Bloomberg: Spy agencies sharing data with “thousands” of firms

posted at 3:21 pm on June 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

What was it that I was saying earlier this week about the intelligence-industrial complex? Bloomberg reported last night that Edward Snowden may have only scratched the surface on the cooperation between American intelligence agencies and commercial firms. In fact, the partnership is much wider than first thought — and the intel agencies provide their partners with some significant quid pro quo:

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.

These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency. The role of private companies has come under intense scrutiny since his disclosure this month that the NSA is collecting millions of U.S. residents’ telephone records and the computer communications of foreigners from Google Inc (GOOG). and other Internet companies under court order.

Many of these same Internet and telecommunications companies voluntarily provide U.S. intelligence organizations with additional data, such as equipment specifications, that don’t involve private communications of their customers, the four people said.

Just how chummy do these firms get with the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA?

Some U.S. telecommunications companies willingly provide intelligence agencies with access to facilities and data offshore that would require a judge’s order if it were done in the U.S., one of the four people said.

In these cases, no oversight is necessary under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and companies are providing the information voluntarily.

You can look at this as American industry doing its patriotic duty in wartime. You can also look at this as trusted corporations selling out their customers to curry favor with the government to pick up some secret benefits. There’s probably a little of both going on, but it’s difficult to say which is most prevalent, in part because no one revealed that this was going on until now. Most sophisticated users would know that the capability exists but assume that the companies they choose to patronize would require a valid search warrant before surrendering the kind of data being shared. We know what happens when we assume, especially these days.

This raises a number of interesting questions and concerns. First, are cooperating firms gaining competitive advantages against non-cooperating (and/or unaware) firms in the same market? That kind of distortion would corrupt markets in favor of snitching as a survival tactic, would it not? Second, are there political organizations that have this kind of friendly relationship with intelligence services that give them a competitive advantage? Two months ago, one might have laughed off such a suggestion, but after what took place at the IRS, it’s a little more difficult to dismiss.

The part about the Microsoft bug reporting is especially interesting in light of the Attkisson story today, too.

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The ultimate fascist state…

PatriotRider on June 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

“No personal data”? Ya right

MoreLiberty on June 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Just damn….

KCB on June 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

The IRS is doing it too!!!

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Do you get the feeling that our politicians are not telling us the really bad stuff..? You think?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Well, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about…who was it that said that?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Do you get the feeling that our politicians are not telling us the really bad stuff..? You think?

I think.

hawkeye54 on June 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Previously, I had my suspicions, but thought I was being too conspiratorial and off the rails to take the theory seriously. However, if this data is being shared with private corporations then I think I can be certain that it was also shared with Obama’s election campaign. The R’s need to investigate this hard. This was a bigger election “dirty trick” than Nixon’s burglars!

MJBrutus on June 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

The Stasi is so jealous.

rbj on June 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

The IRS is doing it too!!!

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Okie dokie, so what federal agency isn’t?…..Now it really is good time to give some thought to going off the grid.

hawkeye54 on June 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

So what did Pancetta and other traitors in WH get from Hollywood in return for selling classified info about binLaden kill ?
I mean other than that Extortion 17 tragedy and Afridi in a paki prison ?

burrata on June 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Hell no, much worse to come

The first one is on topic, but all 8 are superb, even if you heard them in vivo.

Schadenfreude on June 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I’ll post this here in case anybody missed it in the earlier Attkinson thread…

Gabe at Ace’s place asks an intriguing question…

“Didn’t she say it was both her home computer and her work computer?

Question: Could someone who is more savvy than me, explain this sentence? I’ve bolded the part that’s catching me: “Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts.”

They remotely accessed her computer by using her accounts? Eh? Could they be talking about a virtual machine or some kind of remote secure login via, e.g., RSA token? Or could this be something like Windows Remote Assistance?

http://minx.cc/?post=340904

Sh*t….No wonder the Internet/Gubmint complex is freeking out.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 1:32 PM

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

This raises a number of interesting questions and concerns. First, are cooperating firms gaining competitive advantages against non-cooperating (and/or unaware) firms in the same market?

