Nadler: NSA told us analysts can conduct warrantless wiretapping; Update: Nadler retracts

posted at 12:31 pm on June 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

For most of the last week, the US intelligence and law-enforcement communities have insisted that the controversy over the NSA surveillance programs has been overblown and overhyped.  Not according to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who attended a briefing this week and pronounced himself “rather startled” by the disclosures.  CNet’s Declan McCullagh reported yesterday that Nadler claimed the NSA admitted to domestic phone tapping without warrants, and also said the NSA allows low-level analysts to approve such intrusions:

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler’s disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

Congress believed it had proscribed this option in its 2008 revamping of the FISA laws, which then-Senator Barack Obama supported.  The law forbids the NSA or any other intelligence agency from targeting “US persons” without a warrant.  However, McCullagh reports that the NSA may have another interpretation of that clause:

A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA “may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.” A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically — on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to “target” a specific American citizen.

There is also the question about the difference between storing and actually listening to the calls.  The NSA might be recording and storing a wide range of phone calls (and Internet activity) without actually perusing it.  The theory goes that the NSA would not bother to listen to these calls unless they had a reason to do so, at which point they would seek a FISA court order to search through the calls.  But that may be a chicken-egg question: do they suspect something based on external intelligence, or do they run sophisticated search functions within the stored data that ends up highlighting suspicious activity?  And what kind of oversight gets exercised over the decision to add a domestic phone number to the recording queue?  According to Nadler, at least, those decisions are made on a low level with little oversight at all.

One point of skepticism has been the sheer scope of domestic traffic, both phone and Internet, and the cost of storing it.  McCullagh points us to an analysis conducted by Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, which estimates the technological cost of storing recordings of all domestic calls in a year at the surprisingly low cost of $27 million.  That’s just the storage costs, of course; the programs needed to perform searches, the personnel costs, and all of the security efforts would make that price tag go up.  It’s not exactly a budget-buster to do, though, despite what people might assume.

So is that what happens — the NSA stores all the data, but doesn’t search it without specific warrants, and therefore considers itself within the law?  The Washington Post sheds a little more light on that question with a look back at a now-famous standoff between the FBI and the Bush administration:

The legal challenge for the NSA was that its practice of collecting high volumes of data from digital links did not seem to meet even the relatively low requirements of Bush’s authorization, which allowed collection of Internet metadata “for communications with at least one communicant outside the United States or for which no communicant was known to be a citizen of the United States,” the NSA inspector general’s report said.

Lawyers for the agency came up with an interpretation that said the NSA did not “acquire” the communications, a term with formal meaning in surveillance law, until analysts ran searches against it. The NSA could “obtain” metadata in bulk, they argued, without meeting the required standards for acquisition.

Goldsmith and Comey did not buy that argument, and a high-ranking U.S. intelligence official said the NSA does not rely on it today.

As soon as surveillance data “touches us, we’ve got it, whatever verbs you choose to use,” the official said in an interview. “We’re not saying there’s a magic formula that lets us have it without having it.”

When Comey finally ordered a stop to the program, Bush signed an order renewing it anyway. Comey, Goldsmith, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and most of the senior Bush appointees in the Justice Department began drafting letters of resignation.

Then-NSA Director Michael V. Hayden was not among them. According to the inspector general’s classified report, Cheney’s lawyer, Addington, placed a phone call and “General Hayden had to decide whether NSA would execute the Authorization without the Attorney General’s signature.” He decided to go along.

The following morning, when Mueller told Bush that he and Comey intended to resign, the president reversed himself.

Three months later, on July 15, the secret surveillance court allowed the NSA to resume bulk collection under the court’s own authority. The opinion, which remains highly classified, was based on a provision of electronic surveillance law, known as “pen register, trap and trace,” that was written to allow law enforcement officers to obtain the phone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls from a single telephone line.

When the NSA aims for foreign targets whose communications cross U.S. infrastructure, it expects to sweep in some American content “incidentally” or “inadvertently,” which are terms of art in regulations governing the NSA. Contact chaining, because it extends to the contacts of contacts of targets, inevitably collects even more American data.

Intelligence committee members have insisted that the NSA programs are conducted with plenty of oversight, and the controversy may still turn out to be hyperventilating over relatively minor issues of scope.  However, it’s at least clear that Congress hasn’t exercised enough oversight on these programs, and that most of them still don’t know what the NSA is really doing.

Update (AP): Did the NSA really say in a classified briefing that it can listen in on calls without a warrant, or did Nadler simply get confused? Here’s his new statement to BuzzFeed:

“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.”

Read the transcript of his exchange with Mueller to see where he erred. The NSA told him that they could get “specific information” about a suspicious phone number without a FISA warrant. Nadler somehow took that to mean that they could tap that phone number and listen in. As Kevin Drum and Julian Sanchez noted last night, though, “specific information” may simply have meant metadata and phone records for the number, not the actual contents of phone calls. To actually tap a line, they need FISA approval. That’s what Mueller was trying to tell him.

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KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Happy Sunday, and if you’re a dad, Happy Father’s Day!

Hey, folks! Greet our friend and colleague again.

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 2:11 PM

…TROLLCOTT the nub…let the rat rant!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM

KOOKAID2′s mother died recently, in her 90s.

HAL is the ultimate swine of HA who insults dead nonagenarian moms.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Inside every liberal is a totalitarian control freak screaming to get out.

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

KOOLAID2′s mother.

If it was Freudian, no worries. I like your kookiness. It’s necessary to survive today.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 2:14 PM

But it was just a typo, AID.

Don’t cott them – having them on display is hilarity pure. Every one is a disgrace to their cause. Their masters hate them passionately.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Inside every liberal is a totalitarian control freak screaming to get out.

John the Libertarian on June 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Quit calling them liberal or progressive.

They are leftist tyrannical thugs, with no exceptions.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

I think “acknowledged” is the wrong verb. How ’bout “claimed?”

notropis on June 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Wake up America and world.

Obama stands for two things, only two:

1. His own power

2. The success of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

In case of failure of Point 2, see Point 1.

yesiamapirate on June 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

(:->)

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

“Anybody noticed the flood of State Run Media stories on the IRS and NSA..?

d1carter on June 16, 2013 at 1:51 PM

In other news in the Great American Gulag…

“On Twitter, iowahawk notes a story from April that carries new significance in light of recent revelations:

The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year — it’s also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers’ digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it’s never gone before.

