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 Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance 
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
wjb21ndtown wrote:
My only point on R v D is taxation... Reps tax less and spend less, period. We would still have capital gains tax, a reduced rate estate tax, and no Obamacare if Romney was elected, period. You can't debate that. That's why I vote Rep., it's the least of two evils... or the best worst choice...

I don't agree with all of your statements here. You saying something can't be debated doesn't make it so. The only way the things you stated can be assumed to be certain is if we assume that Romney would have done everything he promised on the campaign. You're free to make that assumption if you want, but it would be the first time ever, in the history of modern US politics, that a president kept every campaign promise he made. Plus, your assumptions ignore 1 key thing: the president doesn't have the power to establish tax law or abolish existing laws. Congress and the senate have to send those items to him for him to sign. Romney wouldn't have been able to just come in and abolish Obamacare. It doesn't work that way. I know you know that.

As for the taxes and spending, in general you're correct that Republicans tax less. But spend less? Not significantly. They do spend a bit less, but the bigger difference is what they spend money on. Democrats tend to spend a lot more on social programs while Republicans tend to spend more on military and national defense mechanisms. But both parties have been runaway spenders over the past 12 years.

Personally, after seeing how petty and stupid each party is regarding this NSA spying stuff, I'm going third party. I'm tired of the status quo. Time for a change. That only happens when people vote their conscience.

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June 13th, 2013, 1:23 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
My only point on R v D is taxation... Reps tax less and spend less, period. We would still have capital gains tax, a reduced rate estate tax, and no Obamacare if Romney was elected, period. You can't debate that. That's why I vote Rep., it's the least of two evils... or the best worst choice...

I don't agree with all of your statements here. You saying something can't be debated doesn't make it so. The only way the things you stated can be assumed to be certain is if we assume that Romney would have done everything he promised on the campaign. You're free to make that assumption if you want, but it would be the first time ever, in the history of modern US politics, that a president kept every campaign promise he made. Plus, your assumptions ignore 1 key thing: the president doesn't have the power to establish tax law or abolish existing laws. Congress and the senate have to send those items to him for him to sign. Romney wouldn't have been able to just come in and abolish Obamacare. It doesn't work that way. I know you know that.

As for the taxes and spending, in general you're correct that Republicans tax less. But spend less? Not significantly. They do spend a bit less, but the bigger difference is what they spend money on. Democrats tend to spend a lot more on social programs while Republicans tend to spend more on military and national defense mechanisms. But both parties have been runaway spenders over the past 12 years.

Personally, after seeing how petty and stupid each party is regarding this NSA spying stuff, I'm going third party. I'm tired of the status quo. Time for a change. That only happens when people vote their conscience.
Agree with most everything here. And welcome to the 3rd party club :wink:

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June 13th, 2013, 8:53 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Republicans only want to spend less when there's a Democratic president.

When there's a Republican president, they spend just as much.


June 13th, 2013, 9:27 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
regularjoe12 wrote:
I think this whole scenario only further proves that there really is not difference between the Rep and the Dems (oh boy did i just open the door for hate!). they BOTH will do what they want, when they want, reguardless of what the people want/need. Neither side is looking out for my best interest and both seem to be furthering the same agenda....reguardless of the rhetoric they spew (either side).

The Democrats and Republicans in Congress have done to politics what Coke and Pepsi did to the soft drink industry. While Coke and Pepsi are, indeed, battling each other, they have the market rigged so that it is difficult for other soft drinks to enter the game. Coke and Pepsi dominate everything from product placement on store shelves to the vending machine industry. Running for political office is much the same. You can be a Republican or a Democrat and if you are, you have a chance to win. If you are anything else, your hopes are faint at best.

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June 13th, 2013, 9:49 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Yes, the third party vote won't get you anywhere, unfortunately.

I suppose it's a good protest vote.


June 13th, 2013, 10:15 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Also, I will add that it sickens me to hear people call this guy a traitor.

The real traitors are the people at the NSA who set this up, and they should be prosecuted as such.


