WSJ: Big Brother also collecting credit-card transactions

posted at 8:01 am on June 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

As if the surveillance state didn’t have enough to do, what with tracking every call in America and scanning every Internet transaction. The Wall Street Journal reported late last night that the NSA has been cataloguing credit card transactions as well, rendering utterly void any concept of transactional privacy:

The National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency’s activities.

The disclosure this week of an order by a secret U.S. court for Verizon Communications Inc.’s phone records set off the latest public discussion of the program. But people familiar with the NSA’s operations said the initiative also encompasses phone-call data from AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., records from Internet-service providers and purchase information from credit-card providers.  …

NSA also obtains access to data from Internet service providers on Internet use such as data about email or website visits, several former officials said. NSA has established similar relationships with credit-card companies, three former officials said.

It couldn’t be determined if any of the Internet or credit-card arrangements are ongoing, as are the phone company efforts, or one-shot collection efforts. The credit-card firms, phone companies and NSA declined to comment for this article.

Er, let’s test the one-shot theory a bit.  Let’s say that the NSA trolled millions of credit card transactions and found any kind of a useful pattern.  Would they stop acquiring data under those circumstances?  I highly doubt it; intelligence agencies always want more data to analyze, not less.

Here’s another question.  Exactly how many terrorists use credit cards to buy the kinds of products that would create those patterns?  I’m not going to posit that terrorists are geniuses by any stretch of the imagination, but it doesn’t take too much candlepower to know that credit-card transactions leave a paper trail even when the US government hasn’t acted as though George Orwell was writing a how-to manual when he published 1984 — sixty-four years ago tomorrow, in an odd coincidence.

DNI James Clapper gave a statement last night about PRISM that many interpreted as saying that the program only looked at foreign data, but Clapper’s a little Orwellian here, too:

National Intelligence Director James Clapper defended that program late Thursday saying procedures are in place that are approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court “to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons.”

“Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” Clapper said in a statement.

Only non-US people are being targeted, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not looking at everything coming through the pipe. Clapper pledges that they’re trying to minimize the “acquisition, retention, and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about US persons” in a marvelously circular statement — how do you minimize the acquisition of “acquired information”?  They’re not avoiding or preventing the acquisition of data on “US people,” just trying to minimize its use. They’re only keeping data on non-US people.

Or so they say.  Trust them!  And hey, eventually, you’ll learn to love Big Brother.  Or else.

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King George wasn’t this paranoid..

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:03 AM

*shaking the head*

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 8:05 AM

No wonder the Feds want to end cash transactions.

Who wants to bet that Government Bell is recording every phone conversation (modern technology makes that a simple task)?

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Related – today’s suggested open for The Ed Morrissey Show:

Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I’ll be watching you.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Well rove and Nicole Wallace approve so its all good
/

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

“to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted,

This would be believable if we knew exactly who are non-U.S. individuals and their whereabouts..

But with amnesty….
We will soon know/

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Who needs a gun registry; who buys absolutely everythin with cash?

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Er, even those transactions described as ‘Entertainment Service’- purchased on the Internet?

socalcon on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

The Wall Street Journal reported late last night that the NSA has been cataloguing credit card transactions as well, rendering utterly void any concept of transactional privacy:

After The Guardian broke the Verizon spying yesterday we got PRISM from the WaPo and now credit card spying from the WSJ

These are not stories that you can generate quickly. Clearly they were on the shelf. In other words, this spying has been known by the media for some time.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Winner Steve@8:07

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Achieving comments on conservative blogs.

Sean Hannity points out there are dedicated leftists who monitor conservative radio, in an organized effort to record, dispute, disrupt the message that comes out of the one media outlet the left can’t seem to control. And people ridiculed his comments in that regard as paranoia.

hawkdriver on June 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

King George wasn’t this paranoid..

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Um, it really isn’t paranoia when the NSA is tracking your phone calls, internet use, and credit card transactions.

I’d like a copy of the warrant allowing them access to all this information.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Why are there so many that are willing to give the Obama administration the “benefit of doubt” on all this intrusiveness?? Call me a cynic, but this is all so typical of a paranoid bully- which Obama has proven himself to be, over and over again!

BettyRuth on June 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM

I’m waiting for bashir or another msdnc hack say this is racist code

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Gestapo tactics!

