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1 in 5 Americans Think Feds Tapping Their Calls

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posted on May, 12 2006 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

"There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used but not specifically about how they would be used and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks," she said. She added that specific cities with skyscrapers were mentioned."


I’m not question the credibility of this person but lets assume what she says is true. Would you then have supported that after these reports the NSA should have been conducting the kind of electronic surveillances its doing today or should we have waited a bit more?


If they have probable cause and a court warrant then by all means, go ahead with it. Just go through the FISA system. It's a system that works and is in place to ensure that people are not wrongly spied on.

That's the entire point of this. You do not throw out surveillance of criminals altogether, you simply use the effective law. The reason they are not using FISA is because they're surveilling everyone and they know FISA would not approve it. If they were doing it in the legal manner, they would get their wiretaps and we would get our lack of spying. People say FISA won't work and needs to be reformed so they can act instantly -- but it allows 72 hours before reporting a wiretap in emergency situations.

Can someone tell me what is unacceptable about that system?




posted on May, 12 2006 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by LoganCale
Can someone tell me what is unacceptable about that system?


If you have specific people who you want to monitor then FISA is great but if you have unknowns in the US who are ‘sleeper cells’ and who have not done anything to give you probable cause how are you going to find them? The only way is to have the NSA conduct the same type of surveillance that its doing now.

One more thing, if we had the same type of surveillance and laws in place before 9/11 that we do now do you think we could have stopped it?

[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by LoganCale
Can someone tell me what is unacceptable about that system?


If you have specific people who you want to monitor then FISA is great but if you have unknowns in the US who are ‘sleeper cells’ and who have not done anything to give you probable cause how are you going to find them? The only way is to have the NSA conduct the same type of surveillance that its doing now.


So then you acknowledge that they are conducting mass surveillance on everyone? Or do you mean the program connecting links between phone numbers? Because you can do that through FISA. You monitor the numbers of all the known terrorists, foreign and domestic, and trace connections back from those to see who called them. That is a legitimate investigation that would be approved by FISA.


One more thing, if we had the same type of surveillance and laws in place before 9/11 that we do now do you think we could have stopped it?


I think we could have stopped it as it was. Based on all the intelligence that was known about it before it happened and based on other information regarding the hijackers and their links to various groups before the attack, I believe aspects of the government knew about the plot before it happened and allowed it to take place.

But whether we could have prevented 9/11 with this program is irrelevant. If a program is illegal and wrong, it should not take place even if it would solve the problem. Killing everyone on the planet would stop terrorism, but that's not an acceptable solution. Putting everyone in prison that shows signs of not supporting the government would stop a lot of problems for the government, but that's clearly not an acceptable solution.

The fact is, Patrick Henry's statement is ringing very true for me these days. And the lack of an oppresive government is far more important to me than fear of a terrorist threat.



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by LoganCale
So then you acknowledge that they are conducting mass surveillance on everyone? Or do you mean the program connecting links between phone numbers?


I mean the database of phone numbers and other information. And by the way, its not illegal, under the Patriot Act its allowed without going to FISA.


Originally posted by LoganCale
I think we could have stopped it as it was. Based on all the intelligence that was known about it before it happened and based on other information regarding the hijackers and their links to various groups before the attack, I believe aspects of the government knew about the plot before it happened and allowed it to take place.


See I don't believe the government specially knew about and allowed it take place. The whole attitude, laws, and measures that were in place pre 9/11 were inadequate to stop such an attack, hence why we needed a change. I don't by this argument that the old way works because obviously it failed on 9/11.

[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 01:10 PM
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Clearly, this domestic surveillance has nothing to do with Al Queda and is meant only to monitor possible civil unrest here in the States. And I think the Adminstration is correct to believe that it's possible that people will openly begin to oppose them.

The thing that worries me most is that the Bush Administration isn't even trying to keep up appearances of responsible leadership. It's just open warfare on liberty and American principles. This tells me that it's too late for us to reclaim our nation through elections, op-ed articles, or blogs. The true extent to which the mainstream media has been co-opted by the Bush Administration is finally becoming clear and with this last revelation of domestic spying, people are finally seeing just how far down the road toward totalitarianism we have gone.

