Selling Secrets: The Problem No One Is Talking About

 

The FBI has arrested nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe and his wife, Diana, for trying to sell government secrets, plans for building nuclear submarines, to an unnamed foreign power. It turns out the agent of the foreign power was an undercover FBI agent. They were picked up doing a dead drop, Jonathan dropping off the secrets with Diana standing guard. Bad stuff.

How did they get caught? It seems that Mr. Toebbe solicited the foreign power by email. Apparently, this email was intercepted by the FBI. An FBI agent responded, pretending to be an agent of the foreign power.

Here is what bothers me. How did the FBI (or the National Security Agency or whoever) intercept that original email enabling the undercover operation? Does this mean that the FBI and/or NSA or someone else from the government is monitoring all emails sent by everyone to anywhere? Or are they just monitoring emails going to and from the unnamed foreign power?

I’m glad to see these treasonous criminals caught, but I am concerned about the methods used to catch them. What do those methods mean for our privacy and our freedom?

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  1. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Diana Toebbe posted about politics on Facebook and Twitter, including posts and retweets supporting Democrats and opposing former President Donald Trump. She shared an image on Facebook of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a day after her death in September 2020 with the quote, “Fight for the things you care about.”

    She also shared her support for the Black Lives Mater movement on Facebook and changed her Facebook profile in October 2016 to outline her photo with the words, “Women can stop Trump.” 

    $20 says she has pronouns in her bio. 

     

     

    https://heavy.com/news/diana-toebbe-jonathan-toebbe/

    • #1
  2. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    David Carroll: How did they get caught? It seems that Mr. Toebbe solicited the foreign power by email. Apparently, this email was intercepted by the FBI. An FBI agent responded pretending to be an agent of the foreign power.

    That is not how I read the first story I read about this.

    In the report I read – Toebbe gave a packet of documentation regarding Submarines to a foreign power – included in the packet were instruction on how to contact Mr Toebbe. The foreign power reported the contact to the FBI and returned the information (including the contact information).

    The Federal Bureau of Instigation (no relation) then used the contact information to instigate further sales of classified information.

    • #2
  3. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    From the WaPo report

    The court papers say that in December 2020, an FBI official received a package that had been sent to the foreign country containing U.S. Navy documents, a letter and instructions for how to conduct encrypted communications with the person offering the information. The letter in the package said: “I apologize for this poor translation into your language. Please forward this letter to your military intelligence agency. I believe this information will be of great value to your nation. This is not a hoax.”

    The nation in question then gave the entire package to the Instigators (no relation).

    • #3
  4. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    That’s a good question.  The answer will likely come out if they can challenge the legality of that seizure, or it may otherwise come out if there is a trial.

    My guess is that the feds covered their legal bases on something this important.  The FBI may have been tipped off by the original recipient, and they may have provided the agency with the initial email message. 

    If the accused couple used their work email to solicit the foreign power (I can’t imagine they would be that dumb, but…) I would think that email account would be the property of the employer, and probably subject to routine, or automatic, scans for certain troubling content.  Even if they used a private email account, I wonder if employees with that level of classified information must agree to subject their private emails to scrutiny.

    Could be they obtained a warrant after getting a reliable tip.  I don’t know.

    I’m just speculating, obviously, but there could be a number of ways that the email was properly discovered. 

    • #4
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Instugator (View Comment):
    The nation in question then gave the entire package to the Instigators (no relation).

    Nice!

     

    • #5
  6. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    Even if they used a private email account, I wonder if employees with that level of classified information must agree to subject their private emails to scrutiny.

    I haven’t had to yet.

    • #6
  7. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    This is how I see our current situation. If you are a person of interest, count on your communications being looked at . Not even legally. If after monitoring you illegally and they find something to charge you with. They will reverse engineer the spying to make it cross the legal threshold .

    How does one become a person of interest ? Have a sensitive job, become a political deplorable, or a snare to the deep state, participate in illegal activity.  I have no reason to be a person of interest. If I ran for office I would then be one. 

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I am confused?  What did Jonathan Toebbe do wrong?  Not kick back enough money to the Democrat syndicate or maybe not leak info damaging to non Democrats?  I can see where that would upset the FBI.  

    • #8
  9. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Hmmmph, “sources say”, packages received with encrypted communications… I suspect that the court documents and the reporting all contain enough subterfuge that trying to tease out the actual method of how they intercepted the plot would be impossible, because of intentional misdirection. If the Instigators shared exactly how they successfully unearthed these slimy spies, it would tip off all the other slimy spies on how to improve their deceptive tactics. 

     

    • #9
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    And this is what happens when Hunter Biden’s painting don’t sell.

    • #10
  11. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Hmmmph, “sources say”, packages received with encrypted communications… I suspect that the court documents and the reporting all contain enough subterfuge that trying to tease out the actual method of how they intercepted the plot would be impossible, because of intentional misdirection. If the Instigators shared exactly how they successfully unearthed these slimy spies, it would tip off all the other slimy spies on how to improve their deceptive tactics.

     

    Sure, but stupidity is a renewable resource, especially among Very Smart people.

    • #11
  12. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    David Carroll:

    Here is what bothers me. How did the FBI (or the NSA or whoever) intercept that original email enabling the undercover operation? Does this mean that the FBI and/or NSA or someone else from the government is monitoring all emails sent by everyone to anywhere? Or are they just monitoring emails going to and from the unnamed foreign power?

    Yes. This was revealed by New Zealand in the early 2000s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

    • #12
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    • #13
  14. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges.  If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    • #15
  16. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    • #16
  17. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    It is unconstitutional if they just took it.  It would not be if they purchased it from the email hosting company.   

