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NSA is keeping logs of phones calls in the US

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posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:04 PM
I'm not trying to argue with you either, I just think this is an important issue regardless of what president or party it is. As far as I'm concerned the two parties are akin to the old thearter masks, one happy the other sad, they're different faces to the same government. With each new president the government gains more control over the people and it's up to the people to curtail this progression of power.

The media is biased, that's a given, I don't get my news from the mainstream media. What gets me is that people don't think this is a big deal. Here we have the government doing exactly the things we've been afraid of it doing since the founding of this country and nobody seems to care.

I understand that this is the 21st century and that the game has changed, but this nation was founded on rules and laws I still believe in today. I think America could still be the prosperous nation it is today if we re-adopted the rights and power of the people we are supposed to have.

Sure, anyone can go on google and buy my phone records, but if you did anything to harm me with it you'd go to jail. Our government is supposed to protect us from people wishing us harm, but if the government deems you a terrorist and a threat to the nation then is it not the government that is wishing you harm?

If the government decides you're a terrorist and you have done nothing wrong, then the actions it will take will impede your right to life, liberty, and persuit of happines, then does this not make the government a criminal?

I believe it does, and if the government is gathering information on it's citizens for the purpose of weeding out "criminals and terrorists" I believe that to be malicious intent. I think this is a criminal act on behalf of the federal government because according to the 9th ammendment I reserve the right to the freedom of my privacy from a federal government who wishes me harm.

I just fail to see why no one thinks this is a big deal.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:09 PM

Originally posted by zenlover28
but they aren't doing anything that can't already be done by me or you with a few clicks on the internet.

No, you or I cannot model the social networks of millions of citizens with a few clicks on the Internet. Neither can we semantically filter the voice communications of millions of citizens with a few clicks.

it doesn't bother you that someone can buy your information off of the internet

No, that bothers me too. The difference is, I have legal recourse against that type of action.

your government is using the information to help prevent a terrorist attack. Why else would they be doing it?

No they're not. They don't have the real-time resources to do that. At best, this will provide an evidentiary trail. A way to work backwards and collect evidence. You really don't think an entire terrorist attack will be developed, much less discussed, in Detroit, or Rapid City, do you?

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I honestly feel like my liberty is being diminished. I'm normally not paranoid, but now I have to wonder if what I discuss on the phone and online is not being monitored and recorded.

Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. I think its possible my personal data, aggregated from several sources, may be subject to unreasonable search.

Innocent until proven guilty. Hunh, these actions look like investigative techniques being applied on what I am assuming are millions of innocent citizens.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:10 PM
I have been watching event/news from America for sometime now in respect of is it becoming a new Nazi state and I'm sorry to say that it appears that you are well on your way to becoming one. Let me make it clear that any Goverment has to in times of national emergency or real war, country under direct attack etc. that we would expect our Goverments to protect us. We also would expect that at least for a short while we would have reduced liberties.
America is not facing a real war from any quarter, 3 planes hitting buildings does not send the worlds only superpower in to a blind panic, has its leader and the media tell you every day that there are enemies everywhere waiting to attack.
What you have is a system put in place to give the powers that be an excuse to enslave the population. The reason for this is the US wants to stay top dog and knows there are challengers knocking on the door.

Bush and his gang continually lie to you and you belive it, eveybody hates America and wants to take us down etc. Well its a statistical fact that 99.9% of Americans killed each year are killed by fellow Americans, not terrorists or anybody else. You have had Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma, Columbine, and now 9/11 I cannot think of any other democratic modern country that has had so much murder perpatrated by its own goverment. That idiot bush called your constitution a godam bit of paper, that piece of paper is the the whole reason of your existence and should not be taken away. The early Americans wished to be free from the rule and tyranny of britain, a right you fought proudly for and won, dont let Bush and his cronies destroy what your founding fathers fought for, yes things can and should change but always for the better.

