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NSA: "We Kill People Based on Metadata"

NSA: "We Kill People Based on Metadata"

By Dennis Loo (5/15/14)

In response to some of the comments on this article, see a December 2013 article reposted at the end. 

David Cole writes in the current issue of the New York Review of Books:

As NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker has said, “metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.” When I quoted Baker at a recent debate at Johns Hopkins University, my opponent, General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, called Baker’s comment “absolutely correct,” and raised him one, asserting, “We kill people based on metadata.”

Metadata is who is calling whom, how frequently, how long, and when. Their email and websnooping is similar: tracking who and what people associate with and how intimately and frequently.

Metadata, according to the NSA, is what they're collecting, not the actual content of the calls and emails. Obama and the NSA have said that it's "only metadata" in order to make it seem less invasive and less Big Brother. They are lying about it being only metadata because they are also collecting the content of our communications. Nonetheless, it's interesting, isn't it, that Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, volunteered that metadata is still enough for the US government to be using it to kill people.

Think about the gall that Hayden is displaying here. "It's only metadata. But it's enough for us to kill you based on it."

Due process, the rule of law, transparency, checks and balances, First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment rights, all of these sacred principles that Obama constantly talks about safeguarding, while knowingly and ruthlessly sabotaging that which he claims to be upholding. Why talk about these principles unless it's to mislead people into accepting that which they would otherwise resist?

Doesn't that make you feel safer, now that you know this?

As I have previously written, actual anti-state terrorists like al-Qaeda are not so foolish as to still be using cell phones to plot their attacks and are undoubtedly using the Internet with devices such as TOR which masks your ISP address. The smarter ones at the NSA have undoubtedly figured this out. Their collecting of metadata on all Americans and much of the rest of the world, therefore, isn't useful for tracking al-Qaeda and other groups like it.

If you were a member of al-Qaeda, would you be using cell phones or the Internet to speak to anyone who you were associated with in planning your terrorist activities? As I wrote in June, 13, 2013, in “Those Who Cry Treason,”

We know from none other than the CIA that in the hunt for bin Laden that al-Qaeda communicated with bin Laden through courier and not through cell phones, email, or landline phones because they already knew the U.S. was monitoring electronic communications. As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2008, for example, “Bin Laden was known not to use phones after 1998, when the U.S. had launched missile strikes against his bases in Afghanistan and Sudan in August (Operation Infinite Reach) by tracking an associate's satellite phone.[22]

If you were using the Internet at all, would you not use coded language that appeared to be innocuous?

And if many young people and others in the US know about using TOR, a free downloadable program which prevents anyone from tracking your ISP address by constantly changing the ISP address that you are using, relying on a large number of host computers around the world volunteered for this purpose, then do you not think that someone in al-Qaeda must have also discovered the benefits of TOR? Would not any al-Qaeda or similar terrorist group who was actually using a computer for whatever reason use TOR, in which case the NSA’s universal warrantless surveillance would be rendered ineffective against such individuals and groups?

The NSA continues to try to crack TOR but so far it’s been unable. As PC World reported on October 4, 2013:

Another day, another revelation revealed by Edward Snowden’s leaks. Friday, The Guardian reported that the U.S. NSA and its British equivalent, the GCHQ, have been actively trying to defeat the encrypted protection provided by the popular Tor anonymity software.

But amazingly, it appears the attempts have failed. The latest Snowden leak suggests that Tor has actually withstood the brunt of the NSA’s efforts thus far.

“We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time,” according to a leaked presentation titled ‘Tor Stinks,’ the Guardian reports. “With manual analysis, we can de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users.”

If the NSA can’t at least for now crack TOR, and since terrorists’ lives depend upon not being discovered by the NSA et al and so using either TOR or something equivalent to it, then what does this do to the NSA’s surveillance over the Internet over the very individuals that they claim they’re specifically after? It makes it useless and renders the NSA and Obama’s continuing claims that they must continue their warrantless universal surveillance over all of the rest of us a massive deceit. It underscores Fact #2: this massive warrantless surveillance isn’t intended to avoid anti-state terrorist attacks. It’s intended to be used against us. We are the enemy.

Why then is the US government surveilling us all? Hint: it's not what they're saying.

Addendum May 21, 2014:

“I have nothing to hide”: This is not about you. It’s about us.

By Dennis Loo (12/22/13)

In response to the news that the US government is in fact spying on all of our electronic communications, movements, habits and associations, and literally much of the rest of the globe’s activities, and thus exceeding even the fictional dystopias of authors’ imaginations, many Americans say that they “have nothing to hide.”

Much could be said about this commonplace response, and I have previously addressed it in articles (for example, herehere, and here) and in a YouTube short.

What I want to hone in on this time is from a different angle – the fact that “I have nothing to hide” is a rather sterling example of individualism in the face of a truly massive collective threat. You cannot deal with a collective threat by treating it as if it’s merely an individual issue.

What the “I have nothing to hide” retort misses entirely is that ubiquitous warrantless surveillance, the gathering, storage, and analysis of the entire contents of all of our electronic communications, silently destroys the ability of every one of us being able to think and act privately and without interference from Big Brother. If the government can gather up all of our communications – what we write in emails, in social media, in publications such as books, articles, and so on, our comments on threads, our cell phone and landline conversations, what we read online or check out from libraries, our financial transactions, and so on – then it has at its indefinite disposal the ability to crush any dissenters and resisters and silence through intimidation or direct repression free thinkers and whistleblowers of any kind.

Even if you are one of those people who thinks of themselves as utterly apolitical and therefore believe that you have nothing to fear from the government, now or ever, do you think that you will never have anyone in your family or among your friends, or any of your descendants, who will ever find themselves at odds with something that the government is doing? And what about all of those who are supposed to be the watchdogs over the government? Members of Congress, Judges, journalists, scholars, scientists, health care providers, military and police, and so on, are all charged with either being monitors of what the government and other authorities such as corporations and other private interests are doing, carrying out the orders of those in authority to use force against those who authorities have designated as “threats,” or whose jobs involve acting on behalf of the public good. What happens to those peoples’ ability to do that and act as guardians for the public interest if no one is any longer safe from the implied and explicit exercise of coercion by authorities? Do you think that your taking an “I have no problem with this” attitude should extend to everyone else now and forever? If that principle had been the principle governing society in the past, would Galileo - or any of the others - who broke with conventional thinking and what authorities such as the Church, monarchs, emperors or bureaucrats deem correct, have been able to advance humanity’s greatest interests - which run up against authorities’ desires to control what goes on and what people think and believe?

In other words, the very notion that one can deal with a collective threat by everyone making their own individual decisions about whether this bothers them as a single individual or not, is completely wrong and exceedingly dangerous.

