Barack Obama

If You're Reading Reason.com, The NSA is Probably Already Following You

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Two things to contemplate on early Sunday morning, before church or political talk shows get underway:

Remember all those times we were told that the government, especially the National Security Agency (NSA), only tracks folks who either guilty of something or involved in suspicious-seeming activity? Well, we're going to have amend that a bit. Using documents from Edward Snowden, the Washington Post's Barton Gellman, Julie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani report

Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or "minimized," more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans' privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

The cache of documents in question date from 2009 through 2012 and comprise 160,000 documents collected up the PRISM and Upstream, which collect data from different sources. "Most of the people caught up in those programs are not the targets and would not lawfully qualify as such," write Gellman, Julie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani, who also underscore that NSA surveillance has produced some very meaningful and good intelligence. The real question is whether the government can do that in a way that doesn't result in massive dragnet programs that create far more problems ultimately than they solve (remember the Church Committee?).

Read the whole thing. And before anyone raises the old "if you're innocent, you've got nothing to hide shtick," read Scott Shackford's "3 Reasons the 'Noting to Hide' Crowd Should be worried about Government Surveillance."

And in case you think you've somehow slipped the surveillance drag, check this out. Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow walks through the rules used by the NSA to figure out who is worthy of being watched. Among the trip wires are interests in Tor, an encrypted browser (partly funded by the U.S. government to help online activists in repressive regimes) and Tails, a secure operating system favored by the likes of Edward Snowden.

We've written a fair amount about the Tor Project, including a great interview with Karen Reilly, the project's development director. "People are under the impression that the Internet is sort of anonymous by default," Reilly told us last year. "They don't know how many digital trails they're leaving behind."

More on the new Tor and Tails revelations at Reason 24/7, courtesy of Zenon Evans.

Here's our interview with Reilly. Don't watch unless you want to open yourself up to NSA snooping. Oh, wait, it's already too late.

NEXT: Psychedelics May Increase Brain Function by Putting Mind into "Dream-Like States"

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      1. I think the “first” rule requires an on-topic comment.

        WooHoo! WooHoo! *drops it like it’s hot*

  1. At this point, I’d figured I was already on the list (who isn’t?) so I’ve just started letting it fly. I say what I want.

    Drugs? Legalize them. All of them.
    Taxes? Repeal the 16th.
    Executive action? Unconstitutional. Defund the IRS, DEA, Dept of Ed, Interior, EPA, ATF for starters.
    You used to work in the government? No lobbying for you.
    NSA? Fuck you.
    Prostitution? Legalize it.
    Gambling? Legalize it.
    ACA? Repeal it.

    I could do this all d ay.

    1. I could do this all d ay.

      No need….if you can just get accomplish the list you already provided you’ll go down in history as the greatest American who ever lived.

    2. I am looking at your post carefully…..I can’t find a single thing to disagree with, even slightly.

      And yes, I sorta felt like a conspiracy nut, but I have been saying for years now that anyone who reads Reason and especially those who comments here, are on their list.

      I also don’t give a damn.

      1. I’d disagree with forbidding former government employees from becoming lobbyists. The solution is to render lobbying a waste of time by neutering their power to control industries. It also ensures career politicians and pubsec employees. I’d propose something different: no person may work for any local, state or federal government or any combination thereof for more than five years excluding elected positions or military commissions.

        1. Actually, I think this is correct. If the government didn’t have so much power, there wouldn’t be a need to lobby in the first place.

          1. That and the endless creation of new rules and regulations by all those agencies. At this point, paying lobbyists is just self-defense by companies who don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the next regulation issued by some nameless bureaucrat.

        2. In my few months working for a government contractor as an engineer I’ve learned a few things. The average age is 51, all the young people either quit or go back to school, and the culture resists any sort of change to create more efficient processes. One of the best ways to “cut spending” would be to hire the right people who understand industry standards and are willing to adopt and enforce them. You don’t need a five year restriction, people already quit on their own to a detriment on the budget.

          1. Toga detriment on the budget? With all due respect, I think a greater drain on the budget are the legacy costs associated with career civil “servants” that eat at the trough for 30 years after retirement while contributing a limited amount during their employment.

            I’d much rather pay to retrain a new batch on a five year revolving cycle than to have a bunch of slapdicks mailing it in for 25-30 years with virtually no way to punish or remove them,and those same people going on to collect 80% of their base pay for the rest of their life (plus benefits).

