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It's not just the DEA getting surveillance data from the NSA to pursue criminal—i.e. not terrorism—investigations. The NSA is handing over data on criminal activity to the Justice Department as well. That raises serious questions about exactly what NSA analysts are really looking at, "just" the metadata, or the content of communications, as well.
It is unclear whether the referrals have been built upon the content of telephone calls and emails. Administration officials have previously assured Congress that NSA surveillance focuses on so-called metadata and in the main does not delve into the content of individual calls or email messages. [...]

"If the information from surveillance or wiretaps is used by the NSA inconsistently with the warrant or other permission from the FISA court, certainly there would be a violation of law," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general. "Unfortunately we have no access to the FISA court opinions or orders that may authorize this activity because they're largely secret. This presents yet another clear and powerful reason that we need more transparency in the FISA court."

The number of cases turned over to the Justice Department by the NSA is just one more of those things that the agency—neither agency—shares with Congress. As with the DEA program using secret surveillance data, this sharing of information by the NSA with Justice is allowed under the Patriot Act. But just as in the DEA program, the problem is its constitutionality.
"The NSA intercepts, whether they are mail covers, metadata or what have you, are in essence general warrants," said Harold Haddon, a prominent criminal defense attorney from Denver. Using information from those warrants as the basis for a criminal prosecution "is a bright-line Fourth Amendment violation," Haddon said, referring to the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. [...]

"The problem you have is that in many, if not most cases, the NSA doesn't tell DOJ prosecutors where or how they got the information, and won't respond to any discovery requests," said Haddon, the defense attorney. "It's a rare day when you get to find out what the genesis of the ultimate investigation is."

The former Justice Department official agreed: "A defense lawyer can try to follow the bouncing ball to see where the tip came from -- but a prosecutor is not going to acknowledge that it came from intelligence."

Add this to the pile of things we need to find out about the NSA's surveillance, and to the pile of things Congress should have regular access to.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course they do. (29+ / 0-)

    Space will be used. Liberty will be taken. Corners will be cut. Stories will be fabricated. Provenance will be forged.

    •  Secrecy in government = abuses of power (27+ / 0-)

      I've used this title before, and no doubt will again.  There is no government in history, most certainly not our own, that will do so much in secret and follow the rules.  It is not in the nature of human beings to hold so much power without accountability and not abuse it.  We are not so perfect creatures as that.

      This, too, is hard to argue with:

      The NSA intercepts, whether they are mail covers, metadata or what have you, are in essence general warrants," said Harold Haddon, a prominent criminal defense attorney from Denver. Using information from those warrants as the basis for a criminal prosecution "is a bright-line Fourth Amendment violation," Haddon said....
      So one of the roadblocks to finding out what the NSA and DOJ are doing is that we will be treated to the threat of courts opening the jails and letting people loose right and left, based on prosecutions successfully achieved with illegal evidence.  Count on it when the goosesteppers get desperate.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:48:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Goosesteppers are always desperate... (4+ / 0-)

        ...they start that way.  

        I am not sure that secrecy will hold, but I think that most people in America will support this vast apparatus regardless.  It is 40 years of crime shows, and news every night that glorifies a few random acts of violence to make them seem personal and malignant, and our national love for the authoritarian narrative.  I'm not sure they will have to threaten explicitly at all. I think...I fear...that most of my fellow citizens are entirely on board with this.

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:04:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many will be, but many will not (10+ / 0-)

          Fear has become a lazy habit, fed with fast-food injections of 6:00 news and crime shows.  Some people will remain hopeless fear addicts, but I think the fever is starting to break.

          Disgust with government is not necessarily confined to teabaggers.  I grew up in an era when the right wing trusted government, never more than when it was cracking long-haired heads.  Now the pendulum has swung to some extent.  The national patrimony of constitutional freedoms still has a wide and devoted audience.  When those freedoms are threatened by lying politicians and bureaucrats lining the pockets of already-too-rich corporations, well, let's just say I'm more optimistic than you are.

          We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

          by Dallasdoc on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:08:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw, conniptionfit, Dallasdoc

            ...was nice...

            The national patrimony of constitutional freedoms still has a wide and devoted audience.
            I hope you're right.  I was in one of Ian Reifowitz's comment threads earlier, and he was coming from a similar place I think (though you might have disagreed with his specifics).  The rough idea being there is still a middle who can be swayed, they just need reasons and clarity.  And yeah, I'm more cynical...I think that even turtles know how unjust and cruel our society has become, and our ideologies, left and right, are in large part a mechanism to divert that pain.