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Gestapo

THIS is the evolution of the all-powerful state at war with INDIVIDUAL liberty.

How do you like it America?

PappyD61 on June 7, 2013 at 8:12 AM

I’d like a copy of the warrant allowing them access to all this information.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

It’s sealed for “your” protection (and by “your”, I mean the “Bipartisan Party-In-Government’s”)

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:15 AM

The Wall Street Journal reported late last night

Late last night? Too funny. As they say, I was born at night but it wasn’t LAST NIGHT! Who didn’t know they’ve been doing this since the beginning?

Cleombrotus on June 7, 2013 at 8:16 AM

hawkdriver on June 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

You know it. The ChiComs would have killed for this in 1989. Oh wait, they did.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM

I’d like a copy of the warrant allowing them access to all this information.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

It’ll be posted, in PDF form on WH.gov.

However, further analysis will indicate it is a layered fabrication.

socalcon on June 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Gestapo tactics!

PappyD61 on June 7, 2013 at 8:12 AM

More like the East German Stasi but I get your point.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Who needs a gun registry; who buys absolutely everythin with cash?

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

If I had guns there would be some bought with cash. IF I had guns.

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Yep. As I posted on the other thread: Does your phone or tablet have a GPS? A camera? a Microphone?

Has anyone used that nifty new feature of depositing a check by taking a picture of it with your cell phone?

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:21 AM

THIS is the evolution of the all-powerful state at war with INDIVIDUAL liberty.

How do you like it America?

PappyD61 on June 7, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Hey, low information voters, now do you understand the phrase: Elections have consequences?

socalcon on June 7, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Federal Stalkers of the Citizenry.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:21 AM

The “if you don’t have anything to hide…” line is going to get mighty old.

I’ve never been closer to going off the grid in my life. A sobering decision process, since my career is in IT, I would be looking for a new livelihood in a new cashless, low to non-tech future.

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 8:21 AM

I’ll repeat what I posted earlier.

Why isn’t the NSA spending all this time and effort stopping China from hacking into our systems?

Title 18 is clear. It is illegal for the government to spy on Americans this way. We should all be enraged.

Fair warning: First troll that gives the “Bush did it” or “If you have nothing to hide” position is going to get it with both barrels.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Fair warning: First troll that gives the “Bush did it” or “If you have nothing to hide” position is going to get it with both barrels.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

From all directions.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Explain to me why I should be relaxed about this if the IRS is treating conservative and liberal groups differently? Explain to me why I should not believe that the government isn’t looking for ways to “score” individuals based on the content of their phone calls and credit-card purchases, so that if you say and buy things the government approves of, your interactions with the government, the DMV, the IRS, etc., etc., are relatively pleasant, but if you get a low score, based on buying guns or the wrong kinds of books or what-have-you, then your applications for things get reshuffled to the bottoms of piles, you experience delays and have to wait for months for something that should take days, etc., etc.

If the Obama administration wants to reward its friends and punish its enemies on a wide scale, this would presumably be the way to do it — assign a score to you and keep that score in a secret file somewhere.

Yes, these scandals are making me paranoid in a way I haven’t been in years.

Aitch748 on June 7, 2013 at 8:23 AM

I’d like a copy of the warrant allowing them access to all this information.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Clapper promises to de-classify…whatever that means.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Late last night? Too funny. As they say, I was born at night but it wasn’t LAST NIGHT! Who didn’t know they’ve been doing this since the beginning?

Cleombrotus on June 7, 2013 at 8:16 AM

This is a good point and one I have been stewing over since yesterday.

NYT outed that NSA was monitoring cell calls during the Bush years. IIRC, this caused quite a stir and was WELL publicized.

In short, EVERYBODY was made aware that the US was watching and monitoring cell calls. It would be pretty safe to say that internet would have been included as well.

With that said, why would any serious terrorist use a method of communication that was know to monitored ?

Jabberwock on June 7, 2013 at 8:24 AM

If the Obama administration wants to reward its friends and punish its enemies on a wide scale, this would presumably be the way to do it — assign a score to you and keep that score in a secret file somewhere.

Yes, these scandals are making me paranoid in a way I haven’t been in years.

Aitch748 on June 7, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Imagine how HHS will use it.

“Some live, and some die.”