Look at what happens to those that don’t cooperate…

Jailed Qwest CEO claimed that NSA retaliated because he wouldn’t participate in spy program

While National Security Agency’s harvesting of telephone data is often defended as a necessary component of post-9/11 national security, old court documents claim the spy agency was putting such a program into place months before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In court papers filed during his 2007 insider trading trial, former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio claimed that Denver-based Qwest was denied lucrative NSA contracts he believed to be worth $50-$100 million, after Nacchio refused to involve Qwest in a secret NSA program that he thought would be illegal.

Subsequent reporting at the time revealed that it was a domestic wiretapping program in which the NSA wanted to snoop on Qwest’s vast telephone network without court orders.

President George W. Bush’s administration has said that warrantless wiretapping only began after 9/11, as part of the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Sources familiar with the request to Qwest, quoted anonymously in the New York Times in 2007, “say the arrangement could have permitted neighborhood-by-neighborhood surveillance of phone traffic without a court order, which alarmed them.”

Nacchio claimed that the NSA retaliated for his refusal by leaving Qwest out of a $2 billion NSA infrastructure program called Groundbreaker, which was split among numerous contractors, including Verizon.

Verizon, it was recently revealed, was required by court order to give the NSA telephone records from millions of its customer as part of a sweeping surveillance program.

Nacchio revealed these details in court papers in an attempt to show that he didn’t dump Qwest stock in 2001 because he knew the company was going to post poor performance results in the future. Rather, he suspected the company would benefit from participating in Groundbreaker, which he discussed with NSA personnel in Washington D.C. on Feb. 27, 2001.

But Nacchio’s court filing says NSA officials also sought his participation in the other program, the details of which were redacted in the document, a motion for the court to allow Nacchio to testify about the meeting as part of his defense.

It is true that Nacchio doesn’t make a necessarily attractive victim nor should his account be automatically assumed to be 100% true because he obviously has an ax to grind against the government, which may or may not be legitimate, but after what we’ve learned of late, is it impossible that the government would retaliate against him because of his refusal?

Obviously, the answer is ‘no.’

Resist We Much on June 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

This sh!t is out of control.

KCB on June 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Well, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about…who was it that said that?

Lol! The way its going, someday, somewhere, somehow, you will do something wrong, completely obvious to it, since you aren’t versed on the 4,000,000 laws and ordinances you will be expected to obey, one of which you eventually inadvertently break. But BigGov will know. They will be watching and waiting…..and coming for you.

hawkeye54 on June 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

The guy in the video says “trusted partners of the federal government”, and that’s the problem in a nutshell. The government should not be colluding with corporations.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM

I’ll ask this rhetorical question one more time…

You don’t think this data could be used for purposes other than it was intended? Do you?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Lol! The way its going, someday, somewhere, somehow, you will do something wrong, completely obvious to it, since you aren’t versed on the 4,000,000 laws and ordinances you will be expected to obey, one of which you eventually inadvertently break. But BigGov will know. They will be watching and waiting…..and coming for you.

hawkeye54 on June 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

“Did you really think we want those laws observed? We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it…

There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone?

But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Dr Floyd Ferris, Atlas Shrugged

Resist We Much on June 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

So the IRS knew what all the conservative taxpayer groups were doing online before they even asked the questions..?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Amazon does this routinely. I first noticed it when I read about a certain book on a blog, then a day later got Amazon spam offering me that particular book, which was not a high volume seller and somewhat of a specialty item. It was spooky. I now know why. I had not looked at it on Amazon where I might have left a footprint..

a capella on June 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Two words…

… Electromagnetic Pulse.

Seven Percent Solution on June 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I’m frankly a bit disgusted that rioting hasn’t broken out yet.

Why hasn’t it? Still not time yet? LOL, waiting for *worse* revelations to come out? *Worse* violations of our civil rights and our Constitution?

Where *is* that line, I wonder? I don’t think it exists anymore; I’m not sure we can be pushed so far as to push back anymore.

Midas on June 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM

a capella on June 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I use anti tracking software for that very reason…

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Lol! The way its going, someday, somewhere, somehow, you will do something wrong, completely obvious to it, since you aren’t versed on the 4,000,000 laws and ordinances you will be expected to obey, one of which you eventually inadvertently break. But BigGov will know. They will be watching and waiting…..and coming for you.

hawkeye54 on June 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I read an article a few days ago that asserted that everybody commits two felonies a day, and I suspect that number is close to right. You make it sound like that’s an accident or a mistake of a giant bumbling bureaucracy, but it’s not. It’s a feature not a bug. When we get out of line they have two felonies per day every day to put us in jail.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

What now?