    • #17
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    It is just best to assume the government is just doing as it pleases and the laws do not matter.  That is basically how it works.  

    • #18
  19. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    It is unconstitutional if they just took it. It would not be if they purchased it from the email hosting company.

    It’s not illegal at all if they get someone else, say Canada, to take it for them. That’s my issue. Other countries spy on us, and in return we spy on their citizens. It’s not a secret, but far too many people don’t know about it.

    • #19
  20. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    I must be getting very cynical regarding the FBI, but is there anything about the Toebbes that is the least bit Trumpy and therefore fair game for a frame-up? Over to you @fakejohnjanegalt

    • #20
  21. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    It is just best to assume the government is just doing as it pleases and the laws do not matter. That is basically how it works.

    And that is the problem. It’s not supposed to work that way, but emergency after emergency has given them the arrogance to believe they can run roughshod on the people for whom they work.

    • #21
  22. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    It is just best to assume the government is just doing as it pleases and the laws do not matter. That is basically how it works.

    And that is the problem. It’s not supposed to work that way, but emergency after emergency has given them the arrogance to believe they can run roughshod on the people for whom they work.

    Nope.  They treat the people they work for quite nicely.  It is just that they work for different people than we think they do or their mandate says they do.  They work for the Democrat party and its embedded aspect called the Federal Government Bureaucracy, deep state or whatever else you want to call it.

    • #22
  23. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself.  But this is already unconstitutional.

    • #23
  24. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    It is just best to assume the government is just doing as it pleases and the laws do not matter. That is basically how it works.

    And that is the problem. It’s not supposed to work that way, but emergency after emergency has given them the arrogance to believe they can run roughshod on the people for whom they work.

    Nope. They treat the people they work for quite nicely. It is just that they work for different people than we think they do or their mandate says they do. They work for the Democrat party and its embedded aspect called the Federal Government Bureaucracy, deep state or whatever else you want to call it.

    Well, that’s my point, isn’t it?

    • #24
  25. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself. But this is already unconstitutional.

    No, what I’m saying is that NSA gets foreign powers to spy on our electronic communication (email, texts, and phone calls) and because it’s done outside of the US by a foreign power they pretend that it’s legal.

    Anything that happens on US soil, they’re still supposed to get a warrant for. But with FISA, even the judge doesn’t really need to know what he’s granting that warrant for, so it’s fairly moot.

    • #25
  26. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself. But this is already unconstitutional.

    No, what I’m saying is that NSA gets foreign powers to spy on our electronic communication (email, texts, and phone calls) and because it’s done outside of the US by a foreign power they pretend that it’s legal.

    Anything that happens on US soil, they’re still supposed to get a warrant for. But with FISA, even the judge doesn’t really need to know what he’s granting that warrant for, so it’s fairly moot.

    Yes, I understand, but how does this differ from getting a Canadian private eye to ransack my house, which is of course unconstitutional.

    And also, where do the Aussies tap into my e-mail to someone in the same town unless they are tapping telecommunication lines in the US proper?

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself. But this is already unconstitutional.

    It would be illegal because of being home invasion/burglary/whatever, and the PIs could be prosecuted if caught, but it would not seem to be unconstitutional.

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself. But this is already unconstitutional.

    It would be illegal because of being home invasion/burglary/whatever, and the PIs could be prosecuted if caught, but it would not seem to be unconstitutional.

    I believe it’s been ruled unconstitutional, that the US government cannot pay people to do what they cannot legally do themselves.

    • #28
  29. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself. But this is already unconstitutional.

    No, what I’m saying is that NSA gets foreign powers to spy on our electronic communication (email, texts, and phone calls) and because it’s done outside of the US by a foreign power they pretend that it’s legal.

    Anything that happens on US soil, they’re still supposed to get a warrant for. But with FISA, even the judge doesn’t really need to know what he’s granting that warrant for, so it’s fairly moot.

    Yes, I understand, but how does this differ from getting a Canadian private eye to ransack my house, which is of course unconstitutional.

    And also, where do the Aussies tap into my e-mail to someone in the same town unless they are tapping telecommunication lines in the US proper?

    That’s not how the Internet works. Everything goes pretty much everywhere. It’s simply a matter of what device is actively listening.

    Phone calls used to be more geographically limited, but not anymore. The telcos take advantage of the Internet backbone to carry a lot of their traffic.

    • #29
  30. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jack Shepherd (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Somehow I can’t get all that upset if the FBI used a warrantless search to catch people trying to sell nuclear secrets.

    Except for the, you know, Unconstitutionality of it, of course.

    Is selling nuclear secrets constitutional?

    But anyway, please have some way for it to survive challenges. If nothing else, at least having exposed them has value.

    I’m not saying that. I’m saying arbitrarily snarfing emails is Unconstitutional. Which is why NSA uses the other countries in Five Eyes to do it for them. Which would never survive a legal challenge, were anyone stupid enough to actually challenge them on it. But they won’t, because the Feds will destroy them long before it gets anywhere near a court.

    I don’t claim that what these idiots tried to do wasn’t illegal and shouldn’t have been caught. But having had my private phone conversations with my father tapped in the past, I know that not everything the US government does is on the up-and-up.

    So what you’re saying sounds like the NSA could pay private investigators to ransack our homes, so long as it doesn’t do it itself. But this is already unconstitutional.

    It would be illegal because of being home invasion/burglary/whatever, and the PIs could be prosecuted if caught, but it would not seem to be unconstitutional.

    I believe it’s been ruled unconstitutional, that the US government cannot pay people to do what they cannot legally do themselves.

    Oh, an emanation of a penumbra.

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