            Cut the government by about 75% and then forbid people from working more than 5 years in any unelected or non-military capacity. And no retirement plan either.

            1. I’ve never felt as if there should be anybody on the government payroll that is not explicitly allowed by the constitution.

              If the president, senators, or representatives want personal aides and staff, let them pay them themselves.

              They all seem wealthy enough to do so anyway.

              1. or we coudld just abolish government monopolies in services like the protection of life, liberty and property.

                1. And then allow whomever that has the biggest war chest to rule ?

                  Kinda like Afghanistan ? Or the big ranchers during the Wild Wild West ?

                  No thanks.

                  1. What a twatty argument with no real arguments.

            2. Certainly where I just started working the employees are all at will and the retirement plans are all 401ks. It is just a contractor though. Maybe different for a direct gov employee.

            3. DoD civvies that make it to GS13/14 will bring home ~ 125k a year. My personal take is that half of them will RIP (retire in place)…attend meetings, surf the web, fart around etc. Then when they retire, the Eagle will whiz by their mail box once a month until they croak. In total, these people can do literally nothing from the time they hit 50 until they are put in the ground.

        3. You are correct Sloopy.

        4. I’d propose something different: no person may work for any local, state or federal government or any combination thereof for more than five years excluding elected positions or military commissions.

          Single term limits for ALL politicians with intervening votes of confidence to keep the answerable to their constituencies during their term.

          No need to get reelected = no need to raise money.

    3. PiGuy / Paul 2016!

    4. I could do this all d ay.

      While we’re engaging in pleasant fantasies I’ll add one of my own: Anyone who is a net government fiscal drain loses their voting rights for the year in question.

      1. ^This. I have been saying same for a long time.

      2. Anyone who is a net government fiscal drain loses their voting rights for the year in question.

        Agreed! Dependency on the government and voting is a conflict of interest.

    5. Pi Guy|7.6.14 @ 8:54AM|#

      This is your benevolent Government speaking:

      We have detected ungood though patterns coming from citzensubject Pi Guy.

      You are to report to Section 7 Reeducation Center no later than 8:00 Monday morning. Citizensubjects are required to furnish their own ration cards while attending Reeducation Centers.

      And if no one is there when you get there you just sit and wait for us. One of your Benevolent Government Overlords will be along whenever we feelz like it.

      1. Is Section 7 the one with the cheese-filled, bacon-wrapped pigs in a blanket buffet bar? No?

        Then I’ll pass, thanks.

    6. Stop being a pussy and call for 2nd amendment remedies

      1. I was figuring on those being covered by abolishing the ATF. But, you’re right, i probably should’ve been more explicit there.

    7. I could do this all day.

      One that I would add to your list:

      Abolish the Selective Service Administration and explicitly outlaw conscription of any kind, for any purpose, by any government. Until this is done we are all potentially slaves anytime government finds it convenient to draft some of us for something.

      1. That would take a constitutional amendment. Hmmm… how about

        Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

        Pretty black and white ban on conscription. Now we just need to get it through the amendment process.

      2. Just abolish taxes and governments will go away.

    8. Don’t stop with the ideas. You’re doing great!

  2. It looks like they are targeting anyone who is engaged enough to actually have a clue what’s going on.

    But then again, they also seem to want to accelerate the common use of cryptography. Truth is, the NSA may be the biggest threat out there but it is far from the worst – and common use of cryptography can do a lot to foil the other threats. If they are concerned about cyberwar they will want law-abiding folk to be using cryptography. If painting themselves as the reason for action is the most effective way to change computing culture, it might be worth doing that.

  3. If they are concerned about cyberwar they will want law-abiding folk to be using cryptography.

    Why?

    1. It hinders the ability of foreign agencies to gather intelligence, especially concerning economic, scientific, and political intel.

      1. Why the subterfuge ?

        Why not just come out and recommend it ?

        Especially to Big Biz types ?

      2. So, other than Britain, do any of the other countries even have the power to do what the NSA does?

        1. Domestically or internationally?

          1. Yes.

            1. Domestically, China’s Ministry of State Security has just as much, if not more, control over their internet than the NSA does here. Internationally, China supposedly doesn’t have the SIGINT ability we do, but how much of that is propaganda on our side (diminishing their ability) and on theirs (again, diminishing their ability as not to attract scrutiny) is anyone’s guess. I would also hazard a guess that pretty much anything we can do with SIGINT/MASINT the Russians can do as well.