You have now got Patriot 1/2, removal of the right to bear arms, phonetapping, internment camps, political correctness gone made these are all devices to make less of a threat to them. What did Hitler do before ww2 started, well he rebuilt his armed forces, he killed off all political opposition and toally subjugated the people through a program of lies, propaganda and most important fear. Anybody who spoke out went to the internment camps, people were encouraged to spy on and report anybody who dissented, and they did with great gusto, the same happened in Russia, China and Cambodia just to name a few. How long will it be before your doing the same, you are arent you you now like, oh I'm just doing my patriotic duty. How long before you kids are ratting to the thought police because of something you said. Bush and Co with the help of the media is scaring you all to death, they make the problems then you clamour for a solution. Well stop being scared and start standing up for yourselves your a great nation, and mentioning that, the greatest threat to any nation is its own Goverment. Where are the minutemen/ and women of America today.
Oh if some of you think the above wont happen to you because your not like that because your more civilised well its a very thin veneer that easily stripped away. Look at what happened in New Orleans, it dose not take much effort to turn us back into murdering savages.
I really do hope that I am wrong because I would not like to see any country and its people go the way Germany and others did. We do not need any more wars of any type.
Its good being patriotic, but bad if it makes you deaf, dumb and blind to reality.
Please read John Kaminski's articles for more info on the above

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:22 PM
Oh dear god.

Oh allright. The government is watching you. They are monitoring everything you do. I mean, if they're not doing it to try to prevent a terrorist attack then I guess they're just doing it for the heck of it. I guess they just need to waste money and valueable resources to find out who you're talking to.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:28 PM
Wasting money and resources is what the government is best at. They don't have to worry about money though, they have the American people and everything on our land as collatoral. Plus, there are plenty of places to get a loan from.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 06:09 PM

Originally posted by Shadowflux
Wasting money and resources is what the government is best at. They don't have to worry about money though, they have the American people and everything on our land as collatoral. Plus, there are plenty of places to get a loan from.

Oh well then by all means then that is the perfect reason to 'spy' on American citizens. That just makes it so then.

If it were under different circumstances, I would be in an uproar over this myself. But, just to be honest, i don't feel like waking up one morning and hearing that thousands of innocent lives have once again been lost. Terrorism is a threat, whether you want to believe it or not. And even if there is 1 chance in a gazillion that it could happen I am willing to bend a little with my civil rights in order for them to prevent anything from happening to even one citizen in this country. If the Pres does nothing to try to prevent it and something happens then he'll get the blame for that. Bush is by no means a great president, but i'll cut him some slack on this issue. I'm more upset with the media for giving such detailed info on it all. National Security is something that we should all take very important. Because when we lose that, you're more than likely going to lose all of those rights you cherish so much.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 06:15 PM

Originally posted by Violent
.... Give me one example of this system bringing down a terrorist plot or stopping a cell. I can give you 4x as many examples of it being used to track American citizen groups doing nothing to endanger the public.

[edit on 12-5-2006 by Violent]

I await your at least 4 examples (should be eight) of U.S. citizens who have been tracked, monitored and charged with crimes such as these and not convicted. Plus you must show that they have been tracked without the proper legal authority by government officials.

A recently intercepted phone call involving members of an alleged al-Qaeda cell in Buffalo and Bahrain led authorities to believe that attacks on U.S. interests could be coming,

Intercepted call reveals alleged al-Qaeda terror cell

Yasein Taher, 25, appeared in federal court before Judge William M. Skretny, where he pleaded guilty to providing material support to Osama bin Laden and the terrorist group. In recent weeks, Skretny also has accepted guilty pleas from four of the other five defendants.

Fifth Buffalo terror
cell suspect pleads guilty

The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the effort to follow the phone call trail has involved numerous federal agencies and is the result of improved post-Sept. 11 coordination between the traditional law enforcement of the FBI and the intelligence gathering of the National Security Agency, America's premier overseas electronic intercept agency.

U.S. Tracking Terror Phone Call Trail

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 06:54 PM
you may not have to worry, but let me ask you this. If you were the competitor of a growing business that has government ties, how would you feel? You and I both know the government is corruptable and that business tends to run things. I would be a bit worried as a growing business owner that would threaten any current corporation. They have a monopoly going on pretty much, and this would make it practically impossible to change that. Don't look at what benefits the government would have by watching you, think about what benefits a corporation could get by being ahead of the business owner threatening their business.