Part of me wants to find out how deep this rabbit hole goes and the rest of me is terrified at what the answer might be.

alchemist19 on June 14, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Americans need to draw a ‘red line’…and hold it.

Resist We Much on June 14, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I think there are a few other parts of the article that deserve to be quoted, as well:

The extensive cooperation between commercial companies and intelligence agencies is legal and reaches deeply into many aspects of everyday life, though little of it is scrutinized by more than a small number of lawyers, company leaders and spies. Company executives are motivated by a desire to help the national defense as well as to help their own companies, said the people, who are familiar with the agreements.

Most of the arrangements are so sensitive that only a handful of people in a company know of them, and they are sometimes brokered directly between chief executive officers and the heads of the U.S.’s major spy agencies, the people familiar with those programs said.

.
Maybe I’m mistaken … but are not the bulk of the technology companies being run by ardent Obama supporters?

Oh, yeah … that part about it being legal?

If necessary, a company executive, known as a “committing officer,” is given documents that guarantee immunity from civil actions resulting from the transfer of data. The companies are provided with regular updates, which may include the broad parameters of how that information is used.

.
I’ve mentioned multiple times in the past week: Many companies spy on their own employees and not just during working hours. If you tie in from your home computer, they may be inserting tracking cookies or “backdoor” viruses.

I’ve posted multiple times since last week the fact that information obtained from a third party by the U.S. intelligence agencies, willingly or unwillingly, is NOT subject to ANY restraining provisions under U.S. law.

Under these agreements, they can GIVE that data to the goverment, and walk away with complete immunity from lawsuits.

Surely, they are doing this all at “arms length”? Otherwise we would be recklessly empowering greater cronyism between the government and the “cooperating companies”.

Michael Hayden, who formerly directed the National Security Agency and the CIA, described the attention paid to important company partners: “If I were the director and had a relationship with a company who was doing things that were not just directed by law but were also valuable to the defense of the Republic, I would go out of my way to thank them and give them a sense as to why this is necessary and useful.”

“You would keep it closely held within the company and there would be very few cleared individuals,” Hayden said.


And who knows … maybe all of these companies are now members of the “Too Big Too Jail” club.

PolAgnostic on June 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Ed, I want to add my name to the list of those here who are vehemently against your site’s obvious heavy-handed censorship of our resident (D) posters.
 
I understand removing specific and offensive submissions, but clearly you’re not allowing them to post at all on any of your IRS / domestic spying / Syria threads.
 
We’ve seen them on amnesty and Christian-bashing threads, so we know they have limited posting privileges still. Please stop selectively prohibiting them and allow them post on these threads, too.

rogerb on June 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Americans need to draw a ‘red line’…and hold it.

Resist We Much on June 14, 2013 at 3:52 PM

America has a rogue gov’t, from both sides.

Schadenfreude on June 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

I use anti tracking software for that very reason…

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

I’ve got it too, but, Amazon gets around it. This stuff really infuriates me. I feel like a lab rat in a cage. About ready to yank the power plug.

a capella on June 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I use anti tracking software for that very reason…

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

.
AND

McAfee firewalls collect information on hackers who use legitimate servers to do their work, and the company data can be used to pinpoint where attacks begin. The company also has knowledge of the architecture of information networks worldwide, which may be useful to spy agencies who tap into them, the person said.

McAfee (MFE)’s data and analysis doesn’t include information on individuals, said Michael Fey, the company’s worldwide chief technology officer.

“We do not share any type of personal information with our government agency partners,” Fey said in an e-mailed statement. “McAfee’s function is to provide security technology, education, and threat intelligence to governments. This threat intelligence includes trending data on emerging new threats, cyber-attack patterns and vector activity, as well as analysis on the integrity of software, system vulnerabilities, and hacker group activity.”

In exchange, leaders of companies are showered with attention and information by the agencies to help maintain the relationship, the person said.

.
Want to make a bet on whether the company making the anti-tracking software has provided back door access to the U.S. government?

PolAgnostic on June 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Do you get the feeling that our politicians are not telling us the really bad stuff..? You think?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Think? Try know. ;)

Now ‘scuse me, Idol and Boo Boo are on.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

This sh!t is out of control.

KCB on June 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Indeed.

