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  1. Standard membersasquatch672
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    16 Jun '13 22:16
    Uh oh.

    NSA spying flap extends to contents of U.S. phone calls
    June 15, 2013 | Declan McCullagh
    National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.


    NSA Director Keith Alexander says his agency's analysts, which until recently included Edward Snowden among their ranks, take protecting "civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day."
    Getty Images
    The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

    If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

    Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

    James Owens, a spokesman for Nadler, provided a statement on Sunday morning, a day after this article was published, saying: "I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans' phone calls without a specific warrant." Owens said he couldn't comment on what assurances from the Obama administration Nadler was referring to, and said Nadler was unavailable for an interview. (CNET had contacted Nadler for comment on Friday.)

    Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, being able to listen to phone calls would mean the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

    Nadler's initial statement appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."

    There are serious "constitutional problems" with this approach, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated warrantless wiretapping cases. "It epitomizes the problem of secret laws."

    The NSA declined to comment to CNET. (This is unrelated to the disclosure that the NSA is currently collecting records of the metadata of all domestic Verizon calls, but not the actual contents of the conversations.)

    Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the head of the House Intelligence committee, told CNN on Sunday that the NSA "is not listening to Americans' phone calls" or monitoring their e-mails, and any statements to the contrary are "misinformation." It would be "illegal" for the NSA to do that, Rogers said.

    The Washington Post disclosed Saturday that the existence of a top-secret NSA program called NUCLEON, which "intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words" to a database. Top intelligence officials in the Obama administration, the Post said, "have resolutely refused to offer an estimate of the number of Americans whose calls or e-mails have thus made their way into content databases such as ­NUCLEON."


    A portion of the NSA's mammoth data center in Bluffdale, Utah, scheduled to open this fall.
    Getty Images
    Earlier reports have indicated that the NSA has the ability to record nearly all domestic and international phone calls -- in case an analyst needed to access the recordings in the future. A Wired magazine article last year disclosed that the NSA has established "listening posts" that allow the agency to collect and sift through billions of phone calls through a massive new data center in Utah, "whether they originate within the country or overseas." That includes not just metadata, but also the contents of the communications.

    William Binney, a former NSA technical director who helped to modernize the agency's worldwide eavesdropping network, told the Daily Caller this week that the NSA records the phone calls of 500,000 to 1 million people who are on its so-called target list, and perhaps even more. "They look through these phone numbers and they target those and that's what they record," Binney said.

    Brewster Kahle, a computer engineer who founded the Internet Archive, has vast experience storing large amounts of data. He created a spreadsheet this week estimating that the cost to store all domestic phone calls a year in cloud storage for data-mining purposes would be about $27 million per year, not counting the cost of extra security for a top-secret program and security clearances for the people involved.

    NSA's annual budget is classified but is estimated to be around $10 billion.

    Documents that came to light in an EFF lawsuit provide some insight into how the spy agency vacuums up data from telecommunications companies. Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he witnessed domestic voice and Internet traffic being surreptitiously "diverted" through a "splitter cabinet" to secure room 641A in one of the company's San Francisco facilities. The room was accessible only to NSA-cleared technicians.

    AT&T and other telecommunications companies that allow the NSA to tap into their fiber links receive absolute immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution, thanks to a law that Congress enacted in 2008 and renewed in 2012. It's a series of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act.

    That law says surveillance may be authorized by the attorney general and director of national intelligence without prior approval by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as long as minimization requirements and general procedures blessed by the court are followed.

    A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA "may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States." A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically -- on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to "target" a specific American citizen.


    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, an attorney and member of the House Judiciary committee, who said he was "startled" to learn that NSA analysts could eavesdrop on domestic calls without court authorization.
    Getty Images
    Rep. Nadler's statement that NSA analysts can listen to calls without court orders came during a House Judiciary hearing on June 13 that included FBI director Robert Mueller as a witness.

    Mueller initially sought to downplay concerns about NSA surveillance by claiming that, to listen to a phone call, the government would need to seek "a special, a particularized order from the FISA court directed at that particular phone of that particular individual."

    Is information about that procedure "classified in any way?" Nadler asked.

    "I don't think so," Mueller replied.

    "Then I can say the following," Nadler said. "We heard precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. We heard precisely that you could get the specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that...In other words, what you just said is incorrect. So there's a conflict."

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence committee, separately acknowledged that the agency's analysts have the ability to access the "content of a call."


    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, acknowledged this week that NSA analysts have the ability to access the "content of a call."
    Getty Images
    Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell indicated during a House Intelligence hearing in 2007 that the NSA's surveillance process involves "billions" of bulk communications being intercepted, analyzed, and incorporated into a database.

    They can be accessed by an analyst who's part of the NSA's "workforce of thousands of people" who are "trained" annually in minimization procedures, he said. (McConnell, who had previously worked as the director of the NSA, is now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's former employer.)