. . . .

“It’s well-known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use,” says Edward Zelinsky, a tax law expert and professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yale Law School. “I am sure people will be concerned about the use of personal information on databases in government, and those concerns are well-taken. It’s appropriate to watch it carefully. There should be safeguards.” He adds that taxpayers should know that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement.

. . . .

“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications. The IRS did not respond to a request for an interview.

How extensive is this surveillance? You can rest easy, because of the judicial oversight! . . . by a court that denies fully .03% of all surveillance requests . . . and the legislative oversight! . . . that is, by the lawmakers who are in town to listen to the details:

Many senators elected to leave Washington early Thursday afternoon instead of attending a briefing with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and other officials.

The Senate held its last vote of the week a little after noon on Thursday, and many lawmakers were eager to take advantage of the short day and head back to their home states for Father’s Day weekend.

Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity.

By the way, I’m not sure I place the blame for this on the Senators. One wonders when the briefing was announced, and whether it was deliberately set for a day and time when the administration knew lawmakers had already scheduled their out-of-town trips…”

http://patterico.com/

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 2:18 PM

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Yep, what the criminals at the IRS is doing may be worse than the NSA…I wonder what Big Sis is doing over at HSA..?
What’s more troubling is that Congress doesn’t seem to know or care what is going on…hmmm.

d1carter on June 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Don’t cott them – having them on display is hilarity pure. Every one is a disgrace to their cause. Their masters hate them passionately.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Ed and Allah should appeal to the OFA for a better class of troll. This crop should be trolling TMZ. HA deserves better.

BoxHead1 on June 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM

So if the POTUS can push messages to our phones, then can he get info from our phones as well..?

d1carter on June 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Erh…..yes? See: PRISM, NSA, Snowden, etc….

BobMbx on June 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

But, but, but……….everything Snowden was a lie. I know ’cause a Congressman said so and they’re oversightin’ NSA and stuff, ………………or something.

/s. (in case you didn’t know)

yesiamapirate on June 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

KOOKAID2′s mother died recently, in her 90s.

HAL is the ultimate swine of HA who insults dead nonagenarian moms.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

It will be with great pleasure that I will witness HAL’s demise. “how could this happen to MEEEE!?” will bring on great hilarity.

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM

…TROLLCOTT the nub…let the rat rant!

KOOLAID2 on June 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Bears repeating.

Our former VP just compared the NSA trolling with Code Ultra in WW II.

His comparisons reminded of one of the biggest morons I have ever known. The guy was dangerous to sense and logic everywhere he went. By the sound of issues I hear advocated, he probably works for Senator McCain today.

Dang! I didn’t know that private Americans made calls and sent emails in German Code during WW II.

Then he went to resumes. For example, the sterling general we have running NSA? He is doing all that alone? No staff? No footsie with other agencies or rogue players? Wow.

I think when we have a high school dropout take off for Hong Kong with the silverware, maybe, just maybe… we don’t have anyone protecting? Nay, giving us any privacy.

IlikedAUH2O on June 16, 2013 at 2:36 PM

You can rest easy, because of the judicial oversight!

TO CLARIFY:

DEFINITION: Oversight:

Noun

An unintentional failure to notice or do something.
The action of overseeing something.

Synonyms
error – mistake – supervision – inadvertence – slip

The administration should be challenged to cite examples of “overseeing,” which is really what we expect from our government.

DEFINITION: Oversee:

Verb
Supervise (a person or work), esp. in an official capacity.

Synonyms
supervise – superintend – monitor – overlook – watch

It seems that an ambiguous word (‘oversight’) with two diametrically opposite meanings is being used by the enemies of the Fourth Ammendment to obfuscate this issue. Was this an oversight???

landlines on June 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

It seems that an ambiguous word (‘oversight’) with two diametrically opposite meanings is being used by the enemies of the Fourth Ammendment to obfuscate this issue. Was this an oversight???

landlines on June 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

If it was an oversight, I’m curious to know who was overseeing the operation?

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

“Since its creation in 1952 the NSA has been listening in on the world’s communications, from drunk Soviet leaders to Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone. Its thirst for information is well known. For decades, under a programme called Echelon, it has operated listening stations around the world that intercept troves of phone and data traffic.

Yet the latest disclosures suggest a scale of data-collection bigger than many experts had expected. A former high-ranking American official with ties to intelligence says more programmes skirting legality have still to be exposed. Mr Snowden has handed over “thousands” of classified documents, according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the story, so more disclosures are probably on the way. His revelations have already prompted condemnation—and vigorous debate over the proper role and extent of modern government surveillance.

Insight into the telephone-data collection came from a leaked order from a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court instructing Verizon, one of the country’s biggest telecoms firms, with 121m American customers, to hand over information about all calls on its network “on an ongoing daily basis”. The FISA court was created in 1978 to approve or deny government requests to listen to foreigners’ calls on the ground of national security. Other telecoms firms are believed to deliver data under similar FISA orders, which appear to be renewed every three months….

Back when telephones were plugged into walls and data analysis was done by humans, the usefulness of metadata was limited: hence the lower evidentiary standards required to obtain them. But thanks to powerful computers that can map people’s associations, and mobile phones that pinpoint a person’s movements, metadata can now provide a detailed portrait of who people know, where they go and their daily routines. The NSA may be able to use metadata to identify connections between people even if they have never shared a direct link, just as Facebook can predict which people a user may know. From a security point of view, what matters is getting all the information available.

At the same time, the need to examine data at a moment’s notice has shifted the regime to “collection first” and analysis later, under FISA approval….

Hands off my metadata

Whatever the truth, the leaks are damaging America’s telecoms and internet firms, especially the companies whose cheerful logos appear at the top of the leaked slides describing PRISM. The bosses of Google and Facebook, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg, both strongly denied that the NSA has special access, and said they had not received orders to supply communications data, like the one issued to Verizon…

Yet it is possible to speculate that they are simply unaware of some data-hoovering. According to a lawyer at a telecoms company and the retired boss of a large telecoms group operating in the United States, telecoms companies have long been required to employ technicians with security clearances who assist in government surveillance, but are not allowed to disclose their activities to their uncleared bosses. The same request may, perhaps, have been extended to web firms.

Google, Facebook and Microsoft have requested permission to publish the numbers of national-security requests they receive, including FISA orders. So far there is no sign that the big web firms are losing users, and their share prices have not been hit. But the boss of a large European telecoms operator says he plans to market his services on the basis that they protect customer data from America’s prying eyes.

