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hootinholler

hootinholler's Journal
hootinholler's Journal
July 20, 2013

Can someone please explain how the NSA Slurp and Burp doesn't violate wiretap law?

Bear with me here a minute, I think it's important.

We know from Andrea Mitchell's interview of Clapper that it is not just metadata that is being slurped up by the NSA. How much is held remains to be proven, but at this point we know with certainty there is some call content being stored for future reference.

The relevant bits of the interview:

JAMES CLAPPER:

First-- as I said, I have great respect for Senator Wyden. I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked-- "When are you going to start-- stop beating your wife" kind of question, which is meaning not-- answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.

And again, to go back to my metaphor. What I was thinking of is looking at the Dewey Decimal numbers-- of those books in that metaphorical library-- to me, collection of U.S. persons' data would mean taking the book off the shelf and opening it up and reading it.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Taking the contents?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Exactly. That's what I meant. Now--

ANDREA MITCHELL:

You did not mean archiving the telephone numbers?

JAMES CLAPPER:

No.




I Still am astounded at the notion of collection he has. I don't think that word means what he thinks it means, he has confirmed that someone somewhere has call content collected(my definition) waiting to be "collected&quot his definition).

How on earth this scheme doesn't run afoul of wiretap laws is beyond me. Maybe the secret warrant covers it, but where is the probable cause to precollect everything?


Wiretapping Law Protects "Oral," "Wire," and "Electronic" Communications Against "Interception"

Before 1967, the Fourth Amendment didn't require police to get a warrant to tap conversations occurring over phone company lines. But that year, in two key decisions (including the Katz case), the Supreme Court made clear that eavesdropping — bugging private conversations or wiretapping phone lines — counted as a search that required a warrant. Congress and the states took the hint and passed updated laws reflecting the court's decision and providing procedures for getting a warrant for eavesdropping.


BTW, That's really odd that it wasn't against the law for cops to listen in. Do we need a privacy amendment? Sorry, It continues...

The Wiretap Act requires the police to get a wiretap order whenever they want to "intercept" an "oral communication," an "electronic communication," or a "wire communication." Interception of those communications is commonly called electronic surveillance.

An oral communication is your typical face-to-face, in-person talking. A communication qualifies as an oral communication that is protected by the statute (and the Fourth Amendment) if it is uttered when you have a reasonable expectation that your conversation won't be recorded. So, if the police want to install a microphone or a "bug" in your house or office (or stick one outside of a closed phone booth, like in the Katz case), they have to get a wiretap order. The government may also attempt to use your own microphones against you — for example, by obtaining your phone company's cooperation to turn on your cell phone's microphone and eavesdrop on nearby conversations.

A wire communication is any voice communication that is transmitted, whether over the phone company's wires, a cellular network, or the Internet. You don't need to have a reasonable expectation of privacy for the statute to protect you, although radio broadcasts and other communications that can be received by the public are not protected. If the government wants to tap any of your phone calls — landline, cellphone, or Internet-based — it has to get a wiretap order.

An electronic communication is any transmitted communication that isn't a voice communication. So, that includes all of your non-voice Internet and cellular phone activities like email, instant messaging, texting and websurfing. It also covers faxes and messages sent with digital pagers. Like with wire communications, you don't need to have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your electronic communications for them to be protected by the statute.



Can someone please explain to me how this NSA Slurp and Burp program is legal? Or is that reason a State Secret?


July 19, 2013

Dismantle the NSA Slurp and Burp!

You're probably thinking WTF is Slurp and Burp?

It's my pet name for the practice the NSA has fallen into where they grab everything and store it for future reference. That's the slurp part and the future reference is the burp part.

The Burp when as Clapper euphemised your book is opened. Oh, and he also confirmed that it's not just phone metadata, it is also the call content.

Even the dude who wrote the Patriot Act abomination said that's is not what he intended in the law.

Stop the Slurp and Burp. Tell that exact phrase to your friendly congressional staffer. Tell them to dismantle it now.

July 13, 2013

The root issue Snowden exposed: Clapper's Library

Something that was said in an interview of James Clapper which has really stuck in my craw. This has bothered me for a month now and I for one want to know exactly what he means with his library metaphor and who are the librarians?

As an aside, given my understanding of librarians' support of privacy, this is some high order irony in metaphor selection.

In any event, this is the metaphor:

JAMES CLAPPER:

I understand that. But first let me say that I and everyone in the intelligence community all-- who are also citizens, who also care very deeply about our-- our privacy and civil liberties, I certainly do. So let me say that at the outset. I think a lot of what people are-- are reading and seeing in the media is a lot of hyper-- hyperbole.

A metaphor I think might be helpful for people to understand this is to think of a huge library with literally millions of volumes of books in it, an electronic library. Seventy percent of those books are on bookcases in the United States, meaning that the bulk of the of the world's infrastructure, communications infrastructure is in the United States.

There are no limitations on the customers who can use this library. Many and millions of innocent people doing min-- millions of innocent things use this library, but there are also nefarious people who use it. Terrorists, drug cartels, human traffickers, criminals also take advantage of the same technology. So the task for us in the interest of preserving security and preserving civil liberties and privacy is to be as precise as we possibly can be when we go in that library and look for the books that we need to open up and actually read.

You think of the li-- and by the way, all these books are arranged randomly. They're not arranged by subject or topic matter. And they're constantly changing. And so when we go into this library, first we have to have a library card, the people that actually do this work.

Which connotes their training and certification and recertification. So when we pull out a book, based on its essentially is-- electronic Dewey Decimal System, which is zeroes and ones, we have to be very precise about which book we're picking out. And if it's one that belongs to the-- was put in there by an American citizen or a U.S. person.

We ha-- we are under strict court supervision and have to get stricter-- and have to get permission to actually-- actually look at that. So the notion that we're trolling through everyone's emails and voyeuristically reading them, or listening to everyone's phone calls is on its face absurd. We couldn't do it even if we wanted to. And I assure you, we don't want to.


First let's ignore he has a fundamental misunderstanding who a customer of a library is, and rather focus on the notion that the NSA or other agency has a library containing all of the communications that pass through US infrastructure.

In the final bolded sentence, he almost said it the right way around, and then amazingly states that we put these 'books' in his 'library' rather than his first instinct that the books are filled by taking our private correspondence and storing it.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

Senator Wyden made quite a lot out of your exchange with him last March during the hearings. Can you explain what you meant when you said that there was not data collection on millions of Americans?

JAMES CLAPPER:

First-- as I said, I have great respect for Senator Wyden. I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked-- "When are you going to start-- stop beating your wife" kind of question, which is meaning not-- answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.

And again, to go back to my metaphor. What I was thinking of is looking at the Dewey Decimal numbers-- of those books in that metaphorical library-- to me, collection of U.S. persons' data would mean taking the book off the shelf and opening it up and reading it.



Everyone got wrapped around the axle over the least untruthful comment when the real shocker to me at least is in bold.

The notion of "I didn't collect it if I didn't read it" is classic ministry of truth doublespeak.

col·lect
/kəˈlekt/

Verb
Bring or gather together (things, typically when scattered or widespread).

Synonyms
verb. gather - assemble - accumulate - amass - muster - pick

col·lec·tion
/kəˈlekSHən/
Noun

The action or process of collecting someone or something.

Synonyms
gathering - assemblage - accumulation


This must be dismantled. The question is how do we accomplish that?

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