"Every member of Congress has been briefed on this program," said President Obama last week in his response to the revelation of PRISM, the massive government surveillance program. This was scary! All of Congress--435 voting House members, 6 non-voting House members, and 100 senators--knew about this? How can we trust anyone?
But NPR investigated this by actually talking to members of Congress, including Representatives Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Susan Collins of Maine, and Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, to find out when they were briefed, what the briefings entail, and how that whole situation works. Turns out Obama was being deliberately vague in his choice of words. In a previous unrelated interview, one representative told Fox News that congressmen "could have gotten a briefing whenever they wanted to"--but, asks Rep. Susan Collins of Maine to NPR, "how can you ask when you don't know the program exists?"
The way these briefings work looks almost designed to keep people in the dark; members of the intelligence sub-committees in Congress are briefed, and the Obama administration claims there were a few general briefings for all of Congress, but Rep. Rockefeller claims these were confusing and unhelpful--that he would "come back knowing nothing."
And if, for example, the members of Congress want more information or clarification, they'd have to specifically ask for an individual briefing. Assuming the member of Congress somehow guesses that they should ask about a program like PRISM, according to NPR, they're brought into a secure room, not allowed to take notes or record the briefing, and given a brief, dense, jargon-filled presentation before being ushered out.
You can't talk about what you just learned with someone who might be an expert on it, because 1) you might not remember all the details and 2) you're just not allowed to do that, because the information is classified.
The Obama administration appears to have taken enough precautions to be able to claim that they aren't hiding this information, while really making every effort to hide this information. And this doesn't really excuse all of Congress; certainly there were at least a few members, particularly those on the intelligence sub-committees, who were briefed and understood what was going on and remained silent. But that's not true of everyone.
Read more over at NPR.
Vommiting. Wondering how in the hell this man is still in Office? Eric Hold'em, Harry Reidmylips, Janet 'Man'atolo and Obama Bin'Laden. Unbelievable. Good job America. Kim Jung Un would do a better job.
just as Jason replied I can't believe that a mother able to profit $4034 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this link Go to site and open Home for details
Congressman: I would like a briefing on your secret program
NSA: Which one?
Congressman: The surveillance program
NSA: We do not run a surveillance program
Congressman: Would you tell me if you did?
Congressman: Thank you for the briefing!
@D49 I won't disagree about the president but unless you think the same thing about Bush you are willingly part of the problem.
I thought 'plausible deniability excuse' was only used in the movies. I wonder if the general public will accept this excuse.
BHO is a pathological liar. He needs to be impeached NOW.
Does thinking the same about Bush help solve this problem? Or does it just help you better cope with having to think this way about Obama?
A little history in brief:
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978(FISA), was put forth by then senator Ted Kennedy and signed into law by former president Jimmy Carter. The law prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of "foreign information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers" which may include American citizens or permanent residents suspected of espionage or terrorism. There is a lot more to this law that you can read on Wikipedia, but this will suffice for making my point.
"Foreign powers" in government talk means a foreign country or government.
In 2001, after 9/11, FISA was amended primarily to include terrorism on behalf of groups that are not specifically backed by a foreign government. This was done because we had no "foreign government" to wage our "war on terror" on since al Qaeda is a country-less entity. This Amendment is known as "The Patriot Act". Very few were opposed to it considering the time period of just a month or two after 9/11. It still had to pass congress with the help of many democrats.
Between 2002 and 2005 the Bush administration came under scrutiny for some warrantless searches under the patriot act.
So there you have it, Bush did it too. But let's look at it for a minute more. This was just months to a couple years right after 9/11 and everyone wanted answers and revenge on the people responsible for the 3000+ American civilian deaths on US soil. The searches were limited to specific targets having to do with suspected terrorists living in the US.
Now, lets compare that with the systematic nationwide surveillance of the entire US population that's going on under this administration. Phone records, emails, chat rooms, search data, metadata, etc., and add that to the advances in storage capacity, analysis and search algorithms, and just plain ability to connect the dots a hell of a lot easier, and you get an all powerful entity with the power to ruin or discredit or prosecute anyone that stands in its way.
If J. Edgar Hoover could hold power in Washington regardless of which party was in the White House simply by holding a few dusty dossiers on the peculiarities and peccadilloes of the ruling class, how powerful would an agency be that was combing through and retaining the digital lives of a digital society?
You see, if Obama is allowed to continue this, he won't need to be president anymore. He will become dictator. He will have the ability to sway anyone into doing whatever he wants because he'll have all the dirt on everyone. It may already be too late.
So, to answer your posit that we must think about Bush the same way or we are just part of the problem; mmmmm... not quite.
The only problem that exists right now are people looking to point the finger somewhere. To become part of the solution we have to just all scream in one loud united AMERICAN voice; "GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH!, OH AND KEEP YOUR FA KING HANDS OFF MY CIVIL RIGHTS!"
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
Sorry everyone, I tried to be brief but some people just need a somewhat detailed explanation that their rights are under attack.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
I'm no fan of the Prez, but this is old time congressional crap. These guardians of our freedom are constantly ASTONISHED and LIED TO by pretty much everyone.
At least that happens when there might be some blame to take.
Nothing like their confident promises when they're campaigning.
All that aside, I'm not sure why this issue is being discussed in Popular SCIENCE. It may be popular, but there's no way that it's science.
Inmagine some unique extreme high level NSA network or programming Administrator is delegated to "TWEAK" the data and suddenly a person like "GGenua" or anyone not liked is considered an enemy\terrorist of the state.
BAM! You are captured and locked away, perhaps in CUBA\GTMO outside of USA local laws or maybe completely done away with.
No one will ask question because you are considered that terrible terrible legal word "TERROIST" and have no rights and no voice.
Mozilla, EFF, ACLU rally public against electronic surveillance
"...This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens' right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that protect their right to privacy..."
If called a terrorist, you are considered a terriorist and loose all USA citizen rights and can be captured and punished without your USA citizen rights.
This is truly the end of privacy. Especially with Microsoft (who are known to hand over any and all personal data to the nsa) fooling millions of Americans to buy and install an always on always Internet connected audio/video/nightvision nsa spying device that is literally required to use the Xbone.
But its ok because it's just to keep us safe right. You have nothing to hide. Because you're not doing anything illegal right? It's not like anyone in our noble government would abuse that system.
If someone on Earth is not from Earth, but trapped on Earth and is using Earthly communications, this would be one way to find them. If these beings are on the scale of extremely advanced, they finding them would be of world importance.
The human race is something that was 'thought about' and created in a aliens mind. Yes it is said we were created in GODS image, but that easily could easily be a wrong interpretation of 'humans were created from and idea, in an alien we called GOD'.
All around the world the great pyramids point the way to the Orion belt of which our alien visitors came from to Earth.
These aliens visitors came often to Earth and in one visit they got the idea to create some local help.
Now if they are going to create something natural on Earth, they need to use what life forms that are already natural to Earth. The Sumerians noted we humans were created from beings that come down to the Earth to help them.
Much of who or what we are in personality and traits is genetic and with that the alien visitors looks around saw of all the animals and combine this into one being with a foundation beginning from the primate.
The illustration of the great Sphinx is an illustration that humans are a combination of animal life and we will dominate the world with the size of the statue. Between some of the illustrated animal head type\human gods from Sumerian history and Encryption history you get a good idea how wide the use of animals DNA was inserted into the local primate to make the final result human race.
Some of the ancient aliens were trapped or abandon on Earth without much of their old technology or powers. They can live extremely long life spans.
Current USA Governments and the UK are searching for them now via NSA.