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A seriously good question about PRISM and the NSA that is burning in my brain.

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posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 06:39 AM
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How did the Boston Bombers get through and get as far as they did if there is PRISM?

Why did they have to lock down and do door to door searches when they could have just accessed info?

What the hell is going on?? What are they really doing with that info?

And also - more leaks to come:

news.yahoo.com...

edit on 6/11/2013 by impaired because: Punctuation. Someone tell the NSA on me.




posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 


Basically, ECHELON and PRISM work on keywords and phrases, etc. If the Boston Bombers entered the country under false names, and then used pay as you go (rather than contracted) phones to communicate, then it is still extremely hard to pin down individual people.

Think of all the people affected and then think of the huge number of people needed to sift through the collected data in order to make sense of it. Just because they have access to your records, it doesn't necessarily follow that anything will be highlighted or flagged as suspicious.

I have to say though, i would have thought that any calls to Dagestan would have been placed on a "monitor list", what with all the well known Islamic Terrorism problems in that country / region.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 06:53 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 


Simple... These systems are useful if you have a known target. They are an ocean of junk with no way to see the gold if you don't. Even the far more limited means before 9/11 came to pick out and see much that was missed.....in hindsight, related to that event. Only in hindsight was it useful.

What kinda scares me about this is that the obvious answer to solve that is the worst answer and of all the organizations on Earth? They're the most likely to develop it.

Artificial Intelligence.




posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:01 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 


Because they are not looking for these people. The system is so bloated with the worthless information the US government is sucking up to create their files on individuals that they cannot possibly catch the people the system was supposedly designed to catch.

Like every other aspect of government, the NSA has become a corrupt tool for a minority to gain power, and it seems that they have done exactly that.

The occasional act of terror getting through is also beneficial to them. It allows them to push for more controls, to demand even more voluntary encroachments on your rights. Just look at the snoopers charter in the UK, the Communications Data Bill Theresa May wants to have passed - this was being pushed through EVEN WHEN THEY KNEW the NSA was supplying them with the data anyway! They just wanted the approval of the British people so they could do it themselves and not have to rely on the pesky American's.

Just look at some of the disgusting excuses politicians have been making in the last week, with politicians invoking the names of victims of terror to excuse their invasion of privacy. It's sickening to watch, but both in the UK and US politicians have been raising the Boston attack and the murder of Lee Rigby as some kid of proof that we all need to be watched 24 hours a day by our governments for our own good


I really hope that the coming information is enough to make something snap, I really do. I have a few predictions about what will be revealed, but I'm willing to bet there's going to be evidence of the NSA targeting spying efforts on US veterans, conservative groups, and possibly even the Romney campaign. We know the government likes to abuse its power, you give an inch and they take a mile unless you stop them - no one has been stopping them, and I can almost guarantee the NSA has been using their methods for political and economic purposes, not just for national security.

And when you think about what the words "national security" can actually cover, they can probably almost claim that everything was legal too.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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Another question:

If our intelligence services were alerted to the older of the Boston Bomber siblings as being a potential terrorist, why didn't any of our systems (being as over-reaching and Unconstitutional as they are) work to prevent the bombing?

The Russians say that they did alert us.

It almost looks like they (our government) let it happen.
edit on 11-6-2013 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 



A really good question but PRISM and ECHELON is not as simple as just suck everything up and you know everything that everyone is talking about.

its not its much more targeted, and specific.

I have read that every hour ECHELON sucks up 3x the library of Congress

now if ECHELON was to flag every time someone says "bomb" it would be flagging allot of stuff.

as such it is probable that it looks for other identifiers, some say it has the capacity to use voice recognition software. Then it also probably prioritizes important info for the annalists to look at which is the biggest flaw in ECHELON yes the Computers can work wonders but you still need a annalist to work out what is guff and what will contribute to a intelligence report.

so there is a good chance that there is a recorded conversion sitting about waiting to be analyzed.

saying that however Islamic terrorists are actually very clever in 1998 it was reported in the press that the CIA (possibly the DIA) were using Bin Laden's phone to track him. The result, he stopped using his phone its became part of their training don't discuss stuff over the phone.

