Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 85 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Dr Steve Member
    Dr Steve
    @DrSteve

    Klaatu,

    I’ve been lurking lately (new job and move, oddly enough, to TX), but I wanted you to know that at least one person on this thread supports your view.

    Keep the faith. No, it’s not just faith. Keep to the facts.

    • #31
  2. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Klaatu:No, I understand both how it is claimed to be collected and how it is used. I simply don’t agree that this kind of data culling has any benefit and is simply wrong. Find me someone who IS a verifiable suspect and THEN collect HIS data.

    This statement is evidence you do not understand how it is used, as does your indignation that no one found the second shooter or the Times Square bomber.

    I ask again, do you honestly believe the nature of the communications of the two men who tried to commit mass murder in TX is of no national security concern?

    Of course. But it apparently did nothing to thwart the episode.

    AND I see absolutely NO BENEFIT for the government to be collecting MY data. I am not a jihadi. I have no reason for anyone to think I am a jihadi. Neither has Fred. Nor you. ?So why do they have OUR data. There are millions upon millions of people who fall into that category. ?Why does the government need all their data.

    And don’t say, “Because they don’t know who is or isn’t a jihadi.” That would make my point.

    • #32
  3. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Of course.

    Then why do you object to its collection.

    But it apparently did nothing to thwart the episode.

    How could it have, unless either of these men were communicating with someone whose records have been examined? Do you have any information they were?

    AND I see absolutely NO BENEFIT for the government to be collecting MY data. I am not a jihadi. I have no reason for anyone to think I am a jihadi. Neither has Fred. Nor you. ?So why do they have OUR data. There are millions upon millions of people who fall into that category. ?Why does the government need all their data.

    The data is not yours.

    Because the entire idea is to identify those who were communicating with those under suspicion before they were under suspicion?

    Do you understand that without this program we would have no access to the records of the two in attempted murderers in TX?

    • #33
  4. Dr Steve Member
    Dr Steve
    @DrSteve

    Devereaux:

    Klaatu:No, I understand both how it is claimed to be collected and how it is used. I simply don’t agree that this kind of data culling has any benefit and is simply wrong. Find me someone who IS a verifiable suspect and THEN collect HIS data.

    This statement is evidence you do not understand how it is used, as does your indignation that no one found the second shooter or the Times Square bomber.

    AND I see absolutely NO BENEFIT for the government to be collecting MY data. I am not a jihadi. I have no reason for anyone to think I am a jihadi. Neither has Fred. Nor you. ?So why do they have OUR data.

    Ironically, you are arguing for a more invasive approach to the metadata. What the NSA does now is put the metadata aside, and then wait for a clue about WHAT to search for in the haystack–and to do it, they have to seek permission from a federal court (FISC is not a secret court–its a court that deals with secret things). Above, you are asking the NSA to sort and categorize the haystack, in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, which would touch YOUR metadata every time. Don’t you see, THAT is what would violate the US Constitution?

    • #34
  5. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Klaatu:Of course.

    Then why do you object to its collection.

    But it apparently did nothing to thwart the episode.

    How could it have, unless either of these men were communicating with someone whose records have been examined?Do you have any information they were?

    AND I see absolutely NO BENEFIT for the government to be collecting MY data. I am not a jihadi. I have no reason for anyone to think I am a jihadi. Neither has Fred. Nor you. ?So why do they have OUR data. There are millions upon millions of people who fall into that category. ?Why does the government need all their data.

    The data is not yours.

    Because the entire idea is to identify those who were communicating with those under suspicion before they were under suspicion?

    Do you understand that without this program we would have no access to the records of the two in attempted murderers in TX?

    ?We’re just going over the same stuff. It isn’t theirs either.

    And the entire idea is wrong. Because they should not be looking before but after someone is under (legitimate) suspicion. For that you don’t need mountains of data. You need a warrant and then begin collecting data – on that person.

    • #35
  6. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Dr Steve:

    Devereaux:

    Klaatu:No, I understand both how it is claimed to be collected and how it is used. I simply don’t agree that this kind of data culling has any benefit and is simply wrong. Find me someone who IS a verifiable suspect and THEN collect HIS data.

    This statement is evidence you do not understand how it is used, as does your indignation that no one found the second shooter or the Times Square bomber.

    AND I see absolutely NO BENEFIT for the government to be collecting MY data. I am not a jihadi. I have no reason for anyone to think I am a jihadi. Neither has Fred. Nor you. ?So why do they have OUR data.