              1. I guess it helps that they have Snowden and the Keyscore source code now, as well.

        2. Every other nation has far more power to do what the NSA does, they have no constitutionally guaranteed rights or constitutional limits. Our nation wouldn’t have the power if our politicians and voters weren’t actively voiding those rights. What most nations term ‘rights’ are really just privileges. Americans are willing to turn our actual constitutionally guaranteed and enumerated rights, the only ones in the history of this planet, to privileges without going through the constitutionally mandated path to do so. The average Americans greatest fear is a fellow American with rights.

          If other nations aren’t performing the same level of intrusion it’s only because they don’t have the desire, technology or money to do so.

  4. And it probably hasn’t even kicked into high gear yet . . .

  5. Where is that giant list of everyone that we can check? It’s one thing to know you’re being watched, but there is something really chilling about actually seeing your name on a government file

    1. It’s an IP address and a list of the porno sites you’ve visited. . .ever.

      No name. They don’t need your name to break your door down and watch you jerk off!

      1. Since they can turn on your camera by remote they don’t even have to bother breaking down the door.

        I always wear a disguise when I am pursuing such activity so that way they don’t know it’s really me !

        1. Expect a decree by the government stating that we are no longer allowed to veil our faces while in our homes, for the children.

      2. They’re gonna need a bigger storage facility if that’s the case.

  6. Luckily the reason webserver is crashed half the time so the odds we’ve actually been caught have gone down significantly.

    1. So, the NSA has been foiled by squirrels?

      1. What if the NSA IS the squirrels?

          1. That’s pretty good, but I prefer the squirrelapult.

    2. I nominate this for the best H&R comment EVER.

  7. Scores of pictures show infants and toddlers in bathtubs, on swings, sprawled on their backs and kissed by their mothers. In some photos, men show off their physiques. In others, women model lingerie, leaning suggestively into a webcam or striking risque poses in shorts and bikini tops.

    Thank God the NSA intercepted this intelligence that is vital to the security of our nation!

    1. I think that list has been sanitized.

      No doubt some of those NSA creeps have impressive collections of amateur porn.

      1. I do, and I’m not even working for the government.

        Seriously, how can they not get fired for this?

  8. I just checked my Twitter account- still zero followers so I seem to be safe for now.

  9. This might be a good spot to request Reason consider going https-only to try to avoid their readers automatically being put on various NSA lists (and instead just put on the generic subversive list).

  10. Block Insane Yomomma secretly pushing Elizabeth Warren to challenge Hillary.

    Publicly, Obama has remained noncommittal on the 2016 race, but privately he worries that Clinton would undo and undermine many of his policies.

    ROFLAMO. Yeah, and I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with the fact that Hillary called him an incompetent, out of control, Nixonian boob to her Chappaqua cocktail buddies!

    1. “He believes that the populist Warren is the best person to convince the party faithful that Hillary is out of touch with poor Americans and the middle class.”

      LOLOLOL. Yes $800k a year Harvard Professor is really in touch with the average American.

  11. The headline should not come as a shock to anyone, at least not here.

    I have never worried about the US falling to foreign forces, rather having always figured that it would be creeping rot of the FDR / LBJ / BHO sort. Taken over by our own spooks was not high on my list, but I guess that’s the way it will end, unless the partakers of Bread and Circuses wake up PDQ.

    1. Well, it ain’t gonna stop until the racial political divide in this country is blown to smithereens. And the only way the GOP or a third party is going to do this is to get through to black and Latino voters that flock to the Dems. In out-of-proportion numbers with every other racial demographic.

      Once somebody gets through to those groups and gets them to understand that the policies of Great Society progressives do nothing but further entrench them into the slums and lives of poverty in numbers out of line with other racial demographics (housing programs, teacher union protections, war on drugs, etc), then the game will be up and race batters like Obama, Jackson and Sharpton as well as their progressive disciples will be run out of politics and positions of influence on a proverbial rail.

      1. “…race batters like Obama, Jackson and Sharpton as well as their progressive disciples…”

        Wait….so you are saying that the community organizer in chief did not usher in a post-racial society?

        Wow. Nobody saw that coming.

        1. Never was an Obama fan, but his election in 2008 gave me hope that he would help usher in a post-racial period in America. He could have led the charge to end the drug war (disproportionately impacts blacks and Latinos), could have led the charge against teachers unions (that protect the jobs of shitbag teachers in inner cities where a disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos live) and he could have championed the philosophy of judging individuals by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

          I fear he has set race relations in America back by a couple of decades at the least. And I believe it was deliberately done to maintain his political fortunes.