For more on this, see Dave Eggers’ article “US Writers Must Take a Stand Against NSA Surveillance.”

Comments   

 
0 # draen 2014-05-15 19:19
I find it ridiculous that the government is using terrorists as their excuse for the NSA, when as you said, they are smart enough not to use their phones, emails, etc. I think that the government thinks that if we think we are being watched, we will be less likely to commit crimes. The NSA is being used to spy on us, but mainly, because we know we are being spied on, the threat of being constantly watched is a scare tactic to prevent us from committing crimes.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-15 19:39
It's not crimes they're concerned about. It's dissent. It's words and deeds that contradict the policies that our government wants to implement that they know will spark opposition if they don't intimidate and kill people in an attempt to quell resistance to their atrocious plans. It's insurrection that they're afraid of.
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0 # jnandez 2014-05-26 06:08
It is interesting to think that the government is afraid of the public and it's possible dissent. And in turn, the public is afraid of the government and its "power" over them. Is a society that is run by fear the kind of society we really want to live in? I say hell no to that. We should not be afraid anymore and stand up to the government, because underneath their façade of power, they're afraid of us.
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0 # Katgrl15 2014-05-17 09:01
Fear has always been a key element in making sure people in power remain in power and maintain it. It was stated in the article thoughts on the relation between ideas and matters that, "The ruling ideas of any epoch are those of the ruling classes." If the ruling class or those that are ruling such as Obama has the idea that having NSA spy on us is great then it will be implemented and prevail. There will not be any consideration of those that want privacy and/or the ruling class does not care enough to not use excuses such as terrorists to cover up spying. It is sad that the government has to go to the extreme to spy when simply they can use other methods. It's unnecessary to go to that extent.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-17 14:07
Quoting Katgrl15:
There will not be any consideration of those that want privacy and/or the ruling class does not care enough to not use excuses such as terrorists to cover up spying. It is sad that the government has to go to the extreme to spy when simply they can use other methods. It's unnecessary to go to that extent.
Two things: 1) the gov't IS making excuses + must continue to do so because it's not all-powerful. If it was as you say, then they wouldn't be producing cover stories about why they must spy on all of us. 2) Please read the linked to article about why they're spying on everyone. It's not that it's unnecessary and therefore "sad." It's because their objective is to repress whole populations. It has to do not with a static situation in which one side has unilateral power but a dynamic situation where they're trying to hold onto power by ratcheting up repression as they know that much more terrible times are coming for peo ahead. See http://dennisloo.com/Articles/two-points-about-what-we-face.html
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0 # katgrl15 2014-05-21 17:47
The second point was pretty straight forward and clear which I understood, but as for the first point I was a little confused. I think in my comment I put "not use excuses" but I meant "use excuse,” but I was wondering if you are saying that the government makes excuses because they are weak and have presented an illusion of power? I thought since the government is such a powerful institutions it entitles them to make such ridiculous excuses for situations and actions they partake in that harm the society. I was thinking that since they do have a lot of power, such as instilling fear into the population, that their excuses, saying terrorist are the reason behind spying, are easier to get away with and accepted.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-21 17:57
Quoting katgrl15:
I was wondering if you are saying that the government makes excuses because they are weak and have presented an illusion of power?

Yes. I am saying that: the gov't is strategically weak (tho it's tactically strong) and using terrorism as their rationale when it's not anti-state terrorism that is our main problem but the policies of imperialism itself that provoke anti-state terror through the use of state terror. Anti-state terrorism is a problem, no doubt, but it's not the worst problem and is being created, just as 9/11 was, as a reaction to imperialism itself.
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0 # CamouflagedWife 2014-05-18 20:28
My view on this only differs in terms of crimes. I believe that the government doesn't necessarily care about the crimes we commit, unless they contradict with their agendas (like Dr. Loo states above). Our government is afraid of opposition and if they hear or think that the people are against them, they will do anything in their power and beyond to make sure they are no longer a threat. Our government watches over it's people because they know what they are doing is wrong. This is why change is so important right now when looking at the current system. This is not the system we should be living under. We should be trusted and given the freedoms that we were guaranteed. Our privacy should be respected and we should be able to have a say, even when it contradicts the agendas of our politicians. We live in an illusion of democracy and it's time things changed.
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0 # jnandez 2014-05-26 06:13
You are right! There are hundreds of crimes committed everyday in urban cities filled with minorities, yet the government does not go and use their best resources to fix them, because in all honesty, they do not care about the minority. But if anything were to happen to the people living in the suburbs of Beverly hills, then there would be so much attention and care put out to their safety. Where is the justice in this?
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0 # marcam 2014-06-06 21:30
I agree with you to some point. More wealthier communities respond more quickly to crimes but I don’t believe that the government is forgetting about the inner cities completely. Police agencies that get the most funds from the government are the big cities. Making them care a little or at least put resources for those agencies to function. In my opinion the way those agencies are utilizing the resources is the problem. Instead of buying more weapons or things for the department they should use more resources to create bonds with the community; to show themselves are friends not as foes.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-06-06 22:42
What they should do and what they are doing is the main point here. What the article points out, based on what the NSA itself is saying in public, is that it is treating everyone, rich and poor alike, as criminal suspects. So it's not really a question of allocating resources for one community vs. another as it's the fact that the gov't is treating absolutely all of us as suspects and violating our 4th Amendment rights, including thru literally killing people, including children.
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0 # Luvlife1 2014-06-10 17:49
I completely agree with you. Minorities can be killing each other over the small amounts of resources that they (the upper class) gives us and they can care less, but when it comes to the riches, it's a different story. A change is much needed!!
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0 # vices 2014-05-16 03:52
I find it strange that as smart as the government is, they cannot think of better excuses to why they are violating the law and our privacy. What I find to be disturbing is that the whole notion of common law can possibly lead to the government violating the constitution. Common law is open to interpretation, so if the government interprets a law where privacy is not being violated because of the conditions of a case, then there is nothing to prevent them from using this case to justify other violations of privacy. As stare decisis implies treating like cases alike and different cases different, if the government wins a case after invading our privacy in order to ensure public safety then they will use this argument to justify every other case in which they invade our privacy. The government already has ability to violate the laws without consequence, so my main concern is how much further they will abuse their power without consequences.
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0 # Sadiez Moreno 2014-05-17 02:05
I also find their surveillance to be quite odd and strange. Do you believe that their practice of invading our personal lives and collecting metadata is not actually because they wish to deter us from committing terrorism, but to maintain their power over us? In other words, that these actions of gov't officials aren't actually to catch on to terrorist tendencies, (since terrorists don't even utilize email or phone calls to conduct conversations regarding the plot of their planned attacks), but instead to keep us - as a nation - from developing our own ideas and break away from the tight grip that they hold upon us? I do. I believe that this is merely another way in which the gov't is exercising its power over us to remind us that they are in charge of our lives, and they have the right to take our lives away if we attempt to escape from their grasp.
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0 # Jessica Ulloa 2014-05-18 18:10
I would say the government is using metadata to use against us. We are to not have our own ideas and conform to what the government sees fit. This is most definitely another way to show that the government uses the power they have against their own people. I find it ironic how we are supposed to be 'land of the free,' but what are we free of? what do we really have a choice to do? when we are being watched every second. How can we be individuals, when a person does something that is not what the government wants they are shunned away?
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0 # cglov3r 2014-05-19 00:51
I agree with you Sadiez. And, to answer your question, I also believe that their invasion of our personal privacy is in fact blanketed by their ideals of 'terrorism.' They do move to maintain power over us, constantly and indefinitely. An opportunity presented itself for the government to tighten their grips and they absolutely ran with it. It burns me up internally when I hear people say that they are not concerned about the governments spy tactics on the people of our nation because they themselves, have nothing to hide. That is entirely besides the point. We are entitled to our privacy, period. In the least bit, we are entitled to not have our library cards spied upon...Ridiculo us. Individuals who make those types of comments have an unclear and perhaps even warped view of how this nation really operates.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-21 17:28
Quoting cglov3r:
They do move to maintain power over us, constantly and indefinitely. An opportunity presented itself for the government to tighten their grips and they absolutely ran with it.
I would differ with your emphasis here in that the opportunity you cite of 9/11 to exercise more power over us is their public rationale, but their universal surveillance began at least seven months before 9/11 and therefore 9/11 isn't the real reason. Also, we shouldn't treat their increasing their unfettered political power as an independent variable. They are increasing their power not because they can or want to in the abstract but because they need to given the nature of neoliberal policies that necessarily mean putting the public on more and more precarious ground and who will therefore be more likely to rebel. This means the gov't needs to find ways to increase their repressive and deceptive powers over the people.
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0 # vices 2014-05-21 17:18
Here I am not not saying that they trying to prevent us from doing anything. More so they are simply using this as their justification as to why they are invading our privacy. The problem I propose is that according to stare decisis, they will begin to use this as precedent to decide future cases that violate our privacy.
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0 # Viceless 2014-05-19 02:12
It's all about power and fear to them. As long as we the people are afraid of what they can do, might do, and will do then they have all the power over us. I mean even though these things that the government is doing is being exposed to the population we still stand by and do nothing. As long as they hold the power of fear and retaliation then the majority of the public will stand by and do nothing.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 15:15
Quoting Viceless:
even though these things that the government is doing is being exposed to the population we still stand by and do nothing. As long as they hold the power of fear and retaliation then the majority of the public will stand by and do nothing.

