Clapper acknowledged the risks inherent in publicly discussing details about the phone records program but said he wanted to correct the “misleading impression” created by the article that disclosed its existence. “I believe it is important for the American people to understand the limits of this targeted counterterrorism program and the principles that govern its use.”
The NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, Clapper said, because collecting it a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. He said the information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. He said the program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.
The court also prohibits the government from indiscriminately rummaging through the phone data, which he said can only be queried when there are specific facts to back up a reasonable suspicion of an association with a foreign terrorist group.
“Convenience is utterly immaterial.
The 4th Amendment protects from seizure without a warrant describing particularly what is being seized and the probable cause upon which the seizure is taking place.
It is immaterial whether or not the seized data is then sifted through, that is, searched, with or without said authorization of the court.
The seizure en-masse of data pertaining to the actions of persons not suspected of terrorism or other lawful reasons for the government to acquire and use said data is flatly unlawful as it violates The Constitution, irrespective of what pretense Mr. Douchenozzle Clapper may wish to try to arrogate to himself.
Likewise, the seizure of data from internet portals and providers, irrespective of how it is done, is unlawful if it takes place in the United States and is not supported by legal process permitted under the 4th Amendment.
Whether the data is at the time or subsequently searched is again immaterial.”
Via Market Ticker
“Even more, just within the last few weeks we’ve seen the Justice Department confiscating news reporter phone records… the IRS caught bullying political opposition groups… and now this.
It should be as plain as day at this point. Yet some people still have a hard time understanding that they’re living under an oppressive, destructive, unaccountable government.
Most other cultures get it. If you go to Argentina, Vietnam, Italy, or China, people there have absolutely no trust or confidence in their governments.
It’s something that’s ‘almost’ uniquely American – a lifetime of steady, bombastic propaganda that inculcates a deep belief that our system is the ‘best’.
And, even in the face of such overwhelming evidence, it’s still hard for people to break from this programming and acknowledge that their government is just as corrupt as Mexico’s… albeit slightly more sophisticated.
The politicians running the nation are sociopathic criminals, plain and simple. If you or I were to tap people’s phones or hack their Facebook accounts, or use our authority to bully opposition groups, we would be tossed in the slammer in no time… and branded by the media as moral delinquents.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Every single day, the U.S. government gathers and stores more than a billion phone calls, emails, text messages, photographs and Internet searches. Just about every form of electronic communication that you can possibly imagine is being harvested. In fact, it has been reported that NSA personnel gather 2.1 million gigabytes of data every hour. This is being done even though it is a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, most Americans do not even know what the Fourth Amendment actually says. For those that do not know, the Fourth Amendment says the following: “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.” Unfortunately, our leaders have totally abandoned the Constitution. They seem to believe that they have the right to look through our electronic communications any time they want and that we should not complain about it. As you will see below, workers at the NSA have even eavesdropped on very intimate conversations between soldiers serving in Iraq and their female loved ones back home. What kind of sick person would do such a thing? Sadly, the truth is that we have allowed ourselves to become a “Big Brother society”, and we are an utter disgrace to the millions of brave men and women who have died to defend our freedoms.”
“The journalist who took part in breaking two attention-grabbing stories on government surveillance charged that the United States is interested in destroying privacy all over the world.
“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” Greenwald said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” on Thursday.
“And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”
Greenwald’s subsequent comments came just hours after The Guardian and The Washington Post both broke another bombshell report detailing a program dubbed as “PRISM.” According to the reports, the program involves the National Security Agency and FBI tapping into the servers of nine leading Internet companies to extract information. “
Via Business Insider
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced legislation that seeks to extend Fourth Amendment protection to electronic communications, which if successful would be a major move to protect online privacy.
This comes after it was revealed that both the IRS and the FBI claimed they did not need a warrant to spy on the electronic communications of Americans.
However, some might be skeptical given Paul’s much-criticized apparent flip-flop on the drone issue.
Nonetheless, Paul has made some much needed statements about the lack of protection given to the private electronic communications of the American people.
“In today’s high-tech world, we must ensure that all forms of communication are protected,” Paul said in a press release. “Yet government has eroded protecting the Fourth Amendment over the past few decades, especially when applied to electronic communications and third party providers.””