American officials keep repeating that they hoover up very little content belonging to their own citizens. That is no comfort to the many millions of foreigners who visit American websites or whose traffic happens to pass along networks owned by American firms. On June 10th William Hague, Britain’s foreign minister, promised that his country’s spies would explain to a parliamentary committee how they may have benefited from America’s surveillance. British MPs fear that spooks are asking American agencies to fish out information on Britons they are forbidden to collect themselves—a claim Mr Hague said was “fanciful”.

Snoopers international

China dined out on the surveillance saga, with the state-run China Daily remarking that it was “certain to stain Washington’s overseas image”, and citing a Chinese academic who condemned “the unbridled power of the [American] government”. Peter Schaar, Germany’s data-protection chief, said the alleged scale of the spying was “monstrous”. Europe’s politicians have long fretted about FISA. In October a report prepared for the European Parliament warned that the law had granted American spies “heavy-calibre mass-surveillance firepower” and recommended that cloud-storage providers should be required to warn European users of the risks.

The weaker powers granted to European spooks are part of a pattern. In April the British government was forced to drop plans to make it easier for investigators to see whom troublemakers contact online. It aimed to require more phone and internet firms to store data about what their customers do, but would probably not have allowed authorities to download and store it daily, as in America. Critics mauled the proposal, but appreciated that it had been made public and debated. European privacy groups blame American lobbying after the September 11th attacks for the EU’s own limited data-retention law. Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic have failed to ratify it fully; Austria and Ireland have asked a European court to rule on it.

But America’s energetic snooping is part of a broader global trend. Each year authorities in South Korea make more than 37m requests to see communications data stored about the country’s 50m people (police in Britain make about 500,000). New laws in Kenya let the government snoop on suspects indefinitely once an application is approved. India is considering a plan to route communications through government equipment, helping it to eavesdrop without alerting service providers. A report presented on June 4th by Frank La Rue, the UN’s special rapporteur on free expression, warned that broad interpretations of outdated laws were enabling sophisticated and invasive surveillance measures to flourish around the world. He called for governments to draw up new regulations that properly acknowledge the growing power of modern spying equipment.

Flourishing surveillance abroad may have a surprising impact back home. As more communications are stored on servers far from the citizens who created them, domestic intelligence services are increasingly trying to track activity overseas, says Carly Nyst of Privacy International, a lobby group. South Africa and Pakistan have both passed laws that give agencies more power to intercept communications between foreign citizens and to peruse material on servers abroad. Dutch spies want approval to hack into foreign machines and infect them with spyware. One risk is that security services from friendly countries will collaborate to evade domestic limits on their power, says Mr La Rue. Everyone is a foreigner to someone…

Driving all this is a dramatic expansion in the information people create, transmit and store. The fact that the scale and scope of surveillance has widened too should raise no eyebrows. That does not make the NSA’s work legitimate, but it makes it likely to continue—even if better protections emerge against abuse. When asked what the best outcome of the present furore would be, a former intelligence official said: “It’s that we have a debate and keep doing what we’re doing in better conscience.” That is only half the answer….”

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21579473-americas-national-security-agency-collects-more-information-most-people-thought-will

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Great essay at Reason blog…tying this political climate to the 70′s

“For a moment in the middle of the 1970s, a substantial section of the legislature would devote itself to exposing executive-branch misdeeds and to preventing such crimes from recurring.

America hasn’t really seen a moment like that again. Oh, we’ve had plenty of scandals, and sometimes they’ve ripped back a part of the curtain that conceals the covert state from the citizens. That happened after the Iran-contra story erupted in 1986, revealing that Reagan officials had secretly sold weapons to Iran and channeled some of the profits to the contra rebels in Nicaragua. And there were congressional investigations in the 1990s that shined some light on the underside of the federal police apparatus. But there was nothing really comparable to the ’70s, when a wave of suspicion swept across the political spectrum and when substantial change briefly seemed possible. In 2013, as new stories of misbehavior at the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, and other arms of the government hit the headlines, it’s worthwhile to consider why exactly that moment has been so hard to recapture, and what it would take to recreate that post-Nixon spirit of reform.

The exposés of the ’70s actually began before Watergate. As the Vietnam War wore on and domestic politics grew more bitter and violent, more critical coverage of the federal government began to appear in the mainstream media. Particularly notable were two stories that appeared in 1971. One was the leak of the Pentagon Papers, a report revealing that officials had lied repeatedly about what had been happening in Vietnam. The other one followed a break-in at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in Media, Pennsylvania, where a group of activists made off with more than a thousand documents detailing the agency’s attempts to infiltrate and undermine protest movements. The FBI’s program, known as COINTELPRO, was subsequently discussed in papers across the nation.

But the real shift took off after five burglars were arrested at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. Over the next two years a chain of evidence would emerge that linked their illegal activity to Nixon, and that exposed a wide range of additional wrongdoing in the process. Nixon’s operatives, we learned, had sabotaged the campaigns of the candidates believed to have the best chance of unseating their boss in the 1972 election. After the authorities started looking into the Watergate break-in, they had done their best to undermine that investigation too. When the military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, Nixon’s men had burglarized the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, looking for information that could be used against the whistleblower. Nixon staffers had also assembled a list of the president’s political foes, aiming—as White House Counsel John Dean explained it in a confidential memo—to “use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.” Within the IRS, a group called the Special Service Staff had regularly harassed people for political purposes. And on top of all that, some of the Watergate conspirators had seriously considered a plan to assassinate the newspaper columnist Jack Anderson.

After Nixon left office and the post-Watergate Congress came to power, the investigations cast a wider net. The Idaho Democrat Frank Church chaired a Senate committee that probed a host of executive-branch abuses, including COINTELPRO, CIA assassination plots, politically motivated IRS audits, a federal effort to intercept and read Americans’ mail, the “surreptitious administration” of LSD “to unwitting nonvolunteer subjects,” and an enormous surveillance program at the National Security Agency, which had been illegally monitoring citizens’ phone calls and telegrams. A similar committee in the House, chaired by the New York Democrat Otis Pike, took a hard look at the CIA’s budget secrecy and its spotty record in foreseeing foreign crises. As one disquieting story after another surfaced, mainstream Americans increasingly adopted the sorts of suspicions that just a few years earlier had largely been limited to the counterculture and the New Left. (An underground paper in Atlanta greeted the Nixon scandals with the headline “Watergate: Excuse Us for Bragging But We Told You So!”)

