frauenfelder at March 14th, 2014 12:29 — #1
imb at March 14th, 2014 12:44 — #2
The supreme court's decision is such a load of crap. Old time land lines needed warrants for tapping. Storage of data should have nothing to do with it. To which I'd also assume that any existing landlines today are still being spied on, even though they remain in old school technology. You have no right to privacy at all, because unless you are Ted Kaczynski, living in a shed on a mountain, modern society requires you to engage with businesses that collect data. And if you are living in a shed, off the grid, I imagine the government thinks it's even more of a reason to spy on you.
cowicide at March 14th, 2014 14:29 — #3
You have no right to privacy at all, because unless you are Ted Kaczynski, living in a shed on a mountain, modern society requires you to engage with businesses that collect data.
The businesses may collect data, but it's still illegal for them to sit and read personal aspects of the data unless it has something to do with quality of service or they automatically detect child porn and need to contact authorities.
That's why you very rarely ever hear of someone (aside from child porno people) getting into legal trouble just by sending emails alone in regards to some sort of other illegal activity. Unless your illegal activity gets exposed some other way, just talking about it with someone isn't likely to get any attention from a corporation. They could care less and if they made it their business to snoop on their customers even to stop illegal activity it wouldn't be worth the grief.
If there wasn't any right to privacy, we'd all be forced to abandon envelopes and use postcards instead. And, opening other people's envelopes wouldn't be a federal offense.
That said, I would agree that most email is sent like a postcard nowadays and that needs to stop with much more people using encryption.
imb at March 14th, 2014 15:07 — #4
All the envelopes that go through the post office are copied. My guess is that if they feel you are suspicious, the government will open them, without you knowing, or getting a warrant. At any rate, in the meantime, they are cataloging who you communicate via the postal service, for future use.
cowicide at March 14th, 2014 16:29 — #5
All the envelopes that go through the post office are copied. My guess is that if they feel you are suspicious, the government will open them, without you knowing, or getting a warrant.
Right, but you're basically referring to the NSA's unconstitutional, suspicionless, mass spying where (in transit) all envelopes are diverted, their contents from all citizens are copied, stored, resealed and sent on their way.
Of course, they can't read every piece of mail they copy, so this is all with the intention of future usage against said citizens (and politicians) who "act up" whether it be via peaceful activism, business success and/or political success. Of course, this is mostly under the guise of security theatre. Even though the NSA and some of our weaker, piece of shit politicians says that's legal; It's truly illegal (unconstitutional), against our privacy rights (see Constitution again) and that's why there's a nationwide angst building against this type of spying from our government.
On the other hand, if you deliver mail in an envelope (encrypted) via a corporation like Fedex, they can't "legally" make copies of your mail contents to read unless compelled to do so by authorities or there's a rip in the envelope and a worker spots some child porn within the letter.
The corporation can legally read where the letter goes to (metadata), but if they get caught reading the contents without any justification they are breaking the law (our privacy rights) and disgruntled employees (via adversarial journalists, etc.) can cause great financial harm from consumers as well as bringing upon the wrath of our (hypocritical) government against them for abusing our privacy rights.
In that sense, the corporations have a lot more to lose by illegally snooping on mail and it thwarts them from doing it institutionally at least. That's why we hear about where a company fires (and even prosecutes) employees that get caught spying on their customers. On the other hand, it takes a whistleblower like Snowden to ever get the government to admit that they do it at all, much less institutionally.
I'm no big fan of most big corporations, but it would be corporate suicide for them to institutionalize mass spying on their customers because without a doubt eventually disgruntled employees will come forward and the corporation can't hide behind security theatre like the government tries to do. As some corporations are finding today, even just being accused of aiding the NSA in spying is already hurting their beloved bottom lines.
Do I think there's unconstitutional corporate spying? Absolutely (they've already been busted doing it repeatedly), and it needs to be thwarted with mass encryption ASAP along with adversarial journalist watchdogs (a big problem with corporate media not doing that job for obvious, corrupt reasons). But, fortunately... there really is a right to privacy in this nation and corporate spying is at least somewhat limited by different concerns than our government has in that regard.
ereiamjh at March 14th, 2014 21:25 — #6
They're all imaged so that if the machines can't process an address then those images can be sent to be processed the old timey way: by human hands and eyeballs. The postal service is just trying to get your mail to you....
imb at March 14th, 2014 21:57 — #7
U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement
The Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program ....
The program photographs and captures an image of every piece of mail
that is processed,
“ It’s a treasure trove of information,” said James J. Wedick a former F.B.I. agent who spent 34 years at the agency and who said he used mail covers in a number of investigations, including one that led to the prosecution of several elected officials in California on corruption
charges. “Looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with — all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena. But, he said: “It can be easily abused because it’s so easy to use and you don’t have to go through a judge to get the information. You just fill out a form.” ...Law enforcement officials need warrants to open the mail, although President George W. Bush asserted in a signing statement in 2007 that the federal government had the authority to open mail without warrants in emergencies or in foreign intelligence cases.
ereiamjh at March 14th, 2014 22:32 — #8
That info can be used for legitimate reasons (as mentioned) in the article, or abusive ones (as in the article) but that is not why it was created or its purpose. The same info could be gleaned from a carrier or clerk, and before machines when a person would have just been sorting somebody's address daily. Scanning letters was not part of some conspiracy as your post suggested, but I agree in full that abuse of that info is no bueno.
imb at March 15th, 2014 08:21 — #9
True, and the internet wasn't created as a government data reservoir for spying. Just sayin'. I never implied or stated the purpose origin of the program, just that it is.
ereiamjh at March 16th, 2014 16:51 — #10
Agreed, it's all wrong. Just saying it wasn't a conspiracy. There are enough conspiracies about the USPS out there already.
frauenfelder at March 19th, 2014 12:30 — #11
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