Gets his guys in office to get him the records of this guy, under the guise hes possibly funding terrorists. just say that the reason hes up and coming is that hes a terrorist affiliate. The full records of everything comes up, monopoly corporation pays them their money under the table, takes all the records and looks at all the plans this guy has made for the future of the business. From there they sabotage his business, which would be relatively easy since he has no privacy really.

never wonder why the government would do it, but why the corporations would do it, because they tend to be one in the same now.

by the way my computer crashed today, so I wont be on much anymore till i can save up the money for a new PC unfortunately. ill try to post when i can(like now lol). later

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 07:21 PM
For all those who say this latest program is a violation of our 4th amendment rights.

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. The US Patriot Act allows this type of surveillance.

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."


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.

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

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.


My, 190 million “pig stupid” Americans.

[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 08:15 PM

This is CLASSIC! Not the fact that they're doing this, but the reaction from the people who love being lied to.

I remember when it was, "well, if you ain't a terrorist overseas, you ain't got nuthin to worry about." Now, it's, "well, so what? They've been doing this for years."

Funny how this was conveniently lost when the whole NSA thing first broke. Funny how they didn't "remember" how long this was happening then. Why? Hmmm, the boogeymen, er, terrorists were fingered as the ones being spied on!

How come y'all didn't remember then? Why is it now, "well, whatcha got to hide?"

The funniest thing is, I STILL see people post that only terrorists overseas are being spied on.

Please tell me, what is so good about being conned? What is so great about being lied to on a DAILY BASIS? LGM already pointed out that traffic accidents kill more than terrorists GLOBALLY, so what are you so scared of? Try turning off Fox News or any of the other propaganda, er, news networks.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 08:43 PM
So...The important thing is, from my side of the fence, is, is it legal now for me to tap into my neighbor's phone conversations? I want to get the goods on the dude, he's an asshat...

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 08:45 PM

Originally posted by truthseeka
Try turning off Fox News or any of the other propaganda, er, news networks.

Try posting something that contributes to the discussion, and something that supports your assertions.

[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 09:12 PM
How about the provisions of the Patriot act?

This is from Duke Law school:

PART A: Surveillance of Wire Communication, Oral Communication, and Electronic Communications

The Act also expands the government’s power to conduct surveillance pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Security Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-511, 92 Stat. 1783 (codified as amended at 50 U.S.C. §§1801-1811 (2000))[FISA] . To use FISA surveillance, no predicate crime is required; nor does the FISA require a “probable cause” showing. Instead “the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this title to acquire foreign intelligence information” with the proper minimization procedures. FISA, 50 U.S.C. § 1802.

Through the USA PATRIOT Act, Congress enlarged the scope of law enforcement surveillance situations to which FISA authority would apply. Section 218 enlarges the scope of the FISA authority by authorizing applications for wiretaps or physical searches so long as the gathering of foreign intelligence information is “a significant purpose” of the application. Prior to this change, the FISA authority had been interpreted as only available when the gathering of foreign intelligence information was “the primary purpose.” Contra United States v. Hammoud, 381 F.3d 316 (4th Cir. 2004) (contending that the pre-PATRIOT Act standard was not a clear-cut primary purpose test as is often alleged); In re Sealed Case No. 02-001, 310 F.3d 717 (FISCR 2002) (determining that section 218 was not a sharp break from prior law, because the “wall’ between intelligence agents and law enforcement officials that had been developed by the Justice Department went beyond the requirements of prior law).

While some have argued this change was necessary to enhance national security protection, see Nathan C. Henderson, The PATRIOT Act’s Impact on the Government’s Ability to Conduct Electronic Surveillance of Ongoing Domestic Communications, 52 Duke L.J. 179 (2002) (justifying section 218 due to the extreme threat the nation faced after the September 11th attacks), others worry about its consequences for civil liberties. See Vijay Sekhon, The Civil Rights of "Others": Antiterrorism, The Patriot Act, and Arab and South Asian American Rights in Post-9/11 American Society, 8 Tex. F. on C.L. & C.R. 117 (2003) (concluding that the section 218 change softened the requirements for surveillance and therefore subjected many Americans to arbitrary invasions of privacy).

