NSA spying on your calls. Do you care?
Yes, but not enough to do something about it.
I should add we've had so much privacy taken away from us in the name of security, this is just one more thing we have no control over.
The Supreme Court voted it was ok to take your DNA if you been arrested, falsely or not.
Thank god the Government protects us. Can you imagine if it was legal all over the US for gays to be married! That could do some real damage.
I've known this has been going on since 2001 (when the Patriot Act was passed). It has affected me exactly zero times in twelve years….I give no fucks….
Yea, if they are going to listen in on some of my more racier conversations they better PAY ME, for all I know this could be free phone sex for some of them, LOL
@MontanaMarriott LOL Exactly!
They've been doing this legally since the Patriot Act. Unfortunately, anyone suing SCOTUS to overturn it under Bush Jr. would have probably been chased out of the country for being 'with the terrorists'.
I'm glad the debate is hitting the mainstream now, again. People forgot this was done.But, let's be real….nobody gives a SHIT about you, unless you search/talk about certain things online….Just like they treat kiddie pornographers. If you're dumb enough to use phones or internet to plot terrorism (OR abuse kids), I don't feel sorry for you or your rights.
Not really. It's probably the only action their will ever get *wink*
It depends on if they are going to tell my wife about the phone sex I have with my mistress.
Yeah I care. Sooner or later it's going to innocent civilians when it's used for blackmail, or against political opponents. Keeping our phone/internet records because "I'm not doing anything wrong so what do I care?" – isn't it damn close to the police breaking into your house "just in case" you're into something bad? Where are you willing to draw the line? You give up any expectation of privacy when you leave your house (because of cameras, etc) – don't you deserve the privacy of your own phone calls, etc?
A few months ago I listed a couple of sofas on Craig's List in the "free" column – got around 30 phone calls in 1/2 hour. I have no idea who any of these people are. I would assume a terrorist needs to sit down to put those explosive devices together on something comfortable. How do I know who called me? But the government can look at those numbers, see one that's a terrorist's number, and not only look at my calls, but the calls of everyone else I talk to on the phone.
I forget the exact quote but it's something to the effect of: All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Ugh this is a rant on the whole security thing. I'm scrambling trying to get a passport to travel from the U.S. to Niagra Falls Canada and it's a pain in the ass because I don't have a passport.
I don't get what the difference is between showing a passport and showing your birth certificate with a valid government issued ID (license). They're pretty much the same thing and because of the jackasses who get away with shit I have to pay out of my ass to get a passport and have it rushed to me. Then again I could just stay on the NY side and give THEM my money & business.
And yeah good luck to them spying on my calls. Whatever makes them sleep at night.
i pity the poor bastard who has to listen to my phone calls.
Hell yes I care. I immediately thought about what would have happened during the McCarthy/Red Scare if that administration had the information this one does.
Given the way the winds change in politics, this year the IRS targets the Tea Party, next year Occupy. This year the NSA bugs the G8 meetings and all foreign calls to areas like Dearport and Farmers Branch, with a high % of Arabs, or Soamli, or now Chechens, next year it's hipsters in SF or LA.
And I do wonder what files are there of Hollywood (not to mention files on opposing politicians to the administration in power aka Nixon's enemies list), given the fact that obviously Snowden could wiretap ANYONE if he wanted to. I strongly suspect they have the ability now to create a gun registry and may have already done it.
Having said that, we are moving into Blade Runner territory, where our DNA will be gathered and our faces digitized for searches, and our anonymity is gone forever. Law will have to play catchup.
I'm donating to EFF and the ACLU, and hoping for the best. Also reading tech blogs to see what I can do in my system if anything.
Thank you SusanB I couldn't said it better! I swear our downfall as a country is and will be our complacency.
In theory i care a great deal. But in practice, theres nothing from me to find. However, using all my calls and emails, any scenero could be made to work against you. This is going on since time immemorial- i worked for telephone company in 1970's, and we wld get govt requests for info on someone. I, being a hippie, and it was bad enough i was working for corporate monolith, always said i didnt find anything. Lol. Any one, govt or not can find out pretty much whatever they want about you, and now with internet you are even more exposed. I truly dont know what the answer is. I do fear precrime tho.