June 13th, 2013, 10:37 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Blueskies wrote:
Also, I will add that it sickens me to hear people call this guy a traitor.

The real traitors are the people at the NSA who set this up, and they should be prosecuted as such.



couldnt agree more. this guy did EXACTLY what a good person who cares about this country is SUPPOSED to do.

It's our government ignoring the constitution...it's them that are technically the "traitors".

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June 13th, 2013, 2:26 pm
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Wow. Lots of stuff here to cover.

First of all, I was just yanking your chain again Wags since it's so easy to do. It's how I roll. :D

As for the polling data, it is rather comical, but the libtards in the media are even worse. Those that were calling for Bush's impeachment for spying on Americans with possible terrorist connections (MSNBC, CNN, NYT, Washington Post, etc.) are now giving Obama a free pass for doing much, much worse. But this shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has paid attention to the partisan, biased, corrupt media complex of today. As a further example that the media are still wearing their Hope & Change kneepads, earlier this week, "select" reporters were invited to a briefing with Obama following a larger scale press briefing for all White House correspondents. Needless to say, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and Mediaite (who broke this story) were not invited, but the NYT, WaPo, HuffPo, Politico, and other libtard journalists were. Go figure.

In regards to the Coke vs. Pepsi thing, it is a legitimate argument, but there are distinctions. I feel much the same as wjb that the Republicans are the lesser of two evils. While the Democrats are speeding at 100 MPH toward the fiscal cliff, the Republicans are only travelling at 75 MPH. However, this can change by electing ONLY conservative Republicans instead of the RINO, establishment, Democrat-light variety of the current party leadership. We are making inroads on this with the election of Rand Paul (whom Blueskies mentioned), Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and a handful of others, but we have much more work to do. On a sidenote, pay attention to whom the Democrats, establishment Republicans, and media demonize on a consistent basis. Those are the people they fear. Those are the people who will shake up the status quo, challenge the political establishment, and put the American people ahead of the "elite" political class of both parties. If you want TRUE change, those are the people you need to vote for.

As for Ed Snowden, I consider him neither a hero nor a traitor. Why is it an either/or type thing? I feel that he did the right thing by exposing this violation of our Constitutional rights, but he also broke his nondisclosure agreement, so should be prosecuted for it. We would no longer be a Nation of Laws, if we got to pick and choose who had to abide by them and who didn't.

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June 14th, 2013, 4:46 pm
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
First of all, this is great:

Obama vs Biden
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 4SRCOouw5I

Quote:
As for Ed Snowden, I consider him neither a hero nor a traitor. Why is it an either/or type thing? I feel that he did the right thing by exposing this violation of our Constitutional rights, but he also broke his nondisclosure agreement, so should be prosecuted for it. We would no longer be a Nation of Laws, if we got to pick and choose who had to abide by them and who didn't.


I consider him to be a hero because he's basically thrown away a comfy middle class life to expose this. He'll probably spend the rest of his life on the run, or behind bars.

It's true that we are a nation of laws, but the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Any law that blatantly violates the Constitution should not be followed.


June 14th, 2013, 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Blueskies wrote:
First of all, this is great:

Obama vs Biden
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 4SRCOouw5I

Quote:
As for Ed Snowden, I consider him neither a hero nor a traitor. Why is it an either/or type thing? I feel that he did the right thing by exposing this violation of our Constitutional rights, but he also broke his nondisclosure agreement, so should be prosecuted for it. We would no longer be a Nation of Laws, if we got to pick and choose who had to abide by them and who didn't.


I consider him to be a hero because he's basically thrown away a comfy middle class life to expose this. He'll probably spend the rest of his life on the run, or behind bars.

It's true that we are a nation of laws, but the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Any law that blatantly violates the Constitution should not be followed.


It's no violation of law to break an illegal nondisclosure agreement, period.


June 15th, 2013, 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Hmm, it appears as though the NSA can actually listen to our phone calls....
Guardian wrote:
Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant
Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA's surveillance of Americans' communication

• Document one:
• Document two:

Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target "non-US persons" under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.