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Maybe I am way off…
But it looks to me like droning known terrorists or suspects over the years hasn’t allowed us to gain much intelligence..
like phone numbers..
What’s the possibility that our Bush era intelligence has dried up and this regime is hunting for anything and everything to try to stay ahead?

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Related – today’s suggested open for The Ed Morrissey Show:

Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I’ll be watching you.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM

May I suggest this alternative by Rockwell (notice the last line):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bQwin3Vv0k

Who’s watching
Tell me, who’s watching
Who’s watching me

I don’t know anymore

Are the neighbors watching me

Well, is the mailman watching me

And I don’t feel safe anymore
Oh, what a mess
I wonder who’s watching me now

The IRS?

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Yes, these scandals are making me paranoid in a way I haven’t been in years.

Aitch748 on June 7, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Right there with you; though for me it would be closer to

Yes, these scandals are making me paranoid in a way I haven’t been in years - ever.

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Now you know why Obamacare needs computerized medical records….and questions by doctors about guns.

Wethal on June 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

The “if you don’t have anything to hide…” line is going to get mighty old.

I’ve never been closer to going off the grid in my life. A sobering decision process, since my career is in IT, I would be looking for a new livelihood in a new cashless, low to non-tech future.

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Yep!

I think a lot of people might go practically Luddite.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Frankly, I find the responses breathtaking from almost all parties on this matter. We’ve had gratuitous interjections of “Bush”, demurrals that “this has been going on a long time”- as if that’s justification and outright mendacity in testimony before Congress.

Irrespective of people’s political proclivities, this type of wholesale data gathering and surveillance is anti-constitutional and violates the Fourth Amendment. Period.

The attempts to minimize the extent of this illegal activity by saying it’s in the interest of national security or that telephone information is legally obtainable without a warrant makes the situation worse.

We are not a nation of rubes, likely suspects or subjects. We are the citizens who are the rightful owners of this country.

Mr. Obama has shredded our Constitution and the already tepid trust people have in their government. He has used every government apparatus at his disposal for nefarious means including as a tool to greatly effect the election outcome. He has made us weaker and less safe as a nation and we are worse off for it.

Marcus Traianus on June 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Likely true and the bonus is they get gobs of data to use against their domestic enemies.

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Well-played, but a bit late. Back when it was just the IRS, it would have worked even better.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:29 AM

What’s the possibility that our Bush era intelligence has dried up and this regime is hunting for anything and everything to try to stay ahead?

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Ahead of who? Your question is terrific, but conservatives are the target, not the Muslim Jihadis.

They could have stopped the Boston Bombing. They could have stopped Nidal Hassan. THEY CHOSE NOT TO.

Yet they want to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights, while they arm Al Qaeda.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Well, methinks my next firearm purchase will entail a few smallish bank withdrawals, until I can pay cash.
But then there’s that registration process, so, nevermind.

pambi on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Maybe I am way off…
But it looks to me like droning known terrorists or suspects over the years hasn’t allowed us to gain much intelligence..
like phone numbers..
What’s the possibility that our Bush era intelligence has dried up and this regime is hunting for anything and everything to try to stay ahead?

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

What’s the possibility that the citizenry is now the enemy of the aristocracy?

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Why are there so many that are willing to give the Obama administration the “benefit of doubt” on all this intrusiveness?? Call me a cynic, but this is all so typical of a paranoid bully- which Obama has proven himself to be, over and over again!

BettyRuth on June 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Because progressives in general tend to be paranoid bullies. They are all in favor of such tactics being used by their side, against people they don’t like.

See HAL’s comments for numerous examples. Just don’t expect any progressive to grasp the concept of “sooner or later, that power will be in the hands of someone who doesn’t like you.”

clear ether

eon

eon on June 7, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Back during Argentina’s “Dirty War” where thousands disappeared one of the tactics was when the state arrested somebody they took that person’s address book and arrested everybody listed there. Then you took their address books and arrested everybody….. and so forth until you had completed the circle.

This is a very rudimentary version of what the NSA is doing. And we still don’t know what the administration is doing with the data that is being collected. It would be nice to think that it is being used for counter-terrorism but providing donor lists to the IRS isn’t supposed to be used against political opponents of the rat-eared despot either and it is.