Crucially, this disillusionment wasn’t limited to liberals. The center was shaken, as the FBI and CIA’s favorability ratings went into free fall. And while much of the right reacted to the revelations by defending the embattled national security agencies, Republicans also delighted in digging out dirty deeds by earlier administrations and throwing them back in the Democrats’ faces. One conservative book of the era, Victor Lasky’s It Didn’t Start with Watergate, included a spirited recital of ugly facts about previous presidents: how Franklin Roosevelt used the FBI to spy on the critics of his foreign policy; how Harry Truman owed his career to Tom Pendergast’s corrupt, vote-stealing political machine; how John and Bobby Kennedy steamrolled civil liberties in their pursuit of Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa; how Lyndon Johnson used the CIA, including future Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, to spy on Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign…

….The anthropologist Nicholas Dirks has described public scandals as “ritual moments in which the sacrifice of the reputation of one or more individuals allows many more to continue their scandalous ways, if perhaps with minimal safeguards and protocols that are meant to ensure that the terrible excesses of the past will not occur again.” That’s the greatest challenge for anyone trying to transform the system: how to ensure you’ve accomplished more than a political ritual. We don’t just need to recreate that ’70s spirit of reform. We need to surpass it….”

http://reason.com/archives/2013/06/13/nsa-scandal-what-it-would-take

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

How was the NSA information used in the Obama re-election is the BIG question!!!

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Eric Schmidt, in particular, seems on his way to becoming a major Democratic powerbroker, bringing Silicon Valley smarts–and who knows what else–into the realm of partisan campaigning. Schmidt is so into this president that he snapped up the 2012 Obama campaign’s data analytics team–hired the whole Chicago group–and has now launched them in a new company. The company, Civis Analytics, will work on various for-profit and non-profit projects, including helping the Obama administration dragoon young people into Obamacare. And oh yes, Civis will also work on political campaigns–but only for Democrats.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/10/The-Fuse-Has-Been-Lit-Seven-Critical-Points-on-Uncle-Sam-s-Spying-Program

bluefox on June 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yep, what the criminals at the IRS is doing may be worse than the NSA…I wonder what Big Sis is doing over at HSA..?
What’s more troubling is that Congress doesn’t seem to know or care what is going on…hmmm.

d1carter on June 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Here ya go…

Why the IRS scandal is worse than the others
Bob Ehrlich says the targeting of conservative groups epitomizes what is wrong with an arrogant, overreaching government

…The irony of the IRS scandal is indeed thick: Groups that share a common distrust of the ways and means of the U.S. government were illegally targeted by … agents of the U.S. government.

Remember, just because you’re paranoid does not mean that everybody is not out to get you. Unless, it appears, you are a liberal Democrat …

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-ehrlich-irs-20130616,0,6184547.column#ixzz2WPJEXjzV

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Eric Schmidt, in particular, seems on his way to becoming a major Democratic powerbroker, bringing Silicon Valley smarts–and who knows what else–into the realm of partisan campaigning. Schmidt is so into this president that he snapped up the 2012 Obama campaign’s data analytics team–hired the whole Chicago group–and has now launched them in a new company. The company, Civis Analytics, will work on various for-profit and non-profit projects, including helping the Obama administration dragoon young people into Obamacare. And oh yes, Civis will also work on political campaigns–but only for Democrats.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/10/The-Fuse-Has-Been-Lit-Seven-Critical-Points-on-Uncle-Sam-s-Spying-Program

bluefox on June 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Won’t mean a thing when it all burns down. These “people” play with fire and will all get burned. They should have tried to take our guns away sooner. Oh, and Hi Janet!

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Hmmmmm….

“A government agency whose job it is to limit political debate is now seeking to drastically restrict free civil rights advocacy—advocacy that has guided our nation to live up to its ideals of freedom and justice. A first-of-its-kind legal battle over the agency’s actions is now raging in Washington state and will answer important questions about the limits of government power, the right of free speech and political participation, and the ability of civil rights advocates to represent their clients against a government agency when that agency is violating constitutionally enshrined rights.

It is bad enough that Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission is working to silence those who merely seek to participate in the political process. But now, the PDC has sunk to a new level of vindictiveness pursuing a policy that threatens America’s long-held traditions of civil rights advocacy: The PDC is now seeking to unconstitutionally silence the public interest law firm that came to the aid of those the PDC tried to bully into silence in the first place. Undaunted, the grassroots political activists and their pro bono public interest attorneys filed a lawsuit in state court against the Public Disclosure Commission seeking to vindicate their right to receive and offer free legal aid to those whose most-fundamental civil rights are being violated by the government.

Since 2011, the Institute for Justice (IJ) has represented “Recall Dale Washam” in a challenge to a PDC-enforced statute that caps the amount of contributions that can be donated to a recall campaign. IJ, like most public interest law firms, is a 501(c)(3) organization, which doesn’t charge its clients for its services and, under the tax code, attracts tax-deductible contributions to sustain its mission. But if the PDC is successful in its efforts to require the Recall Dale Washam campaign to count IJ’s help as a campaign contribution, IJ would not only lose its ability to speak out freely through its pro bono legal help, it would also jeopardize the organization’s tax status because its legal services would be misconstrued as political advocacy—a “no no” in the nonprofit world. The recall campaign itself would face massive fines and even criminal punishment for accepting what the PDC is calling “in-kind contributions”—or what American jurisprudence has always considered vitally important free civil rights legal representation. Despite administering one of the most restrictive and intrusive campaign finance regulatory regimes in the country, the PDC seeks to limit the amount of legal services organizations like IJ can provide to organizations to vindicate their rights. For instance, in the recall context, the limit is a mere $900—or about two hours of billable time for the average attorney from any major American city.

