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View Diary: I don't get it. Just what do you mean by privacy? More meta... (33 comments)

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  •  I think the movement toward clarification (2+ / 0-)
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    deep info, Onomastic

    of the real issues has begun, judging from several diaries last night and today.  Several recent diaries whose authors calmly state that they want to introduce facts into the dialogue and provide excellent resources in terms of links & quotes.

    Clarifying terminology is a very important part of this process.  I learned to do it when I was studying philosophy, but you have to do it in math (if x=a, and c=3 kind of thing, or 'assume a right angle . . ..).  And it's why any law you read will contain a section of 'Definitions; at the top, with each section of the law pointing to the defintion ('person, for the purposes of this section, is defined as in SecXYZ).

    Some terms I've seen abused by the 3-letter-agency guys include 'acquisition' and 'access' (verb).  The contractor are a tool, a cat's paw.  Their machines suck up every electron and analyze the packets before storage.  If a 'pattern' is recognized by the machinery, the FBI (of whomever) can begin the kabuki of 'accessing' data (even though the contract analysts can access any record they choose at any time).

    So because the law governing the Agencies (but not the contractors) uses ordinary words in their specialized, legally defined meaning, they can say contradictory things like '[Agency] does not acquire records on Americans' along with 'A person's record can only be accessed after the FISA dance'.

    Remember Humpty Dumpty, defining words to make them mean what he wanted them to mean?  

    The Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of my 'person, papers and effects'.  As far as I'm concerned, my 'effects' include the electrons I'm sending as I write, as well as the words I write, and the record of the words I write.  And because this is communication, my First Amendment rights protect it, and me.

    Sorry this is long.  I got past Info Intake mode this weekend, and have entered Write Like Mad mode.

    I think everybody should see this diary:  Screenshots from NSA's public website.  The graphic alone put to rest many of the misrepresentations made by the 3-letter--agency guys.

    •  That's a parody website (0+ / 0-)

      The rest of your points are accurate -- it's become well documented that the NSA types are lying about what they mean by using fake definitions of words.

      So they say "We're not acquiring your data", when they are in fact downloading and storing it, which is acquiring.

      It's just like the Bushies claiming that waterboarding wasn't torture.

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