I don’t do any banking or buying digitally…don’t pay any UT bills online…and I don’t use a smart phone. I use cash/money orders in transactions.

It’s a colossal hassle…but why make it easy for this B*llshit.

Sad to say it but I think that’s where this is headed. The more you own the more vulnerable you are to manipulation or seizure.

Thanks Interwebz guys…appreciate it.

Oh…and Hi Janet, hope you’re havin a real nice day. and a giant FU to Gates & the ghost of Jobs.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Want to make a bet on whether the company making the anti-tracking software has provided back door access to the U.S. government?

PolAgnostic on June 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Cripes, I hadn’t thought about that.

a capella on June 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I don’t know is anyone has posted this yet, is so sorry. It is interesting to say the least. Not surprising though.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/14/guess-who-tops-the-chart-of-countries-making-requests-for-user-data/
L

letget on June 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I’ve got it too, but, Amazon gets around it. This stuff really infuriates me. I feel like a lab rat in a cage. About ready to yank the power plug.

a capella on June 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

We can’t or we’d be at the mercy of the LSM and what the government allows. As it is, the internet is the only place to get opposing viewpoints and even learn about this stuff.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

There is a common theme throughout history that precedes the implementation of a police state and/or a dictatorship.

And that theme is paranoia on the part of the government. When the government regards the people it is supposed to serve as its largest threat, it always falls back on draconian methods to preserve itself.

The US government created this mess, not its citizenry. Its next step will be to declare, in secret or openly, anyone who disagrees with its actions as suspect and deserving of persecution…to protect itself.

And the man currently in the WH is the perfect instrument to continue the growth and power of the government. His narcissism will allow him to further the divide between the government and its citizens. He sees our liberties as a personal threat to himself.

BobMbx on June 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Well, y-e-a-h-h-h-h … That’ how when Achmed views HotGas he gets the personalized header ad for Sammi’s Sexy Syrian Goat Escort Service …

M240H on June 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Well, y-e-a-h-h-h-h … That’ how when Achmed views HotGas he gets the personalized header ad for Sammi’s Sexy Syrian Goat Escort Service …

M240H on June 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I get the same ad when I search for sheesh kebabs on yelp :O

burrata on June 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

The guy in the video says “trusted partners of the federal government”, and that’s the problem in a nutshell. The government should not be colluding with corporations.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Big Gubmint owns them…They own the banks…They control the switch.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

There is a common theme throughout history that precedes the implementation of a police state and/or a dictatorship.

And that theme is paranoia on the part of the government. When the government regards the people it is supposed to serve as its largest threat, it always falls back on draconian methods to preserve itself.

The US government created this mess, not its citizenry. Its next step will be to declare, in secret or openly, anyone who disagrees with its actions as suspect and deserving of persecution…to protect itself.

And the man currently in the WH is the perfect instrument to continue the growth and power of the government. His narcissism will allow him to further the divide between the government and its citizens. He sees our liberties as a personal threat to himself.

BobMbx on June 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Yep.

Distort Information Flow…Disrupt Communication…Immobilize Access to Bank Accounts.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Ed, I want to add my name to the list of those here who are vehemently against your site’s obvious heavy-handed censorship of our resident (D) posters.

I understand removing specific and offensive submissions, but clearly you’re not allowing them to post at all on any of your IRS / domestic spying / Syria threads.

We’ve seen them on amnesty and Christian-bashing threads, so we know they have limited posting privileges still. Please stop selectively prohibiting them and allow them post on these threads, too.

rogerb on June 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I suspect you’re being sarcastic; were this true, I’m sure they’d be posting that that this was the case in the other threads where they *do* post.

Midas on June 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Its next step will be to declare, in secret or openly, anyone who disagrees with its actions as suspect and deserving of persecution…to protect itself.

I would respectfully suggest that the IRS scandal proves that this has already occurred, and is no longer a ‘future tense’ sort of event. It took that ‘next step’ a few years back already.

Midas on June 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

We can’t or we’d be at the mercy of the LSM and what the government allows. As it is, the internet is the only place to get opposing viewpoints and even learn about this stuff.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Or ,more importantly, you cannot organize politically without sending information back and forth on the internet. Any grassroots, anti-establishment movement is also unwittingly spying on themselves for the establishment.
Also, if I go to court against a huge corporation or gov agency, I would have to assume that my correspondence with my team of lawyers and witnesses is being compromised.

