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Thread: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

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    Default Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans






    Attorney General Eric Holder. Photo: Justice Department

    In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report. Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
    Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.
    The changes granted by Holder would also allow databases containing information about U.S. citizens to be shared with foreign governments for their own analysis.
    A former senior White House official told the Journal that the new changes were “breathtaking in scope.”
    But counterterrorism officials tried to downplay the move by telling the Journal that the changes come with strict guidelines about how the data can be used.
    “The guidelines provide rigorous oversight to protect the information that we have, for authorized and narrow purposes,” Alexander Joel, Civil Liberties Protection Officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the paper.
    The NCTC currently maintains the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database, or TIDE, which holds data on more than 500,000 identities suspected of terror activity or terrorism links, including friends and families of suspects, and is the basis for the FBI’s terrorist watchlist.
    Under the new rules issued in March, the NCTC can now obtain almost any other government database that it claims is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information.” This could conceivably include collections of financial forms submitted by people seeking federally backed mortgages or even the health records of anyone who sought mental or physical treatment at government-run hospitals, such as Veterans Administration facilities, the paper notes.
    The Obama administration’s new rules come after previous surveillance proposals were struck down during the Bush administration, following widespread condemnation.
    In 2002, the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program proposed to scrutinize both government and private databases, but public outrage killed the program in essence, though not in spirit. Although Congress de-funded the program in 2003, the NSA continued to collect and sift through immense amounts of data about who Americans spoke with, where they traveled and how they spent their money.
    The Federal Privacy Act prohibits government agencies from sharing data for any purpose other than the reason for which the data was initially collected, in order to prevent the creation of dossiers, but agencies can do an end-run around this restriction by posting a notice in the Federal Register, providing justification for the data request. Such notices are rarely seen or contested, however.
    The changes to the rules for the NCTC were sought in large part after authorities failed to catch Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before he boarded a plane on Christmas Day in 2009 with explosives sewn into his underwear. Abdulmutallab wasn’t on the FBI watchlist, but the NCTC had received tips about him, and yet failed to search other government databases to connect dots that might have helped prevent him from boarding the plane.

    As the NCTC tried to remedy that situation for later suspects, legal obstacles emerged, the Journal reports, since the center was only allowed to query federal databases for a specific name or a specific passenger list. “They couldn’t look through the databases trolling for general ‘patterns,’” the paper notes.
    But the request to expand the center’s powers led to a heated debate at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, with Mary Ellen Callahan, then-chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, leading the charge to defend civil liberties. Callahan argued that the new rules represented a “sea change” and that every interaction a citizen would have with the government in the future would be ruled by the underlying question, is that person a terrorist?
    Callahan lost her battle, however, and subsequently left her job, though it’s not known if her struggle over the NCTC debate played a role in her decision to leave.
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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    If you're not up in arms yet, you better get there.
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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    Obama to have spy agencies scour Americans' finances


    The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies access to a database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters. (AFP/Getty Images / March 5, 2013)

    Reuters 1:31 p.m. CDT, March 13, 2013

    The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

    The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.

    Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of "suspicious customer activity," such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has full access to the database. However, intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, currently have to make case-by-case requests for information to FinCEN.

    The Treasury plan would give spy agencies the ability to analyze more raw financial data than they have ever had before, helping them look for patterns that could reveal attack plots or criminal schemes.

    The planning document, dated March 4, shows that the proposal is still in its early stages of development, and it is not known when implementation might begin.

    Financial institutions file more than 15 million "suspicious activity reports" every year, according to Treasury. Banks, for instance, are required to report all personal cash transactions exceeding $10,000, as well as suspected incidents of money laundering, loan fraud, computer hacking or counterfeiting.

    "For these reports to be of value in detecting money laundering, they must be accessible to law enforcement, counter-terrorism agencies, financial regulators, and the intelligence community," said the Treasury planning document.

    A Treasury spokesperson said U.S. law permits FinCEN to share information with intelligence agencies to help detect and thwart threats to national security, provided they adhere to safeguards outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act. "Law enforcement and intelligence community members with access to this information are bound by these safeguards," the spokesperson said in a statement.