It bothers me. I'm living my life , not bothering a soul. Leave me the hell alone.
Don't care 1 iota, have nothing to hide
I care very much. Not that I'm involved or planning some misdemeanors or more but no government should know too much about its citicens. The government should be afraid of the people and not the people from the government.
Pris, agree but i do think snowden has exaggerated sense of his own importance and power.
the u.s. goverment along with britain, canada and a few others have been listening to phone call radio signals and much more since the 60's… this is not new…i guess you haven't heard of echalon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON
Don't really care and there's not much I could do about it anyhow. People are acting surprised, like this is something new. I really didnt appreciate the Patriot Act being passed w/such haste but it's done. Anyone who thinks the current administration is taking this beyond what the Cheney administration (oops I mean Bush) did, they are just kidding themselves. Probably some good has come out of this. But it's not a party line thing. Anyone who thinks that the US gov't is transparent and we know all that is going on is a fool as well. I am going to just live my life and hope that I never get inadventently caught up in anything stupid. I am smart enough not to do it knowingly (I think, lol).
Evry job me or my husband have had over the past 15 years had internet and email monitoring, so why is this any different?
I care, but I also understand the vast majority of young Americans have no concept what privacy entails- just look at the way they treat Facebook like a private diary. This should be no big deal to them.
I hate talking on the phone. My phone conversations are the least interesting thing about me. My text messages however…
Nope, don't care a bit!
You ask that like it's a human being listening. There is software scanning for keywords. And we all know software always works exactly as intended. The NSA phone monitoring system is about as much a threat to me as the automated machine guns mounted outside the prison in Idiocracy that pointed at each other & started firing. There is just too much data coming in for all the humans alive on the planet to ever interpret if they were all tasked to make sense of it. And the NSA employs considerably less people than all the humans on the planet.
@Susan B, you are so right. I agree wholeheartedly with your post.
They can go on and on about it being to protect us from terrorism, but the facts are 1) it excludes mosques bc muslim groups were whining about being "targeted" and 2)it didn't stop the boston bombers. In fact, even another country warning us about the boston bombers combined with the fact that one of them was on a watch list and traveled back and forth from areas known for terrorism did not stop them.
Basically, its not to protect us against terrorism-it doesnt work. If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention. I honestly do not think people care anymore about their rights bc they are so used to having them taken away. We did elect obama a second time and hes twice as bad as bush and even more disingenous.
Even though I am as innocent as a newborn baby I do care and I do not like it.
Please let them listen
I absolutely care. I highly value privacy and while terrorism does suck, I think we have more pressing issues in this country at the moment. It shouldn't take months for skilled workers to find jobs.
More people in the US have died to mentally unstable people with guns than to terrorism in the last decade, yet we aren't even talking about how to detect those cases.
Uncle Sam would rather read my internet history. (Spoiler alert for the guy at the NSA reading this!: I like celeb gossip, makeup, checking the weather, and star trek. Oh and I think I lost some files. Think you could send them over from the backup copy you probably have of my hard drive? Thanks!)
Yep. So I don't own a 'smart' phone (thanks a lot, Jobs), I rarely upload photos to facebook, and we use a rotary phone.
Hell yes I care!
Why shouldn't I. My personal life is just that, personal. I dont' like the idea of GPS tracking either, why in the hell does anyone need to know where I am at all times?
I am an adult, and I come and go as I please. I can say whatever I want, as long as I am not harming anyone in the process. And, that is the way that it should be.
The beleif that it doesn't matter, if you have nothing to hide, doesn't any sense at all. Most targeted individuals, who are victims of "community policing" would tell a very different story.
Total waste of tax dollars until agency management gains skills beyond taint licking. At least they cleaned house at IRS to some degree. No changes at FBI? All those incompetent managers who ignored warnings about 911 and Boston still on the job, which is a crime. NSA has secret and unlimited budget. Are they buying yachts like NOAA Fisheries Law Enforcement for their wives to wreck? Inspector General reports are swept under the rug every day. Government agency employees should be held accountable, starting at the top.
They are matching up the records of calls made with those of suspected terrorists. They are not listening in on all of our private calls. I lived in NYC during 9/11 and agree that this is the price of keeping our country safer. We can't have it both ways – total privacy and public safety as well.
