NSA Statement Regarding Recent Press Articles

LeninGHOLA

Vladimir Hayt
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Quite a bit of the Alien and Seditions acts would not be considered constitutional.

But, "rarely" was the wrong word to use.
 

Aluisious

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How do you get on the NSA mailing list?

Say something about them to anyone, anywhere.
 

lcpiper

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How do you get on the NSA mailing list?

I think you do it this way.
The NSA/CSS Public and Media Affairs Office fosters relationships with media outlets throughout the world, responding to requests for information about NSA/CSS and its missions, interviews with leadership or experts, and filming opportunities. Please submit media requests via email to nsapao@nsa.gov and include specific questions and deadlines.
http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/press_room/index.shtml

But if you prefer to use a phone they have a contacts page.
 

lcpiper

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LeninGHOLA, I am unfamiliar with these acts, I'll read up on them, I am sure it will be interesting.

But just from the top of the wiki page it seems like I am to a degree correct.

The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed in 1798 by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress in the aftermath of the French Revolution and during an undeclared naval war with France, later known as the Quasi-War. They were signed into law by President John Adams. The Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act were allowed to expire in 1800 and 1801, respectively. The Naturalization Act was repealed in 1802. The Alien Enemies Act remains in effect as 50 USC Sections 21–24.

So if these were unconstitutional then three are gone, presumable cause they were a problem, constitutionally or otherwise, but they have been dead for well over 100 years and were only in effect for just over 20 years.

50 USC Sections 21–24 is still in effect it seems so the big question is, is it unconstitutional as well, or was this one ok. I don't know for sure. I am just saying that our process of law usually sees the bad ones go, and the reasonably ones stay. For all I know the Patriot Act will go away like these others, maybe the Affordable Health Care Act as well. But what I have not seen is an Unconstitutional Law that has been left on the books and is enforced and just never get's fixed.
 

Mohonri

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The problem is that the process of challenging the constitutionality of a law has been made incredibly difficult. IANAL, but you first must prove standing and show actual damage. That's actually a pretty hard bar to clear. For example, I don't own an AR-15. If the government were to outlaw them, I would have no standing to challenge the law, since I did not experience any damages. Secondly, the legal process drags out for years through the several layers of appeals, and that is prohibitively expensive for all but the richest people and/or organizations.

An additional problem is that there is no penalty against lawmakers or government workers for violating constitutional rights(unless additional laws with explicit penalties are passed). If, on the other hand, lawmakers faced, say, permanent disbarment from holding office for voting for a law later ruled unconstitutional (or, for a gov't employee, permanent banning from public sector work), they'd be a lot more circumspect about what they consider.
 

kydsid

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I'm saddened to read that someone living in the US actually thinks there is no penalty for lawmakers or government employees that violate the constitutional rights of citizens.


Note: Not talking about Congress writing a law then found unconstitutional, or a government employee enforcing a law deemed unconstitutional at a later time. Maybe that's what you meant. I actually hope so.
 

FearTheCow

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They aren't lying here. Read the Patriot Act and the subsequent follow ups that boosted their power. They're acting within the laws that congress granted to them.

Congress is to blame for not actually reading these damn spying bills.

The problem is, laws can, and are regularly challenged in court and can be put on hold and deemed unconstitutional, with the way the system is setup for the NSA, there is basically zero ways for anyone to challenge what they are doing. Then you have the whole little problem of everything they do is secret and as such have to take their word on whether they are doing everything legally or not, and given their track record of lying to congress...
 

haste.

[H]ard|Gawd
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I'm still confused about how this contracted worker had access to apparently every top secret program that the NSA was participating in. It makes no sense. This Snowden kid is obviously an attention whore with some psychological issues - why is it he is slowly leaking information instead of just presenting it all at one time? Keep himself in the news so he can get hard every time he reads his name on CNN.

The more I read these "leaks" the more I am thinking he is making it up as he goes along and the NSA is rolling with it. Why not let the tin foil hat crowd, criminals, and terrorists (those most concerned) think that they are all seeing and all knowing? I've read through some of his "NSA Confidential Power Points" and it appears as if a 7th grade below average student put it together.