There is a crisis of trust in the government. After Clapper lied his ass off to Congress he needs to go.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

“Hi Mr. Skywise, this is Jim, a Health Advisor from Health and Human Services, we’re here to serve you. We see that you have purchased from 2 pizza places in the last two weeks, shopped at a liquor store and ate at fast food restaurants a whopping 5 times.”
“Actually I ate salad at the fast food restaurants, they’re the only places close to where I work and…”
“Yes, yes I understand but because of your rights under federal law we don’t know what you ate, only that you purchased food at those establishments.”
“Okay but I don’t…”
“However because of your eating habits I have to inform you that we’ll have to raise your bronze plan rates. I’m sure you understand that it’s only fair that you pay your share of…”
“But I’m eating healthy…”
“That’s not what your record states sir…”
“But you just said you don’t know what I’m eating!”
“But you are eating at fast food restaurants. Have you visited our LetsMove.org site? It has many healthy alternatives to eating and was approved by President Michelle Obama”
“…”
“We also see that you haven’t donated to the DNC lately… It would help if you donate because that would allow us to fight on your behalf against the bourgeois… Comrade…”

Skywise on June 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

The media purports they are in business to protect us from the overreach of an abusive administration such as this. They have become the propaganda arm of it.

hawkdriver on June 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

And remember folks…

Conservative right-wingers are the real terrorist threat to America…

(That’s not a joke.)

Skywise on June 7, 2013 at 8:33 AM

7.6%

175k

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

What’s the possibility that the citizenry is now the enemy of the aristocracy?

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

95%.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

OT- Unemployment rises to 7.6%

This day is just getting better and better. /

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

President Barack Hussein Obama, “Transparency and Open Government”, 1/21/2009, whitehouse.gov

kingsjester on June 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

What’s the possibility that the citizenry is now the enemy of the aristocracy?

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

I get that..
but I can’t see how they can benefit from this..
Even low-infos in my neck of the woods are saying WTF?

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Who needs a gun registry; who buys absolutely everythin with cash?

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

If I had guns there would be some bought with cash. IF I had guns.

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

There’s much more data sharing going on among agencies than has yet come out. The first time I flew after buying reloading powders, I got my hands swabbed for explosives by TSA and am now swabbed most times I fly out of Philly. My brother has recently been getting the same treatment. My sister got swabbed for the first time about 3 months ago.

This is some serious sh!t, folks.

p.s. Joke’s on them though, as I recently had a hunting/fishing accident where I lost all my firearms in the river…

ROCnPhilly on June 7, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Conservative right-wingers are the real terrorist threat to America…

(That’s not a joke.)

Skywise on June 7, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Yep, the rat-eared despot at OSU last month……..

“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems, Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works; they’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

You’d have to be crazy to think that the government is some separate, sinister, entity and tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

There is a crisis of trust in the government. After Clapper lied his ass off to Congress he needs to go.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

This is a Constitutional Crisis of the highest order.

The Executive & the Judicial Branches have gone beyond the Constitutional Checks and Balances of Congressional Oversight.

The Congress is locked in secretive partisan deal making…passing laws they don’t even read and they don’t live under.

Congress passed Obamacare but they are exempt from it.

Now members of congress are fractured into insider groups complicit in the NSA Prism Stalking…and outsiders oblivious to the program.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

They could have stopped the Boston Bombing. They could have stopped Nidal Hassan. THEY CHOSE NOT TO.

Yet they want to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights, while they arm Al Qaeda.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

And this is really why the “Bush did it too” thing doesn’t work. You can blame Bush all you like for helping to set up the system, but at least we knew that Bush really was going after the terrorists (and didn’t do jack against the screaming hordes howling for him and Cheney to be dragged away to the Hague to be tried for war crimes).

On the other hand, it is clear that the federal government under Obama is worried more about his domestic political adversaries, particularly gun owners, than about actual terrorists.

Aitch748 on June 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” Clapper said in a statement.

But who is tracking all the foreign students who are still here on expired visas?

TN Mom on June 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Don’t worry. Our boy verby will be along shortly to tell us how badly we are over-reacting.

kingsjester on June 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Because progressives in general tend to be paranoid bullies. They are all in favor of such tactics being used by their side, against people they don’t like.

Just don’t expect any progressive to grasp the concept of “sooner or later, that power will be in the hands of someone who doesn’t like you.”

clear ether

eon

eon on June 7, 2013 at 8:31 AM

^This. And the reason is because Lefties do not (and will never) consider the future past one or two years at the most. It’s a core facet of their ideology.

Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to consider hundreds of years of human history and are also conscious of our future 10, 20, 50 years down the line. We know that power hungry people will seek power: it’s human nature.

visions on June 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Anyone who runs for political office should be prepared for all of this info on them to be released. Only Republican candidates that is. Barky’s favorite is sealed divorce records of course but hey, the lap dog media will have a whole new line of questions for republicans. “What exactly where you purchasing so many times at Bass Pro Shop?”

Brat on June 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

So…I guess the NSA is checking to see how many Blow up dolls somebody is buying online with their credit cards. Nobody told me that my credit card purchases online would be monitored.

Or maybe it’s just our tax dollars are being spent by a bunch of perverts at the NSA who are unwilling to pay their own membership fees to a porno web site and wish to view free porn off the back of some teenager minding his own business. You really get the feeling the government is now filled with a bunch of deviants.

Any justification given by the administration for this over-reach is just plain limp and/or a bold face lie to the American people. It’s even worse then when Dick Nixon was in office.

No clue if this the whole story being told to us, or there are pieces missing. Did anybody here know this has been going on for years? Or to what extent? Of course we’re supposed to believe anything this administration tells us.

This whole things smells like horse ch!t.

Renee on June 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I’ll bet a million dollars that they have spent their energy on sorting this data to create a gun registry for credit card firearms and ammo purchases, vs. spotting terrorist signs. How would you use this to spot terrorism anyway? People preparing for resistance to tyranny (a duty of the citizen) would show many of the same purchase patterns. I bet they link CC donations to Tea Party groups to CC gun purchases to select people for special attn.

All libs care about is using the state to favor friends and hurt political enemies-the Democratic party needs to be declared a criminal organization and prosecuted under RICO.

Spartacus on June 7, 2013 at 8:45 AM

What’s the possibility that the citizenry is now the enemy of the aristocracy?

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

I get that..
but I can’t see how they can benefit from this..
Even low-infos in my neck of the woods are saying WTF?

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Statists are delusional.

Fanatics constantly underestimate and miscalculate their opponents.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

The unintended consequence of this is going to hit retail sales. The Administration is going to come out and say this is only non Americans (like they would know even if that were the case) and it was only a one shot deal or some other bs.
The good little believers will buy it but the rest, not so much.

ORconservative on June 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Sean Hannity points out there are dedicated leftists who monitor conservative radio, in an organized effort to record, dispute, disrupt the message that comes out of the one media outlet the left can’t seem to control. And people ridiculed his comments in that regard as paranoia.

hawkdriver on June 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

…well hey!…who and how else are they going to monitor conservatives?

KOOLAID2 on June 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” Clapper said in a statement.

But who is tracking all the foreign students who are still here on expired visas?

TN Mom on June 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Nobody…Just like the Border….because Diversity

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Actually, DOJ has been tracking real-time credit card transactions for some time:

Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans’ Credit Cards in Real Time

Federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking Americans in real-time using credit cards, loyalty cards and travel reservations without getting a court order, a new document released under a government sunshine request shows.

The document, obtained by security researcher Christopher Soghoian, explains how so-called “Hotwatch” orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs. The revelation sheds a little more light on the Justice Department’s increasing power and willingness to surveil Americans with little to no judicial or Congressional oversight.

The only difference, it appears, is that DOJ is – at least – looking at specific individuals rather than employing a type of ‘general warrant,’ as the NSA is doing.

Speaking of ‘general warrants,’ it is instructive to once again reflect upon the words read aloud by Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday in his fiery dissent, Maryland v King, the DNA case:

‘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.’

Do we really trust the Federal government that much more than we did King George III?

At this point, I’d say that is debatable…

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Actually, DOJ has been tracking real-time credit card transactions for some time:

Federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking Americans in real-time using credit cards, loyalty cards and travel reservations without getting a court order, a new document released under a government sunshine request shows.

The document, obtained by security researcher Christopher Soghoian, explains how so-called “Hotwatch” orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs. The revelation sheds a little more light on the Justice Department’s increasing power and willingness to surveil Americans with little to no judicial or Congressional oversight.

The only difference, it appears, is that DOJ is – at least – looking at specific individuals rather than employing a type of ‘general warrant,’ as the NSA is doing.

Speaking of ‘general warrants,’ it is instructive to once again reflect upon the words read aloud by Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday in his fiery dissent, Maryland v King, the DNA case:

‘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.’