So its possible the two bothers never talked on the phone about this, they probably didn't even need to.

good question though.
edit on 11-6-2013 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:04 AM
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Also interesting to see Obama's own comments on whistleblowers - from 2008...




"Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. I will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. "


Seriously, you couldn't make this sh*t up.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:05 AM
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reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
 

We were alerted to the danger that the older brother presented.

The IRS is buying spyware, including dinner trays with cameras and microphones.... and we couldn't get intel on these two, using well-outfitted alphabet agencies???



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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Flavian, Wrabbit, Rocker, Everyone Else: Thanks. I see...

But - Then what's the point of the program if it's not practical? It makes NO SENSE.


A program to find terrorists that doesn't work well. Seems legit.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:16 AM
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They probably used pre-paid burn phones and anonymous E-mail account. Hard to track that. Which is a great argument AGAINST the massive PRISM program. They are just spying on regular American people. The real question is why?



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:18 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 


I think you hit the nail on the head and in more ways than one. What IS the point of the program? Well, it IS golden if you have a known target or group. In a war, declared or not, the NSA capabilities put the US literally in the room with most people in the world which they choose to be. Not a bad ability if the nation is at war. It's this whole 'war with our own people' concept I think most have a real brain freeze moment with.

In the end though? I'm going to suggest what I think the most likely purpose of the programs are. Themselves. They exist to perpetuate their own existence. The NSA needs to be bigger. Ever bigger. Always in competition with other areas of U.S Intelligence, other areas of the U.S. Military and the Government as a whole for money and manpower. Every area of Government is in perpetual competition with every other one for those 2 basic things.

The sexier the programs they can develop, the more money and manpower, hence, more power in general, hence more powerful those who run the agency become. It's a self feeding monster when no checks exist. Whatever little checks we HAD? Disappeared in the name of 'security' after 9/11. It's created a nightmare.
edit on 11-6-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 


These are programs which suck up all this data just for the sake of gathering information.
Remember, this is the government. It does not have to make any sense. Logic has nothing to do with logistics.
As an example, think of "military intelligence". How can anything be more of an oxymoron?



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 





Why did they have to lock down and do door to door searches when they could have just accessed info?


If you want my opinion, I'd say they were field testing martial law, and it was a success.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 07:53 AM
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Here is your seriously good answer. The reason is quite simple. The program is designed to prevent foreign born terrorism plots. The reason domestic terrorists have not been cought is because it is illeagle for them apply the same standards/algorithms to us citezens because of the protections granted under the 4th amendment. Therefore they can use meta data which does not violate privacy to make a case for a warrant.

The fact that the Boston bombing types are not being caught/surveiled should reassure us they are not violating our 4th amendment rights.

For what it's worth, I was against this program when it was started under Bush and I am still against it under Obama. A lot of money spent for very little reward if you ask me. But then again I am probably one of the few liberals that think we should rely more on profiling and less on data mining.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 08:03 AM
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Because terrorist "masterminds" don't use Facebook and Skype to transmit messages. They use encrypted channels which don't go through any major service providers.
edit on 11/6/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Well, I'd go a step further to say "real" intelligent terrorists or criminal masterminds use things like Steganography. Which is one step shy of impossible to even find in the first place....and then two steps from impossible to break, if it IS found, if it's done properly.

Which does bring everything right back to the OP's question. Why these programs, indeed? They aren't likely to actually nail the people most needed or even those working for them. Not if they possess half a brain for technology anyway. They're outstanding at intimidating Ma and Pa Kettle for saying the Government sucks and something needs done tho.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by impaired
Flavian, Wrabbit, Rocker, Everyone Else: Thanks. I see...

But - Then what's the point of the program if it's not practical? It makes NO SENSE.


A program to find terrorists that doesn't work well. Seems legit.


The US government and its security services have lost all morality and ethical thought in their greed for information. Governments ALWAYS abuse the powers given to them. This is ALWAYS the case. The problem with the USA is that you have a lot of people moving back and forth between private business and government. Just look at the names in economics for the gov, they're Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc. The same with the military, they go back and forth between government defense contractor and government employee. Look at some of those in the intelligence community right now and you'll see that most of the names high up are from defense contractors, even Booz Allen Hamilton itself.