I feel sorry for the schmucks who have to listen to all of it! When I lived in China our handlers told us to speak more slowly so their translators could understand. I think it's silly to think it isn't done here. Way better when it's out in the open. Always get a kick out of little clicky noises on the phone and my friends and I start speaking in Chinese just for kicks.
George Carlin had a great joke about a man who new his phone was tapped by the FBI. He would answer the phone "F*** Hoover, yes how can I help you?" Food for thought.
Hell yes, I care!
SusanB and Priscilla both make excellent points. Maybe the next few presidents will be OK, but what happens if we get a bad one — one who is hellbent on crushing his enemies, real or imagined? All the infrastructure is in place to ruin people's lives, and it will all be legal.
I cared when the Patriot Act was first being debated. But then the alarm of it all wore off and life went on. As far as I'm concerned, it's been going on for more than a decade and I have no idea how effective or extensive it has become. You think PRISM is the extent of it? I don't.
Now? Now I'll care enough to do something about it when it directly affects me. Until then, it's a phone record (number, time and date, duration) and, by itself, proves nothing, it's barely even circumstantial.
And who knows if it hasn't already directly affected me — in a good way. Maybe there was a massive attack that was derailed b/c of intelligence, things we can't know about b/c it would alert terrorists to how effective the snooping is. FYI, I live and work outside of DC now but spent seven years just a few blocks from the White House.
Like most people, I'm busy with stuff like work and life. Yep, I know this is the slippery slope. I don't think I'll miss it if it goes away, but I also think it's safe to assume that it will just get replaced with something else.
Think of yourself on a jury and the evidence against the defendant is, "once got a call from a number tied to a terrorist". When was the last time you heard of someone getting convicted on those grounds? Is Gitmo full of hundreds of people who answered a wrong number? Crap. What if it is and we don't even know?
I have no answers, just typing out loud.
Hell no I don't care. I also don't care how much the TSA looks at my naked image I have nothing to hide!
Absolute violation of my rights. I have been having all kinds of fun with it, if they really are keeping track of what I'm doing.
Yes it bothers me a lot.
Yes, very much. When the so-called "Patriot Act" was first passed after 9/11, I maintained then that if it passed we would be doing exactly what George W. Bush had sworn we wouldn't do, which was changing the basic ways in which our society and government work. The country as a whole, however, was so stampeded by the 9/11 attacks and Bush's carefully manufactured "War on Terror" meme that it went along with this travesty with little more than a whimper here and there.
Same thing happened when Congress passed and Obama signed the renewal of the Patriot Act only a couple of years ago, and only very recently with the Snowden/NSA affair have most Americans even truly begun to consider what's been going on all this time.
One can make the argument that any politician who didn't go along with the original passage and the later renewal might be taking his or her political life in their hands, if some kind of spectacular terrorist attack were to succeed in this country after that abortion had been repealed. Let's say that Obama had refused to sign the renewal, Republicans would have been quick to claim that the Boston Marathon bombings would never have happened if only he hadn't left the country "defenseless" by refusing to renew the Patriot Act. And no doubt Democrats would do exactly the same if the same thing happened with a Republican in the White House.
But Obama could at least have laid the whole problem before the American people. He could've gone on television, explained that the Patriot Act had changed our way of life, that it had given the government far, far more power over the lives of private citizens than is healthy or safe, and also could've explained that refusing to renew it would carry with it a certain element of risk. He could've let the country decide collectively whether the reducing the risk is worth the price we all pay for the increasingly intrusive government surveillance of private citizens, not to mention the very expensive, huge, sprawling new bureaucracy created in the form of DHS. But clearly either Obama didn't have the balls to do that, or else with his usual arrogance he simply decided that the whole thing was beyond the ability of most of us to understand.
I do care very much.
I am really starting to think that this is a generational thing.
I think the great divide is between people who were adults when computers became mainstream vs those who grew up with computers.
We (us older folks) grew up with a sense of privacy, where the younger kids have grown up with posting each and every little thing.
I would like to think that the 'powers that be' didn't want it to turn out this way, however, when you have lower entry level employees running amuck, and with a Napoleon complex, crossing some serious lines, thats where things get really tricky.