    Some privacy watchdogs expressed concern about the plan when Reuters outlined it to them.

    A move like the FinCEN proposal "raises concerns as to whether people could find their information in a file as a potential terrorist suspect without having the appropriate predicate for that and find themselves potentially falsely accused," said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel for the Rule of Law Program at the Constitution Project, a non-profit watchdog group.

    Despite these concerns, legal experts emphasize that this sharing of data is permissible under U.S. law. Specifically, banks' suspicious activity reporting requirements are dictated by a combination of the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act, which offer some privacy safeguards.

    National security experts also maintain that a robust system for sharing criminal, financial and intelligence data among agencies will improve their ability to identify those who plan attacks on the United States.

    "It's a war on money, war on corruption, on politically exposed persons, anti-money laundering, organized crime," said Amit Kumar, who advised the United Nations on Taliban sanctions and is a fellow at the Democratic think tank Center for National Policy.

    SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY

    The Treasury document outlines a proposal to link the FinCEN database with a computer network used by U.S. defense and law enforcement agencies to share classified information called the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

    The plan calls for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - set up after 9/11 to foster greater collaboration among intelligence agencies - to work with Treasury. The Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

    More than 25,000 financial firms - including banks, securities dealers, casinos, and money and wire transfer agencies - routinely file "suspicious activity reports" to FinCEN. The requirements for filing are so strict that banks often over-report, so they cannot be accused of failing to disclose activity that later proves questionable. This over-reporting raises the possibility that the financial details of ordinary citizens could wind up in the hands of spy agencies.

    Stephen Vladeck, a professor at American University's Washington College of Law, said privacy advocates have already been pushing back against the increased data-sharing activities between government agencies that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.

    "One of the real pushes from the civil liberties community has been to move away from collection restrictions on the front end and put more limits on what the government can do once it has the information," he said.

    Copyright © 2013, Reuters




    Obama To Grant CIA FULL Access To Your Bank Accounts


    March 14, 2013

    Story just hit the wires. All in the name of terrorism.

    Exclusive story from Reuters details Obama’s next move in fighting terror and destroying your civil liberties.—

    Obama Draws Up Plans To Grant Spy Agencies Complete Access To Financial Data On Every American

    The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

    The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.

    Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of “suspicious customer activity,” such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has full access to the database. However, intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, currently have to make case-by-case requests for information to FinCEN.

    The Treasury plan would give spy agencies the ability to analyze more raw financial data than they have ever had before, helping them look for patterns that could reveal attack plots or criminal schemes.

    The planning document, dated March 4, shows that the proposal is still in its early stages of development, and it is not known when implementation might begin.

    Financial institutions file more than 15 million “suspicious activity reports” every year, according to Treasury. Banks, for instance, are required to report all personal cash transactions exceeding $10,000, as well as suspected incidents of money laundering, loan fraud, computer hacking or counterfeiting.

    “For these reports to be of value in detecting money laundering, they must be accessible to law enforcement, counter-terrorism agencies, financial regulators, and the intelligence community,” said the Treasury planning document.

    A Treasury spokesperson said U.S. law permits FinCEN to share information with intelligence agencies to help detect and thwart threats to national security, provided they adhere to safeguards outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act. “Law enforcement and intelligence community members with access to this information are bound by these safeguards,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

    Some privacy watchdogs expressed concern about the plan when Reuters outlined it to them.

    A move like the FinCEN proposal “raises concerns as to whether people could find their information in a file as a potential terrorist suspect without having the appropriate predicate for that and find themselves potentially falsely accused,” said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel for the Rule of Law Program at the Constitution Project, a non-profit watchdog group.

    Despite these concerns, legal experts emphasize that this sharing of data is permissible under U.S. law. Specifically, banks’ suspicious activity reporting requirements are dictated by a combination of the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act, which offer some privacy safeguards.

    National security experts also maintain that a robust system for sharing criminal, financial and intelligence data among agencies will improve their ability to identify those who plan attacks on the United States.