    If it were "a U.S. person inside the United States, now that would stimulate the system to get a warrant," McConnell told the committee. "And that is how the process would work. Now, if you have foreign intelligence data, you publish it [inside the federal government]. Because it has foreign intelligence value."

    McConnell said during a separate congressional appearance around the same time that he believed the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without warrants.

    Former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente told CNN last month that, in national security investigations, the bureau can access records of a previously made telephone call. "All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not," he said. Clemente added in an appearance the next day that, thanks to the "intelligence community" -- an apparent reference to the NSA -- "there's a way to look ...
  2. Joined
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    17 Jun '13 00:13
    Mark my words, heads will roll!! 😠

    ....starting with those who protest the NSA. 😵
  3. Standard memberbill718
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    17 Jun '13 01:11
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Uh oh.

    NSA spying flap extends to contents of U.S. phone calls
    June 15, 2013 | Declan McCullagh
    National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.


    NSA Director Keith Alexander says his agency' ...[text shortened]... k ...
    Is this legal? I guess this is why they have courts of law. We'll see...
  4. Standard memberempovsun
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    17 Jun '13 07:22
    Originally posted by whodey
    Mark my words, heads will roll!! 😠

    ....starting with those who protest the NSA. 😵
    stop saying things that are depressing to think about

    dangnabbit!
  5. Germany
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    17 Jun '13 10:44
    What's the source of this story? Seems made-up to me.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    17 Jun '13 11:18
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    What's the source of this story? Seems made-up to me.
    You missed the last month of news?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance
  7. Germany
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    17 Jun '13 12:03
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    You missed the last month of news?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance
    That was about so-called metadata. This is about listening to the content of a phone call without a warrant.
  8. Joined
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    17 Jun '13 12:041 edit
    Originally posted by empovsun
    stop saying things that are depressing to think about

    dangnabbit!
    Just keeping it real baby. 😵

    Laws are only as good as the will to enforce them is.
  9. The Catbird's Seat
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    17 Jun '13 12:42
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    That was about so-called metadata. This is about listening to the content of a phone call without a warrant.
    With anything as large as this is, is there anyone else to watchdog NSA to see that they obey the rules? Or is it more likely that other agencies will find it convenient to use NSA as a source?

    They have been scanning all electronic communications, and examining the contents of particularly juicy ones since Echelon went on line about two decades ago.
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    17 Jun '13 12:52
    Originally posted by normbenign
    With anything as large as this is, is there anyone else to watchdog NSA to see that they obey the rules? Or is it more likely that other agencies will find it convenient to use NSA as a source?

    They have been scanning all electronic communications, and examining the contents of particularly juicy ones since Echelon went on line about two decades ago.
    Someone told me that members of the NSA were screening phone calls coming in from the troops in the Middle East. They would laugh hysterically at some of the "phone sex" calls between the soldiers and their wives.

    Nice.
  11. Standard membersasquatch672
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    17 Jun '13 17:29
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    What's the source of this story? Seems made-up to me.
    I think I got it from the Washington Post. But "seems made up" - several members of Congress were quoted in the article. I do believe that those quoted would be quite vigilant regarding being misquoted, if they had been misquoted, right? So if a news outlet published this article and it wasn't true, don't you think you would have heard about it?

    Now that it's been proven and admitted to that the NSA routinely violated the Fourth Amendment's protections, thousands of times, what do you think should be the proper course of action?
  12. Standard membersasquatch672
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    17 Jun '13 17:58
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Isn't the internet great? Pimply-faced, pasty white teenage pricks with no muscle tone like you can sneak on to mom's computer, and in between searches for kiddie porn and games of Pokémon, you stumble on to a chess site, advocate rape, and say things anonymously that you would never say in person for fear of having your teeth knocked down your throat.
  13. Standard membersasquatch672
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    17 Jun '13 19:44
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I can tell I'm going to get to have some fun with you before go away whimpering, complaining about mean Sasquatch.

    Fact: here is the text of your OP:

    What better way to have fun and make your point then to kidnap people, take their clothes off and rape.

    Did you ask those women if they enjoyed it?
    How do you know?

    They only say they didn't like it because they were told to.
    He only did it because he was told to and it is fun.

    And the best part is it only cost one life not 1 million.

    It's hard to tell if you're one of those Asian Tweens that wear their clothes too tight and tend to your anime obsession on a Friday night, because they don't have any friends, or if you're closer to the mainstream of society and able to form coherent thoughts in between hits on bath salts. Which is it?

    It doesn't matter, really. Troll-idiots like you never last long.

    Now, back to the issue at hand. One of two things happened. Either the NSA broke the law, or the NSA and Justice Department issued decisions on the legality of these programs that will have a difficult time surviving a rigorous constitutional examination.
  14. SubscriberRuss
    RHP Code Monkey
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    21 Jun '13 09:28
    The thread had a short holiday, but has now been returned.
  15. Standard memberCrowley
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    21 Jun '13 14:49
    Nobody cares.
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