I know that you're advocating here for people to stop being afraid, which is a good thing, but there are a couple of things about how you're analyzing this that I think need closer inspection. Even though fear-mongering is a major part of what the gov't is doing, it's not the key. The key is that they are lying about and distorting what they're doing and why. To a large degree media are colluding in this. Thus the problem isn't as you say that people know what's going on but remain silent. While there are bits and pieces here & there in the news, how many people knew about what's going on at GTMO before they attended last quarter's GTMO program? Almost everyone there was shocked to learn what they learned.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 15:23
In other words, awareness among Americans is still and will still remain the principle problem. They are insufficiently and woefully under informed about what's really going on and why. While not everyone will react appropriately to the real truth, because a minority will still choose to brush it aside, the main problem isn't that everyone is like that philistine and willfully ignorant minority. You are, however, in your comment portraying it that way, which is in other words another way of blaming the public for the sins of the system and not blaming the system and its logic and those who advocate and act on that system's predatory nature that should be mainly blamed. We need to be clear on what's wrong and to what extent if we're to fix it. Otherwise we'll be engaging in futile words and actions.
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0 # Jane Doe 2014-05-19 05:02
I agree it kind of makes it seem as if the government thinks the public is that gullible to believe such an excuse. If "spy" on us is not such a big deal then why are files collected on us? Maybe it is a way for the government to find some type of trace that possibly one in a million can lead the government towards somebody they have been looking for. Maybe average Americans are a way for an easier track towards the actual information they are wanting. Although for them to just kill because of this metadata does not seem reasonable.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 10:34
Quoting Jane Doe:
IMaybe it is a way for the government to find some type of trace that possibly one in a million can lead the government towards somebody they have been looking for. Maybe average Americans are a way for an easier track towards the actual information they are wanting.
Please read http://www.dailycensored.com/we-are-the-enemy-whistleblowers-journalists-dissenters-and-the-people-2/. The gov't is collecting each day more than 4x the data contained in the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress. When you are trying to solve a crime (or prevent one), you are trying to "connect the dots" of pieces of info to see the underlying pattern. You cannot do this if you are collecting irrelevant info burying you in info. The task in solving problems involves making decisions about what is relevant and what is irrelevant all along the way, just as studying what someone's written involves making decisions about what's key in what they're saying.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 11:02
Quoting vices:
I find it strange that as smart as the government is, they cannot think of better excuses to why they are violating the law and our privacy.
They're coming up with excuses that have in common this theme: that they're acting with all good intentions and that it's all being done with due regard for constitutional and human rights and the rule of law. Their excuses have this theme in common precisely because they must appeal to these things because they know if they came up with the actual reasons or other kinds of excuses, then people wouldn't tolerate it. They know on what grounds their continued legitimacy to rule rest upon. This is really key to understanding because it shows their vulnerability to being unmasked for their real intentions and nature.
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0 # FAVELA001 2014-06-12 03:45
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" They don't need better excuses, they need vague, general excuses. We are the masses and if an excuse is too explicit then it doesn't apply to everyone and when it doesn't apply to everyone, someone is being targeted. The government has constantly hid behind "good intentions" in order to get the masses to stay complacent. If they're doing it for the good of everyone, then no one should question their actions because they are benefiting the majority of society.
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0 # Sme 2014-05-17 23:56
Using terrorism as an excuse to take away our rights as citizens of the united states seems to contradict one of the most important rights that this country is known for; freedom. Not only is the government violating our rights for the purpose of the “protection” of the country, but they are treating us as criminals. We are all suspects, and based on metadata we can all become "terrorists."
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0 # cglov3r 2014-05-19 00:58
Exactly. And, as it appears, we ARE terrorists because we are not one of them and by that I mean not one of the white house officials, or a politician, or belong to a government agency, etc. Their tactics make me feel dehumanized at times and punishable to some extent simply because some of us do not share in their precise interests or take pursuit in their purposes as aristocrats and we are therefore fairly irrelevant to them.
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0 # Uriel Gonzalez 2014-05-19 03:35
There are five kinds of people in American society as described in class. The five type of people include conformists, innovators, ritualists, retreatists, and rebels. Based on what this article concludes, we are all considered enemies to the government, and is why we are being surveillanced. The government is not worried about the crimes we make, but more about the dissent that we will take against government. If all people agreed with government, perhaps we will not be considered such a threat to government holding power over us. Even though, I still feel we will be watched by government through metadata.
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0 # Catman 2014-05-19 04:52
The reason why I don't have a problem with the government to take away our rights as a citizen is because if a citizen was following the laws, there will be no problem but if the citizen is doing something wrong then obviously the protection of the country comes as a priority. For example, as a police officer, they have the opportunity to protect themselves by using their guns but that gun ( metadata) is not used against the good...only the bad that pose a threat. The last comment you make, " we can all become terrorist", well obviously, if you want to you can start search terrorist things on your computer have the FBI at your front door. A law abiding citizen not creating a problem will never become a "terrorist"
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0 # Dbug 2014-05-19 05:50
Sme,I agree with your statement based on the metadata we are all considered criminals. This is being used to justify the conviction of all citizens just by stating that we are terrorists. The fact is that our rights are being violated. This is used to control the public and prevent anyone from questioning the system.
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0 # deltoro 2014-05-24 04:51
I agree with you. Freedom is the most valued thing in life that any human being can have. The government is taking away our rights and we let them because they put seeds of fear on us. They are looking for our best interests according to them but their real interests are to control us. By doing this they have more power over us.
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0 # BBalty 2014-05-18 06:25
What our government is doing is both unconstitutiona l and immoral. They claim that they are only collecting metadata without any content in phone calls or emails, yet they can kill based off of this? Invading our privacy and keeping tabs on the American public is wrong whichever way you put it. I remember Dr. Loo pointing out during class that if the government truly wanted to search for terrorists, it wouldn't throw in the rest of the country. Doing so would be the equivalent of looking for a needle in a hay stack while throwing more hay into the pile. Why make the pile even larger? It's not just about looking for terrorists. The government is asserting its authority over the people and promising us false security, so that we surrender our rights. People actually believe Obama and his rationale for keeping surveillance on our phone calls. Many Americans actually believe that compromising our constitutional rights for protection against terrorist attacks is a small price to pay.
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0 # menava 2014-05-19 01:58
"People actually believe Obama and his rationale for keeping surveillance on our phone calls. Many Americans actually believe that compromising our constitutional rights for protection against terrorist attacks is a small price to pay.