          1. I agree 95%. I tend to think that it was less deliberate and more due to the fact that Obama is a petulant child who throws hissy fits every time he doesn’t get his way.

            1. Obama is a petulant child who throws hissy fits every time he doesn’t get his way.

              Affluenza or a result of surrounding yourself with sycophants? Or a result of reading too many editorials suggesting that the GOP isn’t a legitimate opposition party in that they are mis-using their powers to stop the President from doing the Will of The People – the Will of The People being clearly evidenced by the fact that they elected Obama but not by the fact that they also elected a majority-Republican House of Representatives?

              I have seen some pundits coming dangerously close to suggesting that, since Congress isn’t doing anything, they are thereby abandoning their office. Therefore, Obama must take the extraordinary step of creating legislation. They seem to be arguing that Congress’ inaction is creating a Constitutional crisis, as if the Constitution requires Congress to pass laws and if they don’t pass laws, well, somebody’s got to pass laws!

              1. BRUTUS: Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day,
                That Caesar looks so sad.

                CASCA: Why, you were with him, were you not?

                BRUTUS: I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

                CASCA: Why, there was a crown offered him:
                and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
                thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.

                BRUTUS: What was the second noise for?

                CASCA: Why, for that too.

                CASSIUS: They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?

                CASCA: Why, for that too.

                BRUTUS: Was the crown offered him thrice?

                CASCA: Ay, marry, was’t, and he put it by thrice, every
                time gentler than other, and at every putting-by
                mine honest neighbours shouted.

              2. Yeah, it’s not just pundits. I have friends (well, just the one) who think that exact same line.

                He’s a good person. He’s just a lazy bleeding heart liberal who wants the best for everybody and can’t imagine how getting off of his ass and helping someone is better than demanding “free shit for everyone!”

          2. [I fear he has set race relations in America back by a couple of decades at the least. And I believe it was deliberately done to maintain his political fortunes.]

            Predicted by none other than R. Limbaugh prior to 2008 election and vilified here.

      2. I think the only way to do this is to somehow turn off the spigots. It’s next to impossible to convince anyone, of any race, who is on a dole of some sort, to vote against the party advocating that payout.
        Like only Nixon can go to China, it would actually take a Dem to do this. Slick Willy actually signed off on some reductions/requirements, but Obama’s going back to LBJ levels of buying minority votes, while adding (or, Jarret adding)the WoW angle.

      3. Even though you’re right, that’s not likely to happen. People who are poor aren’t going to vote away “assistance”, even though the “assistance” is what keeps them poor.

        1. Poor liberals voting against their own long term economic self interests.

  12. tl;dr: OBEY!

  13. Well, the Obama administration has a history of prodigious gathering of intelligence on their political enemies, so no surprise there.

    1. But not a history of prodigious intelligence in general.

  14. “Why liberals are abandoning the Obamacare employer mandate…

    “But the shift among liberal policy experts and advocates has been rapid. A stream of studies and statements have deemed the mandate only moderately useful for getting more people covered under Obamacare. And they too have come to see it as clumsy, a regulatory and financial burden that creates as many problems as it solves.

    “The main downside to eliminating the mandate, from the Democratic perspective? Money.

    “Estimates of the mandate’s worth to Obamacare financing range from $46 billion to more than $100 billion over a decade. That helps pay for coverage expansion. Getting a bipartisan deal to scrap the policy is one hurdle; an agreement on how to make up the money could be even harder.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..z36hGJsmYH

    1. Still, that’s the hottest Young Earth Creationist I’ve ever seen.

      1. She would be hotter if she could keep her mouth shut. That is some grade A crazy there.

      2. 4.6 billion years is pretty young, compared to the rest of the universe.

    2. I’m 99% sure that’s a joke. I can’t imagine it’s real.

      1. I read a comment of yours the other day regarding Israel, and how’s it’s the “least offensive country” in the Middle East. I thought that was a very interesting angle, so I said that verbatim to a gaggle of progs the other day that were screaming about Palestine. I’m sure you can imagine how they reacted. “It’s inhuman! Palestinians are moderates, Fatah are moderates!” “But we’re talking about gaza, not the West Bank. Gaza is run by Hamas.” “Yes but they’re just oppressed! How would you feel?????!!???22!!!derrrrp???”