Via Activist Post
Palm Beach County sheriff gets $1 million for violence prevention unit amid questions about civil liberties, care for mentally ill
“The goal will be avoiding crime — and making sure law enforcement knows about potential powder kegs before tragedies occur, Bradshaw said. But the earmark, which is a one-time-only funding provision, provoked a debate Monday among mental health advocates and providers about the balance between civil liberties, privacy and protecting the public.
Bradshaw said his proposal is a first-of-its-kind in the nation, and he hopes it will become a model for the rest of the state like his gang prevention and pill-mill units.
“Every single incident, whether it’s Newtown, that movie theater, or the guy who spouts off at work and then goes home and kills his wife and two kids — in every single case, there were people who said they knew ahead of time that there was a problem,” Bradshaw said. “If the neighbor of the mom in Newtown had called somebody, this might have saved 25 kids’ lives.”
Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.”
“Mental health advocates, however, worry about a potential new source of stigma, and the potential for erosion of the civil rights of people with mental illnesses.
““We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ ”
That’s enough for Senate budget chief Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who helped push through the funding last weekend.”
“How are they possibly going to watch everybody who makes a comment like that? It’s subjective,” said Liz Downey, executive director of the Palm Beach County branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “We don’t want to take away people’s civil liberties just because people aren’t behaving the way we think they should be.””
“Pre-crime” comes to FL…..everyone think and act like the government demands or else they will label you as having a “mental illness”
“Because there is too much money to be made and too many special interest groups that want them, drones are here to stay. Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution sees drones as a “game-changing technology, akin to gunpowder, the steam engine, the atomic bomb—opening up possibilities that were fiction a generation earlier but also opening up perils that were unknown a generation ago.”
Before 2010 there was some small hope that the massive deployment of domestic drones could be avoided. That hope was lost when President Obama signed the FAA Reauthorization Act into law in 2012. Once reserved for the battlefields over Iraq and Afghanistan, the FAA opened up drone use for a wide range of domestic functions, both public and private. By 2020 there will be at least 30,000 drones occupying U.S airspace.
The kinds of drones that are popping up in U.S. skies are not the kind one expects after seeing Predators on the news. These are micro-sized craft that can go undetected as they hover above our cities and homes conducting 24/7 surveillance. Some of the kinds of drones becoming prevalent include:”
See the list of 4th Amendment destroyers at Off the Grid News
“Recent cyber attacks on media giants such as the New York Times and The Washington Post have escalated concerns for strict internet regulations that would prevent future attacks. This has led the House of Representatives to pass the highly controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) with 288-127 vote. Last year, Congress’s CISPA bill fell flat on its face, defeated by online freedom activists across the United States. Opponents to the bill are taking action again, including 300,000 who have already contacted Mike Rogers, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Another 100,000 or more signatures opposing CISPA have already been obtained on the White House’s own website.
Why people far and wide are opposing this controlling bill
The idea of CISPA, introduced back in November 2011, was to allow companies to share internet traffic data with the government to detect possible cyber attacks. The idea has been rejected by internet freedom advocates and over 40 civil liberty organizations.”
“What information could government collect?
Information such as online chats, email content, browsing history, and bank records would all be up for grabs if this bill passes. The government’s national security network could become a government spy network that could gain legal access to anyone’s private online information.
Under the new CISPA, the government could access a person’s information from a corporation and hand it over to the National Security Agency. This could lead to a stealth war against freedom loving Americans. National security spies might begin targeting specific people they deem as threats to the status quo. They could then go after truthful journalists, those who post anti-government sentiment on their social media profiles, or those who back liberty in any online way.”
Via Natural News
” Acxiom, one of the biggest data brokers in the business, claims to have a database that holds information — including one’s age, marital status, education level, political leanings, hobbies and income level — on 190 million individuals. Major competitors, like Datalogix and CoreLogic, tout similarly vast databases.
In most cases, all that is needed to match the information these data brokers compile with what you buy is your full name — obtained when you swipe a credit card — and a zip code, according to data privacy experts. This allows them to figure out that you are the Sally Smith who lives in Butte, Mont., not the one who lives in Denver, for example. “
Via CNN Money
“Congratulations America, the Republican controlled House of Representatives just passed CISPA, which will allow private companies to share your personal online information with government with no worry of legal liability. If AT&T shares your medical records with Uncle Sam, well that’s too bad. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Now it goes to the Senate, where McCain, and Schumer are waiting to send it to the president for signature. Obama has indicated that he might veto, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Soon the government (in theory) will be able to follow your web browsing (with help from private industry) without so much as a warrant.
Land of the free and home of the brave.”