Barack Obama was once infamously quoted as saying being president of the United States would be so much easier and effective if America were more like Communist China. It would seem that he is trying now for something more resembling the 1950’s East German Police State styled Security apparatus known as the Stasi. People in East German knew how all encompassing and intrusive the Stasi were, they knew that their every word and deed had to be carefully guarded because the Stasi were blackmailing half of the country into spying on the other half. This is seems, the brutal iron fist of the Stasi, is what Obama envisions as the perfect way to control the American people.
Last week, Barack Obama outlined what he called “reform” of American signals surveillance — the end of the Section 215 program at NSA, but only “as we know it.” The “reform” doesn’t actually end anything, but merely transfers ownership of collected telecom metadata to some unspecified third party … at some point in time. It also throws a couple of more essentially meaningless hurdles between NSA and access to the data by having the FISA court grant approval, when the FISA court almost always does so anyway. The government will still collect the data, will still have access to the data, and still will not need to get a specific search warrant to mine the data.
Even those cosmetic changes may not work, however:
U.S. officials directed by President Obama to find a way to end the government’s role in gathering Americans’ phone records are deeply concerned that there may be no feasible way to accomplish the task soon, according to individuals familiar with the discussions.
In a speech last week, Obama put the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in charge of developing a plan by March 28 to transfer control of the massive database of records away from the National Security Agency — a step aimed at addressing widespread privacy concerns. But even among U.S. officials who applauded the recommendation in principle, there is a growing worry that the president’s goals are unattainable in the near future, officials said.
Telephone companies have said they do not want to be responsible for the database, and no one has come up with a workable idea for how a third party could hold the records.
“The idea that this complicated problem will be solved in the next two months is very unlikely, if not impossible,” said one official with knowledge of the discussions. “It is not at all inconceivable that the bulk collection program will stay the same, with the records held by the government until 2015,” when the law that authorizes the bulk collection is set to expire.
One would think that a President preparing a major policy speech on reforming a controversial and unpopular government program would have lined up the changes announced to make sure it would work. A prepared executive would have made sure his team met with all the stakeholders, gotten agreements on partnerships, and worked with legislators to ready any statutory changes necessary. President Obama, on the other hand …
No meeting has been scheduled between government officials and the phone companies to discuss the issue, and no decision has been made about approaching the companies to further discuss the possibility of them holding the records.
Wake the hell up sunshine, big brother really is watching you.
If you’re like us, you always believed the simplest way to protect your computer from prying eyes was to unplug it from the internet.
Yeah, about that.
Not even cutting the cord can stop the National Security Agency, according to new information published Tuesday by The New York Times.
Since 2008, the NSA has used software and hardware to monitor nearly 100,000 computers around the world even if they’re not networked.
The NSA responded on Wednesday, telling Agence France-Presse that it was strictly for national security, and the techniques were not used on American computers.
If you believe that the NSA is only spying on computers that are not connected to the internet that do not belong to American Citizens, then you are a damned fool. We already know that they are reading every American’s email, do you honestly think that since they ARE reading your email, they are ignoring any computer you might have that get disconnected from the internet from time to time?