    Ironically, you are arguing for a more invasive approach to the metadata. What the NSA does now is put the metadata aside, and then wait for a clue about WHAT to search for in the haystack–and to do it, they have to seek permission from a federal court (FISC is not a secret court–its a court that deals with secret things). Above, you are asking the NSA to sort and categorize the haystack, in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, which would touch YOUR metadata every time. Don’t you see, THAT is what would violate the US Constitution?

    The problem is that you presuppose the haystack is acceptable. I do not.

    • #36
  7. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    ?We’re just going over the same stuff. It isn’t theirs either.

    Why do you continue to refer to it as yours?

    And the entire idea is wrong. Because they should not be looking before but after someone is under (legitimate) suspicion. For that you don’t need mountains of data. You need a warrant and then begin collecting data – on that person.

    So the communications history of the two men in TX is of no value? They are dead, they will not be communicating with anyone now that they of interest. If you had your way, we would have no idea who these two men have been communicating with.

    • #37
  8. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Look. I’m an old guy. So I have a landline (OK – I’m really old fashioned).

    So you claim that you can’t wiretap my phone BUT you can collect who I call, when I call them, how long the call is – but you “don’t listen in”.

    ?Really. ?You think any judge would have allowed that against the mafis – and they’re clearly bad guys.

    And of course the way you got around all that was that you wiretapped every phone for 4 blocks around. Because you didn’t know which phone call might – might – be “useful”.

    It isn’t the job of citizens to make things “easy” for the government; it’s the job of the government to do the job without intruding on me and my information – until they have a warrant, sworn to and signed, giving probable cause. It’s that simple.

    • #38
  9. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Look. I’m an old guy. So I have a landline (OK – I’m really old fashioned).

    So you claim that you can’t wiretap my phone BUT you can collect who I call, when I call them, how long the call is – but you “don’t listen in”.

    ?Really. ?You think any judge would have allowed that against the mafis – and they’re clearly bad guys.

    And of course the way you got around all that was that you wiretapped every phone for 4 blocks around. Because you didn’t know which phone call might – might – be “useful”.

    It isn’t the job of citizens to make things “easy” for the government; it’s the job of the government to do the job without intruding on me and my information – until they have a warrant, sworn to and signed, giving probable cause. It’s that simple.

    You may want to look into a case titled Smith v Maryland. The Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that no warrant was required for the police to collect information regarding whom you called and when.

    • #39
  10. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Yes. Because a case from 36 years ago about pen registers legalizes massive collection of data.
    That makes perfect sense.

    • #40
  11. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Yes. Because a case from 36 years ago about pen registers legalizes massive collection of data.
    That makes perfect sense.

    Is the case relevant to Devereaux’s comment?

    Is the type of data being collected with a court order by the NSA different than what the Court said no warrant was necessary for?

    • #41
  12. Dr Steve Member
    Dr Steve
    @DrSteve

    Fred Cole:Yes. Because a case from 36 years ago about pen registers legalizes massive collection of data. That makes perfect sense.

    I am glad you are starting to see this reasonably.

    • #42
  13. Dr Steve Member
    Dr Steve
    @DrSteve

    Devereaux:

    Dr Steve:

    Devereaux:

    Klaatu:No, I understand both how it is claimed to be collected and how it is used. I simply don’t agree that this kind of data culling has any benefit and is simply wrong. Find me someone who IS a verifiable suspect and THEN collect HIS data.

    This statement is evidence you do not understand how it is used, as does your indignation that no one found the second shooter or the Times Square bomber.

    AND I see absolutely NO BENEFIT for the government to be collecting MY data. I am not a jihadi. I have no reason for anyone to think I am a jihadi. Neither has Fred. Nor you. ?So why do they have OUR data.

    Ironically, you are arguing for a more invasive approach to the metadata. What the NSA does now is put the metadata aside, and then wait for a clue about WHAT to search for in the haystack–and to do it, they have to seek permission from a federal court (FISC is not a secret court–its a court that deals with secret things). Above, you are asking the NSA to sort and categorize the haystack, in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, which would touch YOUR metadata every time. Don’t you see, THAT is what would violate the US Constitution?

    The problem is that you presuppose the haystack is acceptable. I do not.

    That you find it unacceptable is understandable. But it is constitutional.