            But, yeah, hope you're right :}

            ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

            by jessical on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:20:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      Tools get used and find new uses.

      Except, according to Keith Alexander, no NSA analyst would ever knowingly do anything illegal or against the rules, and one would suppose, if they accidentally did and read something interesting they realized was out of bounds, they would forget it.

      Because rules are rules. Really. Believe it.

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:06:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have always thought that they wouldn't (35+ / 0-)

    be spending billions of dollars on the data collection apparatus just for something with as low a risk of occurrence as foreign terrorism. That is the cover for much more extensive purposes.  

    •  Don't forget 2/3rds of staff handling the data (21+ / 0-)

      are actually private-sector subcontractors of major for-profit MIC corporations, corporations with powerful political supporters, media ownership connections, global corporate partnerships, and international reach.

      America's privatized world 'police' are keeping an unending, unwarranted eye on every citizen (and non-citizen) leaving any sort of electronic record. This secret data seems to be accessible or for sale to justice/law enforcement and perhaps other legal organizations they deem fit to receive it.

      An old figure suggested at least 500,000+ people with very high security clearances might have access and we may guess that this number has only increased.  And yet this very sensitive, secure 'system' is still vulnerable to 'internal' private sector subcontractor whistle-blowers like Snowden. It is interesting that the initial assumption was Snowden was going to sell the information to some high foreign bidder, or that his intention was to 'damage' or 'betray' the USA in releasing information. The idea that he merely wanted to publicize the nature of the programs and trigger major reforms domestically and amongst 'free world' allies seems like a round peg trying to fit in military squared intelligence holes.  

      Is it reasonable to surmise there may have been a bunch of cases (TOP SECRET of course) where similar snatches of data occurred (smaller or larger) by sneaky subcontractors and the data was indeed secretly sold to private buyers? Or perhaps used to influence or blackmail those with significant access to power, control, justice outcomes, or wealth?

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:05:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Follow the Money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiot

      Military-Industrial Complex has morphed into the Information-Industrial Complex.

      Most of the smaller, boutique players have been bought-up by the likes of Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon and our old favorite, The Carlyle Group.

      They have dumped so much into the sector, now VCs in the valley are fighting back (but late to the game).

      The revolving door between the NSA and CIA and their contractors is even worse than the Pentagon because it's a smaller, tighter club and has less oversight.

      BTW, the NSA is about 3 times the size and 4 times the budget of the CIA.

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:13:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that Congress does not want (13+ / 0-)

    to know what is going on. They are expert at abrogating responsibility. They are only interested in oversight when it can enhance their power base.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:55:20 PM PDT

  •  That's what secret courts are for! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, Shockwave, AoT, Siri, schemp

    That's what National Security Letters are for!

    This shit is so obvious it's infuriating.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:55:51 PM PDT

  •  The leaks are growing larger (14+ / 0-)

    It seems unlikely that the original Reuters story was based on a  press release that they forgot  to mention.

    Rather, the honest men and women in the Federal government have run out of patience.

    Like the tar baby, the folks in DC are going to find that this sticks.

    Richard Nixon at least tried his "I am not a crook" speech, but that's not going to work this time, even temporarily.

    By the way:  X is a private contractor with information access. X sets up its own back room to read the data as it comes over the wall, and a dummy hedge fund.  The Hedge Fund from metadata alone readily learns about large numbers of corporate mergers well in advance, and makes clever investments well before they could possibly have had inside information, not to mention that they demonstrably have no contact with anyone who could have leaked the news.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:14:21 PM PDT

  •  If they REALLY had access to this kind of data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    then why hasn't the GOP been prosecuted under RICO yet???

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:30:43 PM PDT

    •  They won't bite the hand that feeds them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcmom, WisePiper

      I would imagine it opens the door to some effective arm twisting though. That's what I think is the most dangerous aspect of all this. Whoever controls this information wields tremendous power. Power I don't think anyone should have. I do not trust in a benevolent state security apparatus enough to think they should have this kind of access to everyone's private communication information.