        1. Did you then ask them their opinions on Bhutan’s repressive policies concerning their ethnic Nepali minority and were met with blank stares and mumbles?

          Out of all the horrific shit that occurs in the world on a daily basis, there has always been a strange fixation when it involves the Jews.

          1. Not always, I think – mostly just since the days of the Nazis and World War II.

        2. Progs reaction to Israel, like that, reveal inherent anti-semitism in left-wing ideology.

          I came across this quote recently:

          “Auschwitz meant that six million Jews were killed, and thrown on the waste-heap of Europe, for what they were: money Jews. Finance capital and the banks, the hard core of the system of imperialism and capitalism, had turned the hatred of men against money and exploitation, and against the Jews ? Anti-Semitism is really a hatred of capitalism.”

          Guess who it’s from.

            1. Damn dirty capitalists.

          1. Guess who it’s from.

            Well who, for goodness sake?

            1. Steve Forbes, the bastard.

            2. Ulrike Meinhoff, one of the founders of the Red Army Faction. Communist terrorists in West Germany from 1970 – 1998.

              1. So you buy into the same shit as Ulrike Meinhoff, you imbecile? Jews do not run the world’s banks, you Nazi fucker.

    3. Eh. I think she’s being deliberately obtuse. IOW: she’s trolling.

      1. Yep. Definitely trolling. You can tell by the pretty fake valley girl accent.

      2. It’s also called Happy New Years and it’s a fourth of July video. That makes it pretty obvious she’s just fucking with people.

      3. Ehh…a quick glance at the facebook page add credence to the bimbo hypothesis. Though the rival trolling hypothesis is soothing to my sanity.

        1. For a dedicated troll, creating a fake Facebook account ain’t that hard.

        2. She admits there that it is fake. Oh well. I used to work in a mental hospital and heard that kind of crazy on a daily, no, hourly basis.

          The conversation starts out normally, you get sucked in and then things take a sharp turn into the bizarre.

          Her fake is pretty good. I bought it.

        3. As noted, she acknowledges it as a fake. Though I don’t think it should do all that much for your sanity. It works because its believable.

    4. Like whoa.

    5. I’ll bet she likes money… and Brawndo.

    6. Oh, Dear God. I weep for our future. Please tell me that was a joke.

  15. Here’s something that is apropos (and hilarious): Trading on illusions: Unrealistic perceptions of control and trading performance (DOI: 10.1348/096317903321208880)

    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of illusory control beliefs on the performance of traders in financial instruments. The authors argue that the task and environment faced by traders are conducive to the development of illusions of control and that individual propensity to illusion of control will be (inversely) related to trader performance. Using an innovative computer task, designed to assess illusion of control in the field, data from 107 traders in four organizations showed individual differences in this bias to have a significant, inverse, association with performance, as measured by managers’ ratings of trader performance and by total remuneration. The authors conclude that, at least in this context, illusion of control is maladaptive and that it is productive to take an individual difference approach to the study of such illusions. Implications for debates about the costs and benefits of positive illusions are discussed.

      1. I thought this was common knowledge among gamblers – poor gamblers over-estimate their skills and their winnings, under-estimate their risks and losses. Every single loser in Las Vegas “only lost a few bucks”. The place was built by those gamblers who have a “can’t lose” system of betting.

        1. That’s true. It’s also common knowledge that a sucker is born every minute.

          1. “and two to take him”. One would be Obama, and I guess Biden might be the other, if he were smart enough.

        2. “Every single loser in Las Vegas “only lost a few bucks”.”

          And every guy at the bar who just came back with big wins forgets the thirty times he came back tapped.

      2. Well, that explains Shriek.

    1. Thats bullshit. *rubs lucky rabbit’s foot*

  16. Watching Jeh Johnson on MTP. The man can. not. give a straight answer. He is fucking pathetic.

    1. And now Raul Labrador (R-ID) agrees with this.

    2. That’s the only requirement for an Obama appointee.

  17. The Feds clearly have WAy too much time on their hands.

    ??www.WentAnon.Tk

    1. The anon-bot. . .it’s ALIVE!

  18. “The real question is whether the government can do that in a way that doesn’t result in massive dragnet programs”

    The real question is whether I would rather live with a certain level of risk than forgo my Fourth Amendment rights.

    Rather, the real question is how the government can unilaterally decide to violate my Fourth Amendment rights.