Go ahead and thrash me, but lets think about it for a second. Think of the manpower it would take to monitor the amount of data (not information) that is claimed they are stealing. I don't disagree that some of what has leaked is absolutely true and I do not agree with the tactics. Since the last group of psychopaths that ran this country took away nearly all your right to privacy it keeps getting worse. If they are using it for personal gain such as sabotage or blackmail of business, which seems highly unlikely *to me* (no tin foil hat), then its a different story. I also believe that it's a good thing that there is anger towards this, there has to be checks and balances, but let's calm down with "we needz to overthrow the tyranny" bullshit.

Cooler heads prevail. Take steps to protect your data. Don't support the companies involved. Be aware of what you are doing. But stop acting like 1st year Sociology students. Like I said go ahead and thrash me. I'm sure that your conspiracy sites negate everything I stated. Get back to me when there is proof - not The Body telling you so on a silly television show or Fox News scaring you into hatred.
 

lcpiper

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An additional problem is that there is no penalty against lawmakers or government workers for violating constitutional rights(unless additional laws with explicit penalties are passed).

Lawmakers no, Civil Workers yes. It's not anything as flamboyant as being bared from civil service. It's simply that if they do it all on their own, like the LoveINT cases where individuals abused their positions for personal reasons/gain, these people either quit/retired from their jobs to avoid employer related penalties, or they were fired. The NSA did refer these cases to the DoJ for possible prosecution where they could have been charged with criminal counts if the DoJ had done so. I can't say why the DoJ didn't pursue charging these people, I simply don't have any information on it other then they didn't do it. I do know enough not to guess. I also know that in most of these cases the people involved lost their security clearances. There was at least one individual who did something wrong in the course of the normal performance of her duties, she was disciplined, retrained, and it seems she stayed on the job as her error was more like a mistake in the course of her normal duties and not something done for personal reasons.

But there are people who do get hammered for screwing up on these issues so it's not like it doesn't happen. It just isn't always considered newsworthy by whoever is selling us the news these days.
 

lcpiper

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I'm still confused about how this contracted worker had access to apparently every top secret program that the NSA was participating in. It makes no sense. This Snowden kid is obviously an attention whore with some psychological issues - why is it he is slowly leaking information instead of just presenting it all at one time? Keep himself in the news so he can get hard every time he reads his name on CNN.

Well, cause he stole it. He was in Japan working for Dell as a warranty tech, someone screwed up and trusted him with systems that still had data on them and he couldn't resist, he just had to see what all the secrets were and he actually just stole it.

He had no training, he had not been briefed on the programs, what they were about, what they represented, he just stole them. Then later he was hired by Booze Allen and it looks like he lied about his education to get the job, they started asking him about it so he used his brand new access to systems, downloaded all he could and ran for Hong Kong for some bizarre reason and now he is one part hero, one part traitor.

But as a whole, he will be famous for a long time. Some will continue to hold him as a hero, but as for his life, being a hero to the government haters is all he will most likely ever have, the rest of his life will probably be shitty. Maybe not as shitty as life in prison in the US, but still shitty all the same.

When it comes to Intelligence and Security matters the US relies on a trust system. Once every several years we get someone who is bad an compromises secrets. Usually they sell them for money, it's pretty much never millions, maybe a few hundred thousand, but not serious money. Then they get caught and go to prison. It seems Mr. Snowden was less interested in money and was more motivated by fame. He failed to become a Green Beret so he failed at the traditional courageous hero play. He swung a sweet job into the secret spook world but he sure as hell wasn't going to get famous playing James Bond, they were on to him so he gained fame the only way that was left to him.

Because he was an IT worker he had access to more data then most. Most IT guys could give a shit what's on the drives. They are worried about availability, access, down time, all that stuff. Because of the damage he caused many things are going to change. I would doubt that it's going to become a huge pain in the ass to be an IT worker for the Intelligence Services. I am not looking forward to it at all.
 

lcpiper

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As for why it keeps dribbling out, it takes time for these guys to try and figure out just what this stuff all means. Then they have to find someone with credentials who will talk to the media about this stuff and give the reports something that looks legitimate. Then they are going over their articles carefully to get the most impact. And they want to keep this fire burning as long as they can so they are going to milk it as long as possible.
 

chockomonkey

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My quick thoughts:

1. This is just damage control.. I'm sure it's very trustworthy information coming from the PR department of the NSA. PR is about saying what people want to hear; not the truth.
2. Lets say everything they said was true. That still doesn't help the fact that unless we trust the people making all these judgement calls, it's all moot. There are no names given of these people making the decisions in order to hold anyone accountable for the actions of the NSA.
 

lcpiper

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I don't disagree that some of what has leaked is absolutely true and I do not agree with the tactics.