      "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:39:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think I'll send the NSA a DMCA Takedown Notice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, Shockwave, AoT, Mindful Nature

    My emails belong to me, they're copyrighted and I demand they take them down from their servers.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:39:42 PM PDT

  •  Star Chambers. Star Courts. Just what our (10+ / 0-)

    founders worried about. Just upgraded for the 21st Century.

    “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

    by shigeru on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 02:35:56 PM PDT

  •  I see big convictions unraveling in your future.nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri
    •  Not really. This has been going on for sometime (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikidee, Reggid, poco

      and it's all legal.  Read the article.

      Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

      by thestructureguy on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:23:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Neither of those things means they're right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri

        or that a court couldn't overturn convictions based on improper searches.

        •  Only if you can show they are improper (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Little

          If they simply don't disclose where the initial tip came from, the subsequent searches can be made to appear legal.

          Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

          by Mindful Nature on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:45:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They do come from proper searches that are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Little

          legal but just not revealed.  This has been a common practice for a long time. SOD is passing along legal obtained data and information.  The question is should the sources and methods for the gathering be passed along to the defense and the Courts.  

          Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

          by thestructureguy on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:30:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You do not know that the info was attained (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thestructureguy

            legally. NSA has admitted that it makes TONS of errors, specifically that it gathers - improperly - data on US citizens. IF THAT is being passed on - then it's a big problem.

            •  I don't know if anything is acquired legally. (0+ / 0-)

              From the search warrant for pot to the DNA lab we are beholding to human beings to follow the law.  Are mistakes made? Of course.  Are there crooked cops?  Of course.  But we don't shut down the whole justice system but endeavor to make it better. The real problem is that the genie is out of the bottle with the internet and there is nothing we can do about it.  All our info is out there and it can be obtained whether legally or illegally.  We could pass all the laws we want and the data is still there available to anyone smart enough to figure out how to get it.  We can have oversight.  But who watches the watchers.  I'm not sure how we are going to handle this but it's going to be with us from now on.  

              Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

              by thestructureguy on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 07:00:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You just used the DEA statement as backup for this (3+ / 0-)

            I find this so hard to understand. Why are DKos members efending things like this? I just do not get why people go out of their way to joing a Lefty internet site withthe goal of making our government better, more open, more fair, more Dem - and then defend stuff like this. It's very weird.

            From the source article:

            Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.
            You could have just as easily pointed people to thaqt part of the sournce article. I cannot for the life of me understand why you chose to go with DEA statement.
            •  It's confusing to me sometimes as well. At (0+ / 0-)

              times I think we're a right wing site that doesn't trust the guberment.  The right wing wackos believe the guberment is out take away all our rights starting with the right to bear arms.  I'm beginning to think more and more there is some common ground with the left and the right on these issues.  Conservatives are okay with this NSA crap that's been going on.  Most of the Dems in Congress are even cautiously okay with it. Most of the middle doesn't seem to care that much.  The far left and far right are all up in arms.
              There is distrust of the DEA like the right wing distrusts the IRS when the IRS says those 501 charities weren't targeted for political reasons or that the Bengasi attack isn't some kind of CT.  It's kind of confusing when to believe the government and when not to believe it.

              On this particular issue I don't believe there are that many cases that an  in camera review of the source when it's denied for national security reason can't be held.  Then again in camera is secret so we have the same problem.

              I have ALWAYS said and believed the biggest fear we have to freedom is the government. Be it privacy, social issues or even fiscal and monetary polices.

              Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

              by thestructureguy on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 07:50:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Our worst speculations are all being confirmed (9+ / 0-)

    In a few years (or worse) the NSA metadata (and data) will filter down to local police and DAs.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:24:16 PM PDT

  •  Of course they'll never admit to where the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, CenPhx, mike101

    initial investigation information came from. If it's shown to be domestic spying, all the evidence is derivative of a poisonous tree & wouldn't survive a court challenge. That's why they're allowed to hide the original source in the discovery phase & they engage in what they themselves describe as "laundering evidence". I don't see how anyone can look at this and not see massive violations of the rules of evidence we rely on for a fair trial.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:30:21 PM PDT

  •  It's not just the NSA (3+ / 0-)

    either.

    There are numerous government and private sector surveillance entities operating simultaneously and collaboratively. They trade and sell information with one another constantly.

    NSA is only part of the domestic surveillance operation.

    Only part of it.

    Eliminate the NSA part of it, and surveillance industry would barely hiccup.

