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Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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Max Peck
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Max Peck »

Pyperkub wrote:CIA spying on Homeland Security, NSA, FBI, etc.:
Apparently, nobody's exempt from the CIA's intelligence gathering, not even its own intelligence partners. According to a set of documents published by WikiLeaks, the CIA uses a tool called "ExpressLane" that hides behind a fake software update to collect information from agencies around the world that use its biometric collection system. In the US, the list includes fellow government agencies like the FBI, the NSA and Homeland Security. These partners are supposed to share data with the CIA, but clearly, the intelligence service wants to make sure they're not keeping anything from the agency.
I seem to recall that the CIA was prohibited by law from operating on domestic soil. Did that change as part of the Patriot Act, or other amendments?
Assuming that you can trust WikiLeaks as a source of true information that just happens to undermine confidence in the American intelligence community, of course. :coffee:
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Moliere
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Moliere »

Rand Paul Worries Whether Surveillance Reform Will Even Be Debated in Senate
Paul spoke with journalists this morning about the USA Rights Act, the bill he has introduced with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Paul's goal, as when he has called for limits on government surveillance in the past, is compliance with the Fourth Amendment.

"What's most important to me is that, really, if we use less than a constitutional standard to gather information, that information should not be used to prosecute a crime," Paul said.

But yesterday afternoon, hours after Paul and Wyden unveiled their bill, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to essentially maintain the rules as they are. The way Section 702 of FISA is currently being implemented allows the FBI and other federal agencies to use communications they collect during surveillance of foreign targets to prosecute domestic crimes, all without getting a warrant to access the information. Section 702 expires this year, so lawmakers must either pass something or allow it to expire entirely.
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Moliere
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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Amash, Paul, and Others Trying to Stop Congress from Expanding Domestic Surveillance Powers
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and a bipartisan group of 42 lawmakers are going to try to stop Congress from expanding the feds' ability to snoop on American citizens. If they fail, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is threatening a filibuster in the Senate.

This week the House is considering legislation to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments. This law grants intelligence agencies the authority to snoop on foreign targets on foreign soil without warrants, overseen by a secretive FISA court.

This is done in the name of stopping espionage and terrorism. But the surveillance powers have also been secretly used on Americans to track down evidence of other crimes, without a warrant, circumventing both the Fourth Amendment and the FISA Amendments' stated intent.

"We think that is unconstitutional, hugely problematic, and we're here to defend the rights of the American people," Amash said this morning at a press conference attended by members of both parties in both houses of Congress.
Justin Amash :wub:
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Defiant
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Defiant »

This week the House is considering legislation to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments. This law grants intelligence agencies the authority to snoop on foreign targets on foreign soil without warrants, overseen by a secretive FISA court.
Shouldn't that be foreign targets on domestic soil?

malchior
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by malchior »

Defiant wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:34 pm
This week the House is considering legislation to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments. This law grants intelligence agencies the authority to snoop on foreign targets on foreign soil without warrants, overseen by a secretive FISA court.
Shouldn't that be foreign targets on domestic soil?
I think technically it is communications with domestic sources or destinations with foreign targets on foreign soil. One side of the conversation is here so it would ordinarily not be subject to surveillance otherwise - or so the idea goes.

malchior
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by malchior »

Defiant wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:34 pm
This week the House is considering legislation to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments. This law grants intelligence agencies the authority to snoop on foreign targets on foreign soil without warrants, overseen by a secretive FISA court.
Shouldn't that be foreign targets on domestic soil?
I think technically it is communications with domestic sources or destinations with foreign targets on foreign soil. One side of the conversation is here so it would ordinarily not be subject to surveillance otherwise - or so the idea goes.

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Moliere
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Moliere »

18 Senate Dems Who Should Turn in Their '#Resistance' Membership Cards
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was pretty worried about Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. "He thinks this is a dictatorship. He doesn't understand," she told Morning Joe about a month before the election. "Just because he says these outrageous things doesn't mean our constitution would allow him to do them."

