"We listened to all the calls in and out of Washington," says one former NSA linguist, recalling a class at the Warrenton Training Center, a CIA communications school on a Virginia hilltop. "We'd listen to senators, representatives, government agencies, housewives talking to their lovers."
Obama was being surveilled as well, before being elected:
Which means Obama may effectively be a puppet (if you compare his promises and reality, it sure looks like it). And that would then mean that no future President would be able to start limiting the growing corruption, with the NSA in power.
Effectively? Nobody gets the backing of a major party for his nomination, donations, etc, without being thorougly screened and vetoed that they'll "do the right thing" to continue supporting several interests (partisan, financial, political, etc).
It's not like parties do all this gerrymandering and political games to then allow some loose canon President to realy change the system.
In that sense, they are all puppets, even without surveillance coming into play.
Where can we find these parties? When last I checked, we had two parties that share a common high-level agenda and which generally agree on the majority of issues (to the point where people have basically forgotten that there could even be any debate on such things).
Exactly. The problem is that the public accepts the status que as correct on numerous issues. If their were an issue where a significant portion of the voting public had a different view, then I would expect a one of the political parties to adopt that view to gain voters from the other.
I agree that a two party system is far from ideal. The main problem is that if every one who disagrees with the current position on issue X is already firmly committed to their own party for unrelated reasons then their is no pressure. The traditional solution to this problem to focus on primary elections. Unfortunately (for me), a group of Republicans have recognized this, and managed to affect significant change by focusing on the getting their views through in the primaries. In the long term (I hope) this will self correct as it damages the Republicans in the main election
Or you know, they can shape popular opinion to only care about secondary issues (which politician said what on TV, Obama's birth certificate, the debt ceiling, gay marriage, tax cuts, Hilary vs Palin, etc) which the parties pretend to fight out on, while agreeing on all important issues or slightly skewing from the same general direction on them...
FTR, the ratio is much lower when trying to catch foreign terrorists. :P
Would? That has been standard fair at least since the days of J.E Hoover.
Considering the NSA is recording the content of everything, let's be honest, over time they accumulate blackmail material on everyone.
This applies to elected officials, and people who haven't even decided to run yet.
It depends on your definitions of "has", "spied", "spying", "currently", "elected" and "members".
So the answer is, "No".
In this case, as the parent points out, this is entirely the wrong way to ask the question.
You don't ask them whether they did X, you ask them what information they have, and then for each piece of information, how was it acquired.
Bill Clinton got away with the Monica comment about sex and so will the next bunch about something different.
Side note: his predecessor had a long-time mistress that was well known to beltway insiders. The Right changed the rules once they were out of power.
would you like to put a wager on "yes" being the response he receives?
Just click the call button, give the microphone permissions, and then it will call his Washington office for you via Twilio.
If you'd like to find another member of Congress, just visit the root domain:
This is a little app I've been working on and I'm just starting to talk about it today, so bugs are to be expected. If you find one, please file an issue here:
(We all have stuff we don't want others to know, but few seem as common or career destroying as gay-bashing senators being in the closet)
Relevant: "Apparently to the homophobes running the NSA, chickenfuckers were a-okay — the security threat came from gays."
well, yes I downloaded all those movies, but I haven't watched any of them. Really, if I decide to watch one, there is a process by which I purchase it first. Promise. It's not infringement unless I actually WATCH the movie.
Also, somewhat unrelated yet interesting: Harman authored an op-ed in the Washington Post a couple months ago. It seems she primarily railed against the NSA, while simultaneously failing to disclose her obvious conflict of interest, and took a parting shot at Snowden in the process.
 http://www.salon.com/2009/04/20/harman/ (Gleen Greenwald authored this piece.)
To the twisted minds at the NSA, there are a ton of loopholes in that language, unfortunately.
In this case why not spy on the people who have the power to cut your funding. Even though its clearly wrong and sounds like something North Korea does.
I bet the FBI counter espionage guys would be interested
And in the Past MI5 did catch a US diplomat working for the nazi's s well as catching an MP spying for the opposition John Stone House for the STB.
> Acknowledgement that it has collected the communications records of American lawmakers and other officials is likely to make it harder for the NSA to argue that it needs such broad collection powers to defend against terrorism.
If the answer is no,
> The letter’s authors include surveillance skeptics like Sensenbrenner as well as those who voted against an earlier curtailment of NSA authorities, like Franks and Issa, the chairman of the House oversight committee.
> “There can be no disagreement, however, on the basic premise that congressional witnesses must answer truthfully,” read the letter, which requested a reply by 10 January.
But you are certain that it would be a lie? Then it is implicit in this that the "no" is not credible. You're not being very clear.
If the no is true, then there isn't actually an issue. The point of such a request is to have someone give a public statement committing themselves to a position. Is this really so challenging to grasp?
That's clearer, thanks, though a "public statement committing themselves to a position" is not in itself useful unless it has consequences. It seems that you can only state the usefulness by enumerating the possible outcomes.
The link to "denial and lie on record" to positive consequences is a tenuous one. The consequences of "truthful denial on record" are that the status quo of widespread scepticism continues, i.e. no new consequences.
> Is this really so challenging to grasp?
it is not useful for you to get upset and offensive when you aren't being understood. It would be useful for you to be clearer.
This is how contracts work. This is how courts work. This is what people mean when they say, "Get it in writing." This is why we force confrontations. This is what Sun Tzu meant by picking your battleground. This is an essential utility that pervades the entirety of history and daily life.
> It seems that you can only state the usefulness by enumerating the possible outcomes.
I enumerated the possible outcomes when you asked how it would be useful.
It is not terribly surprising that utility is explained by listing the ways in which it is used.
> it is not useful for you to get upset and offensive when you aren't being understood. It would be useful for you to be clearer.
Honestly, I am having a hard time deciding whether or not you're a troll. That I'm responding at all is giving you the benefit of the doubt. I've discussed challenging concepts on here before, and I recognize when I'm being unclear or when I have an inadequate grasp on the subject to give a clear answer. That is not the case here. This is not a challenging concept. It is a core part of social interactions for anyone who has access to HN.
And yet it doesn't work if you're James Clapper and can lie to congress without fear of consequence. This is why it's worth asking if there would in fact be consequences in this case.
"America politicians may also have been eavesdropped on, says Margaret Newsham, a woman who worked at Menwith Hill in England, the NSA's largest spy station. She says she was shocked to hear the voice of U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R.-S.C.) on a surveillance headset about 20 years ago."
This is why the question is such a good one. When 'Snowden's grandmother' tried to out them on exactly this minor detail of spying on a congressman she did not provide any primary first hand evidence, e.g. a tape recording. It was her word against the NSA's. Obviously we believe her, or at least we do now!
So when the NSA say they have never spied on anyone in congress, they will have to carefully craft their lie. I can't wait for it!
If I am controlling the spying, every top law and business school student and people close to them would be under surveillance the day they were accepted.
Actually I think writing about the NSA in forums like this, and in email, is the only effective way I have at trying to convince the analysts and spies that they're doing the wrong thing. [You listening, analyst spy?]
If members of the legislative branch are transparently spied on by another branch (in this case executive) of the government, it should keep corruption down, no?