The PDC has left IJ with two unacceptable choices: Jeopardize its nonprofit status or limit its public interest advocacy. Representing itself as well as its clients from the recall case, who rely on IJ’s free civil rights representation, the Institute for Justice selected a third option: Take the PDC to court. IJ filed suit in the Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma, Wash., on June 13, 2013. The case—which is the first of its kind in the nation—seeks to put an end to the PDC’s unprecedented actions. The case seeks to set an important precedent to stop this brazen attempt to frustrate federal civil rights law and secure the plaintiffs’ ability to provide, and receive, legal help in vindicating fundamental constitutional rights…”

http://www.ij.org/IJvsPDC

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 3:11 PM

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Constitution? You don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution.
–The Left

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

“The best way to discover terrorist plots is to focus on the groups from which terrorists are recruited. Most of today’s terrorists are inspired by an ideology that security experts call radical Islam. Not wanting to offend the peaceful majority of Muslims, government officials prefer to avoid the topic. We see this at work in the NSA, which operates according to the assumption that no group is more likely to produce terrorists than another. However, gathering and analyzing data from the entire U.S. population can distract agencies from following up on specific leads such as Russia’s warning about Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As former NSA analyst William Binney told The Daily Caller, “They’re making themselves dysfunctional by collecting all of this data.”

The collection of metadata is not as innocuous as it might sound. Metadata may include who you call, what you search for, and where you shop. Large quantities of metadata gathered over time can reveal your religion, political views, health concerns, and other personal details. Knowledge is power, and others could potentially use that knowledge to intimidate or even blackmail you. Just knowing that you are constantly being watched may be enough to dissuade you from engaging in dissent.

If privacy is no longer realistic, then forget about personal safety. Your phone, Internet, and credit card records include account numbers, usernames, and passwords. This information could be used to steal your money or even your identity. Plus, by gathering your data and storing it in a central database, the government creates yet another opportunity for hackers to access your private data — a risk over which you have no control.

The existence of strict rules for accessing and using the data does not guarantee that abuses won’t occur. Surely there are strict rules that prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from targeting groups based on their political views. Yet it happened. While safeguards can be put in place to prevent abuse of citizens’ records, there are always ways to get around safeguards. Eliminating the source of temptation is a far better solution…”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/15/hello-total-information-awareness-goodbye-freedom/#ixzz2WPNeDz00

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Nader is confirming Snowden’s claim that he can listen in on anyone’s phone, including POTUS.

Herb on June 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Constitution? You don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution.
–The Left

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Seems that the IRS is also targeting legal non-profits they don’t like.

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Nader is confirming Snowden’s claim that he can listen in on anyone’s phone, including POTUS.

Herb on June 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Snowden is a hero and I hope he starts dishing out the info pronto.

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 3:20 PM

and also said the NSA allows low-level analysts to approve such intrusions

think Snowden. low level analysts who have top secret clearance. the cogs in the spy wheel.

unseen on June 16, 2013 at 3:20 PM

out of control government the greatest fear of the founders has come to pass. the question now is what are we going to do about it?

unseen on June 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Regarding the update: Makes me wonder what they have on Nadler.

Or, if he is that easily confused to have gotten it wrong in the first place, even when common English is used, he needs to be removed from office.

No wonder we wind up with so many bad laws in this country.

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 3:25 PM

out of control government the greatest fear of the founders has come to pass. the question now is what are we going to do about it?

unseen on June 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Bingo! Give that man a ceegar!

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 3:25 PM

To the Update from AP, I reiterate this

Another congressman who attended the meeting said last night that what Snowden released is only the top percentage…that he has oodles of more information that, if released, will be very damning to the overlords and what they do to you.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

McCullagh points us to an analysis conducted by Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, which estimates the technological cost of storing recordings of all domestic calls in a year at the surprisingly low cost of $27 million. That’s just the storage costs, of course; the programs needed to perform searches, the personnel costs, and all of the security efforts would make that price tag go up. It’s not exactly a budget-buster to do, though, despite what people might assume.

This back of a napkin analysis and calculation of raw storage requirements is almost useless and very misleading.

You can store a lot on a $10 8-16 GB thumbdrive. But you need a PC worth at least a few hundred dollars to access it, find anything in it, make sense of it, and do anything with it. Scale that up many, many, many orders of magnitude and the costs get exponentially higher. Not to mention that raw streamed digital audio is largely unorganized. It will have to be organized, restructures, indexed, etc. Without some structure and organization it is little more than an ocean of bytes.

Further, raw streamed digital audio data will almost certainly require more bytes than he estimates, considering all of the communications protocol overhead, retransmission when there is an error, etc.

And then there is the fact that the data for calls is broken into many segments and pieces that are interspersed with the segments of calls from thousands, maybe millions of other calls, depending on where exactly the tap into the data stream is located relative to the two end points for the call.

Also, I suspect that 300 minutes a month is a very, very low number for phone calls per person in the US, especially when you consider work related phone calls.

And so on and so forth.

Any business that made an estimate for a contract based on such an analysis would be out of business in a heartbeat.

farsighted on June 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Good grief, per the update now it sounds like he has no idea what they can tap or can’t tap, or did or didn’t tap, or what they need so they can. My God, is anyone in charge there who knows what they’re doing and why?

scalleywag on June 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

To actually tap a line, they need FISA approval. That’s what Mueller was trying to tell him.

Whew! I was worried. Knowing that the Star Chamber’s approval is needed makes me feel so much better…

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Did the NSA really say in a classified briefing that it can listen in on calls without a warrant, or did Nadler simply get confused?

I’ll go with confused.

Congress is not filled with rocket scientists.

My guess is the level of understanding of communications and computer technology in Congress is extremely low. They will become confused very, very quickly once any explanation goes beyond gross oversimplifications.

farsighted on June 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

To actually tap a line, they need FISA approval. That’s what Mueller was trying to tell him.

Whew! I was worried. Knowing that the Star Chamber’s approval is needed makes me feel so much better…

ROCnPhilly on June 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

That’s not fair. The FISA court holds them accountable .03% of the time.

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Shorter Nadler: Nevermind..?

d1carter on June 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Look for more hyperventilation in the future. The left has been waiting for a chance to go after national security like this since the 60′s.

Count to 10 on June 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Update: Nadler retracts

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

Skywise on June 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Infiltration:

That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.

But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.

http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-snoops-part-2-infiltrate-target-harass-churches

davidk on June 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

I guess the rebellions will now be organized by snail mail and face to face meetings, heh.

Alinsky on June 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

.
“D” for Dimwit! LOL

ExpressoBold on June 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

Skywise on June 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

.
His name Jerrold, not JEDI… get real!

ExpressoBold on June 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

“So – which time were you lying, Mr. Nadler?”

“My lie began when I stataed “My name is Nadler”…”

“So then – every THOUGHT you HAVE is a LIE?”

“I have dreams while I sleep, Those dreams are actually lies.”