On Tuesday night, McCaskill had the chance to stick up for those constitutional checks on the Trump team's power to do "outrageous things." Instead, she cast the deciding vote to advance a bill that reauthorizes and expands the power of the federal government—that is, the Trump administration—to snoop on American citizens' private communications.

McCaskill's vote provided the necessary 60-39 margin (Sen. John McCain of Arizona was absent) on the cloture vote, which means there will be only a limited time for debate on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017. Had she voted the other way, it would have opened the door for a filibuster from privacy hawks such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
...
Republicans get most of the blame for the bill's swift passage. They control the agenda in Congress, and a majority of the GOP in both the House and the Senate have supported reauthorization. But make no mistake: This expansion of the government's powers was a bipartisan exercise.

The same thing happened in the House last week, when dozens of Democrats voted for the FISA reauthorization bill. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called Trump "reckless" and "incompetent," but did she vote to give that reckless, incompetent president more power to spy on Americans? You bet.
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Moliere
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Moliere »

NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve
“The NSA sincerely regrets its failure to prevent the deletion of this data,” NSA’s deputy director of capabilities, identified publicly as “Elizabeth B.,” wrote in a declaration filed in October. “NSA senior management is fully aware of this failure, and the Agency is committed to taking swift action to respond to the loss of this data.”
:lol:
Sorry, we accidentally deleted the data that was going to make us look bad. ooops!
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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NSA updates core values to be as authoritarian as possible:
In its old core values, the NSA explained that it would strive to be deserving of the “great trust” placed in it by national leaders and American citizens. It said that it would “honor the public’s need for openness.” But those phrases are now gone; all references to “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” have disappeared.
The agency’s new top value is “commitment to service,” which it says means “excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission.”
Service to whom? The Government Overlords? Yup:
The agency still says it is committed to transparency on the updated website, but the transparency is now described as being for the benefit of “those who authorize and oversee NSA’s work on behalf of the American people.”
There are three ways to not tell the truth: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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NSA data collection on Americans tripled last year:
The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said.

The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Pyperkub »

This is abysmally stupid and frightening. People will find a way to use encryption without backdoors, and the data of any institution using encryption with backdoors will be a target, and suspect, while also providing a competitive advantage to those who don't comply:
A pact of five nation states dedicated to a global “collect it all” surveillance mission has issued a memo calling on their governments to demand tech companies build backdoor access to their users’ encrypted data — or face measures to force companies to comply.

The international pact — the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, known as the so-called “Five Eyes” group of nations — quietly issued the memo last week demanding that providers “create customized solutions, tailored to their individual system architectures that are capable of meeting lawful access requirements.”

This kind of backdoor access would allow each government access to encrypted call and message data on their citizens. If the companies don’t voluntarily allow access, the nations threatened to push through new legislation that would compel their help.
Oh, and it will completely kill cryptocurrency.
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GreenGoo
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by GreenGoo »

I knew the UK was heavily advocating for this. I didn't know that Canada had become a part of it (I knew we were part of the 5 eyes pact). Grr. Now I gotta go find out what's going on and if there is anything I can do about it.

backdoors for big brother is a bad idea.

malchior
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by malchior »

I just went through a strategy exercise around this with a major bank. These 'backdoors' would probably be key escrow. They aren't going to be inventing new algo's with actual weaknesses in them. It is too impractical. The tech providers would implement this by 'tapping' the key exchange and grabbing the keys. That'd imply storage et. al.

