Posts Tagged ‘phone tap’

Hitting Up the NSA for Records

September 1, 2013


This is by far the funniest thing to come out of the revelations of the NSA eavesdropping actions.

A recent court case found the lawyer for the defense bringing up an interesting notion. His client’s phone records could help clear him… now the NSA just has to produce them.

Isn’t this a nasty precedent? If the government does not come forward with the evidence the defense attorney could file for a mistrial.

The National Security Agency has spent years demanding that companies turn over their data. Now, the tables have turned.

Then the federal government filed a motion saying it would refuse, citing “national security” but some experts say the novel legal argument could encourage other lawyers to fight for similar access.

The defendant in the case maintains his innocence and claims cellphone location records would show he wasn’t at the scene of the crime.

The laws of evidence require that prosecutors turn over to the defense any records they have that might help prove a suspect’s innocence.

One expert said, “The NSA is not above the law. It’s a government agency, just like every other government agency. Just because it has this Harry Potter-like disappearing cloak, it’s still an agency that is subject to the law.”


The Story So Far…

June 25, 2013


I think it should be fairly obvious to anyone that the Adventures of Edward Snowden were a pre-planned attack on Big Brother.

Snowden was not just a worker at Booz-Hamilton that “happened” across this unConstitutional surveillance… the basic data has been known for some time now.

He was not just some rube who thought he could make a name for himself as the pundits on Capitol Hill and the talking heads of the intelligence community would have us believe.


Edward Snowden is the modern day Robin Hood or Nathan Hale or whatever hero strikes your fancy.

Whether or not his actions result in any positive action by “waking up the people”, it IS what he intended from the very beginning.

He took the job at Booz-Hamilton specifically because he wanted the documentation. It was no spur-of-the-moment thing. He had already contacted the reporters who would print the stories two months before he even got the job!

And, now, we can construct a better time line.

I am not certain that Snowden knew Aaron Swartz but I am fairly confident that he knew of the fellow.

They were both interested in the Bradley Manning case – from things Snowden mentioned as well as some of the last work Swartz had done.

When Swartz was killed (oops!… I mean “suicided”) this past January, Snowden seems to have made up his mind and contacted the reporter. Once he was certain he had a way to disseminate the data, he went looking for a way into the system.

March – Snowden got his job at Booz-Allen and moved to Hawaii.

June – Snowden takes a “temporary leave” and flees the country.

The rest is pretty much public knowledge.

Perhaps I make too much of the death of Aaron Swartz as a motivating factor for Snowden but his comments about already understanding that he is likely to be killed for his actions speaks volumes.

If nothing else, his actions have shown us what a bunch of groveling losers and “yes men/women” we have in Congress.

And, for some odd reason, I am reminded of Clint Eastwood’s final line in “Gran Torino”:

“I sure hope this works.”

I hope so too.

Just Another Voice in the Wilderness

June 19, 2013


I don’t have a lot of followers so I doubt my take on the news is reaching a lot of ears.

It seems to me with all the noise the NSA is making lately about all the fine work they have done preventing terrorist attacks, I thought we should mention just one thing: Boston Marathon.

IF the system worked the way it is touted to work, why did the bombing in Boston even happen?

The FBI and other agencies have said the brothers were already “suspect”, so who dropped the ball?

Perhaps if the NSA had not been so busy trying to surveil American citizens and our allies they might have been able to put a little more effort into that case.

Just sayin’…

Transparency and Treason

June 19, 2013


Obama keeps saying the NSA program is transparent… and it is. At least to the people actively involved in it.

To the rest of us, the actions that can be taken, who can take them, who authorizes it, who oversees it, how much it costs, who it affects, what are the steps of its implimentation, what is the operative time frame, and a few other minor details, are all CLASSIFIED.

And I am sorry to inform the President but “classified” is the opposite of “transparency”.

Just thought you might like to know, Mr. President.


In the comment section below a recent article about Snowden on Yahoo! news, one commenter mentioned that “treason” is defined as aiding and abetting the enemy.

And since Snowden is just trying to help Americans, the government is saying, in effect, that we, the people, are the enemy.

I think the simple comment summed up the entire situation admirably.

the Usual Oxymoron will Suffice

June 15, 2013


In all this media barrage from the NSA about what Snowden’s revelations mean and don’t mean, we have heard some confusing variations on what their plan is really all about.

One fellow said they are not checking the content of the phone calls or emails, just the connections or durations.

Another said they used a highly technical algorithm to cross-check certain words contained in the phone calls and emails… Which would seem pretty hard to do if they didn’t actually look at the content, huh?

Still another source said that, yes, they do run their special algorithm over the messages in the phone or email communications but they do not actually save any of the messages, just the results of their algorithmic search.

And now even one fellow says that they store ALL the emails and phone calls of everyone but do not actually examine any of them until their algorithm red flags certain communications… then, after they get a court order they can then examine the calls and emails and it simply saves so much time already having all that stuff already gathered in one place.

And there’s the oxymoron: National Intelligence.

Don’t these guys have some sort of Central Intelligence PR department to at least help spin the data so they an all tell the same story?

With all the money we’re throwing at these guys [that data is classified] for an unmentioned number of programs [that data is classified] to produce some results [that data is classified] for the good of… well, someone [that data is classified] couldn’t they hire someone to coach them on getting out the same damned story?!!

IMHO, these guys aren’t smart enough to be in “intelligence” work.