    “It’s a war on money, war on corruption, on politically exposed persons, anti-money laundering, organized crime,” said Amit Kumar, who advised the United Nations on Taliban sanctions and is a fellow at the Democratic think tank Center for National Policy.

    The Treasury document outlines a proposal to link the FinCEN database with a computer network used by U.S. defense and law enforcement agencies to share classified information called the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

    The plan calls for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – set up after 9/11 to foster greater collaboration among intelligence agencies – to work with Treasury. The Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

    More than 25,000 financial firms – including banks, securities dealers, casinos, and money and wire transfer agencies – routinely file “suspicious activity reports” to FinCEN. The requirements for filing are so strict that banks often over-report, so they cannot be accused of failing to disclose activity that later proves questionable. This over-reporting raises the possibility that the financial details of ordinary citizens could wind up in the hands of spy agencies.

    Stephen Vladeck, a professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, said privacy advocates have already been pushing back against the increased data-sharing activities between government agencies that followed the September 11 attacks.

    “One of the real pushes from the civil liberties community has been to move away from collection restrictions on the front end and put more limits on what the government can do once it has the information,” he said.



    Source: http://dailybail.com/home/obama-to-g...-accounts.html

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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    The Internet is a surveillance state

    By Bruce Schneier, Special to CNN
    updated 2:04 PM EDT, Sat March 16, 2013



    STORY HIGHLIGHTS


    • Bruce Schneier: Whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time on the Internet
    • Schneier: Our surveillance state is efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell
    • He says governments and corporations are working together to keep things that way
    • Schneier: Slap-on-the-wrist fines notwithstanding, no one is agitating for better privacy laws



    Editor's note:
    Bruce Schneier is a security technologist and author of "Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive."


    (CNN) -- I'm going to start with three data points.

    One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

    Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.

    And three: Paula Broadwell,who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels -- and hers was the common name.

    The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.

    Increasingly, what we do on the Internet is being combined with other data about us. Unmasking Broadwell's identity involved correlating her Internet activity with her hotel stays. Everything we do now involves computers, and computers produce data as a natural by-product. Everything is now being saved and correlated, and many big-data companies make money by building up intimate profiles of our lives from a variety of sources.

    News: Cyberthreats getting worse, House intelligence officials warn

    Facebook, for example, correlates your online behavior with your purchasing habits offline. And there's more. There's location data from your cell phone, there's a record of your movements from closed-circuit TVs.

    This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell.

    Sure, we can take measures to prevent this. We can limit what we search on Google from our iPhones, and instead use computer web browsers that allow us to delete cookies. We can use an alias on Facebook. We can turn our cell phones off and spend cash. But increasingly, none of it matters.

    There are simply too many ways to be tracked. The Internet, e-mail, cell phones, web browsers, social networking sites, search engines: these have become necessities, and it's fanciful to expect people to simply refuse to use them just because they don't like the spying, especially since the full extent of such spying is deliberately hidden from us and there are few alternatives being marketed by companies that don't spy.

    This isn't something the free market can fix. We consumers have no choice in the matter. All the major companies that provide us with Internet services are interested in tracking us. Visit a website and it will almost certainly know who you are; there are lots of ways to be tracked without cookies. Cellphone companies routinely undo the web's privacy protection. One experiment at Carnegie Mellon took real-time videos of students on campus and was able to identify one-third of them by comparing their photos with publicly available tagged Facebook photos.

    Maintaining privacy on the Internet is nearly impossible. If you forget even once to enable your protections, or click on the wrong link, or type the wrong thing, and you've permanently attached your name to whatever anonymous service you're using. Monsegur slipped up once, and the FBI got him. If the director of the CIA can't maintain his privacy on the Internet, we've got no hope.

    In today's world, governments and corporations are working together to keep things that way. Governments are happy to use the data corporations collect -- occasionally demanding that they collect more and save it longer -- to spy on us. And corporations are happy to buy data from governments. Together the powerful spy on the powerless, and they're not going to give up their positions of power, despite what the people want.

