Good News: NSA Can Only Spy On Roughly 75% Of US Internet Traffic

Do you feel safer?

(Fox News) The National Security Agency’s surveillance network has the capacity to spy on 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Citing current and former NSA officials for the 75 percent figure, the paper reported that the agency can observe more of Americans’ online communications than officials have publicly acknowledged.

The NSA’s system of programs that filter communications, achieved with the help of telecommunications companies, is designed to look for communications that either start or end abroad, or happen to pass through the U.S. between foreign countries. However, the officials told the Journal that the system’s reach is so broad, that it is more likely that purely domestic communications will be intercepted as a byproduct of the hunt for foreign ones.

The NSA is claiming that this is all legal and protects the privacy of Americans while still defending security. The question is, “is it constitutional”? Also, “does anyone actually believe the NSA anymore?”

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

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4 Comments

Comment by Brad Ervin
2013-08-21 14:46:17

I’ve spent a couple of decades within the bounds of the NSA and the unfounded savagery currently leveled against them is beyond belief. So many opinions spouting from the mouths of the arrogant unknowing. So much nonsense by self appointed experts with nothing more to go on than the self-interested prattlings of a media prostitute, thief and traitor. All bandy about words they think they understand. Words with ominous shading, but words with definate legal meanings that defeat those shadings.

The NSA has no mission interest in the goings on of US persons. Their focus is from the water’s edge outward. They are looking for foreign interlopers bent on harming the interests of America not Americans doing…well, doing what exactly? If they were to try to spy on Americans there would be no-one for them to report their findings to. And what would they be looking for in the conversations and emails of Americans?

In an age where the IRS determines your treatment based on your political leanings; an age where the political fallout of a response to an act of war is more important than the lives of American defenders; an age where our own government sells guns to foreign criminals; an age where an old man in a walker is killed by a paramilitary police force for not taking his medicine; an age where we are more interested in sending swat teams out to kill rescued fawns than stopping criminals; in this age we are suddenly transfixed with the thought that an intelligence agency tasked with overseas operations and finding foreign threats has looked under the skirts of everyday Americans!

In a nation overcome with number fatigue, what with the national debt, the cost of Obamacare, the hemorrhaging of jobs, we are told that 35,000 employees of the NSA, operating millions of data inquires, has committed 1500 transgressions. Transgressions that were self reported (show me a criminal organization that self reports their own lawlessness). Transgressions that resulted in no harm to Americans. Could we have an IRS that is so fastidious?

The NSA is a policeman that reports to the Congress. If the policeman is acting out of bounds is it not the responsibility of that Congress to act? Where there are allegations of wrongdoing is it not the responsibility of that Congress to intervene and either jail the guilty (I presume, of course, that the Fourth Amendment has not been repealed), or vindicate the agency? Why is the agency left spinning in the wind with only the barest defense? If there are serious transgressions of the law why is no one in the dock? If the watchers aren’t watching who’s to blame?

In fact, if there were transgressions the guilty would be outed by the agency itself; as they have been in the past. They have no tolerance for illegal activities within their midst and pursue such actions vigorously. Not to mention the hours of training all who have access must complete. Training on the details of the law pertaining to the rights of Americans and how it affects the work that they do. Lawless organizations do not train their operatives in the details of the laws they are to trample.

Could it be that the current administration values this agency the least and will sacrifice it to the wolves to save the domestic agencies that do have an interest in what normal Americans do? Imagine the IRS collecting meta-data on the internet doings of Americans and wondering why some persons report zero internet taxable transactions while they visited ebay and amazon hundreds of times per month. Inquiring minds want to know, but those inquiring minds won’t be behind the doors of the NSA.

Comment by Gonesoft Subscribed to comments via email
2013-08-22 06:12:26

Just a quick question: if it’s so perfectly OK for the NSA to spy on foreigners, then you’re also totally OK with every other nation spying on US citizens, right? You don’t think there’s a reason for the wonderful cooperation between the US and the UK? You totally trust them to only spy on the bad guys. Oh, yeah, and on all foreigners, including all US dudes from the UK and vice versa.

You are totally right, this is not about the NSA. This is about the bigger picture. And it troubles me that Mr. Snowden is being seen as a thief and traitor. Alerting someone to illegal activities is not a crime, yet those in power misuse their power to criminalize whistleblowers. The purpose being to intimidate the general public. That is where democracy ends and dictatorship begins – it’s not about whether the “criminal dissidents” are being beheaded or “merely” locked away for 60 years.

And now please tell me where the fundamental (not the details, but the principal) difference is between 2013 US and 1933 Germany? (Question goes to the reader, not to the poster of the first comment). But please read up on your history before answering. It always begins with giving up your privacy for the false promise of security (why is it called Homeland Security again?). There’s intimidation of whistleblowers, check. Next is intimidation of the press, maybe, idunno, oh, how about the kind we’ve seen in Heathrow? Then we repeat the slogans from the government about what terrible things the traitors did and hate the traitors for their efforts to stop eroding democracy? Guess what – it all happened in the Third Reich.

 
 
Comment by William Teach
2013-08-22 10:17:55

Just a quick question: if it’s so perfectly OK for the NSA to spy on foreigners, then you’re also totally OK with every other nation spying on US citizens, right?

That’s just the way the world works, unfortunately. But, you do make a good point.

 
Comment by Filthy_Filner_Friday Subscribed to comments via email
2013-08-24 15:32:26

Why are we debating the merits of what good will come out of the NSA’s actions when we should be debating why it has gone outside the bounds of the law? The law was “foreign” intelligence. IT was created to spy on those conversations that end or begin outside this nation. And specifically those conversations that they had a verfiable suspicion that some terror was tied to the people.

To blanket search all people has been held time and time again to be illegal. Except for drinking&driving stops – which I still contend is illegal and unconstitutional.

But, now that the last anti-NSA bill was voted down in the House, NSA now has carte blanche to carry on. The illegality was made legal by fiat.

Our country is so screwed.

 

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