This is the wholesale corruption of the entire US government, and there will be plenty of opportunities for corporations to use and abuse their relationship and involvement in government.

You know what I'm waiting to see break on the Guardian site? Evidence that the NSA and Obama's government targeted returning war vets and injured soldiers and their families. We know that the US has turned its surveillance on Americans, this is pretty much undeniable now. So shouldn't it be logical that they would have paid specific attention to certain groups in the US?

I made this prediction elsewhere, but I am certain that in the coming days and weeks we are going to see evidence that the NSA has targeted returning war vets and spied on them, that the Obama admin spied on Romney, that they spied on Occupy and the Tea Party movements and probably that they tried several methods to discredit them and end their movement too.

It's fair to assume certain things, and I think we are going to see some incredibly destructive revelations come out about what the NSA has been up to and who they have been watching.

If it is revealed that the Obama administration or NSA has been systematically spying on its own returning soldiers, God only knows what kind of hornets nest of anger that could open.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by impaired
 


ECHELON was initially formulated in order to counter the threat of Soviet aggression in Europe, etc through counter intelligence. So, for example, any telephone conversations where the word "bomb" was used would automatically alert monitors that would then examine the call to see if it was something or nothing (ie people talking about a bomb attack that had happened rather than saying one is going to happen). In point of fact, over here in the UK there was a time where if you said "bomb" you could actually hear a click on the telephone line. Clearly, as kids, this just used to encourage us to phone each other up shouting bomb over and over!
I am sure the Intelligence Agencies planned for such immaturity though!

However, as i said above, things have moved on with technology, particularly over the last 15-20 years. So i wouldn't be at all surprised if ECHELON has been comprehensively upgraded in recent years to cover a whole new plethora of areas.

Now in terms of what it was originally designed for, ECHELON was a perfect system and the sort of thing the Soviets would have wet themselves over (if they possessed it). And whilst it meant that potentially any conversation could be listened to, in practice only a tiny percentage were and those had triggered keywords or phrases to suggest there may something amiss



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Well, I'd go a step further to say "real" intelligent terrorists or criminal masterminds use things like Steganography. Which is one step shy of impossible to even find in the first place....and then two steps from impossible to break, if it IS found, if it's done properly.

Which does bring everything right back to the OP's question. Why these programs, indeed? They aren't likely to actually nail the people most needed or even those working for them. Not if they possess half a brain for technology anyway. They're outstanding at intimidating Ma and Pa Kettle for saying the Government sucks and something needs done tho.


Originally, it was agreed that this type of intelligence gathering could not be used for general everyday stuff. So Ma and Pa Kettle could say whatever they liked (pretty much). When Ma & Pa start talking about planting bombs or gunning down loads of people though, the Agencies were allowed to step in.

In theory, this is still the case but you do have to wonder when you see how extensively this has been rolled out.



posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
Originally, it was agreed that this type of intelligence gathering could not be used for general everyday stuff. So Ma and Pa Kettle could say whatever they liked (pretty much). When Ma & Pa start talking about planting bombs or gunning down loads of people though, the Agencies were allowed to step in.

In theory, this is still the case but you do have to wonder when you see how extensively this has been rolled out.


This is the problem. People can "talk" about whatever they want, thinking about something is not a criminal act. Preparation for that act is when action needs to be taken. When there is clear intent, that is when it's time to make a move - otherwise we are living in a nation where thoughtcrime is real and punishable.

Most people would agree that there should be a method of monitoring for specific threats, but this should be open and public. People work within their own communities to prevent or report crime, and this is no different. Once a target is identified, then it's time to watch and monitor those individuals and those they contact.

However we look at this, the mass gathering of data, the snooping on anyone and any group by a private contractor, and the collation of information involving millions of innocent people cannot possibly meet that basic requirement or have that reasonable balance.

This is just another case of the government pretending that this is needed for a specific reason, but in reality, it's being used and abused for completely different reasons.





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