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:33:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm guessing that this data "sharing" is mostly (3+ / 0-)

    in the form of providing DoJ with valuable leads, because the actual evidence would presumably be inadmissible, right? As in, these entities have been discussing what appear to be illegal activities, e.g. tax evasion, wire fraud, murder, etc. Look into it. You're welcome. Now scratch our back.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:35:48 PM PDT

    •  Calling a duck a "goose" doesn't change its nature (0+ / 0-)

      And no court in the land is going to fall for that.

      •  How does one prove that the original tip (0+ / 0-)

        for an otherwise lawful investigation was unlawfully gotten, especially when states secrets prevents that from being disclosed? I think you have an overly optimistic view of our legal system today, and this has almost certainly already happened, and will likely only get worse.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:29:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Calling it a "valuable lead"... (0+ / 0-)

          ...doesn't change the fact that it's been acquired illegally, and the "fruit of the poison tree" doctrine still applies, whether one government agency shares with another or not.

          •  But how do you prove it (0+ / 0-)

            if the original tip was acquired through classified programs about which no government official can or will speak officially?

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 01:21:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So we just turn a blind eye to governmental... (0+ / 0-)

              ...misconduct poisoning our justice system?

              Why didn't prosecutors think of this before!  It's genius!  Just claim, "What exculpatory evidence?!  We ain't seen no exculpatory evidence.  Bob, did you see any exculpatory evidence?  No?  Me, neither."  Suddenly, every case is a winner for the state!

  •  Well said, but making it happen is a whole nother (5+ / 0-)

    thing.

    Add this to the pile of things we need to find out about the NSA's surveillance, and to the pile of things Congress should have regular access to.
    Alan Grayson's requests for NSA information – read the correspondence.Emails show how Democratic congressman Alan Grayson repeatedly asked to meet John C Inglis, the deputy director of the NSA, but was continually rebuffed

    And when Rep. Grayson's staff weeks ago tried to hand out copies of the graphs and reporting in the Guardian to other Congress members, he was rebuffed and told he should not be sharing classified information (i.e., sharing newspaper articles)

  •  This is a direct violation of the NSA Charter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, Shockwave, barleystraw, YucatanMan
  •  Want to be really politically nasty? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal, barleystraw

    ...like Fox-news nasty?  suggest/hint/declare that any politician who is defending the NSA is doing so only because the NSA has "surveillanced" some dirt on them that would be leaked if the politician doesn't just keep the NSA funding flowing.   hell, it might even be true (which is the worst sort of nastiness)

    •  NSA can blackmail any elected official (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcmom

      Now they've become as powerful as an oil company!  They trade in a slightly different good, but you don't fuck with them, they run the place.

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:55:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  or is a direct beneficiary of some NSA data feed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noah Andersen

      like opposition research data on competition

      •  absolutely! (0+ / 0-)

        yet "so.. Senator Feinstein, what dirty item has the NSA got on you that you're defending them?"  plays a bit better for shock than "what has the NSA given you about the campaign of your competitor ...that you've often defended them?"

        oddsbobs, i just like to hear a reporter ask Feinstein and Chambliss:  "so your campaign contributors have a vested interest in the NSA, may we assume that's one of the reasons you're so stridently defending them?"

  •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

    If they find child porn e-mails, or pimps trafficking girls, or organized crime doing extortion, what should they do, ignore it?   How about another Bernie Madoff or Wall Street bankster doing shady deals of some sort?

    •  Any abuse, any assault against freedom, (6+ / 0-)

      can be justified with a worst case what-if scenario. The question is, what kind of society do you want to live in? How much power do you want to give the government over your life? Without clear, bright lines of legal restraint, how can you trust the organs of the security state not to use the data they gather secretly to coerce and blackmail in support of policies of benefit only to the existing PTB?

      This quote from Benjamin Franklin USED to be one of the sacrosanct touchstones of our civil liberties:

      That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.

      HRC supported AUMF, Kyl/Lieberman and cluster bombs. I don't, and won't, support HRC. Call me a purist. I can't vote for a war monger.

      by WisePiper on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:14:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention, if the government has (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider, WisePiper

        Access to your electronic content, who's to say they won't actually plant child porn in it for some secret reason.  Any damn one of us, simply for asking a question, or stating an opinion contrary to the government's opinion, or decrying an action could end up in prison based on government fabricated evidence.  They wouldn't do that?  How do you know they aren't already?  
        See THIS is what you get when the government is conducting secret surveillance on its citizens in a democracy.  I frankly don't give a fuck what president secret surveillance is conducted under, I just want it to stop.  The MOST fundamental right any citizen has to to be safe from our government.  That's what most of the constitution is aimed at.