Once people realize the ramifications this will have on the democratic and legal processes they will hopefully come to their senses and become more outraged.

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

This raises a number of interesting questions and concerns. First, are cooperating firms gaining competitive advantages against non-cooperating (and/or unaware) firms in the same market? That kind of distortion would corrupt markets in favor of snitching as a survival tactic, would it not?

.
Ed, you need to step back and think about The Big Picture.

When this was 9 firms – it was outrageous.

Now that we know it is thousands of firms … it is guaranteed to be distorting and corrupting markets.

If necessary, a company executive, known as a “committing officer,” is given documents that guarantee immunity from civil actions resulting from the transfer of data.


How important is the ongoing cooperation of theses companies?

They have already been given civil immunity … but the markets are known to pick winners and losers … and we know the Obama Administration has NO RESPECT for the normal working order of the markets.

The government is subsidizing the “Too Big Too Fail/Too Big To Jail” banks to the tune of $ 85 billion/year – effectively their profits in 2012.

Anyone think those tax dollars will be cut off … EVER?

The Federal Reserve is taking on $ 1 trillion in new assets/liabilities per YEAR onto its balance sheet.

Anyone think the QE programs, which have overwhelmingly benefitted the DJIA, S & P, Nasdaq listed companies and their executives will be TAPERED down … EVER?

Remember, the bulk of the campaign contributions to the Establishment Democrats and Republicans come from the EXECUTIVES who are benefitting from the subsidies and QE programs.

Anyone connecting the dots yet to understand why we have an “IMMIGRATION CRISIS!!!!”.

PolAgnostic on June 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Once people realize the ramifications this will have on the democratic and legal processes they will hopefully come to their senses and become more outraged.

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I’m starting to lose a lot of faith in the average person. It seems they only care about their comforts, which is important of course, but never looking at the bigger picture or how those comforts came about or what it really costs.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I’m starting to lose a lot of faith in the average person. It seems they only care about their comforts, which is important of course, but never looking at the bigger picture or how those comforts came about or what it really costs.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I’m hopeful about the recent polls showing majorities concerned about the phone metadata collections.

The problem is that it will take a sustained backlash to change anything and , like you, I’m not sure if Americans have the character to keep up a sustained push against this.

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I’m starting to lose a lot of faith in the average person. It seems they only care about their comforts, which is important of course, but never looking at the bigger picture or how those comforts came about or what it really costs.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

They’ve been domesticated, and will continue in this manner as long as the government can hold it together. The problem is they aren’t doing a good job holding everything together. Many of the tactics they’ve used to destroy their opposition(the right) are also damaging to the country, and in the end their victory may prove to be a pyrrhic one.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

So the NSA is collecting about a billion pcs of info a day.

That’s nothing compared to The feds adding $2.65 billion a day in federal debt.

Well it is something but I can’t use those words here in good HA company.

can_con on June 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I’m starting to lose a lot of faith in the average person. It seems they only care about their comforts, which is important of course, but never looking at the bigger picture or how those comforts came about or what it really costs.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I’m hopeful about the recent polls showing majorities concerned about the phone metadata collections.

The problem is that it will take a sustained backlash to change anything and , like you, I’m not sure if Americans have the character to keep up a sustained push against this.

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Just keep talking to those you know and follow events.

It’s gonna take a while for this to sink in to average citizens…

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Anybody paying attention to what Soros is doing in the market lately…he’s shedding stock.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hope you gents (?) are right and as workingclass artist says:

Just keep talking to those you know and follow events.

It’s gonna take a while for this to sink in to average citizens…

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 5:14 PM

we have to keep up the good fight.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM

You misunderstand me. I don’t think the U.S. will survive in it’s current borders.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

You misunderstand me. I don’t think the U.S. will survive in it’s current borders.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

I guess I did misunderstand. I thought you were saying the government is going to implode, which I took to be a good thing.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

I guess I did misunderstand. I thought you were saying the government is going to implode, which I took to be a good thing.

kim roy on June 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

It looks like I misunderstood you. The failure of the government is exactly what I meant, but most people consider that a very bad thing. I personally, have reached a point that I don’t think it’s either good or bad. It is simply an event that will happen regardless of how I feel about it.

DFCtomm on June 14, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Once people realize the ramifications this will have on the democratic and legal processes they will hopefully come to their senses and become more outraged.