    How much of this crap the American people are willing to take, by the way, isn’t a real question–since my rights never were, are not, and never will be decided by a popularity contest.

    1. Now, go forth ye great and powerful man. . .

      To convince those of a liberal cause. . .

      Not to tax nor take nor regulate nor ban. . .

      And put the government on pause. . .

  19. who also underscore that NSA surveillance has produced some very meaningful and good intelligence.

    Not that it matters. No doubt that police could find lots of good intelligence and evidence of crimes by randomly busting into people’s houses.

    1. Exactly. Any “effectiveness” is *irrelevant*.

    2. More than that, I am very skeptical that it has done any such thing. When pressed about that they invariably mumble mumble some bullshit but never produce any actual examples.

      1. It’s typical government bullshit. They’ve got shit tons of data, thousands of TBs if not more. So they point to that and say what a good job they’re doing.

        1. “Look at all this data!”

          “What’s it say?”

          “Ad hominem! You question is invalid!”

        2. I agree. I remember learning from a professor in college that intelligence consists of data and analysis and dissemination. It isn’t all that clear to me that the sort of wholesale data gathering they’re engaged in lends itself to meaningful a priori analysis.

  20. From an earlier post on the CHP cop ‘restraining’ a woman on the highway:

    “The California Highway Patrol (CHP) just became aware of the video today and we are investigating the entire incident,” according to the statement. “As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate.

    If, as a matter of policy, they investigate “every” use of force, then hasn’t this incident already been reviewed? Does the excuse that the “CHP just became aware of the video” not suggest that this incident would not have been reviewed except for the video? And if so – what did the cop file in his report? Did he not report the use of force (as presumably he was required to do if it is true that the CHP review every use of force)? Or did he report it and the ‘review’ consist of asking him if his use of force was appropriate?

    So why the hell can’t we get a lazy-ass reporter to ask a few simple questions of the CHP: Was the officer involved required to report the use of force? If so, what did your prior review of this use of force consist of and what did it conclude? Or did the officer not report the use of force as required? If the officer involved was not required to report the use of force, what does it mean to say that every use of force gets reviewed?

    1. Bonus question: If the officer did not report the use of force as required, does this not indicate that the CHP training regemine is deficient due to the shockingly extreme draconian budget cuts foisted on the state by those evil Republicans and their hatred of women, children, minorities and our brave heroes in the public sector?

      1. That’s not really force. That’s just police work. It’s only force if someone goes to the hospital and/or the morgue.

        1. Yeah! After all, someone who has just been severely beaten in the head over and over again has no chance of incurring a severe brain injury.

          Leave a woman with a concussion in a holding cell for 48 hours. That’s the way to keep her quiet for good.

          1. Citizen, why do you hate freedom and order?

            1. I hate teh chillenz too.

  21. When all you guys are rounded up and put in the FEMA camps, anon-bot is going to be sitting here in the comments going, “I told you so.”

    1. And the only reply will be from shrike proclaiming it was all Bush’s fault.

    2. Naah.
      It’s gonna be:
      ‘Sammy made enough money in his jail-cell from his smart phone to buy the hacksaw blade. Click here!’

      1. We’ll have wi-fi in the reeducation camps?

        1. No wi-fi in the reeducation camps might be what it takes for people to start getting upset.

          1. The final straw, motherfucker.

            My wi-fi.

    3. Sure FEMA could build a camp, but do you think the fuckwits could guard it for a whole month? I’m pretty sure three weeks in, I could just pick a direction and walk away.

    4. Oh, don’t worry. They will haul anon-bot to the camps too.

  22. If You’re Reading Reason.com, The NSA is Probably Already Following You

    […]

    The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

    So you’re saying that Reason has fewer than 1800 US citizen readers? Ouch. And that’s assuming no one uses more than one address.

    1. “NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy”

      1. i.e. they’re not following you.

        1. Or your reading and comprehension skills suck.

    2. There’s no reason to believe that the Post had access to every single piece of data stored by the NSA.

      They had “a cache” of documents. They went through their cache by pouring over them for months, and generated these numbers.

      The total number of documents here was 160,000. If the NSA is only storing 160,000 emails TOTAL, why do they need that new data facility in Utah? I can store 160,000 emails on my fricking laptop.

      1. Lois Lerner?

    3. 1800 would be a lot. I count about 75 commenters, each with about 7 aliases, 125 anon-bots, and maybe 15 agents provacateurs from the government.

