L.A. Times: Bad timing and snooping online

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May 28, 2013

Excerpt: Pushed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Obama administration may ask Congress for the power to snoop on more types of communication online. The timing couldn’t be worse, given the outcry over the Justice Department secretly grabbing journalists’ phone records and emails in its pursuit of government leakers. The bigger issue with what the FBI is seeking though, is that it applies 20th century assumptions about surveillance to 21st century technologies.

Congress passed the Wiretap Act in 1968 to give federal investigators the power to listen in on suspects’ phone calls if they obtained a federal court’s permission.

The advent of wireless phones and digital networks led the feds to worry about their ability to monitor suspects who used new technologies, so lawmakers amended the law to require telecommunications companies to build wiretap capabilities into their networks.

That requirement, however, applies only to service providers that use or connect to the traditional phone grid. These days, there’s a growing number of ways to communicate through data networks that don’t use any part of the phone grid, including online teleconferencing and virtual telephones built into instant-message programs.

The irony is that the Internet is actually making it easier for the feds to gather information about suspects without warrants. As the Center for Democracy and Technology pointed out, the widespread use of GPS-equipped mobile phones has effectively put a tracking device in the pocket of virtually every suspect.

Combine that with the information collected online about the websites people visit, the material they download, the friends they keep and the people with whom they communicate, and it hardly seems as if the FBI is being left in the dark.

Comments

donutshopguy

If you don't think there are government agencies that review and examine online messages than you are naive. There are terrorist threats from outside and inside of our country every day.

The government must walk a fine line everyday to protect American citizens rights and also protect them from people who would like to destroy us.

Tough call but I will go with less government intrusion into the lives of Americans.

The Big Dog's back

Everyone's for less Gov intrusion until something happens. Then they want to know why we didn't find out before it happened. Can't have it both ways.

Nemesis

Not everyone. Some of us understand that liberty has risk.

goofus

Since when Porch Puppy, you've been a huge government since forever!!

2cents's picture
2cents

Big brother had the guys in Boston, what did they do with all their data that big government put together?

I know they were chasing innocent people because they vote the wrong way.

It happened to me in 2011 when the IRS claimed I did not pay my quarterly taxes twice in the same year, been in business 30 years, go figure.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-ed...

shucks

Well said, Dog.

Funny, the Repubs "forget" about Bush snooping.
http://www.time.com/time/magazin...
And he could do anything he pleased.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/S...

Maggdi

Forgot that the New Sheriff in town was suppose to swept in and make this a better world.
I was under the impression our current President was going to turn around the terrible policies of the former administration. Guess he hasn't gotten around to telling his people about how things were suppose to be.
I do know, I was informed that the other guy a way worse, awful, horrible, stupid, maniacal!
I can't help but be disappointed that the excuse and or partial explanation for this behavior is "The other guy did it first!"

The Big Dog's back

He probably could turn around a lot of those policies if there wasn't Repub obstructionism.

KnuckleDragger

Then why didn't he do it when his party had control of both chambers of Congress, hmm? Oh, that's right, you guys were claiming Repub obstructionism then too. Gotta love how dems explain their ineptitude...it's the other guys fault...losers!!!

Maybe things would turn around if Harry Reid would finally let a bill come to the Senate floor. Who is obstructing who?

The Big Dog's back

Do you even know how the Senate works?

Maggdi

KD and I know how the Federal Senate works. But then there are just so many hours in a day. First things first...

The Big Dog's back

You might, kd doesn't.

Maggdi

Goodness Dog. Watch it. You could turn a girl's head saying stuff like that....

shucks

-Maggdi

To clarify:
This "scandal" had nothing to do with Obama, or his policies, or direction.
It was all IRS.
The Repubs typical "rush to judgement" is just more hypocrisy in light of their Patriot Act policy.
The game plan of the Repubs now is : "Focus on the (alleged) scandals, don't govern".
The goal is to make the Democrats look bad and try to win the 2016 election , because the Repubs KNOW they are going to lose it to Hillary.

KnuckleDragger

What was that famous line by Truman? The buck stops here. When you are in charge, the responsibility for your subordinates mistakes ultimately belongs to you. A real leader would own up to it.

