Technically, the FISA law being used by the NSA to capture phone records doesn't generate evidence that is easily used in court. If you're not a legitimate foreign target, you can suppress evidence that originates from FISA, and the NSA is obligated to destroy evidence it inadvertently collects on citizens.
Do you actually believe what you're writing? Seriously, the NSA or any other govt agency would be stupid to delete data and I highly doubt that the "checks and balances" measures actually care about doing their job. If they had done so then the leak would not have been necessary.
Yes, I actually believe what I'm writing. If you doubt any of the checks and balances work, what's there to discuss? The only conclusion I see you as being able to come to is that we'd have to eliminate all foreign signals intelligence.
Or, hey, we could restore the pre9-11 checks and balances. Just a thought. Maybe we could demand our government not use every small threat to our country as an excuse to move the goalposts, the Overton Window.
tptacek, I can't reply to you directly. The checks haven't changed, the obeying part has. The executive branch of our government needs to return to following them. How to enforce that on the branch tasked with enforcement it the problem. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence seems to lack a backbone.
It is easy for them to use info against you outside of the courts in all sorts of ways, from blacklisting to blackmail. Or if you really piss them off the government can just throw you in jail and refuse to prosecute you, like the guys in Gitmo.
Are you ok with the information that has come to light about our government collecting masses of data about US citizens under the guise of fighting terrorism? I think what is coming to light here is that the Government does whatever the fuck it wants and justifies those actions in any way they see fit. As a United States Citizen, I am NOT ok with this.
Interesting. I see a government largely doing what the people of the US voted them into office to do: allocating resources to pursuing organizations (or, really, if we're honest, entire ideologies) that "we" perceive as threats to our security; moreover, from what I can tell, they're doing it within the bounds of the law.
I feel the same way about NSA surveillance at this point, on Tuesday June 11, as I do about airport security: it's ineffective and offensive, but not the start of the decline of the Republic.
I don't jive with your analogy on TSA screening/NSA blanket spying on all citizens. Flying is a choice, in one form or another. We volunteer to be subjected to TSA when we buy a plane ticket. We don't agree to give up our rights as a citizen when we vote people into office, even if we support that candidate's views on fighting terror.
Let's vote this gal/guy into office so we can have our rights suppressed in the name of freedom, said no one ever.
you can live your entire life and never fly. if you are a citizen of the world communicating inside the US (or internet traffic passing through the US), evidence seems to indicate that some portion of your communications are being recorded and stored under the pretense of fighting terrorism. everyone communicates. these are worlds apart as from each other.
As you say, this is a technicality. Everyone is guilty under a microscope, and the FISA dragnet can provide authorities with a license to use a microscope on you. That's quite enough to be scared about.