Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Obama Calls For End To NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection

... right away. Real soon now... just one more 90-day period, period. Right; yeah, sure.

A lot of proposed versions of this change are floating around, from almost nothing to an outright ban, so I presume the worst, least restrictive version will pass Congress, Obama will cave, and NSA... as they are wont... will ignore it and go back to secret bulk collection.

NYT has become so restrictive of viewing articles that I may have to stop using them as a primary source, but here's a tip: if you get the dialog box insisting that you register, try hitting Reload (in Firefox on a PC that's F5) and as soon as you see most of the text, frantically hit Esc five or six times in a row. I don't know how long or how often this works, but when it no longer does, NYT will have to do without the free advertising of many blogs posting free links to its stories. My patience is almost at an end.

Just to annoy a recalcitrant source, I'll quote one small thing that caught my attention:

In recent days, attention in Congress has shifted to legislation developed by leaders of the House Intelligence Committee. That bill, according to people familiar with a draft proposal, would have the court issue an overarching order authorizing the program, but allow the N.S.A. to issue subpoenas for specific phone records without prior judicial approval.

The Obama administration proposal, by contrast, would retain a judicial role in determining whether the standard of suspicion was met for a particular phone number before the N.S.A. could obtain associated records.

 NO. For the record, I am NOT down with the idea of anything but a court order authorizing a search. There's this thing I have about the Fourth Amendment:
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.
Nothing less will do.

PS if you've run out of your daily character count at NYT, you can get at least the basic AP version of the story at TPM.


  1. Replies
    1. Risen: Obama administration is this generation’s ‘greatest enemy of press freedom’

    2. Enfant, of course I agree with you, but the question isn't "who believes him?" but rather "what retribution will he inflict?"

      Whistleblowing is an old tradition in America (at least); given human nature, I can't imagine running an effective representative democracy without whistleblowers. Of course all governments, all presidents of the US, for example, have tried to prevent leaks and not infrequently to punish leakers. But Obama has outdone every president in history, even Richard Nixon, in using his DoJ and a century-old, rusty-bladed tool... the Espionage Act... in an attempt to make leakers and whistleblowers wish they'd never been born.

      Whatever one thinks of Obama's policy initiatives... IMHO, they are probably better than those of Mitt Romney would have been, but not by much... his relationship to the press is contained in just two words: overt hostility. That's bad for him, for the presidency, for America, for the Democratic Party, etc. I can't begin to say enough that Mr. Obama is, in this critical matter in particular, a destructive force, plain and simple.

      Yes, I know; that statement doesn't sit well with "loyal" Democrats, but I call 'em the way I see 'em.

  2. James Risen Says Obama Is ‘Greatest Enemy Of Press Freedom’ Of This Generation (FDL)

  3. Don't Worry.... If You Are Not a Terrorist !

  4. Dissecting Obama’s Proposed NSA Reforms(FDL):

    1. This one is unsurprising but thoroughly discouraging, Enfant. American citizens have constitutional protections against all this s**t, but no one in government seems determined to enforce them. I don't use my phone (home or cell) very much, and virtually always to Stella, so they're not getting much info from me that way... except, of course, all those anonymous out-of-state calls I seldom if ever answer; my "two hops" record may be bizarre indeed, though I rather doubt it.



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