Why the NSA spy program won’t work

NSA spying on domestic phone calls is not only evil, anti-democratic, and Orwellian, it also won’t work. Outrage against this noxious governmental monitoring on citizens for no discernable reason has been huge and from both parties. Good.
From Global Guerillas

Noah, at DefenseTech, tapped Valdis Krebs for his analysis of the problems with the slowly leaked details on the NSAs domestic surveillance efforts. Valdis makes the absolutely correct observation that:

The right thing to do is to look for the best haystack, not the biggest haystack. We knew exactly which haystack to look at in the year 2000 [before the 9/11 attacks]. We just didn’t do it...

To me, it’s pretty clear that the people working on this program aren’t as smart as they think they are. Some top level thinking indicates that this will quickly become a rat hole for federal funds (due to wasted effort) and a major source of infringement of personal freedom. Here’s some detail:

* It will generate oodles of false positives.
* It will be expanded to include to monitor domestic groups other than al Qaeda.
* The database and associated information will be used for purposes other than tracking groups.

Not to mention the presumed billions of dollars it will cost. Who is the contractor for this monster database? Might be quite revealing to discover precisely who is getting wealthy off this. Or who in goverment quietly resigns and then gets a cushy job with those same contractors.

Bush of course said the spying wasn’t infringing on anyone’s rights. Goodness, no, why would a program to track every phone call made in the US be considered an invasion of privacy? Is Bush is so deluded he actually believes what he says? More probably, he’s lied so much and so often that he no longer knows, or cares about, the difference.

From AmericaBlog, “We don’t even remotely have the entire story about this new phone-records domestic spying scandal”, with a multitude of comments. They’re wondering, just how big is this database and precisely what is in it.

More from Kos, How 1984 works in 2006 – Wiretapping unveiled

The ACLU is suing NSA and a raft of class action lawsuits against the phone companies who turned over the records without a whimper are expected.

This could be a death knell for the Bush Administration. Indeed, his popularity has now dropped to 29%, and that poll was before this story broke.

And no, this didn’t start with Bush. It’s been going on for decades. The Bushies are just greedier, less careful, and far less competent. That’s why most everything they do eventually blows up in their faces. But the real problem is systemic. The rulers believe they are not beholden to the people. That’s what must change.

  • The state apparatus will always do everything to defend “the state” not the ordinary people it is “supposed” to represent. The state apparatus cannot be democratic, until this fact is brought into any attempt at change we will end up with the same power structures that are the basis of any state apparatus. Power and authority are a contradiction of democracy. Freedom and authority are not happy bedfellows.

  • Mike

    According to Peter Swire over at ThinkProgress the phone companies are in line for fines for violating the Stored Communications Act.

    The penalty for violating the Stored Communications Act is $1000 per individual violation. Section 2707 of the Stored Communications Act gives a private right of action to any telephone customer “aggrieved by any violation.” If the phone company acted with a “knowing or intentional state of mind,” then the customer wins actual harm, attorney’s fees, and “in no case shall a person entitled to recover receive less than the sum of $1,000.”

    I used Verizon’s email contact form to put them on notice. We’ll see if the FBI comes a-knockin’ before the NSA or the CIA.

  • Electronic Elephants Endanger Our Freedom, Our Families & Our Future

    There is compelling evidence classified electronic and sonic weapons technology developed by the U.S. Government is now in the hands of hate groups and organized crime.

    These covert weapons are being used secretly and silently to harass loyal Americans, strangle their businesses and gain control of their assets.

    So long as this technology remains classified, responsible government agencies cannot protect American citizens, families and businesses from these threats.

    See [1] for further details and lists of reputable resources and links describing the electronic weaponry threat and asking Congress to investigate and stop it.

    How Did This Happen? – The U.S. Government does not build bombers or battleships. It contracts with outside private companies to procure products and programs. Most military research and development remains classified unless there are compelling reasons to make it public.

    Some of this electronic harassment technology has leaked from the hands of these private contractors. The U.S. Government does not want to admit the threat exists or that they have lost control of the technology.

    Why Is It So Hard To Detect? – Most bio-affective sonic and electro magnetic frequencies lie in the extremely low frequency range of 5 to 300 cycles per second which mimic and parallel the electronic functioning of the human nervous system.

    Since there are relatively few legitimate commercial uses for these extremely low frequency transmissions, test equipment to detect and prove their use is not currently available in the market today for a reasonable price.

    What Are The Effects Of These Weapons? – It is well known and well documented that extremely low frequency sonic and electromagnetic frequencies can disorient and disrupt human functioning, cause memory loss and confusion. Some frequencies can induce heart attack or stroke. Recent publicity about active denial technologies indicate they can cause pain, serious injury and death.

    This classified, covert technology is now in the hands of organized crime and hate groups. The implications and impact on our freedom and future are horrifying.

    Retrieved from “”

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