Wiretapping Misconceptions: Compliments of Fak3r

My friend Fak3r (as seen here) has “been online for over 15 years, blogging for 10.”  He also  works with “open source software, various hardware and whatever else that I can hack on.”  In his spare time he enjoys “learning by doing, painting infrequently and listening to more music than the law allows.”  Kids, today he as also provided us with some knowledge:  Prepare for it to drop on ya dome.

I boosted this posting from his site http://www.fak3r.com Click that link and tell him how much you appreciate him educating you and everyone else out there. With out further delay:  Fak3r’s Facebook Relpy on Wiretapping.

This comment got posted to Facebook, where the ‘wiretapping’ point was called out, and I replied with a longer post than I wanted, but I think it had to be made, people SHOULD know this stuff. Anyway, since I spent time on it I’m reposting it here, feel free to discuss. Thanks.

>> 9 No because they weren’t wiretapping me just people
>> they thought might be trying to bomb our country.

@Tom – while I disagree with a few of your points, I wanted to make a quick (*not really) comment to highlight this one, because for me is the most egregious and reinforces WHY I made the post the other day. While it may seem like overkill, all of these articles talk of court cases and people under oath telling exactly what happened while the NSA was snooping on communications.

From a technical standpoint we have sworn testimony from the Mark Klein, actual technician, who put splitter on the network in the San Francisco ATT building. He details how ‘all’ of the internet and phone traffic was routed into a cabinet run by the NSA. So while this doesn’t say they spied on regular citizens, it does say that they lied about not using a ‘dragnet’ approach; they had everything coming in, how they filtered things, we don’t know. This document also says that similar setups installed were confirmed to Klein by other co-workers in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego:http://cryptome.org/klein-decl.htm

Then we learned that NSA workers eavesdropped on US soldiers’ phone sex calls: http://boingboing.net/2008/10/09/nsa-enjoys-eav…

…as well as ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/10/we-sno…

Workers “…described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/washington/10…

In late 2005 officials have hinted that the eavesdropping has spanned technology far more advanced than telephones: http://news.cnet.com/Just-how-extensive-is-NSAs…

“…prior to Summer of 2008, the intelligence community was forbidden by law from wiretapping phone and internet switches inside the United States, unless they had a particular target in mind and applied for a court order from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court largely rubber stamps such applications — it approved 2,072 in 2005 and required modifications to only 61 of those.”: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/02/senate…

Then in early 2009, Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the NSA had been engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications of Americans. “They described the practice as significant and systemic”: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/us/16nsa.html

So look, if you want to try and tie the spying to terrorism and say that it was done for national security you can, but know that it’s still illegal. This is why Bush wouldn’t sign bills unless ATT had immunity, he promised them they wouldn’t be charged if they went along with the plan. And as far as your comments that ‘both sides’ approved the Patriot Act, that doesn’t matter; it’s still wrong. Plus, did you know that in January for Patriot Act renewal: “…in a surprise buried at the end of the 289-page report, the inspector general also reveals that the Obama administration issued a secret rule almost two weeks ago saying it was legal for the FBI to have skirted federal privacy protections.”: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/fbi-at…

Making it legal for the FBI to have ‘skirted privacy protections’? Sounds like the last President, no? Needless to say, us on the side of the law and electronic freedoms have not been happy with many of Obama’s decisions.

So back to my main point, the NSA, and by association the Administration and our government, violated our civil rights by breaking the constitution, but people didn’t protest that at all. But, when the government offered to help millions get access to affordable healthcare we get this incredible rhetoric about freedom, liberty, taking our country back and any other talking points people hear the talking heads spout out. It’s ridiculous, and the fact that these people didn’t care about the above ‘transgressions’ (where the rights of American citizens were ignored) shows that they really don’t care about healthcare, they are just against anything Obama does or says, because that’s what they’re fed.

About Matt

I was.

Posted on April 6, 2010, in anger, culture, My World, politics, USA, world and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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