I love this question, I really do because I have asked it in another way and no one will even try and answer me.

Given current technology, how is it possible for the NSA to perform it's valid mission without doing it in this manner?

There are many smart people in the world, some are here. If you can come up with another way for the NSA to perform it's mission then I know for a fact they would really want to hear it. The NSA would pay very well for someone to come up with ways to do their jobs that greatly lessen the risk that they will run into a civil rights/ privacy problem.

But know and understand this, the privacy problem and US Person's civil rights are not a new concern, They were always aware of, and careful about that line between their mission and our rights even before the Internet. But today everything is about digital data and it all flows along the same lines and pieces(packets) of your stuff is mixed up with mine and everyone's else as it is transmitted and stored on systems and servers world wide.

I suppose if you want to be a hero there is a different path you can take. Come up with a solution to this problem and you will be a rich hero for sure. But do not entertain for one moment the idea that US Government will put a leash on it's Intelligence Services that risks our nation's defense cause that is a vain hope.
 

chockomonkey

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oh right...

3. The people they work for and with pretty much make the laws, so them stating that they follow the law is kinda pointless.
 

lcpiper

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Chokomonkey, is your last post about that link to the Guardian?

I can't read it, their site is blocked here.
 

lcpiper

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That still doesn't help the fact that unless we trust the people making all these judgement calls, it's all moot.

Well, as I said, the US Intelligence Services operate on a trust basis, that's what a security clearance is all about. That's why they are all so pissed off with manning and Snowden, they both violated the trust that they swore they would hold dear.

You are so right, it's all about trust. But these two, who were sworn to uphold that trust, a trust that is in place to protect all the people of our country. They both broke that faith.

Snowden is a computer geek, that's it. All that Secret data he stole, he has almost no idea what all that shit is actually about or what it is used for. A classified PowerPoint presentation used for training is proof of only one thing, that the use a specific technique. It says nothing about when, why, or under what oversight and approval that must be satisfied prior to using the technique. If some IT firm's name is represented it doesn't mean anything more then a name used in a training document that is easily recognized and therefore means the instructor doesn't have to elaborate on who some unknown company is and what business they do.

So many of these documents could easily be something more, or less, then what the media says they are because they are not being viewed in context. Capability doesn't equate to culpability. That resent one that supposedly shows where the NSA can get into Google's systems. I bet that truly is a vulnerability in Google's systems. But just because the NSA can get into that location and could possible grab everything that is passed at that point, the truth is, if the NSA were grabbing everything like the news want's you to think, don't you think Google's engineers would have seen the impact of essentially double all of their bandwidth usage all the time every day?

And what if Google was allowing the NSA access, don't you think that they would deny it publicly?
 

lcpiper

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By Darkstarcow;
....with the way the system is setup for the NSA, there is basically zero ways for anyone to challenge what they are doing

Why? Why can't you challenge the NSA?
They are being challenged, there are at least half a dozen or more civil rights groups filing for Freedom Of Information Act data in order to take this into the courts. How is it you guys think that just because it's the NSA that no one can challenge them? I just posted information about over a dozen different agencies and bodies who are responsible for NSA oversight. Some have something to do with this issue and some don't, but they all wield power over the NSA in regards to one thing or another.

You really should stop listening to people who are completely ignorant or trying to sell you bogus ideas and start doing your own research.
 

chockomonkey

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This Snowden kid is obviously an attention whore with some psychological issues - why is it he is slowly leaking information instead of just presenting it all at one time?

My guess is he's still working for the NSA, and this is part of their plan to get the American public to grow accustomed to being spied on.

You can't go from a free populace to a police state overnight... you gotta ease people into it.