    •  How about . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, barleystraw

      People planning protests, an inventor ready to submit a patent on an important invention, or a political opponent of a well-connected NSA friendly incumbent?

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:16:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, they should ignore things other than intel (6+ / 0-)

      When the NSA was chartered, it was with the express understanding that its espionage would be directed against foreign persons. The CIA was similarly prevented from engaging in domestic espionage. This was done because the US could see how totalitarian states like the USSR had merged foreign and domestic intelligence and had turned the state against the citizens.

      None of the things you mention represent an existential threat against the United States. There are already law enforcement officers empowered to arrest and prosecute criminals who engage in these things. There are no domestic law officers authorized or even physically able to wiretap foreign spies. That is what the NSA does.

      •  Easy to say (0+ / 0-)

        but if you overheard the next Adam Lanza making plans to shoot a bunch of children at an elementary school.  I'm not so sure it would be easy to just ignore.

        •  That's a strawman argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crider

          The NSA has succeeded, according to their own testimony to Congress, in stopping exactly one terrorist plot.  

          London is saturated with cameras. It is estimated that they stop a tiny fraction of crimes.

          We imagine that surveillance will control crime. The evidence does not support this.

          The tradeoff you are suggesting is to turn the United States into a totalitarian state in exchange for a little more security. It's a ridiculous argument.

          The right way to stop the next Adam Lanza is with mental health treatment and modest gun/ammunition control laws.

        •  see the thing is (0+ / 0-)

          You're not allowed to do that under the constitution.  And actually you made my argument for me.

          The reason we don't want them having 6he means to listen is because it's human nature to do so.  If you left me alone in a room with that power, I'd use it.  No telling what else I'd get up to given time and access.  Maybe I would have me a sweet lake cabin because I found out it was going to be on the market by some schlub who is strapped for cash.  Maybe I want my neighbor's dog to quit barking so I send the DEA over.  Etc etc etc

          Bad things aren't bad! And anyway, there's mitigation!

          by Nada Lemming on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 07:14:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Constitution? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfm

            Are you a Supreme Court justice now?  The Constitution is always subject to interpretation.  

            Where in the Constitution is it written that the communications you have sent to a private company's internet servers belong to you?  Where in the Constitution is it written that phone conversations that you send using a private company's cellphone tower and government-owned communication satellite belongs to you?

            The government is not sending NSA people to your house searching through your stuff.  You've already passed your internet and phone conversations on to a private company.  They own it.  The NSA (and FBI) requests that data from the private company with a legal warrant.   It's legal.  Maybe getting rid of the Patriot Act will make it illegal again, I don't know.  But there's nothing in the Constitution about it.

      •  Correct, but history of CIA and FBI (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CharlesII

        Point that often they ignore said charter. Technology has made this easier to do, but it has also made it easier for them to be caught.

        I have said it in other posts, but government institutions like the CIA and FBI and now NSA have sought to control information and power throughout human history. This is not a new development, nor is it relegated the the US.

        I am not defending it by any means, but for whatever reason people and institutions tend to do this. Hell, we are just now starting to find out what the CIA was doing in Latin America for decades. It was not just conducting espionage, it was actively engaging in military coups.

        "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian... America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance." The Real Ron Paul

        by 815Sox on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:22:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NSA is J Edgar Hoover on steroids (6+ / 0-)

    Hey Barack Obama, your DOJ sucks. Change we can believe in isn't happening sir.

    If we lie to the government, it's a felony...but if they lie to us it's politics.

    by rmb on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:12:28 PM PDT

  •  I don't agree with broad based spying but (0+ / 0-)

    being the parent of a critically ill drug addicted child, I am grateful for every single dealer the DEA can stop selling drugs to my kid, and everyone else's. It is not a perfect system, but there are many parents, advocacy groups, and yes, Governmental agencies, trying to find better solutions. We need help finding alternative treatments, better preventive educational programs, and effective and motivational support systems encouraging addicted people to obtain help. The DEA is not about the average addict, this is about the people making hundreds of thousands of dollars off the misery of our children. We cannot afford to lose another generations to drugs. I don't necessarily agree with all their tactics, but I do agree that if we stem the supply, the demand will follow. And vise versa, if through education and treatment we can stem the demand, the supply will follow. Simple Economics. Have a better idea? Let's hear it. In the meantime, I am all for the DEA making sure my kid, and yours, can't get a hold of any more drugs!