At this point, it will probably take open civil disobediance by large numbers of people for things to start to change. We've seen just how effective this can be in the recent Immigration Demonstrations. You can tell they had a great effect by all the stories in the media about how they were "backfiring" with mainstream Americans. Clearly, there is fear in the Bush Administration and they are right to be afraid.

Although most people in the United States are too wrapped up in just their own financial survival to think about things like preserving their liberties, more and more of us are opening our eyes to what' really happening.

And I believe the American spirit is still strong in these people. I'm absolutely convinced that average Americans will increasingly be willing to take their disgust with this Administration to the streets.

Let's face it, at 29%, the opinion polls can't get too much worse for GWB. And it's not just a temporary dip. 71% of Americans see this government as a complete failure, and the idea that this incompetent and dishonest administration is now openly spying on millions of Americans in clear violation of the law is about as un-American as it gets.

Remember, the law is set up so that a special terrorist-fighting judge gets to look at plans to spy on Americans, and then he issues a Warrant. The warrant can be issued up to 72 hours AFTER THE FACT, and because this judge is picked especially as an antiterrorist official, he will agree to the warrant in 99% of the cases. So really, what this law does is insure that there's some record of what the government is doing in case it gets out of hand. And this was too much for the Bush Administration. They believe that absolutely anything they decide to do is legal, and no congress or court can say anything about it. If you studied the Constitution in grammar school, you know this is a lie.

I think this is going to be a hot summer.



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I mean the database of phone numbers and other information. And by the way, its not illegal, under the Patriot Act its allowed without going to FISA.


It is allowed, yes. From Wikipedia:

18 U.S.C. § 3121 details the exceptions related to the general prohibition on pen register and trap and trace devices. Along with gathering information for dialup communications, it allows for gathering routing and other addressing information. It is specifically limited to this information: the Act does not allow such surveillance to capture the actual information that is contained in the communication being monitored.


It makes no mention, however - in Wikipedia's summary, at least - of FISA being related to it. If you could find something detailing requirements in regard to FISA, that would be great.

At any rate, whether USAPATRIOT allows it or not, it's still wrong and should be disallowed in the manner it's being used. I'm simply going to stop using the services of any organization cooperating with this


See I don't believe the government specially knew about and allowed it take place. The whole attitude, laws, and measures that were in place pre 9/11 were inadequate to stop such an attack, hence why we needed a change. I don't by this argument that the old way works because obviously it failed on 9/11.


By the testimony of Sibel Edmunds and now, many others, it did not fail. They had the information that these people were terrorists and had a plan to attack buildings in the U.S. with airliners. The reforms should have been to get the FBI and other agencies to respond to such intelligence in a proper manner.



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 07:14 PM
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Just to add on, phone records and other statistical date is not against the 4th amendment, the Supreme Court ruled in 1979 in that it does not violate the 4th amendment, nor does the government need a warrant to do it. And as I said previously the Patriot Act allows this.



The law already makes a distinction between content-what we say on a phone call or in an e-mail-and ''routing and addressing information"-the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of people we communicate with. Content normally gets lots of constitutional protection. Routing information, on the other hand, does not-you don't see detectives on ''Law & Order" waiting around for a judge before they pull a perp's phone records. That's because in a 1979 case, Smith v. Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled that type of information merits no Fourth Amendment protection.

If the government wants to review massive amounts of routing information-for example by tapping a fiber-optic cable that carries a billion messages a day-such trawling would be perfectly constitutional. As currently written, however, FISA isn't exactly set up to allow for such broad collection of information. The statute, enacted long before the days of e-mail, anticipates that the government will identify a particular target when it applies for a warrant from the FISA court, and certify that the wiretap is relevant to an intelligence investigation. If Congress eliminated the certification requirement, Heymann says, ''I don't think anyone would lose any privacy."

