Party/Conservatives/Jews supporting Israel, Spying on the media – expolding into surveillance of all AMERICANS (as part of a ‘War on Terror’ that doesn’t exist anymore, according to Obama), & now the revelation that Holder has been spying on CONGRESS (all of them or just the GOP/Conservatives/TEA Party Members?!)….

This administration just gave Congress everything they need to at the very least FIRE Holder & IMPEACH Obama….except there is not 1 politician in Washington with the integrity, honor, ethics, morality, & testicular fortitude – EVEN NOW – to do it!

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

RobertE on June 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Amen, brother!

“I hope you are monitoring this, you POS!”

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Linked Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda 5 years before the first 9/11.

Dismissed.

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Absolutely amazing you can make that statement

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Just reading the exact text of the 1998 DOJ Indictment of bin Laden. You on the other hand are just parroting what you Leftist teraching assistants told you at the time.

DISMISSED-

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Ooops!

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

It’s always hilarious to watch the Left on this issue. They have absolutely no problem with al Qaeda being active in dozens of other countries in the Middle East, but it’s absolutely impossible for them to have been in cahoots with one single country?

Of course, the reason they would rather be waterboarded than admit that al Qaeda was in cahoots with Iraq in the 1990s is that they stupidly believe that they would be admitting that Chimpy Bush was right, when in fact all that they would be doing is admitting that their own Democrat Rock Star pResident Bill Clinton was right when he made those claims back in the late 1990s.

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Time for conservative Congressmen to get out in front of this and put forth a bill to REPEAL the PATRIOT ACT. If we can no longer trust the Executive Branch to justly wield the overreach in power it was given, then it is time to remove that power.

People… start writing your Congressmen and point this out.

dominigan on June 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

So, during the 2012 election, Obama had access to Romney’s phone records?

Is this a BFD?

faraway on June 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Undoubtedly.

I always thought it was odd that on morning of Nov 6, reports from MSM said Obama had only written a concession speech and Romney, a victory speech. The vote counts came in in the morning supported that. Yet by early afternoon things turned 180 degrees.

A deal had been struck I told my colleagues, VN Vet included, and they couldn’t disagree (and they were shocked).

I attributed fears of riots which black Americans, especially the likes of Samuel Jackson, had hinted at and some of them even went to Twitter to galvanize for.

But this adds another element to Romney’s lost. That election and everything leading to it (O inability to debate, etc) were just surreal for me.

vnohara on June 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I don’t even feel safe to comment here anymore.

John the Libertarian on June 6, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Has HA ever stated their policy on revealing poster-identities to government officials?

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Has HA ever stated their policy on revealing poster-identities to government officials?

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Doesn’t matter if they say they will reveal it or not. Apparently, the government isn’t even ASKING any more.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Did the NSA listen in on Romney Campaign phone calls?Did they share that info with White House?No? Prove it.

patch on June 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Has HA ever stated their policy on revealing poster-identities to government officials?

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Doesn’t matter if they say they will reveal it or not. Apparently, the government isn’t even ASKING any more.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Unless HA maintains its own servers, weaselyone is right to be fearful.

vnohara on June 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Update (AP): What does this mean?

NBC News has confirmed from two sources that the PRISM program exists, but a government official says it is a data collection program rather than a data mining program.

They’re collecting the data but they’re not mining it?

It means they aren’t inhaling.

Oh, 2nd look at Randy Weaver?

BobMbx on June 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Think things are bad now? Just wait until Skynet becomes self-aware.

This confirms my fear about the Patriot Act and the establishment of the DHS.

totherightofthem on June 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

So, during the 2012 election, Obama had access to Romney’s phone records?

Is this a BFD?

faraway on June 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Lets be frank. Obama had access to everything he wanted concerning Romney, all under the guise of National Security.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy: “With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged. I fear that today…

Admiral Satie: How dare you! You who consort with Romulans, invoke my father’s name to support your traitorous arguments. It is an offense to everything I hold dear. And to hear those words used to subvert the United Federation of Planets. My father was a great man! His name stands for integrity and principle. You dirty his name when you speak it! He loved the Federation. But you, Captain, corrupt it. You undermine our very way of life. I will expose you for what you are. I’ve brought down bigger men than you, Picard!

Sounds like an exchange between Issa and Holder.

BobMbx on June 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

If the collective spying efforts on Americans by the NSA is so damn important to combat possible terrorism within the U.S., then how did the Boston Marathon bombers slip through the cracks? I’m sure the bombers used emails and phone conversations to facilitate their terrorist attack on the people in Boston. In fact, these two brothers were on the radar for months, if not years. Think maybe too much time, effort and taxpayers dollars are spent spying on innocent Americans while allowing radical extremists to carry out their missions?

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

WOW!!! The Soviets don’t have crap on us know. Can you say Police State. What’s next or should I ask?

DDay on June 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM

WOW!!! The Soviets don’t have crap on us know now. Can you say Police State. What’s next or should I ask?

DDay on June 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Al Qaeda was incredibly “connected” to Iraq.

Al Qaeda wanted the US military out of Saudi Arabia. The US military was only in Saudi Arabia because of Iraq. There was no US military in Saudi Arabia prior to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and the US military couldn’t leave Saudi Arabia and still support the United Nation’s no fly zones and blockades of Iraq.

Why do I constantly have to explain this to you?

blink on June 7, 2013 at 1:46 PM

bayam would rather be waterboarded than to even admit such a possibility of Saddam and bin Laden working together; in the world of the Left al Qaeda operates in any country except that one.

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM

The New York Times did its own analysis of how mistaken overvotes might have been caused by confusing ballot designs.

bayam on June 7, 2013 at 12:29 AM

bayam has never seen a leftist study that he didn’t swallow whole cloth. He’s completely unable to scrutinize a study. Pathetic.

blink on June 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM

After that 2000 election dust had settled, I read the 3 major books that came out-the one written by Alan Dershowitz, giving the Left’s view, the Bill Sammon book called “At Any Cost”, and the non-partisan book written by two academics, “The Perfect Tie”;

Dersho of course claimed that the US Supreme Court “stole” that election for Bush (by a 7-2 vote no less!) but totally ignored the blatantly illegal Judicial Activism employed by the All-Democrat Florida Supreme Court when they tried to steal the state for Gore by re-writing election law after the election had taken place.

Dersho’s book was horribly written, no doubt because he did it in haste. Most of it was actually “written” by his “researchers”, who were very careful to only use 2 major sources, namely the NY Times and Washington Post.

The book written by the 2 academics was much better than Dersho’s book because it was not written from a partisan point of view. And they conclude, and provide plenty of evidence, that the only ones trying to “steal” that 2000 election were bayam’s Party, not Bush’s Party.

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I thought it was some guy named Chad who was hanging around the precincts messing up ballots or something.

BobMbx on June 7, 2013 at 5:12 PM

I’ll give it a whirl:

Old scandals
Solyndra
Fast & Furious

Current scandals
Benghazi
IRS
AP / Rosen
EPA-FOIA
Sebelius Solicitations
Phone Record Monitoring / PRISM

Stoic Patriot on June 7, 2013 at 5:51 AM

Under the Old Scandals list, there are about six that you could add in there which have to do with Obamacare. Or, you could just put Obamacare and leave it at that.

Theophile on June 7, 2013 at 6:13 AM

Car Dealer Scandals: Shutting down the ones belonging to Republican donors and giving territory to Obama supporters.

I think there were several related to Stimulus money.

INC on June 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

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