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Frank Barry

TEDCRED 30+

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Should Microsoft and Google stand up and oppose the NSA publicly? Will doing nothing work?

The big Media Story today is about a Whistle-Blower who is hiding and
may soon to be captured and returned to the US for Arrest and Trial.

The exposure of NSA spying tactics of forcing Microsoft and Google,
as well as a number of other Internet Providers, both here and abroad, to provide User Records has put this nation's Internet Users on guard.

The NSA's current program PRISM has now been shown to have been
used to invade and capture information from friendly foreign nations.

We are Americans. We claim to be Free. However, in the
last 20 years things have been changing. Can we afford to stay
out of the mess?
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What I wrote, although it sounds like an hyperbole, is anything but.

I refer to CNN's presentation on July 17th's video of the US Congress
having a hearing with the Deputy Director's of the Department's of Justice, DOJ, the DIA, the National Security Agency, NSA. and one other.

In the 3 .8 hour Congressional Committee's hearing, members asked pointed
questions and received evasive answers, with promises made that a secret
session would be more appropriate to answer their queries.

The queries by the Congressmen and Congresswomen were to the point
of why the NSA and other such agencies were conducting surveillances'
of US citizens, with partner corporations, collecting said US citizen's information from the telephone (cell phone) calls, email messages, and otherwise, that had been placed and received, and specifically without the knowledge and/or permission of said US citizens, in violation of two of the amendments to the US Constitution, plainly illegal acts.

Hyperbole, not hardly.

I found on my operating system, evidence of the NSA's Prism program.
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Regardless of your opinion, please take a few minutes and
respond. ..Your input is necessary. ..Stand up, be fearless.

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    Jul 17 2013: "The NSA's spying activities in concert with suspected other co-conspirator EU nations, has upset France's President."

    Oh? On July 4 this year, "Le Monde" - France's most respected newspaper - carried the news that the French DGSE security agency has been routinely monitoring computer and telephone communications in France, both of French and foreign nationals. Perhaps M. Hollande didn't know. But as we do know, all the nations that have the ability to monitor communications do so. Like France, China, and Germany, it has suited their political purposes to play innocent and let the U.S. take the hit.

    Has it occurred to you that before the NSA got your phone and computer records, Microsoft and Google had them? NSA actually doesn't care about your personal records, they're machine checking millions of records for certain number combinations that indicate communication among suspected terrorist groups. There's about a chance in a trillion that any of your info will be used by the government. Microsoft and Google, on the other hand, care very much about your records. They use them to try to sell you stuff and they (may) sell information about you to whomever. Commercial spying on the net is what we really should worry about, it's many times more damaging than the government security net. Info on what you buy on the net (and in stores with credit cards) is sold to data management companies from whom it can be bought cheaply. A health insurance company can know how many packs of cigarettes or quarts of liquor you bought last year. There's no end to the mischief that can and probably will be done through the commercial recording of all our internet actions. That's where we ought to spend most of our righteous outrage.

    That said, it's obviously also important that our government be restricted in what it can obtain from citizens without our knowledge. We need to know more about the judicial process they have to comply with before obtaining communications records.
    • Jul 18 2013: Paul Lillebo thank you.
      All you write is correct. All of it.

      The problem is that "our government has decided" what it can obtain from citizens
      "without our knowledge". A weak argument can be made about TOS, EULA's and
      Privacy Statements being agreed to, etc., blah, blah.

      Further, "our government has decided to use the Military's NSA without our knowledge"
      to accomplish their tasks.

      The citizen's of this once great nation are not at war with their government, but
      it seems our government is at war with us, it's citizens.

      Obviously the Corporations are at great risk in not complying with
      our government's demands.

      .....Or perhaps I have it all backwards.

      If the Corporations are running the nation, then they have
      the Military's NSA doing their bidding.

      We may well be enslaved and not even yet be aware.
      Wake me when the nightmare is over.
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        Jul 18 2013: The thing I'm particularly interested in hearing from those who are most vigorously opposing the government's electronic monitoring program is what they would recommend as an alternative means of intercepting the communications of "terrorist" evildoers. Plans to blow up airliners, public buildings, etc are serious stuff, and the current program that Mr.Snowden has revealed has apparently prevented several such, as other governments have confirmed. Snowden's revelation has also certainly caused these groups to change their means of communication, thus making interdiction more difficult. That's obviously why details of the surveillance were secret.

        So, let's say we close down this surveillance program and take us back to square one. The bad guys are now free to communicate with no fear. What do you suggest as an effective interdiction program, if we rule out blanket surveillance? I have no problem with people pointing out the dangers and drawbacks of government programs; I think that's a good thing and I've done a lot of it myself. But when I do I try to couple my critique with recommendations for how to proceed. And that's what's been lacking in all the critique of the government on this issue. I've not seen a single serious proposal for an alternative plan. A good way to put the question is, "What would I (anyone) have done as President to interdict the terror threat?"
        • Jul 18 2013: Paul Lillebo thank you

          Square one.
          I believe we have overreached. Too many Wars.
          Too many innocents killed and maimed from collateral damages.
          Too many created "Revenger's" for those killed and maimed.
          On both sides.

          I believe we rely on labels. Terror Threat and Terrorists.
          I believe we kill and maim because it is easier than to seek
          understanding and peaceful means.

          I believe our Military is a never ending killer, feeding itself
          with Taxed-Payer Dollars. A spigot of money that we cannot
          turn off and survive.

          I believe 100,000 enforcement agents and employees of the
          Intelligence agencies can be wrong, wrong, wrong.

          Mother said, "If you look for trouble; Trouble is what you find."

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