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Wait till the Democrat leeches discover there won’t be any more welfare checks. Odds are good that they’ll continue to believe they are entitled to it, and will just come and take whatever they feel entitled to from whoever happens to have it.

Can you say Bolshevik?

BobMbx on June 14, 2013 at 7:32 PM

You can look at this as American industry doing its patriotic duty in wartime. You can also look at this as trusted corporations selling out their customers to curry favor with the government to pick up some secret benefits. There’s probably a little of both going on, but it’s difficult to say which is most prevalent, in part because no one revealed that this was going on until now. Most sophisticated users would know that the capability exists but assume that the companies they choose to patronize would require a valid search warrant before surrendering the kind of data being shared. We know what happens when we assume, especially these days.

Previously, I had my suspicions, but thought I was being too conspiratorial and off the rails to take the theory seriously. However, if this data is being shared with private corporations then I think I can be certain that it was also shared with Obama’s election campaign. The R’s need to investigate this hard. This was a bigger election “dirty trick” than Nixon’s burglars!

MJBrutus on June 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

The Stasi is so jealous.

rbj on June 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

The IRS is doing it too!!!

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Okie dokie, so what federal agency isn’t?…..Now it really is good time to give some thought to going off the grid.

hawkeye54 on June 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

.. he said in the poli-blog comment-thread.

It is true that Nacchio doesn’t make a necessarily attractive victim nor should his account be automatically assumed to be 100% true because he obviously has an ax to grind against the government, which may or may not be legitimate, but after what we’ve learned of late, is it impossible that the government would retaliate against him because of his refusal?

Obviously, the answer is ‘no.’

Resist We Much on June 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Okay – now I’m going off the grid!

So the IRS knew what all the conservative taxpayer groups were doing online before they even asked the questions..?

d1carter on June 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Maybe the NSA wouldn’t tell them.

Maybe I’m mistaken … but are not the bulk of the technology companies being run by ardent Obama supporters? … And who knows … maybe all of these companies are now members of the “Too Big Too Jail” club.

PolAgnostic on June 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Connecting the dots.

Want to make a bet on whether the company making the anti-tracking software has provided back door access to the U.S. government?

PolAgnostic on June 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Better not use Microsoft or McAfee.

A report from last December: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/12/gov-dossiers-on-us-citizens/

davidk on June 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report. … The Obama administration’s new rules come after previous surveillance proposals were struck down during the Bush administration, following widespread condemnation.

In 2002, the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program proposed to scrutinize both government and private databases, but public outrage killed the program in essence, though not in spirit. Although Congress de-funded the program in 2003, the NSA continued to collect and sift through immense amounts of data about who Americans spoke with, where they traveled and how they spent their money. … But the request to expand the center’s powers led to a heated debate at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, with Mary Ellen Callahan, then-chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, leading the charge to defend civil liberties. Callahan argued that the new rules represented a “sea change” and that every interaction a citizen would have with the government in the future would be ruled by the underlying question, is that person a terrorist?

Did anyone at Hot Air pick this up back then? I don’t remember seeing it, but December is a busy time.

AesopFan on June 14, 2013 at 8:06 PM

The problem is that it will take a sustained backlash to change anything and , like you, I’m not sure if Americans have the character to keep up a sustained push against this.

BoxHead1 on June 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Judging from the “Wired” piece last December (quoted above), it doesn’t matter if the public keeps up a push for change; the administration will simply ignore us and do whatever they want.
Notice that Holder unilaterally expanded the already illegal data-collection-and-holding despite the expressed will of Congress.

AesopFan on June 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

When I click “I agree” I don’t mean I am submitting my life to Big Brother.

Stupid me.

PattyJ on June 14, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Washington DC is full of CRONY CRAPITALISTS who are responsible for the bank, auto, and Wall Street messes.

hamradio on June 15, 2013 at 1:09 AM

I don’t know is anyone has posted this yet, is so sorry. It is interesting to say the least. Not surprising though.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/14/guess-who-tops-the-chart-of-countries-making-requests-for-user-data/

letget on June 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

V interesting. These are the disclosed requests, of course. The analysis they have there fails to adjust the report for population. When you see that the UK has 1/5 of the US population, their per capita rate of requests is more than double the US rate. And I don’t know why Turkey is in the list at all.

virgo on June 15, 2013 at 1:49 PM