“So – we can assume tthat EVERY cognitive colection of words excreted from your MOUTH is a lie, then?”

“Yes…”

williamg on June 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM

davidk on June 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

That would never be tolerated against mosques. I bet anyone who ever suggested it would be severely disciplined.

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

What ever makes you sleep at night bud.

HotAirLib on June 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM

May the rules you embrace live to see the next regime.

kim roy on June 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Why do I think they got to Nadler? How can one misunderstand the information he heard in a classified briefing? Far easier to believe they reminded him of the consequences of leaking classified information.

paul1149 on June 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

We have always never been at war with Eastasia.

Philly on June 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

paul1149 on June 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s a pattern here despite the number of people involved in all these scandals. It’s everything from, “I don’t know,” to, “I forget,” and now, “I got confused.”

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s a pattern here despite the number of people involved in all these scandals. It’s everything from, “I don’t know,” to, “I forget,” and now, “I got confused.”

Liam on June 16, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Otherwise known colloquially as “That squeeze you feel are just NSA love pats…”

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Of course he retracted…we just wonder if it is NSA or the IRS that has something on him…

ProfShadow on June 16, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Of course he retracted…we just wonder if it is NSA or the IRS that has something on him…
ProfShadow on June 16, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Idiots! Enough with the ridiculous hyperventilating!

Some of you obviously WANTED this to be true because you hoped it would hurt Obama. Fools! This isn’t about Obama.

What happened was an anti-American traitor, Edward Snowden, stabbed his country in the back, weakened our security and is giving reams of secret documents to our enemies, and people here fell for his grandiose exaggerations and have taken to supporting his treason. I’m embarrassed for a lot of you.

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Why do I think they got to Nadler? How can one misunderstand the information he heard in a classified briefing? Far easier to believe they reminded him of the consequences of leaking classified information.
paul1149 on June 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

“They” got to Nadler. Sounds so sinister.

When did the HotAir comment section become filled with tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists?

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

When did the autopost app change its name to “bluegill?” Anybody got a freezer we can put this stinky fish into?

ExpressoBold on June 16, 2013 at 5:09 PM

When did the autopost app change its name to “bluegill?” Anybody got a freezer we can put this stinky fish into?

ExpressoBold on June 16, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Don’t look at me, I have HAL locked in a closet.

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Idiots! …

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Phuck off c unt.

CW on June 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Why do I think they got to Nadler? How can one misunderstand the information he heard in a classified briefing? Far easier to believe they reminded him of the consequences of leaking classified information.
paul1149 on June 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

It is really sad when Nadler may be trusted more than the government.

Just saying

F15Mech on June 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Occam’s Razor (for the moment): Nadler is fat effing idiot.

Other theory (for the moment): THEY got to him.

My question: If NSA has the capability to listen in to everything, what’s a warrant between friends at NSA and every other alphabet agency? Why can’t a simple analyst like Snowden listen to anything he wants? What are the safeguards?? Show us. That’s what we need to know.

ex Dem from Miami on June 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Yeah, your Party is so smart, it lost the college graduate vote in 2012.

And it had to increase its share of the high school dropout vote from 70% to 80% just to have a chance.

F+

Del Dolemonte on June 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

What ever makes you sleep at night bud.

HotLips on June 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM

No, what makes me sleep at night is knowing that you voted for the 3rd and 4th terms of Richard Nixon and Chimpy Bush.

Del Dolemonte on June 16, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Is there now any doubt about why so many congresscritters blew off the briefing? Now they can deny they knew anything.

“Oh, I missed that briefing…had a really important series of meetings with my constituents back home….”

Which then allows them this:

“I didn’t know”

BobMbx on June 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I concur with Dick Cheney:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/351165/cheney-speculates-snowden-could-be-chinese-spy-had-help-inside-nsa-patrick-brennan

Shame on the embarrassing conspiracy theorists here who are making a mockery of the HotAir comment section! Shame on some of you for making excuses for the traitor Edward Snowden!

When did this comment section become filled with Code Pinko and terrorist apologist Michael Moore wannabes?

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

bluegill you’re not listening. Phuck off.

CW on June 16, 2013 at 5:42 PM

bluegill your games are tiring. You’re a bi8ch and a cn8t . That is clear . ….. GO WHERE YOU ARE WANTED .

CW on June 16, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Shame on the embarrassing conspiracy theorists here who are making a mockery of the HotAir comment section! Shame on some of you for making excuses for the traitor Edward Snowden!

When did this comment section become filled with Code Pinko and terrorist apologist Michael Moore wannabes?

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Snowden should be charged with treason.

However, now that the cat is out of the bag it has to be addressed. Are you capable of understanding that? They are separate issues.

darwin on June 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Are you capable of understanding that?
….

darwin on June 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

No, she’s not.

She just another in a long line of pompous trolls.

CW on June 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Lawyers for the agency came up with an interpretation that said the NSA did not “acquire” the communications, a term with formal meaning in surveillance law, until analysts ran searches against it. The NSA could “obtain” metadata in bulk, they argued, without meeting the required standards for acquisition.

If the government is allowed to throw out the english language and redefine words to suit their agenda, is it okay if we lowly citizens do the same?

Wendya on June 16, 2013 at 5:48 PM

We were told by the administration and some members of Congress that the NSA only listened to foreign calls.

Obviously, they were told a different story behind closed doors.

It is time for all the LIARS to resign.

zdpl0a on June 16, 2013 at 5:49 PM

It is time for all the LIARS to resign.

zdpl0a on June 16, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Refreshing thought
1 new POTUS
1 new VPOTUS
90 or so new Senators
400 or so new Congressmen
And BO the dog can stay because barky never really wanted him anyway.

VegasRick on June 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

I concur with Dick Cheney:

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I don’t. But then again, I don’t view citizens as retarded children who are incapable of living their own lives without the guiding hand of government. Most politicians view citizens with contempt.

Wendya on June 16, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Apple and core

Is the tree of protest developing new fruit?

When you consider the resistance to NSA, the controversies involving the IRS, the State Department scandals, Benghazi and even the immigration fight, remember that Code Pink, according to my local expert, lost over 80% of their support as soon as President Obama was elected!

Code Pink is now limping along and the media is largely ignoring them. This is consistent with how they are treating stories broken by Fox News.

The fact that these scandals are surviving at all may make for concern in some national leaders.

Time for “mo better” sock puppets.