The main question is whether the purpose the NSA program was developed for is actually used in that way. I don't think it does. It seems to me, the NSA program has been given a blank check to spy on anyone all in the name of "national security".

The problem is that the President did not go to the FISA court for his "wiretapping" of individuals. He circumvented a court which grants warrants repeatedly for such an enterprise. However, with the POTUS' actions, a slippery slope is created, because any of us--devoid of being suspected of having contact with someone on "foreign soil" or not, can be used in surveillance.

And the FISA law when granting the President limited powers of "wiretapping", I believe that that the "wiretapping" of individuals without "probable cause" is good only for a matter of days during a specific conflict. (I'll have to check this out. I'll give people an update later).

And because he did not go through the proper procedure for the law, he is implicated by his own acts.

[edit on 12-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 09:23 PM
I know, it makes you wonder. What does the Goverment know about us. At different times too?

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 09:25 PM
Here is some more information about the FISA court and the Patriot Act for people's information. Notice how surveillance is "lawfully" used for individuals suspected of being "foreign agents". I wonder how anti-peace activists and Quaker groups fit into this?

Surveillance Power: Expanding the Scope of the Government’s Surveillance Power
FISA authorized surveillance against a "United States person" if the purpose of such surveillance was to collect foreign intelligence information. A United States person was defined as "a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, an unincorporated association a substantial number of members of which are citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or a corporation which is incorporated in the United States, but does not include a corporation or an association which is a foreign power." 50 U.S.C. § 1801(i). "Agents of a foreign power" can thus be U.S. nationals, but the requirements for surveillance of them are more demanding than are those governing surveillance of foreigners. FISA contains "minimization procedures" to reduce the chance that persons not covered by the Act will be subjected to surveillance under it.

In contrast, law enforcement surveillance unrelated to foreign intelligence gathering is governed by Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1968) [hereinafter Title III]. In Title III, Congress codified a general prohibition on eavesdropping (in wire, oral, or electronic communications) in recognition of the importance of certain civil liberty protections in the context of domestic law enforcement. It did however carve out an exception to this protection by giving authorities processes for obtaining a court order authorizing electronic surveillance when approved by a senior Department of Justice official.

The USA PATRIOT Act alters the landscape of authorization for surveillance. It alters the statutory language defining the purpose requirement of FISA, changing it from foreign intelligence gathering as "the purpose" to foreign intelligence gathering as "a significant purpose." In doing so, it expands the situations under which the FISA authority can be used to conduct surveillance. Potentially, situations previously authorized only under the more restrictive Title III powers might now be reachable under the FISA power. In addition, the Act also increases the tools available to the government to conduct surveillance under this FISA authority, further broadening the potential reach of the government's surveillance activities.

The problem is whether there was approval for the cases of "wiretapping". Who did the "approving"? If it wasn't FISA, who did it?

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 09:41 PM
I would just like to point out that the Patriot Act is a law passed by Congress (twice), accordingly any provisions under it are lawful and hold legal value.

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 10:40 PM
True. But is the Patriot Act morally right when protecting the civil liberties of American citizens? And when does it morally become a problem? And does that mean the POTUS has the power to do anything he wants--with or without a court? Or, with or without Congress?

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 10:48 PM
Furthermore, when looking at Smith v. Maryland (1979), even it said that you have to have a supeona when accessing records. Did anyone including the POTUS get a supeona to "wiretap" these individuals? And if they were able to obtain records without any "probable cause", you would still have to present these findings in court. Was there a court proceeding in which the POTUS (or any other top level official in government) presented this information?

