Senate Why do we complain about the NSA

Discussion in 'Community' started by beezel26, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Yet we have no problems with businesses tracking our every move when we look up stuff on the internet? It was business that came up with the tracking algorithms and software and the NSA just borrowed from it. They have downloaded phone info but yet our same phones have tracking software in common everyday apps we use. If you are on a company email list and you start looking for a competing product there is software that tracks that and sends an email to the company and then it sends a counter offer to your facebook page. I mean really. We complain about the NSA and what are they doing it for. Security and protection for everyone. They don't want our money or our allegiance. They just don' t want us to be a threat. Meanwhile businesses want to track everything we do so they can get our money. Exactly which one is the lesser of two evils here?
  2. CloneUncleOwen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2009
    star 4
    The information we release to businesses is provided with the caveat and knowledge that it will be collated and scrutinized
    for marketing purposes,etc. Our emails and texts are not provided willingly, and are gathered without our knowledge or consent.
    Whether this unwarranted, mass acquisition of private information is legal, or not, remains to determined.
  3. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    On a fundamental level, a company can't put me in jail. There is also that a lot of people do have problems with some levels of company intrusion as well, and those HAVE been limited based on how they can use that data so there is some accountability.

    "If you are on a company email list and you start looking for a competing product there is software that tracks that and sends an email to the company and then it sends a counter offer to your facebook page." That doesn't even sound technologically possible the way you presented that, can you cite that?
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Uh, really guys? I have no desire to repeat my earlier posts on this (but I did speak to Watto about this over beer in Holland :D) but you're an idiot if you think the NSA has actually read any of your data. An idiot, or someone who frequents Islamist or right wing crackpot websites.

    Given I have more experience in intelligence analysis than you, you can trust me on this.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  5. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    So let me see if I get this one. Under Bush spying was bad. Under Obama and the Dems spying is good. [face_waiting] Yeah I don't care any more who is in the White House or which party is any power. What the NSA was doing was wrong end of story.
    Sarge likes this.
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    No, Ani, Anything posted by anidananaamananananamanami is wrong. Factually.
  7. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Is the data, or is the data not, being used in any form on any subset of individuals that have not had individual warrants for monitoring of them from a judge after sufficient cause was presented?
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    I'm not sure, Lowie; does a former Senate mod ask leading questions to support his conclusion?

    If you're interested in discussing this without trying to shoehorn your perceptions into a conclusion, hit me up.
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    The complaints were about the government collecting the data of Americans as a group, your response was "you're an idiot if you think the NSA has actually read any of your data", which then would also be as a group, so your defense seems to rest on the claim that the NSA is collecting all that data, but not actually using any of it for any purpose, and I'm clarifying you're intending that claim that while they're collecting data, they're not looking at any of it.
  10. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    To back Ender up lets think about this, We are scooping up massive amounts of data and are mere collecting it. Not reading it in any way. Why cause there isn't enough people to read 200 million email accounts of the world. In order to get close to getting information on you collected and analyzed you end up having to do things that raise a red flag. They are massive data dumps that merely are tools to look back on info should the need arise. But no one cares. Think of it this way, you pass speed traps on the road all the time. If you are doing the speed limit and don't have an overloaded vehicle you can get thru pretty good. But end up with a overloaded vehicle and a slow speed and the cop pulls you over. He wants to know why you are overloaded and what you are doing.

    In the case of the NSA they are merely collecting it with no real reason to look at it. Sounds familiar, Google saves everything you ever did. But do we care no and we don't even pay them to do it. We have too much information out there to glean from everyone. We can't track down everyone. And they don't. They let things like where you went or maybe what group you like give them an indication. Listen as we speak many a local cop in Chicago is watching facebook to see what the gangs are bragging about. Did they just decide that facebook needed to be monitored. No thru experience of past events they noticed trends and soon they began to monitor. But it lasts only a short while till the crooks catch on. Trust me al quaida is the same. They are not out in the open unless you want to join up. And you can guess that those sites are being monitored.


    For God's sakes we get more upset by the NSA for collecting information then Target being hacked and millions of credit cards being stolen. Where is the anger at the banks for that. Why haven't they given us more secure credit cards.


    The US isn't China or Saudi Arabia. You don't get in trouble for speaking your mind. It is when you act on your feelings that they want to stop you. But they have many tools to keep an eye on you if you set off alarm bells by say visiting Yemen.

    For god's sake we complain about the NSA but don't give a hoot when Target gets hacked. We don't even demand our banks give us secure credit cards.
    Last edited by beezel26, Jan 30, 2014
  11. thenewcoon Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2014
    We shouldn't complain, it's just the Libertarians and far leftists that are .
  12. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6

    What I don't get here is how you're blaming this on the banks. The issue was that Target was storing all the important information for the credit cards, not that there was some issue with the cards themselves. Nothing is secure when the information is all stored in one large, insecure, database like that. It's entirely on Target, not the banks.
  13. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    The NSA is part of the goverment show me where in the US Constitution that the NSA has the power to do that? You can't find it you say. If it was wrong under Bush then it's still wrong even under Obama. But yeah nice work on being ok with it under Obama. Cough hypocrite cough.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Ani, I know you struggle with a gapingly underdeveloped mind here, so I'll try to bear that in mind... when did I say it was a problem under Bush?