IlikedAUH2O on June 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM

“That’s what Mueller was trying to tell him.”

Two days ago Mueller was an incompetent buffoon regarding the IRS investigations,today Morrissey is trying to pass him off as being misunderstood by Nadler. What are the odds that Mueller inadvertently told Nadler the truth the first time and they’re now trying to cover for this putz? Considering Mueller’s credibility, I’d say pretty good.

lowandslow on June 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

You are better off going back to your previous rants about how your mother loves servicing your trailer park buddies. At least you made some sense back then

HotAirLib on June 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Sounds like you’re doing a little “projection” there, hal.

Are you still upset about being abused by the “uncles” your mom brought home from the bars?

Time to let it go, hal…and sing Daisy for the folks.

Solaratov on June 16, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Ignore that troll..It does as trolls do …nothing more.

CW on June 16, 2013 at 6:18 PM

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I agree. Bunch of hypocrites on here. If a Republican was in the white house the idiots on here would be shouting for his execution.

The Notorious G.O.P on June 16, 2013 at 6:18 PM

GOP’ers, this is what you were warned about when you were all supportive of The Patriot Act. You were duly warned, and you called those who warned you “nutjobs.”

Fools

You have nothing to complain about

The GOP will betray you

True_King on June 16, 2013 at 6:25 PM

When did the HotAir comment section become filled with tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists?

bluegill on June 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Why, bless your heart, lil Nellie Olsen.

Solaratov on June 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Rest assured, those in charge of the NSA are every bit as honest and upstanding as those running the IRS.

VorDaj on June 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM

About time he put the story straight. Even in an emergency situation, NSA would need approval from the Justice Department (FBI) to conduct an intercept of a US citizen’s communications. It is *ILLEGAL* for NSA to monitor the communications of citizens on its own. It can conduct such an intercept only if requested to by FBI or at the approval of the FBI. NSA is under the Department of Defense and their mission is to protect the US against foreign threats. They are not a police force.

crosspatch on June 16, 2013 at 7:07 PM

“specific information” may simply have meant metadata and phone records for the number, not the actual contents of phone calls.

I heard it put really well yesterday on the Larry Kudlow radio show in an interview with former Sen. Kyl. If they are looking for a needle in a haystack, first you need the haystack. That is what the metadata is. That is just the haystack. Software allows them to quickly sort out those who are no threat and therefore REDUCES the amount of intercepts required to find those who might be bad actors.

crosspatch on June 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Nadler was right in the first place and somebody spanked him back in line.

I spent time in a local PD intel until. Our analysts knew everything we did and more. It was their job to dig like squirrels and the only way to know which direction to dig in was to know the data.

There is no way you can convince me the system worked like this:

There is an unknown analyst crunching numbers with an unknown program of unknown capability that targets the numbers by unknown means. Once that number is spit out the analyst takes that number belonging to unknown person- citizen or foreigner (How do they know if they don’t look first?)- and hands it to an unknown FBI agent who has a report that says this number is a suspect’s number by unknown means.

Then that FBI agent takes that report, containing details of a number of unknown origin (again nobody’s looked right?) and goes to a judge and says, “We think this number MAY be linked to a terrorist/criminal person or group of people who may or may not be a threat to the United States based on a computer program neither of us understand. Would you please give me a warrant to look into this number, under the aforementioned probable cause so I can have the analyst go back and pull up the person’s details and develop a dossier on them?

Now the judge SHOULD ask. “How many numbers have been generated and how many have you actually found to be a threat?” The answer would be thousands vs dozens. Any judge worth his salt would kick that warrant to the curb.

Which means somebody is lying. Seriously what are the chances the analyst would not just hit the “open” button on the screen and take a peek to see if they were even on the right track?

Worse, what happens when the number turns out to be a citizen? We are told all things stop and the FBI agent goes back to the judge to get clearance.

And they do that THOUSANDS of times a year? No wonder it doesn’t work.

Or they are lying.

archer52 on June 16, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Have any of you considered that some of the “trolls” here are paid plants? I have a hard time believing that bluegill even believes half the stuff it writes. Some of these people are just reading off a script. Of course, SOP is to call anyone suggesting this a “crazy conspiracy theorist.” Not saying bluegill is, but definitely fits the profile.

iwasbornwithit on June 16, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Okay so we might agree that call data is not the caller’s property, but neither is it the govt’s. Are the phone companies required to share their property without a warrant. If i own a four family house the police can ask me to let them into a PoI’s apartment but unless they have a warrant I am not required to allow entry. Where in any law does it say that private business records are to be handed to agents of the govt simply on demand?

xkaydet65 on June 16, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Headline should read:

“Nadler retracts statement after NSA tells him what they’ve “got” on him with a warrant-less wiretap.

Pizza the Hut should know not to comment on Big Brother without Big Brother’s prior consent and authorization. Bad things happen to people who rat on The Regime.

viking01 on June 16, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Have any of you considered that some of the “trolls” here are paid plants? I have a hard time believing that bluegill even believes half the stuff it writes. Some of these people are just reading off a script. Of course, SOP is to call anyone suggesting this a “crazy conspiracy theorist.” Not saying bluegill is, but definitely fits the profile.

iwasbornwithit on June 16, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I believe bluegshrill’s bizarre behavior is due to mental illness & mental retardation…a very dysfunctional family & too many lead paint chips while growing up created this beast – that’s my take, and I’m sticking to it until I have good reason not to! :)

Anti-Control on June 16, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I am so disillusioned! If you can’t trust Gerald Nadler, who can you trust?

kozmocostello on June 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM

I watched parts of a new movie today (written and directed by aging hippy leftist, Tim yuk Robbins) about an old socialist musical movie called Cradle Will Rock in which Orson Wells tried to get a socialist movie made/shown to the public. It was closed down by soldiers before it was shown.

I was in stitches as I watched it. It’s hilarious to listen to these lunatics. My mouth just fell open as I listened to them accusing their enemies of……get this……. doing the very things they are doing now to their enemies. Projection pure and simple.

Same as what Obama & Co. are doing today.
.
.
It would be sad if it weren’t so dangerous to have brainlessly dead people such as this putting out such transparent projection-type trash.
http://www.virginmedia.com/movies/trailers-clips/cradle-will-rockthe-trailer/86442877001#!/cradle-will-rock,the-trailer/86442877001

avagreen on June 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM

“ADDED: Just because they can doesn’t mean they do. You only have to trust thousands of analysts. Janet Napolitano says:

“I think people have gotten the idea that there’s an Orwellian state out there that somehow we’re operating in. That’s far from the case”….