In any case, I suspect the companies will just hold out for legislation because they'll be laden with risk if they became custodians of the keys and then they get stolen. The new laws if they happen will be heavily lobbied to include civil lawsuit protections to these companies should the keys get compromised.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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NSA caught with their hand in the cookie jar again, and again, and again... :
But a report released by the ACLU, states that just a few months later, the NSA once again obtained information about Americans' phone calls that it was not authorized to collect under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The report finds that the NSA improperly collected call record data in November 2017, February 2018 and again in October 2018. The October violation suggests the over-collection problems persisted (or new ones arose) even after the NSA admitted its error, and it might have had something to do with the NSA's formal recommendation that the White House drop the phone surveillance program. According to the ACLU, the government said the improper collections had a "significant impact on civil liberties and privacy."
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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CNN
The FBI ran afoul of constitutional privacy protections in some of its uses of an electronic surveillance tool, the secret federal surveillance court said in an opinion released Tuesday.

The rebuke by a judge serving on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court came in a 2018 ruling that was part of the regular certification process for the use of surveillance techniques enabled by FISA Section 702, which national security officials use to monitor emails and phone calls of certain foreign nationals outside of the US.
...
According to the October 2018 ruling from Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge James E. Boasberg, the problematic searches made by the FBI were not likely to return foreign intelligence information or evidence of a crime -- the statutory requirements for the use of the database by the FBI.

Some of the searches appear to be connected to FBI personnel or contractors, as well as people who cooperated with FBI investigators, which could suggest some in the FBI were using the data to vet people they did work with.

Government lawyers said the searches were based on a misunderstanding of the required standard for such searches. The FBI has since submitted plans to remedy the shortfalls in its use of the program. The ruling and other associated court filings were released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court also found that the FBI had failed to keep specific records of searches of 702 material that would likely identify US persons, like ones by Social Security number or US street address. The law requires the FBI to identify such searches and to keep it for at least five years.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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ars technica
Back in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled that it's illegal for the police to attach a GPS tracking device to someone's car without a warrant. But what if you find a GPS tracking device on your car? Can you remove it?

A little more than a year ago, the state of Indiana charged a suspected drug dealer with theft for removing a government-owned GPS tracking device from his SUV. This month, the state's Supreme Court began considering the case, and some justices seemed skeptical of the government's argument.

"I'm really struggling with how is that theft," said Justice Steven David during recent oral arguments.

The case began in July 2018, when the Warrick County Sheriff's Office got a warrant to attach a GPS tracking device to Derek Heuring's car. Information from a confidential informant had led them to believe that Heuring was using the vehicle to sell meth.

The GPS device transmitted data for a little more than a week. Then it stopped. Officers suspected Heuring had discovered and removed it.

After waiting another 10 days to see if it would start working again, detectives applied for a warrant to search Heuring's home and a nearby property belonging to Heuring's parents. US law requires law enforcement to show probable cause that a crime had been committed before engaging in a search. In this case, police said they suspected that Heuring had committed the crime of theft by taking the GPS device.

Police did find the tracking device. They also found methamphatamine and drug paraphernalia—evidence that police say show that Heuring had been dealing drugs.

So Heuring was charged both with drug dealing and with theft of the GPS device.

At trial, Heuring's legal team argued that the search had been illegal because the police didn't have probable cause to believe their client had committed theft. The defense pointed out that the device could have fallen off the car by accident or simply malfunctioned.

Even if Heuring did take the device off the vehicle, he couldn't have known for sure that it belonged to the government. It wasn't exactly labeled as the property of the Warrick County Sheriff's Office. Most important, it's not clear that taking an unwanted device off your car is theft—even if you know who it belongs to.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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I saw that yesterday. The government's argument is really messed up.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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Idiot! Once he discovered the device he should have paid a shill to drive it all over town.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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EFF launched Atlas, a searchable database of police surveillance tech by location:

San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in partnership with the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, today launched the largest-ever collection of searchable data on police use of surveillance technologies, created as a tool for the public to learn about facial recognition, drones, license plate readers, and other devices law enforcement agencies are acquiring to spy on our communities.

The Atlas of Surveillance database, containing several thousand data points on over 3,000 city and local police departments and sheriffs' offices nationwide, allows citizens, journalists, and academics to review details about the technologies police are deploying, and provides a resource to check what devices and systems have been purchased locally.
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