    Fixing this requires strong government will, but they're just as punch-drunk on data as the corporations. Slap-on-the-wrist fines notwithstanding, no one is agitating for better privacy laws.

    So, we're done. Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites.

    And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.

    Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we've ended up here with hardly a fight.

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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    DOJ Wants To Be Able To Fine Tech Companies Who Don't Let It Wiretap Your Communications

    April 30, 2013
    Source: Tech Dirt




    We've talked a lot about how the Justice Department (DOJ), mainly via the FBI, has been pushing for years to change the laws in order to require tech companies to build wiretapping backdoors into any and every form of communication online. As we've explained over and over again, this is a really silly proposal, that won't make us any safer. Instead, it's likely to make us a lot less secure, because those backdoors will be abused, not just by law enforcement, but by those with malicious intent who will work hard to find the backdoors and make use of them.

    The latest proposal on this front is equally ridiculous. While it wouldn't dictate specific wiretapping/backdoor standards, it would require that companies make some sort of backdoor available or face rapidly escalating fines.
    Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. A company that does not comply with an order within a certain period would face an automatic judicial inquiry, which could lead to fines. After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.
    This would be a disaster for innovative companies and for public security and privacy as well. The DOJ really needs to learn that not everything must be tappable. As it stands now, if I just sit on a park bench talking to someone, the DOJ can't tap it. Sometimes law enforcement doesn't get the right to hear everything I have to say. That's the nature of freedom and privacy protection that we're supposed to believe in. I'm sure with the news that chat apps are now more popular than SMS worldwide, law enforcement folks think that they need to "do something" to make sure they can spy on those conversations, but that's not true. Yes, it may make their job harder at times, but in a free country, the focus should be on protecting the freedom of the people, not decimating it to make the job of law enforcement easier. Those who commit crimes leave other clues beyond their communications online. Tapping such communications will lead to a massive security risk and huge expense for many innovative companies (likely slowing down the pace of innovation in that space). Is that worth it just so the DOJ can spy on what you have to say? That seems doubtful.

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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    I am Number 421,721


    by John Galt
    May 4, 2013 08:00 EDT



    I am a white, middle class American.

    I am proud to say I consider my religious beliefs quite Christian, wishing no malice towards my fellow man, but desiring the right as guaranteed by God and our Constitution to hold my beliefs without government oversight or control.

    I have never been arrested for a criminal act in my life.

    I believe in the First Amendment and wish that more, not less information be promoted and shared with my fellow man by using any means necessary without defacing other individuals private property or impeding upon their rights.

    I believe in the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.

    I believe that the Government is a greater threat to my liberties than any terrorist group be they some isolated domestic extremist group like the ELF,Communist radicals, or Islamic terrorists operating freely within our borders.

    Because of my beliefs, I believe that I am number 421,721.

    What is this number that I have been assigned? It is an arbitrary non-judicial violation of every American’s freedom to exist unencumbered by the government where no due process is used in consideration of their freedoms. This list I believe that I am a part of was revealed to have been expanded dramatically by the Federal Government to include more American citizens and has shocked everyone upon the news from Reuters released this week:

    Number of names on U.S. counter-terrorism database jumps

    From the article:
    The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said.
    Seriously? I could understand tracking the missing Middle Eastern students allegedly in violation of their student visas which is estimated to be around 15,000 along with other Islamist radicals who have infiltrated using the corrupted visa system. But a 335,000 increase in the number on the suspected terrorist list should be a red flag to every civil libertarian if not every American citizen with half a brain left.

    The idea that Americans who support the Constitution, own weapons, and believe that our rights are a threat began just a few months after Obama was sworn into office in 2009, as the following Washington Times story from April 16, 2009 illustrates:


    Napolitano stands by controversial report


    In the article the DHS maintains their position that veterans returning from foreign wars are to be considered a terrorist threat. Not long after that it was revealed that people who dared to have Ron Paul or NRA/pro-2nd Amendment bumper stickers on their cars should be considered a threat also. Then it was Libertarians, anyone who spoke out in public against government policies, and of course those evil Tea Party types who dared to tell the government that they wanted lower taxes and the right to spend their own money in a manner without government dictate.