Anyone remember the Jr shift leader's power trip, during our high school jobs?? Same principal that is now in play.
Anywhoo.. this really kinds summs it up.
*just 2 funny nsa meme's running around the interwebs*
@Robert, that was really well said.
I care, and 'I don't have anything to hide' doesn't save you. Here's why (linky to Guardian article by Cory Doctorow, who wrote the terrifying Little Brother and Homeland–which is fiction, but COULD be true):
You should care about privacy because if the data says you've done something wrong, then the person reading the data will interpret everything else you do through that light. Naked Citizens, a short, free documentary, documents several horrifying cases of police being told by computers that someone might be up to something suspicious, and thereafter interpreting everything they learn about that suspect as evidence of wrongdoing. For example, when a computer programmer named David Mery entered a tube station wearing a jacket in warm weather, an algorithm monitoring the CCTV brought him to the attention of a human operator as someone suspicious. When Mery let a train go by without boarding, the operator decided it was alarming behaviour. The police arrested him, searched him, asked him to explain every scrap of paper in his flat. A doodle consisting of random scribbles was characterised as a map of the tube station. Though he was never convicted of a crime, Mery is still on file as a potential terrorist eight years later, and can't get a visa to travel abroad. Once a computer ascribes suspiciousness to someone, everything else in that person's life becomes sinister and inexplicable.
If that doesn't chill you to the bone… if you don't think this could happen to you… well. I bet he didn't, either.
Maybe the NSA can do something about the contractors that ignore the Do Not Call List and telephone me on a daily basis.
It's just too Soviet Cold-War for me. When I was in school we learned how those "poor Soviets" had no freedom. The government could listen in to any phone conversation you may have — that was portrayed as a huge marker in how evil the Soviet system was. They'd always add how America doesn't do that, how there's checks and balances to keep this stuff from happening. Taking those away is a huge deal.
@Robert:He could've let the country decide collectively whether the reducing the risk is worth the price we all pay for the increasingly intrusive government surveillance of private citizens
How… through a vote? When more than half of eligible citizens couldn't be bothered to turn out to vote for president? You have GOT to be kidding me on this.
But clearly either Obama didn't have the balls to do that, or else with his usual arrogance he simply decided that the whole thing was beyond the ability of most of us to understand.
I don't think it's arrogance to NOT leave the fate of privacy rights up to a popular vote. We in our panic after 9/11 never should have gotten to the point of stripping away Fourth Amendment rights in the name of 'safety'. There was quite an outcry at the time, but you didn't see a whole lot about it in the news. Those who objected were labelled sympathizers.
Most of these knuckleheads crying foul at all of this PRISM stuff VOTED TO RENEW THE PATRIOT ACT, which suggests hypocrisy, or a failure to truly comprehend what the PATRIOT Act was establishing. (Or just, you know, supporting a Republican president.) Take Sean Hannity, for example…
And that's probably put me on some kind of watch list.
…and argh, screwed up my who voted/who didn't vote from turnout in the 2012 election. Voter turnout for 2012 was ~57% of eligible citizens (which is nothing to be proud of) but that is definitely more than half. Mea culpa.
Please also remember, everyone says things they don't mean in the heat of the moment that can be misinterpreted by prying eyes (or ears). Haven't we ALL been so angry at someone (our boss, clerk in a store, the IRS, our spouse, etc) where you've said, "Oh, I could just kill him" or "shoot him" or whatever. We've all said that. I've heard it said about every sitting president in the past 40 years and in all the cases that I've heard, from the president down to their boss, it has been someone obviously blowing off steam. I said it about my car mechanic this morning. But do you really want an impersonal, prying person to report that? Especially if these prying ears were LOOKING for someone to accuse to justify their own job? Sure, let the government listen to your phone conversations, or read your e-mails – they'll know you're not serious, right? Those algorithms they have in place looking for certain words, that won't affect you, will it?
I'm just sorry I didn't realize this was going on when the Patriot Act was first passed. Just had other stuff going on. But we've got to hold our government accountable for what the NSA is doing in the name of "security". Especially, since as Katie Cunningham above said, they won't monitor the mosques, or they don't followup great leads like they had on the Boston bombers. I think most terrorists have known that their phones, e-mails, etc are being watched. It's just us poor innocent saps that are being monitored to death.