    • #43
  14. Dr Steve Member
    Dr Steve
    @DrSteve

    By the way, anyone want to actually refer to what Prof. Yoo posted? The court decision is kind of kooky.

    • #44
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    John Yoo: Stripped of its flawed reasoning, the decision shows the blindness of the left (one that also afflicts some libertarians) to the dire threat of foreign terrorism that has appeared again on our shores. Luckily, the decision will be of little import, because Congress will decide shortly whether to reauthorize or modify the NSA program, which will effectively overrule today’s ruling even before it reaches the Supreme Court.

    I am not a leftist. I am not a libertarian (though I do call myself a fiscal libertarian.) I am not blind to the threat of terrorism, nor am I blind to the threat of a government that has such unrestrained powers as John Yoo is willing to give it.

    • #45
  16. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    I am not a leftist. I am not a libertarian (though I do call myself a fiscal libertarian.) I am not blind to the threat of terrorism, nor am I blind to the threat of a government that has such unrestrained powers as John Yoo is willing to give it.

    When has Prof. Yoo Expressed a willingness to give the government unrestrained powers?

    • #46
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Klaatu:I am not a leftist. I am not a libertarian (though I do call myself a fiscal libertarian.) I am not blind to the threat of terrorism, nor am I blind to the threat of a government that has such unrestrained powers as John Yoo is willing to give it.

    When has Prof. Yoo Expressed a willingness to give the government unrestrained powers?

    I don’t know.  All I know is about such unrestrained powers as John Yoo is willing to give the government.

    • #47
  18. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    All I know is about such unrestrained powers as John Yoo is willing to give the government.

    Such as?

    • #48
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Klaatu:All I know is about such unrestrained powers as John Yoo is willing to give the government.

    Such as?

    Collection of phone metadata without a search warrant.

    • #49
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    A more serious problem is that the government still allows homes and office buildings to be constructed without government listening devices in each room. This in effect disarms our nation.

    • #50
  21. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Collection of phone metadata without a search warrant.

    You mean the collection of such data with a court order. Perhaps we have different definitions of ‘unrestrained.’

    • #51
  22. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Klaatu:I ask again, do you honestly believe the nature of the communications of the two men who tried to commit mass murder in TX is of no national security concern?

    A few thoughts:

    1. Unless I am mistaken, I don’t believe anyone here has objected to electronic surveillance itself, only to its use in this particular manner, i.e., bulk collection of all domestic telephone metadata to be used (essentially) at the discretion of our security agencies without having to obtain a real warrant.
    2. I’ve yet to hear a answer as to why this sort of metadata can’t be sought after a terrorist comes to our attention; i.e., why can’t we just collect metadata on suspected terrorists and those they contact?  I don’t doubt that there are advantages to doing things the way we have, but I’m not persuaded it’s worth the cost.
    • #52
  23. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Tom,

    1. The type of information being collected does not require a warrant in a normal criminal investigation. This program, which admittedly differs in scale from the case in Smith v Maryland but also in purpose, relies on a real court order issued by a real court.

    2. The simple answer to that question is because we cannot go back in time. Once a terrorist comes to our attention, that fact may be known to the terrorist and his associates or he maybe dead as in the case of the TX shooters. Let’s take an example of a phone found during a raid in Afghanistan. The terrorist organization knows the site was raided and takes measures to protect those associated with the site. If there was an asset in place in the U.S., that asset may go dark, leave the country, or simply get a different phone. Going forward, the phone retrieved then becomes of little value. If, however, we can look back and develop a picture of the past activities of that asset, the phone may be invaluable.

    • #53
  24. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Klaatu:The type of information being collected does not require a warrant in a normal criminal investigation.This program, which admittedly differs in scale from the case in Smith v Maryland but also in purpose, relies on a real court order issued by a real court.

    From reading a court order is required to obtain the data (renewed every 90 days), but actual queries to it are based on “reasonable articulable suspicion,” which does not require a warrant or similar permissions from the court. So yes, the program lies on a real court order, but the queries do not.

    Klaatu:The simple answer to that question is because we cannot go back in time.Once a terrorist comes to our attention, that fact may be known to the terrorist and his associates or he may be dead as in the case of the TX shooters.Let’s take an example of a phone found during a raid in Afghanistan.The terrorist organization knows the site was raided and takes measures to protect those associated with the site.If there was an asset in place in the U.S., that asset may go dark, leave the country, or simply get a different phone.Going forward, the phone retrieved then becomes of little value.If, however, we can look back and develop a picture of the past activities of that asset, the phone may be invaluable.