You're right! People do believe it's a small price because they don't know the truth. They aren't privy to the fact that the government is collecting information to ensure the control of the globalization of the American Empire. If anyone even thinks of blowing the whistle on the governments true intentions there are consequences to pay. They are evening using fear tactics against those who don't report "suspicious" activity of their fellow neighbor/co-wor ker. It's easier to turn people against people and take one step away from accountability. The cover up and the consequences are fear based, so of course most people will comply out of fear. :-|
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0 # Michelle Ngo 2014-05-19 06:48
I agree with you. They say metadata is "less invasive and less Big Brother," but do you not agree that we are in a society of "Big Brother"? We are always being watched or listened to, which makes me also think about what Dr. Loo said in class. They have all these recordings on us, but searching through all is difficult and a waste of time. This system is not going to help anyone.
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0 # Marisol Parra 2014-05-18 07:04
Sadiez brought up a great point which sums up metadata, meaning power over all of society's freedoms. Terrorists are smart enough not to use email and phones devices (texts) for communication, so why is the government practicing such a method that invades our freedom? Dr. Loo's quote, “Due process, the rule of law, transparency, checks and balances, First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment rights,” it invades our freedom knowing that everything we do and communicate is being monitored. NSA has gone to this extremity of violating our space with such surveillance; the government will just keep feeding lies to society that it’s a way to locate terrorists.
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0 # Natalie Rivera 2014-05-19 01:14
We live for freedom and freedom is a lie. I should not be surprised, but I feel disgusted and violated. The government treats us as if we were terrorists! Yes, whatever happened to transparency? It is all an illusion!
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0 # Jessica Ulloa 2014-05-18 18:06
The US Government have surveillance on us for their own interests. It is not to protect us but to protect the country. I have learned many things i did not know prior to the information Dr Loo has supplied us in class. I feel rather naive not knowing that the government is made up of selfish individuals, who aren't looking to protect 'their people' but only looking to cover themselves and their mistakes or their actions from us. Like Dr loo stated in his article "We Are The Enemy: Whistle blowers, Journalists, Dissenters, and the People," its purpose is dominance and oppressive social control." This is very true, we are used and told that one thing is being done to 'protect us' yet in reality, we are being strung along so that we agree to this surveillance for them to use it against us...
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0 # soad 2014-05-19 00:35
Personally, I'm sick and tired of the government saying that they're surveilling terrorists when it's all these programs are implemented to watch us. For a country that prides itself on freedom, we don't really have it. If the government is truly looking for terrorists, they can do that, but in reality they just want to see if the American public is going to do something that will substantially harm the US government. It's as if each US citizen is treated like a terrorist- being watched and observed to see what we'll do next.
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0 # Natalie Rivera 2014-05-19 01:06
This makes sense! The government has always used scare tactics to deflect what they are really trying to do. There have been rumors for years that 9/11 was provoked by the government, in order to make Americans angry enough to agree to a war against Iraq. Maybe the plan was for the government to be able to secretly be able to keep track of us.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-06-09 04:27
It is kind of an embarrassment to the country that the government spies on its own people. What is it afraid of? What are they hoping to find? Are they trying to find out what we truly know about them? I have to laugh at them. It is like they are afraid of their own shadow. I think they have a lot to feel and be guilty of and they are trying to protect their own behind. I think the American public is tiered of the lies and false promise for change. It is only a matter of time before the house of lies comes crashing down. A lie is easy to tell, but one lie turns into two and soon there is a tangled web of lies.
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0 # Guy 2014-05-19 01:33
With the power the government has to spy on our technological uses to live life easier it seems that it will be a great challenge for us citizens to steer away from that. With most of our telecommunicati ons provider giving the customers up whenever the government flexes their power puts us in a great disadvantage. The question I would want to know is why would they give the public such a foolish answer to such a serious matter. What are we searching or talking about through communications that the government finds so fascinating that they want to know our every move. Are they indirectly telling us that they have to cheat us our free will because we as citizens still have the power to put them in their place when we all together finally had enough?
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0 # menava 2014-05-19 01:52
It's pretty nuts that all of this happens right under our noses. The NSA is collecting meta-data and it's "no biggie" yet they claim they use metadata as a justification to kill. As the hinting article puts it: anyone who isn't in agreement with the American Empire is a terrorist. America is turning 'neighbors on neighbors' to ensure that nobody attempts to leak/damage the truth for the sake of the American Empire. If the objective is to repress whole populations--th ey are doing it! I don't see enough people fighting against what is being done. After all, we are being told this metadata collection is needed to catch the bad guys. We can't be the bad guys right? Apparently we are, because the terrorist all have TPO programs that the NSA can't seem to crack. This massive surveillance is not to catch terrorist to be gain greater global control.
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0 # LA305302 2014-05-19 02:36
The government must continue to make excuses in order for people to be okay with all the metadata they are collecting to make us live in "a safer world." Weather or not they actually care if the people believe it or not is something I question. Maybe they like people questioning the meaning behind it. In the end it only gives them more power to keep people oppressed. on their toes at all times from creating any kind of uprising. People should be upset about all the investment that is going into collecting all of this data. Resources can be spent elsewhere, where they can actually find something worth their while.
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0 # Daniel Gomezz 2014-05-19 02:43
This reflects the fact that what the NSA and the gov't actually care about is upheaval and dissent against their seemingly endless orchestration of inequality and murder and so on. They're not doing this to stop terrorism, they are terrorists! Allowing the gov't to do this, even if it does not, in a linear manner connect to you, is an open door for them to just walk on in and legally do whatever they want. This primarily is harmful for those who's aims are to emancipate certain sections of people or in other cases organizations who's aims are to emancipate all of humanity.
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0 # Uriel Gonzalez 2014-05-19 03:19
As much as I find it against people's rights for what the government is currently doing, I understand why the government would be surveilling us all, more so after what happened in 911. There are several reasons why government tracks people's actions, but the most obvious one to me is that the government fears an upcoming attack by the people and so they use metadata techniques as a way to surveillance the rebels in society. What surprises me, however, after reading this article, is that government is surveilling us all, not just those who are viewed as the whistleblowers or assumed terrorists. This lets me know that no matter whether you do something good for society, one will still be watched. In that case, we don't have privacy rights, so why then is there a constitution that does not serve it's people to protect the people?
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0 # cutemeow 2014-05-19 05:09
This is the rationale the government gives to the concerned public- that we should be willing to "trade privacy for protection". When you agree with this, you are missing the point that this isn't the true trade off. As Loo points out, it isn't a fair trade because we are not gaining any protection from metadata. Since NSA knows that terrorists and other organized groups mostly likely are not using these mediums to communicate, then the notion that we are gaining protection from upcoming attacks and rebels is false. The government and NSA has admitted that they loosely interpret parts of the USA Patriot Act (which is what gives them permission for collecting metadata), so we are not protected. What we are really trading in our privacy for is our own death sentences. Gen Michael Hayden said it himself, "we kill people based on metadata".
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0 # cutemeow 2014-05-19 05:44
Quoting Uriel Gonzalez:
As much as I find it against people's rights for what the government is currently doing, I understand why the government would be surveilling us all, more so after what happened in 911.