Not reading all the comments but the NERVE of Mueller stating that sueveillance PREVENTING 9/11, which HAPPENED ON HIS WATCH when in fact the advance information was STUDIOUSLY IGNORED by tge Bush administration is just evidence of the rabbit hole we have gone down.
Folks, OUR TAX DOLLARS are being used to nuild a police state and the Constitution is no more.
It is absolutely necessary to hold a Constitutional Convention. 42 states have filed a formal demand to do so. Look this up on Firedoglake.com.
It is the only thing I can think of that will bring The People together to consider which future we want. End the endless wars that benefit only a few and are poisoning our planet or keep going in this direction til we blink out and take Mother Earth along with us.
Lots more that I could say but I will keep it short for now.
I'm Gen Y, we don't make phone calls.
no. and, this is why disposable phones were invented. I used one during my divorce. when I was done with it I threw it away. no trail.
I am of the generation that is used to having privacy, or some semblance thereof. I feel sorry for the generation that has no expectation of privacy and is willing, even happy to give up an essential right.
Benjamin Franklin said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty not safety".
He also said some years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence "Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes".
We know how the IRS behaves. Your medical records are also not as private as you think. Ponder that when the IRS is handling your medical care insurance.
I don't remember who said "A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government big enough to take everything you have".
I truly fear the "I don't care attitudes" it's exactly what willtear this country down. You're supposed to care, the government works for YOU!
In the sense that my government is wasting their time scanning my calls and/or texts, the overwhelming majority of which say something like "do we need catfood, hon?" or "I'm in Ocean Beach now, so yeah, I can pick up weed there," then yes, I care.
First .. Oh My!! What the hell has been going on here lately that EL is having to resort to approving comments?? Damn that "Himmmmmmmmmmm.. uhm .. mmmmmm" for dragging in the riff raff.
Second .. I pity the NSA if they are listening to my conversations. BO -RING!
But does it bother me? It bothered the hell out of me in 2006 .. but now .. after all this time .. I guess I have gotten too old and/or too tired to be truly concerned any more.
Since the Bush Jr. Era, I lost my faith in my country. It feels like we are all just cows being fattened for slaughter. It's not about the Government working for us. It's about us buying, eating, driving, using gas, buying insurance, buying homes, buying products, watching t.v constantly, being programmed, to buy buy buy, eat eat eat, keep spendind every single penny that you make, in order to get deeper in to debt. They don't care if you kill yourself because your house is underwater and you're spouse just died and left you with a stack of hospital bills, they want you in that position. they want you weak, bewildered, powerless. The reality is, that we're all going to be in debt to some degree, so just be comfortable with it, or only go in as far as you are comfortable being. Nothing is worth your sanity, peace of mind, happiness, and you can be happier with much less than you think. Look at kids. All the fancy bells and whislte toys in the world won't entertain a kid for an afternoon like a brand new cardboard refrigerator box. We don't need all this stuff. We don't need to buy so many products. A thousand dollar outfit won't make you beautiful, but if you feel beautiful a ten dollar outfit from goodwill works just as well. It's about what's going on within you. What do you value? How do you feel? Not what the government and it's incestuous twin big business want you to do. Don't even get me started on big pharma. Find your own happiness. Strengthen yourself, what you can, your family ties, your bonds, your own life. Listen to your heart, your truth, what resonates in you as true and real. Nothing else matters. You have to live with yourself. If you're so inclined you can work to bring together your community, your school district, your town, whatever it is. Let us not have any illusions who the government is working for. Themselves, and their patrons. The people who pay their bills, their reelection campaigns. The best thing we can do is stick together, strengthen ourselves, our neighbors, our families, and vote with our pocketbooks, dont' try to fight them head on, goodness is stronger than the dark side, always has been and always will be. Don't give up hope. Keep on fighting the good fight, or stop fighting and feel good. Do what you can, and let the rest go. But do not have any illusions that the Government gives a crap about you. They want you to spend as much as you can, make as much as you can, get in as much debt as you can, and give them as much tax money as you can. Then they'll start a war and ask you to sign up your children to fight it for them, tell your kids its honorable to go fight for oil. Taxes are never going away. Neither is greed. But if there's one thing that all of the blinds have taught us, it's that money and fame mean absolutely nothing. More money, more problems. Getting money just solves the problems of not having money, it comes with a whole new set of it's own. So just enjoy the simple things in life, don't chase the next shiny object, it will be dirty and covered in bird poo in a couple of days anyways. Just enjoy your life. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. That goes for the government. I'd like to know if they're doing shady things, but I also feel like I already am pretty sure that they are, so why should I freak out about it? If I have an opportunity to rise up, demonstrate, etc, I will. But I also know that there's always some huge global drama playing out. The depression, world war one, world war two, iraq 1, iraq2, korea, vietnam, jerusalem, syria, afghanistan, etc. ad nauseum, it's not going to stop, all the prostesting in the world won't stop unjust war profiteering. But we can keep our eyes and ears open, and they can never defeat or control all of us, and they can't listen in to our thoughts. Stick together, stay strong, get stronger, and don't freak out, be at peace.