The documents show that even under authorities governing the collection of foreign intelligence from foreign targets, US communications can still be collected, retained and used.

The procedures cover only part of the NSA's surveillance of domestic US communications. The bulk collection of domestic call records, as first revealed by the Guardian earlier this month, takes place under rolling court orders issued on the basis of a legal interpretation of a different authority, section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The Fisa court's oversight role has been referenced many times by Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials as they have sought to reassure the public about surveillance, but the procedures approved by the court have never before been publicly disclosed.

The top secret documents published today detail the circumstances in which data collected on US persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed, extensive steps analysts must take to try to check targets are outside the US, and reveals how US call records are used to help remove US citizens and residents from data collection.

However, alongside those provisions, the Fisa court-approved policies allow the NSA to:

• Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years;

• Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;

• Preserve "foreign intelligence information" contained within attorney-client communications;

• Access the content of communications gathered from "U.S. based machine[s]" or phone numbers in order to establish if targets are located in the US, for the purposes of ceasing further surveillance.

The broad scope of the court orders, and the nature of the procedures set out in the documents, appear to clash with assurances from President Obama and senior intelligence officials that the NSA could not access Americans' call or email information without warrants.

The documents also show that discretion as to who is actually targeted under the NSA's foreign surveillance powers lies directly with its own analysts, without recourse to courts or superiors – though a percentage of targeting decisions are reviewed by internal audit teams on a regular basis.

Since the Guardian first revealed the extent of the NSA's collection of US communications, there have been repeated calls for the legal basis of the programs to be released. On Thursday, two US congressmen introduced a bill compelling the Obama administration to declassify the secret legal justifications for NSA surveillance.

The disclosure bill, sponsored by Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and Todd Rokita, an Indiana Republican, is a complement to one proposed in the Senate last week. It would "increase the transparency of the Fisa Court and the state of the law in this area," Schiff told the Guardian. "It would give the public a better understanding of the safeguards, as well as the scope of these programs."

Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which was renewed for five years last December, is the authority under which the NSA is allowed to collect large-scale data, including foreign communications and also communications between the US and other countries, provided the target is overseas.

FAA warrants are issued by the Fisa court for up to 12 months at a time, and authorise the collection of bulk information – some of which can include communications of US citizens, or people inside the US. To intentionally target either of those groups requires an individual warrant.

One-paragraph order

One such warrant seen by the Guardian shows that they do not contain detailed legal rulings or explanation. Instead, the one-paragraph order, signed by a Fisa court judge in 2010, declares that the procedures submitted by the attorney general on behalf of the NSA are consistent with US law and the fourth amendment.

Those procedures state that the "NSA determines whether a person is a non-United States person reasonably believed to be outside the United States in light of the totality of the circumstances based on the information available with respect to that person, including information concerning the communications facility or facilities used by that person".

It includes information that the NSA analyst uses to make this determination - including IP addresses, statements made by the potential target, and other information in the NSA databases, which can include public information and data collected by other agencies.

Where the NSA has no specific information on a person's location, analysts are free to presume they are overseas, the document continues.

"In the absence of specific information regarding whether a target is a United States person," it states "a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States or whose location is not known will be presumed to be a non-United States person unless such person can be positively identified as a United States person."

If it later appears that a target is in fact located in the US, analysts are permitted to look at the content of messages, or listen to phone calls, to establish if this is indeed the case.

Referring to steps taken to prevent intentional collection of telephone content of those inside the US, the document states: "NSA analysts may analyze content for indications that a foreign target has entered or intends to enter the United States. Such content analysis will be conducted according to analytic and intelligence requirements and priorities."

Details set out in the "minimization procedures", regularly referred to in House and Senate hearings, as well as public statements in recent weeks, also raise questions as to the extent of monitoring of US citizens and residents.

NSA minimization procedures signed by Holder in 2009 set out that once a target is confirmed to be within the US, interception must stop immediately. However, these circumstances do not apply to large-scale data where the NSA claims it is unable to filter US communications from non-US ones.