Kinda like gas prices.
 

lcpiper

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Of course he never actually worked for the NSA you know.
He worked for Dell and for Booze Allen Hamilton. He was in the Army for four months, and he worked for some Security Guard company that handled the University of Maryland, some sort of campus cop.

But other then his four months in the Army, most if not all must have been delayed entry program, he was never a Government Employee.
 

Stiletto

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This Snowden kid is obviously an attention whore with some psychological issues - why is it he is slowly leaking information instead of just presenting it all at one time?

You appear to lack a basic understanding of modern journalism. You don't blow your load the first day. You leak a bit, let the people involved attempt to lie to cover it up, then you release a little more than shows they're lying, then you wait for them to adjust their lie, release a bit more, etc.

Snowden isn't a hero, but he is a person who sacrificed a lot to show the citizens of the United States that blind allegiance to the State is utter idiocy.
 

lcpiper

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Snowden isn't a hero, but he is a person who sacrificed a lot to show the citizens of the United States that blind allegiance to the State is utter idiocy.

Stiletto and I will continue to disagree. My few is that he wanted to be someone special, failed, failed again, then lied his ass off got caught and sacrificed his honor to gain fleeting fame. His suffering has only begun.

I suspect at some point he will sink to such despair that he will turn himself in just so he can come home even if it means a very long jail sentence. I believe the burden will drive him to it as it often does. Only time will tell.

Stiletto's concept of legions of Government Workers all blindly following the party is a fallacy that holds no purchase in reality.
 

Stiletto

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Stiletto's concept of legions of Government Workers all blindly following the party is a fallacy that holds no purchase in reality.

I wasn't talking about the allegiance of government workers. That is secured through unions, paychecks, and corruption. I'm talking about the allegiance of citizens who lives are affected.
 

chockomonkey

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I suspect at some point he will sink to such despair that he will turn himself in just so he can come home even if it means a very long jail sentence. I believe the burden will drive him to it as it often does. Only time will tell.

Really??

For someone who's been outside of the country, surely you must know that being here isn't all that great... I, anyway, would be pleased as punch living in many other places around the globe.

Who in their right mind would want to return home so much that they'd rather be in prison in their home country than free elsewhere?
 

Godmachine

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Oxymoron of the century "NSA Public Affairs Office"

I mean seriously do they proof read what they send?

You know during the beginning of this leak all I wanted was for those in charge of this program to be held accountable but now I want the NSA shut down. Its obvious they live in their own bubble and can't separate friend from foe.

Incredible...
 

chockomonkey

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Oxymoron of the century "NSA Public Affairs Office"

I mean seriously do they proof read what they send?

You know during the beginning of this leak all I wanted was for those in charge of this program to be held accountable but now I want the NSA shut down. Its obvious they live in their own bubble and can't separate friend from foe.

Incredible...

I'm pretty sure most people feel this way. So, as the people of the US, what power can we exercise to shut them down?

None that i'm aware of.
 

Godmachine

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Really??

For someone who's been outside of the country, surely you must know that being here isn't all that great... I, anyway, would be pleased as punch living in many other places around the globe.

Who in their right mind would want to return home so much that they'd rather be in prison in their home country than free elsewhere?

The saddest part of all of this is that the states is still an amazing place to live. Its still worth becoming a countrymen. People live in this fantasy world in other countries where they think their own Governments actually "care" for them. Please , take a look back in history and tell me how well the Governments their have "cared" for their citizens throughout history..

Hold the blame where it belongs , at the hands of the US Government and not its people who are just as outraged.
 

Stiletto

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Really??

For someone who's been outside of the country, surely you must know that being here isn't all that great... I, anyway, would be pleased as punch living in many other places around the globe.

Who in their right mind would want to return home so much that they'd rather be in prison in their home country than free elsewhere?

He and those who hold his view just happen to get off on the idea of Snowden suffering for what they perceive as some major crime.
 

zamardii

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Of course the NSA "conducts all of its activities in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies." That's the problem... repeal the Patriot Act, FISA, The FISA Amendment Act of 2008, and The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

Everything that the NSA does was illegal before those Acts were enacted. So the NSA IS in fact not breaking the law, but that's because the law says they can.

It's like James Bond having a license to kill.
 
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