PART C: Access to Business Records Held in Third Party Storage

According to settled law, telephone company records of calls made to and from an individual’s home are not protected by the Fourth Amendment, because there is no justifiable expectation of privacy regarding these records. Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979). Accordingly, such records can be obtained in the absence of the level of probable cause necessary for a warrant. Instead a showing of reasonable grounds to believe that the information sought is relevant to a criminal investigation will entitle officers to a court order mandating access to electronic communications in remote storage for more than 180 days or to communications records. 18 U.S.C. § 2703(a)(d) (1986). Officers can also obtain a designated amount of records information (subscriber names and addresses, telephone numbers, billing records, and the like) using an administrative, grand jury, or trial court subpoena. 18 U.S.C. § 2703(c)(2).

USA PATRIOT expands these authorities. Section 210 of the Act streamlines the investigative process by adding credit card and bank account numbers to the information law enforcement officials may subpoena from a communications service provider’s customer records. Furthermore, section 212 permits communication service providers to disclose either customer records or the content of their customer’s communication in any emergency situation that involves and immediate danger of physical injury. Courts have used their discretion to determine what constitutes an emergency situation. See In re United States, 352 F. Supp. 2d 45 (D. Mass., 2005) (holding that a kidnapping situation involving ransom was an emergency situation); but see Freedman v. Am. Online, Inc. 303 F. Supp. 2d 121 (D. Conn. 2004) (finding that since the ISP delayed their response to the information request, the situation was not an emergency one).

Another important change for communications providers is that section 209 of the Act makes access to voice mail information subject to the same procedures as those for access to stored e-mail. Prior to the PATRIOT Act, some courts granted access to voice mail only with a wiretap order rather than with the less-demanding application for a warrant. See United States v. Smith, 155 F.3d 1051 (9th Cir. 1998) (finding that the FBI’s voicemail evidence was inadmissible since it was obtained without a wiretap order). Pursuant to section 209, voicemail messages are now subject to a warrant. See Konop v. Hawaiin Airlines, Inc., 302 F.3d 868 (9th Cir. 2002) (discussing the effects that section 209 has on voicemail message information).

What exactly is the emergency situation that the POTUS used in order to acquire these records? We cannot exactly say that the blanket reasoning is the "War on Terror". Don't you think that the aquiring of records have to be taken on a case by case basis?

Did the POTUS even have a reason for what he was doing? Does NSA even have a reason?

[edit on 12-5-2006 by ceci2006]

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 10:51 PM

Originally posted by ceci2006
True. But is the Patriot Act morally right when protecting the civil liberties of American citizens? And when does it morally become a problem?

The Patriot Act in my view acts within the law when it comes to protecting and ensuing civil liberties. Morally right is relative but I’m more concerned with its legality.

Originally posted by ceci2006
And does that mean the POTUS has the power to do anything he wants--with or without a court? Or, with or without Congress?

No, of course not.

Originally posted by cici2006
Did the POTUS even have a reason for what he was doing? Does NSA even have a reason?

Apparently you missed a little thing called 9/11?

[edit on 12-5-2006 by WestPoint23]

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 10:57 PM
No, I didn't miss 9/11. I just think that with that excuse, you cannot forget there is a court of law. And despite whatever means are used to arrest terrorists, the POTUS is supposed to "protect and defend the Constitution". He did not do this. He did not go through the proper channels legally to obtain the information. Instead, he went about changing the law whenever there seemed to be a "slippery slope" situation that found him in a legal quagmire.

I see the Patriot Act as one of those "legal quagmires".

And then, was there a court decision rendering 9/11 an "emergency situation"?

Okay then, I guess it is okay for the government to access what you buy, what books you check out and who you call. Even if you call one of those "phone sex" operators, you wouldn't mind if the government, or anyone else knew? Or if you checked out a book about bombs because that was your field of study and you get wire-tapped, you wouldn't care because the law is the law?

You would rather have your entire life wide open for the government to see. And you don't care because morals is not the factor. The law is the law, I suppose.

Doesn't it bother you in the least that they can access records without "probable cause"? Or is it the fact that you solely support everything that the government does without any questioning of their endeavors?

[edit on 12-5-2006 by ceci2006]

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