Also, if you read the attached article(http://www.dailycensored.com/we-are-the-enemy-whistleblowers-journalists-dissenters-and-the-people-2/), it specifically points out that the NSA's surveillance predates 9/11 and were not (and still are not) aimed at investigating terrorist activity. Also, if you want to argue that the purpose of metadata is to keep tabs on the "rebels in society" and help protect against any upcoming attacks, then it isn't a very effective method anyways. It wouldn't be very productive to try to sort through every conversation in order to find "possible" terrorist activity, and that is not the purpose of metadata techniques
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0 # flr9d 2014-05-19 03:39
It's not a surprise that the government has used another excuse to invade people's privacy. Fear of the unknown is what the government is worried about. From reading this article I believe the government is scared of the power Americans can have if they decide to pay attention to what they are really doing. Using terrorism as the excuse to violate our essential rights is contradicting the constitution.
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0 # Slovebee 2014-05-19 04:17
I wonder if the government is or was aware of this program the entire time. For them to be continually invading the privacy of the nation I would think they would have had an inkling about something like TOR. This serves as a constant reminder that the elite will continue to use those below them as scape goats. They'll continue to find things and use them against us in order to blow it out of proportion and hide whatever white collar crimes they're committing.
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0 # cutemeow 2014-05-19 05:25
I think NSA's collection of metadata and invasions of people's personal lives is much different and not related to white collar crimes. Why would they need to spy on us in order to cover up their own scandals? White collar crimes are happening everywhere, yes, but the elite capitalists have nothing to gain from metadata. There are intersections between elite capitalists and the government, but not for this argument. NSA is collecting metadata not to save the image of the government, but to "kill the canaries". The Obama administration, trying to discredit and shut down people and organizations who are trying to bring light to truth. The targets of NSA's spying is the public of the US and international countries as well.
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0 # Dbug 2014-05-19 04:39
Violating people's privacy but claiming it's to protect the public from terrorism is an excuse for the government to legitimize their power. However, this invades our freedom and the government knows this. This is just a way to remind the public of what they are capable of. The fact that the use of metadata is enough to take the life of another human being is disturbing.
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0 # Catman 2014-05-19 04:46
I never really thought about when the government is using the "big brother" approach, they are not going to find terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. In most cases, they are going to find Americans and place them on the kill list. I think if you create a group that is bad enough to be known as a terrorist group, you would have something protecting you from being found by the good guys. I havent heard of this program called TOR that changes the IP address constantly. I would guess the people that are using this the most are the people that are doing something wrong...maybe we could conclude that TOR is indirectly hiding terrorist groups. For example, I have no reason to use TOR because I dont search anything bad or send attack emails. The only ones that would need TOR are bad people.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 05:25
Quoting Catman:
I have no reason to use TOR because I dont search anything bad or send attack emails. The only ones that would need TOR are bad people.

