READER COMMENTS ON
"'We're in the Abyss': My KPFK 'BradCast' Intvw with Daniel Ellsberg on Edward Snowden"
(16 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 11:50 am PT...
They are not legal.
The FISA court just ruled that their 86 page opinion (holding that some of these things violate the 4th Amendment) can be released to the public if the federal district court wants to.
EFF had sued the DOJ in an FOIA process.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 1:44 pm PT...
Let's be careful --- and accurate --- here. The case you're referring to is about whether a secret decision from the secret FISA court, finding one of the secret surveillance requests was illegal/unconstitutional, should be made public.
The court find --- in a very rare decision --- to say no to one of the surveillance requests made by the government. The request itself was (theoretically) legally made under the FISA law.
Whether the Govt follows those rulings and the FISA law is a different issue entirely. But applying for an order and having it turned down is *supposed* to be the way the FISA court works, though it rarely turns down any request from the Government. (In 2012, for example, there were some 1,800 such requests and ZERO of them were denied.)
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 3:24 pm PT...
In regards to Josh Marshall and the " . . . frankly revealing his natural tendency to support the government over whistleblowers in cases like this."
Josh Marshall is, obviously, deeply embedded in the Cult of Savvy. Do you think this association just makes it too difficult for him (personally or publicly)to accept when outsiders show him how incompetent and, dare we say, evil his "sources" are?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 3:41 pm PT...
I'd have to agree Marshall is compromised, along with Brooks, Sullivan, and a host of others.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 3:49 pm PT...
Senator Wyden found out that the court, in an 86 page opinion, ruled against the government:
...in July 2012, Wyden was able to get the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify two statements that he wanted to issue publicly. They were:
* On at least one occasion the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held that some collection carried out pursuant to the Section 702 minimization procedures used by the government was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
* I believe that the government's implementation of Section 702 of FISA [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law, and on at least one occasion the FISA Court has reached this same conclusion.
For those who follow the secret and often complex world of high-tech government spying, this was an aha moment. The FISA court Wyden referred to oversees the surveillance programs run by the government, authorizing requests for various surveillance activities related to national security, and it does this behind a thick cloak of secrecy. Wyden's statements led to an obvious conclusion: He had seen [at least one] secret FISA court opinion that ruled that one surveillance program was unconstitutional and violated the spirit of the law. But, yet again, Wyden could not publicly identify this program.
(FISA Court Rules Domestic Spying Violates Constitution). On at least one occasion, maybe more.
There is no question some of their activities have been illegal.
So the EFF filed suit under FOIA against the DOJ to get a copy of the FISC opinion.
The DOJ said only the FISA court can release one of its opinions, even though the FISA court had ruled some time back that the DOJ or a District Court could release FISC opinions if they chose to.
So, the EFF went back to the FISA court and the court had some choice words for the DOJ.
Now back in the Federal District Court that case will restart, having been stayed.
The EFF is continuing the suit to get the opinion released, now with the aid of the FISA court ruling.
Incidentally, the EFF asked for all such opinions, not just that one case.
So, we will see, probably in July, what the District Court is going to do.
I expect the opinion[s] to be released for our scrutiny.
An 86 page opinion holding that they violated at least the 4th Amendment will show what aspects of their practices are unconstitutional in FISC reasoning.
The other two cases against the military, filed last week, allege 1st and 4th Amendment violations, as well as some statutory violations.
The Posse Comitatus Laws make it a crime for the military to get involved in police work within the nation as well (Will The Military Become The Police - 3).
Torture is illegal too, but since the DOJ is doing nothing about it, one could say "it is legal now" ... but it isn't ... they are simply incompetent in their duties.
I expect the federal court in D.C. or the federal court in NY to find illegality like the FISA court did.
Yes, the decisions have not happened yet so we have to be careful not to assume what facts caused the FISC to rule the military's behavior to have been illegal.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 4:27 pm PT...
NSA Director walks into a bar:
Bartender: “Hey, did you hear the one about ...”
NSA Director: "Yep."