The Big Dog's back

Who was the last Repub "real leader"?

shucks

-KnuckleDragger
He addressed the problem on TV.
What more ? Impeachment?

Nemesis

Similar IRS behavior WAS cited as the second count in Nixon's impeachment articles. What's good for the goose....

shucks

Apples and oranges.

2cents's picture
2cents

Yep! They are both fruits : )

Maggdi

I thought we were talking about the DOJ using it's powers to try to restrict Free Speech? You know. Of Journ-o-Lists.

And just for clarification, I am no man's fool and the Patriot Act was an abomination from conception. Just for the fact it would be utilized for any future administrations' whim. And the legions of useless bureaucrats that had to be hired to administer it.

Nemesis

Under rules pushed by his own party, if he was a corporate CEO, none of that would matter - he'd be criminally liable for the actions of his subordinates.

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/05...

TboneWalkerJr

Just the liberals

donutshopguy

I am totally against burning the American flag. But, as an American citizen you must tolerate this distasteful act if you wish to support liberty and freedom.

KURTje

Thanks for knowing the value of Truman. He fired "Dugout Doug," (coward) & started integration this nation's military. Democracy is fragile.

Contango

As a late friend told me yrs. ago:

Emails are like post cards; anyone can read them.

Send a letter, speak on a landline phone or say it in person if you've got something to say that you don't want the govt. or anyone else to know.

And even THAT isn't a guarantee.

Terrorists:

"When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them." - Atlas Shrugged

The Big Dog's back

Are you and Ayn related?

Centauri

"When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them." - Atlas Shrugged

Very true. The United States leads the world in throwing their citizens into prison.

http://tinyurl.com/od42x3z

Whistleblowers, political activists or anyone who critizes the powers that be will be thrown into prison if intimidation tactics will not work.

Federal Bureau of Investigation or Federal Bureau of Intimidation?

Centauri

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth...
"Although the US is widely recognised as a "land of liberty", it could also be described as a nation of prisons. It incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation. Its imprisonment rate (per capita) is almost 50 percent higher than Russia's and 320 percent higher than China's.

Within the western hemisphere, the US incarcerates five times as many people per capita as Canada and almost 2.5 times as many as Mexico."

shucks

Ayn Rand, a sociopathic atheist who admired a serial killer.

China executes people for lesser crimes such as tax evasion,drug smuggling,fraud, bribery etc.
The country of Aljazeera has Sharia law.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debat...

Think it's bad in America? Shut up and move.And take the clown with you.

Contango

"As Federal Crime List Grows, Threshold of Guilt Declines":

"This legal protection is now being eroded as the U.S. federal criminal code dramatically swells.

In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent. Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall afoul of them."

"Today there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, plus thousands more embedded in federal regulations, many of which have been added to the penal code since the 1970s."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB...

(Copy and paste the title in Google to get past the filters.)

Contango

"Two US embassy workers injured in Venezuela shooting":

Enjoyed listening to the State Dept. "spokes puppet" who was playing Sgt. Schultz.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_ne...

Gotta luv the Obama Admin. who is not responsible for ANYTHING negative and doesn't know ANYTHING about it when it occurs.

Wanna bet that little Barack didn't used the ol' "dog ate my homework" excuse in school? :)

The Big Dog's back

Did you use that excuse conwango?

Contango

4shizzle writes:

"The country of Aljazeera has Sharia law."

The "country of Aljazeera"? Is that anywhere near the "country" of MSNBC?

ROFLMAO!!!

shucks

I know there isn't a country called Aljazeera.

The country where Aljazeera is - was the idea.

Get up off the floor, you're drunk.

KURTje

Understand winnie has no else that speaks to him. Hence his pedestrian nature.

S w Rand 2016

It would seem like that to someone who may be continually in need of correction (hence the abundance of replies your posts may require..or provoke), as opposed to Contango who tends to be on the teaching end of those conversations.
Corrected...as all Derpocrats must be, especially the Obamatron "strain."

shucks

S w Rand 2016
You speak an abundance of feces..

KURTje

Hardly. Especially regarding war, agri-business, & other things my lineage & self directly involved in. Then to hear retorts that are blatantly wrong... from someone who admitted to have no experience what-so-ever in those areas; well, fill in those blanks.

shucks

Contango gigs comments