    You have two options here;

    1) You provide proof it was an issue (HINT: given my interests and background, I was highly unlikely to have issues with intelligence gathering)

    2) Or, in the absense of proof, you retract the comment and apologise for making a (and you must quote this) "ham fisted, stupid, idiotic, unthinking, asinine, insipid, childish comment".

    Can you do that ani? Can you?
    anakinfansince1983 and Rogue_Ten like this.
  15. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7

    conservatives are complaining pretty loudly too in my experience but i assume that'll go away if/when a republican is back in the white house per @anidanami124
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Jan 30, 2014
  16. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    I think the main issue is that many people don't trust their government. If we could guarantee this was going to be used to stop attacks, and therefore save lives, there'd be no problem. But the potential for abuse is fairly high.

    You tend to find that it's people who believe Edward Snowden was right to let the public know about this stuff that like this the least. From that perspective, the NSA has already shown it's hand - it's going to be punishing people who do the "right" thing, if it doesn't line up with their interests.
    Rogue_Ten and anakinfansince1983 like this.
  17. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Who are they abusing. You randomly, cause you looked at a guy the wrong way? No they can't because of the data. Its too much information to crunch. Eagle Eye was fiction.
    Oh and Snowden was a patriot. A patriot doesn't belong in the CIA or the NSA. Why, cause Patriots act what they think is best for America. And they are always wrong. The Company acts in the best interests of America and the world. Accept it and your life is much better. Does the company make mistakes yes but they always try to make it better. Remember we no longer live in a world of Nuclear annihilation because of the actions of the brave men and women of the Company.
  18. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    ...is there sarcasm there I'm missing, or are we skipping that the CIA has done a lot it thought was best for America that should've never happened?
  19. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Weren't the CIA assassinations and coups actually illegal, whereas the NSA surveillance to my knowledge mostly did comply with the law?
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9


    The issue largely is that, yes, people don't trust the government but the US has this particular approach of "enhanced transparency as a core value". You feel, possibly culturally and owing to the revolutionary war, that the government must not keep secrets. This makes the US intelligence apparatus hamstrung, because there's an expectation the people have a right to know and the whole point with intelligence and security services is that the people do not have a right to know. They have a right to a regulatory framework designed to combat systemic issues, sure; but you're talking about nasty, immoral, and sometimes repugnant work - all of which is very necessary.

    It's an irreconcilable mixture: an 'industry' that deals in being a bad person for the greater good and relies on treachery and double dealing, and accountable to the greater public who may not have the stomach for intricacies of the job. That accountability, or perception thereof, seems to have weakened the perceived need for any kind of ombudsman-like* role.

    (* An ombudsman is a parliamentary concept, so I'm not sure what a republican analogue is)

    This NSA case, it's mired by largely stupid but hotly indignant reporting. You need to understand how intelligence gathering actually works (no, Bond, Bourne and Bauer are not enough) to understand why the NSA thing is a storm in a teacup.

    Imagine these boards were private. Not just in that you need to register to post, but in that you need to register to view them. Now imagine one of our posters has sympathies with a group that is hostile to the US government and has supported attacks on US targets abroad. That poster only posts in one thread in this subforum.

    An analyst is not going to read every single post in order to get there. They're not going to get sidetracked into debates about religion or about public health. They're not going to stop and ponder the inherent pessimism of Jabbadabbado. They're either going to track that one poster, or more likely they'll have a bot scan all the posts looking for key words and phrases, either by that author or others.

    So posts from Lowie and beezel (he might get referred to other agencies though, lawl), KK and Watto - they're caught up in the data that's reviewed by no human eyes. And let's say you are caught up, because you quote that person in a response and argue with them. Your post gets flagged on an exception report, reviewed, and they rule it out as unrelated. Nobody cares who you are, what your net handle and real name are, it's not considered.

    Now, technology has shifted to the point where 3- and 4G carriers provide message services for free in lieu of text messages. We know that the Boston bombers had strong social media presences. We know that the 9/11 hijackers spent significant time in the US. We know that electronic data is a fast, cheap, and easy way to communicate across borders. It is therefore crucial that the NSA conduct this type of monitoring, as you don't have an MI5 function in the US.

    What should happen is not that the NSA cease and desist. Stronger rules need to be brought in to keep the agencies accountable, like an inspector general with real powers. Keeping it out of the public sphere but behind closed doors in government is preferable to airing it in public. I mean, the last time you heard about a British agency was when Gareth Williams tried to pleasure himself in a locked bag...