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 6/13/2013 @ 9:24 pm PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 6/14/2013 @ 7:26 am PT...
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 6/14/2013 @ 9:56 am PT...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 6/14/2013 @ 12:41 pm PT...
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 6/14/2013 @ 9:14 pm PT...
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 6/14/2013 @ 11:23 pm PT...
Why can't Greenwald and Snowden "fans" acknowledge that the Guardian has had to back off of their big bombshell, i.e., that the government has unfettered direct access to the servers and databases of Microsoft, Google, Verizon, etc.. It's turned out to be false and they now admit it. These companies only respond to specific and legal court orders for information. Snowden and Greenwald completely misled all of us about this. Doesn't the truth even matter? The skepticism and restraint exercised by the Josh Marshall's of the world has proven to be the correct response to these "revelations".
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 6/15/2013 @ 9:57 am PT...
Why do you assume that assertion is incorrect given that "back doors" are supposedly built into some of the software and hardware used today? This means the government and contractors may very well have access abilities unknown to the companies denying said access.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 6/15/2013 @ 11:29 am PT...
Jim @ 12 said:
It's turned out to be false and they now admit it.
Um...Let's be clear here, Jim. They "admitted" no such thing. Here is a very quick review of what we know and don't know.
- NSA docs brag about direct access to servers.
- Guardian reported that's what the docs say, according to the documents.
- Guardian also reported, in the very same article, that the companies deny said access.
- Later in the same report Guardian refers to "direct access" without using qualifying "according to docs" or "according to Snowden" language (about which they may be either right or wrong, we don't know what other information they have.)
- The companies, using very careful legal language, deny "direct access to servers". (Those companies may be right, may be wrong, may not, legally, be able to say what sort of access NSA actually has, may not actually know what sort of access NSA actually has, etc.)
- The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has recently, blatantly lied to Congress about what access NSA has and hasn't, claims there are inaccuracies in the reports. He may be either telling the truth this time, or lying again. He has no credibility on these issues given his track record of being flagrantly dishonest.
- No matter any of the above, you and other Obama loyalists, for whatever reason, seem so desperate to protect the President (I guess) that you've convinced yourself there are no concerns here, even if "direct access", as described in the NSA docs, is not true --- many of us disagree strongly, whether we are "fans" of Greenwald or Snowden or not.
Hope that helps clarify your misgivings!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 6/15/2013 @ 10:46 pm PT...
In further support of Brad's comment @14, consider this statement, as set forth in a June 12 Guardian article [emphasis added]:
The tech companies have spent days categorically denied knowingly participating in Prism. Internal NSA documents state that Prism involves "collection directly from these US service providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple".
The June 12 article belies Jim's claim @12 that the Guardian admitted its report was false. Instead, the London-based paper reported:
The Guardian understands that the NSA approached those companies and asked them to enable a "dropbox" system whereby legally requested data could be copied from their own server out to an NSA-owned system. That has allowed the companies to deny that there is "direct or indirect" NSA access, to deny that there is a "back door" to their systems, and that they only comply with "legal" requests --- while not explaining the scope of that access.
Sound a bit convoluted? Welcome to the plausible deniability that accompanies that Orwellian world we euphemistically refer to as the "intelligence community."
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 6/30/2013 @ 5:16 am PT...
The DoD is big on hiring civilians, yet:
The National Security Agency (NSA) is ... of the United States Department of Defense ... The NSA is directed by at least a lieutenant general or vice admiral ... The Director of the National Security Agency serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command ... (USCYBERCOM) is an armed forces ... command subordinate to United States Strategic Command ... led by General Keith B. Alexander... USCYBERCOM ... synchronizes defense of U.S. military networks ... United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Department of Defense ... charged with ... military satellites ... information warfare ... missile defense, global command and control, intelligence, surveillance ... global strike and strategic deterrence ... nuclear arsenal ... Strategic Command [is] a successor to Strategic Air Command (SAC). It is headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Nebraska.
(see Wikipedia, "National Security Agency", "U.S. Cyber Command", "U.S. Strategic Command").