“[T]here are lots of protections built into the system,” Ms. Napolitano said, pointing to a privacy office embedded in her own department that is “constantly reviewing our policies and procedures.” She further stressed the court review system.

“No one should believe that we are simply going willy-nilly and using any kind of data that we can gather,” she said…

So it’s not simply going willy-nilly and using any kind of data and it’s far from Orwellian. That is, it’s something less than the ultimate extreme. That’s not reassuring at all. Even if I take Napolitano at her word: She’s not saying much. It’s just not utter and complete abuse.

And what are the protections? There’s a “privacy office.” You know, in “1984,” if there were something called the “Privacy Office,” its job would be to invade our privacy. (Recall “The Ministry of Truth.”)

Who could possibly feel protected by Napolitano’s own privacy office “constantly reviewing our policies and procedures”? That sounds — even as she puts it — like it’s about seeing what they can get away with. She brings up judicial review, but we know that those courts have no power/inclination to stop anything the government says it needs to do….”

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2013/06/national-security-agency-discloses-in.html

workingclass artist on June 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM

That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.

But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.

http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-snoops-part-2-infiltrate-target-harass-churches

davidk on June 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

and Blueshrill, thinks it’s irrational to not trust these coniving sons of b1tches..

Obama can “promise” he’s unaware and will “protect” our civil rights till Hell freezes over..

It does NOT change the fact his minions are violating the law and targeting the political opposition..

I’ll believe he knows nothing about it, when we discover the same IRS was “infiltrating black churches looking for large numbers of anti-conservative views, gun grabbing ideas, and a lot of criticism of GOP leaders..

Till that happens, I’d trust the Russian mob more than that lying two faced Constitution hating bast*rd.

The Obama administration has declared war on every American not a willing serf under his regime.

You’d have to be delusional to TRUST him on anything ever.

mark81150 on June 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Have any of you considered that some of the “trolls” here are paid plants? I have a hard time believing that bluegill even believes half the stuff it writes. Some of these people are just reading off a script. Of course, SOP is to call anyone suggesting this a “crazy conspiracy theorist.” Not saying bluegill is, but definitely fits the profile.

iwasbornwithit on June 16, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Yes, I’ve considered this many times as I run into them on various forums, even on our local newspaper commenting sections. On national forums, often these trolls have just a few posts to their names if you look at their ID’s. Once I ask if they are working for Organizing for America and mention that Organizing for America used to have a website on which they gave examples of questions for these grassroot workers to call into conservative radio programs, giving them a script to follow, they tend to stop posting. At least on that site and probs go on to another one.

Their talking points are the same drivel. I think it’s a new grassroot’s tool of the leftist Democrat Party to infiltrate forums .

avagreen on June 17, 2013 at 6:20 AM

I guess the rebellions will now be organized by snail mail and face to face meetings, heh.

Alinsky on June 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

People will start encrypting their email. Sure the NSA can eventually get the content of encrypted emails, even if they are cleverly done, but that isn’t the point of encrypting them.

Deciphering a message consumes time and resources. Enough encrypted mail will bog the system. If you want to find out whether they are looking at the content, see how fast they ban email that’s encrypted.

dogsoldier on June 17, 2013 at 9:02 AM

avagreen on June 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Thanks for posting that – That ended up hitting a really interesting vein of research I hadn’t explored before:

Cradle Will Rock movie

Cradle Will Rock play (directed by Orson Welles)

Turns out The Cradle Will Rock (the play) back in the 1930′s was created by the Federal Theater Project which was a GOVERNMENT PROGRAM created as part of FDR’s new deal to employ people and managed by the Works Progress Administration (gotta love that name) which was:

the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects,[1] including the construction of public buildings and roads. In much smaller but more famous projects the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.

See also: Federal Writer’s Project

It was believed that these agencies were infiltrated by the communists which is what led to the House investigations (indeed much of the artistic work produced by the government during this era was socialist in nature.

Skywise on June 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM

One point of skepticism has been the sheer scope of domestic traffic, both phone and Internet, and the cost of storing it.

Aside from storage being dirt cheap, since when did the govt ever worry about the cost of anything?

Plus, they are interested only in those they define as potential terrorists – white Christian pro-life small govt advocates, especially combat vets fitting that bill.

Plus, as with the IRS/Tea Party tyranny, there are red flags set to cull some dogies from the heard, meaning that you don’t have to pay attention to everyone, just the enemy.

Akzed on June 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Have any of you considered that some of the “trolls” here are paid plants? I have a hard time believing that bluegill even believes half the stuff it writes. Some of these people are just reading off a script. Of course, SOP is to call anyone suggesting this a “crazy conspiracy theorist.” Not saying bluegill is, but definitely fits the profile. iwasbornwithit on June 16, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Yes, it has crossed my mind…

Akzed on June 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

After Nadler dropped 837 pounds, his starving body digested some of his frontal lobe for nutrition

TexasJew on June 17, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Yet, New Yorkers keep electing idiots like Nadler and Schumer.

bw222 on June 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Skywise on June 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I found it interesting, too. They never give up, do they?

I’m surprised that Wiki would let facts such as your link above (See also: Federal Writer’s Project) provides to even exist on its site.

I’ve corrected articles in the past (some were about the mess/lies created Governor Blanco during Katrina and even had a copy of her letter she’d sent Bush which asked for the WRONG parishes to get $$, for which he was then blamed by the MSM, Blanco b/c the correct parishes did NOT receiving $$. Then, she sent another letter to cover her butt a few days later when it was too late…can’t remember the timelines/rules involved. There were a number of us at that time of that incident publicly wondered why would she send TWO letters??? Obvious. That letter was the proof that she’d done her job correctly that the MSM ran with. It’s still the proof that Wiki has on their site. Every link, and there were many of the two letters side by side, that I used to prove my case “could not be found”. I found one eventually, but it wasn’t an “approved” link; therefore, when I could not give “accepted” sources, my corrections were erased. Of course, the only “accepted” sources were the MSM.)

I’ve also corrected lies about Palin, which were erased, even gave a link to a letter written by Paul Revere which proved her remarks. That, too, was erased.

Damn the eyes of the MSM and their sycophant followers.

avagreen on June 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

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