    The inferences are quite visible with the recent actions of the United States military where they have adopted first an open policy where gays can now come out into the open but Christians must go into the closet. This turn of events was lead by the Obama administration’s decision to take our brave soldiers, sailors, and airmen and turn them from being a military force into a social experiment to an even greater degree. The open hostility towards Christians and Jews means that soon enough, anyone openly proselytizing their faith other than pagan, Islam, or atheism will probably make the “list” soon enough.

    The list the Reuters article refers to above is so vast, so vague, one has to ask many questions as to why the sudden expansion since President Obama came into office. Is this a political hit list? Is this a Nixonian enemies list? Is this the proverbial red or blue list combined into a government database to make collection of these individuals easier because of their perceived political threat to the implementation of whatever evil is on the horizon?

    In my opinion this list will soon be used to deny credit, reduce the freedom of movement for individuals on the list, and block firearms purchases. The list itself is so classified it is open to interpretation as the article sends a clear warning which I have highlighted in red for my readers:
    Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a “watchlist” but instead is a repository of information on people whom U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.
    Suspected or potential are the key words in the quote from the article. Anyone who is suspected or potential means anyone that the regime has identified in the last five years that will take a stand against tyranny and swear to actually protect the U.S. Constitution; not just pay lip service to obtain a job with the modern American Shutzstaffel.

    I am number 421,721.

    I believe in freedom.

    Please join me on this list.

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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    I think there ought NOT be a list.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    U.S. Weighs Wide Overhaul of Wiretap Laws

    By CHARLIE SAVAGE

    Published: May 7, 2013 482 Comments

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.



    Christopher Gregory/The New York Times

    Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, second from left, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March.

    Readers’ Comments

    "Another sign the terrorists are winning. We lose a little more of our freedom every day."

    Maggie, Los Gatos


    The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has argued that the bureau’s ability to carry out court-approved eavesdropping on suspects is “going dark” as communications technology evolves, and since 2010 has pushed for a legal mandate requiring companies like Facebook and Google to build into their instant-messaging and other such systems a capacity to comply with wiretap orders.

    That proposal, however, bogged down amid concerns by other agencies, like the Commerce Department, about quashing Silicon Valley innovation.

    While the F.B.I.’s original proposal would have required Internet communications services to each build in a wiretapping capacity, the revised one, which must now be reviewed by the White House, focuses on fining companies that do not comply with wiretap orders. The difference, officials say, means that start-ups with a small number of users would have fewer worries about wiretapping issues unless the companies became popular enough to come to the Justice Department’s attention.

    Still, the plan is likely to set off a debate over the future of the Internet if the White House submits it to Congress, according to lawyers for technology companies and advocates of Internet privacy and freedom.

    “I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”

    Andrew Weissmann, the general counsel of the F.B.I., said in a statement that the proposal was aimed only at preserving law enforcement officials’ longstanding ability to investigate suspected criminals, spies and terrorists subject to a court’s permission.

    “This doesn’t create any new legal surveillance authority,” he said. “This always requires a court order. None of the ‘going dark’ solutions would do anything except update the law given means of modern communications.”

    A central element of the F.B.I.’s 2010 proposal was to expand the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act — a 1994 law that already requires phone and network carriers to build interception capabilities into their systems — so that it would also cover Internet-based services that allow people to converse. But the bureau has now largely moved away from that one-size-fits-all mandate.

    Instead, the new proposal focuses on strengthening wiretap orders issued by judges. Currently, such orders instruct recipients to provide technical assistance to law enforcement agencies, leaving wiggle room for companies to say they tried but could not make the technology work. Under the new proposal, providers could be ordered to comply, and judges could impose fines if they did not. The shift in thinking toward the judicial fines was first reported by The Washington Post, and additional details were described to The New York Times by several officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Under the proposal, officials said, for a company to be eligible for the strictest deadlines and fines — starting at $25,000 a day — it must first have been put on notice that it needed surveillance capabilities, triggering a 30-day period to consult with the government on any technical problems.