  23. And yes, I sorta felt like a conspiracy nut, but I have been saying for years now that anyone who reads Reason and especially those who comments here, are on their list.

    “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”

    1. At least it would be an end to the slow death of a thousand TSA prostate exams.

  24. “They don’t know how many digital trails they’re leaving behind.”

    Digitrails is the new Chemtrails

    *adjusts tinfoil hat…and tinfoil rabbit ears…*

    1. I sense a tron sequel in the making.

    2. You don’t really need to worry about the digital trails. Unless they criss-cross.

  25. Hope without Change is like peanut butter without jelly.

    One word…

    Fluffernutter.

    1. That’s porno slang for going bang in the fluffers face.

  26. I watched the video, I am sure they are already monitoring me and I don’t give a damn. To those who want to monitor me, the simplest way is to friend me on Facebook.

    1. Maybe I’m just very tired this morning, or maybe I just have a weird sense of reality. . .but I read that as “The simplest way is to fuck me in the face.”

  27. Just checked my Twitter & Facebook account, and still zero followers.

    1. Unfortunately, Jerryskids has lost his privacy because you’re following him with this joke…

    2. Dude, you aren’t trying hard enough.

      Run a TOR bridge relay–that should get you at least 1 NSA intern

  28. “Most of the people caught up in those programs are not the targets and would not lawfully qualify as such,” write Gellman, Julie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani, who also underscore that NSA surveillance has produced some very meaningful and good intelligence. The real question is whether the government can do that in a way that doesn’t result in massive dragnet programs that create far more problems ultimately than they solve (remember the Church Committee?).

    And if the federal government forced every American to go to a state-approved proctologist or risk a year in prison, you’d catch many instances of colon cancer that would otherwise go undetected. Even so, the cost of that policy clearly outweighs the benefit (for everyone but the Daniel Liebermans and other open totalitarians of the world, anyway).

    I have no doubt that many of my more, uh, interesting activities are filling a file with the NSA, and that concerns me in the three-felonies-a-day era when the only reason any single person isn’t in prison is because a prosecutor hasn’t had reason to go after him/her.

    It’s sobering that Americans have made so much progress over the past two centuries–economic, technological, and intellectual first of all, on top of ending economic and military slavery–and yet have seen our liberal system collapse under soft fascism.

    1. Not to complain too much–my modern life fueled by the soma of free books and the internet is better under Obama and the NSA tax leeches than it would’ve been under the Pharoahs, Stalin, or FDR–but it’s a shame that the Jeffersonian/Smithian tradition of valuing individual liberty over collectivist power proved so fragile and short-lived.

      But at least we have our capital and SSRIs.

      1. You do complain too much. You’re an annoying cunt. How about living your own life and not blaming everything on other people. You do it in your own personal life, not just here complaining the government, which is why everyone you know hates you.

  29. We know at least two markers which can lead to being tagged as a “person of interest” by the NSA: using or even studying about TOR, and being connected to foreign nationals. I was once asked to document the foreign nationals with whom I had come in contact. I replied “how thick is your notebook? I live in Southern California, have worked for and with foreign nationals; rented rooms from foreign nationals; had intimate relations with foreign nationals; ate food prepared and served by foreign nationals; my health care is often provided by foreign nationals – and you want all of these documented? I’ll make it simple: overthrowing the government of the USA was never on the top of our list of conversational topics.”

    1. I knew that Canadian girlfriend would come back to haunt me.

    2. How thick is your head? LOOK AT THE INTENT! Do you think there is any discrimination in hitching a digital network to siphon data from a foreign spool or yours? I don’t think so. “COLLECT IT ALL” was the essential message of the Snowden leak. What should be happening right now (that clearly isn’t) is there should be a great golden age of prominent flowering privacy enhancing tech. So much so that it becomes a disruptive technology trend to reset the balances of this Statist invasion. So much so that Conde Naste would not DARE give it anything less than successive covers. Information security is BUILT for planned obsolescence.

      1. MaidSafe alone is extremely disruptive.

    3. If you’re talking about the clearance process they’re only interested in “close and continuing contact” (plus a bunch of other narrower requirements), not someone who handed you a Big Mac once.

  30. ” Don’t watch unless you want to open yourself up to NSA snooping. Oh, wait, it’s already too late.”

    Exactly. How late do you have to be? Is this like a calendar reminder that says, “Oh wait its [TODAY] and you are still under surveillance. Do you have a plan today? No? Okay go back to shopping online….”

