Understanding NSA boss James Clapper's France-spying "denial"


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I would like to request such a public fisking for Dianne Feinstein, my DINO Senator, and prize NSA lapdog. I have received several pseudo-earnest response letters from her with the same word salad in different containers.

Feinstein defends NSA data collection and insists program is ‘not surveillance’


What an asset!


What a least untruthful statement! It almost feels like he is telling the truth!

Given that this is a man who will lie under oath, I’m sure France feels quite reassured by a statement that is not under oath.


Breaking news, so to speak. Germany asked the US ambassador to report, because there seem to be substantial hints that the NSA tapped into Chancellor Merkel’s protected communication.

That*s the same Merkel and government who bent backwards to find excuses for the USA’s behaviour (admittedly, because our secret services are in bed with them).

I think that’s a premiere, never happened since the founding of the FRG.

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How marvellous! People are now applying Kreminology to the statements of US officials!

We have come Full Circle.



Given the revelations about France, German, et al, I think is is very likely that any country which allows the free travel of Muslims^H^H^H^H^H^HMiddle Easterners^H^H^H^H^H^H, ahem, I mean, suspected terrorists from countries suspected of sponsoring/aiding/abetting terrorism (including by not allowing AU/CA/NZ/UK/US intelligence agencies unfettered access to their communications) is likely to have its domestic communications monitored.

Oh please, this is not about terrorism. You can say a lot about Ms. Merkel and Mr. Hollande, but they are not remotely interested in executing terrorist attacks against America.

They do, however, have quite an effect on two of the largest economies in the world, which are direct contenders of the United States economy.

I gag at the thought that our diplomats discuss a free trade zone with the US at this point. I hope they table if for the next 20 years.


On the other hand, neither Merkel nor Hollande have ever explicitly denied membership in Al-Qaeda. So, there. I don’t know what they’re complaining about – if they done nothing wrong, they’ve got nothing to hide, no?


One line in the linked article struck me:

Vast amounts of metadata grabbed simply because there’s no legal basis preventing it.

That’s not actually true, because there are plenty of laws to prevent this kind of abuse. Laws do not matter when you are above them - such as when you have the dirt on all 100 US Senators. It has become clear these people believe they can tell any lie, break any law, with total impunity. “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.”


The Echelon program has been in existence for decades now. How these heads of state can claim ignorance of what has been going on in their own backyard as well as their neighbours and allies is beyond me. Maybe they actually think that dragnet surveillance is choosy about who and what it captures?

Regarding the Merkel incident, just from looking at the Echelon Wikipedia page I notice that the US has been accused of using it to steal German tech in the 90’s. And that’s just a publicly known example - who knows how much shady business these facilities generate. Has it really taken them 20 years to finally realise the full implications of this program?


You do realize that there still are a shitload of armed US troops in Germany, right?

What are these laws?

Well IANAL but the 4th amendment comes to mind. Also, I think the FISA court is supposed to review each of those 70 million cases…


OT, But it tickles me that you always begin posts with “hello”.


It took Edward Snowden, frankly. Unless they too are lying to save face with their own citizenry.

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Under the 4th Amendment there’s what known as the “third-party doctrine.” This basically means that if you disclose information to a third party, you no longer have an expectation of privacy in that information and the 4th Amendment no longer applies. The classic example of this is jail-house informants or undercover snitches: if someone discloses information to another, that third party can turn around and disclose to the government. This doctrine has essentially been extended to include “wrapper” or “envelope” data in conventional communications: you disclose the name and address on the outside of envelopes in order to get letters delivered, so this address information is not protected by the 4th Amendment even if the contents of a letter are; similarly, when you dial a telephone number you disclose the telephone number to the phone company, which needs this information to collect the call, so phone numbers are not protected. This is essentially why metadata of electronic communications within the US is being collected: it’s the digital equivalent of wrapper communications.

At any rate, the 4th Amendment wouldn’t even apply to these cases (nor are FISC warrants needed) because this is not surveillance targeting individuals within the US.

Has anyone considered that we could achieve a win-win by putting the NSA in charge of the health care rollout, and the HHS contractors in charge of snooping??


Really? Sorry, that’s batshit insane.

No, the classic example would be a group of aboltionists, death penalty objectors or gay right activists discussing peaceful means to protect people.

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Huh? It seems pretty straightforward that if you want to keep something secret then you shouldn’t tell others. If you do tell others and they decide to turn that information over to someone, how is it insane that the government doesn’t protect your claimed privacy in this shared information?

OK. So tell me how we should protect these people the privacy of these people without also sheltering murderers, rapists, etc. who may also share their exploits with third parties.