    Such notice could be the receipt of its first wiretap order or a warning from the attorney general that it might receive a surveillance request in the future, officials said, arguing that most small start-ups would never receive either.

    Michael Sussmann, a former Justice Department lawyer who advises communications providers, said that aspect of the plan appeared to be modeled on a British law, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000.

    Foreign-based communications services that do business in the United States would be subject to the same procedures, and would be required to have a point of contact on domestic soil who could be served with a wiretap order, officials said.

    Albert Gidari Jr., who represents technology companies on law enforcement matters, criticized that proposed procedure. He argued that if the United States started imposing fines on foreign Internet firms, it would encourage other countries, some of which may be looking for political dissidents, to penalize American companies if they refused to turn over users’ information.

    “We’ll look a lot more like China than America after this,” Mr. Gidari said.

    The expanded fines would also apply to phone and network carriers, like Verizon and AT&T, which are separately subject to the 1994 wiretapping capacity law.

    The FBI has argued that such companies sometimes roll out system upgrades without making sure that their wiretap capabilities will keep working.

    The 1994 law would be expanded to cover peer-to-peer voice-over-Internet protocol, or VoIP — calls between computers that do not connect to the regular phone network. Such services typically do not route data packets through any central hub, making them difficult to intercept.

    The F.B.I. has abandoned a component of its original proposal that would have required companies that facilitate the encryption of users’ messages to always have a key to unscramble them if presented with a court order. Critics had charged that such a law would create back doors for hackers. The current proposal would allow services that fully encrypt messages between users to keep operating, officials said.

    In November 2010, Mr. Mueller toured Silicon Valley and briefed executives on the proposal as it then existed, urging them not to lobby against it, but the firms have adopted a cautious stance. In February 2011, the F.B.I.’s top lawyer at the time testified about the “going dark” problem at a House hearing, emphasizing that there was no administration proposal yet. Still, several top lawmakers at the hearing expressed skepticism, raising fears about innovation and security.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  10. #10
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    ugh, more government overreach.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


  11. #11
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    This is no longer overreach. This is out and out tyranny. This is blatant and goes directly against our 1st amendment, 4th amendment and 10th amendment rights.

    And I quote:

    Amendment IV 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.
    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  12. #12
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    Let's be honest here...how much of this wiretapping is actually doing any good? Who is it catching? Did this kind of thing catch Corizine at MF global? How about any of those Goldman bankers? Anyone? A druggie calling his supplier for a dime bag? What are these wiretaps stopping?

    This is "we are doing it because we can".
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


  13. #13
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holder Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Americans

    Yes, it is "because we can"... which is why I said it IS tyranny.

    Period, plain and simple.

    When you gain power, and then use it, and then figure out you want MORE power.... and then use that it becomes a vicious cycle. The saying goes, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".

    ANYONE who sits in the media and doesn't come out against this is part of the problem and just as culpable as the government.

    The President and a LOT of Congress wants "absolute power". They don't have it QUITE yet, but they are close.

    The other day I heard the President say to Ohio State:

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted.

    We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems. We shouldn't want to. But we don't think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us, it's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. And class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.
    Let me say this... there is no "suggestion" in our statements. The Government CAN NOT BE TRUSTED with this power. They never COULD. Our "brave, creative and unique experiment" started when this country was formed. It didn't start with Progressivism. Progressivism is the sham. Obama is the sham, and shame on this country. The Government IS the source the problems and he flat out lied.

    Government "regulation" is not "law". It's not created by Congress. It is created by non-elected, bureaucrats who believe themselves above the law of the Constitution, and believe because they "work for the government" they can "do whatever they wish".

    This is not "self government" any more. This is tyranny, pure and simple.

    And to Mr. Obama... Tyranny IS lurking "just around the corner" and it resides in the Oval office (no corners in there to hide in).
    Libertatem Prius!


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