    People are being lulled into the frog boil of do-nothing. There aren’t enough privacy technologies on the market. Why? Because everyone makes their money on dataveillance from the back end. THERE IS DEMAND – WHERE IS THE SUPPLY? You just can’t let Tor be the only Haystack obfuscation kit out there because they are FUNDED BY THE STATE DEPT. ARGGHHHHHH!!! Why aren’t their 15 commercial versions of Tor clobbering each other for your dollar? I don’t know, BUT THAT’S WHAT I WANT. Where the hell is the innovation? Well it might be sitting underneath a pile of naysaying Silicon Valley Statist concubines working with the MIC. F**K THEM! INNOVATE AND GET ANOTHER FUNDER!!!!!!!

    1. You know where the innovation is?

      It’s sitting in prison right now, after having its head stoved in by a swat team.

      You think the NSA, being able to track nearly all information flow in the world, is going to let some upstart computer programmer just knock it all down?

      Trust me, they’ll come for anyone that won’t cave to demands for backdoor access.

      1. Do you have a citation for this? Any reason the MaidSafe team hasn’t been drone-bombed yet?

  31. I lived with a women a few years back whose new boyfriend was an anarchist (I always considered anarchists to be poseurs in the movement for libertarian government and economic justice and peace… Would they even know the words to the Internationale? But I digress…) he told me that he never signed up for a driver’s license, never got a passport, never applied for a library card over privacy concerns. I liked the guy so we became friends and became freer in our discussions. I made full of his pretensions that the government really would be interested in his Che Guevara t-shirt or his small-ball labor advocacy at his work or that he stole glass pipettes to smoke marijuana . I mean, really, his politics and mine were way too boring for some g-man to spend time on.

    So I would say the same to nick Gillespie and the rest of the commentators here that no one in Dc is really interested in your warmed- over right wing politics or your plaintive cries about big government. That headache you have isn ‘t from the government boring a hole in your head . It’s probably just brain cancer you’ve gotten from spending too much time on your free market I – phone. Relax, ok

    1. Cool story bro.

      Can you defend the murdering of 100,000,000 people?

      1. Eggs. Omeletttes.

        Done.

        1. And a lot of procedures being followed, if you examine the totality of the circumstances.

    2. Of course they’re not interested. That is, of course, until they are. We’ve seen that those in government aren’t in the least averse to “sharing” information that they have available for domestic political purposes. Now, you may be right that none of us will ever be in a position that there would be much of a point in making use of such information (though, of course, you never know). But, even if that’s the case, there’s no reason to believe that said information isn’t being collected on those who we may support. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  32. I’ll tell you more about kulaks, wreckers, and counter-revolutionaries if you tell me more about the American libertarian branch in Fallujah. Do all libertarians get or have gotten their paychecks from the federal government or just you?

    Quick question: were Iraqi nationalists fighting to protect their homes from paid off mercenaries better shots than you guys thought or no? I care a lot about these poor Iraqi veterans having problems at the VA.

    1. Do all libertarians get or have gotten their paychecks from the federal government or just you?

      Actually, there’s quite a few of us who have served in one of the few legitimate functions of government. Quick question: What exactly have shitbag progs, such as yourself, done to prevent the illegitimate use of that legitimate function of government? Aren’t you the party of peace?

      Perhaps, when you are in charge, you can round us all up and murder us.

      Ignorant moron.

      1. You should start a PAC… Libertarians for a Trillion Dollar Defense Budget. I’ve GOT your bumper sticker… I Don’t Have A Sense For Irony And I Vote.

        1. Your stupidity matches your incoherence.

        2. I don’t know any libertarians who are in favor of a Trillion Dollar Defense Budget.

          All the libertarians I know believe the military is for self defense, should be minimized to that end and is an option of LAST resort. There is no irony.

          On the other hand…I don’t know any socialists who don’t condone the use of force to further their ideology (see Team Blue).

        3. Can you point out any person who proclaims to be a libertarian that supports trillion dollar military budgets ?

          I guess when you are on the left of Leon Trotsky you probably see neocons and libertarians as identical.

  33. If they are targeting you for reading Reason, God knows what they are doing for those of us who read LRC everyday.

  34. Are you there NSA? It’s me, TongueWagger. Yes that’s a pseudonym. But you knew that. Omnipotence. Must be nice.

  35. The government follows me because I have a great butt

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