The reason why the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is so important is because the hallmark of a tyrannical gov't is that it detains people and/or punishes them without first obtaining a warrant for probable cause. Your argument that you have nothing to hide doesn't take this central fact into consideration. If authority doesn't have to have probable cause to spy on us and punish us, then anyone who is in power can always use their unfettered and unsupervised powers against their opponents and against dissenters. What you're describing as ok by you is a Kafkaesque gov't, unless you think that the whole point of "checks and balances" is silly and unnecessary. If that is the case, then think about the reasons cited by the American Revolution for why they had to have a revolution against the British who were violating habeas corpus. If what you're saying were true then all of those principles that allegedly distinguish democracy from tyrannies are lies.
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0 # mdAngel 2014-05-19 04:47
The government uses terrorism to spy and control their own country. Not having trust with their own people is insecurity and raises questions on what they are doing behind closed doors. They are finding ways control our freedom. Brainwashing us to make us feel we are being protected from terrorism when in fact we are slowly losing the actual freedom of the amendment rights.
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0 # Elizabeth arroyo 2014-05-19 05:33
Your right in the fact that the government does brainwash the people and tries to make us feel like everything that they do is to make a "safer country," but yet they are slowly tearing away our rights one page at a time. People do not realize that they are giving up their right to privacy because they think oh well why should I care if they listen in on my phone calls, I'm not a terrorist. They are wrong!! The government will continue to take our rights away slowly until we no longer have the right to privacy in our own homes.
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0 # mdAngel 2014-05-19 04:53
The government wants to watch and see what everyone is doing, but in solely for their benefit. Government is portraying an act of controlling the people through putting the fear in the eyes of the people. And it has come down to the smaller divisions on the government. For instance, i remember the days when the police were assigned to watch over the people. Now, it seems all they do is watch people.
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0 # Jane Doe 2014-05-19 04:57
This is a very interesting topic to discuss because it involves our rights and our privacy to be tracked and stored without our consent to do so. I think the government is wasting its resources to track everything we do, search, go, talk about in most cases because many of us are just regular people living our own lives. I frankly don't find mine interesting at all to want to keep track of. The people that do need to be tracked (terrorists) are so well aware of this that they avoid technology like the plague or like Dr. Loo states, maybe they are using TOR as well making all of their spy work a waist of time.
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0 # Sherlock 2014-05-19 05:04
Since we know that we are being monitored, I feel that it is safer to have a public and a private persona. So go ahead and post on Facebook, twitter, make your cell phone calls, but if you want anything kept private, send an old fashioned letter or do face to face meetings. 1984 is here, 1984 is now.
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0 # Princess Peach 2014-05-19 05:05
It is clear that the NSA’s tactics are ineffective because someone planning a terrorist attack would not be stupid enough to communicate their plans over the phone or internet. This brings up the question as to why the government continues to spy on the American peoples phone calls when they know that members of al-Qaeda will not use phones to discuss terrorist attacks. The government wants to make it known to the American public that they are superior. The government strives to repress the American people. This creates public fear and concern. This situation is an example of conflict theory in which the elites dictate society.
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0 # thatdude 2014-05-19 05:21
The government is too powerful, thats what I take from this and previous facts and lectures that Dr. Loo has told us about. Government has convinced the public (a vast majority at least) that they are tapping phone lines and IP addresses in order to prevent another terrorist attack. This is ridiculous that they would even be allowed to do this against our individual rights as citizens. This basically is a message that none of our rights are absolutely protected, as long as the government can come up with any sort of even half-believable justification then they will absolutely take advantage of it. Government is thirsty for more power and control and those in power feel it is up to them to "protect the public" even if it takes away our privacy.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 10:55
Quoting thatdude:
TGovernment is thirsty for more power and control and those in power feel it is up to them to "protect the public" even if it takes away our privacy.