Do we really trust the Federal government that much more than we did King George III?

At this point, I’d say that is debatable…

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Renee on June 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Too obvious for ‘em, but I like. Remember, this is the crowd that loses track of student terrorists, even when handed the intel (h/t TN Mom on June 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM).

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Our personal safety is not worth the loss of our priceless freedoms. I’t not clear if this is “1984″ or the birth of a contemporary Gestapo, but whatever it is it must stop before everything is lost.

rplat on June 7, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Nobody…Just like the Border….because Diversity

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Yep.

TN Mom on June 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Sean Hannity points out there are dedicated leftists who monitor conservative radio, in an organized effort to record, dispute, disrupt the message that comes out of the one media outlet the left can’t seem to control. And people ridiculed his comments in that regard as paranoia.

hawkdriver on June 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

…well hey!…who and how else are they going to monitor conservatives?

KOOLAID2 on June 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

That’s one way they go after advertizers.

The IRS gave up Donor Lists to Leftists so they could bully and intimidate Donors and Businesses.

The Press publishes Gun-owners names and addresses…So Leftists can bully those folks.

We have partisan Apparatchik in every level united by their Unions and encouraged by a Partisan Legacy Press looking out for their own interests no matter which party is in power.

The Leftists attack every foundational entity that unites Americans…The Constitution…The Constitutional Powers of Checks & Balances…The Autonomy of States…The Churches…The Autonomy of local civil governments and schools…The Autonomy of Families and Individuals.

Fascism…The New American Normal

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Who needs a gun registry; who buys absolutely everythin with cash?
Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Very sobering point

Alinsky on June 7, 2013 at 9:01 AM

‘That [NSA surveillance] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology …

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [NSA] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.’

– Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), 1975, quoted in James Bamford’s The Puzzle Palace

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Our personal safety is not worth the loss of our priceless freedoms. I’t not clear if this is “1984″ or the birth of a contemporary Gestapo, but whatever it is it must stop before everything is lost.

rplat on June 7, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Fascism is what it is…Central Concentration…Brutal & Totalitarian in Scope.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I’ll be watching you.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM

*ahem*

While checking to see if Sting is an Obama supporter:

Sting Says He Believes President Obama was “Sent From God” to fix the world’s “Mess.”

http://www.celebtricity.com/sting-says-he-believes-president-obama-was-sent-from-god-to-fix-the-worlds-mess-video/

Fallon on June 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

The apologists and the security in exchange for liberty crowd needs to take a close look at the deliberate lack of security on our southern border up to and including comfort stations to help foreign nationals have an easier time sneaking in if they think for one minute this is actually about keeping Americans safe from terror attacks… Because it sure as hell isn’t!

Caseoftheblues on June 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats ,” Clapper said in a statement.

What he meant was “corrupt regime from pro-America detractors”

ROCnPhilly on June 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Renee on June 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

we need the apachewhoknows to decode that…

well done Renee

DanMan on June 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Or so they say. Trust them! And hey, eventually, you’ll learn to love Big Brother. Or else.

ed morrissey, staunch enemy of the surveillance state.

pathetic.

sesquipedalian on June 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Marcus Traianus on June 7, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Having data that can be examined later if circumstances warrant (notice I also mean WARRANT literally) is a good thing if access is responsibly controlled by the courts. Having machine evaluated data to determine “chatter” etc. is also good as long as actual review of content requires FISA court approval. The problem is misuse of data and/or misuse of the courts (such as judge shopping). That is where the current problem lies. If the citizenry loses trust in the administration and the courts to protect the citizens rights, the citizenry will demand an end to these sorts of databases and much national security and criminal investigation capability will be lost.

With power comes responsibility. If the power is not used responsibly, it may well get taken away and everyone will lose.

KW64 on June 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

On the other hand, it is clear that the federal government under Obama is worried more about his domestic political adversaries, particularly gun owners, than about actual terrorists.

Aitch748 on June 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM

In his feeble mind conservatives are the terrorists. Big Sis put out the memo.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Fallon on June 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Sting like many Brits was born into servitude…he hasn’t got a clue what liberty is.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

And if you know what you are doing, you run circles around them.

(sarcastic trumpet noise) BWA BWA BWA!