    I don’t follow this at all. Surely the NSA, FBI, etc. can access the phone’s records — and those of the numbers it called — without collecting it before hand. Police departments do this all the time in criminal investigations.

    • #54
  25. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    From reading a court order is required to obtain the data (renewed every 90 days), but actual queries to it are based on “reasonable articulable suspicion,” which does not require a warrant or similar permissions from the court. So yes, the program lies on a real court order, but the queries do not.

    I’m not sure that is the case but I may well be wrong. If it is, how would this be different than the pen register at issue in Smith?

    I don’t follow this at all. Surely the NSA, FBI, etc. can access the phone’s records – and those of the numbers it called – without collecting it before hand. Police departments do this all the time in criminal investigations.

    Only to the extent a phone company maintains them.

    • #55
  26. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Klaatu,

    It is exactly that ability to “look back” that is at the heart of the disagreement.

    Today we are hunting “terrorists”. But it may not always be so. In the future the government can make all manner of things “illegal” – and then “hunt back” to find examples of it.

    I don’t really much care what the government looks at or collects outside the country. Those are not our citizens. Our government can only peripherally impact them. But I very much care what is done here. And note I don’t accept such clear attempts to get around the law as apparently has happened in the past where Britain “spies” on us and we “spy” on them – and then the two intel agencies “exchange” data.

    Nor am I very sanguine about the “safeguardd” of the FISA court, which grants something like 98-99+% of all requests. No normal court grants such wide warrant power to the cops. I’m sure this is all very frustrating  – to both the cops and you, who both believe they should have unfettered access to EVERYTHING. I don’t, I don’t believe the Founders did, and I don’t believe the constitution without contortion of the type we saw in RvW does either.

    • #56
  27. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Klaatu:I’m not sure that is the case but I may well be wrong.If it is, how would this be different than the pen register at issue in Smith?

    Well 1) I think Smith was a bad decision and 2) Smith — as I recall — targeted a single individual. It’s a real logical stretch to argue that a technique to monitor one person over a specific period of time can be used to justify monitoring everyone’s records in perpetuity.

    Klaatu:Only to the extent a phone company maintains them.

    Then require the phone companies to retain them for a given period.

    • #57
  28. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Well 1) I think Smith was a bad decision and 2) Smith — as I recall — targeted a single individual. It’s a real logical stretch to argue that a technique to monitor one person over a specific period of time can be used to justify monitoring everyone’s records in perpetuity.

    1. Good or bad, it’s the current standard.
    2. We are now discussing individual queries, are we not?

    Then require the phone companies to retain them for a given period.

    I’m not sure what problem that solves, and beside data center capacity costs money.

    • #58
  29. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Today we are hunting “terrorists”. But it may not always be so. In the future the government can make all manner of things “illegal” – and then “hunt back” to find examples of it.

    I don’t really much care what the government looks at or collects outside the country. Those are not our citizens. Our government can only peripherally impact them. But I very much care what is done here. And note I don’t accept such clear attempts to get around the law as apparently has happened in the past where Britain “spies” on us and we “spy” on them – and then the two intel agencies “exchange” data.

    Am I to take it that your complaint involves the possibility this capability may be misused in the future? If that is the case, we better strip all capability from the military because it all, including that aircraft you display as your avatar, could at some point in the future be misused against US citizens. Why are you willing to hamper the current war effort by denying intelligence but not firepower?

    Nor am I very sanguine about the “safeguardd” of the FISA court, which grants something like 98-99+% of all requests. No normal court grants such wide warrant power to the cops. I’m sure this is all very frustrating – to both the cops and you, who both believe they should have unfettered access to EVERYTHING. I don’t, I don’t believe the Founders did, and I don’t believe the constitution without contortion of the type we saw in RvW does either.

    The FISA court is not dealing with police investigations, is it?

    No one is asking for unfettered access to everything but merely access to the type of information that is not protected.

    • #59
  30. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Klaatu:Maybe you can explain how you claim your privacy is violated by the collection of data that does not in any way belong to you?

    The privacy being violated is that of the phone companies, groups of people whose rights have been stripped away entirely.  They are forced at gunpoint to turn over these records, and have no recourse.

    • #60
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.