The National Security Agency created a “secret backdoor” so its massive databases could be searched for the contents of U.S. citizens’ confidential phone calls and e-mail messages without a warrant, according to the latest classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden. A report in the Guardian on Friday quoted Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, as saying the secret rule offers a loophole allowing “warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans.”
[...]
In reality, though, the Obama Justice Department has devised secret interpretations of FAA 702 carving out loopholes in what were intended to be strict privacy safeguards.
[...]
Another directive signed by Attorney General Eric Holder indicates the NSA can keep encrypted data it intercepts forever — giving its supercomputers plenty of time in the future to attempt a brute force attack on master encryption keys it’s unable to penetrate today.
[...]
Today’s disclosures appear to be at odds with what President Obama has said over the last two months in defense of NSA surveillance.



  1. moss says:

    The law as written allows three degrees of separation – the circles outwards – from any phone number already authorized by FISA rubber stamp.

    So, a number called by a number “legally” snooped can have all of its calls recorded and snooped – followed by everyone calling one of those numbers being snooped – and that database can have any one of the numbers recorded in that cluster having all of their phone numbers recorded and examined – outwards to a third ring of Big Brother jollies.

    Sure is useful having a tame Congress.

    • Mextli says:

      “Today’s disclosures appear to be at odds with what President Obama has said over the last two months in defense of NSA surveillance.”

      Wow, what a surprise this is: hard to believe too.

      • Mrs. Cravitz says:

        Did you hope for a change and somehow believe that a politician wouldn’t LIE TO YOU?!

        Or were you ( also ) confused about the difference between church and state when you voted?

        (Remember: the only difference between repukes and asses is that one thinks he’s at church while the other thinks he’s at city hall. Problem is, neither one knows the difference! In fact, they BOTH pray to the same god – big green moola.)

        Surprised? I’d say, it’s more like expected!

        • pedro says:

          +- didn’t fall for the “hope & change” illusion. But moss brain did and is still trying to get out of that cognitive dissonance

  2. noname says:

    NSA has gone from “We don’t need no stinking badges! … Stinking badges” to “We do it, but we don’t need no stinkin’ authorizations” to ….

    I am starting to agree with Putin contempt for Obama; Obama is pretentious and weak!

    In a 200yr+ democracy, where does a president get the hutzpah to say “It’s not enough for me to have confidence in these programs …” Harvard law doesn’t teach respect for American democracy?

    Impression is truth: “Once the programs were made public” impression is that the U.S. is “out there willy-nilly just sucking in information on everybody and doing what we please with it.”

    The only protections Americans need is adherence to the oath of office to protect the constitution and no some gung-ho trigger happy “I’ll protect Americans” Harvard nubes like GWB or BHO!

    • Mrs. Cravitz says:

      Please! If you somehow didn’t think that LAWYERS who run for office are actually interested in public SERVICE then you’re just another lemming in a very long line of brainless TWITS!

      FYI: You know what TWITS stands for don’t you? (T)he (W)ired (I)diots (T)RACKING (S)ervice! Got an account do you?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Harvard law doesn’t teach respect for American democracy?

      Nope… They don’t.

      They teach how to get around the law.

  3. Tim says:

    I think it is time to raise the noise floor on these asshats.

    What I imagine {and it may already exist} is a distributed computing community sort of like Electric Sheep.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Sheep

    Only the screensaver or background process would be using the rules of Exquisite Cadaver to continually build stories and subsectioned images from random screenshots in a data pool {Google is a pretty big pool; Flickr; FaceFuck; …} and pass them back and forth for further ammendment, and spamming your own email from time to time with sample output– Naturally, there should be some extra weighting for the NSA dirty words even though that currently appears as any word that contains alphanumeric characters in its spelling.

    http://epicexquisitecorpse.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse

  4. Tim says:

    I *think* a doable Autohotkey script addon to use the rules and submit google queries might be fun. Perhaps have it select one of those links, parse the text within, and iteratively generate a new query — Just see what kinds of links your computer wants to open and spirals down into for itself without the user driving.

    Of course, Google would probably see that as some kind of abuse and, either way, if it were to submit the queries too fast then you’ll get that message that they think you’re a virus.