The NSA is empowered to retain data for up to five years and the policy states "communications which may be retained include electronic communications acquired because of limitations on the NSA's ability to filter communications".

Even if upon examination a communication is found to be domestic – entirely within the US – the NSA can appeal to its director to keep what it has found if it contains "significant foreign intelligence information", "evidence of a crime", "technical data base information" (such as encrypted communications), or "information pertaining to a threat of serious harm to life or property".

Domestic communications containing none of the above must be destroyed. Communications in which one party was outside the US, but the other is a US-person, are permitted for retention under FAA rules.

The minimization procedure adds that these can be disseminated to other agencies or friendly governments if the US person is anonymised, or including the US person's identity under certain criteria.

A separate section of the same document notes that as soon as any intercepted communications are determined to have been between someone under US criminal indictment and their attorney, surveillance must stop. However, the material collected can be retained, if it is useful, though in a segregated database:

"The relevant portion of the communication containing that conversation will be segregated and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice will be notified so that appropriate procedures may be established to protect such communications from review or use in any criminal prosecution, while preserving foreign intelligence information contained therein," the document states.

In practice, much of the decision-making appears to lie with NSA analysts, rather than the Fisa court or senior officials.

A transcript of a 2008 briefing on FAA from the NSA's general counsel sets out how much discretion NSA analysts possess when it comes to the specifics of targeting, and making decisions on who they believe is a non-US person. Referring to a situation where there has been a suggestion a target is within the US.

"Once again, the standard here is a reasonable belief that your target is outside the United States. What does that mean when you get information that might lead you to believe the contrary? It means you can't ignore it. You can't turn a blind eye to somebody saying: 'Hey, I think so and so is in the United States.' You can't ignore that. Does it mean you have to completely turn off collection the minute you hear that? No, it means you have to do some sort of investigation: 'Is that guy right? Is my target here?" he says.

"But, if everything else you have says 'no' (he talked yesterday, I saw him on TV yesterday, even, depending on the target, he was in Baghdad) you can still continue targeting but you have to keep that in mind. You can't put it aside. You have to investigate it and, once again, with that new information in mind, what is your reasonable belief about your target's location?"

The broad nature of the court's oversight role, and the discretion given to NSA analysts, sheds light on responses from the administration and internet companies to the Guardian's disclosure of the PRISM program. They have stated that the content of online communications is turned over to the NSA only pursuant to a court order. But except when a US citizen is specifically targeted, the court orders used by the NSA to obtain that information as part of Prism are these general FAA orders, not individualized warrants specific to any individual.

Once armed with these general orders, the NSA is empowered to compel telephone and internet companies to turn over to it the communications of any individual identified by the NSA. The Fisa court plays no role in the selection of those individuals, nor does it monitor who is selected by the NSA.

The NSA's ability to collect and retain the communications of people in the US, even without a warrant, has fuelled congressional demands for an estimate of how many Americans have been caught up in surveillance.

Two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall – both members of the Senate intelligence committee – have been seeking this information since 2011, but senior White House and intelligence officials have repeatedly insisted that the agency is unable to gather such statistics.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/ju ... ut-warrant

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June 21st, 2013, 10:33 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
Reactions to this latest release:



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June 21st, 2013, 10:35 am
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Post Re: Edward Snowden: whistleblower behind the NSA surveillanc
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Blueskies wrote:
First of all, this is great:

Obama vs Biden
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 4SRCOouw5I

Quote:
As for Ed Snowden, I consider him neither a hero nor a traitor. Why is it an either/or type thing? I feel that he did the right thing by exposing this violation of our Constitutional rights, but he also broke his nondisclosure agreement, so should be prosecuted for it. We would no longer be a Nation of Laws, if we got to pick and choose who had to abide by them and who didn't.


I consider him to be a hero because he's basically thrown away a comfy middle class life to expose this. He'll probably spend the rest of his life on the run, or behind bars.

It's true that we are a nation of laws, but the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Any law that blatantly violates the Constitution should not be followed.


It's no violation of law to break an illegal nondisclosure agreement, period.


No response?


June 21st, 2013, 12:32 pm
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