Government seeks to redefine privacy

  1. By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

    Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, a deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.

    Kerr's comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

    Lawmakers hastily changed the 1978 law last summer to allow the government to eavesdrop inside the United States without court permission, so long as one end of the conversation was reasonably believed to be located outside the U.S.

    The original law required a court order for any surveillance conducted on U.S. soil, to protect Americans' privacy. The White House argued that the law was obstructing intelligence gathering.
    Article continues here.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    If the government found an Al Quieda cell using this data mining wouldn't there have been an arrest and a trial?

    The central witness in a California lawsuit against AT&T says the government is vacuuming up billions of e-mails and phone calls as they pass through an AT&T switching station in San Francisco.

    Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician, helped connect a device in 2003 that he says diverted and copied onto a government supercomputer every call, e-mail, and Internet site access on AT&T lines.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071111/...t_surveillance
  4. by   indigo girl
    Excuse me while I woof my cookies.

    As if they can define what citizens' rights are...

    Our rights are innate, and not given to us by govt, therefore govt can not define them.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from indigo girl
    Excuse me while I woof my cookies.

    As if they can define what citizens' rights are...

    Our rights are innate, and not given to us by govt, therefore govt can not define them.
    I think that is why the Bill of Rights is clear that, "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."
    The authors of the Constitution assumed all people have these rights therefore the government must not violate them.

    Yet we now have people in power who don't think the Constitution applies to their actions. People who do not respect our God given rights either.
    Big Brother Spying on Americans' Internet Data?

    AT&T Whistleblower Describes Secret Room That Sends Internet Data to Government

    ...A federal judge dismissed claims by government lawyers, who are arguing the case instead of AT&T because of national security implications, that the company is immune to lawsuit for the access to data they provided to the government. An appeal of that order is pending and has temporarily halted the lawsuit....

    ...President Bush has said he will veto any bill that does not include the immunity for telecom companies.

    When the New York Times reported in late 2005 on the warrantless domestic wiretapping program run by the NSA, Klein, who had recently retired from AT&T, said he became "frustrated."
    Klein linked up with the EFF in 2006 and is cooperating in their lawsuit...

    ...In May 2006, Bush defended the NSA's warrantless programs by saying the government was not mining for data and only targeting foreign terrorists and al Qaeda operatives.

    "First, our international activities strictly target al Qaeda and their known affiliates. Al Qaeda is our enemy, and we want to know their plans.
    Second, the government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval," he said.
    "Third, the intelligence activities I authorized are lawful and have been briefed to appropriate members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat.
    Fourth, the privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities. We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans. Our efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda and their known affiliates. So far we've been very successful in preventing another attack on our soil," he said.

    But Brian Reid, a former Stanford electrical engineering professor who appeared with Klein, said the NSA would logically collect phone and Internet data simultaneously because of the way fiber optic cables are intertwined.
    He said the way the system described by Klein suggests a "wholesale, dragnet surveillance."

    Bankston argued that simply by diverting the data, even if it did not look at specific messages, the government violates Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure without probable cause. ...

    ...Of the major telecom companies, only Qwest is known to have rejected government requests for access to data.
    Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, appealing an insider trading conviction last month, said the government was seeking access to data even before Sept. 11. ...

    http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=3833172.
  6. by   Roy Fokker
    I'm not surprised - couple this with RealID ... and you have a ginormous data base with all kinds of information.

    "If you ain't done nothing wrong, what's to worry about...", right?

    But hey! Let's continue to cherry pick the Constitution or ignore it outright by passing law and judgment rather than amendment.


    yours in liberty,
  7. by   Cursed Irishman
    I read this article before work last night and it kept popping up in my head throughout the night, angering me more and more each time.....
  8. by   bethin
    zooz, thanks for that link. I'm writing my final paper on the Patriot Act. I read the whole thing (342 pages) and it is frightening. Definitely not something you want to read before going to bed.

    Statistic: 43% of Americans are on some kind of FBI watch list. Of course, this is approximate since the FBI does not release the numbers.

    Privacy is not in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to privacy is a basic human right and is protected by the 9th Amendment. It also ruled that privacy is inherent in many amendments like the 3rd(quartering of soldiers), 4th(free from search and seizure without warrants), and 5th(self incrimination). Roe v Wade was fought on the grounds of privacy. If we don't have that right, how come abortion is legal?

    (and I'm not trying to start an abortion debate - using it as an example)
  9. by   bethin
    A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.
    I don't need to change my definition of privacy. I think the government needs to change their views on privacy.
  10. by   zooz
    Quote from bethin
    zooz, thanks for that link. I'm writing my final paper on the Patriot Act. I read the whole thing (342 pages) and it is frightening. Definitely not something you want to read before going to bed.

    Statistic: 43% of Americans are on some kind of FBI watch list. Of course, this is approximate since the FBI does not release the numbers.

    Privacy is not in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to privacy is a basic human right and is protected by the 9th Amendment. It also ruled that privacy is inherent in many amendments like the 3rd(quartering of soldiers), 4th(free from search and seizure without warrants), and 5th(self incrimination). Roe v Wade was fought on the grounds of privacy. If we don't have that right, how come abortion is legal?

    (and I'm not trying to start an abortion debate - using it as an example)
    You're welcome, bethin.

    In my opinion, the Patriot (<-- I'm trying reaaally hard to hold back the sarcastic tone here) Act reads like Orwellian-style horror.

    Kudos to you for slogging through it all. That's more than most Congress members did before they voted in favor of the bill.
    Last edit by zooz on Nov 15, '07
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    In one of the debates Dennis Kucinich was asked why he voted against the "Patriot Act".
    He answered, "Because I read it."
  12. by   bethin
    Quote from spacenurse
    In one of the debates Dennis Kucinich was asked why he voted against the "Patriot Act".
    He answered, "Because I read it."
    Thanks for that quote. I'm going to try to incorporate that into my paper.

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