    I guess the starting point would be to parse the words in a dictionary to put in arrays of noun, verb, adverb… so on, maybe even with some rules on ‘tense’.

    Anybody out there good with the scripting lanquages and just don’t give a shit any more?? I will laugh until I stop laughing if someone were to write and distribute AutoQuinoaPressureGoogler.AHK

    http://autohotkey.com/

  5. Dallas says:

    Is this another outrage of something legal that Congress approved? If it is, I’m disgusted beyond belief .

    • bobbo, how do you know what you know, and how do you change your mind says:

      Good one.

    • deowll says:

      Dallas, I’m beginning to think that as long as the Congress that passed the law was Democrat and the president was a Democrat you’d go along with a law that allowed the President to haul you off and have you killed with no due process. Now wait we do have that too, don’t we, but not to worry the President said he won’ t do that just like he said about a heap of other things we now know has in fact happened.

      I’d like to dump our Congress Critters and the WH Critters in Iran and put them all on the no fly list. They are all traitors to the oath they took to uphold and support the Constitution of the US of A.

      Okay maybe there are as many of 10 or 12 that doesn’t apply to but I seriously doubt it’s more than that.

      • Phydeau says:

        And you think the Republicans would have been any better? Of course not. They would have been more enthusiastic in trashing our rights. Look at the Dubya years, an eight year track record of spying on Americans.

        The Democrats in charge rightly deserve to be condemned, but spare us any BS that the R’s would have done anything different.

        • pedro says:

          Yeah! Do not point out the flaws of the demagogues because nobody does it better than they do, specially when they fuck-up

  6. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Whether you think what the Gubment is doing is legal or illegal, at least now thanks to Snowden we do know what it is doing. This sets the stage for what future gubments will do either legal or illegal. Easy to project the “data collection and filtering” into the future.

    That sets one level of understanding. I have never thought there “should be” a privacy interest in mail, phone calls, the internet. To me, this is like yelling to the world thru an open window. If what you yell is a crime, I think you should be stopped. Why Not?

    The next step will be hard to avoid: thought/speech crimes. Hard to have all the proof collected in a nice compact little package and not have a crime to connect it to? Ha, ha.

    But I abhor slippery slope issues. The issue is more one of a cliff rather than a slope.

    Fun with metaphors.

    • Tim says:

      I just crimed all over myself and everyone else in the driveway; And, it was daylight. I’m a bad man. What the hell is Keen Wa and why do I need a pressure hooker to make it come forth?

      • bobbo, learning to cook from scratch has its rewards. Losing weight is not one of them says:

        I had some last month. I don’t remember using a pressure cooker. I’m very much into using my two cup pyrex measuring cup and the microwave. Quick, idiot proof (has a timer!), and doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

        Each time I go to WinCo I bring home an “unknown grain or legume” and eat it. YMMV==but they all taste the same to me. Might as well go with the cheapest available and let the Andeans keep their precious food resources?

        Your mastery of the English language is matched if not exceeded by your use of made up corruptions.

        As you will.

        • Tim says:

          Well, if they are labeled ‘smart pills’ and taste like rabbit shit, your southern cousin was probably prescient — you are getting smarter, already.

          • bobbo, learning to cook from scratch has its rewards. Losing weight is not one of them says:

            I’ve never taste tested rabbit shit, but I have had some bad raisins.

  7. mainecat says:

    We get robocallers with spoofed caller ids over and over. So the terrorists must know how to do this too. Yet with all this surveillance, the government cannot figure out who the robocallers are and stop them. That should give some perspective on their abilities to track individuals…

    • MWD78 says:

      I’m pretty sure robodialers are pretty low on the NSA’s priority list unless AQ is using them to recruit.

    • Phydeau says:

      Follow the money. Corporations make robocalls. Government’s not going to restrain corporations from their sacred duty of making money. Robocalls will continue.

  8. dcphill says:

    Do you think that it is possible that the Prez does not have the security clearance that allows him to know what he doesn’t know?

  9. Mrs. Cravitz says:

    Let’s examine what we know to be facts about some of our other government entities:

    * FDA – A government body that is supposed to protect U.S. Citizens from tainted/poisonous food and bad drugs. Yet, nearly every DAY there are tons of bad foods and drugs that get by these people. Some of it even kills! Or did you happen to forget that poison melon outbreak a few months ago or perhaps any of the other dozens of recalled drugs that you may have even taken? Or maybe you forgot about their sister agency, the Customs department which allowed all those lead painted toys in from China!