They've been doing it, everyone just forgot about it for 12 years.
The NSA can kiss my country ass. I don't break the law, but if they ever did look for me, the gators will be happy to see them.
Jesus h Christ….Snowdons next reval is probably gonna be that air is comprised of a fair amount of oxygen!!
OH THE HUMANITY!
How's about you tell us something we haven't already known for years……
I give fucks but not enough to get up off my lazy ass and shake my fist any more. It's old news somehow being treated like new news. Was actually at part of a hearing on warrantless wiretapping years ago (2005?)… And the government's case was like Kafka had teamed up with dr Seuss. Counsel couldn't mention fisa or warrantless wiretapping at all b/c it was supposed to be a state secret.
oh shut up most everyone! in this age of terrorism and if saves people why not. if you have nothing to be guilty about then you shouldn't care. I'd rather be safe than sorry. And seriously, they are not listening in just for fun.
@Naomi, you can have your opinion–but telling other people to 'shut up' about theirs when you don't agree with it is not the greatest way to start off expressing it. Kind of a turn off.
I would seriously suggest you read my post above (or more specifically, the article linked), about how intelligence fails, how you can be marked as a terrorist because the data was incorrectly interpreted–even when you have NOTHING TO BE GUILTY ABOUT. How, as @SophiaB also said, we had the intelligence using constitutional surveillance methods before 9/11, but it was missed in the over-collection of information? (And now we're collecting more information–"bigger haystacks with proportionately fewer needles," as Doctorow said…
Here's another excellent article too, debunking the dangerous fallacy "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”. From the article: "People will stop thinking in terms of what is legal, and start acting in self-censorship to avoid being red-flagged, out of pure self-preservation." Is this really any way to live in a 'free' society?
(You assert this surveillance saves people. Does it? Do we have hard statistics on information that prevented an act of terrorism that we wouldn't have gotten through constitutional channels?)
Interesting…since this has expanded under Obama. Guess he still as that permanent "hall pass" from the politically correct set.
Do you know the vast majority? Then shut the fuck up and stop generalizing. I'm 21 and I don't even have fb
We care about our privacy just as much as you guys do. Making this a generational thing solves nothing. Dividing us solves nothing. We ALL need to get together and fight our privacy.
I'm just so tired of older people attacking my generation as if baby boomers never raised kids…its their kids who ended up ruining this fucking planet. Now we ALL have to fix it.
I'm shocked at the number of people posting they don't care. Apathy will be our downfall.
For all those complacent people thinking "What's the worry if you've done nothing wrong?" I implore you to revisit the Dixie Chicks country-wide lashing and sad demise for being 'unpatriotic'.
A country/system/mentality that can snuff out a simple, non-violent group for simply debating gov't is bloody scary.
The U.S gov't needs to stop romanticising their country as the 'beacon of freedom'. No-one's buying it.
I'm so grateful we have "This Hour has 22 Minutes" & Rick Mercer in Canada. Both shows are ALL ABOUT ripping apart gov't officials, policies & scandals. They are also aired on our National (gov't funded) stations.