    •  I am truly sorry for your pain. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiot

      But your child's problem lies within him/herself.  The thing is we AREN'T losing any generation to drugs.  MOST of the people who use drugs don't get addicted, although some do, and that's VERY SAD.  Again, I'm sorry.
      Your statement that stemming the supply will stem the demand is illogical, and exactly backward economically.  Reducing supply increases demand every time.  And that in turn increases prices.  That's your basic economics.
      But this is a treatment problem, not an interdiction problem.  Our country has spent Billions on interdiction, and have never yet managed to stem the supply of addictive drugs.  The DEA has a long demonstrated history of not being able to keep drugs out of your child's hands, no matter how many billions they spend, or how many drugs they interdict.  The money wasted on interdiction is actually propping up the illicit drug industry, and would be far better spent on education and treatment.  Your child would also be far better off if he/she could get treatment without risking jail, fines, and the loss of opportunity that we saddle every convict with.  Your child should be treated like a patient, not a criminal.

      We don't ban all alcohol to all citizens because some are alcoholics.  We offer treatment to those who need it, and we don't turn non alcoholics into criminals for choosing to drink.

      Good luck, and god bless.

  •  I never have been desperately in love with (0+ / 0-)

    Obama as he is to far to the right for my comfort.  But I have voted for him and defended him in comments from the get go.

    Wouldn't you think that as a Constitution expert he would have seen this conflict and done something that would have allowed fairness to the defendants under the Constitution and the law's requirement on the part of the prosecutor to reveal all their information to defending council?

    So I guess the way too slimy trick out is that if NSA doesn't tell the prosecutor where it got the info its OK to effectively lie to the defense since the lie isn't deliberate?

    That's not a Justice system and Obama should know that.

    And guess what, it probably hurts Blacks more than any other Americans.

  •  When corporations start getting NSA data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming

    Then we know that Democracy in the USA is dead.

    Repeat after me: "I love Big Brother!"

    (Or, if you played the game Paranoia, "The Computer is your friend. Keep your laser handy.")

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 06:05:52 PM PDT

    •  Well, we do give away a lot of data to them (0+ / 0-)

      Already. Lets not pretend that Google and Facebook are bastions of privacy. Not an excuse for the NSA, but lets call it like it is.

      "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian... America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance." The Real Ron Paul

      by 815Sox on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:27:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The original "TIA" webpage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiot

    Interesting to see what they envisioned back in 2002 when Reaganite John Poindexter was dreaming up this surveillance system. "Collaboration and sharing" first item on the list.

    • Collaboration and sharing over TCP/IP networks across agency boundaries

    • Large, distributed repositories with dynamic schemas that can be changed interactively by users

    • Foreign language machine translation and speech recognition

    • Biometric signatures of humans

    • Real time learning, pattern matching and anomalous pattern detection

    • Entity extraction from natural language text

    • Human network analysis and behavior model building engines

    • Event prediction and capability development model building engines

    • Structured argumentation and evidential reasoning

    • Story telling, change detection, and truth maintenance

    • Business rules sub-systems for access control and process management

    • Biologically inspired algorithms for agent control

    • Other aids for human cognition and human reasoning

    http://web.archive.org/...
  •  This is the sleeper troll of all sleeper trolls. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Things in Common (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    This is an issue that resounds within all arrows of the political spectrum. It is everything that the Framers were afraid of regarding general warrants and the power of a gigantic centralized government. Wake up people. Those in power seek only more power. The proletariat of all political leanings have to get to understand this concept.

  •  Is this how the FBI got Petraeus's e-mails (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden

    about his affair (which was no crime and over which the FBI therefore had no jurisdiction)?

    If this can happen to the Director of the CIA, it can happen to any of us.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:02:54 AM PDT

  •  Local Law Enforcement using Patriot Act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden

    Local law enforcement has been using terrorism tools to prosecute common criminals

    US Patriot Act Being Used Against Common Criminals

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