    * HHS (sometimes known as “welfare”) – A government body which is supposed to help promote health and other “human services” (whatever that means). Yet, every DAY there are cases of child abuse and occasionally even child homicides committed by foster families that this agency approved.

    * TSA – Really? Does ANYONE think these group of boobs know ANYTHING about “Transportation Security”? Some of them might, but hardly a month goes by where we don’t hear about some idiot TSA worker overstepping his/her authority or even breaking the law themselves.

    * Treasury Department – FYI: This is the branch of our government which controls the IRS!!! Enough said.

    And the list goes on!

    Look at nearly ANY branch of the government and any department/bureau within that branch. Now try taking a look a little more close to this whole government snooping issue. Try looking at the CIA which is another government entity that is now on record of having allowed seized firearms to be used to kill their own people!

    And now or President, Mister “Hope-and-Change” wants us to believe that ANOTHER “intelligence” entity like the National Security Agency is actually working and interested in PROTECTING us? Are you kidding me?!

    And I though George W. Bush was the idiot. PLEASE!!!

    The only thing our government seems interested in protecting these days is their own selfish interests – like where their next dollar is coming from!

    • msbpodcast says:

      I have rewritten the definitions to be more realistic.

      * FDA – A government agency which is there to insure that certain minimums are met, and once they are met, shield the industry from law suits. They benefit by making a great of the F lead you to the D. (Ever chew on antacid? I don’t. I eat real food and I don’t need antacids. [That means no fast food, no processed food, no canned food, no preservatives, no FDA approved coloring, no HFCS, no pink slime, nothing from Monsanto, no wheat, no corn unless I know where its from, basically no shit...])

      * HHS (sometimes known as “welfare”) – It approves certain corporations to bill the government and protects them when they fuck up as long as certain standards were met. If your Granny or some kids died, so what? They would have died at some point anyway…

      * TSA – The front-end is there to annoy the hell out of you and the back-end is there to prevent you from suing the government when the front-end fucks up. Your safety has nothing to do with it. They’re there to prevent another 9/11, but that’s to prevent a big insurance payout.

      * Treasury Department is an independent agglomeration of private banks who have been running a Ponzi scheme since 1913. It is now collapsing just like Bernie Madoff’s and for the same reason. At some point, the trends go negative and the system wants real dough but, in the Fed’s case, because of the fractional reserve banking system, there never was real dough to begin with. (Shrub’s eight years of supposed prosperity were a mirage of the worst sort.)

      And the list goes on!

      • Dallas says:

        Agree with most of what you said. I believe it wasn’t designed that way but rather BECAME that way over the century by corruption.
        Dismantling such organizations or changing them I assume is very difficult. It’s hard enough changing a corporation, much much less government. At least in corporations it’s absolute rule.

    • msbpodcast says:

      The only thing our government seems interested in protecting these days is their own selfish interests – like where their next dollar is coming from!

      They’re all 1%ers and hangers-on.

      They know exactly where their next dollar is coming from… Your pocket.

      And, unlike your corner green-grocer, they don’t want to give you fuck all in return.

  10. I says:

    How do you tell when a politician is lying….?

    His lips are moving…

  11. NewformatSux says:

    Of course there’s a loophole. It’s called a special code built by the programmers, for testing purposes. Also known as a cheat code.

  12. dadeo says:

    Go to xda forums, root your device, then spoof your mac address to whatever suits you for that day/week. Encrypt your communications..or get them to change.

    Link to xda thread on spoofing android mac address:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2286440

  13. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    “Assurances by Obama”, that’s rich. We know precisely what he is accomplishing under the radar, by what he assures us he is not doing, desiring or accepting.

  14. NewformatSux says:

    So basically, if you have a landline, you are less likely to be spied on, and are supporting local workers. On the other hand if you get Skype, your phone calls are probably recorded forever, and you are paying your money to a foreign corporation.

    • NewformatSux says:

      All the while complaining about outsourcing and Benedict Arnold CEOs.