Please read this http://dennisloo.com/Sample-Data-Articles/i-have-nothing-to-hide-part-2-improbable-cause.html and this http://dennisloo.com/Sample-Data-Articles/we-are-the-enemy-whistleblowers-journalists-protestors-and-the-people.html. The USG isn't trying to protect us. That is their cover story and it's patently false. If you're really interested in stopping terrorists then you wouldn't go about it the way they're doing it. I go into the straightforward reasons why in those two articles.
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0 # Elizabeth arroyo 2014-05-19 05:26
The government establishes these amendments which they say every citizen in the United States will be protected but these laws and amendment are only put into place so people believe that their freedom is protected but what the mainstream of people don't realize is that the government has complete control. The government will manipulate the people by saying oh we are collecting data so we can track terrorist but in fact it is so they can spy on everyone. To the government everyone is a threat to them, especially people that stand up against the government. They are seen as traders and the government in my eyes have the stance of you are either with me or against me and all those in favor of change are against the government in their eyes.
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0 # zzchi 2014-05-19 05:29
The government issues spies on their own soldiers, why would they respect our privacy? They wouldn't and they are not. They have their own agenda in mind and anything that gets in their way of seeing it through will ultimately be destroyed one way or another. Whether it is through electronic surveillance or other types of surveillance, the government will not let anyone get in their way. It is a shame they would do something like this, but who is going to stop them; if so, how? I think this is an interesting topic, because it is so controversial. Some people do not believe the American government would do such a thing, while others know they do.
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0 # Princess Peach 2014-05-19 05:44
I also think that it is extremely naïve to think that some of the American people would think that the American government would not do such a thing. A portion of the American public needs to open their eyes and realize that they are being repressed by the elites of society. I also think that you bring up an interesting conversation when you bring up the question of who will stop them because it is so controversial. It would be difficult to accomplish due to the way the system is currently running.
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0 # SecretSeaBridges 2014-05-19 05:34
The U.S. is supposed to be the land of the "free". Yet, every American has their rights taken from them daily. It's pretty sad that our own government views American's as terrorists or even suspects. The government uses NSA as an excuse to violate every Americans right. It is absolutely ridiculous to violate our amendments!
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0 # Aria 2014-05-19 06:43
I agree that it is sad that each of us citizens are being treated as suspects. I get that they are probably treating us all the same so they don't miss someone in case something is to happen, but we stand by the idea, 'innocent until proven guilty'. It seems like instead the government follows the idea 'anyone could be guilty' instead of making us seem innocent and free. I wonder how much freedom we really have.
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0 # aplopez 2014-05-19 06:21
I have to admit, when first reading this article, I had no idea what the word "matadata" meant. But then I read it twice and I figured it out. Yes, the government has its sneak ways to monitor us. Through what we call "personal information" such as email, phone calls, social networks, just plain old internet. Any little thing we post or put into the internet, the government knows about it. Its their way of spying on us. Keep in mind that the government wants to have control, they want structure and order. However, we have to consider that the government keeps a tap on us to "protect us" from terrorist. It is true that foreign countries want what we have and they will do anything to scare us. So who do we turn to for protection, we turn to the government. Yes we have our rights and other constitutional amendments, but the question is, do we have "true" freedom and privacy. I mean yes there are limits, but I think the government should have a set of limits as well.
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0 # Michelle Ngo 2014-05-19 06:29
There seems to be no privacy. We are always being watched one way or another. We are told that it is a way to keep our nation safe, but in reality it is to snoop around and make sure people are not doing anything that threatens the world. Terrorists attacks should not be the reasons why they look into our conversations. A terrorist can be anyone, it does not have to be only those from the middle east.
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0 # Aria 2014-05-19 06:41
I think it is ironic that the government is supposed to symbolize freedom, but instead it goes through secret methods to pretend they are holding the freedom they say that they are. It is kind of sad that they are surveilling everything that we do, but it is expected with the rise of technology for a rise of surveillance to occur. I think it is scary that they say "it's enough to kill you based off it" because that shows that they know a lot about each of us. I wonder how they are putting this data to use and what they are planning to do with it in the future.
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0 # Shannon Barkley 2014-06-09 01:42
Quoting Aria:
It is kind of sad that they are surveilling everything that we do, but it is expected with the rise of technology for a rise of surveillance to occur.
I agree with this quote because the more advance technology becomes the easier it is for the government to use that against the people and it will become easier to hide the fact they are gathering the metadata and our information. the government is putting on a different face for in front of the people. when they are speaking in front of the people they make everything
seem in the best interest of the people, when in actuality they are going behind our backs and using our personal information against us.
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0 # Brandon Vildosola 2014-05-19 06:50
I understand that many people would be wondering why the NSA is monitoring us. But one way to look at it would be in terms of dropping the whole thing. I really don't know how else to word it, but for example: since al-queda isn't using cell phones or the regular internet, should we just stop surveilling what we can? I don't really know what side to take on this one. On the one hand we aren't really catching anyone with the current surveillance system we have. But on the other hand should that mean we just stop surveilling the easy things to watch, or should they continue to do what they do now JUST IN CASE. Like i said I really need to think about this more and gather information on this type of thing to finally come to my own answer, but it's just a thought. I'll probably eventually lean closer to the stopping of the current surveillance but who knows. All my current ideas are probably too radical.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 10:40
Quoting Brandon Vildosola:
I don't really know what side to take on this one. On the one hand we aren't really catching anyone with the current surveillance system we have. But on the other hand should that mean we just stop surveilling the easy things to watch, or should they continue to do what they do now JUST IN CASE.
Prior to the Boston Marathon bombing last year the older Tsarnaev brother was tagged by our gov't (with help from the Russians) as a potential terrorist. They actually brought him in for questioning. Then they claim to have decided that he was not. After this he and his brother set off bombs at the race and kill and maim people. The gov't says it has to collect everyone's communications in case someone's a terrorist and to detect plots. Then how come since they were monitoring the Tsarnaev brothers AND they even had one brother on their LIST, they couldn't stop the bombing? Shouldn't this make you wonder? Cont.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-19 10:47
The "just in case" argument is wrong. See this: http://dennisloo.com/Sample-Data-Articles/i-have-nothing-to-hide-part-2-improbable-cause.html. The cover story for the USG's universal surveillance is clearly false if you look into this carefully and logically. No detective trying to solve a crime or prevent a crime would approach it by trying to follow up on literally everyone in the world and not focus his/her efforts on those they had at least a plausible reason to suspect. Otherwise you're actively interfering in your ability to find the clues. You're willingly dumping billions of haystacks on yourself while trying to find a needle in those haystacks. "JUST IN CASE" therefore is totally counterproducti ve. At a minimum the Tsarnaev case shows this. The most charitable explanation is the USG was overwhelmed with data and couldn't stop the terrorist bombing. That's the most charitable explanation.
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0 # Brandon Vildosola 2014-06-01 14:38
This is true. The whole thing with the Tsarnaev brother did make me wonder a bit as to why the government deemed them safe. This also follows the the whole 9/11 warnings back in 2001 and how the US Government didn't really act upon any of them. I understand the necessity to remove the surveillance that is being placed on the entire world, but considering how much this movement has gone and how much money has already been spent on it and such, i don't see the Government actively removing anything anytime soon. At least not without some sort of massive protest happening.
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0 # Karen Cornejo 2014-05-21 04:20
I think the government is always worried about people asking questions and bringing their secrets into the light. I believe there are a tons of things we do not know they do and we maybe never will. The things we have discovered have only been possible because they make a mistake or because we were supposed to find out.
They always seem to come up with other things though that just seem to keep us busy so we do not look at the bigger picture
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-21 04:29
Quoting Karen Cornejo:
The things we have discovered have only been possible because they make a mistake or because we were supposed to find out.

