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NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
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JoeBlowZCUI
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JoeBlowZCUI,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 3:45:46 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Legality is, to a large extent, irrelevant.
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This is a level of government surveillance unseen in the history of humanity. A vast majority of the cell phone-using population of the United States are monitored. A vast majority of the the earth's internet users are being monitored.
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To be melodramatic to make a point: this is the kind of thing that would justify burning down Congress. Americans should be in the streets. And every globally concerned citizen should be writing to their government representatives, imploring them to complain to the Americans for this highly immoral and secretive global surveillance.
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I believe this behavior should be considered a crime against humanity. It is a violation of basic human decency, and is obscene. Many heads should roll.
ANON1238069211759
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ANON1238069211759,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 5:11:22 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
It is only "legal" because the people who created the secrect laws, courts and warrents say they are legal. Of course everything is labled top secrect so no one can look at them anyways. It is only "legal" because no one has or can stopped them.

No one will be tried, no one will be convicted because they were all following the "law". Only the Supreme court can say it is illegal and they can only do that once someone has been tried and convicted using these nefarious methods.

This is not a Republican vs Democrat issue. This is an American vs the Government issue. An Us vs Them issue. This affects us all. When the FBI, NSA and IRS can arrogantly target individual Americans, we are right back to King Gerorge III.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
6/7/2013 | 5:25:14 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Many of the media outlets yelling about this are the same ones asking why the FBI didn't stop the Tsarnaev brothers before the Boston bombings. The phrase "damned if you do, damned if you don't" comes to mind. A discussion is needed over how much monitoring Americans will accept in return for disruption of terrorist plots.
Jed Davis
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Jed Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 5:35:39 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Here's my vote. Probable cause. Anything else is a direct goose step toward totalitarianism.
muttal
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muttal,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 6:25:59 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
In addition to Jed's response to Lorna's comment, the fact is that the Tsarnaev brothers were NOT stopped despite this Big Brother snooping. Sometimes, people have a false sense of security, particularly if they think they will not be targets. The fact is, these programs are run by human beings with the same limitations as any other human beings. The false sense of security will be quickly upended when you become the target for some idiotic reason and, by then, it will be too late...
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
6/7/2013 | 7:08:40 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
While "goose stepping toward totalitarianism" is a bit histrionic, I never said I think the government is in the right. It's a pretty clear infringement on the 4th amendment, IMO. That said, for the sake of argument, what if the NSA proved that the program did stop four or five other plots like the Boston bombing by using data analysis to connect dots and show the FBI where to look?
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/8/2013 | 4:08:29 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Did all this massive surveillance do anything? And how is it necessary to collect records on millions who have done nothing wrong and are not on the path of doing so? This is like burning down an entire house to kill one fly.
Jed Davis
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Jed Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 5:33:02 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
"If you trust the government to follow the rules, both models end up in much the same place," Baker said. Yep, IF......
humberger972
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humberger972,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 5:36:03 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
It is legal for congress to take bribes now -- because they changed the law. It is now illegal to report illegal activites in food processing sites now - because the industry paid alot of money to congress and wrote the law - ie whistle blowing that benefits the pubic is now illegal. Several industries have put in laws that name them or their industry directly to make them excempt from laws the rest of us follow, all perfectly "legal". If they pass a law that it is ok for the goverment to hold US citizens without trail forever, and make it illegal to talk about it or challange it in court. Then it is perfectly legal -- but it is still wrong.
zunguri
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zunguri,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 5:41:50 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
This is what the Patriot Act has brought us.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/8/2013 | 4:06:35 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
This is exactly what the Patriot Acts were intended to do!
zerses
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zerses,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2013 | 12:57:42 AM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Not according to its authors.
DataEquity
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DataEquity,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/7/2013 | 8:05:23 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
and we've already seen how easily these agencies can be hacked
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/8/2013 | 12:07:09 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Legal yes, that is the sad part about it.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/8/2013 | 3:36:41 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
Oh geez, the tinfoil hat crowd is gonna go nuts with this one.
zerses
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zerses,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2013 | 12:56:58 AM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
I say it is not legal.

The law is specific and this DRAGNET is NOT SPECIFIC.
gavgavgav
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gavgavgav,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2013 | 4:44:01 PM
re: NSA PRISM Creates Stir, But Appears Legal
I agree entirely with the other commenters that legality is completely irrelevant when the laws themselves are overreaching. In the US it should be judged by its constitutionality, while in the rest of the world it should be condemned in the harshest language.

The 4th amendment to the US Constitution states:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Sometimes the definition of the word "search" is called into question, but there is plenty of precedent for that. The so-called Katz Standard defines a search in this context as occurring when:

1) a person expects privacy in the thing being searched [as I do in my phone, email and other non-public data exchanges]
2) society believes that expectation is reasonable [which is evident by the public outcry].

So how can PRISM and the phone record surveillance programs be constitutional?

Additionally the whole affair drastically weakens the USA's right to condemn other nations regarding privacy, intellectual property theft, human rights and related issues. How does the US now speak to China about the PLA's unit 61398? But then, how does the US combat international computer crime while (reportedly)working with Israel to develop and distribute Stuxnet and related malware into other nations? Can the States decry human rights abuses in Myanmar while failing to close Guantanamo? I know I'm not comparing apples to apples in these examples, but each one weakens America's right to be an international role model and demonstrates a deeply worrying trend away from its very own constitutionality.

Now is the time for the American public and the larger International community to read the documents of the US Founding Fathers (they're not long), understand their intent and get vocal about changing things for the better!
Gavin, CISSP, SSCP, CEH


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