Link



The telephone company, at police request, installed at its central offices a pen register to record the numbers dialed from the telephone at petitioner's home. Prior to his robbery trial, petitioner moved to suppress "all fruits derived from" the pen register. The Maryland trial court denied this motion, holding that the warrant less installation of the pen register did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Petitioner was convicted, and the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held:
The installation and use of the pen register was not a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and hence no warrant was required. Pp. 739-746.

Smith v. Maryland



Originally posted by LoganCale
At any rate, whether USAPATRIOT allows it or not, it's still wrong and should be disallowed in the manner it's being used.


Why? It is not a violation of the 4th amendment and is authorized by a law passed by congress. What's the problem?


Originally posted by LoganCale
By the testimony of Sibel Edmunds and now, many others, it did not fail. They had the information that these people were terrorists and had a plan to attack buildings in the U.S. with airliners.


While I appreciate her testimony you should know that-


One possible explanation is that the heart of Edmonds's story remains unconfirmed. Edmonds did work as a translator for the FBI for six months after the Sept. 11 attacks, but she was fired from her post for unspecified reasons. The documents that she says will corroborate her story have not yet surfaced and may not exist.


Now, even if her testimony is credible they still did not have specific information on the number of airlines, times, names, and specific building locations.

And while we’re at it let me post what the American people think about all of this. A poll by the Washington Post and ABC news shows that the majority of Americans support the latest NSA program.


The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.

A slightly larger majority--66 percent--said they would not be bothered if NSA collected records of personal calls they had made, the poll found.

Underlying those views is the belief that the need to investigate terrorism outweighs privacy concerns. According to the poll, 65 percent of those interviewed said it was more important to investigate potential terrorist threats "even if it intrudes on privacy." Three in 10--31 percent--said it was more important for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.

Link


[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

"There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used but not specifically about how they would be used and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks," she said. She added that specific cities with skyscrapers were mentioned."


I’m not question the credibility of this person but lets assume what she says is true. Would you then have supported that after these reports the NSA should have been conducting the kind of electronic surveillances its doing today or should we have waited a bit more?


The NSA should never conduct these types of warrantless wiretapping period. Isn't this "war on terror" supposed to protect the freedoms of America? Well, why in the hell is it being used as an excuse to take away those same freedoms? It seems to me that this "war on terror" is suffering from an identity crisis. Those in Washington can't tell if they want to preserve the freedom of Americans or preserve the hegemony of the American government.



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn
The NSA should never conduct these types of warrantless wiretapping period. Isn't this "war on terror" supposed to protect the freedoms of America?


First lets be specific about what you mean, the NSA should collect information such as phone numbers and other data for analyses, they should also intercept phone calls from suspect individuals within the US and oversees. However, at the present time they should not conduct warrant-less wiretapping of every American citizen because I do not believe its necessary nor legal.


Originally posted by Jamuhn
Well, why in the hell is it being used as an excuse to take away those same freedoms? It seems to me that this "war on terror" is suffering from an identity crisis.


What freedoms are they taking away? I haven't lost any freedom, have you? They are doing the best they can to provide security and preserve our freedoms, its a delicate balance.

[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
What freedoms are they taking away?


I and you have lost the guarantee of certain freedoms. We are now only granted these freedoms by the good-will of the state. No more are these freedoms considered inalienable and as a right, but rather as a priveledge.


First lets be specific about what you mean, the NSA should collect information such as phone numbers and other data for analyses, they should also intercept phone calls from suspect individuals within the US and oversees.

No, that is not what I mean. The NSA should only collect information if a wiretap is received to conduct surveillance on a particular individual. To do otherwise is an invasion of privacy because such surviellance is subject to the whim of the NSA with no oversight on the probable cause to survey certain individuals. The constitution was made for a reason, to outline the constitution of the United States of America. The constitution was not made for secretive government agencies to determine which parts they do and do not want to follow.



posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 08:34 PM
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The N.S.A. would sure be bored to tears tapping MY telephone.



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