    Whistleblower laws should be examined, because Snowden abused them. He's highlighted systemic issues but for the benefit of his own image and ego; not for the benefit of the US.
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  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Except, if that is a private forum, then I would contend that they shouldn't be accessing that to track the posts of that poster in question, either, unless they've established they have reason to be doing so, in the same way that a wiretap requires a warrant.
  22. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    In theory yes we must have intelligence agencies out there gathering information on enemies to that state. The problem with keeping oversight out of the public sphere is that every time this has happened, those tasked with oversight are captured regulators beholden to the interests of the bureaucracy rather than to the public good. Eventually the disparity between the public good and the bureaucratic interests becomes so great that the very idea of legitimacy of state secrecy is a farce because the international security state has been unaccountable to valid public privacy concerns for so long that their programs have gone off the rails which triggers internal whisleblowers. Then the people who failed to reign in the programs and protect the valid public concerns, rather than blame themselves and the system for being so out of whack blame the dissenters.

    I think you misunderstand Snowden ES, and while I may be projecting a bit here, I feel like his actions are fully in line with adherence to the values of the American public if not the international security state. We don't know what we don't know, and the power, even if now it is not being used in any real domestic area, except for forwarding on those nasty drug dealers to the DEA and then lying about where the info came from to our legal system, is certainly ripe for abuse in the future. Obama's extreme defense of the system that he didn't create is a bit puzzling, and worrying about blowback from the intelligence services that is supposed under his complete control does suggest at least the possibility that our political elites are already under the thumb of rouge intelligence systems who would use their power to destroy any politician that posed a credible threat to their bureaucratic power.

    Having the largest computer in the world in an unassailable fortress in my backyard provides an interesting perspective, and if you want to know why that is, just go back 4 years to my posting history and understand even at the time I was considered more liberal than most of my neighbors. So when the NSA is locating their server farms in areas they describe as "patriotic" when that is just a code word for subservient and uninquisitive, I'm willing to take my chances with the terrorists because I don't see them 20 years from now being able to monitor and save literally everything I do.

    We face a world with many threats, but this pendulum has swung too far to "total information awareness" and while it may be great for the elites to now have the tools to effectively suppress all popular movements in the future, it does not serve the interests of the general populace. The problem is not that you have individuals seeking attention for their selfish egos, that could have just as easily been stroked within the system, it is that those charged with monitoring the system failed to keep it in line with public desires and now they are dealing with the blowback. Snowden would have never gone to Greenwald, and Greenwald would never have the public podium that he does, if the Congressional oversight committees did the job mandated to them by providing effective oversight in limiting systems.

    I understand royalists aren't bothered by all this as much as we are, but we have a 4th amendment even if you don't.
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    OK so that means you're very stupidly or very naively clinging to that Constitution as if it will protect you, but you don't emerged unscathed when your misguided idealism can't prevent attacks and doesn't save lives. Though of course, you will heap scorn upon these services when an attack eventually occurs, for failing to prevent it.

    MI5, through years of effectively dealing with Soviets during the Cold War and terrorists armed by "Freedom" loving Americans during the Troubles, got pretty good at doing their job without the US constitution. Turns out, and this is a surprise to our cousins in the north Atlantic, that the "secret" part of secret intelligence isn't merely flavour text.

    "Having the largest computer in the world in an unassailable fortress in my backyard provides an interesting perspective, and if you want to know why that is, just go back 4 years to my posting history and understand even at the time I was considered more liberal than most of my neighbors. So when the NSA is locating their server farms in areas they describe as "patriotic" when that is just a code word for subservient and uninquisitive, I'm willing to take my chances with the terrorists because I don't see them 20 years from now being able to monitor and save literally everything I do. "

    It's arrogant and ignorant to assume that your data is actually something they care about. Oh, you say, but they might! you say. They might turn tyrannical and abuse their power, reading all my datas! In which case you'd sound like one of those imbeciles who thinks he needs his guns to protect himself from the gubmint. Companies hold your data, hell, your data here is TF.N's property. You come up with a revolutionary idea for a new product in a company and unless it's your company... the company owns your IP. This childish "I can't done trust the gub'ment" sentiment is something you as a nation should really consider giving up, as you're adults now.
    Last edited by Ender Sai, Feb 3, 2014
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  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Also I want to be clear; you do need strong oversight over the NSA in the USA. But you cannot set two mutually exclusive expectations of an agency doing what is bread and butter work for counterpart agencies worldwide. So the NSA should, by that standard, be roaming through data, combing for threats or red flags. But it should be accountable to an Ombudsman or Inspector General and Senate Committee that is not public. The simple reality is that people would generally not be ok with more than half the activities that happen in intelligence gathering but that's why is is out of sight. There's no romanticism about it; it's dark, dirty, nasty, horrible, soul-destroying work. But necessary work.
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  25. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Spy work has never been good. Never was. But it is a necessary evil. Except it.