Actually the main reason we know this for a fact about the NSA is because of whistleblowers, esp. Edward Snowden.
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0 # jnc 2014-05-21 04:49
I personally do not have a problem with the government keeping me under surveillance. They can search and snoop through all they want because I have nothing to hide. What I do have a problem with is the lies that they tell the American people about the types of spying they do and how it is for the best interest of the country. Lying to the public who essentially "trusts" the government is just shameful and makes me think about all the lies and American secrets that they hold. If they were upfront with the county about their actions, I believe that more people would cooperate with them instead of trying to hide their lives more from the government eye.
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0 # Susan Torres 2014-05-21 19:18
As the article states the NSA seems to not even be after terrorists. Shouldn't they be worried about finding a new way of gathering information on terrorists? Those we are smart enough to not use phone and use the program TOR, are hiding for a very good reason. These people/ terrorists might actually be planning on something devastating. Gathering metadata in other words was put in to place to keep American citizens on check. If American citizens believe they are safe then that means they are more likely to keep their doors unlocked, making it easier for the government to snoop around. Having more knowledge makes the government more powerful because they have the means to control us without us even knowing we are being controlled.
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0 # Heng Chang 2014-05-22 00:28
It seems as if the government is abusing its power and invading people's privacy and not trusting their own people. American is supposed to be a free country but little do we know that we have eyes all over us. We have the "freedom of speech" but our freedom is limited.
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0 # giovanna serrano 2014-05-22 02:36
Using fear as a component to keep people in power stay in power has indeed always been used along with force by governments. As the government uses its power it also abuses it like you say to get its people to support them. While our government may lack smart decision making but they are very good at at its use of tactics and reasons why they do he things they do that make the people justify the things they do, like violate their power.
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0 # giovanna serrano 2014-05-30 03:03
like I said the government is abusing its' power, America indeed is suppose to be a "free" country but more and more we are finding out that we may be one of the most observed, watched. Using tactics to scare us has been for a long time I believe, has been one of the biggest thing in our government, scaring its people to let us be watched in order for government control seems like a smart idea, the rationality of us the people, of being safe and protected by the government at whatever price in order to be protected by the "enemy"
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0 # deltoro 2014-05-24 04:54
It does not make me feel safe all. I make me feel that we don’t have privacy at all. The government is putting fear on us in order for them to continue surveillance on us. In fact, the government started massive surveillance on us before 9/11. So what was the excuse back then? We are treating us anti-state terrorists? Including my grand mother?
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0 # tiffany 2014-05-24 17:45
It may sound weird but even after reading this essay I am still okay with this sort of government regulation. Fear is necessary, if we were not afraid of government many people would be feel obliged to follow the law. Therefore, yes, I believe they need scare us at some points and to a certain extent (hence why we have jails/tickets etc). Yet responding to the last portion of the essay I had only one thought in my mind. The movie V for Vendetta in which Parliament is in total control of England with regulated news, bugs, curfews and more. That is what I fear. What we have now, the "spying" our government is doing may be a violation of privacy and an incorrect way to decide who dies BUT its necessary and better than what can be actually happening. I don't have family or friends in the army or politics so I say this because it really is how I feel, and I feel safe.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-05-24 18:17
There's a distinction here that should be made between two things that you are equating. First, I agree with you that any government needs to be able to compel people to comply among those who would otherwise refuse as long as it's a gov't a gov't has to possess that power, otherwise it's not a gov't. Second, the gov't isn't doing universal spying to make us safer. You seem to be arguing that fear of gov't is a good thing but why would you pursue or try to id terrorists by gathering info on the whole population? How does instilling fear into innocent peo help to make you safer? Spying on everyone is counter-product ive and irrational if your goal is anti-terrorism. There's a reason for the 4th Amendment that you're overlooking completely.
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0 # Jane Doe 2014-05-26 04:29
I agree that spying on everyone is counter-product ive and in a way a waste of resources and time. I get the motives that the U.S. government has in "collecting metadata" but I frankly do not think it is as useful to them as they'd like it to be. I see it as the government being as student and the war against terrorism is a research paper they have to write and they are using wiki as a reliable source. I do not know if I am explaining myself here. Spying on its citizens is not such a reliable source and to kill because of metadata? That should not be acceptable. We are living in a country that kills first, investigates later.
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0 # Lomonaco 2014-05-25 06:25
Phone calls now, what is next, a computer chip inserted at birth? The US would be the first to step up to tell a different country they are wrong to spy on their own citizens, yet are the taking part in the same thing. We are supposed to have freedom of speech especially to our own personal friends, yet the government feels they have a right to monitor our conversations. What other rights will be violated in the future?
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0 # Karla Garcia 2014-06-07 23:45
I don't believe that the government spying on us like this makes me feel safer if anything it makes me feel like i can't say things over the phone and online because someone else will be knowing my business and even if i don't have anything to hide its still a violation to my rights. i think that this type of surveillance has been around for a while without the knowledge of the public and the judge and those who are suppose to make sure that the government doesn't abuse the power given to them haven't been doing a good job. Obama and others who are in on the surveillance, have gotten people on their side by saying that they are just collecting the metadata when in reality it is much more then that.
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0 # Sinnerman 2014-06-07 23:54
Official statements like those only really show how little value for life they truly have, for metadata is enough for them to decide whether or not to kill. The decision to end someone's life shouldn't be quite as simple as that. The only ones that should make decisions to kill are those that are prepared to be killed themselves, but more frequently in the modern age the destruction of entire cities can be/is done safely from thousands of miles away. The blatant disregard for the value of life seems only to be growing worse as time goes on, and I fear for what the future holds as it progresses.
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0 # mitchell denerson 2014-06-08 20:03
I used to not have a problem with the NSA after finding out that they track our every move, whether it be through our phones or our computers. As long as you are not doing anything illegal, what’s the issue? It’s to help track terrorists. However, now that I have learned that they will do whatever it takes to bring down whoever is going against America, it is becoming a problem. It is a scary thought that the government can and will kill strictly off of metadata alone. Anybody who is not in agreement with America can be considered a terrorist. We have lost our privacy all together in this country. We cannot do anything anymore without being watched and that is a scary realization. Since the NSA now knows most terrorists aren’t using cell phones and computers to communicate anymore, I feel like the amount of spying should be less.
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0 # Shannon Barkley 2014-06-09 01:09
Just with the beginning of the article I was intrigued. Although I do not have anything to hide, the government is being invasive and looking at information that most likely is irrelevant. Like you stated in class the government is looking for a needle in a hay stack, but with the metadata, the government is just piling more and more hay onto the pile. with the quote "It's only metadata. But it's enough for us to kill you based on it" is interesting because metadata is not suppose to be that important, but if it is enough to kill then the government is putting up a front to the people.
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0 # Luvlife1 2014-06-09 01:43
If we were ever told that they spy on us for the purpose of power and control we would retaliate, the fact that many people are still naïve to believe that the government only wants what's best for us is a fairy tale. What happened to our right of privacy? Terrorists will communicate or plan off phones and the government knows that so why still the want to record our every move? we the people are larger than those in government and if the people knew the truth they would hold no chance in keeping the power! Lets educate the ignorant and push for actions to those that already know the truth! It's the only way out of manipulation.
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0 # FAVELA001 2014-06-12 03:39
Quintessentiall y the essence of the NSA looking over our shoulders at everything we do should provide us with some sense of security if it wasn’t for a few individuals breaking the law to shed light on this the general public would not have known. Americans appear to have a lack of knowledge on world events, local events; essentially any event which does not directly affect their day to day lives. Technology is responsible for this because while it gives access to information instantaneously , it simultaneously takes away intelligence. Additionally since the average American does not conspire to instill terror on the nation, most of the information that is gathered remains dormant and unused.
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0 # FAVELA001 2014-06-12 03:41
Satirically writing on this matter the intelligent educated portion of Americans become extremely opposed to the issue of government oversight when they learn of its secret existence, while (for the purpose of this comment) dumb people are not surprised that this occurs. The intelligent community goes up in arms when they discover that the NSA collects data from computers that everyone uses. On the other hand ‘dumb’ people know that when they use computers they input a lot of information to them. They do this because the information goes somewhere, and can eventually be withdrawn which is how storage works. Also because they did not physically deliver information to another person they know that a third party is involved. For computers to be as effective as they are that is the deal that we made with computers. Once technology evolved beyond exchanging and immediately destroying pieces of paper that contain information, the dumb guy assumed he was being ‘monitored’ by someone.
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0 # FAVELA001 2014-06-12 03:42
....(cont'd from "satirical" comment)

Two major components to computers are “towers” and “monitors. Perhaps this is why the dumb guy wasn’t surprised too hear that the NSA was digging through our stuff looking for terrorist propaganda and never used his computer for anything important. The dumb guy knew that he was being monitored because he knew what the internet was and how it operated.
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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12