IlikedAUH2O on June 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Having data that can be examined later if circumstances warrant (notice I also mean WARRANT literally) is a good thing if access is responsibly controlled by the courts. …

KW64 on June 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

What else would be a good thing because it would help “national security and criminal investigation capability”? I know! Police checkpoints on every corner demanding you produce your papers with permission to travel outside of your neighborhood.

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Time for all of us to read the Declaration of Independence again.

mr.idaho on June 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Calm down.

They don’t really do much with this stuff. As a matter of fact, many of them don’t do much of anything for the government.

These guys and gals also have a lot more work to take care of all the possessions they have with their escalating six figure incomes.

They have foreign cars that need special care, boats, real estate investments, mistresses, movies to see, bars to cruise, and let us not forget the graduate or law school classes….

This stuff just gives them grist for their time sheets and reports.

Fake surveillance reports are nice but we can’t have an entire force of twenty or more federal agents claiming to watch the same guy! On the same evening! This keeps them busy.

Wadda you want them to do? Act on the Marathon bomber tip?

LOL

IlikedAUH2O on June 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Fallon on June 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Who better than an ObamiNation member to describe life in the ObamiNation?

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Obama is building his digital Stasi:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded,”

Rand Paul to introduce bill closing the FISA business records loophole

petefrt on June 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Well, methinks my next firearm purchase will entail a few smallish bank withdrawals, until I can pay cash.
But then there’s that registration process, so, nevermind.

pambi on June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

I’ve always paid cash for firearms and have been called paranoid for doing so. But I doubt the background check info isn’t being saved and cataloged.

RadClown on June 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Who cares about our blacks?

Are they stopping violence in Chicago? Gasp!

Let MSNBC check how many bucks we spend on this nonsense. We could have wall to wall feds in our ghettos!

I don’t know what they are all doing but there is one who helped that nutty woman hack my credit cards, till she called Neiman Marcus to complain about an order pretending to be my wife . Creepy. So I get non connected cards.

My wife had been dead for years.

Then he was asking telephone employees to help her mess with me and I ended up complaining to Sprint (A board member of Sprint) about tricks he had their tech people doing. Things got calm for a time after that.

IlikedAUH2O on June 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

No wonder the Feds want to end cash transactions.

Who wants to bet that Government Bell is recording every phone conversation (modern technology makes that a simple task)?

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Every … single … word, …forever.

Absolutely. There’s not a human there listening obviously, but they are being digitally recorded and stored, likely forever. Voice-quality recordings don’t take much memory, and memory is so cheap now.

Emails as well. Text messages. Twitters. All of it.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Wouldn’t the Feds tracking all credit card transactions electronically make it far easier for identity thieves if they were to get their hands on that information?

Hackers from China are penetrating our National Defense plans and systems, why would we not expect that these new data collection/data mining systems are susceptible to unauthorized entry and retreival of information?

Consolidating all this information in huge databases is stupid. Even if the feds aren’t accessing the data without a warrant, the data is still susceptible to theft.

Do we really want to make it that easy on a foreign country to paralyze our financial system buy opening up a one-stop shop so long as they can find a group of hackers smart enough to gain entry?

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Maybe I am way off…
But it looks to me like droning known terrorists or suspects over the years hasn’t allowed us to gain much intelligence..
like phone numbers..
What’s the possibility that our Bush era intelligence has dried up and this regime is hunting for anything and everything to try to stay ahead?

Electrongod on June 7, 2013 at 8:26 AM

But what are they looking for?

DHS Flags Tweets About ‘Militia,’ But Not ‘Jihad’

The list, including phrases, reveals which words you probably want to avoid or else risk being flagged and eyeballed as a possible terrorist or someone who is otherwise posing threats to the United States. Words included such innocuous terms as: “Militia,” “exercise,” “cops,” “national security” and “facility.” Interestingly and of note, “jihad” was not included, nor were the words “Middle East,” “Arab,” “Muslim,” “terrorist” or “pressure cooker.” Perhaps those are on a different DHS red flag list?

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I’m starting to believe that if there are any Constitutional protections left to preserve that we are now incapable of maintaining what’s left or of retrieving what has been lost.

EA_MAN on June 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Next up …

“The Outer Band Individuated Teletracer, or O.B.I.T., is a remarkable technology that can track and monitor any individual, anywhere, for any length of time!”

Freddy on June 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

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